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The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 10

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MAMILLIUS

I am like you, they say.

MAMILLIUS

I look like you, they say.

LEONTES

250Why that’s some comfort. What, Camillo there?

LEONTES

That’s some comfort. Camillo, are you there?

CAMILLO

Ay, my good lord.

CAMILLO

Yes, my good lord.

LEONTES

Go play, Mamillius; thou’rt an honest man.

LEONTES

Go play, Mamillius, that’s a good boy.
Exit MAMILLIUS
MAMILLIUS exits.
Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.
Camillo, my friend Polixenes will stay longer.

CAMILLO

You had much ado to make his anchor hold:
255When you cast out, it still came home.

CAMILLO

You had to go to great lengths to make him stay. No matter what you said, he insisted he would leave.

LEONTES

Didst note it?

LEONTES

Did you see it?

CAMILLO

He would not stay at your petitions: made
His business more material.

CAMILLO

He wouldn’t heed your pleas, but said his business was too important.

LEONTES

Didst perceive it?
260[Aside] They’re here with me already, whispering, rounding
‘Sicilia is a so-forth:’ ’tis far gone,
When I shall gust it last. How came’t, Camillo,
That he did stay?

LEONTES

You saw it?
(aside) People know my secret already, and they are whispering and murmuring, “Sicilia is a such-and-such.” It is already so well known while I am just figuring it out. Camillo, how did it happen that he stayed?

CAMILLO

At the good queen’s entreaty.

CAMILLO

Because the good queen asked him.

LEONTES

265At the queen’s be’t: ‘good’ should be pertinent
But, so it is, it is not. Was this taken
By any understanding pate but thine?
For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
More than the common blocks: not noted, is’t,
270But of the finer natures? by some severals
Of head-piece extraordinary? lower messes
Perchance are to this business purblind? say.

LEONTES

True, because of the queen. “Good” should be an appropriate description, but under the circumstances it isn’t. Did anyone else see that it happened this way? Since you notice more than the common idiots, perhaps it is only seen by those intelligent enough, the ones with extraordinary intellects? Perhaps the commoners are blind to what just happened? Tell me.