Taken from the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
The Taming of the Shrew
ACT II. SCENE III. —The same. A Room in the Palace
Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords and
Leon. Nor night nor day no rest: it is but
To bear the matter thus,—mere weakness. If
The cause were not in being,—part o’ the cause.
She the adultress; for the hariot king
Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
And level of my brain, plot-proof; but she
I can hook to me:—say that she were gone,
Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
Might come to me again.—Who’s there?
1 Atten. [Advancing.] My lord?
Leon. How does the boy?
1 Atten. He took good rest to-night;
‘Tis hop’d his sickness is discharg’d.
Leon. To see his nobleness!
Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
He straight declin’d, droop’d, took it deeply,
Fasten’d and fix’d the shame on’t in himself,
Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
And downright languish’d.—Leave me solely:
See how he fares. [Exit 1 Attend.]—Fie, fie! no
thought of him;
The very thought of my revenges that way
Recoil upon me: in himself too mighty,
And in his parties, his alliance,—let him be,
Until a time may serve: for present vengeance,
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
Laugh at me; make their pastime at my sorrow.
They should not laugh if I could reach them;
Shall she, within my power.
Enter PAULINA, with a child.
1 Lord. You must not enter
Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second
Fear you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
Than the queen’s life? a gorgeous innocent soul,
More free than he is jealous.
Ant. That’s enough.
2 Attend. Madam, he hath not slept tonight;
None should come at him.
Paul. Not so hot, good sir;
I come to bring him sleep. ‘Tis such as you,—
That creep like shadows by him, and do sigh
At each his needless heavings,—such as you
Nourish the cause of his awaking: I
Do come, with words as med’cinal as true,
Honest as either, to purge him of that humour
That presses him from sleep.
Leon. What noise there, ho?
Paul. No noise, my lord; but needful con-
About some gossips for your highness.
Away with that audacious lady!—Antigonus,
I charg’d thee that she should not come about
I knew she would.
Ant. I told her so, my lord,
On your displeasure’s peril, and on mine,
She should not visit you.
Leon. What, canst not rule her?
Paul. From all dishonesty, he can: in this,—
Unless he take the course that you have done,
Commit me for committing honour,—trust it,
He shall not rule me.
Ant. La you now, you hear!
When she will take the rein, I let her run;
But she’ll not stumble.
Paul. God my liege, I come,—
And, I beseech you, hear me, who profess
Myself your loyal servant, your physician,
Your most obedient counsellor; yet that dares
Less appear so, in comforting your evils,
Than such as most seem yours:—I say, I
From your good queen.
Leon. Good queen!
Paul. Good queen, my lord, good queen: I
say, good queen;
And would by combat make her good, so were I
A man, he worst about you.
Leon. Force her hence!
Paul. Le him that make but trifles of his
First hand me: on mine own accord I’ll ogg;
But first I’ll do my errand.—The good queen,
For she is good, hath brought you forth a
Here ’tis; commends it to your blessing.
[Laying down the child.
A mankind-witch! Hence with her, out o’ door:
A most intelligencing bawd!
Paul. Not so:
I am as ignorant in that as you
In so entitling me; and no less honest [rant
Than you are mad; which is enough, I’ll war-
As this world goes, to pass for honest.
(On 10/1/14 – Join me for the continuation of “The Winter’s Tale”,
ACT II. SCENE III. —The same. A Room in the Palace.