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With such a kind of love, as might become
Leon. You knew of his departure, as you know
Your actions are my dreams;
-As you were past all shame, (Those of your fact are so) so past all truth:1
only know, and I hope will presently reveale. That I lov'd Egisto hu: I cannot denie; that I honour'd him, I shame not to confess. But as touching lascivious lust, I say Egisthús is honest, and hope. myself to be found without spot. For Franion, (Camillo] I can neither accuse him nor excuse him. I was not privie to his departure. And that this is true which I have here rebearsed, I refer myselfe to the divine oracle.” Malone.
• My life stands in the level of your dreams,] To be in the level is, by a metaphor from archery, to be within the reach. Fohnson.
This metaphor, (as both Mr. Douce and Mr. Ritson have already observed) is from gunnery. See p. 210, n. 5. So, in King Henry VIII:
I stood i th' level
As you were past all shame, (Those of your fact are so) so past all truth:) I do not remember that fuct is used any where absolutely for guilt, which must be its sense in this place. Perhaps we should read:
Those of your pack are so. Pack is a low coarse word well suited to the rest of this royal invective. Yohnson.
Which to deny, concerns more than avails ::
Sir, spare your threats ;
I should guess sect to be the right word. See King Henry IV, P. II, Act II, sc. iv.
In Middleton's Mad World, my Masters, a Courtezan says: “It is the easiest art and cunning for our sect to counterfeit sick, that are always full of fits when we are well." Farmer.
Thus, Falstaff, speaking of Dol Tearsheet: “So is all her sect : if they be once in a calm, they are sick.” Those of your fact, may, however, mean-those who have done as you do. Steevens.
That fact is the true reading, is proved decisively from the words of the novel, which our author had in his mind, both here, and in a former passage: ["I ne'er heard yet, That any of these bolder vices,” &c.] “ And as for her (said Pandosto] it was her part to deny such a monstrous crime, and to be impudent in forswearing the fact since she had passed all shame in committing the fault." Malone.
2 Which to deny, concerns more than avails :) It is your business to deny this charge, but the mere denial will be useless; will prove nothing. Malone.
3 The crown and comfort of my life,] The supreme blessing of my life. So, in Cymbeline :
“O that husband!
“My supreme crown of grief.” Malone.
« And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
To women of all fashion :-Lastly, hurried
This your request
[Exeunt certain Officers. Her. The emperor of Russia was my father: O, that he were alive, and here beholding His daughter's trial! that he did but see The flatness of my misery;7 yet with eyes Of pity, not revenge!
5 I have got strength of limit.] I know not well how strength of limit can mean strength to pass the limits of the child-bed chamber; which yet it must mean in this place, unless we read in a more easy phrase, strength of limb. And now, &c. Johnson.
Mr. M. Mason judiciously conceives strength of limit to mean, the limited degree of strength which it is customary for women to acquire, before they are suffered to go abroad after child-bearing.
I tell you
'Tis rigour, and not law.] This also is from the novel: “ Bellaria, no whit dismaid with this rough reply, told her husband Pandosto, that he spake upon choller, and not conscience; for her virtuous life had been such as no spot of suspicion could ever stayne. And if she had borne a friendly countenance to Egist.. hus, it was in respect he was his friend, and not for any lusting affection: therefore if she were condemned without any farther proofe, it was rigour and not law.” Malone.
? The flatness of my misery;] That is, how low, how flat I am laid by my calamity. Fohnson. So, Milton, Paradise Lost, B. II:
Thus repuls'd, our final hope “ Is flat despair." Malone.
Re-enteri Officers, with CLEOMENES and Dion. Offi. You here shall swear upon this sword of justice, That you, Cleomenes and Dion, have Been both at Delphos; and from thence have brought This seal’d-up oracle, by the hand deliver'd Of great Apollo's priest; and that, since then, You have not dar'd to break the holy seal, Nor read the secrets in 't. Cleo. Dion.
All this we swear. Leon. Break up the seals, and read.
Offi. [reads) Hermione is chaste, 8 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!
Ay, my lord; even so As it is here set down.
Leon. There is no truth at all i' the oracle:
Enter a Servant, hastily.
What is the business? Serv. '() sir, I shall be hated to report it: The prince your son, with mere conceit and fear Of the queen's speed, is gone. Leon,
How! gone? Serv.
Is dead. Leon. Apollo 's angry; and the heavens themselves Do strike at my injustice. [HER. faints] How now there?
Paul. This news is mortal to the queen:-Look down, And see what death is doing.
8 Hermione is chaste, &c.] This is almost literally from Lodge's (Greene's] novel:
“ The Oracle. "Suspicion is no proofe ; jealousie is an unequal judge; Bellaria is chaste; Egisthus blameless; Franion a true subject; Pan. dosto treacherous; his babe innocent; and the king shall dye without an heire, if that which is lost be not found."
Malone. e of the queen's speed,] Of the event of the queen's trial: so we still say, he sped well or ill. Johnson.
Take her hence:
[Exeunt Paul, and Ladies, with HER,
But that the good mind of Camillo tardied
My swift command,] Here likewise our author has closely followed Greene: ". -promising not only to shew himself a loyal and a loving husband; but also to reconcile himselfe to Egisthus and Franion; revealing then before them all the cause of their secret flight, and how treacherously he thought to have practised his death, if that the good mind of his cup-bearer had not prevented his purpose.” Malone.
and to the certain hazard Of all incertainties himself commended,] In the original copy some word probably of two syllables, was inadvertently omitted in the first of these lines. I believe the word omitted was either doubtful, or fearful. The editor of the second folio endeavoured to cure the defect by reading the certain hazard; the most improper word that could have been chosen. How little attention the al. terations made in that copy are entitled to, has been shown in my Preface. Commended is committed. See p. 219. Malone.
I ain of a contrary opinion, and therefore retain the emendation of the second folio.
Certain hazard, &c. is quite in our author's manner. So, in The Comedy of Errors, Act II, sc. ii:
“Until I know this sure uncertainty." Steevensi