Antig. If it be so, We neede no graue to burie honesty, There's not a graine of it, the face to sweeten Of the whole dungy-earth

Leo. What? lacke I credit? Lord. I had rather you did lacke then I (my Lord) Vpon this ground: and more it would content me To haue her Honor true, then your suspition Be blam'd for't how you might

Leo. Why what neede we Commune with you of this? but rather follow Our forcefull instigation? Our prerogatiue Cals not your Counsailes, but our naturall goodnesse Imparts this: which, if you, or stupified, Or seeming so, in skill, cannot, or will not Rellish a truth, like vs: informe your selues, We neede no more of your aduice: the matter, The losse, the gaine, the ord'ring on't, Is all properly ours

Antig. And I wish (my Liege) You had onely in your silent iudgement tride it, Without more ouerture

Leo. How could that be? Either thou art most ignorant by age, Or thou wer't borne a foole: Camillo's flight Added to their Familiarity (Which was as grosse, as euer touch'd coniecture, That lack'd sight onely, nought for approbation But onely seeing, all other circumstances Made vp to'th deed) doth push-on this proceeding. Yet, for a greater confirmation (For in an Acte of this importance, 'twere Most pitteous to be wilde) I haue dispatch'd in post, To sacred Delphos, to Appollo's Temple, Cleomines and Dion, whom you know Of stuff'd-sufficiency: Now, from the Oracle They will bring all, whose spirituall counsaile had Shall stop, or spurre me. Haue I done well? Lord. Well done (my Lord.) Leo. Though I am satisfide, and neede no more Then what I know, yet shall the Oracle Giue rest to th' mindes of others; such as he Whose ignorant credulitie, will not Come vp to th' truth. So haue we thought it good From our free person, she should be confinde, Least that the treachery of the two, fled hence, Be left her to performe. Come follow vs, We are to speake in publique: for this businesse Will raise vs all

Antig. To laughter, as I take it, If the good truth, were knowne.


Scena Secunda.

Enter Paulina, a Gentleman, Gaoler, Emilia.

Paul. The Keeper of the prison, call to him: Let him haue knowledge who I am. Good Lady, No Court in Europe is too good for thee, What dost thou then in prison? Now good Sir, You know me, do you not? Gao. For a worthy Lady, And one, who much I honour

Pau. Pray you then, Conduct me to the Queene

Gao. I may not (Madam) To the contrary I haue expresse commandment

Pau. Here's ado, to locke vp honesty & honour from Th' accesse of gentle visitors. Is't lawfull pray you To see her Women? Any of them? Emilia? Gao. So please you (Madam) To put a-part these your attendants, I Shall bring Emilia forth

Pau. I pray now call her: With-draw your selues

Gao. And Madam, I must be present at your Conference

Pau. Well: be't so: prethee. Heere's such adoe, to make no staine, a staine, As passes colouring. Deare Gentlewoman, How fares our gracious Lady? Emil. As well as one so great, and so forlorne May hold together: On her frights, and greefes (Which neuer tender Lady hath borne greater) She is, something before her time, deliuer'd

Pau. A boy? Emil. A daughter, and a goodly babe, Lusty, and like to liue: the Queene receiues Much comfort in't: Sayes, my poore prisoner, I am innocent as you, Pau. I dare be sworne: These dangerous, vnsafe Lunes i'th' King, beshrew them: He must be told on't, and he shall: the office Becomes a woman best. Ile take't vpon me, If I proue hony-mouth'd, let my tongue blister. And neuer to my red-look'd Anger bee The Trumpet any more: pray you (Emilia) Commend my best obedience to the Queene, If she dares trust me with her little babe, I'le shew't the King, and vndertake to bee Her Aduocate to th' lowd'st. We do not know How he may soften at the sight o'th' Childe: The silence often of pure innocence Perswades, when speaking failes

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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