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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 81 pages of information about The Winter's Tale.

Leontes
Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this. 
My child?—­away with’t.—­even thou, that hast
A heart so tender o’er it, take it hence,
And see it instantly consum’d with fire;
Even thou, and none but thou.  Take it up straight: 
Within this hour bring me word ’tis done,—­
And by good testimony,—­or I’ll seize thy life,
With that thou else call’st thine.  If thou refuse,
And wilt encounter with my wrath, say so;
The bastard-brains with these my proper hands
Shall I dash out.  Go, take it to the fire;
For thou set’st on thy wife.

Antigonus
                             I did not, sir: 
These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
Can clear me in’t.

Lords
                   We can:—­my royal liege,
He is not guilty of her coming hither.

Leontes
You’re liars all.

First lord
Beseech your highness, give us better credit: 
We have always truly serv’d you; and beseech
So to esteem of us:  and on our knees we beg,—­
As recompense of our dear services,
Past and to come,—­that you do change this purpose,
Which, being so horrible, so bloody, must
Lead on to some foul issue:  we all kneel.

Leontes
I am a feather for each wind that blows:—­
Shall I live on, to see this bastard kneel
And call me father? better burn it now,
Than curse it then.  But, be it; let it live:—­
It shall not neither.—­[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?

Antigonus
                          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.

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

Antigonus
                              I will, my lord.

Leontes
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.  We enjoin thee,
As thou art liegeman to us, that thou carry
This female bastard hence; and that thou bear it
To some remote and desert place, quite out
Of our dominions; and that there thou leave it,
Without more mercy, to it own protection
And favour of the climate.  As by strange fortune
It came to us, I do in justice charge thee,
On thy soul’s peril and thy body’s torture,
That thou commend it strangely to some place
Where chance may nurse or end it.  Take it up.

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