The Winter's Tale

by: William Shakespeare

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I would not be a stander-by to hear
330My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken: ’shrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become you less
Than this; which to reiterate were sin
As deep as that, though true.
I wouldn’t stand by and listen to my mistress be slandered like that without taking revenge immediately. Curse my heart, I’ve never heard you speak in a way that suited you less. To say it again would be as sinful as the crime you are describing, even if it was true.
335Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses?
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughing with a sigh?—a note infallible
Of breaking honesty—horsing foot on foot?
340Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes
Blind with the pin and web but theirs, theirs only,
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then the world and all that’s in’t is nothing;
345The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.
Is it nothing that they whisper together? Lean their cheeks together? Or touch noses? Or kisses? Or interrupt their laughter with sighs, a certain sign that they’re in love? Or playing footsie? Or lurking in corners? Or wishing that time would run faster, that hours were minutes and noon midnight, and that all eyes were blind with cataracts but theirs, so that they can be wicked without being seen? Is this nothing? Why, then the world and everything in it is nothing. The sky is nothing, Polixenes is nothing, my wife is nothing, and they have nothing, if this is nothing.
Good my lord, be cured
Of this diseased opinion, and betimes;
350For ’tis most dangerous.
My lord, let go of this terrible opinion, and quickly, because it is dangerous.
Say it be, ’tis true.
Say it is, but it is true.

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