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No, no; if I mistake

In thofe foundations which I build upon,
The center is not big enough to bear


A schoolboy's top. -Away with her to prifon:
He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
But that he speaks. 5


There's fome ill planet reigns:

I must be patient, till the heavens look

With an aspect more favourable. Good my lords,
I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
Commonly are; the want of which vain dew,
Perchance, fhall dry your pities: but I have
That honourable grief lodg'd here, which burns

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The center, &c.] That is, if the proofs which I can offer will not fupport the opinion I have formed, no foundation can be trufted.


Milton, in his Mafque at Ludlow Castle, has expreffed the fame thought in more exalted language:

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if this fail,

The pillar'd firmament is rottennefs,
And earth's bafe built on ftubble.'

5 He, who fhall Speak for her, is afar off guilty,


But that he speaks.] Far off guilty, fignifies, guilty in a remote degree. JOHNSON.

The fame expreffion occurs in K. Henry V:

Or fhall we fparingly fhow you far off "The dauphin's meaning?"

But that he speaks


means, in merely speaking. MALONE.

till the heavens look

With an afpe& more favourable.] An aftrological phrafe. The afpect of ftars was anciently a familiar term, and continued to be fuch till the age in which Milton tells us


the fwart ftar fparely looks." Lycidas, v. 138.

but I have


That honourable grief lodg'd here,] Again, in Hamlet ?..
But I have that within which paffeth fhow." Doucs

Worse than tears drown: 'Befeech you all, my


With thoughts fo qualified as your charities
Shall beft inftruct you, measure me; - and fo
The king's will be perform'd!


Shall I be heard? [To' the guards.

HER. Who is't, that goes with me?'pefeech your highness,

My women may be with me; for, you fee,

My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools; There is no caufe: when you fhail know, your mif



Has deferv'd prifon, then abound in tears,
As I come out; this action, I now go on, 9
Is for my better grace. - Adieu, my lord:
I never wish'd to see you forry; now,
1 truft, I fhall.


My women, come; you have

LEON. Go, do our bidding; hence.

[Exeunt QUEEN and LADIES. 1. LORD. 'Beseech your highnels, call the queen again.

which burns

Worfe than tears drown:] So, in King Henry VIII. Queen Katharine fays



my drops of tears
"I'll turn to Sparks of fire."

this action, I now go on,] in the lawyer's fenfe, for indictment,

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We cannot fay that a perfon goes on an indi&ment, charge, or accufation. I believe, Hermione only means, "What I am now about to do." M. MASON.

Mr. M. Mason's suppofition may be countenanced by the following paffage in Much ado about nothing, A& I fc. i:

"When I went forward on this ended action,"


ANT. Be certain what you do, fir; left your juf

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I dare my life lay down, and will do't, fir, Pleafe you to accept it, that the queen is fpotless I'the eyes of heaven, and to you; I mean,

In this which you accufe her.


If it prove

She's otherwise, I'll keep my ftables where
I lodge my wife; I'll go in couples with her;

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I'll keep my fables where

I lodge my wife;] Stable-ftand (ftabilis ftatio, as Spelman inter prets it is a term of the forefts-laws, and fignifies a place where a deer-ftealer fixes his ftand under fome convenient cover, and keeps watch for the purpose of killing deer as they pafs by. From the place it came to be applied also to the perfon, and any man taken in a foreft in that fituation, with a gun or bow in his hand, was prefumed to be an offender, and had the name of a table-ftand. In all former editions this hath been printed ftable; and it may perhaps be obje&ed, that another fyllable added (poils the smoothnefs of the verse. But by pronouncing table fhort, the measure will very well bear it, according to the liberty allowed in this kind of writing, and which Shakspeare never fcruples to use; therefore I read, ftable-ftand. HANMER.

There is no need of Sir T. Hanmer's addition to the text. So, in the ancient interlude of The Repentaunce of Marie Magdalaine, 1567:

"Where thou dwelleft, the devyll may have a ftable." STEEVENS.

If Hermione prove unfaithful, I'll never truft my wife out of my fight; I'll always go in couples with her; and, in that refpe&t, my houfe fhall refemble a ftable, where dogs are kept in pairs. Though a kennel is a place where a pack of hounds is kept, every one, I fuppofe, as well as our author, has occafionally feen dogs tied up in couples under the manger of a ftable. A dog-couple is a term at this day, To this pradice perhaps he alludes in King John:

Than when I feel, and fee her, no further trust

her; 9

For every inch of woman in the world,

Ay, every dram of woman's flesh, is false,
If fhe be.


1. LORD.

Hold your peaces.

Good my lord,

ANT. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves: You are abus'd, and by fome putter-on,'


That will be damn'd for't'; 'would I knew the villain, I would land-damn him: Be fhe honour-flaw'd,


"To dive like buckets in concealed wells,
"To crouch in litter of your table planks."

In the Teutonick language, hund-ftall, or dog-ftable, is the term for a kennel. Stables or table, however may mean fiation, ftabilis fatio, and two distinct propofitions may be intended. I'll keep my ftation in the fame place where my wife is lodged; I'll run every where with her, like dogs that are coupled together. MALONE. 9 Than, when I feel, and fee her, &c.] The old copies read Then when, &c. The correction is Mr. Rowe's. STEEVENS.

The modern editors read. Than when, &c. certainly not without ground, for than was formerly fpelt then; but here, I believe, the latter word was intended. MALONE.



putter-on,] i. e. one who inftigates. So, in Macbeth: the powers divine

Put on their inftruinents." STEEVENS.

land-damn him:] Sir T. Hanmer interprets, top his urine. Land or lant being the old word for urine.

Land-damn is probably que of those words which caprice brought into fashion, and which, after a fhort time, reafon and grammar drove irrecoverably away. I perhaps meant no more than I will rid the country of him, condemn him to quit the land. JOHNSON.

Land damn him, if fuch a reading can be admitted, may mean, he would procure fentence to be past on him in this world, on this earth

Antigonus could no way make good the threat of flopping his urine. Befides, it appears too ridiculous a punishment for fo atrocious a criminal. Yet it must be confeffed, that what Sir T.

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I have three daughters; the eldest is eleven;
The fecond, and the third, nine, and fome five;

Hanmer has faid concerning the word lant, is true. I meet with
the following inftance in Glapthorne's Wit in a Constable, 1639:
"Your frequent drinking country ale with lant in't."
And, in Shakspeare's time, to drink a lady's health in urine ap-
pears to have been efteemed an act of gallantry. One inflance (for
I could produce many) may fuffice: "Have I not religioufly vow'd
my heart to you, been drunk for you health, eat glaffes, drank
urine, ftabb'd arms, and done all the offices of proteiled gallantry
for your fake?" Antigonus, on this occafion, may therefore have
a dirty meaning. It should be remembered, however, that to damn
anciently fignified to condemn. So, in Promos and Caffandra, 1578;
"Vouchsafe to give my damned husband life.'
Again, in Julius Cæfar, A&. IV. sc. i ;

"He fhall not live; look, with a spot I damn him."


I am perfuaded that this is a corruption, and that either the printer caught the word damn from the preceding line, or the tranfcriber was deceived by fimilitude of founds.-What the poet's word was, cannot now be afcertained; but the fentiment was probably fimilar to that in Othello:

"O heaven, that fuch companions thou'dft unfold," &c.

I believe, we should read-land-dam; i. e. Kill him; bury him in earth. So, in King John:

"His ears are fopp'd with duft; he's dead."

Again, ibid:

"And top this gap of breath with fulfome duft." Again, in Kendal's Flowers of Epigrams, 1577:

"The corps clapt faft in clotter'd claye,

"That here engrav'd doth lie-."

Again, in Ben Jonfon's Volpone:

"Speak to the knave?

"I'H ha' my mouth first stopp'd with earth."


After all these aukward fruggles to obtain a meaning, we might,

I think, not unfafely, read

"I'd laudanum him,"

i. e. poifon him with laudanum. The word is much more ancient than the time of Shakspeare. I owe this remark to Dr. Farmer. STEEVENS.

4 The Second and the third, nine, and fome five;] The fecond folio reads-fonnes five. REED.

This line appears obfcure, because the word nine feems to refer to both "the fecond and the third." But it is fufficiently clear, re

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