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Leon. Thou dost advise me
Even so as I mine own course have set down:
Cam. My lord,
Leon. This is all:
Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
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.
Pol. This is strange! methinks,
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak? —
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
Pol. How caught of me?
Make me not sighted like the basilisk:
Thereof to be inform'd, imprison't not
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
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
Pol. O, then my best blood turn
To an infected jelly; and my name
Cam. Swear this, though, over
By each particular star in heaven, and
Pol. How should this grow?
Cam. I know not; but, I am sure, 'tis safer to
Pol. I do believe thee;I saw his heart in's face. Give me thy hand;
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.
Scene I. — Sicilia. The Palace.
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