Yon crickets shall not hear it.


And give 't me in mine ear.

Come on then,

Enter LEONTES, ANTIGONUS, Lords, and Others. Leon. Was he met there? his train? Camillo with him? 1 Lord. Behind the tuft of pines I met them; never Saw I men scour so on their way: I ey'd them

Even to their ships.


How bless'd am I1

In my just censure? in my true opinion?2.
Alack, for lesser knowledge!3-How accurs'd,
In being so blest!-There may be in the cup
A spider steep'd, and one may drink; depart,
And yet partake no venom; for his knowledge
Is not infected: but if one present


The abhorr'd ingredient to his eye, make known
How he hath drank, he cracks his gorge, his sides,
With violent hefts: 5-I have drank, and seen the spider.
Camillo was his help in this, his pander:-
There is a plot against my life, my crown;
All's true that is mistrusted:-that false villain,
Whom I employ'd, was pre-employ'd by him:

1 How bless'd am I-] For the sake of metre, I suppose, our author wrote-How blessed then am I -. Steevens.

2 In my just censure? in my true opinion?] Censure, in the time of our author, was generally used (as in this instance) for judgment, opinion. So, Sir Walter Raleigh, in his commendatory verses prefixed to Gascoigne's Steel Glasse, 1576:


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"Wherefore to write my censure of this book 3 Alack, for lesser knowledge!] That is, O that my knowledge were less. Johnson.

4 A spider steep'd,] That spiders were esteemed venomous, appears by the evidence of a person who was examined in Sir T. Overbury's affair: "The Countesse wished me to get the strongest poyson I could, &c. Accordingly I bought seven- -great spiders, and cantharides." Henderson.

This was a notion generally prevalent in our author's time. So, in Holland's Leaguer, a pamphlet published in 1632: “ - like the spider, which turneth all things to poison which it tasteth.”



violent hefts:-] Hefts are heavings, what is heaved up.

So, in Sir Arthur Gorges' translation of Lucan, 1614: "But if a part of heavens huge sphere

"Thou chuse thy pond'rous heft to beare." Steevens.

He has discover'd my design, and I
Remain a pinch'd thing; yea, a very trick

For them to play at will:-How came the posterns
So easily open?

1 Lord.

By his great authority;

Which often hath no less prevail'd than so,

On your command.


I know 't too well.

Give me the boy; I am glad, you did not nurse him: Though he does bear some signs of me, yet you Have too much blood in him.


What is this? sport?

Leon. Bear the boy hence, he shall not come about


Away with him:-and let her sport herself

6 He has discover'd my design, and I

Remain a pinch'd thing;] The sense, I think, is, He hath now discovered my design, and I am treated as a mere child's baby, a thing pinched out of clouts, a puppet for them to move and actuate as they please. Heath.

This sense is possible; but many other meanings might serve as well. Johnson.

The same expression occurs in Eliosto Libidinoso, a novel, by one John Hinde, 1606: "Sith then, Cleodora, thou art pinched, and hast none to pity thy passions, dissemble thy affection, though it cost thee thy life." Again, in Greene's Never too late, 1616: "Had the queene of poetrie been pinched with so many passions," &c. Again, in Chapman's version of the eighth Iliad:

"Huge grief, for Hector's slaughter'd friend pinch'd in his mighty mind."

These instances may serve to show that pinched had anciently a more dignified meaning than it appears to have at present. Spenser, in his Fairy Queen, B. III, c. xii, has equipped grief with a pair of pincers:

"A pair of pincers in his hand he had,

"With which he pinched people to the heart."

The sense proposed by the author of The Revisal may, however, be supported by the following passage in The City Match, by Jasper Maine, 1639:


Pinch'd napkins, captain, and laid

"Like fishes, fowls, or faces."

Again, by a passage in All's well that ends well:"If you pinch me like a pasty, [i. e. the crust round the lid of it, which was anciently moulded by the fingers into fantastick shapes] I can say no more."


The subsequent words-"a very trick for them to play at will," appear strongly to confirm Mr. Heath's explanation. Malone.

With that she's big with; for 'tis Polixenes

Has made thee swell thus.

Her. But I'd say, he had not, And, I'll be sworn, you would believe my saying, Howe'er you lean to the nayward.

You, my lords,

Look on her, mark her well; be but about
To say, she is a goodly lady, and

The justice of your hearts will thereto add,
'Tis pity she's not honest, honourable :

Praise her but for this her without-door form,

(Which, on my faith, deserves high speech) and straight The shrug, the hum, or ha; these petty brands, That calumny doth use:-O, I am out,

That mercy does; for calumny will sear

Virtue itself:7-these shrugs, these hums, and has, When you have said, she 's goodly, come between, Ere you can say she 's honest: But be it known, From him that has most cause to grieve it should be, She's an adultress.


Should a villain say so,
The most replenish'd villain in the world,
He were as much more villain: you, my lord,
Do but mistake.8


You have mistook, my lady,
Polixenes for Leontes: O thou thing,

Which I'll not call a creature of thy place,
Lest barbarism, making me the precedent,
Should a like language use to all degrees,
And mannerly distinguishment leave out
Betwixt the prince and beggar!-I have said,

7 -for calumny will sear

Virtue itself:] That is, will stigmatize or brand as infamous So, in All's well that ends well:

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you, my lord,

Do but mistake.] Otway had this passage in his thoughts, when he put the following lines into the mouth of Castalio: Should the bravest man

"That e'er wore conquering sword, but dare to whisper
"What thou proclaim'st, he were the worst of liars:
"My friend may be mistaken." Steevens.

She's an adultress; I have said with whom:
More, she's a traitor; and Camillo is

A federary with her; and one that knows
What she should shame to know herself,
But with her most vile principal,1 that she's
A bed-swerver, even as bad as those

That vulgars give bold titles;2 ay, and privy
To this their late escape.

No, by my life,
Privy to none of this: How will this grieve you,
When you shall come to clearer knowledge, that
You thus have publish'd me? Gentle my lord,
You scarce can right me throughly then, to say
You did mistake.


No, no; if I mistake In those foundations which I build upon, The centre3 is not big enough to bear

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. Malone says we should certainly read feodary, and quotes a passage in Cymbeline as a proof of his assertion; but surely this very passage is as good authority for reading federary, as that can be for reading feodary. Besides, federate is more naturally derived from faderis, the genitive of the Latin word fœdus; and the genitive case is the proper parent of derivatives, as its name denotes. M. Mason.

1 But with her most vile principal,] One that knows what we should be ashamed of, even if the knowledge of it rested only in her own breast and that of her paramour, without the participa`tion 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.

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give bold titles;] The old copy reads-bold'st titles; but if the contracted superlative be retained, the roughness of the line will be intolerable. Steevens.


if I mistake

The centre &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:

A school-boy's top.-Away with her to prison:
He, who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty,
But that he speaks.*


There's some ill planet reigns:

I must be patient, till the heavens look

With an aspect more favourable,5-Good my lords,
I am not prone to weeping, as our sex

Commonly are; the want of which vain dew,


Perchance, shall dry your pities; but I have
That honourable grief lodg'd here," which burns
Worse than tears drown: 'Beseech you all, my lords,
With thoughts so qualified as your charities

Shall best instruct you, measure me;-and so

The king's will be perform'd!


Shall I be heard?

[To the Guards.

Her. Who is 't, that goes with me?-'Beseech your


My women may be with me; for, you see,

My plight requires it. Do not weep, good fools;

There is no cause: when you shall know, your mistress

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"The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,

"And earth's base built on stubble." Steevens.

He, who shall 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 King Henry V:\

"Or shall we sparingly show you far off

"The dauphin's meaning?"

But that he speaks-means, in merely speaking. Malone.

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With an aspéct 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.

but I have


That honourable grief lodg'd here,] Again, in Hamlet:
"But I have that within which passeth show." Douce.

which burns

Worse than tears drown:] So, in King Henry VIII, Queen Katharine says


my drops of tears

"I'll turn to sparks of fire." Steevens.


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