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Ifab. O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out,
Ang. We are all frail.
Else' let my brother die;
Nay, women are frail toos
For 5 This is so obscure, bat the allusion fo fine, that it deserves to be explained. A feodary. was one that in the times of vaffalage held lands of the chief lord, under the tenure of paying rent and service : which tenures were called feuda amongst the Goths. Now, says Angelo,.we are all frail;">“ Yes, replies Isabella; if all mankind were not ferdariesy 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, lying under the weight of original fin, to a feodary, who owes suit and service to his lord, is, I think, not ill imagined.
WARRUR TON.. Mr. M. Mason 'censures me for not perceiving that feodary fignifies an accomplice.. Of this I was fully aware, as it supports the sense contended for by Warburton, and seemingly acquiesced in by Dr. Johnson. Every vafal was an accomplice with his lord; 1. e. was subject to be executor of the mischief he did not contrive, and was obliged to follow.in every bad cause which his fùperior led.' STEEVENS.
I have shewn in a note on Cymbeline, that feodary was used by Shakspeare in the sense of an asociate, and such undoubtedly is its signification here.
MALONE. 6 To owe is, in this place, to own, to bold, to have poffeffion.
JOHNSON, 7. Would it not be better to read ?:
take forms. JOHNSON. 8 In imitating them, in taking them for examples. JOHNS
If men mar their own creation, by taking women for their example, they cannot be said to profit much by them. - Isabella is deploring the condition of woman-kind, formed fo frail and credulous, that men prove the destruction of the whole sex, by taking advantage of their weaknessy. and using them for their own purposes. She therefore calls upon Heaven to aflift them. This, though obscurely expressed, appears to be the meaning of this paliage. M. MasoNo.
For we are soft as our complexions are,
I think it well:
isab. I have ro tongue but one : gentle my lord, Let me intreat you speak the former language. ?
Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.
Ijab. My brother did love Juliet; and you tell me,
Ang. He shall not, Ifabel, if you give me love.
Believe me on mine honour,
Isab. Ha ! little honour to be much believ'd,
Sign Dr. Johnson does not seem to have understood this passage. Isabella certainly does not mean to say that men mar their own creation by taking women for examples. Her meaning is, that men debase their nature by take ing advantage of such weak pitiful creatures.-Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. STEEVENS.
9 i. e. take any impression. WARBURTON.
2 Isabella answers to his circumlocutory courtship, that she has but one congue, she does not understand this new phrase, and desires him to talk his former language, that is, to talk as he talked before. JOHNSON,
3 Allading to the licences given by ministers to their spies, to go into all suspected companies, and join in the language of malcontents.
ov. 1786. STEEVENS.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Who will believe thee, Isabel ?
you can, my false o'erweighs your true. [Exito Isab. To whom should I complain? Did I tell this, Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,
That 5 The calling his denial of her charge his voucb, has fomething fine.. Vouch is the testimony one man bears for another. So that, by this, he. infinuates his authority was so great, that his denial would have the same credit that a vouch or testimony has in ordinary cases. WARBURTON.
I believe this beauty is merely imaginary, and that voucb againft means no more than denial. JOHNSON. 6 A metaphor from a lamp or candle extinguished in its own grease.
STEEVENS. ? And now I give my senses the rein, in the race they are now actually running. Heath.
8 This seems to be a solemn phrafe for death inflicted by law. So, in A Midsummer Nigbt's Dream:
• Prepare to die the death." JOHNSON. It is a phrafe taken from scripture, as is observed in a note on The Midfummer Nigbe's Dream. STEEVENS.
The phrafe is a good phrase, as Shallow says, but I do not conceive it to be either of legal or firiptural origin. Chaucer uses it frequently. See Cant. Tales, ver. 607.
" They were adradde of him, as of the deth.” ver. 1222. « The derb he feleth thurgh his herte smite.” It seems to have been originally a mistaken tranlation of the French La Mori. TYRWHITT
That bear in them one and the self-fame
A Room in the prison...
Claud, The miserable have no other medicine,
Duke. Be absolute for death;} either death, or life,
Servile 9 Suggestion, temptation, initigation.. JOHNSOM
2 This, in Shakspeare's la: guage, may mean, fuck an honourable mind, 25 ke ufes « mind of love,' in Tbe Merchant of Venice, for loving mind..
STEEVENS. 3. Be détermined to-die, without any hope of life. Ho uce, 6- The huur which exceeds expectation will be welcome."
JOHNSON. 4 This reading is not only contrary to all ser fe and reason, but to the drift of this moral discourfe. The Duke, in his affumed character of a friar, is endeavouring to in stil into the condemned prisoner a relignation of mind to his sentence; but the sense of the lines in this reading, is a direct persuasive to suicide: I make no doubt, but the poct wrote,
(Servile to all the skiey influences,)
-Not that the recks this life.".
“ Recking as little what betideth me." WAR BURTON. The meaning seems plainly this, that none but fools would wish to keep life ; or, none but fools would keep it, if choice were allowed. A fense which, whether true or not, is certainly innocent. JOHNSON. Keep, in this piace, I believe, may not signify preserve, but care for.
STEEVENS, 5 Sir T. Hanmer changed doft to do without neceflity or authority. The construction is not, " the skiey influences that do,” but, “ a breath thou art, that doft,” &c. If " Servile to all the skiey influences" be in-. closed in a parenthesis, all the difficulty will vanih. Porson.
6 In thofe old farces called Moralities, the fool of the piece, in order to how the inevitable approaches of death, is made to employ all his stratagems to avoid him; which, as the matter is ordered, bring the fool, at every turn, into his very jaws. So that the representations of these scenes would afford a great deal of good mirth and morals mixed together. And from such circumstances, in the genius of our ancestors' publick diversions,. I suppose it was, that the old proverb arcse, of being merry and wise.
WARBURTON. It is observed by the Editor of The Sad Shepherd, 8vo. 1783, p. 154.. that the initial letter of Stowe's Survey, contains a representation of a struggle between Death and the Fool; the figures of which were most pro, bably copied from those characters as formerly exhibited on the trageo
REED. There are no such characters as Death and the Fool, in any old Morality now extant. They seem to have existed only in the dumb Shows. The two figures in the initial letter of Stowe's Survey, 1603, which have been mistaken for these two personages, have no-allusion whatever to the stage, being merely one of the set known by the name of Death's Dance, and actually copied from the margin of an old Miffal. The scene in the modern pantomime of Harlequin Skeleton, seems to have been suggested by fome playhouse tradition of Death and the Fool. RITSON.
? Dr. Warburton is undoubtedly mistaken in supposing that by baseness is meant self-love, here assigned as the motive of all human actions. Shakspeare only meant to observe, that a minute analysis of life at once