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Who please to come and hear. For life, I prize it' As I weigh grief, which I would spare: for honour, "Tis a derivative from me to mine',
And only that I stand for. I appeal
To your own conscience, sir, before Polixenes
With what encounter so uncurrent I
Have strain'd, to appear thus: if one jot beyond
For life, I prize it -] Life is now to me only grief, and as such only is considered by me: I would therefore willingly dismiss it. JOHNSON.
7 'Tis a derivative from me to mine,] This sentiment, which is probably borrowed from Ecclesiasticus iii. 11, cannot be too often impressed on the female mind: "The glory of a man is from the honour of his father; and a mother in dishonour is a reproach unto her children." STEEVENS.
I ne'er heard yet,
That any of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gainsay what they did,
Than to perform it first.] It is apparent that according to the proper, or at least according to the present, use of words, less should be more, or wanted should be had. But Shakspeare is very uncertain in his use of negatives. It may be necessary once to observe, that in our language, two negatives did not originally affirm, but strengthen the negation. This mode of speech was in time changed, but, as the change was made in opposition to long custom, it proceeded gradually, and uniformity was not obtained but through an intermediate confusion. JOHNSON.
Which comes to me in name of fault, I must not
So, and no other, as yourself commanded :
More than mistress of,
Which not to have done, I think, had been in me
Both disobedience and ingratitude,
To you, and toward your friend; whose love had spoke,
I know not how it tastes: though it be dish'd
For me to try how: all I know of it,
Is, that Camillo was an honest man ;
Leon. You knew of his departure, as you know
You speak a language that I understand not:
And I but dream'd it :-As you were past all shame,
(Those of your fact are so ',) so past all truth: Which to deny, concerns more than avails: For as +
Your actions are my dreams;
Thy brat hath been cast out, like to itself,
My life stands in the level] To be in the level is, to be within the reach.
1 (Those of your fact are so,)] i. e. guilt.
+ "For as"-Mr. Malone adds these words to the preceding line.
Shalt feel our justice; in whose easiest passage
Look for no less than death.
The crown and comfort of my life, your favour,
But know not how it went: My second joy,
Apollo be my judge.
[Exeunt certain Officers.
Her. The emperor of Russia was my father:
O, that he were alive, and here beholding
2 Starr'd most unluckily,] i. e. born under an inauspicious planet.
3 strength of limit.]
Strength to pass the limits of the
His daughter's trial! that he did but see
Re-enter Officers, with CLEOMENES and DION.
Off. You here shall swear upon this sword of justice, That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have
Been both at Delphos; and from thence have brought
Of great Apollo's priest; and that, since then,
All this we swear.
Leon. Break up the seals, and read. Offi. [reads.] Hermione is chaste, Polixenes blameless, Camillo a true subject, Leontes a jealous tyrant, his innocent babe truly begotten; and the king shall live without an heir, if that, which is lost, be not found. Lords. Now blessed be the great Apollo ! Her.
Leon. Hast thou read truth?
As it is here set down.
Leon. There is no truth at all i'the oracle:
Ay, my lord; even so
Enter a Servant, hastily.
Serv. My lord the king, the king! Leon. What is the business? Serv. O sir, I shall be hated to report it: The prince your son, with mere conceit and fear Of the queen's speed', is gone.
The flatness of my misery;] That is, how low, how flat I am laid by my calamity. JOHNSON.
Of the queen's speed,] Of the event of the queen's trial: so we still say, he sped well or ill. JOHNSON.
Leon. Apollo's angry; and the heavens themselves Do strike at my injustice. [HERMIONE faints.] How now there?
Paul. This news is mortal to the queen :-Look down,
And see what death is doing.
[Exeunt PAULINA and Ladies, with HERM. My great profaneness 'gainst thine oracle!I'll reconcile me to Polixenes;
New woo my queen; recall the good Camillo ;
My friend Polixenes: which had been done,
No richer than his honour:-How he glisters
"to the hazard”—MALONE.
commended,] i. e. committed.
7 Does my deeds make the blacker!] This vehement retraction of Leontes, accompanied with the confession of more crimes than he was suspected of, is agreeable to our daily experience of the