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I know, in honour,-0, that ever I
And left them
Thou speak'st truth. No more such wives; therefore, no wife: one worse, And better us’d, would make her sainted spirit Again possess her corps; and, on this stage, (Where we offenders now appear,) soul-vex’d, Begin, And why to me? 3
3 (Where we offenders now appear,) foul-vex'd,
Begin, And why to me?] The old copy reads---And begix, why to me? The transposition now adopted was proposed by Mr. Steevens. Mr. Theobald reads :
and on this stage (Where we offend her now) appear soul-vex'd, &c. Mr. Heath would read-(Were we offenders now) appear, &c. " that is, if we should now at last so far offend her.” Mr. M. Mason thinks that the second line should be printed thus :
And begin, why? to me. “ that is, begin to call me to account.”
There is so much harsh and involved construction in this play, that I am not sure but the old copy, perplexed as the sentence may appear, is right. Perhaps the author intended to point it thus:
Again possess her corps, (and on this stage
And begin, why to me? Why to me did you prefer one lefs worthy, Leontes insinuates would be the purport of Hermione's speech. There is, I think, something awkward in the phrase-Where we offenders now appear. By removing the parenthesis, which in the old copy is placed after appear, to the end of the line, and applying the epithet foul-ver'd to Leontes and the rest who mourned the loss of Hermione, that difficulty is obviated. MALONE.
To countenance my transposition, be it observed, that the blun. ders occafioned by the printers of the first folio are so numerous, that it should seem, when a word dropp'd out of their press, they were careless into which line they inserted it. STEVENS.
Had the such power, She had just cause.*
She had; and would incense mes To murder her I married. Paul.
. I should fo: Were I the ghost that walk'd, I'd bid you mark Her eye; and tell me, for what dull part in't You chose her: then I'd shriek, that even your ears Shou'd rift“ to hear me; and the words that follow'd Should be, Remember mine. Leon.
Stars, very stars,
I believe no change is necessary. If, instead of being repeated, the word appear be understood, as, by an obvious ellipsis, it may, the sense will be sufficiently clear. Henley.
4 She had jus caufe.] The first and second folio read he had just such cause. Reed.
We should certainly read, “ she had just cause.” The insertion of the word fuch, hurts both the sense and the metre.
M. MASON. There is nothing to which the word fueh can be referred. It was, I have no doubt, inserted by the compositor's eye glancing on the preceding line. The metre is perfect without this word, which confirms the observation. Since the foregoing remark was printed in the SECOND APPENDIX to my Supp. to SHAKSP. 1783, I have observed that the editor of the third folio made the fame correction. MALONE.
s incense me — ] i. e. instigate, set me on. So, in K. Richard III:
« Think you, my lord, this little prating York
“ Was not incensed by his subtle mother ?” STEEVENS. 6 Should rift i. e, split. So, in The Tempest:
" rifted Jove's stout oak.” STEEVENS. 7 Stars, very stars,] The word—overy, was supplied by Sir T. Hanmer, to all the metre. So, in Cymbeline :
" 'Twas very Cloten." Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“ Especially against his very friend." STEEVENS. Vol. VII.
And all eyes else, dead coals !- fear thou no wife, I'll have no wife, Paulina. · PAUL.
Will you swear Never to marry, but by my free leave?
Leon. Never, Paulina ; so be bless'd my spirit! Paul. Then, good my lords, bear witness to
his oath. Cleo. You tempt him over-much. PAUL.
Cleo. Good madam,-
I have done.
My true Paulina, We shall not marry, till thou bidd'st us. · PAUL.
That Shall be, when your first queen's again in breath; Never till then.
s Affront his eye.] To affront, is to meet, JOHNSON. So, in Cymbeline :
" Your preparation can affront no less
" Than what you hear of.” STEEVENS. . Paul. I have done.] These three words in the old copy make part of the preceding speech. The present regulation, which is clearly right, was suggested by Mr. Steevens. Maloni,
Enter a Gentleman.
GENT. One that gives out himself prince Florizel, Son of Polixenes, with his princess, (she The fairelt I have yet beheld,) desires access To your high presence. Leon.
What with him? he comes not Like to his father's greatness: his approach, So out of circumstance, and sudden, tells us, 'Tis not a visitation fram'd, but forc'd By need, and accident. What train ? GENT.
But few, And those but mean.
Leon. His princess, say you, with him? Gent. Ay; the most peerless piece of earth, I
think, That e'er the sun shone bright on. Paul.
O Hermione, As every present time doth boast itself Above a better, gone; so must thy grave Give way to what's seen now.? Sir, you yourself Have said, and writ so,8 (but your writing now Is colder than that theme," She had not been, Nor was not to be equall'd;-thus your verse Flow'd with her beauty once; 'tis shrewdly ebb’d,
1 so muft thy grave
Give way to what's seen now.] Thy grave here means thy beauties, which are buried in the grave; the continent for the contents. EDWARDS. . 8 - Sir, you yourself
Have said, and writ so,] The reader must observe, that ro relates not to what precedes, but to what follows; that she had not been- equallod. JOHNSON.
9 Is colder than that theme,] i. e. than the lifeless body of Hera mione, the theme or subject of your writing. MALONE.
To say, you have seen a better.
How? not women?
Go, Cleomenes; Yourself, assisted with your honour'd friends, Bring them to our embracement.--Still’ris strange,
Exeunt CLEOMENES, Lords, and Gentleman. He thus should steal upon us. • PAUL.
Had our prince, (Jewel of children,) feen this hour, he had pair'd Well with this lord; there was not full a month Between their births.'
Leon. Pr’ythee, no more; thou know'st," He dies to me again, when talk'd of: sure, When I shall see this gentleman, thy speeches Will bring me to consider that, which may Unfurnish me of reason. They are come.
9 This is such a creature,] The word fuch, which is wanting in the old copy, was judiciously supplied by Sir T. Hanmer, for the fake of metre. Steevens.
. Pr’ythee, no more ; thou know'f},] The old copy redundantly reads
« Pr'ythee, no more ; cease; thou know'it," Cease, I believe, was a mere marginal gloss or explanation of no more, and, injuriously to metre, had crept into the text.