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Will never do him good, not one of you.
So, so:-Farewel; we are gone.

[Exit.
Leon. Thou, traitor, hast set on thy wife to this.-
My child? away with 't!--even thou, that hast
A heart so tender o'er it, take it hence,
And see it instantly consum'd with fire;
Even thou, and none but thou. Take it up straight:
Within this hour bring me word 'tis done,
(And by good testimony) or I'll seize thy life,
With what thou else call'st thine: If thou refuse,
And wilt encounter with my wrath, say so:
'The bastard brains with these my proper hands
Shall I dash out. Go, take it to the fire;
For thou sett'st on thy wife.
Ant.

I did not, sir:
These lords, my noble fellows, if they please,
Can clear me in 't.
1 Lord.

We can; my royal liege,
He is not guilty of her coming hither.

Leon. You are liars all.

i Lord. 'Beseech your highness, give us better credit: We have always truly serv'd you; and beseech So to esteem of us: And on our knees we beg, (As recompense of our dear services, Past, and to come,) that you do change this purpose; Which, being so horrible, so bloody, must Lead on to some foul issue: We all kneel.

Leon. I am a feather for each wind that blows:
Shall I live on, to see this bastard kneel
And call me father? Better burn it now,
Than curse it then. But, be it; let it live:
It shall not neither.-You, sir, come you hither;

[TO ANT.
You, that have been so tenderly officious
With lady Margery, your midwife, there,
To save this bastard's life:- for 'tis a bastard,
So sure as this beard 's grey, 3-what will you adventure
To save this brat's life?

3 So sure as this beard's grey,] The King must mean the beard of Antigonus, which perhaps both here and on the former occasion, (See p. 205, n. 7,) it was intended, he should lay hold of. Leontes has himself told us that twenty-three years ago he was

Ant.

Any thing, my lord,
That my ability may undergo,
And nobleness impose; at least, thus much;
I'll pawn the little blood which I have left,
To save the innocent: any thing possible.

Leon. It shall be possible: Swear by this sword,
Thou wilt perform my bidding.
Ant.

I will, my lord.
Leon. Mark, and perform it; (seest thou?) for the fail
Of any point in 't shall not only be
Death to thyself, but to thy lewd-toogu'd wife;
Whom, for this time, we pardon. We enjoin thee,
As thou art liegeman to us, that thou carry
This female bastard hence: and that thou bear it
To some remote and desert place, quite out
Of our dominions; and that there thou leave it,
Without more mercy, to its own protection,
And favour of the climate. As by strange fortune
It came to us, I do in justice charge thee,
On thy soul's peril, and thy body's torture,
That thou commend it strangely to some place,5
Where chance may nurse, or end it: Take it up.

Ant. I swear to do this, though a present death Had been more merciful.—Come on, poor babe: Some powerful spirit instruct the kites and ravens,

unbreech'd, in his green velvet coat, his dagger muzzled; and of course his age at the opening of this play must be under thirty. He cannot therefore mean his own beard. Malone.

Swear by this sword,] It was anciently the custom to swear by the cross on the handle of a sword. See a note on Hamlet, Act I, sc. v. Steevens.

So, in The Penance of Arthur, sig. S. 2: “And therewith King Marke yielded him unto Sir Galeris, and then he kneeled downe and made his oath upon the crosse of the sword,&c.

I remember to have seen the name of Jesus engraved upon the pummel of the sword of a Crusader in the Church at Winchelsea.

Douce. commend it strangely to some place,] Commit it to some place, as a stranger, without more provision. Fohnson. So, in Macbeth:

“ I wish your horses swift and sure of foot,

“ And so I do commend you to their backs." To commend is to commit. See Minshieu's Dict, in v. Malone.

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To be thy nurses! Wolves, and bears, they say,
Casting their savageness aside, have done
Like offices of pity.-Sir, be prosperous
In more than this deed does require! and blessing, 6
Against this cruelty, fight on thy side,
Poor thing, condemnd to loss !? [Exit with the Child.
Leon.

No, I'll not rear
Another's issue.

1 Atten. Please your highness, posts,
From those you sent to the oracle, are come
An hour since: Cleomenes and Dion,
Being well arriv'd from Delphos, are both landed,
Hasting to the court.
I Lord.

So please you, sir, their speed
Hath been beyond account.
Leon.

Twenty-three days
They have been absent: 'Tis good speed;foretels,
The great Apollo suddenly will have
The truth of this appear. Prepare you, lords;
Summon a session, that we may arraign
Our most disloyal lady: for, as she hath
Been publickly accus'd, so shall she have
A just and open trial. While she lives,
My heart will be a burden to me.

Leave me;
And think upon my bidding,

[Exeunt.

6

7

and blessing,] i. e. the favour of heaven. Malone.

- condemn’d to loss !] i e. to exposure, similar to that of a child whom its parents have lost. I once thought that loss was here licentiously used for destruction; but that this was not the primary sense here intended, appears from a subsequent passage, Act III, sc. iji:

Poor wretch,
“ That, for thy mother's fault, art thus expos'd

To loss, and what may follow.!Malone.
8 'Tis good speed; &c.) Surely we should read the passage thus :

“This good speed foretels,&c. M. Mason.

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Cleo. The climate 's delicate; the air most sweet;
Fertile the isle;' the temple much surpassing
The common praise it bears.
Dion.

I shall report,
For most it caught me, the celestial habits,
(Methinks, I so should term them) and the reverence
Of the grave wearers. O, the sacrifice!
How ceremonious, solemn, and unearthly
It was i'the offering!
Cleo.

But, of all, the burst
And the ear-deafening voice o' the oracle,
Kin to Jove's thunder, so surpriz'd my sense,
That I was nothing.
Dion.

If the event o’the journey
Prove as successful to the queen,—0, be 't so!
As it hath been to us, rare, pleasant, speedy,
The time is worth the use on 't.3

Cleomenes and Dion.] These two names, and those of Antigonus and Archidamus, our author found in North’s Plutarch.

Malone. 1 Fertile the isle ;] But the temple of Apollo at Delphi was not in an island, but in Phocis, on the continent. Either Shakspeare, or his editors, had their heads running on Delos, an island of the Cyclades. If it was the editor's blunder, then Shakspeare wrote: Fertile the soil, which is more elegant too, than the present, reading. Warburton.

Shakspeare is little careful of geography. There is no need of this emendation in a play of which the whole plot depends upon a geographical error, by which Bohemia is supposed to be a maritime country. Johnson.

In The History of Dorastus and Faunia, the queen desires the king to send “six of his noblemen, whom he best trusted, to the isle of Delphos,” &c. Steevens. 2 For most it caught me,] It may relate to the whole spectacle.

Yohnson. 3 The time is worth the use on't.] The time is worth the use on't, means, the time which we have spent in visiting Delos, has recompensed us for the trouble of so spending it. Fohnson.

Cleo.

Great Apollo,
Turn all to the best! These proclamations,
So forcing faults upon Hermione,
I little like.

Dion. The violent carriage of it
Will clear, or end, the business: When the oracle,
(Thus by Apollo's great divine seal'd up)
Shall the contents discover, something rare,
Even then will rush to knowledge.-

-G0,-fresh horses:And gracious be the issue!

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

The same.

A Court of Justice. LEONTES, Lords, and Officers, appear properly seated.

Leon. This sessions (to our great grief, we pronounce) Even pushes 'gainst our heart:* The party tried, The daughter of a king; our wife; and one Of us too much belov’d.--Let us be clear'd Of being tyrannous, since we so openly Proceed in justice; which shall have due course, Even to the guilt, or the purgation.5Produce the prisoner.

Offi. It is his highness' pleasure, that the queen Appear in person here in court.-Silence! HERMIONE is brought in, guarded ; PAULINA and Ladies,

attending

If the event prove fortunate to the Queen, the time which que have spent in our journey is worth the trouble it hath cost us. In other words, the happy issue of our journey will compensate for the time expended in it, and the fatigue we have undergone. We meet with nearly the same expression in Florio's translation of Montaigne's Essaies, 1603: “The common saying is, the time we live, is worth the money we pay for it.Malone.

pushes 'gainst our heart:] So, in Macbeth:

every minute of his being thrusts Against my near'st of life.Steevens. 5 Even to the guilt, or the purgation.] Mr. Roderick observes, that the word even is not to be understood here as an adverb, but as an adjective, signifying equal or indifferent. Steevens.

The epithet even-han:led, as applied in Macbeth to Justice, seems to unite both senses. Henley.

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