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SCENE II.

The same. A Room of state in the Palace.

Enter LEONTES, POLIXEN ES, 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 cipher,
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply, ..
With one we-thank-you, many thousands more
That go before it.

Leon.
And pay

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'd
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

Stay your thanks awhile; them when you part.

We are tougher, brother,

No longer stay.

+ Nipping.

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 denied 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,
Farewell, our brother.

Leon.

Tongue-tied, 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

adventure

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,

5 Gests were the names of the stages where the King appointed to lie, during a royal progress.

6 Indeed.

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.

Her. Verily!

vows: But I,

You put me off with limber
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?

No, madam.

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.
But your kind hostess.
Of
my Lord's tricks, and
You were pretty lordings9 then.

Pol.

Not your gaoler then,
Come, I'll question you
yours, when you were boys;

We were, fair queen,

Two lads, that thought there was no more 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?

7 Tick. • Flimsy. 9 A diminutive of lords,

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,
Hereditary ours.'

By this we gather,

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.

Setting aside original sin.

Her. What? have I twice said well? when was't before?

I pr'ythee, tell me: Cram us with praise, and make

us

As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying tongueless,

Slaughters a thousand, waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages: You may ride us,
With one soft kiss, a thousand furlongs, ere
With spur we heat an acre.
But to the goal;-
My last good was, to entreat his stay;
What was my first? it has an elder sister,

Or I mistake you: O, would her name were Grace! But once before I spoke to the purpose: : When?

Nay, let me have't; I long.

Leon.
Why, that was when
Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death,
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,

And clap thyself my love; then didst thou utter,
I am yours for ever,

Her.

It is Grace, indeed.

Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice:

:

The one for ever earn'd a royal husband;
The other, for some while a friend.

[Giving her hand to POLIXEN ES. Leon. Too hot, too hot: [Aside. To mingle friendship far, is mingling bloods. I have tremor cordis on me:-my heart dances; But not for joy,-not joy.-This entertainment May a free face put on; derive a liberty

I

I Trembling of the heart.

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