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Ang

Ifab. O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out,
To have what we'd have, we speak not what we mean:
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his advantage that I dearly love..

Ang. We are all frail.
fab.

Else' let my brother die;
Tf not a feodary, but only he,
Owe, and succeed by weakness.

Nay, women are frail toos
Ifab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves;
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.7
Women !--Help heaven! men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail;

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.

Dr. Johnson

N SON.

For we are soft as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.u
Ang.

I think it well:
And from this testimony of your own sex,
(Since, I suppose, we are made to be no stronger
l'han faults may shake our frames,) let me be bold ;-
I do arrest your words; Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none;
If you be one, (as you are well expressid
By all external warrants,) show it now,
By putting on the destin'd livery.

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,
That he shall die for it.

Ang. He shall not, Ifabel, if you give me love.
Ifab. I know, your virtue hath a licence in't, 3.
Which seems a little fouler than it is,
To pluck on others.
Àng:

Believe me on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

Isab. Ha ! little honour to be much believ'd,
And most pernicious purpose !-Seeming, seeming!!
I will proclaim thee, Angelo ; look for't:

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.

WARBURTON
I fufpect Warburton's interpretation to be more ingenious than jutt.
The obvious meaning is—I know your virtue alumes an air of licentieu inej's
which is not natural to you, on pi pole ta try me.Edinburgh Magazine,

ov. 1786. STEEVENS.
4 Hypocrisy, hypocrisy; counterfeit virtue. JOHNSON.

Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or, with an out-stretch'd throat, I'll tell the world
Aloud, what man thou art.
Ang.

Who will believe thee, Isabel ?
My unfoild name, the auftereness of my life,
My vouch against you,s and my place i'the state,
Will fo your accufation over-weigh,
That you shall ftifle in your own report,
And smell of calumny. I have begun;
And now I give my sensual race the rein :?
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite;
Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blushes,
That banish what they fue for; redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will;
Or else he must not only die the death,8
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering fafferance: answer me to-morrow,,
Or, by the affection that now guides me most,
I'll prove a tyrant to him: As for

you,
Say what

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

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That bear in them one and the self-fame

tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof!.
Bidding the law make court’ly to their will;
Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite,
To follow, as it draws !' I'll to my brother:
Though he hath fallen by prompture % of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour,z:
That had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
Before his fifter should her body stoop
To such abhorr'd pollution.
Then Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die ::
More than our brother is our chastity,
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's reft.

[Exito

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A Room in the prison...
Enter DUKE, CLAUDIO, and Provoft.
Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord Angelo?

Claud, The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope :
I have hope to live, and an prepar'd to die.

Duke. Be absolute for death;} either death, or life,
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life,
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep :4. a breath thou art,

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,

Tbat

(Servile to all the skiey influences,)
That doft s this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet run'st toward him still :Thou art not noble ;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'ft,
Are nurs’d by baseness : 7 Thou art by no means valiant;

For
That none but fools would reck:-
i. e. care for, be anxious about, regret the loss of So, in the tragedy of
Tancred and Gismund, Act IV. fc. iii:

-Not that the recks this life.".
And Shakspeare, in The Trvo Gentlemen of Verora :

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

destroys

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