Illustration: The Winter’s Tale


[To ANTIGONUS.] You, sir, come you hither:
You that have been so tenderly officious
With Lady Margery, your midwife, there,
To save this bastard’s life,—for ’tis a bastard,
So sure as this beard’s grey,—what will you adventure
To save this brat’s life?


Anything, my lord,
That my ability may undergo,
And nobleness impose: at least, thus much;
I’ll pawn the little blood which I have left
To save the innocent:—anything possible.


It shall be possible. Swear by this sword
Thou wilt perform my bidding.


I will, my lord.


Mark, and perform it; (seest thou?) for the fail
Of any point in’t shall not only be
Death to thyself, but to thy lewd-tongu’d wife;
Whom for this time, we pardon.


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