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Leontes

(3 syl.), King of Sicilia, invited his friend Polixenes, King of Bohemia, to pay him a visit, and being seized with jealousy, ordered Camillo to poison him. Camillo told Polixenes of the king's jealousy, and fled with him to Bohemia. The flight of Polixenes increased the anger of Leontes against Hermione, his virtuous queen, whom he sent to prison, where she was confined of a daughter (Perdita), and it was reported that she had died in giving birth to the child. Perdita, by order of the jealous king, was put away that she might be no more heard of as his; but, being abandoned in Bohemia, she was discovered by a shepherd, who brought her up as his own child. In time, Florizel, the son and heir of Polixenes, under the assumed name of Doricles, fell in love with Perdita; but Polixenes, hearing of this attachment, sternly forbade the match. The two lovers, under the charge of Camillo, fled to Sicily, where the mystery was cleared up, Leontes and Hermione reunited, and all “went merry as a marriage bell.” (Shakespeare: Winter's Tale.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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