The Winter's Tale By William Shakespeare Act IV: Scene 4

I am, — and by my fancy; if my reason
Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
If not, my senses, better pleas'd with madness,
Do bid it welcome.

This is desperate, sir.

So call it: but it does fulfil my vow:
I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,
Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may
Be thereat glean'd; for all the sun sees or
The close earth wombs, or the profound seas hide
In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath
To this my fair belov'd: therefore, I pray you,
As you have ever been my father's honour'd friend
When he shall miss me, — as, in faith, I mean not
To see him any more, — cast your good counsels
Upon his passion: let myself and fortune
Tug for the time to come. This you may know,
And so deliver, — I am put to sea
With her, whom here I cannot hold on shore;
And, most opportune to her need, I have
A vessel rides fast by, but not prepar'd
For this design. What course I mean to hold
Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor
Concern me the reporting.

O, my lord,
I would your spirit were easier for advice,
Or stronger for your need.

Hark, Perdita. — [Takes her aside.]
[To CAMILLO.]I'll hear you by and by.

He's irremovable,
Resolv'd for flight. Now were I happy if
His going I could frame to serve my turn;
Save him from danger, do him love and honour;
Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia
And that unhappy king, my master, whom
I so much thirst to see.

Now, good Camillo,
I am so fraught with curious business that
I leave out ceremony.

Sir, I think
You have heard of my poor services, i' the love
That I have borne your father?

Very nobly
Have you deserv'd: it is my father's music
To speak your deeds; not little of his care
To have them recompens'd as thought on.

Well, my lord,
If you may please to think I love the king,
And, through him, what's nearest to him, which is
Your gracious self, embrace but my direction, —
If your more ponderous and settled project
May suffer alteration, — on mine honour,
I'll point you where you shall have such receiving
As shall become your highness; where you may
Enjoy your mistress, — from the whom, I see,
There's no disjunction to be made, but by,
As heavens forfend! your ruin, — marry her;
And, — with my best endeavours in your absence —
Your discontenting father strive to qualify,
And bring him up to liking.

How, Camillo,
May this, almost a miracle, be done?
That I may call thee something more than man,
And, after that, trust to thee.

Have you thought on
A place whereto you'll go?

Not any yet;
But as the unthought-on accident is guilty
To what we wildly do; so we profess
Ourselves to be the slaves of chance, and flies
Of every wind that blows.

Then list to me:
This follows, — if you will not change your purpose,
But undergo this flight, — make for Sicilia;
And there present yourself and your fair princess, —
For so, I see, she must be, — 'fore Leontes:
She shall be habited as it becomes
The partner of your bed. Methinks I see
Leontes opening his free arms, and weeping
His welcomes forth; asks thee, the son, forgiveness,
As 'twere i' the father's person; kisses the hands
Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him
'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness, — the one
He chides to hell, and bids the other grow
Faster than thought or time.

Worthy Camillo,
What colour for my visitation shall I
Hold up before him?

Sent by the king your father
To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,
The manner of your bearing towards him, with
What you as from your father, shall deliver,
Things known betwixt us three, I'll write you down;
The which shall point you forth at every sitting,
What you must say; that he shall not perceive
But that you have your father's bosom there,
And speak his very heart.

I am bound to you:
There is some sap in this.

A course more promising
Than a wild dedication of yourselves
To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain
To miseries enough: no hope to help you;
But as you shake off one to take another:
Nothing so certain as your anchors; who
Do their best office if they can but stay you
Where you'll be loath to be: besides, you know
Prosperity's the very bond of love,
Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together
Affliction alters.

One of these is true:
I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
But not take in the mind.

Yea, say you so?
There shall not at your father's house, these seven years
Be born another such.

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After Camillo reveals Leontes' plan to kill Polixenes, Camillo is sentenced to die for treason.