Графични страници
PDF файл

Bawd. But what's his offence ?
Clown. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river s.
Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him?

Clown. No; but there's a woman with maid by him : You have not heard of the proclamation, have you ?

Bawd. What proclamation, man?

Clown. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city ?

Clown. They shall stand for seed : they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.

Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down??

Clown. To the ground, mistress.

Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Cbiron. Thou hast undone our mother. “ Aaron. Villain, I've done thy mother.” Titus Andronicus. Again, in Ovid's Elegies, translated by Marlowe, printed at Middlebourg, no date:

“ The strumpet with the stranger will not do,

“ Before the room is clear, and door put to. Hence the name of Over-done, which Shakspeare has appropriated to his bawd COLLINS.

- in a peculiar river.) i.e. a river belonging to an individual ; not publick property. MALONE.

All boufes in the suburbs-] This is surely too general an expression, unless we suppose that all the houses the suburbs were bawdy-houses. It appears too, from what the lawd says below, But mall all our houses of resort in the suburbs 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 bawdybouses, or all bouses of resort in the suburbs. TYRWHITT.

1 But snall all our bouses of resort in the suburbs be pulld down?] This will be understood from the Scotch law of James's time, concerning buires (whores): “ that comoun yomon be put at the utmost endes of townes, qucire leaft peril of fire is.” Hence Ursula the pig-woman, in Baribolomew - Fair : "1, 1, gameters, mock a plain, plump, soft wench of ibe fuburbs, do !” FARMER.

See Martial, where fummæniana, and suburbana are applied to proftitutcs. STEEVENS.

The licenced houses of resort at Vienna are at this time all in the fuburbs, under the permission of the Committee of Chastity. S. W.


Clown. Come; fear not you : good counsellors lack no clients : though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapfter 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 Tapfter ? Let's withdraw.

Clown. Here comes fignior Claudio, led by the provost to prison: and there's madam Juliet.

[Exeunt. SCENE III.

The fame. Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, Juliet, and Officers;

Lucio and two Gentlemen, Claud. Fellow, why dost thou shew 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.The words of heaven ;-on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, fo; yet still ”tis juft :.

Lucio. . s Thus can the demi-god, authority, Make us pay duwur

for our offense by weight.The words of beaven ;-on wbom it will, it will;

On wbom it will not, jo; yet fill 'eis juff.] The domi-ged, Authority, makes us pay the full penalty of our offence, and its decrees are as little to le questioned as ibe words of bear'ın, which pronounces its pleasure tbus ;-1 punish and remit punishment according to my orun uncontrculable will; and yet woo can say, what doft obcu - Make us pay down for our offence by weight, is a fine expresiion to fignify saying the full penalty. The metaphor is taken from paying money by weight, which is always exact ; not so by rale, on account of the practice of diminishing the species. WARBURTON.

I suspect that a line is loft. foHNSON.
It may be read, obe sword of beaver.

Thus can be demi-sod, Ausberity,
Makeus pay down for our offence, by weight;

Tbe sword of beaven ;-on whom &c.
Axibority is then poetically called the sword of beaven, which will spare

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 imprisonment.-What's thy offence, Claudio ?

Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again.
Lucio. What is it? murder ?

Claud. No. or punish, as it is commanded. The alteration is Night, being made only by taking a single letter from the end of the word, and placing it at the beginning

1 his very ingenious and elegant emendation was suggested to me by the rev. Dr. Roberts, of Eaton; and it may be countenanced by the following passage in the Cobler's Prophecy, 1594 :

“In brief they are obe swords of beaven to punih." Sir W. Davenant, who incorporated this play of Sbakspeare with Mucb ado about Notbing, and formed out of them a Tragi-comedy called The Law against Lovers, omits the two last lines of this speech; I suppore, on account of their seeming obscurity. STEEVENS.

The very ingenious emendation proposed by Dr. Roberts is yet more Arongly supported by another patrage in the play before us, where this phrase occurs (act III. sc. Jaft]:

“ He who the sword of beaven will bear,

“ Should be as holy as severe :" yet I believe the old copy is right. MALONE.

Notwithstanding Dr. Roberts's ingenious conjecture, the text is certainly right. Au bority being absolute in Angelo, is finely filed by Claudio, obe demi-god. To his uncontroulable power, the poet applies a passage from St. Paul to the Romans, ch. ix. v. 15, 18, which he properly Stiles, ibe words of beaven : for he faith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, &c. And again : Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, &c. HENLEY.

9 Like rats that ravin &c.] To ravin was formerly used for eagerly or voraciously devouring any thing. REED.

Rawin is an ancient word for prey. STREVINS.

'-as tbe morality-] The old copy has mortality. It was corrected by Sir William Davenant. Maloni,

Lucio. Lechery?
Claud. Call it fo.
Prov. Away, fir; you must go.
Claud. One word, good friend :-Lucio, a word with

[Takes him afidt. Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. Is lechery fo look'd after?

Cland. Thus stands it with me:-Upon a true contract,
I got posseffion of Julietta's bed”;
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order : this we came not to,
Only for propagation

of a dower 3
Remaining in the coffer of her friends ;
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love,
Till time had made them for us. But it chancesy
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment,
With character too gross, is writ on Juliet.

Lucio. With child, perhaps ?

Claud. Unhappily, even fo.
And the new deputy now for the duke,
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness * ;
Or whether that the body publick be

2 I got posseffion of Julietta's bed, &c.] This speech is surely too indea licate to be hooken concerning Juliet, before her face, for the appears to be brought in with the rest, though the has nothing to say. The Clown poiets her out as they enter; and yet from Claudio's telling Lucio, tbat be knows tbe lady, &c. one would think she was not meant to have made her perfonal appearance on the scene. STEEVENS,

Claudio may be supposed to speak to Lucio apart. MALONI.

3 Only for propagation of a dower---] The meaning of the speaker is fufficiently ciear, yet this term appears a very strange one. Sir William Davenant seems also to have thought so; for he reada

Only for the assurance of a dowry." Perhaps we should read only for prorogation, MALONE.

4 W bet ber it be obe fault and glirapfe of newness;] Fault, I apprehend, does not refer to any enormous act done by the deputy, (as Dr. Johnson seems to have thought) but to newness. The fault and glimpse is the same as tbe faulty glimpse. And the meaning seems to be Wheber it be the fault

of newness, a fault arising frozx the mind being dazzled by a novel outbority, of which ebe new governour bas yet had only a glimpse, bas yes taken only a hafly survey; or zuberber &c. Shakspeare has many fimilar expresfions, MALONE,

A horse.

A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the feat, that it may know
He can command, let’s it straight feel the spur:
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I stagger în :But this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unscour'd armour 5, hung by the wall,
So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on mei-'tis, surely, for a name. ).

Lucio. I warrant, it is: and thy head fțands so tickle ? on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if the be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.

Claud. I have done so, but he is not to be found.
I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
This day my lifter should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation:
Acquaint her with the danger of my state;

[ocr errors]


So long

like unscour'd armour,] So, in Troilues and Cressida :
“ Like rusty mail in monumental mockery." STEEVENS,

But this new governor
Awakes, me all the enrolled penalties,
Wbich bave, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall,
Now puts tbe drowsy and neglected at

Freshly on me:) Lord Strattord, in the conclusion of his Defence in the House of Lords, had, perhaps, these lines in his thoughts :

“ It is now full two hundred and forty years since any man was touched for this alledged crime, to this height, before myself.--Let us reft contented with that which our fathers have left us; and not awake those peeping lions, to our own destruction, by raking up a few musty records, ibar bave lain so many ages tyrbe walls, quite forgorien and neglested.

MALONE. 7-o tickle] i. c ticklish. This word is frequently used by our old dramatick authors. STEEVENS.

8- her approbation : ] i.e. enter on her probation, or noviciare. So again, in this play:

“ I, in probation of a sisterhood" -
Again, in Tbe Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608 ;

« Madam, for a twelvemonth's approbation,
" We mean to make the trial of our child." MALONE.


« ПредишнаНапред »