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How I am gall'd :) thou might'ft be-spice a cup,
To give mine enemy a lasting wink;
Which draught to me were cordial.
Cam. Sir, my lord,

I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
But with a lingring dram, that should not work,
Maliciously, like poifon; but I cannot (4)
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So fovereignly being honourable.

Leo. I've lov'd thee.-Make't thy Queftion, and

go rot:

Doft think, I am fo muddy, fo unfettled,

To appoint my felf in this vexation? Sully
The purity and whiteness of my sheets,
(Which to preferve, is fleep; which being spotted,
Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wafps :)
Give fcandal to the blood o'th' Prince, my fon,
Who, I do think, is mine, and love as mine,
Without ripe moving to't? would I do this?
Could man fo blench?


-but I cannot

Believe this crack to be in my dread Mistress,
So fovereignly being honourable.

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.


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I do, and will fetch off Bohemia for't :

Provided, that, when he's remov'd, your Highness
Will take again your Queen, as yours at first,
Even for your fon's fake, and thereby for fealing
The injury of tongues, in Courts and Kingdoms
Known and ally'd to yours.

Leo. Thou doft advise me,

Even fo as I mine own courfe have fet down:
I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.
Cam. My lord,

Go then; and with a countenance as clear

As friendship wears at feafts, keep with Bohemia,
And with your Queen: I am his cup-bearer ;
If from me he have wholesome beveridge,
Account me not your fervant.

Leo. This is all;

Do't, and thou haft the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou split'st thine own.

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!
Here comes Bohemia.

Enter Polixenes.

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,
As he had loft fome province, and a region
Lov'd, as he loves himself: even now I met him
With customary compliment, when he,
Wafting his eyes to th' contrary, and falling
A lip of much contempt, fpeeds from me, and
So leaves me to confider what is breeding,
That changes thus his manners.

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.

Good Camillo,

Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Which fhews me mine chang'd too; for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding

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
Of you that yet are well.

Pol. How caught of me?

Make me not fighted like the bafilisk.

I've look'd on thoufands, who have sped the better
By my regard, but kill'd none fo: Camillo,

As you are certainly a gentleman,

Clerk like experienc'd, (which no less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,

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 not this fuit of mine,) that thou declare,
What incidency thou doft guess of harm

Is creeping towards me; how far off, how near;
Which way to be prevented, if it be ;
If not, how best to bear it.

Cam. Sir, I'll tell you.

Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him

That I think honourable; therefore, mark my counsel ;
Which must be ev'n as fwiftly follow'd, as

I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry loft, and fo good night.

Pol. On, good Camillo.

Cam. I am appointed Him to murder you.
Pol. By whom, Camillo?

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
Be yoak'd with his, that did betray the best!
Turn then my freshest reputation to

A favour, that may strike the dullest nostril
Where I arrive; and my approach be fhun'd,
Nay, hated too, worfe than the great'st infection
That e'er was heard, or read!

Cam. Swear this though over (5)

(5) Cam.

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
By all their influences; you may as well
Forbid the fea for to obey the moon,

As or by oath remove, or counsel shake,
The fabrick of his folly; whose foundation
Is pil'd upon his faith, and will continue
The ftanding of his body.

Pol. How fhould this grow?

Cam. I know not; but I'm fure, 'tis fafer to
Avoid what's grown, than question how 'tis born.
If therefore you dare truft my honesty,
That lies inclosed in this trunk, which you
Shall bear along impawn'd, away to night;
Your followers I will whisper to the business;
And will by twoes, and threes, at feveral pofterns,
Clear them o'th' city. For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your fervice, which are here
By this difcovery loft. Be not uncertain ;
For by the honour of my parents, I
Have utter'd truth
feek to prove,
which if
I dare not stand by; nor fhall you be fafer,
Than one condemned by the King's own mouth :
Thereon his execution fworn.

Pol. I do believe thee:


I faw his heart in's face. Give me thy hand
Be pilot to me, and thy places fhall

Still neighbour mine. My fhips are ready, and
My people did expect my hence departure

Two days ago.. This jealoufie

Is for a precious creature; as fhe's rare,
Muft it be great; and, as his perfon's mighty,
Muft it be violent; and, as he does conceive
He is dishonour'd by a man, which ever

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.


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