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Leon. Thou dost advise me

Even so as I mine own course have set down:
I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.

Cam. My lord,
Go then; and with a countenance as clear
As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia,
And with your Queen: I am his cup-bearer;
If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your servant.

Leon. This is all:

Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou splitt'st thine own.

Cam. I'll do't, my lord.

Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd me. [Exit.

Cam. O miserable lady ! — But, for me, What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner Of good Polixenes: and my ground to do't Is the obedience to a master; one, Who, in rebellion with himself, will have All that are his so too. — To do this deed, Promotion follows. If I could find example Of thousands that had struck anointed kings And flourish'd after, I'd not do't: but since Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one, Let villainy itself forswear't. I must Forsake the Court: to do't, or no, is certain To me a break-neck. Happy star, reign now! Here comes Bohemia.

Enter Polixenes.

Pol. This is strange! methinks,

My favour here begins to warp. Not speak? —
Good day, Camillo.

Cam. Hail, most royal sir!

Pol. What is the news i' th' Court?

Cam. None rare, my lord.

Pol. The King hath on him such a countenance As he had lost some province, and a region Lov'd as he loves himself: even now I met him With customary compliment; when he, Wafting his eyes to th' contrary, and falling A lip of much contempt, speeds from me, and So leaves me, to consider what is breeding That changes thus his manners. Cam. I dare not know, my lord.

Pol. How! dare not, do not? Do you know, and dare not Be intelligent to me? 'Tis thereabouts;For, to yourself, what you do know you must;And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo, Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror, Which shews me mine chang'd too: for I must be A party in this alteration, finding Myself thus alter'd with't.

Cam. There is a sickness

Which puts some of us in distemper; but
I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.

Pol. How caught of me?

Make me not sighted like the basilisk:
I have look'd on thousands who have sped the bet-
ter
By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo,—
As you are certainly a gentleman; thereto
Clerk-like experienc'd, which no less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,
In whose success we are gentle, — I beseech you,
If you know aught which does behoove my knowl-
edge

Thereof to be inform'd, imprison't not
In ignorant concealment.

Cam. I may not answer.

Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well! I must be answer'd.— Dost thou hear, Camillo? I conjure thee, by all the parts of man Which honour does acknowledge, — whereof the least Is not this suit of mine, — that thou declare What incidency thou dost guess of harm Is creeping toward me: how far off, how near; Which way to be prevented, if to be; If not, how best to bear it.

Cam. Sir, I will tell you;

Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him
That I think honourable: therefore, mark my counsel;
Which must be e'en as swiftly follow'd as
I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry 'lost,' and so good night. Pol. On, good Camillo.

Cam. I am appointed him to murther you.

Pol. By whom, Camillo?

Cam. By the King.

Pol. For what?

Cam. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he swears, As he had seen't or been an instrument To vice you to't, — that you have touch'd his

Queen Forbiddenly.

Pol. O, then my best blood turn

To an infected jelly; and my name
Be yok'd with his that did betray the Best!
Turn then my freshest reputation to
A savour that may strike the dullest nostril
Where I arrive; and my approach be shunn'd,
Nay, hated too, worse than the great'st infection
That e'er was heard or read!

Cam. Swear this, though, over

By each particular star in heaven, and
By all their influences, you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon,
As, or by oath remove, or, counsel shake
The fabric of his folly; whose foundation
Is pil'd upon his faith, and will continue
The standing of his body.

Pol. How should this grow?

Cam. I know not; but, I am sure, 'tis safer to
Avoid what's grown than question how 'tis born.
If therefore you dare trust my honesty, —
That lies enclosed in this trunk, which you
Shall bear along impawn'd, — away to-night.
Your followers I will whisper to the business,
And will, by twos and threes, at several posterns,
Clear them o' th' city. For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here
By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain;
For, by the honour of my parents, I
Have utter'd truth: which, if you seek to prove,
I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer
Than one condemned by the King's own mouth,
Thereon his execution sworn.

Pol. I do believe thee;I saw his heart in's face. Give me thy hand;
Be pilot to me, and thy places shall
Still neighbour mine. My ships are ready, and
My people did expect my hence departure
Two days ago. — This jealousy
Is for a precious creature: as she's rare,
Must it be great; and, as his person's mighty,
Must it be violent: and as he does conceive

He is dishonour'd by a man which ever

Profess'd to him, why, his revenges must

In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades me:

Good expedition be my friend, and comfort

The gracious Queen, part of his theme, but nothing

Of his ill-ta'en suspicion ! — Come, Camillo;

I will respect thee as a father, if

Thou bear'st my life off hence. Let us avoid.

Cam. It is in mine authority to command The keys of all the posterns. Please your Highness To take the urgent hour: come, sir, away.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

Scene I. — Sicilia. The Palace.
Enter Hermione, Mamillitjs, and Ladies.

Hermione.

TAKE the boy to you: he so troubles me 'Tis past enduring. 1 Lady. Come, my gracious lord,

Shall I be your playfellow?Mam. No, I'll none of you.

1 Lady. Why, my sweet lord? Mam. You'll kiss me hard; and speak to me as if

I were a baby still. — I love you better.

2 Lady. And why so, my lord?

Mam. Not for because

Your brows are blacker; — yet black brows, they say, Become some women best, so that there be not

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