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He has discover'd my design, and I
I Lord. By his great authority;
I know 't too well.-
What is this? sport? Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come about
her; Away with him:-and let her sport herself
6 He has discover'd my design, and I
Remain a pinch'd thing;] The sense, I think, is, He hath now discovered my design, and I am treated as a mere child's baby, a thing pinched out of clouts, a puppet for them to move and actuate as they please. Heath.
This sense is possible; but many other meanings might serve as well. Johnson.
The same expression occurs in Eliosto Libidinoso, a novel, by one John Hinde, 1606: “Sith then, Cleodora, thou art pinched, and hast none to pity thy passions, dissemble thy affection, though it cost thee thy life.” Again, in Greene's Never too late, 1616: “ Had the queene of poetrie been pinched with so many passions," &c. Again, in Chapman's version of the eighth Iliad:
Huge grief, for Hector's slaughter'd friend pinch'd in his
mighty mind.” These instances may serve to show that pinched had anciently a more dignified meaning than it appears to have at present. Spenser, in his Fairy Queen, B. III, c. xii, has equipped grief with a pair of pincers :
“ A pair of pincers in his hand he had,
“With which he pinched people to the heart.” The sense proposed by the author of The Revisal may, however, be supported by the following passage in The City Match, by Jasper Maine, 1639:
Pinch'd napkins, captain, and laid “ Like fishes, fowls, or faces.” Again, by a passage in All's well that ends well :-“ If you pinch me like a pasty, [i. e. the crust round the lid of it, which was anciently moulded by the fingers into fantastick shapes] I can say no more.” Steevens.
The subsequent words—“a very trick for them to play at will,” appear strongly to confirm Mr. Heath's explanation. Malone.
With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes
But I'd say, he had not,
You, my lords,
Should a villain say so,
You have mistook, my lady,
- for calumny will sear Virtue itself:] That is, will stigmatize or brand as infamous. So, in All's well that ends well:
my maiden's name “ Seard otherwise.” Henley.
- yoll, my lord, Do but mistake.] Otway had this passage in his thoughts, when he put the following lines into the mouth of Castalio:
Should the bravest man “That e’er wore conquering sword, but dare to whisper "What thou proclaim'st, he were the worst of liars : “My friend may be mistaken.” Steevens.
She's an adultress; I have said with whom:
No, by my life,
No, no; if I mistake
9 A federary with her;] A federary (perhaps a word of our author's coinage) is a confederate, an accomplice. Steevens.
We should certainly read-a feodary with her. There is no such word as federary. See Cymbeline, Act III, sc. ii. Malone..
Malone says we should certainly read feodary, and quotes a passage in Cymbeline as a proof of his assertion; but surely this very passage is as good authority for reading federary, as that can be for reading feodary. Besides, federate is more naturally derived from fæderis, the genitive of the Latin word fædus; and the genitive case is the proper parent of derivatives, as its name denotes. M. Mason.
1 But with her most vile principal,] One that knows what we should be ashamed of, even if the knowledge of it rested only in her own breast and that of her paramour, without the participation of any confidant.- But, which is here used for only, renders this passage somewhat obscure. It has the same signification again in this scene:
“He, who shall speak for her is afar off guilty,
-give bold titles;] The old copy reads-bold'st titles; but if the contracted superlative be retained, the roughness of the line will be intolerable. Steevens.
if I mistake The centre &c.] That is, if the proofs which I can offer will not support the opinion I have formed, no foundation can be trusted. Johnson.
Milton, in his Masque at Ludlow Castle, has expressed the same thought in more exalted language:
A school-boy's top.-Away with her to prison:
There's some ill planet reigns:
Shall I be heard?
[To the Guards. Her. Who is 't, that goes with me?--'Beseech your
highness, My women may be with me; for, you see, My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools; There is no cause: when you shall know, your mistress
if this fail,
“ And earth's base built on stubble.” Steevens. 4 He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
But that he speaks.] Far off guilty, signifies, guilty in a remote degree. Fohnson. The same expression occurs in King Henry V :
“ Or sball we sparingly show you far off
“ The dauphin's meaning? But that he speaks-means, in merely speaking. Malone.
till the heavens look With an aspéct more favourable.] An astrological phrase. The aspect of stars was anciently a familiar term, and continued to be such till the age in which Milton tells usthe swart star sparely looks." Lycidas, v. 138.
Steevens. but I have That honourable grief lodg’d here,] Again, in Hamlet : “But I have that within which passeth show.” Douce.
which burns Worse than tears drown:) So, in King Henry VIII, Queen Katharine says
my drops of tears
Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears,
[Exeunt Queen and Ladies. 1 Lord. 'Beseech your highness, call the queen again.
Ant. Be certain what you do, sir; lest your justice
For her, my lord,
If it prove
this action, I now go on,] The word action is here taken in the lawyer's sense, for indictment, charge, or accusation.
Fohnson. We cannot say that a person goes on an indictment, charge, or accusation. I believe, Hermione only means, “What I am now about to do.” M. Mason.
Mr. M. Mason's supposition may be countenanced by the fol. lowing passage in Much Ado about Nothing, Act I, sc. i:
is When I went forward on this ended action.” Steevens.
I'll keep my stables where I lodge my wife :) Stable-stand (stabilis statio, as Spelman interprets it) is a term of the forest-laws, and signifies a place where a deer-stealer fixes his stand under some convenient cover, and keeps watch for the purpose of killing deer as they pass by. From the place it came to be applied also to the person, and any man taken in a forest in that situation, with a gun or bow in his hand, was presumed to be an offender, and had the name of a stable-stand. In all former editions this hath been printed stable; and it may perhaps be objected, that another syllable added spoils the smoothness of the verse. But by pronouncing stable short, the measure will very well bear it, according to the liberty allowed in this kind of writing, and which Shakspeare never scruples to use; therefore I read, stable-stand. Hanmer.
There is no need of Sir T. Hanmer's addition to the text. So, in the ancient interlude of The Repentaunce of Marie Magdalaine, 1567 : " Where thou dwellest, the devyll may have a stable.”