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Of this make no conclusion; lest you say,
Is he won yet?
Her. He'll stay, my lord.
At my request, he would not.
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.
Never, but once.
Her. What? have I twice said well? when was't
I pr'ythee, tell me: Cram us with praise, and make us As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying tongueless,
Slaughters a thousand, waiting upon that.
Our praises are our wages: You may ride us, With one soft kiss, a thousand furlongs, ere With spur we heat an acre. But to the goal;— My last good was, to entreat his stay;
What was my first? it has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you: 0, 'would, her name were Grace! But once before I spoke to the purpose: When? Nay, let me have't; I long.
Why, that was when Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,
12 At entering into any contract, or plighting of troth, this clapping of hands together set the seal. Numerous instances of allusion to the custom have been adduced by the editors, one shall suffice, from the old play of Ram Alley: 'Come clap hands a match. The custom is not yet disused in common life.
The one for ever earn'd a royal husband;
[Giving her Hand to POLIXENES. Leon. Too hot, too hot: [Aside. To mingle friendship far, is mingling bloods. I have tremor cordis on me:-my heart dances; But not for joy,-not joy.-This entertainment May a free face put on; derive a liberty From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom13, And well become the agent: it may, I grant: But to be paddling palms, and pinching fingers, As now they are: and making practis'd smiles, As in a looking-glass;—and then to sigh, as 'twere The mort o' the deer14; 0, that is entertainment My bosom likes not, nor my brows.-Mamillius, Art thou my boy?
Ay, my good lord.
Why, that's my bawcock15. What, hast smutch'd thy nose?
They say, it's a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
[Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE. Upon his palm?-How now, you wanton calf? Art thou my calf?
from bounty, fertile bosom.'
I think with Malone that
a letter has been omitted, and that we should read:
--from bounty's fertile bosom.'
14 i. e. the death of the deer. The mort was also certain notes played on the horn at the death of the deer.
is 'Bawcock.' A burlesque word of endearment supposed to be derived from beau-coq, or boy-cock. It occurs again in Twelfth Night, and in King Henry V. and in both places is coupled with chuck or chick. It is said that bra'cock is still used in Scotland.
16 Still playing with her fingers as a girl playing on the virginals. Virginals were stringed instruments played with keys like a spinnet, which they resembled in all respects but in shape, spinnets being nearly triangular, and virginals of an oblong square shape like a small piano-forte. Spineto and espinette are rendered in the Dictionaries by a paire of virginalles; this was the common term, as the organ was sometimes called a pair of orgaus.
Yes, if you will, my lord.
Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have1,
To be full18 like me: yet, they say, we are
That will say any thing: But were they false
Affection! thy intention stabs the centre22:
Thou dost make possible, things not so held; Communicat'st with dreams:-(How can this be?)— With what's unreal thou coactive art,
And fellow'st nothing: Then, 'tis very credent23, Thou may'st cojoin with something; and thou dost (And that beyond commission, and I find it); And that to the infection of my brains,
And hardening of my brows.
What means Sicilia?
Her. He something seems unsettled. Pol. How, my lord? What cheer? how is't with you, best brother?
17 Thou wantest a rough head, and the budding horns that I have. A pash in some places denoting a young bull-calf whose horns are springing; a mad pash, a mad brained boy.
18 i. e. entirely.
19 i. e. old faded stuffs of other colours dyed black.
20 Welkin is blue, i. e. the colour of the welkin or sky. Tooke says, a rolling eye, from the Saxon wealcan, volvere; but the sense in which Shakspeare always uses the word is against him.
21 In King Henry Vl. Part 1. we have
"God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh.'
It is given as a proverbial phrase in Heywood's Epigrams, 1566. 'For I have heard saie it is a deere collup That is cut out of th' owne flesh.'
22 Affection here means imagination. Intention is earnest consideration, eager attention. It is this vehemence of mind which affects Leontes, by making him conjure up unreal causes of disquiet; and thus, in the poet's language, 'stabs him to the centre." 23 Credent, credible.
As if you held a brow of much distraction:
Are you mov'd, my lord?
Leon. No, in good earnest.How sometimes nature will betray its folly, Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime To harder bosoms! Looking on the lines Of my boy's face, methought I did recoil Twenty-three years; and saw myself unbreech'd, In my green velvet coat; my dagger muzzled, Lest it should bite its master, and so prove, As ornaments oft do, too dangerous.
How like, methought, I then was to this kernel, This squash24, this gentleman:-Mine honest friend, Will you take eggs for money25 ?
Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight.
Leon. You will? why, happy man be his dole26 !—
Are you so fond of your young prince, as we
24 i. e. an immature pea-pod. In Twelfth Night we have:'As a squash before it is a peascod,' &c.
25 Will you take eggs for money? A proverbial phrase for 'will you suffer yourself to be cajoled or imposed upon ?`
26 i. e. may happiness be his portion! See Merry Wives of Windsor and Taming of the Shrew. So in Ray's Proverbs, p. 136, ed. 1737, 'happy man, happy dole, or happy man by his dole.'
Next to thyself, and my young rover, he's
Be you beneath the sky:-I am angling now,
Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE. How she holds up the neb28, the bill to him! And arms her with the boldness of a wife To her allowing29 husband! Gone already! Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a fork'd
[Exeunt PoL. HER. and Attendants. Go, play, boy, play;-thy mother plays, and I Play too; but so disgrac'd a part, whose issue Will hiss me to my grave; contempt and clamour Will be my knell.-Go, play, boy, play.-There have been,
Or I am much deceiv'd, cuckolds ere now;
Where 'tis predominant: and 'tis powerful, think it,
It will let in and out the enemy,