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I' fecks? a Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd thy nose?

They say, it is a copy out of mine. Come,
We must be neat ;-not neat, but cleanly, captain:
And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf,
Are all call'd neat.-Still virginalling

[Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE. Upon his palm? (1)-How now, you wanton calf? Art thou my calf? MAM. Yes, if you will, my lord. LEON. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have,


a I' fecks?] A popular corruption of "in faith," it is supposed. ba rough pash,-] That is, a tufted head or brow.

c As o'er-dyed blacks,-] Absurdly changed by Mr. Collier's annotator to, "our dead blacks." "Blacks" was the common term for mourning habiliments formerly; and by "o'er-dyed blacks" were meant such garments as had become rotten and faded by frequent immersion in the dve. If any change in the

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Can thy dam?-may't be

Affection thy intention stabs the centre?
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 't is very credent, Thou mayst co-join with something; &c.] "Affection" here means imagination; "intention" signifies intencion or intensity; and the allusion, though the commentators have all missed it, is plainly to that mysterious principle of nature by which a parent's features are transmitted to the offspring. Pursuing the train of thought induced by the acknowledged likeness between the boy and himself, Leontes asks, "Can it be possible a mother's vehement imagination should penetrate even to the womb, and there imprint upon the embryo what stamp she chooses? Such apprehensive fantasy, then," he goes on to say, "we may believe will readily co-join with something tangible, and it does," &c. &c.

b And that beyond commission:] "Commission" here, as in a former passage of the scene, "I'll give him my commission," means warrant, permission, authority.

HER. You look as if you held a brow of much distraction:

Are you mov'd, my lord? (2)

LEON. No, in good earnest.[Aside.] How sometimes nature will betray its


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,

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Ho, my lord!
What cheer? how is 't with you?' &c.-

for Leontes is standing apart from Polixenes and Hermione; and 'how,' as I have already noticed, was frequently the old spelling of 'ho."")-DYCE.

d-methought I did recoil-] Mr Collier, upon the strength of a MS. annotation in Lord Ellesmere's copy of the first folio, prints "my thoughts I did recoil;" but "methoughts" of the original was often used for "methought." So, in the folio text of "Richard III." Act I. Sc. 4,

"Me thoughts that I had broken from the tower," &c. And in the same scene,

"Me thoughts I saw a thousand fearfull wrackes," &c

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 squash, this gentleman:-Mine honest

Will you take eggs for money ? b
MAM. No, my lord, I'll fight.

LEON. You will? why, happy man be 's
dole! My brother,

Are you so fond of your young prince, as we
Do seem to be of ours?

If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter:
Now my sworn friend, and then mine enemy;
My parasite, mine soldier, statesman, all :
He makes a July's day short as December;
And with his varying childness cures in me
Thoughts that would thick my blood.
So stands this squire
Offic'd with me. We two will walk, my lord,
And leave you to your graver steps.-Hermione,
How thou lov'st us, show in our brother's welcome;
Let what is dear in Sicily be cheap :
Next to thyself and my young rover, he's
Apparent to my heart.c



If you would seek us,

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a This squash,-] A "squash" is an immature pea-pod. The word occurs again in "Twelfth Night," Act I. Sc. 5,

"As a squash before it is a peascod,"

and in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Act III. Sc. 1.

b Will you take eggs for money?] This was a proverbial phrase, implying, Will you suffer yourself to be cajoled?

Apparent to my heart.] Nearest to my affections.

d To her allowing husband!] That is, probably, her allowed, her lawful husband.

ea fork'd one.] A horned one. So, in "Othello," Act III. Sc. 3,

"Even then this forked plague is fated to us
When we do quicken."

Or I am much deceiv'd, cuckolds ere now; And many a man there is, even at this present, (Now, while I speak this) holds his wife by th'


That little thinks she has been sluic'd in's absence,
And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour, by
Sir Smile, his neighbour : nay, there's comfort in 't
Whiles other men have gates, and those gates

As mine, against their will. Should all despair
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic for 't there's none;
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
Where 't is predominant; and 't is powerful,
think it,

From east, west, north, and south: be it concluded,
No barricado for a belly; know't,

It will let in and out the enemy,

With bag and baggage: many a thousand on's
Have the disease, and feel't not.-How

MAM. I am like you, they say.



Why, that's some comfort.—

What, Camillo there?

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LEON. Didst perceive it ?— [Aside.] They're here with me already; whisp'ring, rounding,

Sicilia is a-so-forth: 'Tis far gone,

When I shall gust it last.-How came't, Camillo,
That he did stay?

At the good queen's entreaty.
LEON. At the queen's be't: good should be

But so it is, it is not.h Was this taken
By any understanding pate but thine?
For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in
More than the common blocks :-not noted, is't,
But of the finer natures? by some severals

f I am like you, they say.] So the second folio; the first reads, "I am like you say."

g They're here with me already; whisp'ring, &c.] That is, say the modern editors, "Not Polixenes and Hermione, but casual observers" or "They are aware of my condition"! Strange forgetfulness of a common form of speech. By "They're here with me already," the King means,-the people are already mocking me with this opprobrious gesture (the cuckold's emblem with their fingers), and whispering, &c. So in "Coriolanus," Act III. Sc. 2,

"Go to them, with this bonnet in thy hand;

And thus far having stretch'd it, (here be with them). See also note (a), p. 161 of the present Volume.

h But so it is, it is not.] But as you apply the word, it is not pertinent.

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thou art not honest: or, If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward, Which hoxes honesty behind, restraining From course requir'd; or else thou must be counted A servant grafted in my serious trust, And therein negligent; or else a fool, That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake And tak'st it all for jest.



My gracious lord, I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful; In every one of these no man is free, But that his negligence, his folly, fear, Among the infinite doings of the world, Sometimes puts forth. In your affairs, my lord, If ever I were wilful-negligent,

It was my folly; if industriously

I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 't was a fear
Which oft infects the wisest: these, my lord,
Are such allow'd infirmities, that honesty
Is never free of. But, beseech your grace,
Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
By its own visage: if I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.


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a lower messes-] Meaning inferior persons; such as sat at meals below the salt.

To bide upon 't-] This expression appears to mean, as Mr. Dyce has shown by examples,-My abiding opinion is. choxes-] To hox or hough is to hamstring. d-its-] The comparatively frequent use of the impersonal "its," (though, for the most part, with the apostrophe, it's,) in this piece, while it is found but rarely in any of the other plays; in many, not at all; may be taken as an indication that "The

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Is whispering nothing? Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses? Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career Of laughter with a sigh? (a note infallible Of breaking honesty) horsing foot on foot? Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift? Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes Blind with the pin and web,' but theirs, theirs only, That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing? Why, then the world, and all that's in 't, is nothing; The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing; My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,

If this be nothing.


Good my lord, be cur'd

Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes; For 't is most dangerous.


CAM. No, no, my lord.


Say it be; 'tis true.

It is; you lie, you lie !

I say thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee;
Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave;
Or else a hovering temporizer, that
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
Inclining to them both. Were my wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass.


Who does infect her?

LEON. Why, he that wears her like her medal,


About his neck, Bohemia: who-if I
Had servants true about me, that bare eyes
To see alike mine honour as their profits,
Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
Which should undo more doing: ay, and thou,

(*) Old text, Holy-Horse. Winter's Tale" was one of the poet's latest productions. See note (3), p. 330, Vol. I. that does not think it-] The lection of the second folio, at least in some copies of that edition; the first has, "that do's not thinke," &c.

f-the pin and web,-] Has before been explained to mean the disorder of the sight called a cataract.

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LEON. Make that thy question, and go rot! Dost think I am so muddy, so unsettled, To appoint myself in this vexation? sully The purity and whiteness of my sheets,Which to preserve is sleep; which being spotted, Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wasps? Give scandal to the blood o' the prince my son,— Who I do think is mine, and love as mine,Without ripe moving to 't?-Would I do this? Could man so blench?

CAM. I must believe sir you, ; I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for't; Provided that, when he's remov'd, your highness Will take again your queen as yours at first, Even for your son's sake; and thereby for sealing The injury of tongues, in courts and kingdoms Known and allied to yours.

Thou dost advise me,
Even so as I mine own course have set down:

I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.
CAM. My lord,

Go then; and with a countenance as clear

As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia,
And with your queen. I am his cupbearer;

If from me he have wholesome beverage,
Account me not your servant.

This is all;

Do't, and thou hast the one half of my heart;
Do't not, thou splitt'st thine own.
I'll do't, my lord.
LEON. I will seem friendly, as thou hast ad-
vis'd me.(3)

CAM. O miserable lady!-But, for me,
What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner
Of good Polixenes; and my ground to do't
Is the obedience to a master; one,
Who, in rebellion with himself, will have

a Sir, my lord,-] With his usual ignorance of Shakespearian phraseology, Mr. Collier's ever-meddling annotator, both here and in Act III. Sc. 1, where Perdita says-"Sir, my gracious lord," &c., for Sir," reads "Sure." And Mr. Collier, mindless of Paulina's "Sir, my liege, your eye hath too much youth," &c. in Act. V. Sc. 1, of this very play; of Prospero's.-"Sir, my liege, do not infest your mind," &c.; of Hamlet's,-"Sir, my good friend," &c., chooses to adopt the substitution, and tells us, "Sure" is "evidently the true text"!

All that are his so too.-To do this deed,
Promotion follows: if I could find example
Of thousands that had struck anointed kings
And flourish'd after, I'd not do't; but since
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,
Let villainy itself forswear't. I must
Forsake the court: to do't, or no, is certain
To me a break-neck. Happy star reign now!
Here comes Bohemia.



This is strange! methinks My favour here begins to warp. Not speak ?— Good day, Camillo. Сам.

Hail, most royal sir! POL. What is the news i' the court? CAM.

None rare, my lord. POL. The king hath on him such a countenance As he had lost some province, and a region Lov'd as he loves himself: even now I met him With customary compliment; when he, Wafting his eyes to the contrary, and falling A lip of much contempt, speeds from me; and So leaves me to consider what is breeding That changes thus his manners.

CAM. I dare not know, my lord.

POL. How dare not do not? Do you know, and dare not

Be intelligent to me? 'Tis thereabouts;
For to yourself, what you do know, you must
And cannot say you dare not. Good Camillo,
Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror,
Which shows me mine chang'd too; for I must be
A party in this alteration, finding
Myself thus alter'd with it.

There is a sickness
Which puts some of us in distemper, but

I cannot name the disease, and it is caught
Of you that yet are well.


How! caught of me? Make me not sighted like the basilisk:

I have look'd on thousands who have sped the better

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