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Be left her to perform. Come, follow us ;
We are to speak in publick : for this business
Will raise us all.

Ant. [Aside.] To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known. [Exeunt,

SCENE II.

The Same. The outer Room of a Prison.

Enter PAULINA and Attendants. Paul, The keeper of the prison,-call to him;

Exit an Attendant,
Let him have knowledge who I am.-Good lady!
No court in Europe is too good for thee,
What dost thou then in prison ?-Now, good sir,

Re-enter Attendant, with the Keeper.
You know me, do you not ?
KEEP.

For a worthy lady,
And one whom much I honour.
PAUL.

Pray you then, Conduct me to the queen.

KEEP. I may not, madam ; to the contrary
I have express commandment.
Paul.

Here's ado,
To lock up honesty and honour from
The access of gentle visitors !--Is it lawful,
Pray you, to see her women ? any of them?
Emilia ?

KEEP. So please you, madam, to put
Apart these your attendants, I shall bring
Emilia forth.
Paul. I

pray now, call her. Withdraw yourselves.

[Exeunt Attend, KEEP,

And, madam,

I must be present at your conference.

Paul. Well, be it so, pr’ythee. [Erit Keeper. Here's such ado to make no stain a stain, As passes colouring.

Re-enter Keeper, with EMILIA. Dear gentlewoman, how fares our gracious lady?

Emil. As well as one so great, and so forlorn,
May hold together: On her frights, and griefs,
(Which never tender lady hath borne greater,)
She is, something before her time, deliver'd.

Paul. A boy?
EMIL.

A daughter; and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to live : the queen receives
Much comfort in't : says, My poor prisoner,
I am innocent as you.
Paul.

I dare be sworn :These dangerous unsafe lunes o' the king * ! be

shrew them! He must be told on't, and he shall : the office Becomes a woman best ; I'll take't upon me: If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister ;

4 These dangerous unsafe LUNES o' the king !] I have no where but in our author, observed this word adopted in our tongue, to signify

frenzy, lunacy. But it is a mode of expression with the French --Il y a de la lune : (i. e. he has got the moon in his head; he is frantick.) Cotgrave. Lune, folie. Les femmes ont des lunes dans la tete. Richelet.” THEOBALD.

Lunes is a Spanish term, as Mr. Kemble observed to me, which is thus explained by Cesar Oudin in his Dialogos en Español y Françes, 1675: “ - Il intend par ce mot de lunes le cry de le mule quand elle est restive." Boswell.

A similar expression occurs in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1608 : “ I know 'twas but some peevish moon in him.” Again, in As You Like It, Act III. Sc. II. : “ At which time would I, being but a moonish youth,” &c. STÉEvens.

The old copy has-i the king. This slight correction was made by Mr. Steevens. MALONE. I see no necessity for it. Boswell.

And never to my red-look'd anger be
The trumpet any more :- Pray you, Emilia,
Commend my best obedience to the queen ;
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'll show't the king, and undertake to be
Her advocate to th' loudest: We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o' the child ;
The silence often of

pure

innocence Persuades, when speaking fails. EMIL.

Most worthy madam, Your honour, and your goodness, is so evident, That your free undertaking cannot miss A thriving issue ; there is no lady living So meet for this great errand: Please your ladyship To visit the next room, I'll presently Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer; Who, but to-day, hammer'd of this design; But durst not tempt a minister of honour, Lest she should be denied. Paul.

Tell her, Emilia, I'll use that tongue I have : if wit flow from it, As boldness from my bosom, let it not be doubted I shall do good. EMIL.

Now be you blest for it ! I'll to the queen : Please you, come something

nearer.

KEEP. Madam, if't please the queen to send the

babe,
I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,
Having no warrant.
Paul.

You need not fear it, sir ;
The child was prisoner to the womb; and is,
By law and process of great nature, thence
Free'd and enfranchis'd: not a party to
The anger of the king ; nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen,

KEEP. I do believe it.

Paul.

Do not you fear: upon Mine honour, I will stand 'twixt you and danger.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

The Same. A Room in the Palace.

Enter LEONTES, Antigonus, Lords, and other

Attendants. Leon. Nor night, nor day, no rest: It is but

weakness To bear the matter thus; mere weakness, if The cause were not in being ;-part o' the cause, She, the adultress ;--for the harlot king Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank And level of my brain“, plot-proof: but she I can hook to me: Say, that she were gone, Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest Might come to me again.- -Who's there? 1 ATTEN.

My lord ?

[Advancing. Leon. How does the boy ? 1 Atten.

He took good rest to-night ; 'Tis hop'd, his sickness is discharg'd.

Leon.
His nobleness !
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin’d, droop'd, took it deeply;

To see,

4

out of the BLANK And level of my brain.] Beyond the aim of any attempt that I can make against him. Blank and level are terms of archery. JOHNSON.

Blank and level, mean mark and aim ; but they are terms of gunnery, not of archery. Douce. So, in King Henry VIII. :

I stood i' the level
Of a full-charg'd conspiracy." Ritson.

Fasten'd and fix'd the shame on't in himself;
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languish’d.—Leave me solely 5 :-

go, See how he fares. [Exit Attend.]—Fye, fye! no

thought of him ;The very thought of my revenges that way Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty; And in his parties, his alliance ,_Let him be, Until a time may serve : for present vengeance, Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes Laugh at me; make their pastime at my sorrow : They should not laugh, if I could reach them; nor Shall she, within my power.

Enter Paulina, with a Child. 1 LORD.

You must not enter. Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to

me : Fear you his

tyrannous passion more, alas, Than the queen’s life ? a gracious innocent soul; More free, than he is jealous. Ant.

That's enough. 1 Arten. Madam, he hath not slept to-night;

commanded None should come at him. PAUL.

Not so hot, good sir;

S

Leave me solely:] That is, leave me alone. M. Mason. 6 The very thought of my REVENGEs that way

Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty;

And in his parties his ALLIANCE,] So, in Dorastus and Fawnia : “ Pandosto, although he felt that revenge was a spur to warre, and that envy alwayes proffereth steele, yet he saw Egisthus was not only of great puissance and prowesse to withstand him, but also had many kings of his alliance to ayd him, if need should serve ; for he married the Emperor of Russia's daughter.” Our author it is observable, whether from forgetfulness or design, has made this lady the wife (not of Egisthus, the Polixenes of this play, but) of Leontes. MALONE.

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