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The Winter’s Tale: Act 4, Scene 2

The Winter’s Tale
Act 4, Scene 2

Bohemia. A room in the palace of Polixenes.

  1. Enter Polixenes and Camillo.

Polixenes

2 - 3
  1. I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more importunate. ’Tis a
  2. sickness denying thee any thing; a death to grant this.

Camillo

4 - 9
  1. It is fifteen years since I saw my country; though I have
  2. for the most part been air’d abroad, I desire to lay my
  3. bones there. Besides, the penitent King, my master, hath
  4. sent for me, to whose feeling sorrows I might be some allay
  5. (or I o’erween to think so), which is another spur to my
  6. departure.

Polixenes

10 - 26
  1. As thou lov’st me, Camillo, wipe not out the rest of thy
  2. services by leaving me now. The need I have of thee, thine
  3. own goodness hath made. Better not to have had thee than
  4. thus to want thee. Thou, having made me businesses which
  5. none without thee can sufficiently manage, must either stay
  6. to execute them thyself, or take away with thee the very
  7. services thou hast done; which if I have not enough
  8. consider’d (as too much I cannot), to be more thankful to
  9. thee shall be my study, and my profit therein the heaping
  10. friendships. Of that fatal country Sicilia, prithee speak no
  11. more, whose very naming punishes me with the remembrance of
  12. that penitent (as thou call’st him) and reconcil’d king, my
  13. brother, whose loss of his most precious queen and children
  14. are even now to be afresh lamented. Say to me, when saw’st
  15. thou the Prince Florizel, my son? Kings are no less unhappy,
  16. their issue not being gracious, than they are in losing them
  17. when they have approv’d their virtues.

Camillo

27 - 31
  1. Sir, it is three days since I saw the Prince. What his
  2. happier affairs may be, are to me unknown; but I have
  3. (missingly) noted, he is of late much retir’d from court,
  4. and is less frequent to his princely exercises than formerly
  5. he hath appear’d.

Polixenes

32 - 37
  1. I have consider’d so much, Camillo, and with some care, so
  2. far that I have eyes under my service which look upon his
  3. removedness; from whom I have this intelligence, that he is
  4. seldom from the house of a most homely shepherd, a man, they
  5. say, that from very nothing, and beyond the imagination of
  6. his neighbors, is grown into an unspeakable estate.

Camillo

38 - 40
  1. I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a daughter of
  2. most rare note. The report of her is extended more than can
  3. be thought to begin from such a cottage.

Polixenes

41 - 47
  1. That’s likewise part of my intelligence; but (I fear) the
  2. angle that plucks our son thither. Thou shalt accompany us
  3. to the place, where we will (not appearing what we are) have
  4. some question with the shepherd; from whose simplicity I
  5. think it not uneasy to get the cause of my son’s resort
  6. thither. Prithee be my present partner in this business, and
  7. lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.

Camillo

48
  1. I willingly obey your command.

Polixenes

49
  1. My best Camillo! We must disguise ourselves.
  1. Exeunt.
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