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Destroy'd the sweet'st companion, that e'er man Bred his hopes out of.

PAUL. True, too true, my lord:7 If, one by one, you wedded all the world, Or, from the all that are, took something good, To make a perfect woman; she, you kill'd, Would be unparallel'd.

I think so.
She I kill'd? I did so: but thou strik'st me
Sorely, to say I did; it is as bitter

Upon thy tongue, as in my thought: Now, good


Say so but seldom.


Not at all, good lady:

You might have spoken a thousand things that would

Have done the time more benefit, and grac'd
Your kindness better.

You are one of those,


Would have him wed again.

DION. If you would not so, You pity not the state, nor the remembrance Of his most sovereign dame; consider little, What dangers, by his highness' fail of issue, May drop upon his kingdom, and devour

7 True, too true, my lord:] In former editions: Destroy'd the sweet'st companion, that e'er man Bred his hopes out of, true.

Paul. Too true, my


A very slight examination will convince every intelligent reader, that true, here has jumped out of its place in all the editions.



Or, from the all that are, took something good,] This is a favourite thought; it was bestowed on Miranda and Rosalind before. JOHNSON.

Incertain lookers-on. What were more holy,
Than to rejoice, the former queen is well?"
What holier, than,-for royalty's repair,
For present comfort and for future good,-
To bless the bed of majesty again
With a sweet fellow to't?

There is none worthy,

Besides, the gods

PAUL. Respecting her that's gone. Will have fulfill'd their secret purposes: For has not the divine Apollo said, Is't not the tenour of his oracle, That king Leontes shall not have an heir, Till his lost child be found? which, that it shall, Is all as monstrous to our human reason,

As my Antigonus to break his grave,
And come again to me; who, on my life,
Did perish with the infant. 'Tis your counsel,
My lord should to the heavens be contrary,
Oppose against their wills.-Care not for issue;
The crown will find an heir: Great Alexander
Left his to the worthiest; so his successor
Was like to be the best.


Good Paulina,—


the former queen is well?] i. e. at rest, dead. Antony and Cleopatra, this phrase is said to be peculiarly applicable to the dead:

"Mess. First, madam, he is well.

"Cleop. Why there's more gold; but sirrah, mark; "We use to say, the dead are well; bring it to that, "The gold I give thee will I melt, and pour "Down thy ill-uttering throat."

So, in Romeo and Juliet, Balthazar, speaking of Juliet, whom he imagined to be dead, says:

"Then she is well, and nothing can be ill." MALOne. This phrase seems to have been adopted from Scripture. See 2 Kings, iv. 26.. HENLEY.

Who hast the memory of Hermione,

I know, in honour,-O, that ever I
Had squar'd me to thy counsel!-then, even now,
I might have look'd upon my queen's full eyes;
Have taken treasure from her lips,-


And left them

More rich, for what they yielded.

Thou speak'st truth.
No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse,
And better us'd, would make her sainted spirit:
Again possess her corps; and, on this stage,
(Where we offenders now appear,) soul-vex'd,
Begin, And why to me?1


(Where we offenders now appear,) soul-vex'd,

Begin, And why to me?] The old copy reads-And begin, why to me? The transposition now adopted was proposed by Mr. Steevens. Mr. Theobald reads:


and on this stage

"(Where we offend her now) appear soul-vex'd," &c. Mr. Heath would read-(Were we offenders now) appear, &c. "that is, if we should now at last so far offend her." Mr. M. Mason thinks that the second line should be printed thus: "And begin, why? to me.".

that is, begin to call me to account.

There is so much harsh and involved construction in this play, that I am not sure but the old copy, perplexed as the sentence may appear, is right. Perhaps the author intended to point it thus:

"Again possess her corps, (and on this stage
"Where we offenders now appear soul-vex'd,)
"And begin, why to me?"

Why to me did you prefer one less worthy, Leontes insinuates would be the purport of Hermione's speech. There is, I think, something aukward in the phrase-Where we offenders now appear. By removing the parenthesis, which in the old copy is placed after appear, to the end of the line, and applying the epithet soul-vex'd to Leontes and the rest who mourned the loss of Hermione, that difficulty is obviated. MALOne.

To countenance my transposition, be it observed, that the

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Had she such power,

She had just cause.2

LEON. She had; and would incense me3 To murder her I married.


I should so :

Were I the ghost that walk'd, I'd bid you mark
Her eye; and tell me, for what dull part in't
You chose her: then I'd shriek, that even your ears
Shou'd rift' to hear me; and the words that follow'd
Should be, Remember mine.


Stars, very stars,

blunders occasioned by the printers of the first folio are so numerous, that it should seem, when a word dropped out of their press, they were careless into which line they inserted it. STEEVENS.

I believe no change is necessary. If, instead of being repeated, the word appear be understood, as, by an obvious ellipsis, it may, the sense will be sufficiently clear. HENLEY.

2 She had just cause.] The first and second folio read-she had just such cause. REED.

We should certainly read, "she had just cause." "The insertion of the word such, hurts both the sense and the metre. M. MASON.

There is nothing to which the word such can be referred. It was, I have no doubt, inserted by the compositor's eye glancing on the preceding line. The metre is perfect without this word, which confirms the observation.-Since the foregoing remark was printed in the SECOND APPENDIX to my SUPP. to SHAKSP, 1783, I have observed that the editor of the third folio made the same correction. MALONE.

So, in


incense me- —] i. e. instigate me, set me on. King Richard III :

"Think you, my lord, this little prating York
"Was not incensed by his subtle mother?" STEEVENS.

• Should rift-] i. e. split. So, in The Tempest: rifted Jove's stout oak." STEEVENS.

66 ―――

* Stars, very stars,] The word-very, was supplied by Sir T, Hanmer, to assist the metre. So, in Cymbeline:

"'Twas very Cloten."

And all eyes else dead coals!-fear thou no wife, I'll have no wife, Paulina.

PAUL. Will you swear Never to marry, but by my free leave? LEON. Never, Paulina; so be bless'd my spirit! PAUL. Then, good my lords, bear witness to his oath.

CLEO. You tempt him over-much.

As like Hermione as is her picture,
Affront his eye."


Good madam,


I have done."

Yet, if my lord will marry,-if you will, sir,
No remedy, but you will; give me the office
To choose you a queen: she shall not be so young
As was your former; but she shall be such,
As, walk'd your first queen's ghost, it should take


To see her in your arms.

Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :

My true Paulina,
We shall not marry, till thou bidd'st us.



Shall be, when your first queen's again in breath; Never till then.


Affront his eye.] To affront, is to meet. So, in Cymbeline:

Unless another,

"Especially against his very friend." STEEVENS.


"Your preparation can affront no less
"Than what you hear of." STEEVENS.


7 Paul. I have done.] These three words in the old copy part of the preceding speech. The present regulation, which is clearly right, was suggested by Mr. Steevens. MALONE.

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