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How I am gall'd :) thou might'ft be-spice a cup,
I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
Leo. I've lov'd thee.-Make't thy Queftion, and
Doft think, I am fo muddy, fo unfettled,
To appoint my felf in this vexation? Sully
-but I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread Mistress,
I have lov'd thee..
Leo. Make that thy Queftion and go rot.] This paffage wants very little weighing, to determine fafely upon it, that the last Hemiftich affign'd to Camillo, must have been mistakenly placed to him. It is a strange Inftance of Disrespect and Infolence in Camillo to his King and Mafter, to tell him that He has once lov'd him. But Senfe and Reafon will eafily acquit our Poet from fuch an Impropriety. I have ventur'd at a Tranfpofition, which feems felf-evident. Camillo will not be perfuaded into a Sufpicion of the Disloyalty imputed to his Miftrefs. The King, who believes Nothing but his Jealoufy, provok'd that Camillo is so obftinately diffident, finely starts into a Rage and cries;
I've lov'd thee. -Make't thy Queftion, and go rot. i. e. I have tender'd thee well, Camillo, but I here cancel all former Respect at once. If Thou any longer make a Question of my Wife's Difloyalty; go from my Prefence, and Perdition overtake thee for thy Stubbornness.
I do, and will fetch off Bohemia for't :
Provided, that, when he's remov'd, your Highness
Leo. Thou doft advise me,
Even fo as I mine own courfe have fet down:
Go then; and with a countenance as clear
As friendship wears at feafts, keep with Bohemia,
Leo. This is all;
Do't, and thou haft the one half of my heart;
Cam. I'll do't, my lord.
Leo. I will feem friendly, as thou haft advis'd me.
Cam. O miferable lady! but, for me, What cafe ftand I in? I must be the poisoner Of good Polixenes, and my ground to do't Is the obedience to a master; one, Who, in rebellion with himself, will have All that are his, fo too. To do this deed, Promotion follows. If I could find example Of thousands, that had ftruck anointed Kings, And flourish'd after, I'd not do't: but fince Nor brafs, nor ftone, nor parchment, bears not one; Let villany it felf forfwear't. I must
Forfake the Court; to do't, or no, is certain
To me a break neck. Happy ftar reign now!
Pol, This is ftrange! methinks,
My favour here begins to warp. Not speak?.
Good day, Camillo.
Cam. Hail, most royal Sir !
Pol. What is the news i'th' court!
Cam. None rare, my Lord.
Pol. The King hath on him such a countenance,
Cam. I dare not know, my Lord.
Pol. How, dare not? do not? do you know, and dare not?
Be intelligent to me, 'tis thereabouts:
For to yourself, what you do know, you must;
And cannot fay, you dare not.
Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Myfelf thus alter'd with it.
Cam. There is a fickness
Which puts fome of us in diftemper; but
I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
Pol. How caught of me?
Make me not fighted like the bafilisk.
I've look'd on thoufands, who have sped the better
As you are certainly a gentleman,
Clerk like experienc'd, (which no less adorns
In whofe fuccefs we are gentle;) I beseech you,
If you know aught, which does behove my knowledge Thereof to be inform'd, imprifon't not
Cam. I may not answer.
Pol. A fickness caught of me, and yet I well? I must be anfwer'd. Doft thou hear, Camillo,
I conjure thee by all the parts of man,
Which honour does acknowledge, (whereof the leaft
Is creeping towards me; how far off, how near;
Cam. Sir, I'll tell you.
Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him
That I think honourable; therefore, mark my counsel ;
I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Pol. On, good Camillo.
Cam. I am appointed Him to murder you.
Cam. By the King.
Pol. For what?
Cam He thinks, nay, with all confidence he fwears, As he had seen't, or been an inftrument
To vice you to't, that you have toucht his Queen
Pol. Oh, then my best blood turn
To an infected gelly, and my name
A favour, that may strike the dullest nostril
Cam. Swear this though over (5)
Swear his Thought over
By each particular Star in Heaven, &c.] The Tranfpofition of a fingle Letter reconciles this Paffage to good Sense; which is not fo, as the Text ftands in all the printed Copies. Polixenes, in the preceding Speech, had been laying the deepest Imprecations on himself, if he had ever abus'd Leontes in any Familiarity with his Queen. To which Camillo very pertinently replies:
By each particular ftar in heaven, and
As or by oath remove, or counsel shake,
Pol. How fhould this grow?
Cam. I know not; but I'm fure, 'tis fafer to
Pol. I do believe thee:
I faw his heart in's face. Give me thy hand
Still neighbour mine. My fhips are ready, and
Two days ago.. This jealoufie
Is for a precious creature; as fhe's rare,
Swear this though over, &c.
i. e. Sir, Though you should proteft your Innocence never fo often, and call every Star and Saint in Heaven to witnefs to your Adjuration; yet Jealoufy is fo rooted in my Master's Bofom, that All you can fay and fwear will have no Force to remove it.