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A mankind witch!3 Hence with her, out o' door: A most intelligencing bawd!
Paul. Not so:
I am as ignorant in that, as you
Will you not push her out? Give her the bastard:— Thou, dotard, [To Antigonus.] thou art woman
By thy dame Partlet here,—take up the bastard;
Paul. For ever
Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Leon. He dreads his wife.
Paul. So, I would, you did; then 'twere past all
doubt, You'd call your children yours.
Leon. A nest of traitors!
Ant. I am none, by this good light.
Paul. Nor I; nor any,
But one, that's here; and that's himself: for he
3 A mankind witch /] i. e. masculine.
4—— thou art woman-tir'd,] Woman-tir'd, is peck'd by a woman; hen-pecked.
h % crone.] i. e. thy old-worn out woman. A croan is
an old toothless sheep: thence an old woman.
8 Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou
Tak'st up the princess, by that forced baseness—] Leontes had ordered Antigonus to take up the bastard; Paulina forbids him to touch the Princess under that appellation. Forced is false, uttered with violence to truth. Johnson.
Whose sting is sharper than the sword's; and will
Leon. A callat,
Of boundless tongue; who late hath beat her hus-
Paul. It is yours;
And, might we lay the old proverb to your charge,
Leon. A gross hag!—
And, lozel,8 thou art worthy to be hang'd,
Ant. Hang all the husbands,
That cannot do that feat, you'll leave yourself
7 No yellow in't;] Yellow is the colour of jealousy.
8 And, lozel,] A term of contempt, meaning worthless, dishonest.
Leon. Once more, take her hence.
Paul. A most unworthy and unnatural lord Can do no more.
Leon. I'll have thee burn'd.
Paul. I care not:
It is an heretick, that makes the fire,
Of tyranny, and will ignoble make you,
Leon. On your allegiance,
Out of the chamber with her. Were I a tyrant,
Paul. I pray you, do not push me; I'll be gone. Look to your babe, my lord; 'tis yours: Jove send
A better guiding spirit!—What need these hands ?—
Leon. Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this.—
Ant. I did not, sir:
These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
1 Lord. We can; my royal liege,
He is not guilty of her coming hither.
Leon. You are liars all.
1 Lord. 'Beseech your highness, give us better credit: We have always truly serv'd you; and beseech So to esteem of us: And on our knees we beg, (As recompense of our dear services, Past, and to come,) that you do change this purpose; Which, being so horrible, so bloody, must Lead on to some foul issue: We all kneel.
Leon. I am a feather for each wind that blows :— Shall I live on, to see this bastard kneel And call me father? Better burn it now, Than curse it then. But, be it; let it live: It shall not neither.—You, sir, come you hither;
[To Antigonus. You, that have been so tenderly officious With lady Margery, your midwife, there, To save this bastard's life :—for 'tis a bastard, So sure as this beard's grey,—what will you adventure To save this brat's life?
Ant. Any thing, my lord,
That my ability may undergo,
Leon. It shall be possible: Swear by this sword,9 Thou wilt perform my bidding.
Ant. I will, my lord.
Leon. Mark, and perform it; (seest thou?) for the fail
* Swear by this sword,] It was anciently the custom to
swear by the cross on the handle of a sword.
Of any point in't shall not only be
Ant. I swear to do this, though a present death
[Exit, with the Child.
Leon. No, I'll not rear
] Atten. Please your highness, posts,
From those you sent to the oracle, are come
1 Lord. So please you, sir, their speed
Hath been beyond account.
Leon. Twenty-three days
They have been absent: 'Tis good speed; foretels,
1 commend it strangely to some place,] Commit it to some
place, as a stranger, without more provision.