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Than when I feel, and see her, no further trust her;1
For every inch of woman in the world,
LEON. Hold your peaces.
Good my lord,
ANT. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves: You are abus'd, and by some putter-on," That will be damn'd for't; 'would I knew the vil
I would land-damn him:3 Be she honour-flaw'd,
sionally seen dogs tied up in couples under the manger of a stable. A dog-couple is a term at this day. To this practice perhaps he alludes in King John:
"To dive like buckets in concealed wells,
In the Teutonick language, hund-stall, or dog-stable, is the term for a kennel. Stables, or stable, however, may mean station, stabilis statio, and two distinct propositions may be intended. I'll keep my station in the same place where my wife is lodged; I'll run every where with her, like dogs that are coupled together. MALONE.
1 Than when I feel, and see her, &c.] The old copies read Then when, &c. The correction is Mr. Rowe's. STEEVens.
The modern editors read-Than when, &c. certainly not without ground, for than was formerly spelt then; but here, I believe, the latter word was intended. MALONE.
putter-on,] i. e. one who instigates. So, in Macbeth: the divine powers "Put on their instruments."
land-damn him:] Sir T. Hanmer interprets, stop his urine. Land or lant being the old word for urine.
Land-damn is probably one of those words which caprice brought into fashion, and which, after a short time, reason and grammar drove irrecoverably away. It perhaps meant no more than I will rid the country of him, condemn him to quit the land. JOHNSON.
Land-damn him, if such a reading can be admitted, may
I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven;
mean, he would procure sentence to be past on him in this world, on this earth.
Antigonus could no way make good the threat of stopping his urine. Besides, it appears too ridiculous a punishment for so atrocious a criminal. Yet it must be confessed, that what Sir T. Hanmer has said concerning the word lant, is true. I meet with the following instance in Glapthorne's Wit in a Constable, 1639: "Your frequent drinking country ale with lant in't." And, in Shakspeare's time, to drink a lady's health in urine appears to have been esteemed an act of gallantry. One instance (for I could produce many,) may suffice: "Have I not religiously vow'd my heart to you, been drunk for your health, eat glasses, drank urine, stabb'd arms, and done all the offices of protested gallantry for your sake?" Antigonus, on this occasion, may therefore have a dirty meaning. It should be remembered, however, that to damn anciently signified to condemn. So, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578:
"Vouchsafe to give my damned husband life." Again, in Julius Caesar, Act IV. sc. i:
"He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him." STEEVENS.
I am persuaded that this is a corruption, and that either the printer caught the word damn from the preceding line, or the transcriber was deceived by similitude of sounds.-What the poet's word was, cannot now be ascertained, but the sentiment was probably similar to that in Othello:
"O heaven, that such companions thoud'st unfold," &c. I believe, we should read-land-dam; i. e. kill him; bury him in earth. So, in King John:
"His ears are stopp'd with dust; he's dead." Again, ibid:
"And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust." Again, in Kendal's Flowers of Epigrams, 1577: "The corps clapt fast in clotter'd claye, "That here engrav'd doth lie-.”
Again, in Ben Jonson's Volpone: "Speak to the knave?
“I'll ha' my mouth first stopp'd with earth.”
After all these aukward struggles to obtain a meaning, we might, I think, not unsafely read
"I'd laudanum him-,"
i. e. poison him with laudanum. So, in Ben Jonson's Silent
The second, and the third, nine, and some five;* If this prove true, they'll pay for't: by mine ho
I'll geld them all; fourteen they shall not see,
Woman: "Have I no friend, that will make her drunk, or give her a little laudanum, or opium?"
The word is much more ancient than the time of Shakspeare. I owe this remark to Dr. Farmer. STEEVENS.
The second, and the third, nine, and some five;] The second folio reads-sonnes five. REED.
This line appears obscure, because the word nine seems to refer to both the second and the third." But it is sufficiently clear, referendo singula singulis. The second is of the age of nine, and the third is some five years old. The same expression, as Theobald has remarked, is found in King Lear:
"For that I am, some twelve or fourteen moonshines, "Lag of a brother."
The editor of the second folio reads- -sons five; startled probably by the difficulty that arises from the subsequent lines, the operation that Antigonus threatens to perform on his children, not being commonly applicable to females. But for this, let our author answer. Bulwer in his Artificial Changeling, 1656, shows it may be done. Shakspeare undoubtedly wrote some; for were we, with the ignorant editor above mentioned, to read
-sons five, then the second and third daughter would both be of the same age; which, as we are not told that they are twins, is not very reasonable to suppose. Besides; daughters are by the law of England co-heirs, but sons never. MALONE.
And I had rather glib myself, &c.] For glib I think we should read lib, which, in the northern language, is the same with geld.
In The Court Beggar, by Mr. Richard Brome, Act IV. the word lib is used in this sense:-" He can sing a charm (he says) shall make you feel no pain in your libbing, nor after it: no tooth-drawer, or corn-cutter, did ever work with so little feeling to a patient." GREY.
So, in the comedy of Fancies Chaste and Noble, by Ford, 1638: "What a terrible sight to a lib'd breech, is a sow-gelder?"
Cease; no more.
You smell this business with a sense as cold
Again, in Chapman's translation of Hesiod's Booke of Daies, 4to. 1618:
"The eight, the bellowing bullock lib, and gote."
Though lib may probably be the right word, yet glib is at this time current in many counties, where they say-to glib a boar, to glib a horse. So, in St. Patrick for Ireland, a play by Shirley, 1640:
"If I come back, let me be glib'd." STEEVENS.
"I see't, and feel't,] The old copy-but I do see't, and feel't. I have follow'd Sir T. Hanmer, who omits these expletives, which serve only to derange the metre, without improving the sense. STEEVENS.
I see't and feel't,
As you feel doing thus; and see withal
The instruments that feel.] Some stage direction seems necessary in this place; but what that direction should be, it is not easy to decide. Sir T. Hanmer gives-Laying hold of his arm; Dr. Johnson-striking his brows. STEEVENS.
As a stage direction is certainly requisite, and as there is none in the old copy, I will venture to propose a different one from any hitherto mentioned. Leontes, perhaps, touches the forehead of Antigonus with his fore and middle fingers forked in imitation of a SNAIL'S HORNS; for these, or imaginary horns of his own like them, are the instruments that feel, to which he alluded.There is a similar reference in The Merry Wives of Windsor, from whence the direction of striking his brows seems to have been adopted :-" he so takes on,-so curses all Eve's daughters, and so buffets himself on the forehead, crying, Peer out, peer out!" -The word lunes, it should be noted, occurs in the context of both passages, and in the same sense. HENLEY.
"Rebell'd against the belly; thus accus'd it :-
"Did see, hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel," &c..
I see and feel my disgrace, as you Antigonus, now feel me, on my doing thus to you, and as you now see the instruments that feel, i. e. my fingers. So, in Coriolanus:
66 all the body's members
If it be so,
What! lack I credit?
1 LORD. I had rather you did lack, than I, my lord,
Upon this ground: and more it would content me
LEON. Why, what need we Commune with you of this? but rather follow Our forceful instigation? Our prerogative Calls not your counsels; but our natural goodness Imparts this which,-if you (or stupified, Or seeming so in skill,) cannot, or will not, Relish as truth," like us; inform yourselves, We need no more of your advice: the matter,
Leontes must here be supposed to lay hold of either the beard or arm, or some other part, of Antigonus. See a subsequent note in the last scene of this Act. MALONE.
dungy earth.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
"Feeds beast as man."
which, if you
Relish as truth,] The old copy reads-a truth. Mr. Rowe made the necessary correction-as.
Our author is frequently inaccurate in the construction of his sentences, and the conclusions of them do not always correspond with the beginning. So, before, in this play:
"Had servants true about me,-
The late editions read-as truth, which is certainly more grammatical; but a wish to reduce our author's phraseology to the modern standard, has been the source of much error in the regulation of his text. MALONE.