Графични страници
PDF файл

nest; then stand, till he be three quarters and a dram dead: then recovered again with aqua-vitæ, or some other hot infusion: then, raw as he is, and in the hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall he be set against a brick-wall, the sun looking with a southward eye upon ́him; where he is to behold him, with flies blown to death. But what talk we of these traitorly rascals, whose miseries are to be smiled at, their offences being so capital? Tell me, (for you seem to be honest plain men) what you have to the king: being something gently considered, I'll bring you where he is aboard, tender your persons to his presence, whisper him in your behalfs; and, if it be in man, besides the king, to effect your suits, here is man shall do it.


Clo. He seems to be of great authority: close with him, give him gold; and though authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold: show the inside of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado: Remember, stoned, and flayed alive.

Shep. An 't please you, sir, to undertake the business for us, here is that gold I have: I'll make it as much more; and leave this young man in pawn, till I bring it you.

Aut. After I have done what I promised?

Shep. Ay, sir.

naked to enter into it, where hee long time endured the greatest languor and torment in the worlde, with swarmes of flies that dayly fed on hym; and in this sorte, with paine and famine, ended his miserable life." The Stage of Popish Toyes, 1581, p. 33.


6 the hottest day prognostication proclaims,] That is, the hottest day foretold in the almanack. Johnson.

Almanacks were in Shakspeare's time published under this title: "An Almanack and Prognostication made for the year of our Lord God, 1595." See Herbert's Typograph. Antiq. II, 1029, Malone.


being something gently considered,] Means, I having a gentlemanlike consideration given me, i, e. a bribe, will bring you, &c. So, in The Three Ladies of London, 1584:

66 sure, sir, I'll consider it hereafter if I can.

"What, consider me? dost thou think that I am a bribetaker ?"

Again, in The Isle of Gulls, 1633: "Thou shalt be well considered, there's twenty crowns in earnest." Steevens.

Aut. Well, give me the moiety :-Are you a party in this business?

Clo. In some sort, sir: but though my case be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed out of it.

Aut. O, that's the case of the shepherd's son:-Hang him, he'll be made an example.

Clo. Comfort, good comfort: we must to the king, and show our strange sights: he must know, 'tis none of your daughter, nor my sister; we are gone else. Sir, I will give you as much as this old man does, when the business is performed; and remain, as he says, your pawn, till it be brought you.

Aut. I will trust you. Walk before toward the seaside; go on the right hand; I will but look upon the hedge, and follow you.

Clo. We are blessed in this man, as I may say, even blessed.

Shep. Let's before, as he bids us: he was provided to do us good. [Exeunt Shep. and Clo. Aut. If I had a mind to be honest, I see, fortune would not suffer me; she drops booties in my mouth. I am courted now with a double occasion; gold, and a means to do the prince my master good; which, who knows how that may turn back to my advancement? I will bring luck these two moles, these blind ones, aboard him: if he think it fit to shore them again, and that the complaint they have to the king concerns him nothing, let him call me, rogue, for being so far officious; for I am proof against that title, and what shame else belongs to 't: To him, will I present them, there may be matter in it.



Sicilia. A Room in the Palace of Leontes.


Cleo. Sir, you have done enough, and have perform'd
A saint-like sorrow: no fault could you make,

Which you have not redeem'd; indeed, paid down

More penitence, than done trespass: At the last,
Do, as the heavens have done; forget your evil;
With them, forgive yourself.


Whilst I remember

Her, and her virtues, I cannot forget

My blemishes in them; and so still think of
The wrong I did myself: which was so much,
That heirless it hath made my kingdom; and
Destroy'd the sweet'st companion, that e'er man
Bred his hopes out of.


True, too true, my lord:8
If, one by one, you wedded all the world,
Or, from the all that are, took something good,9
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 now,
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.

If you would not so,

You pity not the state, nor the remembrance
Of his most sovereign name; consider little,
What dangers, by his highness' fail of issue,
May drop upon his kingdom, and devour
Incertain lookers-on. What were more holy,
Than to rejoice, the former queen is well?1

8 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 lord:

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

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

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?


Respecting her that 's gone.

There is none worthy,

Besides, the gods.

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,-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,


More rich, for what they yielded.


And left them

Thou speak'st truth.

the former queen is well?] i. e. at rest, dead. In 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.

[blocks in formation]

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?2


She had just cause.3

Had she such power,

(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:

66 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


"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 awkward 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 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.

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


The inser

We should certainly read, "she had just cause." tion 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

« ПредишнаНапред »