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Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch further,
Why, how now, father?
Speak, ere thou diest.
SHEP. I cannot speak, nor think, Nor dare to know that which I know.-O, sir, [TO FLORIZEL. You have undone a man of fourscore three 1, That thought to fill his grave in quiet; yea, To die upon the bed my father died, To lie close by his honest bones: but now Some hangman must put on my shroud, and lay me Where no priest shovels-in dust2.-O cursed [TO PERDITA. That knew'st this was the prince, and would'st ad
To mingle faith with him.-Undone! undone !
[Exit. FLO. Why look you so upon me * ? I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd, But nothing alter'd: What I was, I am:
You have undone a man of fourscore three, &c.] These sentiments, which the poet has heightened by a strain of ridicule that runs through them, admirably characterize the speaker; whose selfishness is seen in concealing the adventure of Perdita; and here supported, by showing no regard for his son or her, but being taken up entirely with himself, though fourscore three.
2 Where no priest shovels-in dust.] This part of the priest's office might be remembered in Shakspeare time: it was not left off till the reign of Edward VI. FARMER.
That is-in pronouncing the words earth to earth, &c.
3 If I might die within this hour, I have liv'd To die when I desire.] So, in Macbeth:
"Had I but died an hour before this chance, "I had liv'd a blessed time." STEEVENS. 4 Why look you SO UPON ME?] Perhaps the two last words should be omitted. STEEVENS,
More straining on, for plucking back; not following My leash unwillingly.
Gracious my lord,
I not purpose it.
FLO. I think,
Even he, my lord.
PER. How often have I told you, 'twould be thus? How often said, my dignity would last
But till 'twere known?
FLO. It cannot fail, but by The violation of my faith; And then Let nature crush the sides o' the earth together, And mar the seeds within !-Lift up thy looks':From my succession wipe me, father! I Am heir to my affection.
FLO. I am; and by my fancy: if my reason Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;
If not, my senses, better pleas'd with madness,
5 You know YOUR father's temper:] The old copy reads-my father's. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 6 And mar the seeds within!] So, in Macbeth :
"And nature's germins tumble all together." STEEVENS. LIFT UP thy looks :] "Lift up the light of thy countenance." Psalm iv. 6. STEEVENS.
and by my FANCY:] It must be remembered that fancy in our author very often, as in this place, means love. JOHNSON. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
"Fair Helena in fancy following me." See vol. v. p. 301, n. 7. STEEVENS,
I needs must think it honesty.
With her, whom here I cannot hold on shore ;
O, my lord, I would your spirit were easier for advice, Or stronger for your need. FLO. Hark, Perdita.- -[Takes her aside. I'll hear you by and by. [TO CAMILLO. CAM. He's irremovable, Resolv'd for flight: Now were I happy, if His going I could frame to serve my turn; Save him from danger, do him love and honour; Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia, And that unhappy king, my master, whom I so much thirst to see.
Now, good Camillo,
9 - WHOM here] Old copy-who. editor of the second folio. MALONE.
Corrected by the
1 And, most opportune to our need,] The old copy has-her need. This necessary emendation was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.
Perhaps unnecessary. "Her need," is the need we have of her,' i. e. the vessel. BosWELL.
I am so fraught with curious business, that
Sir, I think,
You have heard of my poor services, i' the love
Well, my lord,
If you may please to think I love the king;
FLO. How, Camillo, May this, almost a miracle, be done? That I may call thee something more than man, And, after that, trust to thee.
Have you thought on
A place, whereto you'll go?
2 And (with my best endeavours, in your absence,) Your DISCONTENTING father strive to qualify,
And bring him up to liking.] And where you may, by letters, intreaties, &c. endeavour to soften your incensed father, and reconcile him to the match; to effect which, my best services shall not be wanting during your absence. Mr. Pope, without either authority or necessity, reads—“ I'll strive to qualify;"which has been followed by all the subsequent editors.
Discontenting is in our author's language the same as discontented. MALONE.
Not any yet:
Then list to me : This follows,-if you will not change your purpose, But undergo this flight ;-Make for Sicilia; And there present yourself, and your fair princess, (For so, I see, she must be,) 'fore Leontes; She shall be habited, as it becomes
The partner of your bed. Methinks, I see
3 But as the UNTHOUGHT-ON ACCIDENT IS GUILTY
To what we wildly do ;] Guilty to, though it sounds harsh to our ears, was the phraseology of the time, or at least of Shakspeare; and this is one of those passages that should caution us not to disturb his text merely because the language appears different from that now in use. See The Comedy of Errors, Act III. Sc. II. :
"But lest myself be guilty to self wrong,
"I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song,'
The unthought-on accident is the unexpected discovery made by Polixenes. M. MASON.
4 Ourselves to be the slaves of CHANCE,] As chance has driven me to these extremities, so I commit myself to chance, to be conducted through them. JOHNSON.
asks thee, THE son,] The old copy reads-thee there Corrected by the editor of the third folio. Perhaps we should read-(as Mr. Ritson observes)— "Asks there the son forgiveness," STEEVENS.