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'Tis pity, she's not honest, honourable :
Praise her but for this her without-door form,
(Which on my faith deserves high speech,) and straight
The shrug, the hum, or ha; — (these petty-brands,
That Calumny doth use: oh, I am out,
That Mercy do's ; for calumny will fear
Virtue it self.) These shrugs, these hums, and ha's,
When you have said she's goodly, come between,
Ere you can say she's honeft: but be't known,
(From him, that has most cause to grieve it should be ;)
She's an adultress.
Her. Should a villain fay fo,
The most replenish'd villain in the world,
He were as much more villain : you, my lord,
Do but mistake.
Leo. You have mistook, my lady,
Polixenes for Leontes. O thou thing,
Which I'll not call a creature of thy Place,
Left Barbarism, making me the precedent,
Should a like language use to all degrees ;
And mannerly distinguishment leave out
Betwixt the Prince and Beggar. --I have said,
She's an adultress; I have laid with whom:
More ; she's a traitor, and Camillo is
A federary with her; and one that knows
What she should shame to know her self,
But with her moft vile principal, that she's
A bed-swerver, even as bad as those
That Vulgars give bold'st titles; ay, and privy
To this their late escape,
Her. No, by my life,
Privy to none of this : how will this grieve you,
When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that
You thus have publish'd me? gentle my lord,
You scarce can right me throughly then, to say
You did mistake.
Leo. No, if I mistake.
In these foundations which I build
The center is not big enough to bear
A school-boy's top. Away with her to prison:
He, who shall speak for her, is far of guilty, (8)
But that he speaks.
Her. There's some ill planet reigns;
I muft be patient, 'till the heavens look
With an aspect more favourable. Good my lords,
I am not prone to weeping; (as our fex
Commonly are,) the want of which vain dew,
Perchance, shall dry your pities ; but I have
That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns
Worse than tears drown: 'beseech you all, my lordsy
With thoughts so qualified as your charities
Shall best instruct you, measure me; and fa
The King's Will be perform'd !
Leo. Shall I be heard ?
Her. Who is't, that goes with me? 'beleech your
My women may be with me, for, you sec,
My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools,
There is no cause; when you shall know, your mistress
Has deserv'd prifon, then abound in tears,
As I come out; this action, I now go on,
Is for my better grace. Adieu, my lord,
I never wish'd to see you sorry ; now,
I trust, I shall
. My women, come, you've leave.
Leo. Go, do our bidding; hence.
[Exit Queen, guarded; and Ladies,
Lord. 'Beseech your Highness call the Queen again.
Ant. Be certain what you do, Sir, lest your justice
Prove violence; in the which three Great ones suffer,
Your self, your Queen, your son.
Lord. For her, my lord,
I dare my life lay down, and will do't, Sir,
Please you t'accept it, that the Queen is spotless
(8) He, who shall speak for ber, is far off guilty,
But that he speaks.] This cannot be the Speaker's Meaning Leontes would say, I shall hold the Person in a great Measure guilty, who shall dare to intercede for her: And this, I believe, Shakespeare ventur'd to express thus :
He, who fall speak for ber, is far of guilty. &c. i. e. partakes far, deeply, of her Guilt.
I'th' eyes of heaven, and to you, (I mean,
In this which you accuse her.)
Ant. If it prove
She's otherwise, I'll keep my stables where
I lodge my wife, I'll go in couples with her :
Than when I feel, and see her, no further trust hers
For every inch of woman in the world,
Ay, every dram of woman's felh is falle,
If she be.
Leo. Hold your peaces.
Lord. Good my lord,
Ant. It is for you we speak, not for our felves;
You are abus'd, and by some putter-on,
That will be damn'd fort; 'would, I knew the villain,
I would land-damn him: be the honour-flaw'd,
I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven ; (9)
The second, and the third, nine, and some five;
If this provę true, they'll pay for't. By mine honour,
I'll geld 'em all: fourteen they shall not see,
To bring false generations: they are co-heirs,
And I had rather glib my self, than they
Should not produce fair issue.
Leo. Cease; no more:
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man's nose; I feet and feelit,
As you feel doing thus; and see withal
The Instruments that feel.
(9) I have three Daughters; the Eldeft is eleven;
The Second and the Third, nine; and Sons five ;
If this prove true, they'll pay for't.] The 2d Folio Edition led Mr. Rowe first inadvertently to fix five Sons upon Antigonus, more than the Poet ever design'd him: and Mr. Pope stumbled implicitly into the Miftake. But what increases the Jeft, these three Daughters, and five Sons were Coheirs: If This was 'ever according to the Laws of Sicily, 'tis fo peculiar, that Goltzius, Fazellus, or Cluverius would have thought it worthy of a short Notice. But the Reading of the ift Folio Edition, which I have restor'd to the Text, makes no mention of any Sons, and fo the Girls remain properly
Coheirs ; the Eldest, eleven years of Age; the second, Nine; and the Third, fome five. I'll fubjoin two Instances of this manner of Expression from our Author's K. Lear,
But I have a Son, Sir, by order of Law, some Year elder than this For that I am some twelve or fourteen Moon-shines Lag of a Brother?
Ant. If it be fo,
We need no grave to bury honesty;
There's not a grain of it, the face to sweeten
Of the whole dungy earth.
Leo. What? lack I credit ?
Lord. I had rather you did lack than I, my lord,
Upon this ground; and more it would content me
To have her honour true, than your suspicion ;
Be blam'd for't, how you might.
Leo. Why, what need we
Commune with you of this ? but rather follow
Our forceful inftigation? our prerogative
Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
Imparts this; which, if you, (or stupified,
Or seeming so, in skill,) cannot, or will not
Relish a, truth like us; inform your selves,
We need no more of your advice; the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ord’ring on't, is all
Ant. And I wish, my liege,
You had only in your-lilent judgment try'd it,
Without more overture.
Leo. How could That be?
Either thou art most ignorant by age,
Or thou wert born a fool
. Camillo's fight,
Added to their familiarity,
(Which was as gross as ever touch'd conjecture,
That lack'd fight only; nought for approbation,
But only seeing; all other circumstances
Made up to th' deed) doth push on this Proceedings
Yet for a greater confirmation,
(For, in an act of this importance, 'twere
Moft piteous to be wild) I have dispatch'd in post,
To sacred Delphos, to Apollo's Temple,
Cleomines and Dion, whom you know
Of stuff'd sufficiency: Now, from the Oracle
They will bring all: whose spiritual counsel had,
Shall stop, or fpur me.
Have I done well?
Lord. Well done, my lord.
Leo. Tho' I am satisfy'd, and need no more
Than what I know, yet shall the Oracle
Give Rest to th' minds of others; such as he,
Whose ignorant credulity will not
Come up to th’truth. So have we thought it good
From our free person, she should be confind;
Left that the treachery of the two, fled hence,
Be left her to perform. Come, follow us,
We are to speak in publick; for this business
Will raise us all.
Ant. To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known.
SCEN E changes to a Prifon.
Enter Paulina and a Gentleman.
He keeper of the prison, call to him:
[Exit Gent. Let him have knowledge who I am. Good lady, No Court in Europe is too good for thee; What doft thou then in Prison? now, good Sir, You know me, do you not?
[Re-enter Gentleman with the Goaler. Goa. For a worthy lady, And one whom much I honour.
Paul. Pray you then,
Conduct me to the Queen.
Goa. I may not, Madam,
To the contrary I have express commandment.
Paul. Here's Ado to lock up honesty and honour from Th’access of gentle visitors ! Is’t lawful, pray you, To see her women? any of them? Emilia?
Goa. So please you, Madam,
To put a-part these your attendants, I
Shall bring Emilia forth.
Paul. I pray you now, call her:
Withdraw your selves.
[Exeunt Gent. &c. Goa. And, Madam, I must be present at your conference.