Search Menu

Original Text

Modern Text


POLIXENES
Very sooth, to-morrow.
POLIXENES
Really, tomorrow.


LEONTES
We’ll part the time between’s then; and in that
I’ll no gainsaying.
LEONTES
We’ll split the difference, and I won’t hear any objections.

25




30


POLIXENES
Press me not, beseech you, so.
There is no tongue that moves, none, none i’ the world,
So soon as yours could win me: so it should now,
Were there necessity in your request, although
’Twere needful I denied it. My affairs
Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder
Were in your love a whip to me; my stay
To you a charge and trouble: to save both,
Farewell, our brother.
POLIXENES
Please, don’t plead with me. There is no one who can persuade me like you can, and you could persuade me to stay now if you really needed me to, even if it were necessary that I deny your request. My business does drag me home, so your attempts to keep me here, though done out of love, are painful to me. My staying only costs you and causes you trouble, so for both our sakes, I must go.


35
LEONTES
Tongue-tied, our queen?
speak you.
LEONTES
My queen, are you mute? Speak.





40
HERMIONE
I had thought, sir, to have held my peace until
You have drawn oaths from him not to stay. You, sir,
Charge him too coldly. Tell him, you are sure
All in Bohemia’s well; this satisfaction
The by-gone day proclaim’d: say this to him,
He’s beat from his best ward.
HERMIONE
I intended to keep quiet until you’d made him promise to stay. You argue too mildly. Tell him you are sure that things in Bohemia are fine—in fact, just the other day it was proclaimed so. Tell him this, and his best argument for leaving is gone.

LEONTES
Well said, Hermione.
LEONTES
Well said, Hermione.



45




50


HERMIONE
To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong:
But let him say so then, and let him go;
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
We’ll thwack him hence with distaffs.
Yet of your royal presence I’ll adventure
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I’ll give him my commission
To let him there a month behind the gest
Prefix’d for’s parting: yet, good deed, Leontes,
I love thee not a jar o’ the clock behind
What lady-she her lord. You’ll stay?
HERMIONE
If he says that he wants to see his son, that’s a strong argument. But let him say it first, then let him go. If he swears to that, he won’t stay. We’ll chase him off by whacking him with wooden staffs. But I’m guessing he will remain in your presence another week. (to Polixenes) When you receive my lord in Bohemia, I’ll give him permission to stay a month past his fixed departure day. (to Leontes) Yet, Leontes, I don’t love you a jot less than any other woman loves her lord. Polixenes, you’ll stay?