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Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass *.
Cam.

Who does infect her?
Leon. Why he, that wears her like her medal,

hanging
About his neck, Bohemia : Who-if I
Had servants true about me; that bare eyes
To see alike mine honour as their profits,

Their own particular thrifts,—they would do that
Which should undo more doing: Ay, and thou
His cup-bearer, whom I from meaner form
Have bench'd, and rear'd to worship; who may'st see
Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven,
How I am galled,-might'st bespice a cup,
To give mine enemy a lasting wink;
Which draught to me were cordial.
Cam.

Sir, my lord,
I could do this; and that with no rasht potion,
But with a ling'ring dram, that should not work
Maliciously I like poison : But I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.
I have lov’d thee,
Leon.

Make't thy question, and go rot!
Dost think, I am so muddy, so unsettled,
To appoint myself in this vexation? sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
Which to preserve, is sleep; which being spotted,
Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wasps ?
Give scandal to the blood o'the prince my son,
Who, I do think is mine, and love as mine;
Without ripe moving to't? would I do this?
Could man so blench?
Cam.

I must believe you, sir ;
I do ; and will fetch off Bohemia for't :
Provided, that when he's remov'd, your highness
Will take again your queen, as yours at first;

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* Hour-glass.

+ Hasty.
Maliciously, with effects openly hurtful.
§ i. e. Could any man so start off from propriety ?

me.

Even for your son's sake; and, thereby, for sealing
The injury of tongues, in courts and kingdoms
Known and allied to yours.
Leon.

Thou dost advise me,
Even so as I mine own course have set down :
I'll give no blemsh 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 split'st thine own.
Cam.

I'll do't, my lord. Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd

[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 Aourish'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'the 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 the 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 shows me mine chang’d too: for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with it.
Cam.

There is a sickness
Which puts somc 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 better
By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo,-
As you are certainly a gentleman; thereto
Clerk-like, experienc’d, whicha nó less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,
In whose success* we are gentlet,-I beseech you,
If you know aught which does behove my knowledge
Thereof to be inform’d, imprison it not
In ignorant concealment.
Cam

I may not answer. Pol. A sickness caught of me, and yet I well! I must be answered.-Dost thou hear, Camillo, I conjure thee, by all the parts of man, Which honour does acknowledge,-whereof the least

* For sucession. + Gentle was opposed to simple; well born.

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'll tell
Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him
That I think honourable: Therefore, mark my coun-

I'll tell you ;

sel;

Which must be even 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 murder 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 vicet 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 his thought 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 fabrick of his folly ; whose foundation Is pil'd upon his faithf, and will continue The standing of his body.

* i.e. I am the person appointed, &c. + Draw.

Settled belief.

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'the 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 condemn’d by the king's own mouth,

thereon His execution sworn. Pol.

I do believe thee: I saw his heart in his 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.

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