William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 71 of 224)
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to live on crutches till he had one. [ExeunL

SCENE IL— 77<e same, A Room qf State in
the Palace.

Enter Leontes, Polixenes, Herhionx, MAioir
Lius, Camillo, and Attendants.

P6L Nine changes of the watVy star have been
The shepherd's note, since we have left oar throne
Withodt a burthen : time as long again
Would be fiird up, my brother, wiui onr thanks;
And yet we should, for perpetuity.
Go hence in debt : And therefore, like a cipher
Yet standing in rich place, I multiply.
With one we-thank-you, many thousands more
That go before it.

Leon. Stay your thanks awhile ;

And pay them when you part.

Pol. Sir, that's to-morrow.

I am question'd by my fears, of what may chanoe,
Or breed upon our absence : That may blow
No sneaping winds at home, to make us say,
»* This is put forth too truly * Besides. I havestay'd
To tire your royal- .

Leon, We are tougher, brother,

Than you can put us to't

PcL No longer stay

Leon. One seven-night longer

P6L Very sooth, to-morrow.

Leon. Well part the time Mtween b then : and
in that
111 no gainsaying.

PoL Press me not, 'beseech you, so:

There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'tbe
world.



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369



A WINTER'S TALE.



So soon as jonrSf conld win me; lo it ihonld now,
Were there necessifey^ in ^nr reqnest, although
Twere needful I denied it Mj affiurs

00 even drag me homeward : which to hinder
Were, in your love, a whip to me ; my stay,
To yon a charge and trouble: to sare both,
Farewell, our brother. .

JjBon. Tongue-tied, our queen? speak jou. I

Her, I had thought, sir, to have held my peace,
until :

Touhaddrawnoatih8fremhim.nott08ta7. You,sir,
Charge him too ooldlv: Tell hinij you are sure
All in Bohemia^ well : this satisfaction
The by-gone day proclaimed; say this to him,
Ue^ beat from his best ward.

Leon, Well said, Hermione.

Mar. 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 distafis. —
Yetofyour royal presence ftoPoLii.] Ill adventure
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
Tou take my lord, 111 give him my commission.
To let him mere a month, behind the gest
Prefixed for's parting : yet, good deed, Leontes,

1 love thee not a jar o the clock behind
What lady she her lord.— Toull sUy ?

FoL No, madam.

Her, Nay, but you will ?

F6L I may not, verily.

Eer, Verily I [oaths.

Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with
You put me off with limber vows : Bitt I,
Should yet say, " Sir, no goin^."* Verily,
You shall not go ; a lady^ venly is
As 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.
When you depart, and save your thanks. How

say you?
My prisoner? or mv sniest ? by your dread verily,
One of them you snail be.

PoL Your g^est then, madam :

To be joui prisoner should import offending ;
Which is for me less easy to commit.
Than you to puni^

Her. Not your gaoler then^

But your kind hostess. Come, 111 question yon
Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were boys ;
You were pretty lordlings then.

PoL We were, fair queen.

Two lads, that thought there was no more behind,
But such a day to-morrow as to^y,
And to be boy eternal.

Eer, Was not my lord the verier wag o' the two ?

PoL We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk
i' the sun,
And bleat the one at the other : What wechang*d
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd
That any did: Had we pursued that life.
And our weak spirits ne er been higher reared
With stronger olood, we should have answered

Heaven
Boldly^ ** Not guilty;** the imposition cleared,
Hereditary ours.

Eer. B^ this we gather,

You have tripp'd since.

PoL O my most sacred lady,

Temptations have since then been bom to us : for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl ;
Your precious self had then not crossed the ejes
Of my young playfellow.



Eer. Orace to boott

Of this make ^o conclusion ; lest you say
Your qneen and I are devils : Yet, go on ;
The onences we have made you do well answer;
If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us
! You did continue fault, and that you slipped not
With any but with us.

Leon. Is he won yet ?

Eer. Hell stay, my lord.

Leon. At my request, he would not.

Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.

Eer. Never?

Leon. Never, but once.

Eer, What? have I twice said well? when

was't before? [us

I prithee, tell me : Cram us with praise, and make

As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying

tongneless.
Slaughters a thousand, waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages : You may ride us,
With one soft kiss, a thousand furlongs, ere
With spur we heat an acre. But to the goal | —
My last good deed was to entreat his stay ;
What was my first ? it has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you : 0, would her name were Gkmce I
But once before I spoke to the purpose : When ?
Nay, let me have*t ; I long.

Leon. Why, that was when

Three crabbed, months had soured themselves to

death
Ere I could make theo open thy white hand.
And clap thyself my love ; then didst thou utter,
" I am yours for ever."

Eer. It is Grace, indeed.—

Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose

twice ;
The one for ever earned a royal husband ;
The other, for some while a friend.

Wiving her hand to POL.

Leon. Too not, too hot: [Aside.

To mingle friendship far, is mingling bloods.
I have tremor cordie on me : — my heart dances ;
But not for joy,— not joy.— This entertainment
May a free mce 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 pincning finders.
As now they are : and making practis'd smiles.
As in a looking-glass ;^and then to sigh, as *tweie
The mort o* the deer ; O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows. — Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?

Mam. Aj, my good lord.

Leon. r fecks?

Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch*d

thy nose ? —
They say it's a copy out of mine. Come, captam,
We must be neat ; not neat, but cleanly, captain :
And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf.
Are all call'd neat— Still virginalling

[Ohaaring Pol. and Heb.
Upon his palm?— How now, you wanton calf?
Art thou my calf?

Mam. Yes, if you will, mv lord.

Lcom. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shootn
that I have,
To be fhll like me : — ^yet, they say we are
Almost as like as e^gs ; women say so,
That will say anything : But were they false
As o'er-died blacks, as wind, as waters ; false
As dice are to be wish'd, hj one that fixes
No bourn *twizt his and mine ; yet were it true



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To say thU boy were like me. — Come, sir page,
Look on me with Jbur welkin eye : Sweet villain I
Most dear*8tl my coUopl — Can thy dam?— may *t

be?
Aflfection I thy intention stabs the centre:
Thoa dost make possible things not so held,
Commnnicat*8t with dreams ;— (How can this be?)
With what*8 unreal thoa coaotive art,
And fellow *8t nothing: Then, 'tis very credent,
Thoamaystco-join with something ; and thoa dost
(And that beyond commission ; and I find it) ;
And that to the ini'ection of my brains,
And hardening of my brows.

FbL What means Sioilia?

Her, He something seems unsettled.

Pol. How I my lord I

Leon, What cheer? how is*t with you, best
brother?

Ber, You look
As if you held a brow of much distraction:
Are you moY*d, my lord?

Lam, No, in good earnest —

How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
Its tenderness, and miUce itself a pastime
To harder bosoms I Looking on the Imes
Of my boy's face, my thoughts I did recoil
Twenty>tliree years ; and saw myself unbreech^
In my green velvet coat; my dagger muzzled.
Lest It should bite its master, and so prove.
As ornaments oft do, too dangerous
How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
Thb qnasD, this gentleman:— Mine honest friend,
WiU you take e^s for money?

Mam. No, my lord. 111 fight

LeotL Tou will ? why, happy man be his dole!—
my brother.
Are you so fond of your young prince, as we
Do seem to be of ours?

PoL If at home, sir.

He^ all n^ exercise, my mirth, my matter:
Now my sworn friend, and then mmo enemy :
My parasite, mv soldier, statesman, all :
He makes a July's day short as December ;
And, with his varying childness, cures in me
Thoughts that would thick my blood.

Z«m. So stands this squire

Offic'd with me : We two will walk, my lord^
And leave you to your graver steps. — Hemuone,
How thou lov'st us, show in our brother's welcome;
Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap :
Next to thyself, and my young rover, he^
Apparent to my heart

Her, If yon would seek us.

We are yonn i* the garden : Shall 's attend joa
there?

Leom, To your own bents dispose yon: youU
be found.
Be you beneath the sky : — I am angling now.
Though you perceive me not how I give line.
Go to, go to I [Aside, Obsrrving Pol. and Herm.
How she holds up the neb, the bill to him !
And arms her with the boldness of a wife
To her allowing husband I Goneahready;
Incb-thlok, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a forked
one.
[EodemU Pol., Herx., and Attendants.
Go play, boy, pUy ;— thy mother plays, and I
Plav too ; but so disgrac'd a part, whose issue
Will hiss me to my grave ; contempt and damonr
Will be my knell.— Go play, boy, playr-There

have been.
Or I am much deceiv'd, cuckolds ere now ;
And many a man there ia, even at this present.



A WINTER'S TALE.



268



Now, while I speak this, holds his wife by the arm«
.That little thinks she has been shiic'd in hit

absence,
And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour, by
S ir Smile, his neighbour : nay, there v comfort in*t,
Whiles other men have gates, and those gates

open'd.
As mine, against their will : Should all despair
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physio for*t therels

none;
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
Where 'tis preaominant ; and 'tis powerful, think it.
From east, west, north, and south : Be it concluded.
No barricado for a belly ; know it ;
It will let in and out the enemy.
With bag and baggage : many a thousand of na
Have the disease, and feel^ not— How now, boy ?

Mam, I am like yon, they say.*

Leon. Wliy, thatv some comfort* —

What I Camillo, there?

Cam. Ay, my good lord.

Leon. Go play, Mamillius; thouYt an honest
num.— [Exit Mamiluus.

Camillo, this great sir will yet stay lon^

Cam, You had much ado to make ma anchor
hold:
When you cast out, it still came home.

Leon, Didst note it?

Cam, He would not stay at your petitions ; made
His business more matenaL

Leon, Didst perceive it?—

They're here Mrith me already, whispering,

rounding,
** Sicilia is a— so-forth :" Tis tax gone.
When I shall gust it last— How camet, Camillo?
That he did stay?

Com, At the good queen's entreaty.

Leon, At the queen's, bet: good, should be
pertinent:
But so it 18. it is not Was this taken
By any understanding pate but thine ?
For thy conceit is soakmg, will draw in
More tnan the common blocks : — Not noted, is%
But of the finer natures ? by some severals
Of head-pieoe extraordinary? lower messes
Perchance are to this business purblind ? say

Cam, Business, my lord? I think most nnd«r-
stand Bohemia stays here longer.

Leon. Ah?

Cam, Stays here longer.

Leon, Ay, but why?

Cam. To satisfy your highness, and die entreaties
Of our most gracious mistress.

Leon, Satisfy

The entreaties of your mistress? — -satisfy?—
Let that sufSce. I have tmsted thee, Camillo.
With all the nearest things to my heul, as well
My chamber-councils : wherein, priest-like, thou
Hast cleans'd my bosom ; I from thee departed
Thy penitent reformed : but we have beoi
Deceiv'd in thy integrity, deceive
In that which seems so.

Cam, Be it forbid, my lord I

Leon, To bide upont ;— Thou art not honest : or.
If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward;
Which boxes honesty behind, restraining
From course requir'd : Or else thoa mudt be

oounted
A servant grafted in my serious trust.
And therein negligent : or else a fool.
That seest agame play'd home, the rich stake drawn
And tak'st it all fOT Jest

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264



Cam. M7 gTRcions lord,

I tnaj be negligent, foolish, and fearfnl ;
In every one of these no man is free,
But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
Amon^ the infinite doings of the world,
Sometimes puts forth : In your afiairs, my lord,
If ever I were wilful-negligent,
it was my folly; if industriously
I playM the fool, it was my negligence.
Not weighing well the end ; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted.
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performanoe, *twas a fear
Which oft infects the wisest : these, my lord,
Ar^sucu allowed infirmities, that honesty
Is 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.

Xeon. Have not you seen, Camillo,

Sut that's past doubt— you have ; or your eye-g)a.s4
thicker man a cuckold's horn), or heard
rPor, to a vision so apparent, rumour
Cannot be mute], or thought ^for cogitation
Resides not in that man that aoes not think).
My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess
{Dt else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought), then say.
My wife's a hobbyhorse ; deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight : say it, and justify it.

Canu I would not be a stander-by, to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken : 'Shrew my heart,
Tou never spoke what did become you less
Than thb ; which to reiterate, were sin
As deep as that, though true.

Leon, Is whispering nothing?

Is leaning cheek to cheek ? is meeting noses?
Ki&sing with inside lip ? stopping the career
Of laughter with a si^ ? (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty) : horsing foot on foot ?
Skulking in comers? wishin]^ clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes f noon, midnight ? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web, but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then the world, and all that^ in't, is nothing ;
The covering sky is nothing ; Bohemia nothing ;
My wife is nothmg; nor nothing have these

nothings.
If this be nothing.

Cam. Qood my lord, be cur'd

Of this diseased opinion, and betimes;
For *ti8 most dangerous-

Leon. Say, it be ; Vis tme.

Cam. No, no, my lord.

Leon. It is; you lie, yon lie:

I say, thou liest, Camillo, and I nate thee ;
Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave ;
Or else a hovering temporizer, that
Canst with thine eves at once see good and evil,
Inclining to them both : Were my wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live
The nmnmg of one gUss.

Cam. Who does infect her ?

Leon. Why, he that wears her like her medal,
hanging
About his neck, Bohemia: Who — if I
Had servants true about me, that bare eyes
To see alike mine honour as their profits,
Theur own particular thrifts, — they would do that
Which should undo more doing : Ay, and thou.
His cupbearer,— whom I from meane r form



A WINTER'S TALE.



Have bench'd and rear'd to worship; who majM

see
Plainly,as heaven sees earth,and earth sees heayen,
How 1 am galled, — might'st bes))ice a cup,
To ^ve mine enemy a lasting ^^ ink ;
Which draught to me were cordial.

Cam. Sur, my lord,

I could do this ; and that with no rash potion.
But with a lingVin^ dram, that should not wcrit
Maliciously like poison : But I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.

I have lovxl thee,

Leon. Make that thy question, and go rot !

Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled.
To appoint myself in this vexation ? sully
The purity and whiteness of m^ sheets,
Which to preserve is sleep ; which being spotted,
Is goads, tnoms, nettles, tails of wasps ?
Give scandal to the blood o' the prince my son,
Wha I do think is mine, and love as mine ;
Without ripe moving tot?— Would I do this?
Could man so blench ?

Cam. I must believe yon, sir ;

I do ; and will fetch off Bohemia for't :
Provided, that when he*s remov'd, your highness
Will take again your queen, as yours at first ;
Even for your son's sake ; and, thereby, for sealing
The injury of tongues, in courts and kingdoms
Known and allied to yours.

Leon. Thou dost advise me.

Even so as I mine own course have set down :
111 giye no blemish to her honour, none.

Cam. My lord,
Qo then : and with a countenance as clear
As frienoship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia,
And with your queen : I am his cupbearer ;
If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your servant

Leon. Thisisall:

Dot, and thou hast the one half of my heart ;
Do't not, thou splitt'st thine own.

Cam. Ill dot, my lord.

Leon. I wUl seem friendly, as thou hastadvis'd
me. [BkU.

Cam. O miserable lady I— But, for me^
What case stand I m ? 1 must be the poisoner
Of good Polixenes : and my ground to dot
Is the obedience to a master ; one.
Who. in rebellion with himself, will have
All that are his so too.— To do this deed.
Promotion follows : If I could find example
Of thousands that had struck anomted kings
And flourished after, I'd not dot : but since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,
Let villainy itself forsweart. I must
ForsidLC the court: to do't, or no, is certain
To me a break-neck. Happy star, reign now I
Here comes Bohemia.

Enter Polixenes.

PdL This is strange! methinks

My favour here begins to warp. Not speak ?—
Qood day, Caoiillo.

Cam. Hail, most royal sir t

Pol What b the news i* the court?

Cam. None rare, my lord.

Pd. The king hath on him such a countenance
As he had lost some provinoe, and a region
Lov'd as he loves himself: even now I met him
With customary compliment; when he.
Wafting his eyes to the contrary, and nlling
A lip of mudi contempt, speeds mmi me; and
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8o leiTes roe, to consider what is breeding
That chaneres thus his manners.

0am. I dare not know, my lord.

FoL How! dare not? do not? Do 70a know,
and dare not
Be intelligent to me. Tis thereabouts ;
For, to yourself, what you do know you must;
And cannot say, you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shows me mine chang*d too : for 1 must be
A part^ in this alteration, finding
Myselt thus altered with it. -

Cam. There is a sickness

Which puts some of as in distemper ; but
I cannot name the disease ; and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.

AL How, caught of me?

Make me not sighted like the basilisk :
I have look'd on thousands who have sued the better
By my regard, but kill'd none so. Camillo —
A^ you are certainly a gentleman; thereto
Clerk-like, experienced, which no less adorns
Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,
In whose success we are gentle,— I beseech you,
If yon know aught which does behove my know-
ledge
Thereof to be informed, imprison it not
In ignorant concealment

Cam, I may not answer.

PoL A sickness caught of me, and yet I well I
I must be an8wer'd.^Dost thou hear, Camillo?
I conjure thee, bv all the parts of man
Which honour does acknowledge, — whereof the

least
Is not this suit of mine, — ^that thou declare
What inddency thou dost guess of harm
Is creeping toward me ; how far off, how near;
Which way to be prevent«d, if to be ;
If not, how best to bear it.

Cam. Sir, 111 tell you ;

Since I am charged in honour, and by him
That I think honourable: Therefore, mark my

counsel;
Which must be even as swiftly follow'd as
I mean to utter it ; or both yourself and me
Cry '* lost," and so good night.

FoL On, good Camillo.

Gam. I am appointed him to murther you.

PoL By whom, Camillo?

Cam, By the king.

iW. F'orwhat?

Cam, He thinks, nay, with all confidence, he
swears.
As he had seen*t, or been an instrument
Tc vice you to V-that you have touch 'd his qaeen
Forbiddenly.



A WINTER'S TALE



365



PoL O, then my best blood turn

To an infected jelly ; and my name
Be yok'd with his that did betray the Best I
Turn then my freshest reputation to
A savour tliat may strike the dullest nostril
Where I arrive ; and mv approach be shunn'd^
Nay, hated, too, worse than the great 'st infection
Thnt e*er was heard, or read I

Cam. Swear bis thought over

By each particular star in heaven, and
By all their influences, you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon.
As, or hy oath, remove, or counsel, sliak
The fabric of his folly ; whoso foundation
Is pil'd upon his faith, and will continue
The standing of his body.

PoL How should this grow ?

Cam. I know not i but, I am sure, 'tis safer to
Avoid what's grown than question how 'tis bom.
If therefore vou dare trust my honesty, —
That lies enclosed in this trunk, which you
Shall bear along impawn 'd, — away to-night.
Your followers I will whisper to the business :
And will, by twos and threes, at several

posterns.
Clear them o' the city : For myself. 111 put
My fortunes to your service, which are here •
By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain ;
For, by the honour of my parents, 1
Have utter'd truth : which, if you seek to prove,
I dare not stand by ; nor shall you be safer
Than one condemn 'd by the king's own moufh,

thereon
His execution sworn.

Pol. I do believe thee ;

I saw his heart in his face. Give me thy hand ;
Be pilot to me, and thy places shall
Still neighbour mine : My ships are ready, and
My people did eacpect my hence departure
Two days ago. — This jealousy
Is for a precious creature : as she's rare.
Must it be great ; and, as his person's mighty,
Must it be violent : and as he does conceive
He is dishonour'd bv a man which ever
Profess'd to him, why, his revenges must
In that be made more bitter. Fear o'ershades me
Good expedition be my friend, and comfort
The gracious queen, part of his theme, but

nothing
Of his ill-U'en suspicion ! Come, Camillo ;
I will respect thee as a father, if
Thou bear'st my life off hence : Let us avoid

Cam. It is in mine authoritv to command
The keys of all the posterns ; Please your highncM
To take the urgent hour: oome, air, away.

\Extunt.



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266



A WINTEB'B TALE.



ACT IL



SCENE L— Sicilia. The Ftdaoe.



Enter Hkruionb, Mahillius, and Ladies.

Iter. Take the boy to 70a : he so troables me
*Tis past enduring*

1 Lady. Come, my graoious lord.

Shall I be your plajfellow?

Mam. No, 111 none of 70Q.

1 Lady. Why, my sweet lord?

Mam. Toull kiss me hard ; and speak to me as if
I were a baby still. — I lovd-you better.

2 Lady. And why lo, my lord?

Mam. Not for because

Tour brows are blacker ; yet black brows they say,
Become some women best ; so that there be not
Too much hair there, but in a semicircle,
Or a half-moon made with a pen.

2 Lady. W ho taught you th is ?

Mam. I learned it out of women^s faces : pray now
What colour are your eyebrows?

1 Lacfy. Blue, my lord.
Mam. Nay, that% a mock : I have seen a lady's

nose
That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.

2 Lady. Hark ye:
The queen, your mother, rounds apace : we shall
Present our services to a fine new prince.

One of these days ; and then you'd wanton with us ,
tf we would have you.

1 Latfy. She is spread of late

Into a goodly bulk: Good time encounter her I

Her. What wisdom stirs amongst you ? Come,
sir, now
I am for you again : Pray you, sit by us.
And toll's a tale.

Mam. Merry, or sad, shairt be?

Her. As merry as you will.

Mam. A sad tale's best for winter :

I have one of sprites and goblins.

Her. Let's have that, good sir.

Come on, sit down :— Come on, and do your best
To fright me with your sprites: you're powerful
at it.

Mcmu There was a man, —

Her. Nay, come, sit down; then on.

Mam. Dwelt by a churchyard; - 1 will tell it
softly;
Von crickets shall not hear it

Her. Come on, then.

And givet me in mine ear.

Enter Lbontbb, Antioonus, Lords, and others.

Leon, Was he met there? his train? Camillo
with him?

1 Lord. Behind the tufts of pines I met them;
never
Saw I men scour so on their way : I ey'd them
RTen to their ships.

Leon. How blcss'd am I

In my just censure ! — in my true opinion t —
Alack, for lesser knowledge ! — How accurs'd
In being so bless'd I— There may be in the cup
A spider steep'd, and one may ^rink; depart,
Ana yet partake no venom ; for his knowledge
Is not infected : but if one present
The abhon:'d ingredient to nis eye, make known



Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 71 of 224)