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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 go before it.

Leon. Stay your thanks awhile;

And pay them when you part.

Pol. Sir, that's to-morrow.

I am questioned by my fears, of what may chance,
Or breed upon our absence: thatl may blow
No sneaping 2 winds at home, to make us say,
This is put forth too truly!3 Besides, I have staid
To tire your royalty.

Leon. We are tougher, brother,
Than you can put us to't.

Pol. No longer stay.

Leon. One sevennight longer.

Pol. Very sooth, to-morrow.

Leon. We'll part the time between's then; and in that I'll no gainsaying.

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

There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'the 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.

Leon. 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

1 That for Oh that! is not uncommon in old writers.

2 Sneaping, nipping.

3 i. e. to make me say, I had too good reason for my fears concerning what may happen in my absence from home. VOL. III. 2

The by-gone day proclaimed; say this to him,
He's beat from his best ward.

Leon. 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 Pol.] I'll adventure
The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia
You take my lord, I'll give him my commission,
To let1 him there a month, behind the gest1
Prefixed for his parting; yet, good deed,2 Leontes,
I love thee not ajar o' the 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 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 j
you? I

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 jailer, then, j But your kind hostess. Come, I'll question you

1 To let had for its synonymes to stay or stop; to let him there, is to stay him there. Gests were scrolls in which were marked the stages or places of rest in a progress or journey, especially a royal one.

2 i. e. indeed, in very deed, in troth. Good deed is used in the same sense by the earl of Surrey, sir John Hayward, and Gascoigne.

Of my lord's tricks, and yours, when you were boys;

You were pretty lordings then.

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' the two?

Pol. We were as twinned lambs, that did frisk i'the sun, And bleat the one at the other. What we changed, Was innocence for innocence; we knew not The doctrine of ill doing, nor dreamed That any did. Had we pursued that life, And our weak spirits ne'er been higher reared With stronger blood, we should have answered Heaven Boldly, Not Guilty; the imposition cleared,1 Hereditary ours.

Her. By this wre gather,

You have tripped since.

Pol. O, my most sacred lady,

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

Her. Grace to boot!2

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 sinned with us, and that with us
You did continue fault, and that you slipped not
With any but with us.

Leon. Is he won yet?

Her. He'll stay, my lord.

Leon. At my request he would not.

Hermione, my dearest, thou never spok'st
To better purpose.

1 i. e. setting aside the original sin, bating the imposition from the offence of our first parents, we might have boldly protested our innocence.

2 "Grace to boot;" an exclamation equivalent to give us grace.

Her. Never?

Leon. Never, but once.

Her. What? have I twice said well? When was't before? 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 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 the purpose. When? Nay, let me have't; I long.

Leon. Why, that was when

Three crabbed months had soured themselves to death,
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,
And clap1 thyself my love; then didst thou utter,
/ am yours forever.

Her. It is grace, indeed.—

Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice.
The one forever earned a royal husband;
The other, for some while, a friend.

[Giving her hand to Polixenes.

Leon. Too hot, too hot. [Aside.

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,2
And well become the agent. It may, I grant:
But to be paddling palms, and pinching fingers,
As now they are; and making practised smiles,
As in a looking-glass;—and then to sigh, as 'twere
The mort o' the deer;1 O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows.—Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?

1 At entering into any contract, or plighting of troth, this clapping of hands together set the seal. Numerous instances of allusion to the custom have been adduced by the editors; one shall suffice, from the old play of Ram Alley: "Come, clap hands, a match." The custom is not yet disused in common life.

2 "from bounty, fertile bosom." Malone thinks that a letter lias

been omitted, and that we should read—■

"from bounty's fertile bosom."

Mam. Ay, my good lord.

Leon. Pfecks?

Why, that's my bawcock.2 What, hast smutched 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 called neat.—Still virginalling3

[Observing Polixenes and Hermione.
Upon his palm?—How now, you wanton calf?
Art thou my calf?

Mam. Yes, if you will, my lord.

Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have,4 To be full5 like me: yet, they say, we are Almost as like as eggs; women say so, That will say any thing. But were they false As o'er-dyed blacks,6 as wind, as waters; false As dice are to be wished, by one that fixes No bourn 'twixt his and mine; yet were it true To say this boy were like me.—Come, sir page, Look on me with your welkin7 eye. Sweet villain!

1 i. e. the death of the deer. The mort was also certain notes played on the horn at the death of the deer.

2 "Bawcock" A burlesque word of endearment supposed to be derived from beau-coq, or boy-cock. It occurs again in Twelfth Night, and in King Henry V., and in both places is coupled with chuck or chick. It is said that bra'cock is still used in Scotland.

3 Still playing with her fingers as a girl playing on the virginals. Virginals were stringed instruments played with keys like a spinnet, which they resembled in all respects but in shape, spinnets being nearly triangular, and virginals of an oblong square shape like a small piano-forte.

4 Thou wantest a rough head, and the budding horns that I have. A pash in some places denoting a young bull calf whose horns are springing; a mad pash, a mad-brained boy.

5 i. e. entirely.

6 i. e. old, faded stuffs, of other colors, dyed black.

7 Welkin is blue; i. e. the color of the welkin or sky.

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