In the first scene of act II of The Winter's Tale, Leontes says:
You (my Lords)
Looke on her, marke her well: be but about
To say she is a goodly Lady, and
The iustice of your hearts will thereto adde
'Tis pitty shee's not honest: Honorable;
Prayse her but for this her without-dore-Forme,
(Which on my faith deserues high speech) and straight
The Shrug, the Hum, or Ha, (these Petty-brands
That Calumnie doth vse; Oh, I am out,
That Mercy do's, for Calumnie will seare
Vertue it selfe) these Shrugs, these Hum's, and Ha's,
When you haue said shee's goodly, come betweene,
Ere you can say shee's honest: But be't knowne
(From him that ha's most cause to grieue it should be)
Shee's an Adultresse.
I tried to decode Leontes in his speech but to no avail.
Does he address the lords, as in Honorable ladies and gentlemen, with the word honorable in 'Tis pitty shee's not honest: Honorable;
Whose calumny does Leontes speak of? He is the one that accuses so why does he mention Petty-brands of what methinks is Hermione's calumny (other than humbly negating his accusations, his wife does not accuse Leontes of anything)?
What does mercy do? What might be meant by searing in That Mercy do's, for Calumnie will seare / Vertue it selfe?