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A Palace.

Enter Camillo, and Archidamus.


F you shall chance, Camillo, to vifit Bithynia, on the like occafion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall fee, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bithynia and your Sicilia.

Cam. I think, this coming fummer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bithynia the visitation which he justly owes him. Arch. Wherein our entertainment fhall fhame us, we will be juftified in our loves; for, indeed.

Cam. 'Befeech you

Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge; we cannot with fuch magnificence — in so rare I know not what to say we will give you fleepy drinks, that your fenfes, unintelligent of our infufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accufe us.

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Cam. You pay a great deal too dear, for what's given freely. Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honefty puts it to utterance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot fhow himself over-kind to Bithynia; they were train'd together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt


them then fuch an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal neceffities, made separation of their fociety, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attornied with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embaffics, that they have feem'd to be together, though absent; fhook hands, as over a vaft fea; and embrac'd, as it the ends of opposed winds. The heav'ns continue their love! 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 Mamillus: it is a gentleman of the greatest promise that ever came into my note.

were, from

Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: it is a gallant child; one that, indeed, phyficks the subject, makes old hearts fresh: they that went on crutches ere he was born defire 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 defire to live.

Arch. If the king had no fon, they would defire to live on crutches till he had one. [Exeunt.


Enter Leontes, Hermione, Mamillus, Polixenes, Camillo, and


Pol. Nine changes of the watry star hath been
The fhepherd's note, fince 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.

Leo. Stay your thanks a while,

And pay

them when you part.


Pol. Sir, that's to-morrow :

I'm question'd by my fears, of what may chance
Or breed upon our absence: there may blow
Some fneaping winds at home, to make us fay,
This is put forth too early: befides, I have stay'd
To tire your royalty.

Leo. We are tougher, brother,

Than you can put us to't.

Pol. No longer stay.

Leo. One fev'nnight longer.

Pol. Very footh, to-morrow.

Leo. We'll part the time between's then: and in that I'll no gainfaying.

Pol. Prefs me not, 'befeech you!

There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'th' world
So foon as yours, could win me: fo it fhould now,
Were there neceffity 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 fave both,
Farewel, our brother!

Leo. Tonguety'd our queen? fpeak you.

Her. I had thought, fir, to have held my peace, until You had drawn oaths from him not to ftay: you, fir,

Charge him too coldly. Tell him, you are fure,

All in Bithynia's well: this fatisfaction

The by-gone day proclaim'd; fay this to him,
He's beat from his beft ward.

Leo. Well faid, Hermione.

Her. To tell, he longs to fee his son, were strong;

But let him fay fo then, and let him go;

But let him fwear fo, and he fhall not stay,
We'll thwack him hence with diftaffs.

Yet of your royal presence I'll adventure
The borrow of a week. When at Bithynia


[to Polixenes.



You take my lord, I'll give you my commiffion
To let him there a month, behind the geste
Prefix'd for's parting: yet, good heed, Leontes ;
.I love thee not a jar o'th' clock behind

What lady fhe her lord. You'll stay ?

Pol. No, madam.

Her. Nay, but you will.

Pol. I may not, verily.
Her. Verily?

You put me off with limber vows; but I,

Though you would seek t’unsphere the stars with oaths,
Should yet fay, fir, no going: verily

You fhall 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 gueft? fo you fhall pay your fees

When you depart, and fave your thanks. How fay you ?

My prifoner? or my gueft? by your dread verily,

One of them you fhall be.

Pol. Your gueft then, madam:

To be your prisoner, should import offending;

Which is for me lefs easy to commit,

Than you to punish.

Her. Not your jailer then,

But your kind hoftefs: come, I'll question you

Of my lord's tricks and yours, when you were boys:
You were pretty lordings then?

Pol. We were, fair queen,

Two lads, that thought there was no more behind,
But fuch a day to-morrow as to-day,

And to be boy eternal.

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

Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frifk i'th' fun, And bleat the one at th' 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 purfu'd that life,

And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd

With ftronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven

Boldly, not guilty; th' impofition clear'd

Hereditary ours.

Her. By this we gather

You have trip'd fince.

Pol. O my moft facred lady,

Temptations have fince then been born to's; for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl;
Your precious felf had then not crofs'd the eyes
Of my young playfellow.

Her. O, grace to boot!

Of this make no conclufion; left you fay,
Your queen and I are devils. Yet, go on;
Th' offences we have made you do, we'll anfwer,
If you first finn'd with us, and that with us
You did continue fault; and that you flip'd not
With any but with us.

Leo. Is he won yet?

Her. He'll ftay, my lord.

Leo. At my request he would not:

Hermione, my deareft, thou ne'er spok'ft

To better purpose.


Her. Never?

Leo. Never, but once.

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

pry’thee, tell me; cram's with praise, and make's

As fat as tame things: one good deed, dying tongueless,
Slaughters a thoufand, waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages. You may ride's
With one foft kifs a thousand furlongs, ere
With fpur we heat an acre. But, to th' goal:
My laft good deed was to entreat his ftay;
What was my first? it has an elder sister,

Or I mistake you: o, would her name were Grace!

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