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Here's such ado to make no stain a stain,
As paffes colouring. Dear gentlewoman,
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 born greater,
She is, 'something before her time, deliver’d.
Pau. A boy?
Emil. A daughter, and a goodly babe,
Lufty, and like to live: the queen receives
Much comfort in’t; says, my poor prisoner,
I'm innocent as you.
Pau. I dare be sworn:
These dang’rous, unsafe lunes i'th'king, beshrew them!
He must be told of it, and shall; the office
Becomes a woman best: I'll take't upon me.
If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister,
And never to my red-look’d anger be
The trumpet any more! Pray you, Emilia,
beft 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’ loud'ft. We do not know
How he may soften at the sight o'th' child :
The silence often of
innocence Persuades, when speaking fails.
Emil. Most worthy madam,
Your honour and your goodness is so evident,
your free undertaking cannot miss
A thriving issue: there's 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 on this design,
But durst not tempt a minister of honour,
Left she should be deny’d.
Pau. Tell her, Emilia,
I'll use that tongue I have; if wit flow from't
As boldness from my bosom, let't not be doubted
I shall do good.
. Now be you blest for it !
I'll to the queen: please you, come something nearer.
Jai. Madam, if’t please the queen to send the babe,
I know not what I shall incur to pass it,
Having no warrant.
Pau. You need not fear it, sir;
The child was prisoner to the womb; and is,
By law and process of great nature, thence
Free'd and enfranchis'd; not a party to
The anger of the king, nor guilty of,
If any be, the trespass of the queen.
Jai. I do believe it.
Pau. Do not you fear; upon mine honour, I Will stand 'twixt you and danger.
Enter Leontes, Antigonus, Lords, and other Attendants.
OR 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'th'cause
She, the adult'ress; 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?
Enter an Attendant.
Atten. My lord.
Leo. How does the boy?
Atten. He took good rest
To-night; 'tis hop'd his sickness is discharg’d.
Leo. To see his nobleness !
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin’d, and droop'd, took it most deeply,
Fasten’d, and fix'd the shame on't in himself;
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languilh'd. Leave me folely; go,
See how he fares. - Fie, fiel no thought of him; [Ex. Attend.
The very thought of my revenges
my revenges that way
Recoils upon me; in himself too mighty,
And in his parties, his alliance; let him
Be till a time may serve: for present vengeance,
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
Laugh at me, make their pastime at my forrow :
They should not laugh, if I could reach them; nor
Shall she, within my power.
Enter Paulina, with a child.
Lord. You must not enter.
Pau. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me:
his tyrannous passion more, alas,
Than the queen's life? a gracious innocent soul,
More free than he is jealous.
Ant. That's enough.
Atten. Madam, he hath not sept to-night; commanded
None should come at him.
Pau. Not so hot, good fir;
I come to bring him feep.' 'Tis such as you
That creep like shadows by him, and do figh
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.
Leo. What noise there, ho?
Pau. 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.
Ant. I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure's peril, and on mine,
She should not visit you.
Leo. What ? canst not rule her?
Pau. From all dishonesty he can; in this,
(Unless he take the course that you have done,
Commit me, for committing honour,) trust me,
He shall not rule me.
Ant. Lo-you now, you hear :
When she will take the rein, I let her run;
But she'll not stumble.
Pau. Good my liege, I come —
And, I beseech you, hear me, who profess
Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
Your most obedient counsellor ; yet that dares
Less appear so, in comforting your evils,
Than such as most seem yours. I say, I come
From your good queen.
Leo. Good queen!
Pau. Good queen, my lord,
Good queen, I say, good queen ;
And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, the worst about
you. Leo. Force her hence.
Pau. Let him that makes but trifles of his eyes
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 ʼtis ; commends it to your blessing. [laying down the child.
A mankind witch! hence with her out o' door :
A most intelligencing bawd.
Pau. Not fo;
I am as ignorant in that as you,
In so entit’ling me; and no less honest
Than you are mad; which is enough, I'll warrant,
As this world goes, to pass for honest.
Will you not push her out? give her the bastard.
[to Ant. Thou, dotard, thou art woman-tyr’d, unroosted By thy dame Partlet here. Take
the bastard; Take't up, I say; give't to thy croan.
Pau. For ever
Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Tak’st up the princess, by that forced baseness
Which he has put upon't!
Leo. He dreads his wife.
Pau. So I would you did! then, 'twere past all doubt, You'd call
Leo. A nest of traitors !
Ant. I am none, by this good light.
Pau. Nor I; nor any,
But one, that's here; and that's himself. For he,
The sacred honour of himself, his queen's,
His hopeful son's, his babe's, betrays to flander,
Whose sting is sharper than the sword's; and will not
(For, as the case now stands, it is a curse
He cannot be compellid to't) once remove
The root of his opinion, which is rotten,
As ever oak, or stone, was found.