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SCENE III. The same.
A Room in the Palace.
Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and other
Attendants. Leon. 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 adultress ;—for the harlot king Is 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? 1 Attend.
My lord !
[Advancing. Leon. How does the boy ? 1 Attend.
He took good rest to-night; 'Tis hop'd his sickness is discharg’d.
thought of him;-
| Blunk and level mean mark and aim, or direction. They are terms of gunnery. See note 8, p. 50, of this play. Thus also in Hamlet, Act iv. Sc. 4:
• As level as the cannon to his blank.' leave me alone.
Take it on her. Camillo and Polixenes
Enter PAULINA, with a Child. 1 Lord.
You must not enter. Paul. Nay, rather, good my lords, be second to me: Fear
you his tyrannous passion more, alas,
That's enough. 1 Atten. Madam, he hath not slept to-night; com
manded None should come at him. Paul.
Not so hot, good sir; I come to bring him sleep.
"Tis such as you,That creep
like shadows by him, and do sigh At each his needless heavings,-such as you Nourish the cause of his awaking: I Do come with words as med'cinal as true; Honest, as either; to purge him of that humour, That presses
him from sleep. Leon.
What noise there, ho ? Paul. No noise, my lord; but needful conference About some gossips for your highness. Leon.
I told her so, my lord,
What, can'st not rule her? Paul. From all dishonesty, he can : in this, (Unless he take the course that you have done,
Commit me, for committing honour) trust it,
you now, you hear !
Good my liege, I come,-
:-I say, I come From your good queen. Leon.
Good queen! Paul. Good queen, my lord, good queen:
say, good queen; And would by combat make her good, so were I A man, the worst 5 about
Force her hence. Paul. Let him, that makes but trifles of his
eyes, First hand me: on my own accord, I'll off; But, first, I'll do my errand.—The good queen, For she is good, hath brought you forth a daughter; Here 'tis; commends it to your blessing.
[Laying down the Child. Leon.
Out! A mankind 6 witch? Hence with her, out o' door: A most intelligencing bawd!
3 The old copy has professes.
4 • In comforting your evils.' To comfort, in old language, is to aid, to encourage. Evils here mean wicked courses.
5 i.e. the weakest, or least warlike.
6 • A mankind witch. In Junius's Nomenclator, by Abraham Fleming, 1585, Virago is interpreted “A manly woman, or a mankind woman.' Johnson asserts that the phrase is still used in the midland counties for a woman violent, ferocious, and mischievous,
I am as ignorant in that, as you
for honest. Leon.
Traitors! Will you not push her out? Give her the bastard :Thou dotard [TO ANTIGONUS], thou art woman
tir'd, unroosted By thy dame Partlet here :-take up the bastard; Take't up, I say; give't to thy crone 8.
Paul. Unvenerable be thy hands, if thou Takest up the princess, by that forced baseness Which he has put upon't! Leon.
He dreads his wife. Paul. So, I would, you did; then, 'twere past
all doubt, You'd call
A nest of traitors! Ant. I am none, by this good light. Paul.
Nor I; nor any, But one, that's here; and that's himself: for he The sacred honour of himself, his queen's, His hopeful son's, bis babe's, betrays to slander, Whose sting is sharper than the sword's 10; and will
7 i.e. hen-pecked. To tire in Falconry is to tear with the beak. Partlet is the name of the hen in the old story of Reynard the Fox.
8 A crone was originally a toothless old ewe; and thence became a term of contempt for an old woman.
9 Forced is false ; uttered with violence to truth. Baseness for bastardy; we still say base born.
10 • Whose sting is sharper than the sword's. So in Cymbeline :
(For, as the case now stands, it is a curse
It is yours; And, might we lay the old proverb to your charge, So like you, 'tis the worse.—Behold, my lords, Although the print be little, the whole matter And copy of the father: eye, nose, lip, The trick of his frown, his forehead; nay, the valley, The pretty dimples of his chin, and cheek; his smiles; The very mould and frame of hand, nail, finger:And, thou, good goddess nature, which hast made it So like to him that got it, if thou hast The ordering of the mind too, 'mongst all colours No yellow 12 in't; lest she suspect, as he does, Her children not her husband's! Leon.
A gross hag !- — And, lozel 13, thou art worthy to be hang'd, That wilt not stay her tongue. Ant.
Hang all the husbands That cannot do that feat, you'll leave yourself Hardly one subject. Leon.
Once more, take her hence, Paul. A most unworthy and unnatural lord Can do no more.
illat is a trull, 12 • No yellow,' the colour of jealousy.
Losian, to perish, to be lost. Lorel, losel, losliche,