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Shakspeare to the history of his own time. If the plots of his plays had been of his own invention, he might possibly have framed them with a view of that kind ; but this was unquestionably not the case with the play before us; and if any one had intended a courtly defence of Queen Elizabeth's mother, it must have been Greene, and not Shakspeare. Garinter, the Manilius of our poet, dies under the same circumstances, in the novel ; nor is it, as Mr. Walpole seemed to suppose, an unnecessary incident, because it fulfils the declaration of the oracle, that if the child which was lost could not be found, the king would die without an heir.' To say that a child resembles her father is surely not so uncommon a remark as to make it evident that it had reference to a particular individual ; nor is there any thing very courtly or complimentary in Paulina's angry allusion to the old proverb.
LEONTES, King of Sicilia :
HERMIONE, Queen to Leontes.
} DORCAS , } Shepherdesses
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Satyrs for a Dance;
Shepherds, Shepherdesses, Guards, &c.
SCENE, sometimes in Sicilia, sometimes in Bohe
ACT I. SCENE I
Sicilia. An Antechamber in LEONTES' Palace.
Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS. Arch. If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia, and your Sicilia.
CAM. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us', we will be justified in our loves : for, indeed,
CAM. 'Beseech you,
Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificencein so rare-I know not what to say. -We will give you sleepy drinks; that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little accuse us.
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear, for what's given freely.
Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their
- our entertainment, &c.] Though we cannot give you equal entertainment, yet the consciousness of our good-will shall justify us. Johnson.
childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation o' 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 3. 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,
2. — royally attornied] Nobly supplied by substitution of embassies, &c. "Johnson.
shook hands, as over å vast; and embraced as it were, from the ends of opposed winds.] Thus the folio, 1623. The folio, 1632 :-" over a vast sea." I have since found that Sir T. Hanmer attempted the same correction; though I believe the old reading to be the true one. 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, as in Pericles, Prince of Tyre: “ Thou God of this great vast, rebuke the surges."
STEEVENS. 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,] Affords a cordial to the state; has the power of assuaging the sense of misery. Johnson.
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. [Ereunt.
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 filld up, my brother, with our thanks; And yet we should, for perpetuity, Go hence in debt : And therefore, like a cipher, Yet standing in rich place, I multiply, With one we-thank-you, many thousands more That
Stay your thanks awhile;
Sir, that's to-morrow.
So, in Macbeth :
“The labour we delight in, physicks pain." STEEVENS.
THAT MAY blow
No sneaping winds —] Dr. Warburton calls this nonsense ; and Dr. Johnson tells us it is a Gallicism. It happens, however, to be both sense and English. That, for Oh! that-is not un
In an old translation of the famous Alcoran of the Franciscans : “ St. Francis observing the holiness of friar Juniper, said to the priors, That I had a wood of such Junipers !" And in The Two Noble Kinsmen :