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And well become the agent: it may, I grant:
Ay, my good lord.
[Observing Pol. and Her.
earth, which yields a spontaneous produce. In the same strain is the address of Timon of Athens :
“ Thou common mother, thou,
“ Teems and feeds all!” Steevens. 2 The mort o'the deer;] A lesson upon the horn at the death of the deer. Theobald.
So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608: “_ He that bloweth the mort before the death of the buck, may very well miss of his fees.” Again, in the oldest copy of Chevy Chace:
“The blewe a mort uppone the bent.” Steevens. 3 I’fecks?] A supposed corruption of—in faith. Our present vulgar pronounce it-fegs. Steevens.
4 Why, that's my bawcock.) Perhaps from beau and coq. It is still said in vulgar language that such a one is a jolly cock, a cock of the game. The word has already occurred in Twelfth Night, and is one of the titles by which Pistol speaks of King Henry the Fifth. Steevens.
5 We must be neat;] Leontes, seeing his son's nose smutched, cries, we must be neat; then recollecting that neat is the ancient term for horned cattle, he says, not neat, but cleanly. Fohnson. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 3: “ His large provision there of flesh, of fowl, of neat.” Steevens.
Still virginalling -) Still playing with her fingers, as a girl playing on the virginals. Johnson.
A virginal, as I am informed, is a very small kind of spinnet. Queen Élizabeth's virginal-book is yet in being, and many of the lessons in it have proved so difficult, as to battle our most expert players on the harpsichord.
Upon his palm?-How now, you wanton calf?
Yes, if you will, my lord.
So, in Decker's Satiromastix, or the Untrussing of the Humorous Poet, 1602:
“When we have husbands, we play upon them virginal jacks, they must rise and fall to our humours, else they'll never get any good strains of musick out of one of us.' Again, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
“ Where be these rascals that skip up and down
“ Like virginal jacks?” Steevens. A virginal was strung like a spinnet, and shaped like a piano forte. Malone.
7 Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have,] Pash, (says Sir T. Hanmer) is kiss. Paz. Spanish, i. e. thou want'st a mouth made rough by a beard, to kiss with. Shoots are branches, i. e. horns. Leontes is alluding to the ensigns of cuckoldom. A mad. brained boy, is, however, called a mad pash in Cheshire. Steevens.
Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have, in connexion with the context, signifies to make thee a calf thou must have the tuft on thy forehead and the young horns that shoot up in it, as I have. Leontes asks the Prince:
How now, you wanton calf?
To be full like me.
“They either poles their heads together pasht.” Again, in How to choose a good Wife from a bad, 1602, 4to:
learn pash and knock, and beat and mall,
waving his beam
“ Epistrophus and Cedius.”
when the battering ram
“ Me with his horns to pieces.” Steevens.
To be full like me:8-yet, they say, we are
now used only in that country, were perhaps once common to the whole island of Great Britain, or at least to the northern part of England. The meaning, therefore, of the present passage, I suppose, is this: You tell me, (says Leontes to his son) that
you are like me; that you are my calf. I am the horned bull: thou wantest the rough head and the horns of that animal, completely to resemble your father, Malone.
8 To be full like me:] Full is here, as in other places, used by our author, adverbially ;-to be entirely like me. Malone.
9 As o’er-died blacks,] Sir T. Hanmer understands blacks died too much, and therefore rotten. Fohnson.
It is common with tradesmen, to die their faded or damaged stuffs, black. O'er died blacks may mean those which have received a die over their former colour.
There is a passage in The old Law of Massinger, which might lead us to offer another interpretation:
Blacks are often such dissembling mourners,
“I would not hear of blacks." It seems that blacks was the common term for mourning. So, in A mad World my Masters, 1608:
- in so many blacks “ I'll have the church hung round" Black, however, will receive no other hue without discovering itself through it: “ Lanarum nigræ nullum colorem bibunt.”
Plin. Nat. Hist. Lib. VIII. Steedens. The following passage in a book which our author had certainly read, inclines me to believe that the last is the true interpreta. tion. "
Truly (quoth Camillo) my wool was blacke, and therefore it could take no other colour.” Lyly's Euphues and his England, 4to. 1580. Malone. 1 No bourn -] Bourn is boundary. So, in Hamlet:
from whose bourn
welkin-eye:) Blue-eye; an eye of the same colour with the welkin, or sky. Fohnson.
my collop!] So, in The First Part of King Henry VI: “God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh.” Steevens.
Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:*
What means Sicilia?
How, my lord? What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother??
4 Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:] Instead of this line, which I find in the folio, the modern editors have introduced another of no authority:
Imagination! thou dost stab to the centre. Mr. Rowe first made the exchange. I am not sure that I understand the reading I have restored. Affection, however, I be. lieve, signifies imagination. Thus, in The Merchant of Venice:
affection, “ Mistress of passion, sways it," &c. i.e. imagination governs our passions. Intention is, as Mr. Locke expresses it, “when the mind with great earnestness, and of choice, fixes its view on any idea, considers it on every side, and will not be called off by the ordinary solicitations of other ideas.” This vehemence of the mind seems to be what affects Leontes so deeply, or, in Shakspeare's language,-stabs him to the centre.
Steevens. Intention, in this passage, means eagerness of attention, or of desire; and is used in the same sense in The Merry Wives of Windsor, where Falstaff says-“She did so course o'er my exteriors, with such a greedy intention,” &c. M. Mason.
I think, with Mr. Steevens, that affection means here imagination, or perhaps more accurately: "the disposition of the mind when strongly affected or possessed by a particular idea.” And in a kindred sense at least to this, it is used in the passage quoted from The Merchant of Venice. Malone.
5 Thou dost make possible, things not so held,] i.e. thou dost make those things possible, which are conceived to be impossible.
Fohnson. To express the speaker's meaning, it is necessary to make a short pause after the word possible. I have therefore put a comma there, though perhaps in strictness it is improper. Malone.
credent,] i.e. credible. So, in Measure for Measure, Act V, sc. V:
“ For my authority bears a credent bulk.” Steevens.
No, in good earnest.-
7 What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother?] This line, which in the old copy is given to Leontes, has been attributed to Polis. enes, on the suggestion of Mr. Steevens. Sir T. Hanmer had made the same emendation. Malone.
8 Are you mov'd, my lord?] We have again the same expression on the same occasion, in Othello:
Iago. I see my lord, you are moo'd.
- my dagger muzzled,
“ This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I
“ Have not the power to muzzle him.” Again, in Much Ado about Nothing: “I am trusted with a muzzle."
Steevens. 1 As ornaments oft do, too dangerous.] So, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ Thus ornament is but the guiled shore
“ To a most dangerous sea.” Steevens. 2 This squash,] A squash is a pea-pod, in that state when the young peas begin to swell in it. Henley. 3 Will you
take eggs for money ?] This seems to be a proverbial expression, used when a man sees himself wronged and makes no resistance. Its original, or precise meaning, I cannot find, but I believe it means, will you be a cuckold for hire. The cuckow is reported to lay her eggs in another bird's nest; he there. fore that has eggs laid in his nest is said to be cucullatus, cuckowed, or cuckolt. Fohnson.
The meaning of this is, will you put up affronts? The French have a proverbial saying, A qui vendez vous coquilles? i.e. whom do you design to affront? Mamillius's answer plainly proves it. Mam. No, my Lord, I'll fight. Smith.