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Most dearest! my collop!'-can thy dam?-May't
Affection! thy intention stabs the centre;2
And fellow'st nothing. Then, 'tis very credent,3
How, my lord?
How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight.
1 In King Henry VI. Part I. we have
"God knows thou art a collop of my flesh."
3 Credent, credible.
4 i. e. an immature pea-pod.
2 Affection here means imagination. Intention is earnest consideration, eager attention. It is this vehemence of mind which affects Leontes, by making him conjure up unreal causes of disquiet; and thus, in the Poet's language, "stabs him to the centre."
5 "Will you take eggs for money?" A proverbial phrase for "Will you suffer yourself to be cajoled or imposed upon?
Leon. You will? why, happy man be his dole!1-
Are you so fond of your young prince, as we
Apparent to my heart.
Next to thyself, and my young rover, he's
If you would seek us,
We are yours i'the garden. Shall's attend you there?
Be you beneath the sky;-I am angling now,
[Aside. Observing POLIXENES and HERMIONE.
1 i. e. may happiness be his portion !
2 Heir apparent, next claimant.
[Exeunt PoL., HER., and Attendants.
4 i. e. a horned one.
Or I am much deceived, cuckolds ere now;
And many a man there is, even at this present,
Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it,
It will let in and out the enemy,
With bag and baggage. Many a thousand of us
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 sir will yet stay longer.
Cam. You had much ado to make his anchor hold; When you cast out, it still came home.1
Didst note it?
Cam. He would not stay at your petitions; made His business more material.2
Didst perceive it?— They're here with me already:3 whispering, round
Sicilia is a so-forth.5 'Tis far gone,
1 "It still came home," a nautical term, meaning, "the anchor would not take hold."
2 The more you requested him to stay, the more urgent he represented that business to be which summoned him away.
3 Not Polixenes and Hermione, but casual observers.
4 To round in the ear was to tell secretly, to whisper.
5 A so-forth, a phrase apparently employed to avoid the utterance of an opprobrious one. So, so, is sometimes used in a similar manner.
When I shall gust1 it last.-How came 't, Camillo,
That he did stay?
But so it is, it is not. Was this taken
Cam. Business, my lord? I think most understand Bohemia stays here longer.
At the good queen's entreaty. queen's, be't: good, should be per
Stays here longer.
Leon. Ay, but why?
Cam. To satisfy your highness, and the entreaties
Of our most gracious mistress.
The entreaties of your mistress?
In that which seems so.
Be it forbid, my lord!
Leon. To bide upon't: Thou art not honest; or, If thou inclin'st that way, thou art a coward; Which hoxes honesty behind, restraining
From course required; or else thou must be counted
A servant, grafted in my serious trust,
And therein negligent; or else a fool,
1 i. e. taste it:-"ille domus sciet ultimus.".........Juv. Sat. x.
3 To hox is to hamstring: the proper word is to hough.
My gracious lord,
It was my folly; if industriously
Leon. Have not you seen, Camillo, (But that's past doubt: you have; or your eye-glass Is thicker than a cuckold's horn ;) or heard, (For, to a vision so apparent, rumor Cannot be mute,) or thought,—(for cogitation Resides not in that man, that does not think,)2My wife is slippery? If thou wilt confess, (Or else be impudently negative,
To have nor eyes, nor ears, nor thought,) then say,
Cam. I would not be a stander-by to hear
1 This is expressed obscurely, but seems to mean "the execution of which (when done) cried out against the non-performance of it before."
2 Leontes means to say, "Have you not thought that my wife is slippery? (for cogitation resides not in the man that does not think my wife is slippery.") The four latter words, though disjoined from the word think by the necessity of a parenthesis, are evidently to be connected in construction with it.