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'Tis set down in earth, but not in heaven. When she has said this, Then, says Angelo, I shall poze you quickly. Would you, who, for the present purpose,

declare your brother's crime to be less in the sight of heaven than the law has made it; would you commit that crime, light as it is, to save your brother's life? To this she answers, not very plainly in either reading, but more appositely to that which I propose :

I had rather give my body, than my soul. JOHNSON. 628. Pleas’d you to do't, at peril, &c.] The reasoning is thus : Angelo asks, whether there might not be a charity in sin to save this brother? Isabella an. swers, that if Angelo will save him, she will stake her soul that it were charity, not sin. Angelo replies, that if Isabella would save him at the hazard of her soul, it would be not indeed no sin, but a sin to which the charity would be equivalent.

JOHNSON. 634. And nothing of your, answer.] I think it should be read,

And nothing of yours, answer..
You, and whatever is yours, be exempt from penalty.

JOHNSON. And nothing of your answer, means, and make no part of those for which you shall be called to answer,

STEEVENS. This passage would be clear, I think, if it were pointed thus :

To have it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your, answer.


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So that the substantive answer may be understood to
be joined in construction with mine as well as your.
The faults of mine answer are the faults which I am to

TYRWHITT. 642. Proclaim an enshield beauty-] An enshield beauty is a shielded beauty, a beauty covered as with a shield.

as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty, &c.
This should be written en-shell's, or in-shelld, as it is
in Coriolanus, act iv. sc. 6.

Thrusts forth his horns again into the world
" That were in-shelld when Marcius stood for

These masks must mean, I think, the masks of the
audience: however improperly a compliment to them
is put into the mouth of Angelo. As Shakspere
would hardly have been guilty of such an indecorum
to flatter a common audience, I think this passage
affords ground for supposing that the play was written
to be acted at court. Some strokes of particular flat-
tery to the king I have already pointed out; and there
are several other general reflections, in the character
of the Duke especially, which seem calculated for the
royal ear.

TYRWHITT. I do not think so well of the conjecture in the latter part of this note, as I did some years ago ; and therefore I should wish to withdraw it. Not that I am inclined to adopt the idea of the author of REMARKS,


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&c. p. 20, as I see no ground for supposing, that Isabella had any mask in her hand. My notion at present is, that the phrase, these black masks, signifies nothing more than black masks ; according to an old idiom of our language, by which the demonstrative pronoun is put for the prepositive article. See the Glossary to Chaucer, edit, 1775. This, These. Shakspere seems to have used the same idiom, not only in the passage quoted by Mr. Steevens from Romeo and Juliet, but also in the First Part of Henry IV, act i,

is it is

scene 3.

orld od for

of the them



ssage ritten

and but for these vile guns, " He would himself have been a soldier." With respect to the former part of this note, though the Remarker has told us that “enshield is CERTAINLY put by construction for enshielded ;" I have no objection to leaving my conjecture in its place, till some authority is produced for such an usage of enshield or enshielded.

TYRWHITT. Sir W. Davenant readsas a black mask ; but I am afraid Mr. Tyrwhite is too well supported in his first supposition, by a passage at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet :

" These happy masks that kiss fair ladies' brows, “ Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair."

STEEVENS. 648. Accountant to the law upon that pain.] Pain is here for penalty, punishment.

JOHNSON. 651. (As / subscribe not that, -] To subscribe


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means, to agree to. Milton uses the word in the same


So, in Marlow's Lust's Dominion, 1661 :
6 Subscribe to his desires."

652. But in the loss of question )] The loss of
question I do not well understand, and should rather


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But in the toss of question,
In the agitation, in the discussion of the question. To
toss an argument is a common phrase. JOHNSON.

But in the loss of question. This expression, I believe,
means, but in idle supposition, or conversation that tends
to nothing, which may therefore, in our agthor's lan-
guage, be called the loss of question.
Thus in Coriolanus, act iii. sc. 1.

“ The which shall turn you to no other harm,

" Than so much loss of time.
Question, in Shakspere, often bears this meaning. So,
in his Tarquin and Lucrece :

“ And after supper, long he questioned

“ With modest Lucrece," &c. STE ÉV ENS.
The following passages add strength to Dr. John.
son's conjecture:

" I could toss woe for woe until to-morrow,
« But then we'd wake the wolf with bleating sor-

Acolastus his Afterwit, 1606.
" Whether it were a question mov'd by chance,
“ Or spitefully of purpose (I being there,
“ And your own countryman), I cannot tell;

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“ But when much tossing
“ Had bandied both the king and you, as pleas'd
“ Those that took up the rackets”.

Noble Spanish Soldier, by Rowley, 1634.
So, in Melvil's Memoirs, 1683: “ Having toss'd some
words upon this matter, she being desirous of an ho.
nest colour or pretext, appeared the more readily
satisfied in that point."

Question is here used, as in many other places, for conversation.

656. Of the all-binding law;-] The old editions
read :

-all-building law,
from which the editors have made all-holding ; yet
Mr. Theobald has binding in one of his copies."

686. If not a feodary, but only he, &c.] This is
so obscure, but the allusion so fine, that it deserves
to be explained. A feodary was one that, in the times
of vassalage, held lands of the chief lord, under the
tenure of paying rent and service : which tenures
were called feudæ amongst the Goths. Now, says
Angelo, we are all frail ; yes, replies Isabella ; if
all mankind were not feodaries, who owe what they
are to this tenure of imbecility, and who succeed each
other by the same tenure, as well as my brother, I
would give him up.” The comparing mankind, ly-
ing under the weight of original sin, to a feodary, wha
owes suit and service to his lord, is, I think, not ill



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