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That little thinks she has been suic'din his absence,
Why, that's some comfort.What! Camillo there?
CAM. Ay, my good lord. LEON. Go play, Mamillius; thou’rt an honest man.
[Exit MAMILLIUS, Camillo, this great fir will yet stay longer.
Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor hold; When you cast out, it still came home.3 Leon.
Didst note it?
With het in and a belly; kn
9 And his pond fith’d by his next neighbour,] This metaphor perhaps owed its introduction and currency, to the once frequent depredations of neighbours on each others fish, a complaint that often occurs in ancient correspondence. Thus in one of the Pafton Letters, Vol. IV. p. 15:“ My mother bade me send you word that Waryn Herman hath daily fished her water all this year.” Steevens.
they say.] They, which was omitted in the original copy by the carelessness of the transcriber or printer, was added by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
3- it still came home.] This is a fea-faring expression, mean.. ing, the anchor would not take hold. · STEEVENS.
Cam. He would not stay at your petitions'; inade His business more material. LEON.
Didst perceive it? They're here with me already ;' whispering, round
ing, Sicilia is a lo-forth:5 'Tis far gonc,
made His bufiness more material.] i. e. the more you requested him to ftay, the more urgent he represented that business to be which summoned him away. STEEVENS.
3 They're here with me already;] Not Polixenes and Hermione, but casual observers, people accidentally present. THIRLBY.
whispering, rounding,] To round in the car is to whisper, or to tell secretly. The expression is very copiously explained by M. Casaubon, in his book de Ling. Sax. Johnson,
The word is frequently used by Chaucer, as well as later writers. So, in Lingua, 1607: “ 1 help'd Herodotus to pen some part of his Mufes ; lent Pliny ink to write his history; and rounded Rabelais in the ear, when he hiftorified Pantagruel." Again, in The Spanish Tragedy:
« Forthwith revenge lhe rounded me i th' car." STEEVENS. s Sicilia is a so-forth :) This was a phrase employed when the speaker, through caution or disguft, wished to escape the utterance of an obnoxious term. A commentator on Shakspeare will often derive more advantage from listening to vulgar than to polite conversation. At the corner of Fleet-market, I lately heard one woman, describing another, saya" every body knows that her husband is a so-forik.” As she spoke the last word, her fingers expressed the emblem of cuckoldom. Mr. Malone reads--Sicilia is ---so-forth. STEEVENS.
In regulating this line I have adopted a hint suggested by Mr. M. Mason. I have more than once observed that almoft every abrupţ sentence in these plays is corrupted. These words without the break now introduced are to me unintelligible. Leontes means I think I already hear my courtiers whispering to each other, “ Sicilia is a cuckold, a tame cuckold,” to which (lays he) they will add every other opprobrious name and epithet they can think of;" for such, I suppose, the meaning of the words so forth. He avoids naming the word cuckold from a horrour of the very found. I suspect, howcver, that our author wrote-Sicilia is--and so forth. So, in The Merchani of Venice : “ I will buy with you, fell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following.
When I shall gust it last. —How came't, Camillo,
Cam. At the good queen's entreaty.
Again, in Hamlet :
« I saw him enter such a house of fale,
“ (Videlicet, a brothel) or so forth.” Again, more appositely, in K. Henry IV. P.II:
“ — with a dish of carraways, and so forth.” Again, in Troilus and Crellida : “Is not birth, beauty, good shape, discourse, manhood, learning, AND so forth, the spice and falt that season a man?” MALONE. 6 — guft it ---) i.e. taste it. STEEVENS. “ Dedecus ille domus sciet ultimus." Juv. Sai. 10.
MALONE. 12 is soaking,] Dr. Grey would read-in foaking; but I think without necessity. Thy conceit is of an absorbent nature, will draw in more, &c. seems to be the meaning. STEVENS.
8 - loquer messes,] I believe, lower melles is only used as an expression to signify the lowest degree about the court, See Anllis. Ord. Gart. I. App. p. 15: “ The earl of Surry began the borde in presence: the earl of Arundel washed with him, and fat both at the first meffe.” Formerly not only at every great man's table the visitants were placed according to their consequence or dignity, but with additional marks of inferiority, viz. of fitting below the great faltseller placed in the center of the table, and of having coarser provisions set before them. The former custom is mentioned in The Honest Whore, by Decker, 1604 : “ Plague him ; fet him beneath the salt, and let him not touch a bit till every one has had his full cut.” The latter was as much a subject of com. plaint in the time of Beaumont and Fletcher, as in that of Juvenal, as the following instance may prove;
· Cam. Business, my lord? I think, most understand Bohemia stays here longer.' Leon.
Ha? • Ca .
Stays here longer. Leon. Ay, but why?
Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaties Of our most gracious mistress. LEON.
Thy penitent reform’d: but we have been
Be it forbid, my lord ! Leon. To bide upon't ;-Thou art not honeft: or, If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward; Which hoxes honesty behind,' restraining
• Uncut up pies at the nether end, filled with moss and
“ Partly to make a fhew with,
Woman Hater, Act I. sc. ii. This passage may be yet somewhat differently explained. It appears from a passage in The merye Jeft of a Man called Howleglas, bl. l. no date, that it was anciently the custom in publick houses to keep ordinaries of different prices : “ What table will you be at? for at the lordes table thei give me no less than to Thylinges, and at the merchaunts table xvi pence, and at my houshold fervantes geve me twelve pence."--Leontes comprehends inferiority of understanding in the idea of inferiority of rank. STEEVENS.
Concerning the different messes in the great families of our ancient nobility, see the Houjbold Book of the 5th Earl of Northumbera land, 8vo. 1770. Percy.
9- hoxes honesty behind,] To box is to ham-string. So, in Knolles' History of the Turks :
From course requir’d: Or else thou must be counted
My gracious lord, .
- alighted, and with his sword hoxed his horse.". King James VI. in his 11th Parliament, had an act to punish “ hochares," or Nayers of horse, oxen, &c. STEEVINS,
The proper word is, to bough, i. e. to cut the hough, or hamAtring. MALONE. * Whereof the execution did cry out
Against the non-performance,] This is one of the expressions by which Shakspeare too frequently clouds his meaning. This sounding phrase means, I think, no more than a thing necessary to be done.
JOHNSON, I think we ought to read " the now-performance," which gives us this very reasonable meaning :- At the execution whereof, such circumstances discovered themselves, as made it prudeni to suspend all further proceeding in it. Heath.
I do not see that this attempt does any thing more, than produce a harsher word without an easier fenfe. Johnson.
I have preserved this note, Mr. Heath's] because I think it a good interpretation of the original text. I have, however, no doubt, that Shakspeare wrote non-performance, he having often entangled himself in the same manner; but it is clear that he should