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The Winter's Tale: Act 4 Scene 2
Scene II Bohemia. The palace of POLIXENES.
- [Enter POLIXENES and CAMILLO]
- I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more importunate:
- 'tis a sickness denying thee any thing; a death to
- grant this.
- It is fifteen years since I saw my country: though
- I have for the most part been aired abroad, I
- desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent
- king, my master, hath sent for me; to whose feeling
- sorrows I might be some allay, or I o'erween to
- think so, which is another spur to my departure.
- As thou lovest me, Camillo, wipe not out the rest of
- thy services by leaving me now: the need I have of
- thee thine own goodness hath made; better not to
- have had thee than thus to want thee: thou, having
- made me businesses which none without thee can
- sufficiently manage, must either stay to execute
- them thyself or take away with thee the very
- services thou hast done; which if I have not enough
- considered, as too much I cannot, to be more
- thankful to thee shall be my study, and my profit
- therein the heaping friendships. Of that fatal
- country, Sicilia, prithee speak no more; whose very
- naming punishes me with the remembrance of that
- penitent, as thou callest him, and reconciled king,
- my brother; whose loss of his most precious queen
- and children are even now to be afresh lamented.
- Say to me, when sawest thou the Prince Florizel, my
- son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue not
- being gracious, than they are in losing them when
- they have approved their virtues.
- Sir, it is three days since I saw the prince. What
- his happier affairs may be, are to me unknown: but I
- have missingly noted, he is of late much retired
- from court and is less frequent to his princely
- exercises than formerly he hath appeared.
- I have considered so much, Camillo, and with some
- care; so far that I have eyes under my service which
- look upon his removedness; from whom I have this
- intelligence, that he is seldom from the house of a
- most homely shepherd; a man, they say, that from
- very nothing, and beyond the imagination of his
- neighbours, is grown into an unspeakable estate.
- I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a
- daughter of most rare note: the report of her is
- extended more than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.
- That's likewise part of my intelligence; but, I
- fear, the angle that plucks our son thither. Thou
- shalt accompany us to the place; where we will, not
- appearing what we are, have some question with the
- shepherd; from whose simplicity I think it not
- uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither.
- Prithee, be my present partner in this business, and
- lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.
- I willingly obey your command.
- My best Camillo! We must disguise ourselves.