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Upon his palm?-How now, you wanton calf ?
So, in Decker's Satiromastix, or the Untrussing of the Humorous Poet, 1602:
“ When we have husbands, we play upon them like virginal jacks, they must rise and fall to our humours, else they 'll never get any good strains of musick out of one of us." Again, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
“Where be these rascals that skip up and down
“ Like virginal jacks?” Steevens. A virginal was strung like a spinnet, and shaped like a piano forte. Malone.
7 Thou want st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have,] Pash, (says Sir T. Hanmer) kiss. Puz. Spanish, i. e. thou want'st a mouth made rough by a beard, to kiss with. Shoots are branches, i. e. horns. Leontes is alluding to the ensigns of cuckoldom. A madbrained boy, is, however, called a mad pash in Cheshire. Steevens.
Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have, in connexion with the context, signifies—to make thee a calf thou must have the tuft on thy forehead and the young horns that shoot up in it, as I have. Leontes asks the Prince:
How now, you wanton calf?
calf? Mam. Yes, if you will, my lord. Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash and the shoots that I have,
To be full like me. To pash signifies to push or dash against, and frequently occurs in old writers. Thus, Drayton:
“They either poles their heads together pasht.” Again, in How to choose a good Wife from a bad, 1602, 4to:
learn pash and knock, and beat and mall, “ Cleave pates and caputs.” When in Cheshire a pash is used for a mad-brained boy, it is designed to characterize him from the wantonness of a calf that blunders on, and runs his head against any thing. Henley, In Troilus and Cressida, the verb pash also occurs:
waving his beam
Epistrophus and Cedius.”
when the battering ram
“Me with his horns to pieces.” Steevens. I have lately learned that pash in Scotland signifies a head. The old reading therefore may stand. Many words, that are
To be full like me: 8-yet, they say, we are
now used only in that country, were perhaps once common to the whole island of Great Britain, or at least to the northern part of England. The meaning, therefore, of the present passage, I suppose, is this: You tell me, (says Leontes to his son) that you are like me; that you are my calf. I am the horned bull: thou wantest the rough head and the horns of that animal, completely to resemble your father, Malone.
8 To be full like me:) Full is here as in other places, used by our author, adverbially;—to be entirely like me. Malone.
9 As o'er-died blacks,] Sir T. Hanmer understands blacks died too much, and therefore rotten. Fohnson.
It is common with tradesmen, to die their faded or damaged stuffs, black. O'er died blacks may mean those which have received a die over their former colour.
There is a passage in The old Law of Massinger, which might lead us to offer another interpretation:
Blacks are often such dissembling mourners,
“ I would not hear of blacks." It seems that blacks was the common term for mourning. So, in A mad World my Masters, 1608:
in so many blacks “I'll have the church hung round" Black, however, will receive no other hue without discovering itself through it: “ Lanarum nigræ nullum colorem bibunt."
Plin. Nat. Hist. Lib. VIII. Steedens. The following passage in a book which our author had certainly read, inclines me to believe that the last is the true interpretation. " Truly (quoth Camillo) my wool was blacke, and therefore it could take no other colour." Lyly's Euphues and his England, 4to. 1580. Malone. 1 No bourn - ] Bourn is boundary. So, in Hamlet:
from whose bourn
• welkin-eye:) Blue-eye; an eye of the same colour with the welkin, or sky. Fohnson.
my collop!] So, in The First Part of King Henry VI: “God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh.” Steevens.
Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:
What means Sicilia?
How, my lord? What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother??
4 Affection! thy intention stabs the centre :] Instead of this line, which I find in the folio, the modern editors have introduced another of no authority:
Imagination! thou dost stab to the centre. Mr. Rowe first made the exchange. I am not sure that I understand the reading I have restored. Affection, however, I be. lieve, signifies imagination. Thus, in The Merchant of Venice:
affection, “ Mistress of passion, sways it,” &c. i.e. imagination governs our passions. Intention is, as Mr. Locke expresses it, when the mind with great earnestness, and of choice, fixes its view on any idea, considers it on every side, and will not be called off by the ordinary solicitations of other ideas.” This vehemence of the mind seems to be what affects Leontes so deeply, or, in Shakspeare's language,-stabs him to the centre.
Steevens. Intention, in this passage, means eagerness of attention, or of desire; and is used in the same sense in The Merry Wives of Wind. sor, where Falstaff says—“She did so course o'er my exteriors, with such a greedy intention,” &c. M. Mason.
I think, with Mr. Steevens, that affection means here imagination, or perhaps more accurately: “the disposition of the mind when strongly affected or possessed by a particular idea." And in a kindred sense at least to this, it is used in the passage quoted from The Merchant of Venice. Malone.
5 Thou dost make possible, things not so held,] i.e. thou dost make those things possible, which are conceived to be impossible.
Johnson. To express the speaker's meaning, it is necessary to make a short pause after the word possible. I have therefore put a comma there, though perhaps in strictness it is improper. Malone.
credent,] i.e. credible. So, in Measure for Measure, Act V, sc. v:
For my authority bears a credent bulk.” Steevens.
No, in good earnest.
7 What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother?] This line, which in the old copy is given to Leontes, has been attributed to Polixenes, on the suggestion of Mr. Steevens. Sir T. Hanmer had made the same emendation. Malone.
8 Are you mov’d, my lord?] We have again the same expression on the same occasion, in Othello:
Iago. I see my lord, you are moo'd.
my dagger muzzled,
“ This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I
“ Have not the power to muzzle him.” Again, in Much Ado about Nothing : “I am trusted with a muz. zle.” Steevens.
1 As ornaments oft do, too dangerous.] So, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
“To a most dangerous sea.” Steevens. 2 This squash,] A squash is a pea-pod, in that state when the young peas begin to swell in it. Henley.
3 Will you take eggs for money?] This seems to be a proverbial expression, used when a man sees himself wronged and makes no resistance. Its original, or precise meaning, I cannot find, but I believe it means, will you be a cuckold for hire. The cuckow is reported to lay her eggs in another bird's nest; he there. fore that has eggs laid in his nest is said to be cucullatus, cuckowed, or cuckold. Fohnson.
The meaning of this is, will you put up affronts? The French have a proverbial saying, A qui vendez vous coquilles? i. e. whom do you design to affront? Mamillius's answer plainly proves it. Mam. No, my Lord, I'll fight. Smith,
Mam. No, my lord, I 'll fight.
I meet with Shakspeare's phrase in a comedy, call'd A Match at Midnight, 1633:-" I shall have eggs for my money; I must bang myself.” Steevens.
Leontes seems only to ask his son if he would fly from an enemy. In the following passage the phrase is evidently to be taken in that sense: “The French infantery skirmisheth bravely afarre off, and the cavallery gives a furious onset at the first charge; but after the first heat they will take eggs for their money Relations of the most famous Kingdomes and Commonwealths thorowout the World, 4to. 1630, p. 154.
Mamillius's reply to his father's question appears so decisive as to the true explanation of this passage, that it leaves no doubt with me even after I have read the following note.
The phrase undoubtedly sometimes means what Mr. Malone asserts, but not here. Reed.
This phrase seems to me to have meant originally,--Are you such a poltron as to suffer another to use you as he pleases, to compel you to give him your money and to accept of a thing of so small a value as a few eggs in exchange for it? This explana. tion appears to me perfectly consistent with the passage quoted by Mr. Reed. He, who will take eggs for money seems to be what, in As you Like it, and in many of the old plays, is called a tame snake. The following passage in Campion's History of Ireland, fol. 1633, fully confirms my explanation of this passage; and shows that by the words-Will you take eggs for money, was meant, Will you suffer yourself to be cajoled or impo upon 2-“What my cousin Desmond hath compassed, as I know not, so I beshrew his naked heart for holding out so long.-But go to, suppose hee never bee had; what is Kildare to blame for it, more than my good brother of Ossory, who, notwithstanding his high promises, having also the king's power, is glad to take eggs for his money, and to bring him in at leisure."
These words make part of the defence of the Earl of Kildare, in answer to a charge brought against him by Cardinal Wolsey, that he had not been sufficiently active in endeavouring to take the Earl of Desmond, then in rebellion. In this passage, to take €888 for his money undoubtedly means, to be trifled with, or to be imposed upon. « For money” means, in the place of money,
“ Will you give me money, and take eggs instead of it?” Malone.
happy man be his dole!) May his dole or share in life be to be a happy man. Johnson.
The expression is proverbial. Dole was the term for the allow. ance of provision given to the poor, in great families. So, in Greene's Tu Quoque, 1614:
“ Had the women puddings to their dole ?”