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Most dearest! my collop!3—can thy dam ?—May't
be? Affection! thy intention stabs the centre ;2 Thou dost make possible, things not so held; Communicat'st with dreams;—(How can this be ?) With what's unreal thou coactive art, And fellow'st nothing. Then, 'tis very credent,3 Thou mayst conjoin with something; and thou dost; (And that beyond commission, and I find it;) And that to the infection of my brains, And hardening of my brows.
Pol. What means Sicilia?
Her. He something seems unsettled.
Pol. How, my lord?
What cheer? How is't with you, best brother?
Her. You look
As if you held a brow of much distraction.
Leon. No, in good earnest.—
How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight.
1 In King Henry VI. Part I. we have—
"God knows thou art a collop of my fiesh."
2 Affection here means imagination. Intention is earnest consideration, eager attention. It is this vehemence of mine1 which affects Leontes, by making him conjure up unreal causes of disquiet; and thus, in the Poet's language, "stabs him to the centre."
3 Credent, credible.
4 i. e. an immature pea-pod.
5 a Will you take eggs for money?" A proverbial phrase for " Will you suffer yourself to be cajoled or imposed upon?"
Leon. You will? why, happy man be his dole !l— My brother, Are you so fond of your young prince, as we Do seem to be of ours?
Pol. If at home, sir,
He's all my exercise, my mirth, my matter:
Leon. So stands this squire
Officed with me. We two will walk, my lord,
Her. If you would seek us,
We are yours i'the garden. Shall's attend you there?
Leon. To your own bents dispose you: you'll be found, Be you beneath the sky;—I am angling now, Though you perceive me not how I give line. Go to, go to!
[Aside. Observing Polixenes and Hermione. How she holds up the neb,3 the bill to him! And arms her with the boldness of a wife To her allowing husband! Gone already! Inch-thick, knee-deep, o'er head and ears a forked
[Exeunt Pol., Her., and Attendants. Go, play, boy, play;—thy mother plays, and I Play too; but so disgraced a part, whose issue Will hiss me to my grave; contempt and clamor Will be my knell.—Go, play, boy, play.—There have been,
1 i. e. may happiness be his portion!
2 Heir apparent, next claimant
3 i. e. mouth. 4 }. e. a horned one.
Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now;
And many a man there is, even at this present,
Now, while I speak this, holds his wife by the arm,
That little thinks she has been sluiced in his absence,
And his pond fished by his next neighbor, by
Sir Smile, his neighbor. Nay, there's comfort in't,
Whiles other men have gates; and those gates opened,
As mine, against their will. Should all despair,
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themselves. Physic for't there is none;
It is a bawdy planet, that will strike
Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it,
From east, west, north, and south: be it concluded,
No barricado for a belly; know it;
It will let in and out the enemy,
With bag and baggage. Many a thousand of us
Have the disease, and feel't not.—How now, boy?
Mam. I am like you, they say.
Leon. Why, that's some comfort.—
What! Camillo there?
Cam. Ay, my good lord.
Leon. Go play, Mamillius: thou'rt an honest man.—
[Exit Mamillius. Camillo, this great sir will yet stay longer.
Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor hold; When you cast out, it still came home.1
Leon. Didst note it?
Cam. He would not stay at your petitions; made His business more material.2
Leon. Didst perceive it?—
They're here with me already:3 whispering, round
in§'4 Sicilia is a so-forth.5 'Tis far gone,
1 "It still came home," a nautical term, meaning, "the anchor would not take hold."
2 The more you requested him to stay, the more urgent he represented that business to be which summoned him away.
3 Not Polixenes and Hermione, but casual observers. 4 To round in the ear was to tell secretly, to whisper.
5 A so-forth, a phrase apparently employed to avoid the utterance of an opprobrious one. So, so, is sometimes used in a similar manner.
When I shall gust1 it last.—How came't, Camillo,
Cam. At the good queen's entreaty.
Leon. At the queen's, be't: good, should be pertinent; But so it is, it is not. Was this taken By any understanding pate but thine? For thy conceit is soaking, will draw in More than the common blocks.—Not noted, is't, But of the finer natures? By some severals, Of head-piece extraordinary? Lower messes,2 Perchance, are to this business purblind: say.
Cam. Business, my lord? I think most understand Bohemia stays here longer.
Cam. Stays here longer.
Leon. Ay, but why?
Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaties Of our most gracious mistress.
The entreaties of your mistress? Satisfy ?—
Let that suffice. I have trusted thee, Camillo,
Cam. Be it forbid, my lord!
Leon. To bide upon't: Thou art not honest; or, If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward; Which hoxes3 honesty behind, restraining From course required; or else thou must be counted A servant, grafted in my serious trust, And therein negligent; or else a fool, That seest a game played home, the rich stake drawn And tak'st it all for jest.
1 i. e. taste it:—"ille domus sciet ultimus." Juv. Sat. x.
2 Messes is here put for degrees, conditions. 3 To hox is to hamstring: the proper word is to hough. VOL. III. 3
Cam. My gracious lord,
I may be negligent, foolish, and fearful;
Leon. Have not you seen, Camillo,
(But that's past doubt: you have; or your eye-glass
1 This is expressed obscurely, but seems to mean " the execution of which [when done) cried out against the non-performance of it before"
2 Leontes means to say, "Have you not thought that my wife is slippery? (for cogitation resides not in the man that does not think my wife is slippery.") The four latter words, though disjoined from the word think by the necessity of a parenthesis, are evidently to be connected in construction with it