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 ;3 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, physics 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 to 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 watry 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;
And yet we should, for perpetuity,

Go hence in debt: And therefore, like a cypher,

Yet standing in rich place, I multiply,

With one we-thank-you, many thousands more

[blocks in formation]

[2] Nobly supplied by substitution of embassies, &c. JOHNSON.

[3] Vastum was the ancient term for waste uncultivated land. Over a vast. therefore, means at a great and vacant distance from each other. Vast, however, may be used for the sea. STEEVENS.

Shakespeare 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 be had his eye on a wood cut in Holinshed, while writing the incantation of the weird sisters in Macbeth. 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.

[4] Affords a cordial to the state; has the power of assuaging the sense of misery. JOHNSON.

Leo. Stay your thanks awhile;
And pay them when you part.
Pol. Sir, that's to-morrow.

I am question'd by my fears, of what may chance,
Or breed upon our absence: That may blow
No sneaping winds at home, to make us say,

This is put forth too truly! Besides, I have stay'd
To tire your royalty.

Leo. We are tougher, brother,

Than you can put us to't.

Pol. No longer stay.

Leo. One seven-night longer.

Pol. Very sooth, to-morrow.

Leo. We'll part the time between's then: and in that I'll no gain-saying.

Pol. Press me not, 'beseech you, so ;

There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'th' world,
So soon as yours, could win me: so it should now,
Were there necessity in your request, although
'Twere needful I denied it. My affairs

Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder,
Were, in your love, a whip to me; my stay,
To you a charge, and trouble: to save both,
Farewell, our brother.

Leo. 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,
He's beat from his best ward.

Leo. 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 I'll adventure


The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I'll give him my commission,

Nipping winds. HOLT WHITE.

We had satisfactory accounts yesterday of the state of Bohemia. JOHNSON.

To let him there a month, behind the gest

Prefix'd for's parting: yet, good deed, Leontes,
I love thee not a jar o' th' clock behind

What lady she her lord.-You'll stay?

Pol. No, madam.

Her. Nay, but you will?

Pol. I may not, verily.
Her. Verily!

You put me off with limber vows: But I,

Though you would seek t' 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.

Pol. Your guest then, madam:

To be your prisoner, should import offending;
Which is for me less easy to commit,

Than you to punish.

Her. Not your gaoler then,

But your

kind hostess. Come, I'll question you

Of my lord's tricks, and yours,

when you were boys;

You were pretty lordlings then.9

Pol. We were, fair queen,

Two lads, that thought there was no more behind,
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,

And to be boy eternal.

Her. Was not my lord the verier wag o' th' two?

Pol. We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk i' th ’sun, And bleat the one at th' 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

[7] In the time of royal progresses the king's stages, as we may see by the journals of them in the herald's office, were called his gests; from the old French word giste diversorium. WARBURTON.

Gests, or rather gists, from the French giste, (which signifies both a bed, and a lodging place,) were the names of the houses or towns where the King or Prince intended to lie every night during his progress. MALONE.

[8] A jar is, I believe, a single repetition of the noise made by the pendulum of lock; what children call the ticking of it. STEEVENS.

[9] This diminutive of lord is often used by Chaucer. STEEVENS.

With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heaver Boldly, Not guilty; the imposition clear'd,

Hereditary ours.'

Her. By this we gather,

You have tripp'd since.

Pol. O my most sacred lady,

Temptations have since then been born to us: for
In those unfledg'd days was my wife a girl;
Your precious self had then not cross'd the eyes
Of my young play-fellow.

Her. Grace to boot!

Of this make no conclusion; lest you say,
Your queen and I are devils: Yet, go on;

The offences we have made you do, we'll answer;
If you first sinn'd with us, and that with us

You did continue fault, and that you slipp'd
With any but with us.

Leo. Is he won yet?

Her. He'll stay, my lord.

Leo. At my request, he would not.

Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st

To better purpose.

Her. Never?

Leo. Never, but once.


-Her. What? have I twice said well? when was't be


I pr'ythee, tell me : Cram us with praise, and make us As fat as tame things: One good deed, dying tongueless, Slaughters a thousand, waiting upon that.

Our praises are our wages: You may ride us,

With one soft kiss, a thousand furlongs, ere

[ocr errors]

With spur we heat an acre.

But to the goal ;—

My last good was, to entreat his stay;

What was my first? it has an elder sister,

Or I mistake you: O, would her name were Grace!
But once before I spoke to th' purpose: When?

Nay, let me have't; I long.

Leo. Why, that was when

Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death, Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,

[1] That is, setting aside original sin; bating the imposition from the offence of our first parents, we might have boldly protested our innocence to Heaven. WARBURTON.

And clap thyself my love; then didst thou utter,

I am yours for ever.

Her. It is Grace, indeed.

[ocr errors]

Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice: The one for ever earn'd a royal husband;

The other, for some while a friend.

[Giving her hand to POLIXENES.

Leo. Too hot, too hot :
To mingle friendship far, is mingling bloods.
I have tremor cordis on me :-my heart dances;
But not for joy,-not joy.-This entertainment
May a free face put on; derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom,
And well become the agent: it may, I grant:
But to be paddling palms, and pinching fingers,
As now they are; and making practis'd smiles,
As in a looking-glass ;-and then to sigh, as 'twere
The mort o' th' deer;3 O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows.-Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?

Mam. Ay, my good lord.

Leo. I'fecks ?*


Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd thy nose?
-They say, it's a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
We must be neat; not neat, but cleanly, captain:
And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf,

Are all call'd, neat. Still virginalling

[Observing POLIX. and HERMI

Upon his palm ?-How now, you wanton calf?

Art thou my calf?

Mam. Yes, if you will, my lord.

[2] 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 a bargain, i ́e, make one with no other ceremony than the junction of hands. This was a regular part of the ceremony of troth-plighting, to which Shakespeare often alludes. MALONE. [3] A lesson upon the horn at the death of the deer. THEOBALD. [4] A supposed corruption of—in faith. Our present vulgar pronounce it--fege STEEVENS.

[5] Perhaps from beat and coq. It is still said in vulgar language that such a one is a jolly cock, a cock of the game. STEEVENS

[6] Still playing with her fingers, as a girl playing on the virginals.


A virginal, as I am informed is a very small kind of spinnet. Queen Elizabeth's virginal-book is yet in being, and many of the lessons in it have proved so difficult as to baffle our most expert players on the harpsichord. STEEVENS.

A virginal was strung like a spinnet, and shaped like a piano forte. MALONE

« 上一页继续 »