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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,
Leon. We are tougher, brother,
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,
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,
Leon. Well said, Hermione.
Her. To tell he longs to see his son, were strong:
Pol. No, madam.
Her. Nay, but you will?
Pol. I may not, verily.
My prisoner, or my guest? By your dread verily,
Pol. Your guest, then, madam:
To be your prisoner, should import offending;
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,
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
Her. Grace to boot!2
Of this make no conclusion; lest you say,
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
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.
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,
Her. It is grace, indeed.—
Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice.
[Giving her hand to Polixenes.
Leon. Too hot, too hot. [Aside.
To mingle friendship far, is mingling bloods.
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.
Why, that's my bawcock.2 What, hast smutched thy nose ?—
[Observing Polixenes and Hermione.
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.