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L. 26. First in question] That is, firit called for; first appointed.
JOHNS. P. 241. 1. 4. We have with leaven'd and prepared choice] Leaven'd has no sense in this place : we should read levell choice. The allusion is to archery, when a man has fixed upon his object, after taking good aim.
WARB. Ibid.) No emendation is necessary. Leaven'd choice is one of Shakespeare's harsh metaphors. His train of ideas seems to be this. I have proceeded to you with choice mature, concocted, fermented, leavened. When bread is leavened, it is left to ferment: a leavened choice is therefore a choice not hasty, but confiderate, not declared as soon as it fell into the imagination, but suffered to work long in the mind. Thus explained it suits better with prepared than levelled,
UPTON & Johns. L. 18. Your scope is as mine own] That is, your amplitude of power.
Johns. P. 242. 1. 27.] 1 Gent. What? in meeter ?
Lucio. Not in any profession, or in any language, I think, or in any religion.
2 Gent. And why not? grace is grace despight of all controversy.
Lucio. As for example, thou thyself art a wretched vil. lain, despight of all grace. 2 Gent. Well, &c.
HANMER.* Ibid.] In the primers, there are metrical graces, such as I suppose, were used in Shakespeare's time.
Johns. Ibid. In any proportion, &c.] The Oxford Editor gives us the dialogue of his own inserted above: and all for the want of knowing the meaning of the word proportion, which signifies measure : and refers to the question, Wbat, in meeter ?
WARB. P. 243. 1. 3. Despight of all controversie] Satirically infinuating that the controversies about grace were so intricate and endless, that the disputants unsettled every thing but this, that
grace was grace; which, however, in spight of controversy, still remained certain.
WARB.* Ibid.) 1 an in doubt whether Shakespeare's thoughts reached so far into ecclefiaftical di putes. Every commenta
tor is warped a little by the tract of his own profession. The question is, whether the second gentleman has ever heard grace. The first gentleman limits the question to Grace in meeter. Lucio enlarges it to grace in any form or language. The first gentleman, to go beyond him, says, or in any religion, which Lucio allows, because the nature of things is unalterable ; Grace is as immutably Grace, as his merry antagonist is a wicked villain. Difference of religion cannot make a Grace not to be a Grace, a prayer not to be holy; as nothing can make a villain not to be a villain. This seems to be the meaning, such as it is.
Johns. L. 6.] There went but a pair of sheers between us] We are both of the same piece.
Johns. L. 11. Piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet] The jest about the pile of a French velvet, alludes to the loss of hair in the French disease, a very frequent topick of our author's jocularity. Lucio finding that the gentleman understands the distemper so well, and mentions it so feelingly, promises, to remember to drink his health, but to forget to drink after him. It was the opinion of Shakespeare's time, that the cup of an infected person was contagious.
JOHNS. L. 25.] A quibble intended between dollars and dolours, The same jest occurred in the Tempeft. Han. & Johns.
L. 27. A French crown more] Lucio means here not the piece of money so called, but that Venereal scab which a. mong the surgeons is stiled Corona Veneris. To this, I think, our author makes Quince allude in the Midsummer-Night's Dream. « Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced.” For where these eruptions are, the skull is carious, and the party becomes bald.
THEOB. P. 244. 1. 22. Wbat with the sweat.] This may allude to the sweating sickness, of which the memory was very fresh in the time of Shakespeare : but more probably to the method of cure then used for the diseases contracted in brothels.
JOHNS. P. 245. 1. 12. They shall stand for seed] Seneca in his mock Apotheofis of Claudius, ridiculing him for having extended the rights of Roman citizens so immoderately, makes Clotho say, “ Ego mehercule, pufillum temporis adjicere illi vole
bam, dum hos pauculos, qui supersunt, civitate donaret :
offence, by weight
On whom it will not, fo; yet fill 'tis juft.] The wrong pointing of the second line hath made this passage unintelligible. There ought to be a full stop at weight. And the sense of the whole is this : “ The Demi-god, Authority, makes us pay the full penalty of our offence, and its decrees are as little to be questioned as the words of heaven, which pronounces its pleasure thus,-) punish and remit punishment according to my uncontroulable will; and yet who can say what dost thou.” -Make us pay down for our offence, by weight, is a fine expression, to signify paying the full penalty. "The metaphor is taken from paying money by weight, which is always exact; not so by tale, on account of the practice of diminishing the species. Ibid.] I suspect that a line is loft.
JOHNS. P. 247. 1. 6. -inost mutual
-) i. e. most intimate, The phrase is extremely elegant on this occafion; yet disliked by the Oxford Editor, who strikes out most. WARB.*
the fault and glimpje of newness] Fault and glimpse have so little relation to each other, that both can scarcely be right; we may read flash for fault. Johns.
L. 21. So long that nineteen zodiacks have gone round] The Duke in the scene immediately following, says,
Which for these fourteen years we have let slip. The author could not so disagree with himself. Tis necefsary to make the two accounts correspond.
TнEO в. P. 248. 1. 4. -prone and speechlifs dialekt] I can scar ely tell what signification to give to the word prone. Its primi. tive and translated senses are well known. The author may, by a prone dialect, mean a dialect which men are prone to regard, or a dialect natural and unforced, as those avions seem to which we are prone. Either of these interpretations is sufficiently strained; but such distortion of words is not
uncommon in our author. For the sake of an eafier fenfe
In her youth
Such as moves men.
There is a prompt and speechless dialect. Johns. L. 9. - under grievous impofition.] 1 once thought it should be inquisition, but the present reading is probably right. The crime would be under grievous penalties imposed. JOHNS. Can pierce a compleat bosom.
Think not that a breast compleatly armed can be pierced by the dart of love that comes futtering without force.
Johns. L. 27. A man of STRICTURE and firm abstinence.] Stricture makes no sense in this place. We should read,
A man of STRICT URE and firm abstinence. i.e. a man of the exacteft conduet, and practised in the subdu l of his passions. Úre an old word for use, practice, so enur'd, habituated to.
WARB. Ibid] Stricture may easily be used for firietness; ure is in- , deed an old word, but, I think, always applied to things, never to persons.
THEOB. and Johns. P. 249. L. 8. In the copies, the needful bits and curbs for headstrong WEEDS] Common sense, and the integrity of the metaphor, shews that Shakespear wrote headstrong STEEDS.
THEOв. . L. 9. In former editions, which for these fourteen years we have let flip,] For fourteen I have made ino scruple to replace nineteen. I have altered the odd Phrase of letting the laws flip: to the laws sleep, which adds a particular propriety to the thing represented, and accords exactly too with the fimile. It is the metaphor too, that our author seems fond of using upon this occasion, in several passages of this play, The law hath not been dead, tho' it hath slept ; 'Tis now awake.
THEOB. Ibid] Read, fourteen years we have let seep. CAPELL.
P. 250. L. 1. The text stood, So do in sander] Sir Tho. mas Hanmer has very well corrected it thus, To do it Nander.
L. 9. Stands at a guard] Stands on terms of defiance.
But in the presence of the Prioress;
Or, if you shew your face, you must not speak.] This is a very artful preparation for the effects that Ifabel's folicitation had on Angelo in the following Scene, as it shews the mischiefs of beauty to be so great, that the Religious had laid down rules and regulations to prevent its inordinate influence, which leffens our surprise at Angelo's weakness.
WAR.* P. 251. L. 15. - make me not your story] Do not, by deceiving me, make me a subject for a tale. JOHNS. L. 16.
'tis my familiar fin With maids to seem the lapwing,-] The Oxford Editor's note, on this paffage, is in these words.
« The lapwings fly with seeming fright and anxiety far from their nests, to deceive those who seek their young.” And do not all other birds do the same? But what has this to do with the infidelity of a general lover, to whom this bird is compared. It is another quality of the lapwing, that is here alluded to, viz. its perpetually flying so low and so near the paflenger, that he thinks he has it, and then is suddenly gone again. This made it a proverbial expression to fignify à lover's folfhood : and it seems to be a very old one; for Chaucer, in his Plowman's Tale, says And lapwings that well conith lie.
WARBUR.* L. 16. Lucio..
'tis my familiar fin,
Tongue far from beart -] The modern editors have not taken in the whole fimilitude here: they have taken notice of the lightness of a spark's behaviour to his mistress, and compared it to the lapwing's hovering and fiuttering flying. But the chief, of which no notice is taken, is, and to jeft. (See Ray's Proverbs) “ The lapwing cries, Tongue far from beart," most, farthest from the neft, i, e, She is, as Shakespeare has it here,
Tongue far from heart. « The farther she is from her nest, where her heart is with