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ARCH. Believe me, I fpeak as my understanding inftructs me, and as mine honefty puts it to utter


CAM. Sicilia cannot fhow himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then fuch an affection, which cannot choofe but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal neceffities, made feparation of their fociety, their encounters, though not perfonal, have been royally attorney'd, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embaffies; that they have 'feem'd to be together, though abfent; fhook hands, as over a vaft; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of oppofed winds. The heavens continue their loves!


ARCH. I think, there is not in the world either malice, or matter, to alter it. You have an unspeakable comfort of your young prince Mamillius ;'


royally attorney'd,] Nobly fupplied by fubftitution of embaflies, &c., JOHNSON.

4 -hook hands, as over a vaft; and embraced, as it were, from the ends of oppofed winds.] Thus the folio 1623. The folio, 1632: -over a vaft fea. I have fince found that Sir T. Hanmer attempted the fame correction; though I believe the old reading to be the true one. Vaflum was the ancient term for wafte uncultivated land. Over a vast, therefore, means at a great and vacant diftance from each other. Vaft, however, may be used for the fea, as in Pericles Prince of Tyre:

"Thou God of this great vaft, rebuke the furges."


Shakspeare has, more than once, taken his imagery from the prints, with which the books of his time were ornamented. If my memory do not deceive me, he had his eye on a wood cut in Holinfhed, while writing the incantation of the weird fifters in Macbeth. There is also an allufion to a print of one of the Henries holding a fword adorned with crowns. In this paffage he refers to a device common in the title-page of old books, of two hands extended from oppofite clouds, and joined as in token of friendship over a wide waste of country. HENLEY.

it is a gentleman of the greateft promife, that ever came into my note.


CAM. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him: It is a gallant child; one that, indeed, phyficks the fubject, makes old hearts frefh: they, that went on crutches ere he was born, defire yet their life, to fee him a man.

ARCH. Would they elfe be content to die?

CAM. Yes; if there were no other excufe why they fhould defire to live.

ARCH. If the king had no fon, they would defire to live on crutches till he had one.



The fame.

A Room of fate in the Palace.



POL. Nine changes of the wat'ry ftar have been The fhepherd's note, fince we have left our throne Without a burden: time as long again

Would be fill'd up,

my brother, with our thanks; And yet we should, for perpetuity,

Go hence in debt: And therefore, like a cypher, Yet ftanding in rich place, I multiply,

With one we-thank-you, many thousands more That go before it.

5 phyficks the fubje&t,] Affords a cordial to the state; the power of affuaging the fenfe of mifery. JOHNSON. So, in Macbeth: "The labour we delight in, phyficks pain."



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I am queftion'd by my fears, of what may chance,
Or breed upon our abfence: That may blow
No fneaping winds at home, to make us fay,
This is put forth too truly!' Befides, I have stay'd
To tire your royalty.


We are tougher, brother,

Than you can put us to't.

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No longer stay.

LEON. One seven-night longer.


Very footh, to-morrow.

LEON. We'll part the time between's then and in that

that may blow

No Sneaping wirds-] Dr. Warburton calls this nonsense and Dr. Johnfon tells us it is a Gallicifm. It happens however to be both fenfe and English. That, for Oh! that. -18 not uncommon. In an old tranflation of the famous Alcoran of the Francifcans: "St. Francis obferving the holinefs of friar Juniper, faid to the priors, That I had a wood of fuch Junipers!" And, in The Two Noble Kinfmen:

66 -

In thy rumination,

"That I poor man might eftfoons come between!"

And fo in other places. This is the conftruction of the paffage in Romeo and Juliet:

"That runaway's eyes may wink!

Which in other refpects Mr. Steevens has rightly interpreted.

fncaping winds-] Nipping winds.


So, in Gavin Douglas's

tranflation of Virgil's Eneid. Prologue of the feuynth Booke. Scharp foppis of fleit, and of the Snyppand fuaw." HOLT WHITE.

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This is put forth too truly!] i. e. to make me fay, I had too good reafon for my fears concerning what might happen in my abfence from home. MALONE.

Prefs me not, 'befeech you, fo;

I'll no gain-faying,


There is no tongue that moves, none, none i'the


So foon as yours, could win me: fo it fhould now, Were there neceffity in your requeft, although 'Twere needful I deny'd it. My affairs

Do even drag me homeward: which to hinder, Were, in your love, a whip to me; my ftay, To you a charge, and trouble: to fave both, Farewel, our brother,

LEON. Tongue-ty'd, our queen? fpeak you. HER. I had thought, fir, to have held my peace,


You had drawn oaths from him, not to flay. You,fir, Charge him too coldly: Tell him, you are fure, All in Bohemia's well: this fatisfaction

The by-gone day proclaim'd; .fay this to him, He's beat from his best ward.


Well faid, Hermione. HER. To tell, he longs to fee his fon,were strong: But let him fay fo then, and let him go; But let him fwear fo, and he shall not flay, We'll thwack him hence with diftaffs.

Yet of your royal prefence [To POLIXENES.] I'll adventure

The borrow of a week. When at Bohemia You take my lord, I'll give him my commiffion,"

this fatisfaction] We had fatisfactory accounts yesterday

of the ftate of Bohemia. JOHNSON.


I'll give him my commiffion, ] We should read:

I'll give you my commiffion,

The verb let, or hinder, which follows, fhows the neceffity of it: for the could not fay he would give her husband a commiffion

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To let him there a month, behind the geft *\
Prefix'd for his parting: yet, good-deed, 3 Leontes,

to let or hinder himself. The commiffion is given to Polixenes, to whom he is fpeaking, to let or hinder her husband.


"I'll give him my licence of abfence, fo as to obftru& or retard his departure for a month," &c. To let him, however, may be ufed as many other refledive verbs are by Shakspeare, for to let or hinder himself: then the meaning will be, "I'll give him my permiffion to tarry for a month," &c. Dr. Warburton and the fubfequent editors read, I think, without neceffity,I'll give you my commiffion, &c. MALONE.,


-behind the geft.

] Mr. Theobald fays: he can neither trace, nor understand the phrafe, and therefore thinks it should be juft: But the word geft is right, and fignifies a ftage or journey. In the time of royal progreffes the king's ftages, as we may fee by the journals of them in the herald's office, were called his gefts; from the old French word gifte, diverforium. WARBURTON.


In Strype's Memorials of Archhishop Cranmer, p. 283.archbishop entreats Cecil, to let him have the new refolved upon gefts, from that time to the end, that he might from time to time know where the king was.

Again, in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, 1594%

"Caftile, and lovely Elinor with him,

"Have in their gets refolv'd for Oxford town."

Again, in The White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona, 1612:
Do, like the gefts in the progrels,

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"You know where you fhall find me. STEEVENS.

Gefts, or rather gifts, from the Fr. gifte, (which fignifies both a bed, and a lodging-place,) where the names of the houfes or towns, where the king or prince intended to lie every night during his PROGRESS. They were written in a fcroll, and probably each of the royal attendants was furnished with a copy.



-yet, good-deed, ] 'fignifies indeed, in very deed, as Shakfpeare in another place expreffes it. Good-deed is used in the fame fenfe by the Earl of Surry, Sir John Hayward, and Gascoigne.

Dr. Warburton would read-good heed, - meaning - take good heed.


The fecond folio reads-good keed, which, I believe, is right.


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