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POL.

What cheer? how is't with you,
HER.

As if you held a brow of much
Are you mov'd, my lord?"

How, my lord? best brother?* You look,

distraction:

LEON.
No, in good earnest.—
How fometimes nature will betray its folly,
Its tenderness; and make itself a paflime

To harder bofoms! [Afide.]-Looking on the lines
Of my boy's face, methoughts, I did recoil
Twenty three years; and faw myself unbreech'd,
In my green velvet coat; my dagger muzzled,
Left it should bite 2 its mafter, and fo
As ornaments oft do, too dangerous.
How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
This squash, this gentleman:-Mine honest friend,
Will you take eggs for money? 5

4

prove,

8 What cheer? how it's with you, best brother?] This line, which in the old copy is given to Leontes, has been attributed to Polixenes, on the fuggeftion of Mr. Steevens. Sir T. Hanmer had made the

fame emendation. MALONE.

9 Are you mov'd my lord?] We have again the fame expression on the fame occafion, in Othello:

"Iago. I fee my Lord, you are mov'd.

"Othel. No, not much mov'd, not much." MALONE.

2

my dagger muzzled,

Left it fhould bite- -] So, in King Henry VIII:

This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I "Have not the power to muzzle him."

Again, in Much ado about nothing: "I am trufted with a muzzle.*

STEEVENS.

3 As ornaments oft do, too dangerous. ] So, in The Merchant of

Venice:

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This fquafh, A fquafh is a pea-pod, in that ftate when the young peas begin to fwell in it. HENLEY.

5

Will you take eggs for money?] This feems to be a proverbial

CA

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expreffion, used when a man fees himself wronged and makes no refiftance. Its original, or precife meaning, I cannot find, but I believe it means, will you be a cuckold for hire. The cuckow is reported to lay her eggs in another bird's neft; he therefore that has eggs laid in his neft is faid to be cucullatus, cuchow'd, or cuckold. JOHNSON.

The meaning of this is, have a proverbial faying, A do you defign to affront? Mam. No, my lord, I'll fight.

will you put up affronts? The French qui vendez vous des coquilles? ie whom Mamillius's answer plainly proves it. SMITH.

I meet with Shakspeare's phrafe in a comedy, call'd A Match at Midnight, 1633: "Ifhall have eggs for my money, I muft hang myleif." STEEVENS.

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Leontes feems only to afk his fon if he would fly from an enemy. In the following paflage the phrafe is evidently to be taken in that feufe. The French ufantery fkirmilheth bravely afarre off, and the cavallery gives a furious onfet at the first charge; but after the first heat they will take eggs for their money." Relations of the most famous Kingdomes and Commonwealths thorowout the world, 410. 1630, p. 154.

Mamillius's reply to his father's queftion appears fo decifive as to the true explanation of this paffage, that it leaves no doubt with me even after I have read the following note. The phrafe undoubtedly fometimes means what Mr. Malone aflerts, but not here.

REED.

This phrafe feems to me to have meant originally, Are you fuch a poltron as to fuffer another to ufe you as he pleafes, to compel you to give him your money and to accept of a thing of fo fmall a value as a few eggs in exchange for it? This explanation appears to me perfectly confiftent with the paffage quoted by Mr. Reed. He, who will take eggs for money feems to be what, in As you like it, and in many of the old plays, is called a tame snake. The following paffage in Campion's Hiftory of Ireland, folio 1633, fully confirms my explanation of this paffage; and thows that by the words-Will you take eggs for money, was meant, Will you fuffer yourself to be cajoled or impofed upon? - "What my cousin Defmond hath compaffed, as I know not, fo I befhrew his naked heart for holding out fo long. But go to, fuppofe hee never bee had; what is Kildare to blame for it, more than my good biother of Offory, who, notwithstanding his high promifes, having alfo the king's power, is glad to take eggs for his money, and to bring him in at leifure."

LEON. You will? why, happy man be his dole ! 3.
My brother,

Are you fo fond of your young prince, as we
Do feem to be of ours?

POL.

If at home, fir,
He's all my exercife, my mirth, my matter:
Now my fworn friend, and then mine enemy;
My parafite, my foldier, ftatefman, all:
He makes a July's day fhort as December;
And, with his varying childnefs, cures in me
Thoughts that would thick my blood.

LEON.

So ftands this fquire Offic'd with me: We two will walk, my lord,

And leave you to your graver steps.-Hermione,
How thou lov'ft us, fhow in our brother's welcome;
Let what is dear in Sicily, be cheap :

Next to thyfelf, and my young rover, he's
Apparent to my heart.

HER.

If you would feek us,

Thefe words make part of the defence of the earl of Kildare, in anfwer to a charge brought against him by Cardinal Wolfey, that he had not been fufficiently active in endeavouring to take the earl of Definond, then in rebellion. In this paffage, to take eggs for his money undoubtedly means, to be trifled with, or to be impofed upon. "For money" means, in the place of money. "Will you give me money, and take eggs inflead of it?" MALONE.

3

happy man be his dole!] May his dole or share in life be to be a happy man. JOHNSON.

The expreffion is proverbial, Dole was the term for the allowance of provifion given to the poor, in great families. So, in Greene's Tu Quoque, 1414:

"Had the women puddings to their dole?"

See Vol. IX. p. 238, п. 9. STEFVFNS.

The alms immemorially given to the poor by the archbishops of Canterbury, is fill called the dole. See the Hiftory of Lambeth Palace, p. 31, in Bibl. Top. Brit. NICHOLS.

Apparent- ] That is, heir apparent, or the next claimant.

JOHNSON.

We are yours i'the garden : Shall's attend you there? LEON. To your own bents difpofe you: you'll be found,

Be you beneath the sky :-I am angling now,
Though you perceive me not how I give line.
Go to, go to!

[Afide. Obferving POLIXENES and HERMIONE. How the holds up the neb,5 the bill to him! And arms her with the boldness of a wife To her allowing hufband! Gone already; Inch-thick, knee-deep; o'er head and ears a fork'd one.'-

6

[Exeunt POLIXENES, HERMIONE, and attendants. Go, play, boy, play;-thy mother plays, and I Play too; but fo disgrac'd a part, whofe iffue Will hifs me to my grave; contempt and clamour Will be my knell.-Go, play boy, play;-There have been,

Or I am much deceiv'd, cuckolds ere now;
And many a man there is, even at this prefent,
Now, while I fpeak this, holds his wife by the arm,

5

the neb,] The word is commonly pronounced and written nib. It fignifies here the mouth. So, in Anne the Queen of Hungarie, being one of the Tales in Painter's Palace of Pleasure, 1566. -"the amorous wormes of love did bitterly gnawe and teare his heart wyth the nebs of their forked heads." STEEVENS.

To her allowing husband!] Allowing in old language is approv ing. MALONE.

7

fork'd one.] That is a horned one; a cuckold.

So, in Othello:

"Even then this forked plague is fated to us,
"When we do quicken." MALONE.

JOHNSON.

-even at this prefent,] i. c. prefent time. So, in Macbeth a

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Thy letters have tranfported me beyond

This ignorant prefent;"

See note on this paffage; A& I. sc. v. STEEVENS

That little thinks fhe has been fluic'd in his abfence,
And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour," by
Sir Smile, his neighbour: nay, there's comfort in't,
Whiles other men have gates; and thofe gates open'd,
As mine, against their will: Should all despair,
That have revolted wives, the tenth of mankind
Would hang themfelves. Phyfick for't there is

none;

It is a bawdy planet, that will strike

Where 'tis predominant; and 'tis powerful, think it,
From eaft, weft, north and fouth: Beit concluded,
No barricado, for a belly; know it;

It will let in and out the enemy,

boy?

With bag and baggage: many a thousand of us
Have the disease, and feel't not. How now,
MAM. I am like you, they fay."

LEON.

Why, that's fome comfort.

What! Camillo there?

CAM. Ay, my good lord.

LEON. Go play, Mamillius; thou'rt an honest

man.

[Exit MAMILLIUS.

Camillo, this great fir will yet ftay longer.

3

CAM. You had much ado to make his anchor hold;
When you caft out, it fill came home.
LEON.

Didft note it?

And his pond fish'd by his next neighbour,] This metaphor perhaps owed its introduction and currency, to the once frequent depredations of neighbours on each others fifh, a complaint that often occurs in ancient correfpondence. Thus in one of the Pafton Letters, Vol. IV. p. 15: My mother bade me fend you word that Waryn Herman hath daily fifhed her water all this year." STEEVENS.

2

they fay. They, which was omitted in the original copy by the careleffnefs of the tranfcriber or printer, was added by the editor of the fecond folio. MALONE.

3

it ftill came home.] This is a fea-faring expreffion, meaning, the anchor would not take hold. STEEVENS.

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