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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 a him there a month, behind the gestb
Prefix'd for 's parting: yet, good deed, Leontes,
I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind
What lady-shec 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's
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

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;

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• To let-] To stay.

- behind the gest-] A" gestwas the name of the scroll containing the route and resting-places of royalty during a progress ;” and Hermione's meaning may be, when he visits Bohemia he shall have my licence to prolong his sojourn a month

beyond the time prescribed for his departure. But gest, or jest, also signified a show or revelry, and it is not impossible that the sense intended was,-he shall have my permission to remain a month after the farewell entertainment.

What lady-she her lord.-) Mr. Collier's annotator suggests, prosaically enough, “ What lady should her lord.” The difficulty in the expression arises, we apprehend, solely from the omission of the hyphen in “ lady-she;" that restored, the sense is unmistakeable, I love thee not a tick of the clock behind whatever high-born woman does her husband. So in Massinger's play of “ The Bondman," Act I. Sc. 3,

“I'll kiss him for the honour of my country,
With any she in Corinth."

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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 then ?
POL.

We were,

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 i' the sun,
And bleat the one at th’ other : what we chang'd
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd
That any did. Had we pursu'd that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher reard
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaven
Boldly, Not guilty; the imposition cleard,
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!
Of this make no conclusion, lest you say
Your queen and I are devils: yet, go on;
The offences we have made 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 dear'st, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.
HER.

Never ?
LEON.

Never, but once.
HER. What! have I twice said well? when was 't before ?
I prythee, 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

the imposition clear'a,

Hereditary ours.] That is, were the penalty remitted which we inherit from the transgression of our first parents.

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With one soft kiss a thousand furlongs, ere
With spur we heat an acre. But to the goal ;-
My last good deed 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.
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 thyself my love; then didst thou utter,
I am yours for ever.
HER.

'Tis 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.

[Aside.] Too hot, too hot!
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,
And well become the agent: 't 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 't were
The mort o' the deer ;C 0, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows!—Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?
MAM.

Ay, my good lord.
LEON.

I fecks ? d
Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd thy nose?-
They say, it is 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 call'd neat.-Still virginalling

[Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE.
Upon his palm? (1)-How now, you wanton calf?
Art thou my calf?
МАМ.

Yes, if you will, my lord.

b

1

With spur ve heat an acre. But to the goal; - ] Mr. Collier's annotator substitutes,

“With spur we clear an acre. But to the good." b – bounty, fertile bosom,–] Hanmer and Mr. Collier's annotator read,

ounty's fertile bosom," &c.

The mort o' the deer;] The mort or mote of the deer was a particular strain blown by the huntsmen when the deer was killed. There is perhaps, also, a latent play on the word " deer,” akin to that in the ensuing speech on.

d I' fecks? ] A popular corruption of " in faith,” it is supposed.

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Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash,a and the shoots that I have,
To be full like me:-yet, they say we are
Almost as like as eggs; women say so,
That will say anything: but were they false
As o'er-dyed blacks, as wind, as waters ;-false
As dice are to be wish'd by one that fixes
No bourn 'twixt his and mine; yet were it true
To say this boy were like me.—Come, sir page,
Look on me with your welkin eye:c sweet villain!
Most dear'st! my collop ?-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;d and thou dost,
And that beyond commission ;e and I find it, —
And that to the infection of my brains,
And hardening of my brows.
Pol.

What means Sicilia ?
HER. He something seems unsettled.
POL.

How, my lord !
What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother?f

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a rough pash,-) That is, a tufted head or brow. b As o'er-dyed blacks,-] rdly 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 dye. If any change in the text be admissible, we should read, “ oft dyed blacks.” Thus, in Webster's * Dutchess of Malfi,” Act V. Sc. 2,—

"I do not think but sorrow makes her look

Like to an oft dy'd garment :
– welkin eye:] That is, sky-coloured eye.

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 cojoin with something tangible, and it does,” &c. &c.

And that beyond commission ;) “Commission” here, as in a former passage of the scene, “I'll give him my commission,” means warrant, permission, authority. POL.

How, my lord ! What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother? ] " In the folio, the words • What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother?' have the prefix · Leo.;' Hanmer assigned them to Polixenes. Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight restore them—very injudiciously, I think-to Leontes. (I suspect that the true reading here is,

"Pol.

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

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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 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 squash," this gentleman :-Mine honest friend,
Will you take eggs for money?

Mám. 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 ?
POL.

If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter:
Now my sworn friend, and then mine enemy;
My parasite, my 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.
LEON.

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.
HER.

If you would seek us,
We are yours i’ the garden : shall 's attend you there?

LEON. To your own bents dispose you: you'll be found,

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

4- 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 seme scene,

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

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

d Apparent to my heart.] Nearest to my affections.

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