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Thou dost make possible things not so held,
What means Sicilia?
How, my lord ! Leon. What cheer? how is't with you, best brother'? Her.
You look, As if you held a brow of much distraction : Are you
lord ? Leon.
No, in good earnest.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, my thoughts I did recoil Twenty-three years', and saw myself unbreech’d, affection ?” i. e. is it possible she feels love for him ? and then he goes on to observe that her intention stabs him to the centre, and makes possible things considered impossible. Shakespeare, over and over again, uses “affection " for love, and “intention” here is to be taken rather as intentness, vehemence, or ardour of mind. In the old copies the punctuation is such as we have adopted, and although, as we have said before, that can and ought to be no rule, in cases of difficulty it may be some guide.
3 —— Then, 'tis very CREDENT,] In“ Measure for Measure,” Vol. ii. p. 85, we have “credent,” as here, used for credible.
4 What cheer ? how is’t with you, best brother ?] There is no reason whatever for taking this passage from Leontes, and adding it to the preceding exclamation of Polixenes, “ How, my lord !” The old copies are uniform in the present distribution of the dialogue. Leontes is endeavouring to recover himself, and breaks from a fit of abstraction with the line, “What cheer ! how is't with you, best brother ?” What Hermione subsequently says confirms this restoration.
Looking on the lines
Twenty-three years,] In the old copies it stands, “me thoughts I did recoil,” and so it has been since usually printed. A MS. correction in Lord F. Egerton's copy shows that me has been inserted for my. “Methought” occurs just afterwards, and it is there printed without the letter s at the end, and in parenthesis. Such would have been the case with “ me thoughts,” if
In my green velvet coat; my dagger muzzled,
Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight.
If at home, sir,
So stands this squire Offic'd with me.
We two will walk, my lord,
would seek us, We are yours i' the garden': shall's attend you there?
methought had been intended. What Leontes says is, that " looking in the lines of his boy's face, he recoiled his thoughts twenty-three years.”
6 This squash,) i. e. This immature peascod. See Vol. ii. p. 425, note 3.
7 Will you take eggs for money !] This phrase was proverbial for putting up with an affront, and so it was understood by Mamillius.
8 - why, happy man be his voLE !] i.e. May happiness be his portion : “ dole” is another word for share, or what is dealt to a man. The expression, “happy man be his dole,” is of frequent occurrence in old writers, and we have had it before on p. 123 of this vol.: see note 6.
If you would seek us, We are yours i’ the garden :) In Greene's novel of “ Pandosto," we read, “ When Pandosto was busied with such urgent affaires that hee could not bee present with his friend Egistus, Bellaria would walke with him into the garden,
Leon. To your own bents dispose you: you'll be
found, Be you beneath the sky.—[Aside.] I am angling now, Though you perceive me not how I give line. Go to, go to ! How she holds up the neb, the bill to him ; And arms her with the boldness of a wife To her allowing husband. Gone already!
[Exeunt POLIXENES, HERMIONE, and Attendants. Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a fork'd
one ! Go play, boy, play ;—thy mother plays, and I Play too, but so disgrac'd a part, whose issue Will hiss me to my grave : contempt and clamour Will be my knell.—Go play, boy, play.—There have
been, 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' arm, That little thinks she has been sluic'd in's absence, And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour, by Sir Smile, bis neighbour. Nay, there's comfort in't, Whiles other men have gates, and those gates open'd, As mine, against their will. Should all despair That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind Would hang themselves. Physic for’t there is none: It is a bawdy planet, that will strike Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it, From east, west, north, and south : be it concluded, No barricado for a belly: know it; It will let in and out the enemy, With bag and baggage. Many a thousand on’s'
where they two in privat and pleasant devises would passe away the time to both their contents.” Shakespeare's Library, Part i. p. 7.
1 Many a thousand on’s.] Malone prints it “ of us ;” but if he chose to alter on to of, he ought, for the sake of the verse, to have read of's : “on's” is an abbreviation for the sake of the verse, and the language of the time: fidelity, metre, and custom require its preservation.
Have the disease, and feel't not.—How now, boy?
Mam. I am like you, they say?.
Why, that's some comfort.What! Camillo there?
Cam. Ay, my good lord.
[Exit MAMILLIUS. Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.
Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor hold: When you cast out, it still came home. Leon.
Didst note it? Cam. He would not stay at your petitions ; made His business more material. Leon.
Didst perceive it?-
At the good queen's entreaty.
? I am like you, They say.) The second folio inserts “they,” after “you,” while the first folio has it, “ I am like you say.” It may possibly be doubted whether we ought not to read, “I am like you, you say;” the old printer having omitted the repetition of the pronoun you. Leontes has previously told Mamillius that they are said to be alike,
“ Yet they say we are
Almost as like as eggs." The authority of the second folio is to be preferred to any conjectural emendation; and “they" may have dropped out in the press.
3 They're HERE WITH ME already ; whispering, ROUNDING,] “ They're here with me” means, “ They are aware of my condition.” Rounding is another word for whispering : “to round in the ear” is a very common phrase in old writers. “To round,” or roun, is derived from the German runen.
4 When I shall gust it last.] i.e. taste or perceive it last, while other people are already whispering and rounding.
Of head-piece extraordinary lower messes",
Cam. Business, my lord? I think, most understand
Stays here longer. Leon. Ay, but why?
Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaties
Be it forbid, my lord !
My gracious lord,
5 Lower MESSES,] i.e. people who sit at lower, or more removed tables. Each four diners at an inn of court are still said to constitute a mess.
Hoxes honesty behind,] To "hox” is properly to hough or to ham-string.