[1.2]
Enter Leontes, Hermione, Mamillius, Polixenes, Camillo.
50Polixenes Nine changes of the watery star hath been

Nine changes of the watery star

Nine changes of the moon (i.e. 9 months); watery because of the tidal effect of the moon.
Close
The shepherds' note since we have left our throne

shepherds' note

The Nine changes or nine months in the shepherds' observance.
Close
Without a burden. Time as long again
Would be filled up, my brother, with our thanks,
And yet we should for perpetuity
55Go hence in debt. And therefore, like a cipher,

cipher,

A zero that multiplies his we thank you a thousand fold.
Close
Yet standing in rich place I multiply
With one "we thank you" many thousands more

Stay

Delay.
Close
That go before it.
Leontes
Stay your thanks a while
60And pay them when you part.
Polixenes
Sir, that's tomorrow.
I am questioned by my fear of what may chance

I am questioned . . . truly

Close
Or breed upon our absence that may blow
No sneaping winds at home to make us say,

sneaping

Biting. See note above.
Close
65"This is put forth too truly." Besides, I have stayed
To tire your royalty.
Leontes
We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to it.
Polixenes
No longer stay.

One seven night

A week.
Close
70Leontes
One seven night longer.
Polixenes
Very sooth, tomorrow.
Leontes We'll part the time between's then, and in that

part

Equally divide.
Close

I'll no gainsaying.

I'll not accept opposition.
Close

Press me not,

Don't insist on my staying.
Close
I'll no gainsaying.
Polixenes
Press me not, beseech you, so.
75There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'th' world
So soon as yours could win me. So it should now
Were there necessity in your request, although
'Twere needful I denied it. My affairs
Do even drag me homeward, which to hinder

which to hinder . . . whip to me;

Which concerns, if I wait in dealing with them, would whip or torture me should I let your affection keep me here longer.
Close
80Were in your love a whip to me; my stay,
To you a charge and trouble. To save both,

To save both,

To spare you both the burden and the trouble.
Close

Tongue-tied,

Close
Farewell, our brother.
Leontes
Tongue-tied, our Queen? Speak you.
Hermione I had thought, sir, to have held my peace until
85You had drawn oaths from him not to stay. You, sir,
Charge him too coldly. Tell him you are sure

Charge

Urge.
Close
All in Bohemia's well. This satisfaction,

This satisfaction, . . . proclaimed,

Just yesterday we were notified that all was well in Bohemia.
Close
The bygone-day proclaimed, say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward.

beat . . . ward.

Decidedly defeated in his defensive position.
Close
Hermione To tell he longs to see his son were strong.
But let him say so then and let him go,
But let him swear so and he shall not stay.
We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.

thwack . . . distaffs.

Beat him with our spinning rods.
Close
95Yet of your royal presence I'll adventure
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I'll give him my commission
To let him there a month behind the gest

behind the gest

Beyond the allotted time for the visit.
Close
Prefixed for's parting. Yet, good deed, Leontes,
100I love thee not a jar o'th' clock behind

jar

Tick.
Close
What lady she her lord. You'll stay?
Polixenes
No, madam.

verily.

Truly; associated with Jesus's utterances in the New Testament (see Shaheen, 721).
Close
Hermione
Nay, but you will?
Polixenes
I may not, verily.
105Hermione
Verily?
You put me off with limber vows. But I,

limber vows.

Weak oaths (Polixenes's Verily).
Close
Though you would seek t'unsphere the stars with oaths,

unsphere the stars

Shatter the stars from their orbits.
Close
Should yet say "Sir, no going." Verily
You shall not go; a lady's "Verily" is
110As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?
Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
Not like a guest. So, you shall pay your fees

pay . . . thanks.

Close
When you depart and save your thanks. How say you?
My prisoner? Or my guest? By your dread "Verily",
115One of them you shall be.
Polixenes
Your guest then, madam:
To be your prisoner should import offending,

import offending,

Suggest I was guilty of an offense.
Close
Which is for me less easy to commit
Than you to punish.
120Hermione
Not your jailer then,
But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you
Of my lord's tricks and yours when you were boys.
You were pretty lordings then?

lordings

Young lords.
Close
125Two lads that thought there was no more behind

behind

Yet to come.
Close
But such a day tomorrow as today,
And to be boy eternal.
Hermione
Was not my Lord
The verier wag o'th' two?

verier wag

Greater mischief maker.
Close
130Polixenes We were as twinned lambs that did frisk i'th' sun

twinned lambs

Biological twins.
Close
And bleat the one at th' other. What we changed

changed

Exchanged.
Close
Was innocence for innocence. We knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing nor dreamed
That any did. Had we pursued that life

Had . . . blood,

Had we not matured by the arrival of more adult passions.
Close
135And our weak spirits ne'er been higher reared
With stronger blood, we should have answered heaven

we should have answered . . . Hereditary ours

Close
Boldly, "Not guilty"; the imposition cleared,
Hereditary ours.
Hermione
By this we gather
140You have tripped since.
Polixenes
O my most sacred Lady,
Temptations have since then been born to's, for
In those unfledged days was my wife a girl.

unfledged

Immature as with youthful birds.
Close
Your precious self had then not crossed the eyes

Grace to boot!

Heaven help us!.
Close
145Of my young playfellow.
Hermione
Grace to boot!
Of this make no conclusion, lest you say

Of this make no conclusion,

Don't pursue the logical conclusion of your argument, i.e. that your wife and I are responsible for your and Leontes's trip(ping).
Close
Your queen and I are devils. Yet go on.
Th'offences we have made you do we'll answer,

Th'offences . . . but with us.

Your queen and I will be answerable to these charges as long as you have sinned only with us spouses.
Close
150If you first sinned with us and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipped not
With any but with us.
Leontes
Is he won yet?
Hermione
He'll stay, my Lord.
155Leontes
At my request, he would not.
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st

Never, but once.

Close
To better purpose.
Hermione
Never?
Leontes
Never, but once.
160Hermione What? Have I twice said well? When was't before?
I prithee tell me; cram's with praise and make's
As fat as tame things. One good deed dying tongueless

One good deed . . . waiting upon that.

Not praising this one good deed means that a thousand future such deeds will go unperformed.
Close
Slaughters a thousand waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages. You may ride's

You may ride's . . . acre.

One gentle compliment will enhance our cooperation more than any goading (i.e."spur").
Close
165With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs ere

furlongs

An eighth of a mile.
Close
With spur we heat an acre. But to th' goal:
My last good deed was to entreat his stay.
What was my first? It has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you. Oh, would her name were Grace!

Grace!

A pun on grace as a gracious act deserving praise.
Close
170But once before I spoke to th' purpose? When?
Nay, let me have't! I long.
Leontes
Why, that was when
Three crabbèd months had soured themselves to death

Three . . . love;

Three bitter (crabbed) months passed before you would open your hand and pledge your love to me.
Close
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand:
175And clap thyself, my love; then didst thou utter,

clap

Pledge by grasping my hand.
Close

'Tis Grace indeed.

Then my agreeing to marry you was given heaven's blessing.
Close
"I am yours for ever."
Hermione
'Tis Grace indeed.
Why, lo you now, I have spoke to th' purpose twice:
The one forever earned a royal husband,

friend.

Close

hot,

Lascivious, lustful.
Close
180Th' other for some while a friend.
[Takes Polixenes by the hand]
Leontes
[Aside] Too hot, too hot!
To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods.

To mingle . . . bloods.

Mingling with friends excessively leads to an improper mingling of passions.
Close
I have tremor cordis on me. My heart dances,

tremor cordis

The tremors of my heart (from the Latin).
Close
But not for joy, not joy. This entertainment

This . . . agent

Hermione's hospitality may be innocently intended, reflecting her conviviality, a generosity that compliments her.
Close
185May a free face put on; derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
And well become the agent. It may, I grant.
But to be paddling palms and pinching fingers,

paddling palms

Playfully fingering the palms.
Close
As now they are, and making practised smiles
190As in a looking-glass, and then to sigh, as 'twere --,
The mort o'th' deer -- Oh, that is entertainment

mort o'th' deer

(1)the horn sounding the death of a deer during the hunt (i.e. the slaying of the other dear, Hermione); (2) the sighing of a dying deer.
Close
My bosom likes not, nor my brows. Mamillius,

Art thou my boy?

Close

I'fecks!

Truly (a coarsening of "In faith").
Close
Art thou my boy?
Mamillius
Ay, my good Lord.
195Leontes
I'fecks!
Why, that's my bawcock. What? Has't smutched thy nose?

bawcock.

Fellow.
Close

smutched

Smudged.
Close
They say it is a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
We must be neat, not neat but cleanly, captain.

We must be neat, . . . neat

Close
And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf
200Are all called neat -- still virginalling

virginalling

Playing the virginal (i.e. an Elizabethan keyboard instrument).
Close
Upon his palm? -- [To Mamillius] How now, you wanton calf,

wanton calf,

Playful calf.
Close
Art thou my calf?
Mamillius
Yes, if you will, my Lord.
Leontes Thou want'st a rough pash and the shoots that I have

rough pash

Coarse head.
Close
205To be full like me, yet they say we are
Almost as like as egg -- women say so

Almost . . . egg

Close
That will say anything. But were they false
As o're-dyed blacks, as wind, as waters? False

o're-dyed blacks,

1) fabric made exceedingly fragile because of excessive over-dyeing to achieve a black hue 2) black fabric achieved by overdyeing black upon other colors, therefore denoting falseness.
Close
As dice are to be wished by one that fixes
210No bourne 'twixt his and mine, yet were it true
To say this boy were like me? Come, Sir Page,
Look on me with your welkin eye, sweet villain,

welkin eye,

Blue sky (i.e. the color of the sky).
Close
Most dearest, my collop. Can thy dam? May't be? --

collop.

A piece of meat, of Leontes's flesh.
Close

Can thy dam? . . . nothing

Can thy dam (i.e. Hermione) be an adulteress? Can this affection be caused by her lust? This intention (i.e. either his mental acuity in focusing on Hermione's affection or Hermione's apparent attraction to Polixenes) stabs my soul, going to my very core. You (i.e. lust; his "coactive art ") make possible for me the impossible, working with my fantasies (TLN 216), and collaborating with the unreal. How is it possible for these fears all to be true?.
Close
Affection, thy intention stabs the center.
215Thou dost make possible things not so held,
Communicat'st with dreams (how can this be?)
With what's unreal thou coactive art
And fellowst nothing. Then 'tis very credent,

credent,

Credible.
Close
Thou mayst co-join with something and thou dost --
220And that beyond commission -- and I find it --
And that to the infection of my brains

And hardening . . . brows

This unauthorized fear infects my thoughts and generates these cuckhold's horns.
Close

What . . . Sicilia?

What is troubling Leontes?.
Close
And hardening of my brows.
Polixenes
What means Sicilia?
Hermione
He something seems unsettled.
225Polixenes
How, my Lord?
Leontes What cheer? How is't with you, best brother?

What . . . brother?

Close
Hermione You look as if you held a brow of much distraction.

You look as if you held . . . Lord?

Close

brow of much distraction.

You seem anxious about something.
Close
Are you moved, my Lord?
Leontes
No, in good earnest.
230How sometimes nature will betray its folly,

How . . . bosoms?

Sometimes paternal affection displays its folly and allows itself to become an amusing spectacle to those less prone to sentiment.
Close

its folly,

Close
Its tenderness and make itself a pastime
To harder bosoms? Looking on the lines
Of my boy's face methoughts I did recoil

recoil

Go back in my memory.
Close

recoil

Close
Twenty-three years and saw myself unbreeched

unbreeched . . . coat,

Not yet in pants, wearing my infant skirts.
Close
235In my green velvet coat, my dagger muzzled

muzzled

Blunted with a protective tip.
Close
Lest it should bite its master and so prove,
As ornaments oft do, too dangerous.
How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
This squash, this gentleman -- [To Mamillius] Mine honest friend,

squash,

Unripe peapod.
Close

Will you take . . . money?

Proverbially to exchange something of value with something of little value (Dent E90: "To take eggs for money").
Close
240Will you take eggs for money?
Mamillius
No, my Lord, I'll fight.
Leontes You will? Why, happy man be's dole! [To Polixenes] My brother,

Why, . . . dole

Good luck. Proverbial,"May your lot be that of a happy man!" (Dent M158).
Close
Are you so fond of your young prince as we
Do seem to be of ours?
245Polixenes
If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter;

exercise,

Customary activity ( OED n2, an obsolete usage, citing 3H6 4.7.85 but not this play).
Close
Now my sworn friend and then mine enemy;
My parasite, my soldier, statesman, all.

parasite,

Flatterer.
Close
He makes a July's day short as December,
250And with his varying childness cures in me

childness

Childish humor (OED).
Close

Thoughts . . . blood.

Melancholy.
Close

So stands . . . with me.

This young squire (i.e. Mamillius) performs a similar function for me.
Close
Thoughts that would thick my blood.
Leontes
So stands this squire
Officed with me. We two will walk, my Lord,
And leave you to your graver steps. Hermione,
255How thou lov'st us show in our brother's welcome.

How . . . cheap.

Close
Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap.
Next to thyself and my young rover, he's

rover,

Robber, one who roves (term of endearment for Mamillius).
Close

Apparent

Heir apparent.
Close
Apparent to my heart.
Hermione
If you would seek us,
260We are yours i'th'garden. Shall's attend you there?

Shall's

Shall we.
Close
Leontes To your own bents dispose you. You'll be found,

To your own bents . . . you.

Do as you wish.
Close

You'll be found, . . . sky

Close
Be you beneath the sky. [Aside] I am angling now,

I am angling . . . line.

Close
Though you perceive me not how I give line.
Go to, go to!

Go to, go to!

Close
265How she holds up the neb, the bill to him,

neb,

Beak.
Close
And arms her with the boldness of a wife

Gone already!

Hermione couldn't get away fast enough!.
Close
To her allowing husband.
[Exeunt Hermione and Polixenes.]
Gone already!
Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a forked one --

Inch-thick, . . . forked one

Leontes characterizes Hermione's loss as "inch-thick" or "without a doubt" (as dependable as a one-inch board and as reliable). The subsequent cuckolding is "knee-deep" and thus irrevocable.
Close
[To Mamillius] Go play, boy, play. Thy mother plays, and I

Go play, . . . grave

Close
270Play too, but so disgraced a part, whose issue
Will hiss me to my grave. Contempt and clamor
Will be my knell -- [To Mamillius] Go play, boy, play -- [Aside] There have been,
Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now,
And many a man there is, even at this present,

And many a man . . . neighbor

Close
275Now, while I speak this, holds his wife by th' arm,
That little thinks she has been sluiced in's absence,

sluiced

Drained (i.e. washed out with seminal fluid, an image picked up in the image of the pond fished by a neighbor (TLN 277)).
Close
And his pond fished by his next neighbor, by
Sir Smile, his neighbor. Nay, there's comfort in't
Whiles other men have gates, and those gates opened
280As mine against their will. Should all despair
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic for't there's none!

Physic . . . none!

There is no cure for this!.
Close
It is a bawdy planet that will strike

bawdy planet

The planet Venus.
Close
Where 'tis predominant. And 'tis powerful, think it
285From east, west, north, and south. Be it concluded,

From east, . . . belly.

Close
No barricado for a belly. Know't,
It will let in and out the enemy,
With bag and baggage. Many thousand on's

bag and baggage.

An allusion to male sexual organs (i.e. scrotum and genitalia).
Close

on's

Of us.
Close
Have the disease and feel it not. [To Mamillius] How now, boy?

they

Close
290Mamillius
I am like you, they say.
Leontes
Why, that's some comfort.
What? Camillo, there?
Camillo
[Coming forward] Ay, my good Lord.
Leontes Go play, Mamillius, thou'rt an honest man.
[Exit Mamillius]
295Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.
Camillo You had much ado to make his anchor hold.
When you cast out, it still came home.
Leontes
Didst note it?
Camillo He would not stay at your petitions, made

material.

Important.
Close
300His business more material.
Leontes
Didst perceive it?
They're here with me already, whispering, rounding,

They're

People who know of Hermione's adultery.
Close

rounding,

Discretely gossiping.
Close
"Sicilia is a so-forth." 'Tis far gone,

'Tis far . . . last.

Close
When I shall gust it last. How cam't, Camillo,

gust

Taste.
Close
305That he did stay?
Camillo
At the good queen's entreaty.
Leontes "At the queen's" be't. "Good" should be pertinent,

pertinent,

Germane.
Close
But so it is, it is not. Was this taken

so it is,

Given the current situation.
Close

taken

Comprehended.
Close
By any understanding pate but thine?
310For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in

For thy conceit . . . blocks.

Your skills of perception are profound and will perceive more than common blockheads.
Close
More than the common blocks. Not noted, is't,
But of the finer natures, by some severals

of the finer natures,

By the finer natures.
Close

by some severals . . . extraordinary?

By those of great intellect?.
Close
Of headpiece extraordinary? Lower messes

Lower . . . purblind?

Lower classes perhaps remain completely blind to this "business" (with a sexual sense, hence Camillo's response in the next line).
Close
Perchance are to this business purblind? Say.
315Camillo Business, my lord? I think most understand
Bohemia stays here longer.
Leontes
Ha?
Camillo
Stays here longer.
Leontes Ay, but why?
320Camillo To satisfy your Highness and the entreaties

satisfy

Please (but Leontes's repetition of satisfy in TLN 322 acquires a sexual sense).
Close
Of our most gracious mistress.
Leontes
"Satisfy"?
"Th' entreaties of your mistress"? "Satisfy"?
Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
325With all the nearest things to my heart, as well
My chamber-counsels, wherein, priest-like, thou START Hast cleansed my bosom. I from thee departed

chamber-counsels,

Most secret admissions.
Close
Thy penitent reformed, but we have been
Deceived in thy integrity, deceived
330In that which seems so.
Camillo
Be it forbid, my lord!
Leontes To bide upon't: thou art not honest, or

bide

Insist.
Close
If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward,
Which hoxes honesty behind, restraining

Which hoxes . . . required,

Which hamstrings (hoxes) honesty, restraining its movement.
Close
335From course required, or else thou must be counted
A servant grafted in my serious trust
And therein negligent; or else a fool
That see'st a game played home, the rich stake drawn,

That see'st . . . jest.

That, like a spectator watching a game until the prize is won, considers it only a prank.
Close
And tak'st it all for jest.
340Camillo
My gracious lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful.
In every one of these, no man is free,
But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
Among the infinite doings of the world,
345Sometime puts forth. In your affairs, my Lord,
If ever I were wilful-negligent,
It was my folly; if industriously

industriously

Intentionally.
Close
I played the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
350To do a thing where I the issue doubted,

where I the issue . . . wisest.

In which the taking of action clearly underscores the inadequacy of failing to act, a fear of action that frequently affects even the wisest people.
Close
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear
Which oft infects the wisest. These, my lord,
Are such allowed infirmities that honesty
355Is never free of. But beseech your grace
Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
By its own visage. If I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.
Leontes
Have not you seen, Camillo --
360But that's past doubt; you have or your eye-glass
Is thicker than a cuckold's horn -- or heard --

Is thicker . . . horn

Close
For to a vision so apparent, rumor
Cannot be mute -- or thought -- for cogitation
Resides not in that man that does not think
365My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,

slippery?

Unchaste.
Close
Or else be impudently negative
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought, then say
My wife's a hobby-horse, deserves a name

hobby-horse,

Something ridden for pleasure (with sexual connotation).
Close
As rank as any flax-wench that puts to

flax-wench

Country girl.
Close
370Before her troth-plight. Say't, and justify't.

troth-plight.

Betrothal.
Close
Camillo I would not be a stander-by to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so without

clouded

Slandered.
Close
My present vengeance taken. 'Shrew my heart,

'Shrew

Beshrew (i.e. place a curse on).
Close
You never spoke what did become you less
375Than this, which to reiterate were sin

though true.

Were it true.
Close

Is . . . nothing.

Close
As deep as that, though true.
Leontes
Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? Is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? Stopping the career

career

Galloping.
Close
380Of laughter with a sigh? A note infallible
Of breaking honesty, horsing foot on foot?

horsing foot on foot?

"Playing footsie" (Dolan).
Close
Skulking in corners? Wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? Noon, midnight? And all eyes
Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,

the pin and web

Cataracts.
Close
385That would unseen be wicked? Is this nothing?
Why, then the world and all that's in't is nothing,

Why, then the world . . . If this be nothing.

Close
The covering sky is nothing, Bohemia nothing,
My wife is nothing, nor nothing have these nothings,

nothing.

Close
If this be nothing.
390Camillo
Good my Lord, be cured
Of this diseased opinion, and betimes,

betimes,

Soon.
Close
For 'tis most dangerous.
Leontes
Say it be, 'tis true.
Camillo
No, no, my Lord.
395Leontes
It is! You lie, you lie!
I say thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee,
Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave,
Or else a hovering temporizer that

hovering temporizer

Irresolute schemer capable of accommodating both good and evil.
Close
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
400Inclining to them both; were my wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live

The running . . . glass.

One hour.
Close
The running of one glass.
Camillo
Who does infect her?
Leontes Why he that wears her like her medal, hanging

he . . . medal,

He who has her hanging upon his neck like a cameo containing her image.
Close
405About his neck -- Bohemia who, if I
Had servants true about me that bare eyes
To see alike mine honor as their profits,
Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
Which should undo more doing. Ay, and thou
410His cupbearer, whom I from meaner form

cupbearer,

Royal officer serving wine.
Close
Have benched and reared to worship, who mayst see
Plainly as heaven sees earth and earth sees heaven,
How I am galled, mightst bespice a cup

mightst . . . cordial

Might poison the cup and produce death, a drink that would comfort me.
Close
To give mine enemy a lasting wink,
415Which draught to me were cordial.
Camillo
Sir, my lord,
I could do this, and that with no rash potion,
But with a lingering dram that should not work

dram

A small amount ( OED n13b).
Close
Maliciously like poison, but I cannot
420Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,

crack

Flaw OED n8.
Close
So sovereignly being honorable.

thee--

Close

Make that thy question . . . rot!

If you question Hermione's guilt, go to the devil!.
Close
I have loved thee--
Leontes
Make that thy question and go rot!
Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled,
425To appoint myself in this vexation?

To appoint . . . vexation?

To nominate myself as a cuckold.
Close
Sully the purity and whitenesse of my sheets --

Sully . . . sheets

Close
Which to preserve is sleep; which being spotted
Is goads, thorns, nettles; tails of wasps --
Give scandal to the blood o'th' prince, my son,

Give scandal . . . to't?

Put Mamillius's legitimacy and my paternity in question (i.e. Leontes's bloodline).
Close
430Who I do think is mine and love as mine,
Without ripe moving to't? Would I do this?

Without ripe . . . to't?

Without adequate cause.
Close

blench?

Go astray in responding (with a secondary sense of avoiding a situation).
Close
Could man so blench?
Camillo
I must believe you, sir,
I do and will fetch off Bohemia for't,

fetch off

Kill (with perhaps Camillo's ulterior sense of rescue).
Close
435Provided that when he's removed your Highness
Will take again your Queen as yours at first,
Even for your son's sake, and thereby for sealing

sealing . . . injury

Quieting the slander.
Close
The injury of tongues in courts and kingdoms
Known and allied to yours.
440Leontes
Thou dost advise me,
Even so as I mine own course have set down;
I'll give no blemish to her honor, none.
Camillo
My Lord,
Go then, and with a countenance as clear
445As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia

keep with Bohemia

Remain as host for Polixenes.
Close
And with your Queen. I am his cupbearer

I am his cupbearer . . . servant.

Close
If from me he have wholesome beverage.
Account me not your servant.
Leontes
This is all.
450Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;

Do't, . . . own.

By poisoning Polixenes, you earn half of my affection; if you refuse to, you divide your own heart between him and me (with the implication of a subsequent death sentence).
Close
Do't not, thou splitt'st thine own.
Camillo
I'll do't, my Lord.
Leontes I will seem friendly, as thou hast advised me.
Exit
Camillo O miserable lady! But for me,
455What case stand 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 so too. To do this deed,
460Promotion follows. If I could find example
Of thousands that had struck anointed kings
And flourished after, I'd not do't. But since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment bears not one,

Nor brass, . . . one,

Since no record survives that testifies to a successful regicide (TLN 460-462), not even "villainy" would commit such an act. Even were there examples of past successes, I myself would refuse to commit regicide.
Close
Let villany itself forswear't. I must
465Forsake the court: to do't or no is certain

do't

Kill Polixenes.
Close
To me a breakneck. Happy star reign now!

To me a breakneck.

Death for me.
Close
Here comes Bohemia.
Enter Polixenes.
Polixenes
[Aside] This is strange. Methinks
My favor here begins to warp. Not speak?

My favor . . . warp.

I feel increasingly not welcome here in Sicilia ( OED warp v15b).
Close
470[To Camillo] Good day, Camillo.
Camillo
Hail, most royal sir.
Polixenes
What is the news i'th'court?
Camillo
None rare, my Lord.
Polixenes The King hath on him such a countenance,

The King hath on him . . . manners.

Close
475As he had lost some province, and a region
Loved as he loves himself; even now I met him
With customary compliment, when he,
Wafting his eyes to th'contrary and falling

Wafting . . . contempt,

Turns his head with disdain and allows his lip to droop.
Close
A lip of much contempt, speeds from me and
480So leaves me to consider what is breeding
That changes thus his manners.
Camillo I dare not know, my Lord.
Polixenes How, dare not? Do not? Do you know, and dare not?

How, dare . . . not?

Snyder (ed. 2007): "Do you mean that you don't know? Or do you mean you know and don't dare tell me? ".
Close
Be intelligent to me, 'tis thereabouts;

intelligent

Explicit, direct (OED a4).
Close
485For to yourself what you do know you must

For to yourself . . . you dare not.

Snyder (ed. 2007): "you can't disclaim knowing what you know."
Close
And cannot say you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your changed complexions are to me a mirror
Which shows me mine changed too, for I must be

for I must be . . . with't

I must be the cause of your changed complection given the fact that I too feel the change.
Close
A party in this alteration, finding
490Myself thus altered with't.
Camillo
There is a sickness
Which puts some of us in distemper, but
I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.
495Polixenes
How caught of me?
Make me not sighted like the basilisk.

basilisk.

A cockatrice, the legendary reptile whose look was fatal (hence the subsequent lines).
Close
I have looked on thousands who have sped the better
By my regard, but killed none so. Camillo --
As you are certainly a gentleman, thereto

As . . . gentle

Camillo, because you are a gentleman as clearly reflected in your scholarly learning, qualities that are shared by those of us who inherit their titles and succeed by birthright,.
Close
500Clerk-like experienced, which no less adorns
Our gentry than our parents' noble names,
In whose success we are gentle -- I beseech you,
If you know ought which does behoove my knowledge

If you know . . . informed,

If you have information that ought to be shared with me.
Close
Thereof to be informed, imprisoned not
505In ignorant concealment.
Camillo
I may not answer.
Polixenes A sickness caught of me, and yet I well?
I must be answered. Dost thou hear, Camillo?
I conjure thee, by all the parts of man

I conjure . . . suit of mine,

I appeal to you based on the responsibilities that honorable men accept, not the least of which is the obligation to reply to my request.
Close
510Which honor does acknowledge, whereof the least
Is not this suit of mine, that thou declare
What incidency thou dost guess of harm

What incidency . . . toward me;

What dangerous situation you suspect is approaching me.
Close
Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near,
Which way to be prevented, if to be.
515If not, how best to bear it.
Camillo
Sir, I will tell you,
Since I am charged in honor, and by him
That I think honorable; therefore mark my counsel,
Which must be even as swiftly followed as
520I mean to utter it, or both yourself and me,

or both . . . good night!

If you fail to follow my advice (TLN 418-420), both of us are finished and we can say farewell to everything.
Close
Cry lost, and so good night!
Polixenes
On, good Camillo.
Camillo I am appointed him to murder you.

I am appointed him

I am appointed by him.
Close
Polixenes
By whom, Camillo?
525Camillo
By the King!
Polixenes
For what?
Camillo
He thinks, nay with all confidence he swears
As he had seen't, or been an instrument
To vice you to't, that you have touched his Queen

vice

Force, compel (i.e. Leontes has been a complicit force in encouraging the adultery).
Close
530Forbiddenly.
Polixenes
Oh then, my best blood turn
To an infected jelly and my name

infected jelly

A clotted substance.
Close
Be yoked with his that did betray the best!

his that did . . . best!

That of Judas, who betrayed Christ (clearly an anachronism for a pagan time setting).
Close
Turn then my freshest reputation to
535A savor that may strike the dullest nostril

savor

Smell.
Close
Where I arrive and my approach be shunned,
Nay, hated too, worse then the greatest infection
That ere was heard or read.
Camillo
Swear his thought over
540By each particular star in heaven and
By all their influences; you may as well

influences;

Close
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon

for to

To.
Close
As or by oath remove or counsel shake

or by oath . . . or counsel

Either . . . or.
Close
The fabric of his folly, whose foundation

The fabric . . . his body

The edifice of his foolishness is so firmly rooted, and it will endure while his body lives.
Close
545Is piled upon his faith and will continue
The standing of his body.
Polixenes
How should this grow?
Camillo I know not, but I am sure 'tis safer to
Avoid what's grown than question how 'tis born.
550If therefore you dare trust my honesty
That lies enclosèd in this trunk, which you

this . . . impawned

My body, which you take with you as a promise.
Close
Shall bear along impawned, away tonight!
Your followers I will whisper to the business,
And will by twos and threes at several posterns

posterns

Back doors ( OED n 1a).
Close
555Clear them o'th'city. For myself, I'll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here

which are here . . . lost.

Because my future is endangered in Sicily because I have warned you.
Close
By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain,
For, by the honor of my parents, I
Have uttered truth, which, if you seek to prove,
560I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer,

nor shall you . . . sworn.

You won't be any safer than the one (i.e. Hermione) the king has publicly condemned and ordered executed.
Close
Than one condemned by the king's own mouth
Thereon his execution sworn.
Polixenes
I do believe thee;
I saw his heart in's face. Give me thy hand,

I saw his heart in's face.

Close

Give me thy hand,

Polixenes offers his hand as a pledge (see TLN 32).
Close
565Be pilot to me, and thy places shall

and thy places . . . neighbor mine

And your position will be near me.
Close
Still neighbor mine. My ships are ready, and

My ships are ready,

Close
My people did expect my hence departure
Two days ago. This jealousy
Is for a precious creature; as she's rare,
570Must it be great; and, as his person's mighty,
Must it be violent; and, as he does conceive
He is dishonored by a man which ever
Professed to him, why, his revenges must
In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades me!
575Good expedition be my friend, and comfort

Good . . . suspicion

"May my hasty departure assist me and bring comfort to the Queen, who is involved in his ill-conceived suspicion, but is not the object of it" (Orgel).
Close
The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing
Of his ill-ta'en suspicion. Come, Camillo,
I will respect thee as a father if
Thou bear'st my life off, hence. Let us avoid.

avoid.

Depart.
Close
580Camillo It is in mine authority to command
The keys of all the posterns; please your highness

posterns;

Close
To take the urgent hour. Come, sir, away.
Exeunt.