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Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utter

ance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attorney'd, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seem'd to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves!

Arch. I think, there is not in the world either malice, or matter, to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius; it is a gentleman of the greatest promise, that ever came into my note.

Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: It is a gallant child; one that, indeed, physicks the subject, makes old hearts fresh: they, that went on crutches ere he was born, desire yet their life, to see him a man.

Arch. Would they else be content to die?

Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.

Arch. If the king had no son, they would desire. to live on crutches till he had one.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

THE SAME. A ROOM OF STATE IN THE PALACE.'

Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Hermione, Mamillius, Camillo, and Attendants.

Pol. Nine changes of the wat'ry star have been The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne Without a burden: time as long again

Would be fill'd up, my brother, with our thanks; And yet we should, for perpetuity,

Go hence in debt: And therefore, like a cypher,
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply,

With one we-thank-you, many thousands more
That go before it.

Leon.

And pay them when
them when you part.

Stay your thanks a-while;

Pol.
Sir, that's to-morrow.
I am question'd by my fears, of what may chance,
Or breed upon our absence: That may blow
No sneaping winds at home, to make us say,
This is put forth too truly! Besides, I have stay
To tire your royalty.

Leon.
Than you can put us to't.

Pol.
Leon. One seven-night longer.
Pol.

Very sooth, to-morrow.
Leon. We'll part the time between's then: and in

that

We are tougher, brother,

No longer stay.

I'll no gain-saying.

Pol.

Press me not, 'beseech you, so; There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'the world,

So soon as yours, could win me: so it should now,
Were there necessity in your request, although
'Twere needful I deny'd it. My affairs
Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder,
Were, in your love, a whip to me; my stay,
To you a charge, and trouble: to save both,
Farewel, our brother.

Leon. Tongue-ty'd, our queen? speak you. Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my peace, until

You had drawn oaths from him, not to stay. You, sir,

Charge him too coldly: Tell him, you are sure,
All in Bohemia's well: this satisfaction
The by-gone day proclaim'd; say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward.

Leon.

Well said, Hermione. Her. To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong: But let him say so then, and let him go;

But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.—
Yet of your royal presence [To Polixenes.] I'll ad-

venture

The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia

You take my lord, I'll give him my commission, To let him there a month, behind the gest Prefix'd for his parting: yet, good-deed, Leontes, I love thee not a jar o'the clock behind

What lady she her lord.-You'll stay?

Pol.

Her. Nay, but you will?

Pol.

I may not, verily.

No, madam.

Her. Verily!

You put me off with limber vows: But I,

Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with

oaths,

Should yet say, Sir, no going. Verily,
You shall not go; a lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?
Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
Not like a guest; so you shall pay your fees,
When you depart, and save your thanks. How say

you?

My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread verily, One of them you shall be.

Pol. Your guest then, madam: To be your prisoner, should import offending; Which is for me less easy to commit,

Than you to punish.

Her.

boys;

You were pretty lordings then.

Pol.

Not your gaoler then, your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were

But

We were, fair queen, Two lads, that thought there was no nore behind, But such a day to-morrow as to-day,

And to be boy eternal.

Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o'the two?

Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk i'the sun,

And bleat the one at the other: what we chang'd,
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dream'd
That any did: Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly, Not guilty; the imposition clear'd,

By this we gather,

Hereditary ours.
Her.
You have tripp'd since.
Pol.
O my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to us: for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl;
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.

Her.

Grace to boot!
Of this make no conclusion; lest you say,
Your queen and I are devils: Yet, go on;
The offences we have made you do, we'll answer;

If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd not
With any but with us.

Is he won yet?

Leon.
Her. He'll stay, my lord.
Leon.
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st

To better purpose.

Her.

Leon.

At my request, he would not.

Never?

Never, but once.

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