• A room in LEONTES’ palace.
    Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Servants

    LEONTES

    Nor night nor day no rest: it is but weakness
    To bear the matter thus; mere weakness. If
    The cause were not in being,—part o’ the cause,
    She the adulteress; for the harlot king
    5Is quite beyond mine arm, out of the blank
    And level of my brain, plot-proof; but she
    I can hook to me: say that she were gone,
    Given to the fire, a moiety of my rest
    Might come to me again. Who’s there?

    FIRST SERVANT

    10My lord?

    LEONTES

    How does the boy?

    FIRST SERVANT

    He took good rest to-night;
    ’Tis hoped his sickness is discharged.

    LEONTES

    To see his nobleness!
    15Conceiving the dishonour of his mother,
    He straight declined, droop’d, took it deeply,
    Fasten’d and fix’d the shame on’t in himself,
    Threw off his spirit, his appetite, his sleep,
    And downright languish’d. Leave me solely: go,
    20See how he fares.
    Exit Servant
  • A room in LEONTES’S palace.
    LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, a Lord, and Servants enter.

    LEONTES

    I can’t rest night or day. It is a kind of weakness to be so affected by this issue. If only the cause of it were no longer alive—part of the cause, at least, the adulteress. The lecherous king is away from here, which puts him beyond my aim and anything I could do to him. But she, the adulteress, I can keep close. If she were burned at the stake, perhaps I would have some small bit of rest. Who’s there?

    burned at the stake

    A punishment for treason against the king.

    FIRST SERVANT

    My lord?

    LEONTES

    How is the boy doing?

    FIRST SERVANT

    He slept well tonight, and we hope that he’s gotten over his illness.

    LEONTES

    I’m amazed at his nobility! Recognizing the dishonorable behavior of his mother, he immediately began to decline, to feel the shame himself. He became sad, stopped eating, stopped sleeping, and grew weak. Leave me alone, and go see how he’s doing.
    The Servant exits.