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False accusation blush, and tyranny
And only that I stand for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
Came to your court, how I was in your grace,
The bound of honor; or, in act, or will,
That way inclining; hardened be the hearts
Cry, Fie upon my gravel
Leon. I ne'er heard yet,
Her. That's true enough;
Leon. You will not own it.
Her. More than mistress of, Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
1 Own, possess.
2 Encounter so uncurrent is unallowed or unlawful meeting.—Strained means swerved or gone astray from the line of duty. The explanations of this passage are not very satisfactory. It appears to be designed as a question.
3. It is to be observed that originally, in our language, two negatives did not affirm, but only strengthen the negation. In this passage, Johnson observes that, according to the present use of words, less should be more, or wanted should be had.
At all acknowledge. For Polixenes,
Leon. You knew of his departure, as you know
Leon. Your actions are my dreams;
Her. - Sir, spare your threats; The bug,” which you would fright me with, I seek. To me can life be no commodity.
1 See note 1, p. 35. To stand within the level of a gun is to stand in a direct line with its mouth, and in danger of being hurt by its discharge. This expression often occurs in Shakspeare.
2 i. e. they who have done like you.
The crown and comfort of my life, your favor,
But what your jealousies awake ; I tell you,
Apollo be my judge.
ord. This your request
Is altogether just: therefore, bring forth,
And in Apollo's name, his oracle.
1 “Starred most unluckily;” ill-starred, born under an inauspicious planet. 2 Strength of limit, i. e. the degree of strength which it is customary to acquire before women are suffered to go abroad after child-bearing. 3 The completeness of my misery.
Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENEs and Dion.
Offi. You here shall swear upon this sword of justice,
That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
Cleo. Dion. All this we swear.
Leon. Break up the seals, and read.
Offi. [Reads.] Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, his innocent babe truly begotten; and the king shall live without an heir, if that, which is lost, be not found."
Lords. Now blessed be the great Apollo!
Her. . Praised
As it is here set down.
Enter a Servant, hastily.
Serv. My lord the king, the king !
Leon. What is the business P
Serv. O, sir, I shall be hated to report it; The prince your son, with mere conceit and fear Of the queen's speed,” is gone. .
Leon. How ! gone P
Serv. Is dead,
Leon. Apollo's angry; and the Heavens themselves Do strike at my injustice. [HERMIoNE faints.
How now there P Paul. This news is mortal to the queen.—Look down, And see what death is doing.
1 This is almost literally from Greene's novel. * i.e. of the event of the queen's trial. We still say, he sped well or ill.
Leon. Take her hence;
[Ereunt PAULINA and Ladies, with HERM
My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle !—
Paul. Woe the while ! O cut my lace; lest my heart, cracking it, Break too !
1 Lord. What fit is this, good lady ?
Paul. What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me What wheels 2 racks 2 fires P What flaying? boiling In leads or oils? What old, or newer torture Must I receive; whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny
1 Certain is not in the first folio; it was supplied by the editor of the