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'Tis pity she's not honest, honourable : Praise her but for this her without-door form, (Which, on my faith, deserves high speech,) and straight
The shrug, the hum, or ha; these petty brands,
LEON. You have mistook, my lady, Polixenes for Leontes: O thou thing, Which I'll not call a creature of thy place, Lest barbarism, making me the precedent, Should a like language use to all degrees, And mannerly distinguishment leave out Betwixt the prince and beggar !—I have said, She's an adultress; I have said with whom :
-for calumny will sear
Virtue itself: That is, will stigmatize or brand as infamous. So, in All's well that ends well :
my maiden's name "Sear'd otherwise." Henley.
you, my lord,
Do but mistake.] Otway had this passage in his thoughts, when he put the following lines into the mouth of Castalio Should the bravest man
"That e'er wore conquering sword, but dare to whisper "What thou proclaim'st, he were the worst of liars:
My friend may be mistaken." STEEVENS.
More, she's a traitor; and Camillo is
HER. No, by my life, Privy to none of this: How will this grieve you, When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that You thus have publish'd me? Gentle my lord, You scarce can right me throughly then, to say You did mistake.
A federary with her ;] A federary (perhaps a word of our author's coinage) is a confederate, an accomplice. STEEVENS.
We should certainly read-a feodary with her. There is no such word as federary. See Cymbeline,, Act III. sc. ii.
Malone says that we should certainly read feodary, and quotes a passage in Cymbeline as a proof of his assertion; but surely this very passage is as good authority for reading federary, as that can be for reading feodary. Besides, federate is more naturally derived from foederis, the genitive of the Latin word foedus; and the genitive case is the proper parent of derivatives, as its name denotes. M. MASON.
But with her most vile principal,] One that knows what we should be ashamed of, even if the knowledge of it rested only in her own breast and that of her paramour, without the participation of any confidant.-But, which is here used for only, renders this passage somewhat obscure. It has the same signification again in this scene:
"He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
"But that he speaks." MALOne.
give bold titles ;] The old copy reads-bold'st titles; but if the contracted superlative be retained, the roughness of the line will be intolerable.
The center is not big enough to bear
HER. There's some ill planet reigns: I must be patient, till the heavens look With an aspect more favourable.-Good my lords, I am not prone to weeping, as our sex Commonly are; the want of which vain dew, Perchance, shall dry your pities: but I have That honourable grief lodg'd here," which burns
if I mistake
The center &c.] That is, if the proofs which I can offer will not support the opinion I have formed, no foundation can be trusted. JOHNSON.
Milton, in his Masque at Ludlow Castle, has expressed the same thought in more exalted language:
if this fail,
"The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,
"And earth's base built on stubble." STEEevens.
* He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
But that he speaks.] Far off guilty, signifies, guilty in a remote degree. JOHNSON.
The same expression occurs in King Henry V: "Or shall we sparingly show you far off "The dauphin's meaning?"
But that he speaks-means, in merely speaking. MALONE.
till the heavens look
With an aspéct more favourable.] An astrological phrase. The aspect of stars was anciently a familiar term, and continued to be such till the age in which Milton tells us
the swart star sparely looks." Lycidas, v. 138. STEEVENS.
but I have
That honourable grief lodg'd here,] Again, in Hamlet: ·
Worse than tears drown: 'Beseech you all, my lords,
With thoughts so qualified as your charities
HER. Who is't, that goes with me?-'Beseech your highness,
My women may be with me; for, you see,
Shall I be heard? [To the Guards.
Has deserv'd prison, then abound in tears,
leave. LEON. Go, do our bidding; hence. [Exeunt Queen and Ladies.
Worse than tears drown:] So, in King Henry VIII. Queen Katharine says—
my drops of tears
"I'll turn to sparks of fire." STEEVENS.
this action, I now go on,] The word action is here taken in the lawyer's sense, for indictment, charge, or accusation. JOHNSON.
We cannot say that a person goes on an indictment, charge, or accusation. I believe, Hermione only means, "What I am now about to do." M. MASON.
Mr. M. Mason's supposition may be countenanced by the following passage in Much Ado about Nothing, Act I. sc. i: "When I went forward on this ended action.”
1 LORD. 'Beseech your highness, call the queen again.
ANT. Be certain what you do, sir; lest your justice
Proveviolence; in the which three great ones suffer, Yourself, your queen, your son.
1 LORD. For her, my lord,I dare my life lay down, and will do't, sir, Please you to accept it, that the queen is spotless I'the eyes of heaven, and to you; I mean, In this which you accuse her.
I'll keep my stables where
I lodge my wife;] Stable-stand (stabilis statio, as Spelman interprets it) is a term of the forest-laws, and signifies a place where a deer-stealer fixes his stand under some convenient cover, and keeps watch for the purpose of killing deer as they pass by. From the place it came to be applied also to the person, and any man taken in a forest in that situation, with a gun or bow in his hand, was presumed to be an offender, and had the name of a stable-stand. Imall former editions this hath been printed stable; and it may perhaps be objected, that another syllable added spoils the smoothness of the verse. But by pronouncing stable short, the measure will very well bear it, according to the liberty allowed in this kind of writing, and which Shakspeare never scruples to use; therefore I read, stablestand. HANMER.
There is no need of Sir T. Hanmer's addition to the text. So, in the ancient interlude of The Repentaunce of Marie Magdalaine, 1567:
"Where thou dwellest, the devyll may have a stable." STEEVENS.
If Hermione prove unfaithful, I'll never trust my wife out of my sight; I'll always go in couples with her; and, in that respect, my house shall resemble a stable where dogs are kept in pairs. Though a kennel is a place where a pack of hounds is kept, every one, I suppose, as well as our author, has occa