Actus Secundus. Scena Prima.

Enter Hermione, Mamillius, Ladies: Leontes, Antigonus, Lords.

Her. Take the Boy to you: he so troubles me, 'Tis past enduring

Lady. Come (my gracious Lord) Shall I be your play-fellow? Mam. No, Ile none of you

Lady. Why (my sweet Lord?) Mam. You'le kisse me hard, and speake to me, as if I were a Baby still. I loue you better

2.Lady. And why so (my Lord?) Mam. Not for because Your Browes are blacker (yet black-browes they say Become some Women best, so that there be not Too much haire there, but in a Cemicircle, Or a halfe-Moone, made with a Pen.) 2.Lady. Who taught 'this? Mam. I learn'd it out of Womens faces: pray now, What colour are your eye-browes? Lady. Blew (my Lord.) Mam. Nay, that's a mock: I haue seene a Ladies Nose That ha's beene blew, but not her eye-browes

Lady. Harke ye, The Queene (your Mother) rounds apace: we shall Present our seruices to a fine new Prince One of these dayes, and then youl'd wanton with vs, If we would haue you

2.Lady. She is spread of late Into a goodly Bulke (good time encounter her.) Her. What wisdome stirs amongst you? Come Sir, now I am for you againe: 'Pray you sit by vs, And tell's a Tale

Mam. Merry, or sad, shal't be? Her. As merry as you will

Mam. A sad Tale's best for Winter: I haue one of Sprights, and Goblins

Her. Let's haue that (good Sir.) Come-on, sit downe, come-on, and doe your best, To fright me with your Sprights: you're powrefull at it

Mam. There was a man

Her. Nay, come sit downe: then on

Mam. Dwelt by a Church-yard: I will tell it softly, Yond Crickets shall not heare it

Her. Come on then, and giu't me in mine eare

Leon. Was hee met there? his Traine? Camillo with him? Lord. Behind the tuft of Pines I met them, neuer Saw I men scowre so on their way: I eyed them Euen to their Ships

Leo. How blest am I In my iust Censure? in my true Opinion? Alack, for lesser knowledge, how accurs'd, In being so blest? There may be in the Cup A Spider steep'd, and one may drinke; depart, And yet partake no venome: (for his knowledge Is not infected) but if one present Th' abhor'd Ingredient to his eye, make knowne How he hath drunke, he cracks his gorge, his sides With violent Hefts: I haue drunke, and seene the Spider. Camillo was his helpe in this, his Pandar: There is a Plot against my Life, my Crowne; All's true that is mistrusted: that false Villaine, Whom I employ'd, was pre-employ'd by him: He ha's discouer'd my Designe, and I Remaine a pinch'd Thing; yea, a very Trick For them to play at will: how came the Posternes So easily open? Lord. By his great authority, Which often hath no lesse preuail'd, then so, On your command

Leo. I know't too well. Giue me the Boy, I am glad you did not nurse him: Though he do's beare some signes of me, yet you Haue too much blood in him

Her. What is this? Sport? Leo. Beare the Boy hence, he shall not come about her, Away with him, and let her sport her selfe With that shee's big-with, for 'tis Polixenes Ha's made thee swell thus

Her. But Il'd say he had not; And Ile be sworne you would beleeue my saying, How e're you leane to th' Nay-ward

Leo. You (my Lords) Looke on her, marke her well: be but about To say she is a goodly Lady, and The iustice of your hearts will thereto adde 'Tis pitty shee's not honest: Honorable; Prayse her but for this her without-dore-Forme, (Which on my faith deserues high speech) and straight The Shrug, the Hum, or Ha, (these Petty-brands That Calumnie doth vse; Oh, I am out, That Mercy do's, for Calumnie will seare Vertue it selfe) these Shrugs, these Hum's, and Ha's, When you haue said shee's goodly, come betweene, Ere you can say shee's honest: But be't knowne (From him that ha's most cause to grieue it should be) Shee's an Adultresse

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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