图书图片
PDF
ePub

Duke. Bliss and goodness on you!
ESCAL. Of whence are you?
Duke. Not of this country, though my chance is

Y

now

To use it for my time: I am a brother
Of gracious order, late come from the see,
In spécial business from his holiness.

ESCAL. What news abroad i' the world?

Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it mult cure it: novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of courle, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies fucure: but security enough, to make fellowships accurs à : : much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every

from the see, ] The folio reads :

- from the sea. JOHNSON. The emendation, which is undoutedly right, was made by Mia Theobald. In Hall's Chronicle, sea is often written for jee.

MALONE. s There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies secure; but security enough, to make fellow ships accurs'd:] The speaker here alludes to those legal securities into which w fellowship" leads men to enter for each other. So, in King Henry IV. Part II: 6. He would not take his bond and yours; he liked not the security.” Falstaff in the same scene, plays, like the Duke, on the same word: " I had as lief they should put ratsbane in my mouth, as offer to stop it with security. I look'd he should have sent me two and twenty yards of fattin, and he sends me securiiy. , Well, he may sleep in security, " &c. MALONE.

The sense is, “There scarcely exists sufficient honesty in the world to make social life fecure; but there are occasions enough where a man may be drawn in to become surety, which will make him pay dearly for his friendships. In excuse of this quibble, Shakspeare may plead high authority. " He that hateth fur:tishib is fure." Prov. xi. 15. HOLT WHITE.

day's news.

I pray you, fir, of what difpofition was the duke?

ESCAL. One, that, above all other sirifcs, contended especially to know himself.

DUKE. What pleasure was he given to?

Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which profeis'd to make him rejoice : a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove profperous; and let me desire to know how you find Claudio prepared. I am made to underliand, that you have lent him visitation.

DUKE. He professes to have received no finister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination ofjustice: yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I, by my good leisure, have discredited to him, and now is he resolved 6 to die,

Escal. You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very "debt of your calling. I have labour'd for the poor gentleman , to the extremelt shore of my modesty ; but my brother justice have I found fo fevere, that he hath forced me to tell him, he is indeed---juflice.

DUKE. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well ; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself. Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner : Fare

'

you well.

6

- refolved - 1 i. e. fatisfied. So, in Middleton's More Diffemblers besides Women, A& I. sc. iii:

166 The blessing of perfe&ion to your thoughts lady ;
56 For I'm resolved they are good ones, REED,
he is indeed justice.] Summuin jus, fumma injuria.

STEEVENS,

7

DUKE. Peace be with you!

[Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost.
He, who the sword of heaven will bear,
Should be as holy as severe;
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go;

Ś Pattern in himself to know,

Grace to stand, and virtue go; ] These lines I cannot underAtand, but believe that they should be read thus:

Patterning himself to know,

In grace to stand, in virtue go. To pattern is to work after a pattern, and, perhaps, in Shakspeare's licentious di&ion, finply to work. The sense is, he that bears the sword of heaven should be holy as well as severe; one that affer good examples labaurs to know himself, to live with innocence, and to act with virtue. JOHNSON.

This passage is very obscure, nor can be. cleared without a more licentious paraphrase than any reader may be willing to allow. Не

that bears the fùord of heaven should be not less holy than severe: should be able to discover in himfelf a pattern of such grace as can avoid tempiation, together with such virtue us dares venture abroad into the world without danger of seduction. Steevens.

Grace to stand, and virtue go; ] This last line is not intelligible as it stands; but a very slight alteration, the addition of the word in, at the beginning of it, which may refer to virtue as well as to grace, will render the sense of it clear. 66 Pattern in himself to know,” is io feel in his own breast that virtue which he makes others pra&ise. M. MASON.

" Pattern in himself to know," is, to experience in his own bosom an original principle of ađion, which, instead of being borrowed or copied from others, might serve as a pattern to them. Our author, in The Winter's Tale, las again used the same kind of imagery :

" By the pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out

56 The purity of his. In The Comedy of Errors he uses an expression equally hardy and licentious:

". And will have no attorney but myself ;" which is an absolute catachrelis; un attorney importing precisely a perfon appointed to ac for another. In Every Woman in her Humour, 1609, we find the same expresion:

he lach but shown
" A pattern in himself, what thou shall find
$6 In others. MALONE.

[ocr errors]

More nor less to others paying,

Than by felf- offences weighing. Shame to him, whose cruel striking Kills for faults of his own liking! Twice treble shame on Angelo, To weed my vice, and let his grow! O, what may man within him hide, Though angel on the outward side! How may likeness, made in crimes, Making practice on the times, Draw with idle spiders' ftrings Most pond'rous and substantial things! 9 To weed my vice, and let his grow!) i. c. to weed faults out of my dukedom, and yet indulge himself in his own private vices. So, in The Contention betwyxte Churchycard and Camell, &c. 1560 :

" For Cato doch affyrme

• Ther is no greater shame, 16 Than to reprove a vyce.

66 And your selves do the same.' STEEVENS. My, does not, I apprehend, relate to the Duke in particular, who had not been guilty of any vice, but to any inuefinito person. The mcaning seems to be To destroy by extirpation as it is exprefled in another place) a fault that I have committed, and to luiter his own vices to grow to a rank and luxuriant height. The speaker, for the fake of argument, puts himself in the caie of an offending person. MALONE.

The Duke is plainly speaking in his own person. What he here terms

any vice,

may be explained from his conversation in A& I. sc. iv. with Friar Thomas, and especially the following line :

'twas my fault to give the people scope. The vice of Angelo requires no explanation. Henley.

2 Though angel on the outward side!] Here we see what induced our author to give the outward-lainted deputy, the name of Augelo.

MALONE. 3 How may likeness, made in crimes,

Making practice on ihe times,
Draw with idle Spiders' strings.

Mofi pond'rous and fubji antial things ! ] The old copy reads * To draw with, &c. STEEVENS.

Thus all the editions road corruptly; and so have made an obscure paffage in itself, quite unintelligible. Shakspeare wrote it thus :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Craft against vice I must apply:
With Angelo to - night shall lie

man.

How may that likeness, made in crimes,
Making practice on the times,

Draw The sepse is this. How much wickedness may a man hide within, though he appear angel without. How may that likeness made in crimes i, e. by hypocrisy; ( a pretty paradoxical expression, an angel made in crimes ] by imposing upon the world [thus emphatically expressed, making practice on the times ] draw with its false and feeble pretences [finely called spiders' ftrings ] the most pondrous and substantial matters of the world, as riches, honour, power, reputation, &c. WARBURTON.

Likeness may mean seemliness, fair appearance, as we say, a likely
The Revisal reads thus:

How may such likeness trade in crimes,
Making practice on the times,
To draw with idle Spider's strings

Moj pond'rous and substantial things.
Meaning by pond'rous and substantia i things, pleasure and wealth.

STEEVENS. The old copy reads Making pra&ice, &c. which renders the passage ungrammatical, and unintelligible. For the emendation now made, ( mocking] I am answerable. A line in Macbeth may add some support to it:

Away, and mock the time with fairelt show." There is no more convinced of the general propriety of adhering to old readings. I have ftrenuously followed the course which was pointed out and successfully pursued by Dr. Farmer and Mr. Steevens, that of elucidating and supporting our author's genuine text by illustrations drawn from the writings of his contemporaries. But in some cases alteration is a matter not of choice, but neceffity; and surely the present is one of them. Dr. Warburton, to obtain some fense, omitted the word To in the third line; in which he was followed by all the subsequent editors. But omission, in my apprehension, is of all the modes of emendation, the most exceptionable. In the passage before us, it is clear from the context, that some verb must have stood in either the first or second of these lines. Some years ago I conje&ured that, instead of made, we ought to read wade, which was used in our author's time in the sense of to proceed. But having since had occasion to observe how often the words mock and make have been confounded in these plays, I am Row persuaded that the single crror in the

onc

« 上一页继续 »