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BAWD. But what's his offence ?
Cio. No; but there's a woman with maid by him: You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
BAwd. What proclamation, man?
Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.
BAWD. And what shall become of those in the city ?
Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher pat in for them.
Bawn. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pullid down ? :
in a peculiar river.] i. e. a river belonging to an india vidual ; 'not public property.
MALONE. ? All houses in the suburbs – ] This is surely too general an express fion, unless we suppose, that all the houses in the furburbs were baw.y-houses. It appears too, from what the bawd says below, But shall all our houses of refort in the fuburbs be pulled down ?" that the Clown had been particular in his description of the houses which were to be pulled down. I am therefore inclined to believe that we should read here, all baudy- houses, or all houses of resort in the subuibs. TYRWHITT.
3 But siall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down ?] This will be understood from the Scorch law of James's time, concerning kuires (whores) : so that comoun women be put at the utmost endes of townes, queire least perril of fire is.” Hence Ursula the pig woman, in Bartholomew-Fair : «I, I, gamesters, mock a plain, plunıp, soft werch of the suburbs, do!" FARMER.
So, in The Malcontent, 1604, when Altofront dismisses the various chara&ers at the end of the play tó different destinations, he says to Macquerello the bawd :
thou unto the suburbs." Again, in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1911:
* Some fourteen bawds ; he kept her in the suburbso"
Clo. To the ground, mistress.
BAWD. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
Clo. Come ; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients : though you change your place, you need not change your trade ; l'll be your tapiter ftill. Courage; there will be pity taken on you: you
that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.
BAwd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster ? Let's withdraw.
Clo. Here comes fignior Claudio, led by the provost to prison: and there's madam Juliet.
Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers;
Lucio, and two Gentlemen. CLAUD. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to
the world? Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Prov. I do it not in evil disposition, But from lord Angelo by special charge.
Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight.
See Martial, where fummæniana and suburbana are applied to prostitutes. STEEVENS.
The licenced houses of refort at Vienna are at this time all in the fuburbs, under the permillion of the Committee of Chastity.
The words of heaven ;- on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, fo; yet still 'tis just.'
3. Thus can the demi-god, Authority,
Make us pay down for our offence by weight.
On whom it will no1, Fr; get fill 'tis jufl.] The sense of the whole is tliis: The demi-gud Auhority, makes us pay the full penalty of our offence, and its decrees are as little to be questioned as the words of heaven, which pronounces its pleasure thus, — 1 punish and remit punishment according to my uncontroulable will; and get who can say, what dost thou? · Make us pay down for our offence by weight, is a fine expression to signify paying the full penalty. The metaphor is taken from paving money by. weight, which is always exact; not so by tale, on account of the pradice of diminishing the species. WARBURTON.
I suspect that a line is loft. JOHNSON.
Thus can the demi-god Authority,
The sword of heaven: on whom, &c. Auihority is then poetically called the sword of heaven, which will spare or punish, as it is commanded. The alteration is slight, being made only by taking a single letter from the end of the word, and placing it at the beginning.
This very ingenious and elegant emendation was suggested to me by the Reverend Dr. Roberts, Provost of Eton; and it may be countenanced by the following passage in The Cobler's Prophecy, 1594:
« In brief, they are the swords of heaven to punish." Sir W. D'Avenant, who incorporated this play of Shakspeare with Much ado about Nothing, and formed out of them a Tragicomedy called The Law against Lovers, omits the two last lines of this speech ; I suppose, on account of their fceming obscurity.
STEEVENS. The very ingenious emendation proposed by Dr. Roberis, is yet more strongly supported by another passage in the play before us, where this phrase occurs, (Act III. fc. last):
He who the sword of heaven will bear,
- Should be as holy, as severe." Yet I believe the old copy is right. MALONE.
Notwithstanding Dr. Roberts's ingenious conjeâure, the text is certainly right. Authority, being absolute in Angelo, is finely ftiled by Claudio, the demi-god. 1o this uncontroulable power, t}c poet applies a paslage from St. Paul to the Romans, ch. ix,
Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio? whence comes this restraint ? Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio,
liberty: As surfeit is the father of much fast, So every scope by the immoderate use Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue, ( (Like rats.that ravin down their proper bane,) A thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.'
Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors: And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisoninent. What's thy offence, Claudio?
v. 15. 18, which he properly styles, the words of heaven : he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, &c. And again :
Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will
&c. HENLEY. It should be remembered, however, that the poet is here speaking not of mercy, but funishment. MALONE.
Mr. Malone might have spared himself this remark, had he recolle&ed that the words of St. Paul. immediately following, and to which the bc. referred, are, and whom he will he hardeneth. See also the preceding verse. HENLEY.
4 Like rats that ravin down their proper bane, ] To ravin was formerly used for eagerly or voraciouly devouring any thing: fo in Wilfon's Epistle to the Earl of Leicester, prefixed to his Discourse upon Usurye, 1572: " For these bee the greedie cormoraunte wolfes indeed, that’ ravgn up both beaste and man. REED.
Ravin is an ancient word for prey. So, in Noah's Flood, by Drayton :
6. As well of ravine, as that chew the cud." STEEVENS.
when we drink, wé die.] So, in Revenge for Honout, by Chapman :
« Like poison'd rats, which when they've swallowed
STEFVENS. - as the morality -] The old copy has mortality. It was corre&ted by Sir William D'Avenant. MALONE.
Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again.
[Takes him aside.
7 I got possession of Julietta's bed, &c.] This speech is surely too indelicate to be spoken concerning Juliet, before her face; for me appears to be brought in with the rest, tliough she has nothivg to say. The Clown points her out as they enter; and yet, from Clavdio's telling Lucio, that he knows the lady, &c. one would i think slie was not meant to have made her personal appearance on the scene. STEEVENS.
The little seeming impropriety there is, will be entirely removed, by supposing that when Claudio stops to speak to Lucio, the Provost's officers depart with Julietta. Ritson.
Claudio may be supposed to speak to Lucio apart. MALONI.
this we came not to,
Remaining in the coffer of her friends ; ] This fingular mode of expression certainly demands fome eludication. The fenfe appears to be this. “ We did not think it proper publickly to celebrate our marriage; for this reason, that there might be no hindrance to the payment of Julietta's portion which was then in the hands of her friend's; from whom, therefore, we judged it expedient to conccal out