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Three crabbed months had sour'd themselves to death,
Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,

And clap thyself my love; then didst thou utter,
I am yours for ever.


It is Grace, indeed.9

Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose twice:
The one for ever earn'd a royal husband;

The other, for some while a friend.

[Giving her hand to POL. Too hot, too hot: [Aside.

Leon. 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, bounty's


8 And clap thyself my love;] She opened her hand, to clap the palm of it into his, as people do when they confirm a bargain. Hence the phrase-to clap up a bargain, i. e. make one with no other ceremony than the junction of hands. So, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:

66 Speak, widow, is 't a match?
"Shall we clap it up?"

Again, in A Trick to catch the Old One, 1618:
"Come, clap hands, a match."

Again, in King Henry V:


and so clap hands, and a bargain." Steevens.

This was a regular part of the ceremony of troth-plighting, to which Shakspeare often alludes. So, in Measure for Measure: "This is the hand, which with a vow'd contráct

"Was fast belock'd in thine."

Again, in King John:

"Phil. It likes us well. Young princes, close your hands. "Aust. And your lips too, for I am well assur'd,

"That I did so, when I was first assur'd."

So also, in No Wit like a Woman's, a comedy, by Middleton, 1657 : "There these young lovers shall clap hands together."

I should not have given so many instances of this custom, but that I know Mr. Pope's reading-" And clepe thyself my love," has many favourers. The old copy has-A clap, &c. The correction was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.

9 It is Grace, indeed.] Referring to what she had just said— "O, would her name were Grace!" Malone.

1 -from bounty, fertile bosom,] I suppose that a letter dropped out at the press, and would read—from bounty's fertile bosom. Malone.

By fertile bosom, I suppose, is meant a bosom like that of the

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



Ay, my good lord.

Why, that's my bawcock.


I'fecks? 3

What, hast smutch'd thy

They say, it's a copy out of mine.

Come, captain,

We must be neat;5 not neat, but cleanly, captain:
And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf,

Are all call'd, neat.-Still virginalling."

[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,.


infinite breast

"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.

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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. Johnson. 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 Elizabeth's virginal-book is yet in being, and many of the lessons in it have proved so difficult, as to baffle our most expert players on the harpsichord.

Upon his palm?-How now, you wanton calf?
Art thou my calf?

Yes, if you will, my lord.

Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that

I have,"

So, in Decker's Satiromastix, or the Untrussing of the Humorous Poet, 1602:

"When we have husbands, we play upon them like 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

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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?

Art thou my calf?

Mam. Yes, if you will, my lord.

Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash and the shoots that I have,
To be full like me.

To pash signifies to push or dash against, and frequently occurs in old writers. Thus, Drayton:


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,

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"Cleave pates and caputs."

When in Cheshire a pash is used for a mad-brained boy, it is designed to characterize him from the wantonness of a calf that blunders on, and runs his head against any thing. Henley. In Troilus and Cressida, the verb pash also occurs:

66 waving his beam

"Upon the pashed corses of the kings

"Epistrophus and Cedius."

And again, (as Mr. Henley on another occasion observes) in The Virgin Martyr:


when the battering ram

"Were fetching his career backward, to pash

"Me with his horns to pieces." Steevens.

I have lately learned that pash in Scotland signifies a head. The old reading therefore may stand. Many words, that are

To be full like me:-yet, they say, we are
Almost as like as eggs; women say so,

That will


dead As o'er-died blacks, as wind, as waters; false
say any thing: But were they false
As dice are to be wish'd, by one that fixes

No bourn1 'twixt his and mine; yet were it true
To say this boy were like me.-Come, sir page,
Look on me with your welkin eye:2 Sweet villain!
Most dear'st! my collop!3-Can thy dam?-may 't be?

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. Johnson.

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:

66 Blacks are often such dissembling mourners,
"There is no credit given to 't, it has lost

"All reputation by false sons and widows:

"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. Steevens. The following passage in a book which our author had certainly read, inclines me to believe that the last is the true interpretation. "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:


66- from whose bourn

"No traveller returns -." Steevens.

welkin-eye:] Blue-eye; an eye of the same colour with the welkin, or sky. Johnson.


my collop!] So, in The First Part of King Henry VI: "God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh." Steevens.

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Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:4
Thou dost make possible, things not so held, 5
Communicat'st with dreams;-(How can this be?)-
With what's unreal thou coactive art,

And fellow'st nothing: Then, 'tis very credent,6
Thou may'st co-join 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.


[Holding his torchend

What means Sicilia?

Her. He something seems unsettled.


How, my lord?

What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother?7

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 believe, signifies imagination. Thus, in The Merchant of Venice:

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"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. alone.

5 Thou dost make possible, things not so held,] i. e. thou dost make those things possible, which are conceived to be impossible. Johnson.

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. 6 credent,] i. e. credible, So, in Measure for Measure, Act V, sc. v:

"For my authority bears a credent bulk." Steevens.

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