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Amongst the infinite doings of the world,
Sometime puts forth: In your affairs, my lord,
If ever I were wilful-negligent,
It was my folly; if industriously
I play'd the fool, it was my negligence,
Not weighing well the end; if ever fearful
To do a thing, where I the issue doubted,
Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance, 3 'twas a fear
Which oft infects the wisest: these, my lord,
Are such allow'd infirmities, that honesty
Is never free of. But, 'beseech your grace,
Be plainer with me; let me know my trespass
By its own visage: if I then deny it,
'Tis none of mine.


3 Whereof the execution did cry out

Against the non-performance,] This is one of the expressions by which Shakspeare too frequently clouds his meaning: This sounding phrase means, I think, no more than a thing necessary to be done. Johnson.

I think we ought to read—“the now-performance,” which gives us this very reasonable meaning :-- At the execution whereof, such circumstances discovered themselves, as made it prudent to suspend all further proceeding in it. Heath.

I do not see that this attempt does any thing more, than produce a harsher word without an easier sense. Johnson.

I have preserved this note (Mr. Heath's] because I think it a good interpretation of the original text. Í have, however, no doubt that Shakspeare wrote non-performance, he having often entangled himself in the same manner; but it is clear that he should have written, either_" against the performance,” or—" for the non-performance.”. In The Merchant of Venice, our author has entangled himself in the same manner: “ I beseech you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him lack a reverend estimation;" where either impediment should be cause, or to let him lack, should be, to prevent his obtaining. Again, in King Lear:

I have hope
“You less know how to value her desert,

“ Than she to scant her duty.” Again, in the play before us :

I ne'er heard yet,
“That any of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gain-say what they did,

“Than to perform it first."
Again, in Twelfth-Night:
“ Fortune forbid my outside have not charm'd her!”

Malone. Leon.

Have not you seen, Camillo,
(But that's past doubt: you have; or your eye-glass
Is thicker than a cuckold's horn;) or heard,
(For, to a vision so apparent, rumour
Cannot be mute) or thought, (for cogitation
Resides not in that man, that does not think it, 4)
My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess,
(Or else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say,
My wife 's a hobbyhorse;s deserves a name
As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight: say it, and justify it.

Cam. I would not be a stander-by, to hear
My sovereign mistress clouded so, without
My present vengeance taken: 'Shrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become you less


(for cogitation Resides not in that man, that does not think it,) The folio, 1623, omits the pronoun-it, which is supplied from the folio, 1632.

Steevens. Mr. Theobald, in a Letter subjoined to one edition of The Double Falshood, has quoted this passage in defence of a well-known line in that play: “None but himself can be his parallel.”—“Who does not see at once (says he) that he who does not think, has no thought in him.” In the same light this passage should seem to have appeared to all the subsequent editors, who read, with the editor of the second folio, “ that does not think it:" But the old reading, I am persuaded is right. This is not an abstract proposition. The whole context must be taken together. Have you not thought (aays Leontes) my wife is slippery (for cogita. tion resides not in the man that does not think my wife is slippery?) 'The four latter words, though disjoined from the word think by the necessity of a parenthesis, are evidently to be connected in construction with it; and consequently the seeming absurdity attributed by Theobald to the passage, arises only from misapprehension. In this play, from whatever cause it has arisen, there are more involved and parenthetical sentences, than in any other of our author's, except, perhaps, King Henry VIII.

Malone. I have followed the second folio, which contains many valuable corrections of our author's text. The present emendation (in my opinion at least) deserves that character. Such advantages are not to be rejected, because we know not from what hand they were derived.


a hobbyhorse ;] Old copy-holy-horse. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.



Than this; which to reiterate, were sin
As deep as that, though true.

Is whispering nothing?
Is leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting noses??
Kissing with inside lip? stopping the career
Of laughter with a sigh? (a note infallible
Of breaking honesty :) horsing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wishing clocks more swift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes blind
With the pin and web, 8 but theirs, theirs' only,
That would unseen be wicked? is this nothing?
Why, then the world, and all that is in 't, is nothing;
The covering sky is nothing; Bohemia nothing;
My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings,
If this be nothing.

Good my lord, be cur'd
Of this diseas'd opinion, and betimes;
For 'tis most dangerous.

Say, it be; 'tis true.
Cam. No, no,,my lord.

It is; you lie, you lie:
I say, thou liest, Camillo, and I hate thee;
Pronounce thee a gross lout, a mindless slave;
Or else a hovering temporizer, that
Canst with thine eyes at once see good and evil,
Inclining to them both: Were my wife's liver
Infected as her life, she would not live
The running of one glass.1

Who does infect her?
Leon. Why he, that wears her like her medal,2 hanging




were sin As deep as that, though true.] i.e. your suspicion is as great a sin as would be that (if committed) for which you suspect her.

Warburion. meeting noses?] Dr. Thirlby reads meting noses; that is, measuring noses. Johnson.

the pin and web,] Disorders in the eye. See King Lear, Act III, sc. iv. Steevens.

theirs, theirs --] These words were meant to be pronounced as dissyllables. Steevens.

of one glass.] i. e. of one hour-glass. Malone.
like her medal,] Mr. Malone reads-his medal. Steevens.




About his neck, Bohemia: Who-if I
Had servants true about me; that bare eyes
To see alike mine honour as their profits,
Their own particular thrifts, they would do that
Which should undo more doing :3 Ay, and thou,
His cup-bearer,—whom I from meaner form
Have bench'd, and rear'd to worship; who may'st see
Plainly, as heaven sees earth, and earth sees heaven,
How I am galled,-might'st bespice a cup,
To give mine enemy a lasting wink;5
Which draught to me were cordial.

Sir, my lord,


The old copy has-her medal, which was evidently an error of the press, either in consequence of the compositor's eye glancing on the word her in the preceding line, or of an abbreviation being used in the MS. In As you Like it and Love's Labour's Lost, her and his are frequently confounded. Theobald, I find, had made the same emendation. In King Henry VIII, we have again the same thought:

a loss of her,
“ That like a jewel has hung twenty years

“ About his neck, yet never lost her lustre." It should be remembered that it was customary for gentlemen, in our author's time, to wear jewels appended to a ribbon round the neck. So, in Honour in Perfection, or a Treatise in Commendation of Henrie Earl of Oxenford, Henrie Earl of Southampton, &c. by Gervais Markham, 4to. 1624, p. 18:~" he hath hung about the neck of his noble kinsman, Sir Horace Vere, like a rich jewel."

- The Knights of the Garter wore the George, in this manner, till the time of Charles I. Malone.

I suppose the poet meant to say, that Polixenes wore her, as he would have worn a medal of her, about his neck. Sir Christopher Hatton is represented with a medal of Queen Elizabeth append. ed to his chain. Steevens.

- more doing:] The latter word is used here in a wanton sense. Malone.

mightst bespice a cup,] So, in Chapman's translation of the tenth Book of Homer's Odyssey :

With a festival
“She 'll first receive thee; but will spice thy bread

“ With flowery poisons." Again, in the eighteenth Book:

spice their pleasure's cup.Steevens.
- a lasting wink;) So, in The Tempest:
“To the perpetual wink for aye might put
“ This ancient morsel.” Steevens.




I could do this; and that with no rash potion,
But with a ling’ring dram, that should not work
Maliciously like poison :6 But I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.
I have lov'd thee,?



- with no rash potion, Maliciously, like poison:) Rash is hasty, as in King Henry IV, P. II: “~-rash gunpowder.Maliciously is malignantly, with ef. fects openly hurtful. Johnson.

But I cannot
Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,
So sovereignly being honourable.

I have lov’d thee, &c.] The last hemistich assigned to Camillo must have been mistakenly placed to him. It is disrespect and insolence in Camillo to his king, to tell him that he has once loved him.--I have ventured at a transposition, which seems selfevident. Camillo will not be persuaded into a suspicion of the disloyalty imputed to his mistress. The King, who believes no. thing but his jealousy, provoked that Camillo is so obstinately diffident, finely starts into a rage, and cries:

I've lov'I thee- Make 't thy question, and go rot! i. e. I have tendered thee well, Camillo, but I here cancel all for. mer respect at once. If thou any longer make a question of my wife's disloyalty, go from my presence, and perdition overtake thee for thy stubbornness. Theobald.

I have admitted this alteration, as Dr. Warburton has done, but am not convinced that it is necessary. Camillo, desirous to defend the Queen, and willing to secure credit to his apology, begins, by telling the King that he has loved him, is about to give instances of his love, and to infer from them his present zeal, when he is interrupted. Johnson.

I have loo'd thee,] In the first and second folio, these words are the conclusion of Camillo's speech. The later editors have certainly done right in giving them to Leontes; but I think they would come in better at the end of the line: Make that thy question, and go rot! I have lou'd thee.

Tyrwhitt. I have restored the old reading. Camillo is about to tell Leontes how much he had loved him. The impatience of the King interrupts him by saying: Make that thy question, i. e. make the love of which you boast, the subject of your future conversation, and go to the grave with it. Question, in our author, very often has this meaning. So, in Measure for Measure: “But in the loss of question;" i. e. in conversation that is thrown away. Again, in Hamlet : questionable shape” is a form propitious to conver. sation. Again, in As you Like it : an unquestionable spirit” is a spirit unwilling to be conversed with. Steevens.


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