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The Duke is very strangely gone from hence;
Isab. Doth he so seek his life ?
Has censur'd' him
*8 « To bear in hand,” says Richardson, « is merely to carry along with us, to lead along, as suitors, dependants, expectants, believers.” The phrase is not uncommon in old writers. Thus, in 2 Henry IV. Act i. sc. 2: “A rascally yea-forsooth knave' to bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security!” H.
7 To rebate is to beat back; hence, applied to any thing starp, it is to make dull.
8 That is, to put the restraint of fear upon licentious custom and abused freedom.
9 To censure is to judge, to pass sentence. We liave it again in the next scene :
“ When I that censure him do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death."
Already ; and, as I hear, the provost hath
Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
Assay the power you have.
Our doubts are traitors,
Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Good sir, adieu.
SCENE I. A Hall in ANGELO's House.
Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, a Justice, Provost, Officers,
and other Attendants. Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the law, Setting it up to fear' the birds of prey,
11 That is, the abbess
10 To owe is to have, to possess.
To fear is to affright.
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Ay, but yet
tleman, Whom I would save, had a most noble father. Let but your honour know, (Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,) That, in the working of your own affections, llad time coher'd with place, or place with wishing, Or that the resolute acting of your
blood Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose, Whether
life Err'd in this point where now you censure him, And pull’d the law upon you.
Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
made To justice, that justice seizes. What know the laws, That thieves do pass * on thieves ?
'Tis very preg. nant, The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it, Because we see it; but what we do not see, We tread upon, and never think of it. You may not so extenuate his offence, For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
? That is, throw down ; to fall a tree is still used for to fell it.
3 To complete the sense of this line for seems to be required, " which now you censure him for.” But Shakespeare frequently uses elliptical expressions.
4 An old forensic term, signifying to pass judgment, or sentence.
6 Full of force or conviction, or full of proof in itself. So, in Othello, Act ii. sc. 1: “ As it is a most pregnant and unforc'a p wition.”
& That is, because.
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Where is the provost ?
See that Claudio Be executed by nine to-morrow morning : Bring him his confessor, let him be prepar'd; For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.
[Exit Provost. Escal. Well, Heaven forgive him ; and forgive
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall :
? The original here reads, - Some run from brakes of ice;" which Mr. Collier retains, silently changing brakes into breaks. It can hardly be denied that this reading yields very good sense ; the image of course being that of men making good their escape, even when the ice is breaking under them. But brakes and ice do not quite cohere; and it seems as proper to change ice into vice, as brakes into breaks ; and, as the former accords better with the rest of the passage, we venture to accept it. It was first made by Rowe. But there is a further question, whether brake, allowing that to be the right word, here means an engine of war or torture, or a snare, or a bramble; the word being used in all these
For the first, thus in Holland's Pliny: “ Among engines of artillery, the Cretes invented the scorpion or crossebow; the Syrians, the catapult ; the Phenicians, the balist or brake, and the sling;” and in Palsgrave: “I brake on a brake or payne bauke, as men do mysdoers to confesse the trouthe.” For the second, it occurs in Skelton's Ellinour Rummin : “ It was a stale to take the devil in a brake ;” and in another old play : “ Her I'll make a stale to catch this courtier in a brake.” For the third, it is found in Henry VIII. Act i. sc. 2: “ 'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake that virtue must go through ; " and Ben Jonson has,
“Look at the false and cunning man, crush'd in the snaky brakes that he had past.” Which of these senses the word bears in the text, we must leave the reader to decide for himself. Mr. D. e thinks that brakes is here used for instruments or engines of
Enter Elbow, Froth, Clown, Officers, fc. Elb. Come, bring them away : If these be good people in a commonweal, that do nothing but use their abuses in common houses, I know no law: bring them away.
Ang. How now, sir! What's your name ? and what's the matter ?
Elb. If it please your honour, I am the poor Duke's constable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean upon justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good honour two notorious benefactors.
Ang. Benefactors ! Well; what benefactors are they ? are they not malefactors ?
Elb. If it please your honour, I know not well what they are: but precise villains they are, that I am sure of; and void of all profanation in the world, that good Christians ought to have.
Escal. This comes off well:8 here's a wise officer.
Ang. Go to: What quality are they of? Elbow is your name? Why dost thou not speak, Elbow
Clo. He cannot, sir : he's out at elbow.
Elb. He, sir ? a tapster, sir ; parcel-bawd ; one that serves a bad woman, whose house, sir, was, as they say, pluck'd down in the suburbs; and now she professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too.
punishment, from which some men escape, and answer no ques.
But the more common notion is, that in this place the word means brambles, thickets, or thorny entanglements of vice, which some rush into, and, when pursued, run away from uncaught, while others have to suffer for a single act of vice.
8 That is, this is well told. The meaning of the phrase, when seriously applied to speech, is, “ This is well delivered, this story is well told.” But in the present instance it is used ironically.
• That is, professes, or pretends, to keep a hot-house. Hot