Her. Should a Villaine say so, (The most replenish'd Villaine in the World) He were as much more Villaine: you (my Lord) Doe but mistake

Leo. You haue mistooke (my Lady) Polixenes for Leontes: O thou Thing, (Which Ile not call a Creature of thy place, Least Barbarisme (making me the precedent) Should a like Language vse to all degrees, And mannerly distinguishment leaue out, Betwixt the Prince and Begger:) I haue said Shee's an Adultresse, I haue said with whom: More; shee's a Traytor, and Camillo is A Federarie with her, and one that knowes What she should shame to know her selfe, But with her most vild Principall: that shee's A Bed-swaruer, euen as bad as those That Vulgars giue bold'st Titles; I, and priuy To this their late escape

Her. No (by my life) Priuy to none of this: how will this grieue you, When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that You thus haue publish'd me? Gentle my Lord, You scarce can right me throughly, then, to say You did mistake

Leo. No: if I mistake In those Foundations which I build vpon, The Centre is not bigge enough to beare A Schoole-Boyes Top. Away with her, to Prison: He who shall speake for her, is a farre-off guiltie, But that he speakes

Her. There's some ill Planet raignes: I must be patient, till the Heauens looke With an aspect more fauorable. Good my Lords, I am not prone to weeping (as our Sex Commonly are) the want of which vaine dew Perchance shall dry your pitties: but I haue That honorable Griefe lodg'd here, which burnes Worse then Teares drowne: 'beseech you all (my Lords) With thoughts so qualified, as your Charities Shall best instruct you, measure me; and so The Kings will be perform'd

Leo. Shall I be heard? Her. Who is't that goes with me? 'beseech your Highnes My Women may be with me, for you see My plight requires it. Doe not weepe (good Fooles) There is no cause: When you shall know your Mistris Ha's deseru'd Prison, then abound in Teares, As I come out; this Action I now goe on, Is for my better grace. Adieu (my Lord) I neuer wish'd to see you sorry, now I trust I shall: my Women come, you haue leaue

Leo. Goe, doe our bidding: hence

Lord. Beseech your Highnesse call the Queene againe

Antig. Be certaine what you do (Sir) least your Iustice Proue violence, in the which three great ones suffer, Your Selfe, your Queene, your Sonne

Lord. For her (my Lord) I dare my life lay downe, and will do't (Sir) Please you t' accept it, that the Queene is spotlesse I'th' eyes of Heauen, and to you (I meane In this, which you accuse her.) Antig. If it proue Shee's otherwise, Ile keepe my Stables where I lodge my Wife, Ile goe in couples with her: Then when I feele, and see her, no farther trust her: For euery ynch of Woman in the World, I, euery dram of Womans flesh is false, If she be

Leo. Hold your peaces

Lord. Good my Lord

Antig. It is for you we speake, not for our selues: You are abus'd, and by some putter on, That will be damn'd for't: would I knew the Villaine, I would Land-damne him: be she honor-flaw'd, I haue three daughters: the eldest is eleuen; The second, and the third, nine: and some fiue: If this proue true, they'l pay for't. By mine Honor Ile gell'd em all: fourteene they shall not see To bring false generations: they are co-heyres, And I had rather glib my selfe, then they Should not produce faire issue

Leo. Cease, no more: You smell this businesse with a sence as cold As is a dead-mans nose: but I do see't, and feel't, As you feele doing thus: and see withall The Instruments that feele

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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