• A room in LEONTES’ palace.
    Enter HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies

    HERMIONE

    Take the boy to you: he so troubles me,
    ‘Tis past enduring.

    FIRST LADY

    Come, my gracious lord,
    Shall I be your playfellow?

    MAMILLIUS

    5No, I’ll none of you.

    FIRST LADY

    Why, my sweet lord?

    MAMILLIUS

    You’ll kiss me hard and speak to me as if
    I were a baby still. I love you better.

    SECOND LADY

    And why so, my lord?

    MAMILLIUS

    10Not for because
    Your brows are blacker; yet black brows, they say,
    Become some women best, so that there be not
    Too much hair there, but in a semicircle
    Or a half-moon made with a pen.

    SECOND LADY

    15Who taught you this?

    MAMILLIUS

    I learnt it out of women’s faces. Pray now
    What colour are your eyebrows?

    FIRST LADY

    Blue, my lord.

    MAMILLIUS

    Nay, that’s a mock: I have seen a lady’s nose
    20That has been blue, but not her eyebrows.

    FIRST LADY

    Hark ye;
    The queen your mother rounds apace: we shall
    Present our services to a fine new prince
    One of these days; and then you’ld wanton with us,
    25If we would have you.
  • A room in LEONTES’s palace.
    HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, and Ladies enter.

    HERMIONE

    Take the boy. He is such a pest I can’t take it anymore.

    FIRST LADY

    Come with me, my gracious lord. Shall I play with you?

    MAMILLIUS

    No, I don’t want anything to do with you.

    FIRST LADY

    Why, my sweet lord?

    MAMILLIUS

    You’ll kiss me too hard and talk baby talk to me. (to Second Lady) I love you better.

    SECOND LADY

    Why is that, my lord?

    MAMILLIUS

    Not because your eyebrows are blacker, though they say that black eyebrows suit some women best, as long as there isn’t too much hair and they are shaped like a semicircle, or drawn like a half-moon.

    SECOND LADY

    Who taught you that?

    MAMILLIUS

    I learned it from looking at women’s faces. Tell me, what color are your eyebrows?

    FIRST LADY

    Blue, my lord.

    MAMILLIUS

    No, you’re joking. I’ve seen a lady’s nose that was blue, but not her eyebrows.

    FIRST LADY

    Listen: your mother the queen is getting rounder by the day. We’ll be serving a fine new prince one day soon, and then you’ll want to play with us, if we’ll let you.