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My wife is flippery? If thou wilt confefs, (Or else be impudently negative,

To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say, My wife's a hobbyhorfe; deferves a name


'As rank,as any flax-wench, that puts to
Before her troth-plight: fay it, and juftify it.
CAM. I would not be a ftander-by, to hear
My fovereign miftrefs clouded fo, without
My prefent vengeance taken: 'Shrew my heart,
You never spoke what did become you lefs
Than this; which to reiterate, were fin
As deep as that, though true. 4


Is whispering nothing? Is-leaning cheek to cheek? is meeting nofes?5 Kiffing with infide lip? ftopping the career

The whole context must be taken together. Have you not thought (fays Léontes) my wife is flippery (for cogitation refides not in the man that does not think my wife is flippery) The four latter words, though disjoined from the word think by the neceffity of a parenthefis, arè evidently to be conneded in conftrution with it; and confequently the feeming abfurdity attributed by Theobald to the paffage, arifes only from mifapprehenfion. In this play, from whatever cause it has arifen, there are more involved and parenthetical fentences, than in any other of our author's, except, perhaps, King Henry VIII. MALONE.

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


Mr. Pope.

hobby horfe; Old Copy-holy-horse.

---were fin

Corrected by

As deep as that, though true. i. c. your fufpicion is as great a fin as would be that (if committed) for which you suspect her.

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Of laughter with a figh? (a pote infallible
Of breaking honefty:) horfing foot on foot?
Skulking in corners? wifhing clocks more fwift?
Hours, minutes? noon, midnight? and all eyes




With the pin and web, but theirs, theirs only, That would unfeen be wicked? is this nothing? Why, then the world, and all that's in't, is nothing; The covering fky 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 difeas'd opinion, and betimes;

For 'tis moft dangerous.


Say, it be; 'tis true.

It is; you lie, you lie:

CAM. No, no, my lord.


I fay, thou lieft, Camillo, and I hate thee; Pronounce thee a grofs lout, a mindlefs flave; Or else a hovering temporizer, that

Canft with thine eyes at once fee good and evil, Inclining to them both: Were my wife's liver Infected as her life, fhe would not live

The running of one glass."



Who does infect her?

LEON. Why he, that wears her like her medal,”


the pin and web,] Disorders in the eye. See King Lear, A& III. fc. iv. STEEVENS.

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- theirs, theirs. -] Thefe words were meant to be pronounced as diffyllables. STEEVENS.

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

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About his neck, Bohemia: Who,-if I
Had fervants true about me; that bare eyes
To fee alike mine honour as their profits,

Their own particular thrifts,-they would do that
Which should undo more doing:9 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 fees earth, and earth fees heaven,
How I am galled,might'ft befpice a cup,

To give mine enemy a lafting wink;
Which draught to me were cordial.


Sir, my lord,

The old copy has her medal, which was evidently an error of the prefs, either in confequence of the compofitor's eye glancing on the word her in the preceding line, or of an abbreviation being, used in the Mf. In As you like it and Love's Labour's Loft, her and his are frequently confounded. Theobald, I find, had made the fame emendation..



In King Henry VIII. we have again the fame

a lofs of her,

"That like a jewel has hung twenty years

"About his neck, yet never loft her luftre."

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 Treatife in commendation of Henrie Earl of Oxenford, Henrie Earl of Southampton, &c. by Gervais Markham, 4to. 1624, p. 18 he bath hung about the neck of his noble kin/man, 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 fuppofe the poet meant to fay, that Polixenes wore her, as he would have worn a medal of her, about his neck. Sir Chriftophers Hatton is reprefented with a medal of Queen Elizabeth appended to his chain. STEEVENS.




more doing:] The latter word is used here in a wanton See Vol. VI. p. 19, n. 8. MALONE.

a lafting wink;] So, in The Tempeft:

"To the perpetual wink for aye might put

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I could do this; and that with no rash potion, But with a ling'ring dram, that should not work Maliciously, like poifon : But I cannot


Believe this crack to be in my dread miftrefs,
So fovereignly being honourable.
I have lov'd thee,4

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Believe this crack to be in my dread mistress,

So Jovereignly being honourable.

I have lov'd thee, &c.] The laft hemiftich affign'd to Camillo muft have been mistakenly placed to him. It is disrespec and infolence in Camillo to his king, to tell him that he has once lov'd him. I have ventured at a tranfpofition, which seems felf-evident. Camillo will not be perfuaded into a fufpicion of the difloyalty imputed to his miftrefs. The king, who believes nothing but his jealousy, provoked that Camillo is so obftinately diffident, finely ftarts into a rage, and cries?

I've lov'd thee-Make't thy question, and go rot!

i. e. I have tendered thee well, Camillo, but I here cancel all former refpe& at once. If thou any longer make a queftion of my wife's difloyalty, go from my prefence, and perdition overtake thee for thy ftubbornnefs. THEOBALD.

I have admitted this alteration, as Dr. Warburton has done, but am not convinced that it is neceffary. Camillo, defirous to defend the queen, and willing to fecure credit to his apology, begins, by telling the king that he has loved him, is about to give inftances of his love, and to infer from them his present zeal, when he is interrupted. JOHNSON.

I have lov'd thee,] In the firft and fecond folio, thefe words are the conclufion of Camillo's fpeech. 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 lov'd thee.

I have reftored the old reading. Camillo is about to tell Leontes how much he had loved him. The impatience of the king interrupts him by faying: Make that thy queflion, i. e. make the love of which you boalt, the fubje& of your future converfation, and go


Make't thy question, and go rot!4 Doft think, I am fo muddy, fo unfettled, To appoint myself in this vexation? fully The purity and whitenefs of my fheets, Which to preferve, is fleep; which being fpotted,

to the grave with it. Queftion, in our author, very often has this meaning. So, in Measure for Measure: "But in the lofs of question;” i. e. ín converfation that is thrown away. Again, In Hamlet: questionable shape" is a form propitious to converfation. Again, in As you like it: an unquestionable spirit" is a fpirit unwilling to be converfed with. STEEvens.

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I think Steevens right in reftoring the old reading, but mistaken in his interpretation of it. Camillo is about to exprefs his affection for Leontes, but the impatience of the latter will not fuffer him. to proceed. He takes no notice of that part of Camillo's fpeech, but replies to that which gave him offence the doubts he had expreffed of the Queen's mifcondu&; and fays-"Make that thy queftion and go rot. Nothing can be more natural than this interruption. M. MASON.

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The commentators have differed much in explaining this paffage, and fome have wished to transfer the words "I have lov'd thee,' from Camillo to Leontes. Perhaps the words "being honourable' fhould be placed in a parenthesis, and the full point that has been put in all the editions after the latter of these words, ought to be omitted. The fenfe will then be: Having ever had the highest reSpect for you, and thought you fo eftimable and honourable a character, Jo worthy of the love of my mistress, I cannot believe that he has played you falfe, has difhonoured you. However, the text is very intelligible as now regulated. Camillo is going to give the king inftances of his love, and is interrupted. I fee no fufficient reafon for tanf ferring the words, I have lov'd thee, from Camillo to Leontes, In the original copy there is a comma at the end of Camillo's speech to denote an abrupt fpeech. MALONE.

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Make't thy queftion, and go rot! &c.] This refers to what Camillo has juft faid, relative to the queen's chastity:

I cannot

Believe this crack to be in my dread miftrefs.

Not believe it, replies Leoutes; make that (i. e. Hermione's difloyalty, which is fo clear a point,) a fubject of debate or dif cuffion, and go rot! Doft thou think, I am fuch a fool as to torment myfelf, and to bring difgrace on me and my children, without fufficient grounds? MALONE

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