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of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been royally attornied," with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seemed to be together, though absent; shook hands, as over a vast; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves!
Arch. I think, there is not in the world either malice, or matter, to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius; it is a gentleman of the greatest promise, that ever came into my note.
Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: It is a gallant child; one that, indeed, physicks the subject, makes old hearts fresh; they, that went on crutches ere he was born, desire yet their life, to see him a man.
Arch. Would they else be content to die?
Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse why they should desire to live.
Arch. If the king had no son, they would desire to live on crutches till he had one. [Exeunt.
The same. A Room of State in the Palace.
Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, HERMIONE, MAMILLIUS, CAMILLO, and Attendants.
Pol. Nine changes of the wat'ry star have been The shepherd's note, since we have left our throne Without a burden: time as long again
Would be fill'd up, my brother, with our thanks;
royally attornied,] Nobly supplied by substitution of embassies, &c.
shook hands, as over a vast,] i. e. A vast space. The second folio reads a vast sea. Shakspeare has, more than once, taken his imagery from the prints, with which the books of his time were ornamented. If my memory do not deceive me, he had his eye on a wood-cut in Holinshed, while writing the incantation of the weird sisters in Macbeth. There is also an allusion to a print of one of the Henries holding a sword adorned with crowns. In this passage he refers to a device common in the title-page of old books, of two hands extended from opposite clouds, and joined as in token of friendship over a wide waste of country.-HENLEY.
-physicks the subject,] Keeps the people in a wholesome political temperament.-SEYMOUR.
And yet we should, for perpetuity,
Go hence in debt: And therefore, like a cipher,
With one we-thank-you, many thousands more
Stay your thanks awhile;
And pay them when you part.
We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to't.
No longer stay.
Leon. One seven-night longer.
Pol. Very sooth, to-morrow. Leon. We'll part the time between's then: and in that I'll no gain-saying.
Press me not, 'beseech you, so;
There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'the world,
Do even drag me homeward; which to hinder,
Tongue-tied, our queen? speak you. Her. I had thought, sir, to have held my peace, until You had drawn oaths from him, not to stay. . You, sir, Charge him too coldly: Tell him, you are sure,
All in Bohemia's well: this satisfaction
The by-gone day proclaim'd; say this to him,
No sneaping winds, &c.] i. e. Oh! that there may blow no rebuking winds at home to make me say, I had too good reason for my fears.-FARMER and MALONE.
Well said, Hermione.
Her. To tell, he longs to see his son, were strong:
But let him say so then, and let him go;
But let him swear so, and he shall not stay,
We'll thwack him hence with distaffs.
Yet of your royal presence [to POLIXENES] I'll adventure,
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I'll give you my commission,
Prefix'd for his parting: yet, good-deed, Leontes,
What lady she her lord.-You'll stay?
You put me off with limber vows: But I,
Though you would seek to unsphere the stars with oaths,
Should yet say, Sir, no going. Verily,
You shall not go; a lady's verily is
As potent as a lord's. Will you go yet?
Force me to keep you as a prisoner,
Not like a guest; so you shall pay your fees,
When you depart, and save your thanks. How say you My prisoner? or my guest? by your dread verily,
One of them you shall be.
Your guest then, madam :
To be your prisoner, should import offending;
Which is for me less easy to commit,
Than you to punish.
Not your gaoler then,
f To let him there a month, behind the gest-] To let him there is to detain him there; behind the gest is beyond the time appointed for his stay. Gest "is lodging or stage for rest in a royal journey." Strype says, that Cranmer entreated Cecil" to let him have the new-resolved-upon gests, from that time to the end, that he might from time to time know where the king was." which passage we find that the table of the gests limited not only the places, but the time of staying at each.-NARES.
good-deed,]—signifies, indeed. The second folio reads goodheed. h a jar o'the clock] A jar is, I believe, a single repetition of the noise made by the pendulum of a clock: what children call the ticking of it. STEEVENS.
But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you
Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were boys;
We were, fair queen,
And to be boy eternal.
Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o'the two?
Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk i'the sun, And bleat the one at the other: What we chang'd Was innocence for innocence: we knew not The doctrine of ill-doing, no, nor dream'd That any did: Had we pursued that life,
And our weak spirits ne'er been higher rear'd
With stronger blood, we should have answer'd Heaven
By this we gather,
You have tripp'd since.
O my most sacred lady,
Grace to boot!k
Of this make no conclusion; lest you say,
Is he won yet?
Her. He'll stay, my lord.
At my request, he would not.
Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.
i the imposition clear'd,
Hereditary ours.] i. e. Setting aside original sin; bating the imposition from the offence of our first parents, we might have boldly protested our innocence to Heaven.-WARBURTON.
Grace to boot!] Grace, or Heaven help me!
Never, but once.
Her. What? have I twice said well? when was't before?
Our praises are our wages: You may ride us,
What was my first? it has an elder sister,
Or I mistake you: O, would her name were Grace :
Nay, let me have't; I long.
Why, that was when Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death, Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,
And clap thyself my love; then did'st. thou utter,
It is Grace, indeed.
Why, lò you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice:
The other, for some while a friend.
[Giving her hand to POLIXENES.
To mingle friendship far, is mingling bloods.
1 we heat-] i. e. Run a heat, as in a race.
And clap thyself my love ;] She opened her hand, to clap the palm of it into his, as people do when they confirm a bargain. Hence the phrase-to clap up bargain, i. e. make one with no other ceremony than the junction of hands.STEEVENS. This was, says Malone, a regular part of the ceremony of troth plighting.