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The Winter's Tale

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 2 Scene 1
No Fear Act 2 Scene 1 Page 8

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LEONTES

180Cease; no more.
You smell this business with a sense as cold
As is a dead man’s nose: but I do see’t and feel’t
As you feel doing thus; and see withal
The instruments that feel.

LEONTES

Stop. Say no more. You’re about as perceptive as a dead man, but I see it and feel it

as you feel this

Leontes likely performs some action, such as touching an object, to demonstrate.

as you feel this
. And I also see the fingers that feel.

ANTIGONUS

185If it be so,
We need no grave to bury honesty:
There’s not a grain of it the face to sweeten
Of the whole dungy earth.

ANTIGONUS

If it is true, we don’t need a grave to bury honesty, because it means that there is not a shred of it on this earth.

LEONTES

What! lack I credit?

LEONTES

What? You don’t believe me?

FIRST LORD

190I had rather you did lack than I, my lord,
Upon this ground; and more it would content me
To have her honour true than your suspicion,
Be blamed for’t how you might.

FIRST LORD

My lord, I would rather you be wrong than me in this instance. And I’d rather it turn out that she is honorable than that you are right, regardless of how you’re blamed for it.

LEONTES

Why, what need we
195Commune with you of this, but rather follow
Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative
Calls not your counsels, but our natural goodness
Imparts this; which if you, or stupefied
Or seeming so in skill, cannot or will not
200Relish a truth like us, inform yourselves
We need no more of your advice: the matter,
The loss, the gain, the ordering on’t, is all
Properly ours.

LEONTES

Why do I have to debate this with you, instead of just following my own strong impulse? As king I’m not required to seek your advice, though I tell you this information out of natural goodness. But if you, who are either confused or pretend to be, can’t understand the truth as I do, then I don’t need any more of your advice. The entire affair is in my hands.