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Leon. You have mistook, my lady,
No, by my life,
9 A federary with her;] A federary (perhaps a word of our author's coinage) is a confederate, an accomplice. STEEVENS.
We should certainly read a feodary with her. There is no such word as federary. See Cymbeline, Act III. sc. ii. Malone.
2 But with her molt vile principal,] One that knows what we should be ashamed of, even if the knowledge of it refted only in her own breast and that of her paramour, without the participation of any confidant. But, which is here used for only, renders this passage somewhat obscure. It has the same signification again in this scene :
“ He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
“ But that he speaks." MALONE. 3 give bold titles;] The old copy readsbold'A titles ; but if the contracted superlative be retained, the roughness of the line will be intolerable.' STEEVENS.
No, no; if I mistake
e ill planet reigns :
4 - if I mistake
The center, &c.] That is, if the proofs which I can offer will not support the opinion I have formed, no foundation can be trusted.
Johnson. Milton, in his Masque at Ludlow Castle, has expressed the same thought in more exalted language:
" if this fail,
“ And earth’s base built on stubble.” Steevens. s He, who fall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
But that he speaks.] Far off guilty, signifies, guilty in a remote degree. Johnson. The same expression occurs in K. Henry V :
“ Or shall we sparingly show you far off
• The dauphin's meaning ?” But that he speaks—means, in merely speaking. Malone. 6 — till the heavens look
With an aspect more favourable.] An astrological phrase. The aspect of stars was anciently a familiar term, and continued to be such till the age in which Milton tells us - the swart star sparely looks.” Lycidas, v. 138.
STEEVENS. 7 — but I have That honourable grief lodg'd here,] Again, in Hamlet :
“ But I have that within which passeth show." Douce.
Worse than tears drown : 8 'Beseech you all, my
Leon. Shall I be heard? [To the guards. · Her. Who is't, that goes with me?-'beseech
your highness, My women may be with me; for, you fee, My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools ; There is no cause: when you shall know, your mis
tress Has desery'd prison, then abound in tears, As I come out; this action, I now go on,' Is for my better grace.---Adieu, my lord : I never wish'd to see you sorry; now, I trust, I shall.--My women, come; you have
leave. Leon. Go, do our bidding; hence.
[Exeunt Queen and Ladies. 1. Lord. 'Beseech your highness, call the queen
8 which burns
Worse than tears drown:] So, in King Henry VIII. Qucen Katharine says
“ - my drops of tears
“ I'll turn to sparks of fire." STEVENS. 9- this action, I now go on,] The word action is here taken in the lawyer's sense, for indici ment, charge, or accufation.
Johnson, We cannot say that a person goes on an indictment, charge, or accusation. I believe, Hermione only means, “ What I am now about to do.” M. Mason.
Mr. M. Mason's supposition may be countenanced by the following passage in Much ado about nothing, Act I. sc.i:
" When I went forward on this ended acting." STEEVENS,
Ant. Be certain what you do, fir; left your juf
tice Prove violence; in the which three great ones
suffer, Yourself, your queen, your son. 1. LORD.
For her, my lord,
If it prove
9 - I'll keep my ftables wbere
I lodge my wife ;Stable-stand (ftabilis ftatio, as Spelman inter. prets it) is a term of the foreft-laws, and signifies a place where a deer-stealer fixes his stand under some convenient cover, and keeps watch for the purpose of killing deer as they pass by. From the place it came to be applied also to the person, and any man taken in a forest in that situation, with a gun or bow in his hand, was presumed to be an offender, and had the name of a stable-stand. In all former editions this hath been printed fable; and it may perhaps be objected, that another fyllable added fpoils the smooth, ness of the verse. But by pronouncing stable short, the measure will very well bear it, according to the liberty allowed in this kind of writing, and which Shakspeare never scruples to use; therefore I read, jable-stand. HANMER.
There is no need of Sir T. Hanmer's addition to the text. So, in the ancient interlude of The Repentaunce of Marie Magdalaine, 1567: " Where thou dwelleft, the devyll may have a stable.”
STEEVENS. If Hermione prove unfaithful, I'll never trust my wife out of my fight; I'll always go in couples with her; and, in that respect, my house shall resemble a stable, where dogs are kept in pairs. Though a kennel is a place where a pack of hounds is kept, every one, I fuppose, as well as our author, has occasionally seen dogs tied up in couples under the manger of a stable. A dog-couple is a term at this day. To this practice perhaps he alludes in King John :
Than when I feel, and see her, no further trust
her ; 9
Leon. Hold your peaces.
Good my lord, Ant. It is for you we speak, not for ourselves : You are abus’d, and by some putter-on, That will be damn’d for’t; 'would I knew the villain, I would land-damn him :3 Be she honour-Alaw'd,
“ To dive like buckets in concealed wells,
“ To crouch in litter of your ftable planks." In the Teutonick language, hund-stall, or dog-stable, is the term for a kennel. Stables or fiable, however may mean ftation, stabilis ftatio, and two distinct propositions may be intended. I'll keep my station in the same place where my wife is lodged ; I'll run every where with her, like dogs that are coupled together. MALONE.
9 Than, when I feel, and see her, &c.] The old copies readThen when, &c. The correction is Mr. Rowe's. Steevens,
The modern editors read-Than when, &c. certainly not without ground, for than was formerly spelt then; but here, I believe, the latter word was intended. MALONE. - putter-on,] i.e. one who instigates. So, in Macbeth :
the powers divine “ Put on their instruments.” Steevens. 3 land-damn him :] Sir T. Hanmer interprets, stop his urine. Land or lant being the old word for urine.
Land-damn is probably one of those words which caprice brought into fashion, and which, after a short time, reason and grammar drove irrecoverably away. It perhaps meant no more than I will rid the country of him, condemn him to quit the land. Johnson.
Land-damn him, if such a reading can be admitted, may mean, be would procure fentence to be past on him in this world, on this earth.
Antigonus could no way make good the threat of stopping his urine. Besides, it appears too ridiculous a punishment for fo atrocious a criminal. Yet it must be confelled, that what Sir T,