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dare has no such fignification. I have nothing to offer worth insertion.
JOHNS. P. 313. 1.1. –my authority bears a credent bulk ;
Wbicb no particular sander, &c.] Credent is creditable, in forcing credit, not questionable. The old English writers often confound the active and paflive adjectives. So Shakespeare, and Milton after him, use inexprejive from inexpreffible.
Particular is private, a French sense. No scandal from any private mouth can reach a man in my authority.
JOHNS. L. 9. we would, and we would not.] Here undoubtedly the act should end, and was ended by the poet; for here is properly a cessation of action, and a night intervenes, and the place is changed between the passages of this scene and those of the next.
The next act beginning with the following scene, proceeds without any interruption of time or change
JOHNS. L. 10. Peter never delivers the letters, but tells his story without
credentials. The poet forgot the plot which he had formed.
314. J. 4. He says to vail full purpose.] Mr. Theobald alters it to, He says, t' availful purpose; because he has no idea of the common reading. A good reason! Yet the common reading is right. Full is used for beneficial; and the meaning is, “ He says it is to hide a beneficial purpose, that must not yet be revealed.”
To vail full purpose, may, with very little force on the words, mean to hide the whole extent of our design, and therefore the reading may stand; yet I cannot but think Mr. Theobald's alteration either lucky or ingenious. To interpret words with such laxity as to make full the same with beneficial, is to put an end, at once, to all necesiity of emendation, for any word may then stand in the place of another.
JOHNS. L. 12. Enter Peter.] This play has two Friars, either of whom might fingly have served. I should therefore imagine that Friar Thomas, in the first act, might be changed, with, out any harm, to Friar Peter; for why should the Duke unnecessarily trust two in an affair which required only one,
The name of Friar Thomas is never mentioned in the dia. Ingue, and therefore seems arbitrarily placed at the head of the scene.
Johns. L. 16. Have hent the gates.] Have encircled, surrounded. or taken possession of the gates. TheoB. & JOHNS.
P. 315. 1. 19. vail your regard.] That is, withdraw your thoughts from higher things; let your notice descend upon a wronged woman. To vail, is to lower, Jorns. P. 316. 1. 18. truth is truth
To th’end of reckoning.] That is, Truth has no gradations; nothing which admits of encrease can be so much what it is, as truth is truth. There may be a strange thing, and a thing more strange, but if a proposition be true there can be none more true.
JOHNS. L. 28. - asphy, as grave, as jeft, as absolute.) As ; as reserved, as abstracted : as juft; as nice, as exact : as abfolute; as complete in all the round of duty. JOHNS.
L. 30. In all bis dresings, &c.] In all his semblance of virtue, in all his habilimeuts of office.
-do not banish reafron For inequality; -] Let not the high quality of my adversary prejudice you against me.
JOHNS. L. II. And bide the false, seems true.] We should read Not bide.
WARS. P. 318. 1. 24. Ob, that it were as like, as it is true !] Like is not here used for probable, but for seemly. She catches at the duke's word, and turns it to another sense ; of which there are a great many examples in Shakespeare, and the writers of that time.
Ibid.] I do not see why like may not ftand here for probable, or why the lady should not wish that since her tale is true it may obtain belief. If Dr. Warburton's explication be right, we should read, O! that it were as likely as 'tis
Like I have never found fo seemly. Can. & Johns, L. 28. In bareful practice.] Practice was used by the old writers for any unlawful or insidious stratagem. So again, this must needs be practice; and again, let me bave way to find this practice out.
johns. P. 319. 1. 8. In countenance.] i. e. in partial favour.
*• 317. 1. 8.
P. 320. 1. 5. --not a temporary medler.] It is hard to know what is meant by a temporary medler. In its usual sense, as opposed to perpetual, it cannot be used here. It may stand for temporal : the sense will then be, I know him for a boly man, one that meddles not with secular affairs. It may mean temporising : I know him to be a boly man, one wuko would not temporise, or take the opportunity of your absence to defame you. Or we may read, Not scurvy, nor a tamperer and medler ; not one who would have tampered with this woman to make her a false evidence against your Deputy. Johns.
L. 18. Whenever be's conven'd.] The first folio reads convented, and this is right: for to convene signifies to assemble; but convent, to cite, or summons. Yet, because convented hurts the measure, the Oxford Editor sticks to conven'd, tho' it be nonsense, and signifies, “ Whenever he is allembled together.” But thus it will be, when the author is thinking of one thing and his critic of another. The poet was attentive to his sense, and the Editor, quite throughout his performance, to nothing but the measure : which Shakespear having entirely neglected, like all the dramatic writers of that age, he has spruced him up with all the exactness of a modern measurer of Syllables. This being here taken notice of once for all, shall, for the future, be forgot, as if it had never been.
WARB. L. 20. So vulgarly.). Meaning either, so grosly, with such indecency of invective, or by so mean and inadequate witnesses.
JOHNS. L. 26. In former Editions :- come, coufin Angelo,
In this I'll be impartial : be you judge
of your own Cuase.] Surely, this Duke had odd No. tions of impartiality; to commit the decision of a Cause to the Person accus'd. He talks much more rationally in the character of the Friar.
The Duke's unjust,
Which here you come t'accuse.
1. 4.] Abuse stands in this place for deception, or puzzle. So in Macbeth, this strange and self abuse, means this strange deception of himself.
JOHNS. L, 20. ber promised proportions
Came short of composition ;-). Her fortune which was promised proportionate to mine, fell short of the composition, that is, contract or bargain.
Johns. P. 323. 1. 7. These poor informal women.] i. e. women who have ill concerted their story. Formal fignifies frequently, in our author, a thing put into form or method : so informal, out of method, ill concerted. How easy is it to say, that Shakespear might better have wrote informing, i. e. accusing. But he who (as the Oxford Editor) thinks he did write so, knows nothing of the character of his ftile.
WARB. Ibid.] I once believed informal had no other or deeper signification than informing, accusing ; but I think, upon further enquiry, that it lignifies incompetent, not qualified to give teftimony. Of this use I have found precedents, though I cannot now recover them. The scope of justice, is the full extent,
JOHNS. L. 18. That's feald in approbation, ] When any thing fubject to counterfeits is tried by the proper officer's and approved, a stamp or seal is put upon it, as among us on plate, weights and measures. So the Duke says that Angelo's faith has been tried, approved and feald in testimony of that approbation, and, like other things so sealed, is no more to be called in question.
Johns. - to bear this matter fortb.) To hear it to the end; to search it to the bottom.
Johns. P. 325. 1. 14. - to retart your manifest appeal.) To refer back to Angelo the cause in which you appealed from Angelo to the Duke.
Johns L. 30. Nor bere provincial.] Nor here accountable. The meaning seems to be, I am not one of his natural subjects, nor of any dependent province.
Johns. P. 326. 1. 3. Stands like the forfeits in a barber's shop.] Barber's shops were, at all times, the resort of idle people.
Tonstrina erat quædam : hic solebamus ferè
Plerumque eam opperiri Which Donatus calls apta fedes otiosis. Formerly, with us, the better sort of people went to the Barber's ihop to be trimm’d; who then practised the under parts of Surgery: so that he had occasion for numerous inftruments, which lay there ready for use; and the idle people, with whom his shop was generally crowded, would be perpetually handling and misusing them. · To remedy which, I suppose, there was placed up against the wall a table of forfeitures adapted to every offence of this kind ; which, it is not likcly, would long preserve its authority.
Ibid.) This explanation may serve till a better is discovered. But whoever has seen the instruments of a chirurgeon, knows that they may be very easily kept out of imprcper hands in a very small box, or in his pocket. John.
Ibid.] Dr. Johnson appears to know very little of the provincial manners of his country now; he would hardly else have been at a loss; with respect to the passage before 'us. The Tables of Forfeits, hung up in Barber's shops, are ftill extant in some parts of England. I remember to have feen one in an excursion from Burlington to Northallerton, in Yorkshire. Its contents struck me much; they do not, however, relate to the handling of Chirurgical instruments, but to civility and good behaviour. These statutes were in Thime, and were entitled :
Rules for seemly behaviour
the forfeits...so observe.
Who rudely takes another turn,