Page images
PDF
EPUB

Is this the man,

Escal. Slander to the state! Away with him to prison.
Ang. What can you vouch against him, lignior Lucio ?

that
you

did tell us of ?
Lucio. 'Tis he, my lord. Come hither, goodman bald-
pate; Do you know me?

Duke. I remember you, fir, by the found of your voice : I met you at the prison, in the absence of the duke.

Lucio. O, did you so ? And do you remember what you faid of the duke?

Duke. Moft notedly, fir.

Lucio. Do you so, fir? And was the duke a fleshmonger, a fool, and a coward, 7 as you then reported him to be? A a 6

Duke. under parts of surgery: fo that he had occa Gon for numerous instruments) which lay there ready for yfe ; 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 likely, would long preserve its authority. WARBURTON.

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 improper hands in a very small box, or in his pocket.

JOHNSON It was formerly part of a barber's occupation to pick the teeth and ears. So, in the old play of Herod and Antipater, 1622, Trypbon the barber, en. ters with a case of instruments, to each of which he addresses himself separately :

is Toothpick, dear toothpick; earpick, both of you

" Have been her sweet companions !" &c. I have conversed with several people who had repeatedly read the lift of forfeits alluded to by Shakspeare, but have failed in my endeavours to procure a copy of it. The metrical one, published by the late Dr. Ken. rick, was a forgery. STEEVENS.

I believe Dr. Warburton's explanation in the main to be right, only that instead of chirurgical instruments, the barber's prohibited implements were principally his razors; his whole stock of which, from the number and impatience of his customers on a Saturday night or a market morning, being necessarily laid out for use, were exposed to the idle fingers of the bye-standers, in waiting for succession to the chair.

Thefe forfeits were as much in mock as mark, both because the barber had no authority of himself to enforce them, and also as they were of a ludicrous nature. I perfectly remember to bave seen them in Devonshire (printed like King Charles's Rules,) though I cannot recollect their con. tents. HENLEY.

7 Lucio had not, in the former conversation, mentioned cowardice among the faults of the Duke.-Such failures of memory are incident to writers more diligent than this poet. JOHNSON.

[ocr errors]

Duke. You must, fir, change persons with me, ere you make that my report : you, indeed, spoke so of him; and much more, much worse.

Lucio. O thou damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by the nose, for thy speeches?

Duke. I protest, I love the duke, as I love myself.

Ang. Hark! how the villain would clofe now, after his treasonable abuses.

Escal. Such a fellow is not to be talk'd withal :-Away with him to prison :- Where is the provoft ? --Away with him to prison; lay bolts enough upon him : let him speak no more :-Away with those giglots too, & and with the other confederate companion.

(The Provost lays hands on the DUKE. Duke. Stay, fir; itay a while. Ang. What! refifts he? Help him, Lucio.

Lucio. Come, fir; come, fir ; come, fir; foh, sir: Why, you bald-pated, lying rascal! you must be hooded, must you? Show your knave's visage, with a pox to you! show your sheep-biting face, and be hang'd an hour! Will’t not off!

[Pulls off the friar's hood, and discovers the Duke. Duke. Thou art the first knave, that e'er made a duke. First, Provost, let me bail these gentle three :

Sneak 8 A giglot is a wanton wench. STEEVENS.

9 This is intended to be the common language of vulgar indignation. Our phrafe on such occasions is simply: fhow your peep-biting face and be hanged. The words an bour have no particular use here, nor are authorised by cuftom. I suppose it was written thus : foow your sheep-biting face, and be bangedan bow ? will’t not off? In the midland counties, upon any unexpected obstruction or resistance, it is common to exclaim an' bow?

JOHNSON. Dr. Johnson's alteration is wrong. In Tbe Alchemist we meet with 1a man that has been ftrangled an bour." • What, Piper, ho !' be bang'd a-wbile," is a line of an old madrigal.

FARMIR. Dr. Johnson is much too positive in asserting “ that the words an beur have no particular use here, nor are authorised by custom," as Dr. Farmer has well proved. The poet evidently refers to the ancient mode of punish. ing by colliftrigium, or the original pillory, made like that part of the pillory at present which receives the neck, only it was placed horizontally, fo that the culprit hung suspended in it by his chin, and the back of his head. A diftin&t account of it may be found, if I mistake not, in Ms. Barsing. wa's Observations on the Statutes. HENLEY,

Sneak not away, fir; [To Lucio.] for the friar and you
Must have a word anon :--lay hold of him.

Lucio. This may prove worse than hanging.
Duke. What you have spoke, I pardon; fit you down.-

[To ESCALUS. We'll borrow place of him :-Sir, by your leave;

[TO ANGELOS
Halt thou or word, or wit, or impudence,
That yet can do thee office ?2 If thou haft,
Rely upon it till my tale be heard,
And hold no longer out.
Ang.

O my dread lord,
I should be guiltier than my guiltiness,
To think I can be undiscernable,
When I perceive, your grace, like power divine,
Hath look'd upon my passes : 3 Then good prince,
No longer session hold upon my shame,
But let my trial be mine own confession ;
Immediate sentence then, and sequent death,
Is all the grace I beg.
Duke.

Come hither, Mariana :-
Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman?
Ang. I was, my

lord.
Duke. Go take her hence, and marry her instantly.
Do you the office, friar; which consummate, 4
Return him here again :-Go with him, Provost.

[Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, Peter, and Provoft.
Escal. My lord, I am more amaz’d at his dishonour,
Than at the strangeness of it.
Duke,

Come hither, Isabel :
Your friar is now your prince : As I was then
Advertising, and holy s to your business,
Not changing heart with habit, I am still
Attorney'd at your service.

Ijab, % j.e. do thee service, STEEVENS."

3 i. e, what has past in my administration. “ Not so; (says the Edirburgb Magazine, Nov. 1786.) Pafjes means here artful devices, deceitful contrivances. Tours de passe-pase, in French, are tricks of jugglery."

STLEYIN S. 4 i. e, which being consummated. MALONE. $ Attentive and faithful. JOHNSON.

fab.

O, give me pardon,
That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain's
Your unknown sovereignty.
Duke.

You are pardon'd, Isabel :
And now, dear maid, be you as free to us.6
Your brother's death, I know, fits at your heart;
And you may marvel, why I obfcur'd myself,
Labouring to save his life; and would not rather
Make rash remonftrance of my hidden power,?
Than let him so be lost: 0, moft kind maid,
It was the swift celerity of his death,
Which I did think with flower foot came on,
That brain'd my purpose :8 But, peace be with him!
That life is better life, paft fearing death,
Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort,
So happy is your brother.

Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and Provok,
Isab.

I do, my lord.
uke. For this new-married man, approaching here,
Whofe falt imagination yet hath wrong'd
Your well-defended honour, you must pardon
For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudg'd your brother,
(Being criminal, in double violation
Of facred chastity, and of promise-breach,
Thereon dependant, for your brother's life,)
The very mercy of the law cries out
Moft audible, even from his

proper tongue,
6 Be as generous to us ; pardon us as we have pardoned you.

JOHNSON. ? That is, a premature discovery of it. M. Mason.

8 We now use in conversation a like phrase : This it was tbat knocked my design on the bead. Dr. Warburton reads :

- baned my purpose. JOHNSON. 9 Our author ought to have written" in double violation of sacred chastity, and of promise," instead of-promise-breach. Sir T. Hanmer Teads—and in promise-breach ; but change is certainly here improper, Shakspeare having many fimilar inaccuracies. Double indeed may refer to Angelo's conduct to Mariana and Isabel; yet still some difficulty will remain : for then he will be said to be a criminal (instead of guilty1 promise,breach." MALONI. ? Even from Angelo's own tongue. JOHNSON.

An

An Angelo for Claudio, death for death.
Hafte still

pays

hafte, and leisure answers leisure;
Like doth quit like, and Measure ftill for Measure.
Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifefted;
Which though thou would'st deny, denies thee vantage ;3
We do condemn thee to the very block
Where Claudio ftoop'd to death, and with like haste;-
Away with him.
Mari.

O, my most gracious lord,
I hope you will not mock me with a husband!

Duke. It is your husband mock'd you with a husband :
Consenting to the safeguard of your honour,
I thought your marriage fit; else imputation,
For that he knew you, might reproach your life,
And choke your good to come: for his poffeffions,
Although by confiscation they are ours,
We do inftate and widow you withal,
To buy you a better husband.
Mari.

O, my dear lord,
I crave no other, nor no better man.

Duke. Never crave him ; we are definitive,
Mari, Gentle, my liege,

[Kneeling. Duke.

You do but lose

your labour ; Away with him to death. Now, fir, [T. LUCIO.] to you.

Mari. O, my good lord !-Sweet Isabel, take my part ; Lend me your knees, and all-r

Emy

life to come I'll lend you, all my life to do you service. Duke. 'Against all sense you do importune her ;3

Should 3 Takes from thee all opportunity, all expedient of denial.

WARBURTON. The denial of which will avail thee nothing. MALONE.

4 This reading was furnished by the editor of the second folio. The original copy has confutation, which may be right :-by his being confuted, or provęd guilty of the fact which be had denied. This, however, being rather harsh, I have followed all the modern editors in adopting the emen. dation that has been made. MALONE.

I cannot think it even possible that confutation fhould be the true read. ing. But the value of the second folio, it seems, must on all occasions be disputed. STEEVENS.

Ś The meaning required is, against all reason and natural affection; Shakspeare, therefore, judiciously uses a single word that implies both; finse lignifying both reason and affection. JOHNSON,

« PreviousContinue »