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Take her hence:
Her heart is but o'ercharg'd; she will recover.—
[Exeunt PAUL. and Ladies, with HER.
My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle!
New woo my queen; recall the good Camillo;
My friend Polixenes: which had been done,
Not doing it, and being done: he, most humane,
1 But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
My swift command,] Here likewise our author has closely followed Greene: " - promising not only to shew himself a loyal and a loving husband; but also to reconcile himselfe to Egisthus and Franion; revealing then before them all the cause of their secret flight, and how treacherously he thought to have practised his death, if that the good mind of his cup-bearer had not prevented his purpose." Malone.
Of all incertainties himself commended,] In the original copy some word probably of two syllables, was inadvertently omitted in the first of these lines. I believe the word omitted was either doubtful, or fearful. The editor of the second folio endeavoured to cure the defect by reading-the certain hazard; the most improper word that could have been chosen. How little attention the alterations made in that copy are entitled to, has been shown in my Preface. Commended is committed. See p. 219. Malone.
I am of a contrary opinion, and therefore retain the emendation of the second folio.
Certain hazard, &c. is quite in our author's manner. The Comedy of Errors, Act II, sc. ii:
"Until I know this sure uncertainty." Steevens.
Thorough my rust! and how his piety
Woe the while!
O, cut my lace; lest my heart, cracking it,
1 Lord. What fit is this, good lady?
Paul. What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me? What wheels? racks? fires? What flaying? boiling, In leads, or oils? what old, or newer torture Must I receive; whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny Together working with thy jealousies,Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle For girls of nine!-O, think, what they have done, And then run mad, indeed; stark mad! for all Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it. That thou betray'dst Polixenes, 'twas nothing; That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant, And damnable ungrateful:4 nor was 't much,
3 Does my deeds make the blacker!] This vehement retraction of Leontes, accompanied with the confession of more crimes than he was suspected of, is agreeable to our daily experience of the vicissitudes of violent tempers, and the eruptions of minds oppressed with guilt. Johnson.
4 That thou betray'dst Polixenes, 'twas nothing;
That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant,
And damnable ungrateful:] I have ventured at a slight alteration here, against the authority of all the copies, and for fool read -soul. It is certainly too gross and blunt in Paulina, though she might impeach the King of fooleries in some of his past actions and conduct, to call him downright a fool. And it is much more pardonable in her to arraign his morals, and the qualities of his mind, than rudely to call him idiot to his face. Theobald.
show thee, of a fool,] So all the copies. We should read:
show thee off, a fool,
i. e. represent thee in thy true colours; a fool, an inconstant, &c. Warburton.
Poor Mr. Theobald's courtly remark cannot be thought to deserve much notice. Dr. Warburton too might have spared his sagacity, if he had remembered that the present reading, by a mode of speech anciently much used, means only, It showed thee first a fool, then inconstant and ungrateful. Johnson.
Damnable is here used adverbially. Malone.
Thou would'st have poison'd good Camillo's honour,
Of the young prince; whose honourable thoughts
When I have said, cry, woe!-the queen, the queen, The sweetest, dearest, creature 's dead; and vengeance for 't
Not dropp'd down yet.
The higher powers forbid!
Paul. I say, she 's dead; I'll swear 't: if word, nor
Prevail not, go and see: if you can bring
The same construction occurs in the second Book of Phaer's version of the Eneid:
"When this the yong men heard me speak, of wild they waxed wood." Steevens.
5 Thou wouldst have poison'd good Camillo's honour,] How should Paulina know this? No one had charged the King with this crime except himself, while Paulina was absent, attending on Hermione. The Poet seems to have forgotten this circumstance.
though a devil
Would have shed water out of fire, ere don 't:] i. e. a devil would have shed tears of pity o'er the damned, ere he would have committed such an action. Steevens.
Go on, go on:
Thou canst not speak too much; I have deserv'd
All tongues to talk their bitterest.
Say no more; Howe'er the business goes, you have made fault I' the boldness of your speech.
I am sorry for 't;7
All faults I make, when I shall come to know them,
I do repent: Alas, I have show'd too much
The rashness of a woman: he is touch'd
To the noble heart.-What's gone, and what's past help, Should be past grief: Do not receive affliction
"At my petition," I beseech you; rather
Who is lost too: Take your patience to you,
Thou didst speak but well,
Our shame perpetual: Once a day I'll visit
The chapel where they lie; and tears, shed there,
Nature will bear up with this exercise,
So long I daily vow to use it. Come,
7 I am sorry for 't;] This is another instance of the sudden changes incident to vehement and ungovernable minds. Johnson.
what's past help,
Should be past grief:] So, in King Richard II:
Things past redress, are now with me past care."
Bohemia. A desert Country near the Sea.
Enter ANTIGONUS, with the Child; and a Mariner.
Ant. Thou art perfect then, our ship hath touch'd
The deserts of Bohemia?
Ant. Their sacred wills be done!-Go, get aboard;
Mar. Make your best haste; and go not
I have heard, (but not believ'd) the spirits of the dead
I never saw a vessel of like sorrow,
So fill'd, and so becoming in pure white robes, o'er running. Like very sanctity, she did approach
My cabin where I lay: thrice bow'd before me;
And, gasping to begin some speech, her eyes
9 Thou art perfect then,] Perfect is often used by Shakspeare
for certain, well assured, or well informed. Johnson.
It is so used by almost all our ancient writers. Steevens.