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Duke says, “
trary change, which adds little melody to the lines the assignment of these speeches. In the original
, the and these, indeed, are not the worse for approaching to
This is his lordship's man;" whereas it is prose. By pointing and reading, as the sense directs, not likely that the Provost, who has so stronglv er. * have I made my promise" parenthetically, or between pressed his opinion that Angelo would be unrelenting, commas, the verse is more perceptible. Knight well and who subsequently says “ I told you," should, upon remarks:—“There are many examples in Shakespeare's the very appearance of a messenger, exclaim—“ And later plays, particularly in HENRY VIII., of metrical ar here comes Claudio's pardon." rangements such as this, in which the freedom of versi. fication is carried to the extremest limit. We believe
SCENE III. it to be characteristic of a period of the Poet's life, and
"young Mr. Rash"_" This enumeration of the intherefore cannot consent to remove these decided indi
habitants of the prison affords a very striking view of cations. The lines are ordinarily regulated as follows:
the practices predominant in Shakespeare's age. Be. There have I made my promise to call on him,
sides those whose follies are common to all times, we Upon the heavy middle of the night."
have four fighting-men and a traveller. It is not us" - I have possess’t him”-i. e. Informed him.
likely that the originals of the pictures were then
known."-Johnson. "- most contrarious QUESTS"-i. e. False and con
- a commodity of brown paper and old ginger"tradictory inquisitions, and pryings into conduct. In
An amusing and instructive paper might be made up quest, in its legal sense, has the same origin, being an
from the plays, novels, and essays of France and Eng. inquiry by a jury; and was abridged to “quest,” as it land, for the last three centuries, describing the still fa. may still be heard in vulgar usage.
miliar arts of the money-lenders, to whom men of des - FLOURISH the deceit"-i. e. Bestow propriety,
perate credit are driven for aid, in contriving to avoid and ornament—like rich work upon a coarse ground. the usury laws, by obliging the hapless customer to take So, in Twelfth Night
a portion of their loan in some unsaleable commodities,
such as “brown paper and old ginger." From Shake Empty trunks o'er flourish'd by the devil.
speare, who, as he soon became in his own phrase) • 4 “ – our tilta's to sow”—The older copies have,
rich fellow enough, and had every thing handsome “our tythes to sow." Warburton suggested it was a
about him," must have described only the experience misprint for “ tilth,” which is, I think, the true reading,
of others, to Sheridan, who doubtless related his own though not generally adopted. “ Tilth” was a favourite experience in that of Charles Surface, there is hardly old farming word, which is thus explained, by an old
an English writer of comic fiction but has at leas! writer on husbandry-(Markham's “ English Husband
hinted at this fruitful topic. Le Sage, Molière, etc., doan ry," 1635:)—“ Begin to sow your barley upon that
to the present novelists of Paris, have also found in this ground which the year before did lye fallow, and is
perpetual food for pleasantry; and their laughable satire commonly called your tilth, or fallow-field.” 'It is a would not require much alteration to make it very inconfirmation of this correction that, in this very book, on telligible on this side of the Atlantic. The first notice another page, “ tilth” is misprinted, as here, tithe. The
of it, that has fallen in my way, was in Wilson's DisDuke then says—“ The harvest is so far from being ing then no novelty, this establishes a very respectable
course on Usury,” (1572;) and, as he speaks of it as be ready to reap, that we have as yet not even sowed our field!"
antiquity for this time-honoured usage. SCENE 11.
“ – for the Lord's sake"-Alluding to the custom
of prisoners begging " for the Lord's sake"-a custom - every TRUE man's apparel fits your thief" which lasted, in London, till the present generation. This is the old and more characteristic division of the Thomas Nash thus mentions begging “ for the Lord's dialogue, though the last speech of the Clown has been, sake," at the Fleet, in his “ Pierce Penniless," (1592:)after much learned discussion, in several editions, coupled ** At that time that thy joys were in the fleeting, and with Abhorson's answer. The Clown asks Abhorson thus crying, "for the Lord's sake,' out of an iron winfor proof that his occupation is a mystery, and receives | dow.” for reply, merely, “Every true man's (i. e. honest man's)
“ – Yonder generation"-" The original is yond, in apparel fits your thief." The Clown, who is a quick
which the printer no doubt followed the contraction of fellow, catches at the reasoning passing in Abhorson's
the writer. But in most modern editions, we have the mind, and explains in what way “every true man's ap under generation; which change (says Johnson) was parel fits your thief." The author has made Abhorson
made by Hanmer, with true judgment.' Shakespeare a person of a certain concise and silent gravity, as if, in
has, indeed, in Richard II., alluded to the antipodes deed, he painted from some individual of this class,
in a poetical figure : whose peculiarities he thought worthy of being pre
when the searching eye of heaven is hid served in this representative of his profession. He,
Behind the globe, and lights the lower world. therefore, contents himself with the assertion upon which the Clown enlarges.
But what is gained in the passage before us by per.
plexing the time when the Duke assures the Provost " — you shall find me yarE"-i. e. Handy; nimble
he shall find his safety manifested ? The scene takes in the execution of the office.
place before the dawning: Claudio is to be executed
by four of the clock. The Duke saysit lies STARKLY”-i. e. Stimy.
As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning. - were he MEAL'D"-"Meal'd (says Blackstone, and Nares) means mingled, or compounded—(from the
Subsequently, when the morning is come, Isabella is French méler.) Mell, for meddle, or mingle, is com
told—the Duke comes home tomorrow.' Speaking. mon." I doubt this, and prefer Johnson's explanation :
then, in the dark prison, before sunrise, nothing can be Were he meald; were he sprinkled, or defiled." A
more explicit than the Duke's statement that before the
sun has twice made his daily greeting to 'yonder' genefigure of the same kind our author uses in MACBETH:
ration-i. e. to the life without the walls--the Provost The blood-bolter'd Banquo.
shall be assured of his safety. But at the time when — UNSISTING postern" Unsisting (says Black.
he was speaking it would be evening at the antipodes; stone) may signify never at rest, always opening.” It
and if the Provost waited for his safety till the sun had may be a misprint for resisting, or unresting.
twice risen upon the under generation, he would have
to wait till a third day before he received that assurance : - here comes Claudio's pardon"—We have no and this contradicts what is afterwards said of to-mor. hesitation nere in adopting Tyrwhitt's suggestion as to rou."-KNIGHT.
"— WEAL-BALANC's form"-i. e. • Balanced,” or her? No." It is, after all, quite possible that the ob. weighed, for the public good; but the phrase is so un scurity here, as in other passages of this play, arises usual as to lead to the supposition that it is a misprint from a typographical error, the true reading of which for well-balanced
has not yet been discovered. your Bosom on this wretch"-i. e. (As the Duke "-'my authority bears of a credent bulk”—This is just afterwards expresses it) “revenges to your heart."
ordinarily printed, “ bears of a credent bulk;" or else
“of” is omitted. We follow the original. “Of" seems “ I am COMBINED"-i. e. Bound by agreement : in used, as often in Old-English, in a partitive or indefinite the same sense as Angelo is called the combinate hus sense ; as if he had said, “ some credent bulk." In band of Mariana.
this way we find, in the MidsumMER-Night's Dream
“I desire you of more acquaintance." So, in a conthe old fantastical Duke of dark corners"
temporary poet, Warner-" His ghost commandeth me Schlegel has some very just remarks concerning the
of aid." character of the Duke, and the way in which Shakespeare incidentally informs us of his peculiarities from
SCENE VI. the mouth of Lucio. The Duke loves justice and truth, but it is his “ crotchet” to attain them by crooked
" — GENEROUS and gravest citizens"-"Generous" ways, and by lurking in disguises. “ The interest
is here used in its Latin sense, for noble, of rank and
birth. (says Schlegel) reposes altogether on the action: cu
“Gravest," too, is in its less usual and Latin riosity constitutes no part of our delight; for the
sense, for weightiest, most respected. Duke, in the disguise of a monk, is always present Hent the gates"—i. e. Have taken possession to watch over his dangerous representatives, and to of the gates. The word “hent” is derived from the avert every evil which could possibly be apprehended. Saxon hentan—to catch, or lay hold of. Shakespeare The Duke acts the part of the monk naturally, even to has it again in the Winter's TALE"And merrily hent deception; he unites in his person the wisdom of the the stile-a.” Hint has the same etymology, as Horne priest and the prince. His wisdom is merely fond of Tooke has observed. “ Hent” was in use among the too roundabout ways: his vanity is flattered by acting contemporaries of Spenser and Shakespeare. invisibly, like an earthly providence; he is more entertained with overhearing his subjects than governing
ACT V.-SCENE I. them in the ordinary manner. As he at last extends pardon to all the guilty, we do not see how his original " — Vail your regard”-i. e. Lower. purpose of restoring the strictness of the laws, by com
CHARACTS"-i. e Inscriptions; official designa. mitting the execution of them to other hands, has in tions. any wise been accomplished.” Hazlitt thinks he was “ more absorbed in his own plots and gravity than
"For INEQUALITY"- Johnson thought that “ineanxions for the welfare of the state ; more tenacious of quality” refers to the unequal position of the accuser and his own character than attentive to the feelings and ap
the accused; but Isabella adverts to the Duke's previous prehensions of others." All this seems true; and yet speech, where the indications of madness are defined we feel that the Duke, however “fantastical,” is an apparent inconsistency, surrounded by the oddest excellent man. He loves justice, but mercy still more.
frame of sense." “ – BEHOLDING to your reports”—The active instead
" — hide the false SEEMS TRUE"-- Malone interprets of the passive participle was in general use at the time,
this—“For ever hide-i. e. plunge into eternal dark. and there is no reason for altering it. It is what Shake
ness-the false one, Angelo, who now seems honest.” speare wrote.
Looking to the elliptical construction which prevails in
this play, the meaning appears to be, clearly enough“ – a better WOODMAN than thou takest him for" Draw the truth from obscurity, and obscure the false i, e. One who hunted after women as the woodman which now seems true. The “ seems true" is taken as hunts after deer; from the double meaning of deer, and one compounded word, and used substantively. Near:
“ – as like, as it is TRUE"— The Duke says, in de"Well, well, son John, I see you are a woodman, and can choose
rision, “ This is most likely;" and Isabella replies by a Your deer, though it be i' the dark."
wish that it had as much the appearance of truth as it
had of the reality. SCENE IV.
– FOND wretch”-i. e. Foolish wretch. (See note.
act ii. scene 2—“Fond shekels," etc.) makes me UN PREGNANT”-Stevens remarks that in the first scene the Duke says that Escalus is preg.
“ In COUNTENANCE"-i. e. In the sanctified presence nant-(i. e. ready in the forms of law.) “Unpregnant,"
and face of Angelo. therefore, in the instance before us, is unready, vnpre TEMPORARY meddler”—This seems to me plain pared.
enough, taking “ temporary" for temporal, in opposition
to the “ Yet reason dares her no"—This very obscure line
“man divine and holy.” He is not a “meddler" is printed, in our text, as it is in the first copies. Ste
in temporal matters. vens and other editors have thought to make the sense “ – I'll be IMPARTIAL”—“Impartial,” like several plainer by pointing it thus:-- " Yet reason dares her ? other words with the prefix im, bore, in Old-English, No.” Dare was often used in the sense of terrify, two senses, directly contradictory; and the use vibrated overawe; as in Beaumont and Fletcher
between them. Im is sometimes the negative, and These mad mischiefs
sometimes merely intensive. Here it is taken literally. Would dare a woman.
The Duke will take no part, whatever. He will leave In this sense we understand the passage thus:-"She it to the just judge to decide his own cause. might accuse me. Yet reason (prudence) terrifies her to the contrary." The use of “no,” in this way, is
" — short of comPOSITION"-Her fortune, which was very intelligible, colloquially, and may be found in the
promised proportionate to mine, fell short of the “comold dramatists. Thus, Beaumont and Fletcher have
position"-i. e. contract, or bargain. "I charged him no;" " to satisfy the world no." The poor INFORMAL women"-" Informal” signifies other punctuation is thus explained:-“Yet does not out of their senses. In the COMEDY OF Errors, (act v. reason challenge or incite her to the accusation ? No; scene 1,) "a formal man" ineans a man in his senses : for my authority," etc. Or else in the other sense of also in Twelfth Night, (act ii. scene 5.) “ Informal" dare, (to embolden :)—"Will not reason embolden is here used as the opposite of formal.
“ Nor here PROVINCIAL"_" The different orders of “MEASURE FOR MEASURE, commonly referred to the monks (says M. Mason) have a chief, who is called the end of 1603, is perhaps, after HAMLET, LEAR, and Macgeneral of the order; and they have also superiors, sub BETH, the play in which Shakespeare struggles, as it ordinate to the general, in the several provinces through were, most with the overmastering power of his own which the order may be dispersed. The friar, there. mind: the depths and intricacies of being which he has fore, means to say, that the Duke dares not touch a fin searched and sounded, with intense reflection, perples ger of his; for he could not punish him by his own and harass him; his personages arrest their course of authority, as he was not his subject, nor through that action to pour forth, in language the most remote from of the superior, as he was not of that province." common use, thoughts which few could grasp in the
clearest expression; and thus he loses something of “ – the FORFEITS in a barber's shop"—“Barbers'
dramatic excellence in that of his contemplative philosshops were anciently places of great resort for passing
ophy. The Duke is designed as the representative of away time in an idle manner. By way of enforcing some kind of regularity, and, perhaps, at least as much choly by temperament, averse to the exterior shows of
this philosophical character. He is stern and melanto promote drinking, certain laws were usually hung up, the transgression of which was to be punished by spę practical duties. The subject is not very happily chosen,
power, and secretly conscious of some unfitness for its cific forfeits ;' which were as much in mock as mark, because the barber had no authority of himself to en
but artfully improved by Shakespeare. In most of the force them, and also because they were of a ludicrous
numerous stories of a similar nature, which before ar
since his time have been related, the sacrifice of chastity nature."-SINGER.
is really made, and made in vain. There is, however, " - Away with those GIGLOTS"—i. e. Wantons. So, something too coarse and disgusting in such a story; King HENRY VI., (part i.:)
and it would have deprived him of a splendid exhibition
of character. The virtue of Isabella, inflexible and in. Young Talbot was not born To be the pillage of a giglot wench.
dependent of circumstance, has something very grand
and elevated; yet one is disposed to ask, whether, if “- Measure still for Measure"-" The play (says Claudio had been really executed, the spectator would Schlegel) takes its name improperly from the punish- not have gone away with no great affection for her; and ment: the sense of the whole is properly the triumph at least we now feel that her reproaches against her of mercy over strict justice; no man being himself so miserable brother, when he clings to life like a frail and secure from error as to be entitled to deal it out among guilty being, are too harsh. There is great skill in the his equals. The most beautiful ornament of this com invention of Mariana, and without this the story could position is the character of Isabella, who, in the inten. not have had any thing like a satisfactory termination; tion of taking the veil, allows herself to be prevailed on yet it is never explained how the Duke had become acby pious love again to tread the perplexing ways of the quainted with this secret, and, being acquainted with it, world; while the heavenly purity of her mind is not how he had preserved his esteem and confidence in Aseven stained with one unholy thought by the general gelo. His intention, as hinted towards the end, to corruption. In the heavenly robes of the novice of a marry Isabella, is a little too common-place; it is one of nunnery, she is a true angel of light.” Hazlitt's criti Shakespeare's hasty half-thoughts. The language of cism is acute, but wants a true sympathy with the this comedy is very obscure, and the text seems to have author's feelings and objects :—"This is a play as been printed with great inaccuracy. I do not value the full of genius as it is of wisdom. But there is a gen comic parts highly; Lucio's impudent profligacy, the eral want of passion; the affections are at a stand : our result rather of sensual debasement than of natural ill. sympathies are repulsed and defeated in all directions. disposition, is well represented; but Elbow is a very The only passion which influences the story is that of inferior repetition of Dogberry. In dramatic effect, Angelo; and yet he seems to have a much greater pas MEASURE FOR MEASURE stands high; the two scenes sion for hypocrisy than for his mistress. Neither are we between Isabella and Angelo, that between her and greatly enamoured of Isabella's rigid chastity, though Claudio, those where the Duke appears in disguise, and she could not act otherwise than she did. We do not the catastrophe in the fifth act, are admirably written feel the same confidence in the virtue that is “sublimely and very interesting-except so far as the spectator's good' at another's expense, as if it had been put to knowledge of the two stratagems, which have deceived some more disinterested issue." The same writer, after Angelo, may prevent him from participating in the inremarking on the equivocal character and situation in dignation at Isabella's imaginary wrong, which her lathe drama of the Duke, Claudio, and the love of Mariana mentations would excite. Several of the circumstances for Angelo, at whose conduct we revolt, adds, that 'in and characters are borrowed from the old play of Whetthis respect there may be said to be a general system stone, Promos and Cassandra ;' but very little of the of cross-purposes between the feelings of the different sentiments or language. What is good in MEASURE characters, and the sympathies of the reader or the FOR MEASURE is Shakespeare's own."—Hallam, Liter audience."
ature of Europe. 56
"Nor here PROVINCIAL"_" The different orders of "MEASURE for Maste, modu monks (says M. Mason) bave a chief, who is called the end of 1603, is pertape
, der kan general of the order; and they have also superiors, sub- BETH, the play in with Blubuga mer ordinate to the general, in the several provinces through were, most with the westere med which the order may be dispersed. The friar, there mind: the depths and interes de fore, means to say, that the Dake dares not touch a fis- searched and sounded, vi inte plan ger of his; for he could not punish him by his own and harass him; his persones que les authority, as he was not his subject, nor through that aetion to pour fortk, in kerage the use of the superior, as he was not of that province." common use, thongtha with *- the FORTEITS in a barber's shop" "Barbers' dramatic excellence in
clearest expression; and the he shops were anciently places of great resort for passing ophy. The Duke is designed as the away time in an idle manner. By way of enforcing this philosophical cbereiten. Wied some kind of regularity, and, perhaps
, at least as much eboly by temperament arewel de ses to promote drinking, certain laws were usually hung up, power, and secretly conscious é the transgression of which was to be punished by spe practical duties. The subject inte har cific forfeite;' which were as much in moek as mark, but artfully improved by Shakapan because the barber had no authority of himself to enforce them, and also because they were of a lndicrous since his time have been relati, degli
numerous stories of a sinier nie, store." -SINGER
is really made, and made in rain. Then *- Away with those GIGLOTS”-i. e. Wantons. So, something to course and digste Kisa Hexar VL., (part 1.:)
and it would have deprised liner
of character. The virtue of Isabel, iki -Young Taidot was not born To be the pillage of a guglo wenck.
dependent of circumstance, ha certa and elevated;
one is dispeelt Measure still for Measure"-" The play (says Claudio had been really execated, there Schlegel) takes its name improperly from the punish: not have gone away with no grest from went: the sense of the whole is properly the triumph at least we now feel that bar pads of mercy over strict justice ; no man being himself so miserable brother, when he cling secure from error as to be entitled to deal it out among guilty being, are too harsh
. The ima his equals. The most beautiful ornament of this com invention of Mariana, and wine position is the character of Isabella, who, in the inten- not have had any thing like a realitet tion of taking the veil, allows herself to be prevailed on yet it is never explained how the Pulele by pious love again to tread the perplexing ways of the quainted with this secret
, being world; while the heavenly purity of her mind is not how he had preserved his esteem alle even stained with one unholy thought by the general gelo. His intention
, as binted tered corruption. In the heavenly robes of the novice of a marty Isabella, is a little 100 comme seanery, she is a true angel of light." Hazlitt's criti- Shakespeare's hasty half-bangla tv cism is acute, but wants a true sympathy with the this comedy is very obscure, and the anthor's feelings and objects : -“This is a play as been printed with great inactres. Var full of genius as it is of wisdom. But there is a gen comic parts highly
; Incio's inpaket eral want of passion ; the affections are at a stand: our result rather of sensual debaner sympathies are repulsed and defeated in all directions. disposition, is well represented
; but the The only passion which influences the story is that of inferior repetition of Dogberry. In the Angelo; and yet he seems to have a mach greater pas- Measure or Measure sands list! sion for hypocrisy than for his mistress. Neither are we between Isabella and Angela
, the laten greatly enamoured of Isabela's rigid chastity, though Claudio, those where the Drake esperes she could not act otherwise than she did. We do not the catastrophe in the fifth set me along feel the same confidence in the virtue that is “sublimely and very interesting--except se taxe good' at another's expense, as if it had been put to knowledge of the two stratagems
, which some more disinterested issue.” The same writer, after Angelo, imay prevent kim fram qurtaging remarking on the equivocal character and situation in dignation at Isabella's imaginary the drama of the Duke, Claudio,
and the love of Mariana mentations would excite. Several alte for Angelo, at whose conduct we revolt, råds, that in and characters are borrowed from the line this respect there may be said to be a general system stone, Promos and Cassandra; beter of cross-purposes between the feelings of the differeut sentiments or language. What is part characters, and the sympathies of the reader or the For Measure is Shakespeare's own. Bu audience."
ature of Europe. 56