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Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch further,
But milk my ewes, and weep.
Speak, ere thou diest.
Why, how now, father?
I cannot speak, nor think,
You have undone a man of fourscore three 1,
That knew'st this was the prince, and would'st ad
To mingle faith with him.-Undone! undone !
Why look you so upon me?
I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd,
1 You have undone a man of fourscore three, &c.] These sentiments, which the poet has heightened by a strain of ridicule that runs through them, admirably characterize the speaker; whose selfishness is seen in concealing the adventure of Perdita ; and here supported, by showing no regard for his son or her, but, being taken up entirely with himself, though fourscore three. WARBURTON.
2 Where no priest shovels-in dust.] This part of the priest's office might be remembered in Shakspeare time: it was not left off till the reign of Edward VI. FARMER.
That is in pronouncing the words earth to earth, &c.
3 If I might die within this hour, I have liv'd
I had liv'd a blessed time." STEEvens.
4 Why look you SO UPON ME?] should be omitted. STEEVENS,
Perhaps the two last words
Gracious my lord,
More straining on, for plucking back; not following
I think, Camillo.
I not purpose it.
Even he, my lord.
PER. How often have I told you, 'twould be thus? How often said, my dignity would last
But till 'twere known?
It cannot fail, but by
The violation of my faith; And then
Let nature crush the sides o' the earth together, And mar the seeds within!-Lift up thy looks7:From my succession wipe me, father! I
Am heir to my affection.
Fro. I am; and by my fancy: if my reason
If not, my senses, better pleas'd with madness,
5 You know YOUR father's temper:] The old copy reads-my father's. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 6 And mar the seeds within!] So, in Macbeth:
"And nature's germins tumble all together." STEEVENS. -LIFT UP thy looks :] "Lift up the light of thy countenance." Psalm iv. 6. STEEVENS.
and by my FANCY:] It must be remembered that fancy in our author very often, as in this place, means love. JOHNSON. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream :
"Fair Helena in fancy following me."
See vol. v. p. 301, n. 7. STEEVENS,
I needs must think it honesty.
Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may
With her, whom here? I cannot hold on shore;
For this design. What course I mean to hold,
O, my lord,
I would your spirit were easier for advice,
-[Takes her aside. [To CAMILLO.
I'll hear you by and by.
Resolv'd for flight: Now were I happy, if
His going I could frame to serve my turn;
And that unhappy king, my master, whom
Now, good Camillo,
9WHOM here] Old copy-who. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
3 1 And, most opportune to our need,] The old copy has-her need. This necessary emendation was made by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.
Perhaps unnecessary. "Her need," is the need we have of her,' i. e. the vessel. BosWELL.
I am so fraught with curious business, that
I leave out ceremony.
Sir, I think,
You have heard of my poor services, i' the love
Well, my lord,
If you may please to think I love the king;
I'll point you where you shall have such receiving
How, Camillo, May this, almost a miracle, be done?
That I may call thee something more than man, And, after that, trust to thee.
A place, whereto you'll go?
Have you thought on
2 And (with my best endeavours, in your absence,)
Your DISCONTENTING father strive to qualify,
And bring him up to liking.] And where you may, by letters, intreaties, &c. endeavour to soften your incensed father, and reconcile him to the match; to effect which, my best services shall not be wanting during your absence. Mr. Pope, without either authority or necessity, reads-" I'll strive to qualify;"which has been followed by all the subsequent editors.
Discontenting is in our author's language the same as discontented. MALONE.
Not any yet:
But as the unthought-on accident is guilty
Ourselves to be the slaves of chance, and flies
Then list to me :
CAM. This follows,-if you will not change your purpose, But undergo this flight ;-Make for Sicilia;
And there present yourself, and your fair princess,
The partner of your bed. Methinks, I see
3 But as the UNTHOUGHT-ON ACCIDENT IS GUILTY
To what we wildly do ;] Guilty to, though it sounds harsh to our ears, was the phraseology of the time, or at least of Shakspeare; and this is one of those passages that should caution us not to disturb his text merely because the language appears different from that now in use. See The Comedy of Errors, Act III. Sc. II. :
"But lest myself be guilty to self wrong,
"I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song,"
The unthought-on accident is the unexpected discovery made by Polixenes. M. MASON..
4 Ourselves to be the slaves of CHANCE,] As chance has driven me to these extremities, so I commit myself to chance, to be conducted through them. JOHNSON.
asks thee, THE son,] The old copy reads-thee there Corrected by the editor of the third folio. MALONE.
Perhaps we should read-(as Mr. Ritson observes)
Asks there the son forgiveness-," STEEVENS.