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But once before I spoke to the purpose: When?
Why, that was when Three crabbed months had four'd themselves to
death, Ere I could make thee open thy white hand, And clap thyself my love;' then didst thou utter, I am yours for ever. Her.
It is Grace, indeed._ Why, lo you now, I have spoke to the purpose
twice: The one for ever earn'd a royal husband ; The other, for some while a friend.
[Giving ber band to PolixenES.
And clap thyself my love ;] She open'd her hand, to clap the palm of it into his, as people do when they confirm a bargain. Hence the phrase-to clap up a bargain, i. e. make one with no other ceremony than the junction of hands. So, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611
" - Speak, widow, is't a match?
“ Shall we clap it up?" Again, in a Trick to catch the old One, 1618:
“ Come, clap hands, a match." Again, in K. Henry V :
and so clap hands, and a bargain." STEVENS. This was a regular part of the ceremony of troth-plighting, to which Shakspeare often alludes. So, in Measure for Measure :
" This is the hand, which with a vow'd contráet
“ Was faft belock'd in thine." Again, in King John:
“ Phil. It likes us well. Young princes, close your hands. “ Auft. And your lips too, for I am well assurd,
" That I did so, when I was firft assur'd.” So also, in No Wit like a Woman's, a Com. by Middleton, 1657:
“There these young lovers shall clap hands together." I should not have given so many instances of this custom, but that I know Mr. Pope's reading—" And clepe thyself my love,” has many favourers. The old copy has--A clap, &c. The cor. rection was made by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
: It is Grace, indeed! ] Referring to what she had just said_" , would her name were Grace!! MALONE.
Too hot, too hot: [A
Мам. Ay, my good lord.
l'fecks? Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd
9_ from bounty, fertile bofom,] I suppose that a letter dropped out at the press, and would read—from bounty's fertile bosom.
MALONE. By fertile bofom, I fuppofe, is meant a bosom like that of the carth, which yields a spontaneous produce. In the same strain is the address of Timon of Athens :
Thou common mother, thou, • Whose infinite breast
* Teems and feeds all!" STEEVINS. 2 The mort o'the deer;] A lesson upon the hork at the death of the deer. THEOBALD.
So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608: “ He that bloweth the mort before the death of the buck, may very well miss of his fees.” Again, in the oldest copy of Chevy Chase:
“The blewe a mort uppone the bent." STEEVENS. 3 I'fecks?] A supposed corruption of—in faith. Our present volgar pronounce it--fegs. STEVENS.
4 Why, that's my bawcock.] Perhaps from bean and coq. It is still faid in vulgar language that such a one is a jolly cock, a cock of the game. The word has already occurred in Twelfth Night, and is one of the titles by which Pistol speaks of K. Henry the Fifth.
They say, it's a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
[Observing Polixenes and HERMIONE.
Yes, if you will, my lord. Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots
that I have,
s We must be neat;] Leontes, seeing his son's nose smutch'd, cries, we must be neat; then recollecting that neat is the ancient term for horned cattle, he says, not neat, but cleanly. Johnson. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, fong 3 : “ His large provision there of felh, of fowl, of neat."
STEEVENS. 6 Still virginalling —] Still playing with her fingers, as a girl playing on the virginals. Johnson.
A virginal, as I am informed, is a very small kind of fpinnet. Queen Elizabeth's virginal-book is yet in being, and many of the lessons in it have proved so difficult, as to bafile our most expert players on the harpsichord. . so, in Decker's Satiro-mastix, or the Untrufling of the Humorom Poet, 1602 :
" When we have husbands, we play upon them like virginal jacks, they must rise and fall to our humours, or else they'll never get any good strains of musick out of one of us." Again, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
" Where be these rascals that kip and down
“ Like virginal jacks??” STIEVENS. A virginal was ftrung like a spinnet, and shaped like a piano forte.
MALONE. 7 Thou want'f a rough pash, and the shoots that I have,) Palha (fays Sir T. Hanmer) is kiss. Paz. Spanish, i. e. thou want a mouth made rough by a beard, to kiss with. Shoots are branches, i.e. borns. Leontes is alluding to the ensigns of cuckoldom. A madbrain'd boy is, however, call’d a mad poth in Cheshire.
STEVENS, Thou want'st a rough pash, and the foots that I have, in connection with the context, fignifies to make thee a calf thu mujt
To be full like me: B_yet, they say, we are
have the tuft on thy forchead and the young horns that shoot up in it, as I have. Leontes asks the Prince :
How now, you canton calf!
To be full like me. To pas signifies to push or dash agains, and frequently occurs in old writers. Thus Drayton :
“ They either poles their heads together pashe.” Again, in How to choose a good Wife from a had, 1602. 4to :
" learn pash and knock, and bcat and mall,
“ Cleave pates and caputs.” When in Cheshire a pash is used for a mod-brained bov, it is defigned to characterize him from the wantonness of a calf that blunders on, and runs his head against any thing. HENLEY. In Troilus and Cressida, the verb pass also occurs:
“ waving his beam
“ Epistrophus and Cedius.” And again (as Mr. Henley on another occasion observes) in the Virgin Martyr:
“ when the battering ram
“ Me with his horns to pieces.” SteeveNS. I have lately learned that pash in Scotland significs a lead. The old reading therefore may stand. Many words, that are now used only in that country, were perhaps once common to the whole illand of Great Britain, or at least to the northern part of England. The meaning therefore of the present passage, I suppose, is this. You tell me (says Leontes to his fon) that you are like me; that you are my calf. I am the horned bull: thon wandelt the rough head and the horns of that animal, completely to resemble your father.
MalOnE. 8 To be full like me :) Full is here as in other places, used by our author, adverbially ;-to be entirely like me. Malone.
9 As o'er-died blacks,] Sir T. Hanmer underttandy blacks died too much, and therefore rotten. JOHNson.
As dice are to be with’d, by one that fixes in No bourn? 'twixt his and mine; yet were it true To say, this boy were like me.-Come, fir page, Look on me with your welkin-eye: 3 Sweet villain! Most dear'st! my collop ! -Can thy dam ?-may’[
be? Affection ! thy intention stabs the center :s
It is common with tradesmen to die their faded or damaged ftuffs, black. O'er died blacks may mean those which have received a die over their former colour.'
There is a passage in The old Law of Massenger, which might lead us to offer another interpretation :
“ Blacks are often such dissembling mourners,
“ I would not hear of blacks." It seems that blacks was the common term for mourning. So, in A Mad World my Masters, 1608 :
“ in so many blacks
• I'll have the church hung round" Black, however, will receive no other hue without discovering it. felf through it. “ Lanarum nigræ nullum colorem bibunt."
Plin. Nat. Hijt. Lib. VIII. Steevens. The following passage in a book which our author had certainly read, inclines me to believe that the last is the true interpretation. • Truly (quoth Camillo) my wool was blacke, and therefore it could take no other colour." Lyly's Euphues and his England, 4to. 1580.
MALONE, 2 No bourn Bourn is boundary. So, in Hamlet;
" — from whose bourn
- No traveller returns " STEEVENS, 3 - welkin-eye :] Blue-eye; an eye of the same colour with she welkin, or sky. Johnson. 4 my collop!] So, in The First Part of K. Henry VI:
“ God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh.” STEEVENS. 3 Affe&tion! thy intention ftabs the center:) Instead of this line, which I find in the folio, the modern editors have introduced anosher of no authority :
Imagination! thou doft Rab to the center. Mr. Rowe first made the exchange. I am not sure that I un.