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Pol.

Press me not, 'beseech you, so; There is no tongue that moves, none, none i’the world, So soon as yours, could win me: so it should now, Were there necessity in your request, although "Twere needful I denied it. My affairs Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder Were, in your love, a whip to me; my stay, To you a charge and trouble: to save both, Farewell, our brother.

Leon. Tongue-tied, our queen? speak you. Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my peace,

until You had drawn oaths from him, not to stay. You, sir, Charge him too coldly: Tell him, you are sure, All in Bohemia's well: this satisfaction The by-gone day proclaim’d; say this to him, He's beat from his best ward. Leon.

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 royal presence To PoliXENES] I'll

adventure The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia You take my lord, I'll give him my commission, To let him there a month, behind the gest? Prefix'd for his parting: yet, good deed 8, Leontes,

7 To let had for its synonymes to stay or stop; to let him there is to stay him there. Gests were scrolls in which were marked the stages or places of rest in a progress or journey, especially a royal one. Strype says that Cranmer entreated Cecil * To let him have the new resolved upon gests, from that time to the end, that he might from time to time know where the king was. It is supposed to be derived from the old French word giste.

8 i.e. indeed, in very deed, in troth. Good deed is used in the same sense by the Earl of Surrey, Sir John Hayward, and Gascoigne.

I love thee not a jar o'the clock behind
What lady she her lord.—You'll stay?
Pol.

No, madam.
Her. Nay, but you will ?
Pol.

I may not, verily. Her. Verily! You put me off with limber vows: But I, Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with

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 you? My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread verily, One of them

you

shall be. Pol.

Your guest then, madam": To be your prisoner, should import offending; Which is for me less easy to commit, Than you to punish. Her.

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 lordings 9 then. Pol.

fair queen, Two lads that thought there was no more behind, But such a day to-morrow as to-day, And to be boy eternal.

Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o’the two? Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk

We were,

i the sun,

And bleat the one at the other : what we chang’d, Was innocence for innocence; we knew not

9 Lordings, a diminutive of lords, often used by Chaucer,

The doctrine of ill doing, nor dream'd
That any did : Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear's
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly, Not Guilty; the imposition clear'd 10,
Hereditary ours.
Her.

By this we gather,
You have tripp'd since.
Pol.

O my most sacred lady,
Temptations have since then been born to us : for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl;
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.
Her.

Grace to boot 11!
Of this make no conclusion; lest you say,
Your
queen

and I are devils: Yet, go on;
The offences we have de you do, we'll answer;
If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd not
With

any

but with us. Leon.

Is he won yet ? Her. He'll stay, my lord.

. Leon.

At my request, he would not. Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st To better

purpose. Her.

Never ? Leon.

Never, but once. Hor. What? have I twice said well ? when wąs't

before?

10 i.e. setting aside original sin, bating the imposition from the offence of our first parents, we might have boldly protested our innocence.

11 “Grace to boot.' An exclamation equivalent to give us grace. In King Richard III. we have :

· Saint George to boot.' The phrase has been well explained by the author of the Diversions of Purley.

us

You may

What was my

I pr’ythee, tell me: Cram us with praise, and make As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying tongue

less, Slaughters a thousand, waiting upon that. Our praises are our wages :

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;

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. Leon.

Why, that was when Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death, Ere I could make thee open thy white hand, And clap 19 thyself my love; then didst thou utter, I am yours for ever. Her.

It is grace, indeed. Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice: The one for ever earn'd a royal husband; The other, for some while a friend.

[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 bosom

13

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.

from bounty, fertile bosom. I think with Malone that a letter has been omitted, and that we should read :

from bounty's fertile bosom.'

13

6

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 deer 14; 0, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my

brows.—Mamillius, Art thou my boy? Mam.

Ay, my good lord. Leon.

I'fecks? Why, that's my bawcock 15. What, hast smutch'd

thy nose?They say, it's a copy out of mine. Come, captain, We must be neat; not neat, but cleanly, captain : And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf, Are all callid, neat.--Still virginalling 16

[Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE. Upon his palm ?—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 17,

14 i.e. the death of the deer. The mort was also certain notes played on the horn at the death of the deer.

15 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 organs.

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.

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