Passage: The Winter's Tale, 1.2.266-95

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Table of Contents: Course Two

LEONTES: Ha' not you seen, Camillo --
But that's past doubt; you have, or your eye-glass
Is thicker than a cuckold's horn -- or heard
For to a vision so apparent rumour
Cannot be mute -- or thought -- for cogitation     [270]
Resides not in that man that does not think --
My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,
Or else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes nor ears nor thought, then say
My wife's a hobby-horse, deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench that puts to
Before her troth-plight: say't and justify 't.
CAMILLO: I would not be a stander-by to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken. 'Shrew my heart,;    [280]
You never spoke what did become you less
Than this; which to reiterate were sin 
As deep as that, though true.

LEONTES:                         Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to check? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty)? horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,     [290]
That would unseen be wicked? Is this nothing?
Why then the world and all that's in't is nothing,
The covering sky is nothing, Bohemia nothing,
My wife is nothing, nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.

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Table of Contents: Course Two


This page last updated on 1 January 2003.

Send queries to Michael Best, English Department, University of Victoria, Victoria B.C. V8W 3W1, Canada.

mbest1@uvic.ca