Paddling Palms and Pinching Fingers

From the first act of The Winter’s Tale, a favourite Shakespeare play that I’m slowly rereading, Leonte’s first jealous reaction to his wife’s apparent flirtation with the King of Bohemia:

Too hot, too hot!
To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods,
I have tremor cordis: my heart dances,
But not for joy, not joy. This entertainment
May a free face put on, derive a liberty
From heartiness, from bounty, fertile bosom.
And well become the agent. T’may, I grant.
But to be now paddling palms and pinching fingers,
As now they are, and making practised smiles,
As in a looking-glass, and then to sigh, as ’twere
The mort o’th’deer – O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows.

Leonte’s poor brows, where he expects to sprout a cuckold’s horns at any moment. All that angst for a little paddling palms and pinching fingers.

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Anthony

Time's Flow Stemmed is a notebook of my wild readings.

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