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It was my folly ; if industriously
Have not you seen, Camillo,
Cam. I would not be a stander-by, to hear
? Which oft INFECTS the wisest.] Malone reads affects for infects, as it is given in all the old copies.
(for cogitation Resides not in that man that does not think,)] The second folio adds it after “think,” but needlessly, the word being clearly understood ; and, as Malone contends, the sense, notwithstanding the parenthesis, carried on to the words “my wife is slippery.” Otherwise, to say that “ cogitation resides not in that man that does not think,” is a mere truism.
9 My wife's a HOBBYHORSE ;] All the old folios read “ holy horse,” which is corrected in MS. in Lord F. Egerton's copy to “hobby horse,” which is most likely the true reading, and was first adopted by Pope.
As deep as that, though true.
Is whispering nothing ?
Good my lord, be cur’d
Say, it be; 'tis true.
It is; you lie, you lie :
Who does infect her?
and all eyes blind With the PIN AND WEB,] The pin and web was the old name for a cataract in the eyes : thus Florio, in his “ New World of Words,” 1611, informs us that cataratta is “ a dimness of sight, occasioned by humours hardened in the eyes called a cataract, or a pin and a web. This explanation is wanting in Florio's first edition, 1598.
1 Why he, that wears her like her medal,] So the old copies ; but some of the later editors have altered it to “his medal,” which is anything but an improvement: the meaning is, that Polixenes wears Hermione round his neck, as if it were a medal or resemblance of her—“her medal."
About his neck, Bohemia: who—if I
Sir, my lord,
Make that thy question, and go rot"!
? His cup-bearer,] Greene, in his novel of “ Pandosto," says, that “ devising with himself a long time how he might best put away Egistus, without suspition of treacherous murder, he concluded at last to poyson him : which opinion pleasing his humour, he became resolute in his determination, and the better to bring the matter to passe he called unto him his cup-bearer,” meaning the cup-bearer of Egistus. Shakespeare's Library, Part i. p. 9.
3 How I am galled,-might'st bespice a cup,] The second folio repeats thou before “ might'st ;" but to read “ galled ” as a dissyllable renders it unnecessary.
Make that thy question, and go rot !] The commentators have differed in their printing and interpretation of this passage, which in the folios is given exactly as in our text. Malone would read “ Make't thy question,” which rather seems to refer to the interrupted observation of Camillo, “I have lov'd thee,” than to what the words,“ Make that thy question,” really appear to relate to. The meaning of Leontes surely is, as Mr. Knight suggests, that Camillo may go rot, if he doubts or makes question of that which he has just been told. What follows in the king's speech fully supports this interpretation.
(Who, I do think is mine, and love as mine)
I must believe
Thou dost advise me,
Cam. My lord,
This is all :
I'll do't, my lord. Leon. I will seem friendly, as thou hast advis'd me.
[Exit. Cam. O, miserable lady !But, for me, What case stand I in? I must be the poisoner Of good Polixenes; and my ground to do’t Is the obedience to a master; one, Who, in rebellion with himself, will have All that are his so too.—To do this deed, Promotion follows: if I could find example Of thousands that had struck anointed kings, And flourish'd after, I'd not do't; but since
5 Could man so BLENCH !] To blench is to start off. See Vol. ii. p. 86, note 4. Leontes means, “could any man so start or fly off from propriety of behaviour.” Such is the correct interpretation of Steevens.
Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,
This is strange. Methinks, My favour here begins to warp. Not speak ?Good-day, Camillo. Cam.
Hail, most royal sir ! Pol. What is the news i' the court ? Cam.
None rare, my lord.
Cam. I dare not know, my lord.
There is a sickness
Pol. How caught of me?