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The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 1 Scene 2
No Fear Act 1 Scene 2 Page 20

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POLIXENES

505How should this grow?

POLIXENES

How did this come about?

CAMILLO

I know not: but I am sure ’tis safer to
Avoid what’s grown than question how ’tis born.
If therefore you dare trust my honesty,
That lies enclosed in this trunk which you
510Shall bear along impawn’d, away to-night!
Your followers I will whisper to the business,
And will by twos and threes at several posterns
Clear them o’ the city. For myself, I’ll put
My fortunes to your service, which are here
515By this discovery lost. Be not uncertain;
For, by the honour of my parents, I
Have utter’d truth: which if you seek to prove,
I dare not stand by; nor shall you be safer
Than one condemn’d by the king’s own mouth, thereon
520His execution sworn.

CAMILLO

I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s safer to avoid his jealousy than to wonder why he feels that way. So if you trust my honesty, which you shall take as my pledge, then leave tonight! I’ll quietly let your followers know and get them out of the back gates of the city two or three at a time. As for me, I’ve lost everything I have by revealing this to you, but I’ll put what I have to your service. Don’t be uncertain. By the honor of my parents, I’m telling the truth. If you try to prove it, I’ll deny I ever said it. You won’t be any safer than a man whom the king himself has condemned to be executed.

POLIXENES

I do believe thee:
I saw his heart in ’s face. Give me thy hand:
Be pilot to me and thy places shall
Still neighbour mine. My ships are ready and
525My people did expect my hence departure
Two days ago. This jealousy
Is for a precious creature: as she’s rare,
Must it be great, and as his person’s mighty,
Must it be violent, and as he does conceive
530He is dishonour’d by a man which ever
Profess’d to him, why, his revenges must
In that be made more bitter. Fear o’ershades me:
Good expedition be my friend, and comfort
The gracious queen, part of his theme, but nothing
535Of his ill-ta’en suspicion! Come, Camillo;
I will respect thee as a father if
Thou bear’st my life off hence: let us avoid.

POLIXENES

I do believe you. I saw what he felt in his face. Give me your hand. Guide me and our fortunes will remain together. My ships are ready, and my people expected me to depart two days ago. He’s jealous over a very precious woman, and so his jealousy will be as great as she is rare, and as violent as he is powerful. And since he thinks that a man who always professed friendship has deceived him, his revenge will be even more bitter. I’m overwhelmed with fear. May my swift exit help me, and may it comfort the good queen, who has no responsibility for his unjustified suspicions. Come, Camillo. I will respect you like a father if you take me away safely. Let us leave.