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Be left her to perform. Come, follow us;
We are to speak in public; for this business
Will raise us all.
Ant. [Aside.] To laughter, as I take it,
If the good truth were known.
SCENE II.-The same. The outer Room of a Prison.
Enter PAULINA and Attendants. Paul. The keeper of the prison,--call to him;
[Exit an Attendant. Let him have knowledge who I am.--Good lady! No court in Europe is too good for thee, What dost thou then in prison ?-Now, good sir,
Re-enter Attendant, with the Keeper.
You know me, do you not?
For a worthy lady,
And one whom much I honour.
Pray you then,
Conduct me to the queen.
Keep. I may not, madam; to the contrary
I have express commandment.
To lock up honesty and honour from
The access of gentle visitors !-Is’t lawful, pray you,
To see her women? any of them? Emilia?
Keep. So please you, madam,
To put apart these your attendants, I
Shall bring Emilia forth.
pray now, call her. Withdraw yourselves.
[Exeunt Attendants. Keep.
I must be present at your conference.
Paul. Well, be it so, prithee.
[Exit Keeper. Here's such ado to make no stain a stain, As passes colouring.
a In these speeches we follow the metrical arrangement of the original, which is certainly not improved by the botching which we find in all modern editious.
Re-enter Keeper, with EMILIA.
How fares our gracious lady?
Emil. As well as one so great, and so forlorn,
May hold together: on her frights, and griefs,
(Which never tender lady hath borne greater,)
She is, something before her time, deliver’d.
Paul. A boy?
Emil. A daughter; and a goodly babe,
Lusty, and like to live: the queen receives
Much comfort in’t: says, “My poor prisoner,
I am innocent as you.”
I dare be sworn :
These dangerous unsafe lunes i' the king! beshrew them!
He must be told on’t, and he shall: the office
Becomes a woman best; I 'll take 't
upon If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister; And never to my
The trumpet any more Pray you, Emilia,
Commend my best obedience to the queen ;
If she dares trust me with her little babe,
I'll show't the king, and undertake to be
Her advocate to th' loudest: We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o'the child;
The silence often of pure innocence
Persuades, when speaking fails.
Most worthy madam,
Your honour, and your goodness, is so evident,
your free undertaking cannot miss
A thriving issue; there is no lady living
So meet for this great errand : Please your ladyship
To visit the next room, I'll presently
Acquaint the queen of your most noble offer;
Who, but to-day, hammer'd of this design;
But durst not tempt a minister of honour,
Lest she should be denied.
Tell her, Emilia,
I'll use that tongue I have: is wit flow from it,
As boldness from my bosom, let it not be doubted
I shall do good.
Emil. Now be you bless'd for it!
I'll to the queen: Please you, come something nearer.
Keep. Madam, if’t please the queen to send the babe,
I know not what I shall incur, to pass it,
Having no warrant.
Paul. You nced not fear it, sir :
This child was prisoner to the womb; and is,
By law and process of great nature, thence
Freed and enfranchis’d: not a party to
The anger of the king; nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen.
Keep. I do believe it.
Paul. Do not you fear; upon mine honour, I Will stand betwixt you and danger.
Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and other Attendants.
Leon. Nor night nor day, no rest: It is but weakness
To bear the matter thus; mere weakness, if
The cause were not in being ;-part o' the cause,
She, the adultress; for the harlot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
And level of my brain, plot-proof: but she
I can hook to me : Say, that she were gone,
Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
Might come to me again.—Who's there?
My lord! [Advancing. Leon. How does the boy? 1 Attend.
He took good rest to-night; ’T is hop'd his sickness is discharg'd.
Leon. To see his nobleness !
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin’d, droop’d, took it deeply ;
Fastend and fix'd the shame on't in himself;
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languish’d.-Leave me solely :-go,
See how he fares. [Exit Attend.]—Fie, fie! no thought of
The very thought of my revenges that way
Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty:
And in his parties, his alliance,—Let him be,
Until a time may serve: for present vengeance,
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
Laugh at me; make their pastime at my sorrow :
They should not laugh if I could reach them; nor
Shall she, within my power.
Enter PAULINA, with a Child. 1 Lord.
You must not enter.
Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me:
Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
Than the queen’s life? a gracious innocent soul;
More free than he is jealous.
1 Attend. Madam, he hath not slept to-night; commanded
None should come at him.
Not so hot, good sir;
I come to bring him sleep. 'T is such as you,
That creep like shadows by him, and do sigh
At each his needless heavings,—such as you
Nourish the cause of his awaking: I
Do come with words as medicinal as true;
Honest as either; to purge him of that humour
That presses him from sleep.
Whata noise there, ho?
Paul. No noise, my lord; but needful conference,
About some gossips for your highness.
Away with that audacious lady: Antigonus,
I charg’d thee that she should not come about me;
I knew she would.
I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure’s peril, and on mine,
She should not visit you.
a What. The original reails who, evidently a misprint.
What, canst not rule her?
Paul. From all dishonesty he can: in this,
(Unless he take the course that you
Commit me, for committing honour,) trust it,
He shall not rule me.
La a you now; you hear!
When she will take the rein, I let her run;
But she 'll not stumble.
Good my liege, I come,-
And, I beseech you, hear me, who professes
Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
Your most obedient counsellor; yet that «lares
Less appcar so, in comforting your evils,
Than such as most seem yours,
From your good queen.
Paul. Good queen, my lord, good queen: I say, good
And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, the worst about you.
Force her hence.
Paul. Let him that makes but trifles of his cycs
First hand me: on mine own accord, I 'll off ;
But, first, I 'll do my errand.—The good queen,
For she is good, hath brought you forth a daughter;
Here 't is ; commends it to your blessing.
Laying down the Child. Leon.
A mankind witch! Hence with her, out o' door:
A most intelligencing bawd!
I am as ignorant in that, as you
In so entitling me: and no less honest
La. This is commonly printed lo. The words each mean look you; but la is used affectedly, or ironically, as in this case.
• Comforting—encouraging. We have still “ comforting and abetting," in legal language. · Mankind-masculine. Jonson has an example of this use of the word :
“ Pallas, now thee I call on, mankind maid."