Document:  All > Shakespeare > Comedies > The Winter's Tale > Act IV, scene II


POLIXENES: I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more importunate:
	'tis a sickness denying thee any thing; a death to
	grant this.

CAMILLO: It is fifteen years since I saw my country: though
	I have for the most part been aired abroad, I
	desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent
	king, my master, hath sent for me; to whose feeling
	sorrows I might be some allay, or I o'erween to
	think so, which is another spur to my departure.

POLIXENES: As thou lovest me, Camillo, wipe not out the rest of
	thy services by leaving me now: the need I have of
	thee thine own goodness hath made; better not to
	have had thee than thus to want thee: thou, having
	made me businesses which none without thee can
	sufficiently manage, must either stay to execute
	them thyself or take away with thee the very
	services thou hast done; which if I have not enough
	considered, as too much I cannot, to be more
	thankful to thee shall be my study, and my profit
	therein the heaping friendships. Of that fatal
	country, Sicilia, prithee speak no more; whose very
	naming punishes me with the remembrance of that
	penitent, as thou callest him, and reconciled king,
	my brother; whose loss of his most precious queen
	and children are even now to be afresh lamented.
	Say to me, when sawest thou the Prince Florizel, my
	son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue not
	being gracious, than they are in losing them when
	they have approved their virtues.

CAMILLO: Sir, it is three days since I saw the prince. What
	his happier affairs may be, are to me unknown: but I
	have missingly noted, he is of late much retired
	from court and is less frequent to his princely
	exercises than formerly he hath appeared.

POLIXENES: I have considered so much, Camillo, and with some
	care; so far that I have eyes under my service which
	look upon his removedness; from whom I have this
	intelligence, that he is seldom from the house of a
	most homely shepherd; a man, they say, that from
	very nothing, and beyond the imagination of his
	neighbours, is grown into an unspeakable estate.

CAMILLO: I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a
	daughter of most rare note: the report of her is
	extended more than can be thought to begin from such a cottage.

POLIXENES: That's likewise part of my intelligence; but, I
	fear, the angle that plucks our son thither. Thou
	shalt accompany us to the place; where we will, not
	appearing what we are, have some question with the
	shepherd; from whose simplicity I think it not
	uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither.
	Prithee, be my present partner in this business, and
	lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.

CAMILLO: I willingly obey your command.

POLIXENES: My best Camillo! We must disguise ourselves.



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