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Is goads, thorns, nettles, tails of wafps ?6
Give fcandal to the blood o'the prince my fon,
Who, I do think, is mine, and love as mine;
Without ripe moving to't? Would I do this?
Could man fo blench? 7


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I must believe you, fir;

I do; and will fetch off Bohemia for't:
Provided, that when he's remov'd, your highness
Will take again your queen, as yours at firft;
Even for your fon's fake; and, thereby, for lealing
The injury of tongues, in courts and kingdoms
Known and allied to yours.


Thou doft advise me,

Even fo as I mine own courfe have fet down: I'll give no blemish to her honour, none.

CAM. My lord,

Go then: and with a countenance as clear
As friendship wears at feasts, keep with Bohemia,
And with your queen: I am his cupbearer;
If from me he have wholfome beverage,'
Account me not your fervant.


This is all:

Do't, and thou haft the one half of my heart; Do't not, thou fplit'ft thine own.


I'll do't, my lord.

6 Is goads, &c.] Somewhat neceffary to the measure is omitted in this line. Perhaps we fhould read, with Sir T. Hanmer: "Is goads and thorns, nettles and tails of wafps.

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7 Could man fo blench?] To blench is to start off, to fhrink. So, in Hamlet:

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if he but blench,

"I know my courfe.

Leontes means of behaviour?

could any man fo flart or fly off from propriety STEEVENS.

LEON. I will feem friendly, as thou haft advis'd me. [Exit.

CAM. O miferable lady!-But, for me, What cafe ftand I in? I must be the poifoner Of good Polixenes: and my ground to do't Is the obedience to à mafter; one, Who, in rebellion with himself, will have All that are his, fo too. To do this deed, Promotion follows: If I could find example Of thousands, that had ftruck anointed kings, And flourish'd after, I'd not do't: but fincé. Nor brafs, nor ftone, nor parchment, bears not one, Let villainy itself forswear't. I muft


Forfake the court: to do't, or no, is certain To me a break-neck. Happy flar, reign now! Here comes Bohemia.

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POL. The king hath on him such a countenance, As he had loft fome province, and a region, Lov'd as he loves himfelf: even now I met him With customary compliment; when he,


If I could find example, &c.] An allufion to the death of the queen of Scots. The play therefore was written in king James's



Wafting his eyes to the contrary, and falling
A lip of much contempt, fpeeds from me; and
So leaves me, to confider what is breeding,
That changes thus his manners.

CAM. I dare not know, my lord.

POL. How! dare not? do not. Do you know, and

dare not


Be intelligent to me? 'Tis thereabouts;

For, to yourself, what you do know, you must; And cannot fay, you dare not. Good Camilla, Your chang'd complexions are to me a mirror, Which fhows me mine chang'd too: for I must be A party in this alteration, finding

Myfelf thus alter'd with it.

There is a fickness
Which puts fome of us in diflemper; but
I cannot name the disease; and it is caught
Of you, that yet are well.


How! caught of me? Make me not fighted like the basilisk:

I have look'd on thoufands, who have fped the better
By my regard, but kill'd none fo. Camillo,-
As you are certainly a gentleman; thereto
Clerklike, experienc'd, which no less adorns

when he,

Wafting his eyes to the contrary, and falling
A lip of much contempt, Speeds from me; }

This is a ftroke of nature worthy of Shakspeare. Leontes had but a moment before affured Camillo that he would feem friendly to Polixenes, according to his advice; but on meeting him, his jealoufy gets the better of his refolution, and he finds it impoffible to restrain his hatred.


Do you know, and dare not


Be intelligent to me? i. e. do you know, and dare not confefs 40 me that you know? TYRWHITT.

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Our gentry, than our parents' noble names,
In whofe fuccefs we are gentle, I befeech you,
If you know aught which does behove my know-

Thereof to be inform'd, imprifon it not

In ignorant concealment.


I may not answer. POL. A fickness caught of me, and yet I well! I must be anfwer'd.-Doft thou hear, Camillo, I conjure thee, by all the parts of man, Which honour does acknowledge,


whereof the

Is not this fuit of mine, that thou declare
What incidency thou doft guefs of harm

Is creeping toward me; how far off, how near;
Which way to be prevented, if to be;

If not, how beft to bear it.


Sir, I'll tell you;

Since I am charg'd in honour, and by him
That I think honourable: Therefore, mark my


Which must be even as fwiftly follow'd, as
I mean to utter it; or both yourself and me
Cry, loft, and fo good-night.

2 In whofe fuccefs we are gentle, ] I know not whether fuccefs here does not mean fucceffion, JOHNSON.

Gentle in the text is evidently opposed to simple; alluding to the diftinction between the gentry and yeomanry. So, in The Infatiate Countess, 1613:

"And make thee gentle being born a beggar."

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In whole fuccefs we are gentle, may, indeed, mean in confequence of whofe fuccefs in life, &c. STEEVENS.

fuccefs feems clearly to have been used for fucceffion by Shakspeare, in this, as in other inftances. HENLEY.

I think Dr. Johnson's explanation of fuccefs the true one. So, in Titus Andronicus:

"Plead my fucceffive title with your fwords." MALONE.


On, good Camillo.

CAM. I am appointed Him to murder you.

POL. By whom, Camillo?




By the king.

For what?

CAM. He thinks, nay, with all confidence he


As he had feen't, or been an inftrument

Tovice you to't,-that you have touch'd his queen Forbiddenly.


O, then my best blood turn

To an infected jelly; and my name

Be yok'd with his, that did betray the beft!*

I am appointed Him to murder you. ] i. e. I am the person appointed to murder you. STEEVENS.

So, in K. Henry VI. P. I.

"Him that thou magnify'ft with all these titles,
Stinking and fly-blown lies there at our feet.”.

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3 To vice you to't,] i. e. to draw, perfuade you. The chara&er called the Vice, in the old plays, was the tempter to evil.


The vice is an inftrument well known; its operation is to hold things together. So the bailiff speaking of Falstaff: " If he come but within my vice," &c. A vice, however, in the age of Shakfpeare, might mean any kind of clock-work or machinery. So, in Holinfhed, p. 245: the rood of Borleie in Kent, called the rood of grace, made with diverfe vices to moove the eyes and lips," &c. It may, indeed, be no more than a corruption of "to advife you. So, in the old metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick, bl. 1. no date: "Then faid the emperour Eruis, "Methinketh thou fayeft a good vyce."

But my first attempt at explanation is, I believe, the best.




did betray the beft!] Perhaps Judas. The word beft is fpelt with a capital letter thus, Beft, in the firft folio. HENDERSON,

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