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SCENE I. Siçilia.
An Antechamber in Leontes'
Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS. Arch. If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia, and your Sicilia.
Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of . Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves:' for, indeed,
Cam. 'Beseech you,
Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificence in so rare-I know not what to say. We will give you sleepy drinks; that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
I our entertainment, &c.] Though we cannot give you equal entertainment, yet the consciousness of qur good-will shall justify us. JOHNSON.
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear, for what's given freely.
Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attornied, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seemed to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves !
Arch. I think, there is not in the world either malice, or matter, to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius; it is a gentleman of the greatest promise, that ever came into my note.
Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: It is a gallant child; one that, indeed, physicks the subject,4 makes old hearts fresh: they,
- royally attorniei,] Nobly supplied by substitution of embassies, &c. JOHNSON. .
3 -shook hands, as orer a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds.) Shakspeare has, more than once, taken his imagery from the prints, with which the books of his time were ornamented. If my memory do not deceive me, he had his eye on a wood cut in Holinshed, while writing the incantation of the weird sisters in Macbeth. There is also an allusion to a print of one of the Henries holding a sword adorned with crowns. In this passage he refers to a device common in the title-page of old books, of two hands extended from opposite clouds, and joined as in token of friendship over a wide waste of country. HENLEY.
4 - physicks the së bject,] Affords a cordial to the state; has the power of assuaging the sense of misery. JOHNSON.
that went on crutches ere he was born, desire yet their life, to see him a man.
Arch. Would they else be content to die?
Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.
Arch. If the king had no son, they would desire, to live on crutches till he had one.
Entér LEONTES, POLIxenes, HERMIONE, MA-'.
MILLIUS, CAMILLO, and Attendants.
Leon. Stay your thanks awhile;
. Sir, that's to-morrotv.'
That may blow No sneaping winds — ] i.e. Oh! that. Sncaping, nippmg winds. * This is put forth tou truly !] i. e. to make me say, I hud tuu good reason for my fours. VOL. III.
We are tougher, brother,
No longer stay.
Very sooth, to-morrow.
in that I'll no gain-saying. Pol.
Press me not, 'beseech you, so; There is no tongue that moves, none, none i' the
Leon. Tongue-tied, our queen ? speak you.
Well said, Hermione. Her. To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong: But let him say so then, and let him go; But let him swear so, and he shall not stay, We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.Yet of your real presence [To PULIXENES.] I'll
adventure The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
7.-- this satisfaction -] We had satisfactory accounts yesterday of the state of Bohemia. JOHNSON.
You take my lord, I'll give him my commission,
I may not, verily.
oaths, Should yet say, Sir, no going. Verily, You shall not go; a lady's verily is As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet? Force me to keep you as a prisoner, Not like a guest; so you shall pay your fees, When you depart, and save your thanks. How say
My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread verily, One of them you shall be.
Your guest then, madam: To be your prisoner, should import offending; Which is for me less easy to commit, Than you to punish.
Not your gaoler then, But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were
boys; You were pretty lordlings then.
8 behind the gest-] Gest signifies a stage, or journey. In the time of royal progresses the king's stages, as we may see by the journals of them in the herald's office, were called his gests; from the old French word giste, diversorium.
9- yet, good-deed,] signifies, indeed, in very deed.
I a jar o' the clock -) A jar is, I believe, a single repetition of the noise made by the pendulum of a clock; what children call the ticking of it. STEEVENS.