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I'll swear it: and I would, thou would'st be a tall fellow of thy hands.
Aut. I will prove so, sir, to my power.
Clo. Ay, by any means prove a tall fellow: If I do not wonder, how thou darest venture to be drunk, not being a tall fellow, trust me not.--Hark! the kings and the princes, our kindred, are going to see the queen's picture. Come, follow us: we'll be thy good masters.'
[Exeunt. SCENE III.
A Room in Paulina's House.
Enter LEONTES, POLIXENES, FLORIZEL, PERDITA, CA
MILLO, PAULINA, Lords, and Attendants. Leon. O grave and good Paulina, the great comfort That I have had of thee!
“ Thou art a gool man of thyne habite.” Steevens. A tall fellow of thy hands means, a stout fellow of your size.We measure horses by hands, which contain four inches; and from thence the phrase is taken. M. Mason.
The following quotation from Questions concernyng Coniehood, &c. 1595, will at least ascertain the sense in which Autolycus would have wished this phrase to be received: “ Coniehood proceeding from choller, is in him which amongst mirth having but one crosse word given him, straightwaies fals to his weapons, and will hacke peecemeale the quicke and the dead through superfluity of his manhood; and doth this for this purpose, that the standers by may say that he is a tall fellow of his hands, and such a one as will not swallow a cantell of cheese." In Chapman's version of the thirteenth Iliad, we have: “ Long-rob’d laons, Locrians, and (brave men of their
hands) “ The Phthian and Epeian troops —," Steevens. I think, in old books it generally means a strong stout fellow.
Malone, Come, follow us : we'll be thy good masters.] The Clown conceits himself already a man of consequence at court. It was the fashion for an inferior, or suitor, to beg of the great man, af. ter his humble commendations, that he would be good master to him. Many letters written at this period run in this style.
Thus Fisher, bishop of Rochester, when in prison, in a letter to Cromwell to relieve his want of clothing: “Furthermore, I beseeche you to be gode master unto one in my necessities, for I have neither shirt, nor sute, nor yet other clothes, that are necessary for me to wear.” Whalley.
What, sovereign sir,
As she liv'd peerless,
[PAUL. undraws a curtain, and discovers a Statue. I like your silence, it the more shows off Your wonder: But yet speak;—first, you, my liege. Comes it not something near? Leon.
Her natural posture! Chide me, dear stone; that I may say, indeed, Thou art Hermione: or, rather, thou art she,
therefore I keep it Lonely, apart:) The old copy-lovely. Steevens. Lovely, i. e. charily, with more than ordinary regard and tenderness. The Oxford editor reads:
“Lonely, apart:"As if it could be apart without being alone. Warburton.
I am yet inclined to lonely, which in the old angular writing cannot be distinguished from lovely. To say, that I keep it alone, separate from the rest, is a pleonasm which scarcely any nicety declines. Johnson.
The same error is found in many other places in the first folio. In King Richard III, we find this very error:
Advantaging their love with interest
« Often times double." Here we have loue instead of lone, the old spelling of loan.
In thy not chiding; for she was as tender,
O, not by much.
As now she might have done,
And give me leave;
Cam. My lord, your sorrow was too sore laid on;
Dear my brother,
Indeed, my lord,
20, patience ;] That is, Stay a while, be not so eager. Johnsoni.
wrought — } i. e. worked, agitated. So, in Macbeth:
my dull brain was wrought
I'd not have show'd it.4
Do not draw the curtain.
Let be, let be. Would I were dead, but that, methinks, already—5 What was he, that did make it?-See, my lord, Would you not deem, it breath’d? and that those veins Did verily bear blood? -Pol.
Masterly done: The very life seems warm upon her lip.
Leon. The fixure of her eye has motion in 't,
4 Indeed, my lord,
I'd not have show'd it.) I do not know whether we should not read, without a parenthesis:
for the stone i'th' mine I'd not have shew'd it. A mine of stone, or marble, would not perhaps at present be esteemed an accurate expression, but it may still have been used by Shakspeare, as it has been used by Holinshed. Descript. of Engl. c. ix, p. 235: “Now if you have regard to their ornature, how many mines of sundrie kinds of coarse and fine marble are there to be had in England ?”—And a little lower he uses the same word again for a quarry of stone, or plaister: “And such is the mine of it, that the stones thereof lie in flakes," &c. Tyrwhitt.
To change an accurate expression for an expression confessedly not accurate, has somewhat of retrogradation. Fohnson.
(for the stone is mine)] So afterwards, Paulina says: “_ be stone no more." So also Leontes: “Chide me, dear stone." Malone.
5 Would I were dead, but that, methinks, already -] The sentence completed is:
but that, methinks, already I converse with the dead. But there his passion made him break off. Warburton. 6. The fixure of her eye has motion in 't,] So, in our author's 88th Sonnet:
Your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand, “Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived.” Malone. The meaning is, though her eye be fixed, [as the eye of a statue always is) yet it seems to have motion in it: that tremulous motion, which is perceptible in the eye of a living person, how much soever one endeavour to fix it. Edwards.
The word fixure, which Shakspeare has used both in The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Troilus and Cressida, is likewise employed by Drayton in the first canto of The Barons' Wars:
“Whose glorious fixure in so clear a sky." Steevens.
As we are mock'd with art.7.
I'll draw the curtain;
O sweet Paulina,
Paul. I am sorry, sir, I have thus far stirr'd you : but I could afflict
Good my lord, forbear:
Leon. No, not these twenty years.
So long could I
7 As we are mock'd with art.] As is used by our author here, as in some other places, for “as if.” Thus, in Cymbeline :
“ He spake of her, as Dian had hot dreams,
" And she alone were cold.” Again, in Macbeth:
“ As they had seen me with these hangman's hands
“ List’ning their fear." Malone. As we are mock’d with art.] Mr. M. Mason and Mr. Malone, very properly observe that as, in this instance is used, as in some other places, for as if. The former of these gentlemen would read were instead of are, but unnecessarily, I think, considering the loose grammar of Shakspeare's age.-With, however, has the force of by. A passage parallel to that before us; occurs in Antony and Cleopatra :-" And mock our eyes with air.” Steevens.