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LEON. To bide upon't ;-Thou art not honest :

or, If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward; Which hoxes honesty behind ?, restraining From course requir'd: Or else thou must be counted A servant, grafted in my serious trust, And therein negligent; or else a fool, That seest a game play'd home, the rich stake

drawn,
And tak’st it all for jest.
CAM.

My gracious lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful;
In every one of these no man is free,
But that his negligence, his folly, fear,
Amongst the infinite doings of the world,
Sometime puts forth : In your affairs, my lord,
If ever I were wilful-negligent,
It was my folly ; if industriously
I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 'twas a fear

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2 -- hoxes honestly behind,] To hox is to ham-string. So, in Knolles' History of the Turks :

alighted, and with his sword hoxed his horse.” King James VI. in his 11th Parliament had an act to punish hochares," or slayers of horse, oxen, &c. Steevers.

The proper word is, to hough, i. e. to cut the hough, or hamstring. MALONE. 3 Whereof the execution did

cry

out Against the non-performance,] This is one of the expressions by which Shakspeare too frequently clouds his meaning. This sounding phrase means, I think, no more than a thing ne

JOHNSON. I think we ought to read~" the now-performance," which gives us this very reasonable meaning :-" At the execution

cessary to be done.

Which oft affects the wisest : these, my lord,
Are such allow'd infirmities, that honesty
Is never free of. But, 'beseech your grace,
Be plainer with me ; let me know my trespass
By its own visage : if I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.
LEON.

Have not you seen, Camillo, (But that's past doubt : you have; or your eye-glass Is thicker than a cuckold's horn ;) or heard, (For, to a vision so apparent, rumour Cannot be mute,) or thought, (for cogitation Resides not in that man, that does not think 4,)

whereof, such circumstances discovered themselves, as made it prudent to suspend all further proceeding in it.” Heath.

I do not see that this attempt does any thing more, than produce a harsher word without an easier sense. Johnson

I have preserved this note, (Mr. Heath's] because I think it a good interpretation of the original text. I have, however, no doubt that Shakspeare wrote non-performance, he having often entangled himself in the same manner; but it is clear that he should have written, either—" against the performance," or“ for the non-performance.” In The Merchant of Venice, our author has entangled himself in the same manner : “ I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation ; where either impediment should be cause, or to let him lack, should be, to prevent his obtaining. Again, in King Lear:

I have hope
- You less know how to value her desert,

“ Than she to scant her duty.” Again, in the play before us :

I ne'er heard yet,
That
any

of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gain-say what they did,

“ Than to perform it first.'
Again, in Twelfth-Night:
“ Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her!

MALONE. (for cogitation Resides not in that man, that does not think it,)] The folio, 1623, omits the pronoun-it, which is supplied from the folio, 1632. STEEVENS.

Mr. Theobald, in a Letter subjoined to one edition of The

9)

4

My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,
(Or else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say,
My wife's a hobbyhorse'; deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight : say it, and justify it.

CAM. I would not be a stander-by, to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken: 'Shrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become you less
Than this'; which to reiterate, were sin
As deep as that, though true ®.

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Double Falshood, has quoted this passage in defence of a wellknown line in that play: “ None but himself can be his parallel.”

“ Who does not see at once (says he) that he who does not think, has no thought in him.” In the same light this passage should seem to have appeared to all the subsequent editors, who read, with Mr. Pope, that does not think it." But the old reading, I am persuaded, is right. This is not an abstract proposition. The whole context must be taken together. Have you not thought (says Leontes) my wife is slippery (for cogitation resides not in the man that does not think my wife is slippery)? The four latter words, though disjoined from the word think by the necessity of a parenthesis, are evidently to be connected in construction with it ; and consequently the seeming absurdity attributed by Theobald to the passage, arises only from misapprehension. In this play, from whatever cause it has arisen, there are more involved and parenthetical sentences, than in any

other of our author's, except, perhaps, King Henry VIII. MALONE. I have followed the second folio, which contains many

valuable corrections of our author's text. The present emendation (in my opinion at least,) deserves that character. Such advantages are not to be rejected, because we know not from what hand they were derived. STEEVENS.

Mr. Malone in his former edition had attributed this alteration, by mistake, to the second folio, instead of Mr. Pope ; and Mr, Steevens, without examination, caught the opportunity of contending for the value of that copy. Boswell.

s - a hobby horse :] Old copy-holy-horse. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.

were sin As deep as that, though true.] i. e. your suspicion is as great

6

LEON.

Is whispering nothing ? Is leaning cheek to cheek ? is meeting noses ? ? Kissing with inside lip ? stopping the career Of laughter with a sigh ? (a note infallible Of breaking honesty :) horsing foot on foot ? Skulking in corners ? wishing clocks more swift ? Hours, minutes ? noon, midnight ? and all eyes

blind With the pin and web *, but theirs, theirso only, That would unseen be wicked ? is this nothing ? Why, then the world, and all that is in't, is no

thing; The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing ; My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these no

things, If this be nothing. САги. .

Good my lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas’d opinion, and betimes;
For 'tis most dangerous.
LEON.

Say, it be; 'tis true.
Cam. No, no, my lord.

. LEON.

It is; you lie, you lie: I say, thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee; Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave ; Or else a hovering temporizer, that Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil Inclining to them both: Were my wife's liver Infected as her life, she would not live The running of one glass'.

a sin as would be that (if committed) for which you suspect her. WARBURTON.

7 - meeting noses?] Dr. Thirlby reads meting noses; that is measuring noses. Johnson.

- the PIN and web,] Disorders in the eye. See King Lear, vol. x. p. 159, n. 3. Steevens.

theirs, theirs --] These words were meant to be pronounced as dissyllables. Steevens.

- of one GLASS, ] i. e, of one hour-glass. MALONE.

8

9

Cam,

Who does infect her ? Leon. Why he, that wears her like his medal”,

hanging About his neck, Bohemia : Who-if I Had servants true about me: that bare eyes To see alike mine honour as their profits, Their own particular thrifts,-they would do that Which should undo more doing :: Ay, and thou, His cup-bearer,—whom I from meaner form Have bench'd, and rear'd to worship; who may'st

see

Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven, How I am galled,-might'st bespice a cup“,

2

– like his medal,] The old copy has-her inedal, which was evidently an error of the press, either in consequence of the compositor's eye glancing on the word her in the preceding line, or of an abbreviation being used in the MS. In As You Like It, and Love's Labour's Lost, her and his are frequently confounded. Theobald, I find, had made the same emendation.-In King Henry VIII. we have again the same thought:

a loss of her,
“ That like a jewell has hung twenty years

About his neck, yet never lost her lustre.” It should be remembered that it was customary for gentlemen, in our author's time, to wear jewels appended to a ribbon round the neck. So, in Honour in Perfection, or a Treatise in Commendation of Henrie Earl of Oxenford, Henrie Earl of Southampton, &c. by Gervais Markham, 4to. 1624, p. 18:--" he hath hung about the neck of his noble kinsman, Sir Horace Vere, like a rich jewel."--The Knights of the Garter wore the George, in this manner, till the time of Charles I. MALONE.

I suppose the poet meant to say, that Polixenes wore her, as he would have worn a medal of her, about his neck. Sir Christopher Hatton is represented with a medal of Queen Elizabeth appended to his chain. STEEVENS.

more DOING:] The latter word is used here in a wanton

MALONE. 4 — might'st BESPICE a cup,] So, in Chapman's translation of the tenth book of Homer's Odyssey : .

With a festival
“ She'll first receive thee; but will spice thy bread
* With flowery poisons."

3

sense.

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