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With maids to feem the lapwing?, and to jest,
Tongue far from heart 8,-play with all virgins so,
I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted;
By your renouncement, an immortal fpirit;
And to be talk'd with in fincerity,
As with a faint.

Ifab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me.

Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth', 'tis thus: Your brother and his lover have embrac'd": wards : “ Do not believe it:" i. e. Do not suppose that I would mock you. MALONE.

7 Witb maids to seem tbe lapwing,] The lapwings fly with seeming fright and anxiety far from their neits, to deceive those who seek their young. HANMIR.

See Ray's Proverbs : “ The lapwing cries, tongue far from beart," The farther she is from her neft, where her heart is with her young ones, the is the louder, or perhaps all tongue. SMITH.

See the Comedy of Errors, AG IV. Sc. iii. GREY. 8 Though 'tis my familiar sin

With maidsin seem tbe lapwing, and rojefi,

Tongue far from beart,--play with all virgins so, &c.] This pas. sage has been pointed in the modern editions thus:

'Tis true :--) would not (though 'tis my familiar sin
With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest,
Tongue far from heart) play with all virgins fo :

I hold you &c. According to this punctuation, Lucio is made to deliver a sentiment directly opposite to that which the author intended. Though 'ris my common practice to jest with and to deceive all virgins, I would noe jo play wirb all virgins.

The sense, as the text is now regulated, appears to me clear and easy. 'Tis very true, (fays he) I owgbe indeed, as you say, to proceed at once to my flory. Be assured, I would not mcok you. Though it is my familiar practice to jest with maidens, and, like the lapwing, to deceive them by my insincere prattle, though, I say, it is my ordinary and babitual pralice to sport in this manner with all virgins, yet I foould never think of treating you so; for I consider you, in consequence of your having renounced the world, as an immortal spirit, as one to whom I ought to speak with as much fincerity as if I were addressing a faint. MALONE.

9 Fewness and trusb,] i. e. in few words, and those true In few, is many times thus used by Shakspeare. STEEVEN 3.

i Your breiber and bis lover--] i. e. his mistress; lover, in our author's time, being applied to the female as well as the male sex. Thus, one of his poems, containing the lamentation of a deierted maiden, is entitled " A Lover's Complaint." MALONE.

As

ones.

As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time,
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
To teeming foyson, even so her plenteous womb
Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry?.

Isab. Some one with child by him -My cousin Juliet?
Lucio. Is the your cousin ?

Ijab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their names, By vain though apt affection.

Lucio. She it is.
Isab. O, let him marry her!

Lucio. This is the point.
The duke is very strangely gone from hence ;
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
In hand, and hope of action : but we do learn
By those that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
And with full line * of his authority,
Governs lord Angelo; a man, whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense ;
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law,
As mice by lions,) hath pick’d out an act,

as blooming time,
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
To teeming foyson ; So ber plenteous womb

Expreferb bis full tilth and busbandry.) This sentence, as Dr. Johnson has observed, is apparently ungrammatical. I suspect two half lines have been lost. Perhaps however an imperfect sentence was intended, of which there are many instances in these plays: -or, as might have been used in the sense of like. Teming foison is abundanc plenty. Tilth is tillage. MALONE. 3 Bore many gentlemen,

In band and tope of action:) To bear in bsnl is a common phrase for to keep in expeciation and dependance; but we should read,

with bope of aflion.. JOHNSON. 4 And with full line--] With full extent, with the whole lengtha

JOHNSON, 5 – 10 give fear to use-) To intimidate use, that is, practices long tountenanc:d by cuftom. JOHNSON.

C4

Under

Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example: all hope is gone,
Unless

you
have the grace by your

fair prayer
To foften Angelo: and that's my pith
Of business ? 'ewixt you and your poor brother.

Ijab. Doth he so seek his life?

Lucio. Has cenfur'd him s
Already; and, as I hear, the provoft hath
A warrant for his execution.

Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
To do him good?

Lucio. Afiay the power you have.
Isab. My power! Alas! I doubt,-

Lucio. Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt: Go to lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,
Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely theirs 9
As they themselves would owe them!.

Ijab. I'll see what I can do. Lucio. But, speedily. 6 Unless you bave obe grace-] That is, the acceptableness, the power of gaining favour. So, when she makes her suit, the provoft says:

Heaven give thee moving graces ! JOHNSON.

my pith of bufiness ] The inmost part, the main of my message. JORNS. 8 Has cenfur d bim-] We should read, I think, He bas cenJured him, &c. In the Mís. of our author's time, and frequently in the printed copy of these plays, bebas, when intended to be contracted, is written--b'as. Hence probably the mistake here. MALONE. censur'd bim--] i.e. sentenced hini. So, in Oibello :

- to you, lord governor,

“ Remains the censure of this hellith villain.” STEEVENS. 9 All their petitions are as freely theirs] All their requests are as freely granted to them, are granted in as full and beneficial a manner, as they themselves could with. The editor the second folio arbitrarily reads - as truly tbeirs; which has been followed in all the subsequent copies. MALONE.

I would owe them.] To owe fignifies in this place, as in many others, to posless, to havc. STELVENS.

Lab.

7

Ijab. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother *
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you :
Commend me to my brother : soon at night
I'll send him certain word of my success.

Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Ijab. Good sir, adieu.

Exeunt,

A CT II. 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 3,
And let it keep one hape, till custom make it
Their perch, and not their terror.

Escal. Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death * : Alas! this gentleman,
Whom I would save, had a most noble father.
Let but your honour know",
(Whom I believe to be moft ftrait in virtue,)

* -be morber] The abbess, or prioress. JOHNSON.
2 Provoj,] A provost is generally the executioner of an army.

STEEVENS. “ A Provost martial” Minfheu explains “ Prevost des Mareschaux : “ Præfe&tus rerum capitalium, prætor rerum capitalium." REED.

A priton for military offenders is at this day, in some places, called the Prevôt. MALONE. 3 – to fear tbe birds of prey,] To fear is to affrigbi, to rcrrify.

STEEVENS. 4 Tban fall, and bruise to death:] i. e. fall the axe ;-or rather, let the criminal fall, &c. MALONE.

Shakspeare has used the same verb active in tbe Comedy of Errors, and As

you

like it. STEEVENS. 5 Lei bus your bonour know,] To know is here to examine, to take coz nijance. So, in A Midsummer Nigbt's Dream :

Tberefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
“ Know of your truth, examine well your blood.” JOHNSON.

That,

That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time coher'd with place, or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood 6
Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,
Whether you had not sometime in your life
Err'd in this point which now you censure him?,
And pull’d the law upon you.

Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
Another thing to fail. I not deny,
The jury, palling on the prisoner's life,
May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two
Guiltier than him they try: What's open made
To justice, that justice seizes. What know the laws,
That thieves do pass on thieves 8 ? Tis very pregnant",
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 to extenuate his offence,
For I have had such faults”, but rather tell me,
When I that censure him do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he muf die.

Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Ang. Where is the provost ?
Prov. Here, if it like your honour.
of your blood] Old copymour blood. Currected by Mr. Rowe.

MALONE. 7-bieb natu you censure bim,] Some word seems to be wanting to make this line sense. Perhaps, we Mould read—which now you cenfure him for. STEEVENS.

- lat know the luws, That thieves do país on ebieves? ] How can the administrator of the laws take cognizance of what I have just mentioned? How can they know, whether the jurymen who decide on the life or death of thieves be themselves as criminal as those whom they try? To pass on is a forenfiek term. So, in the well-known provision of MAGNA CHARTA:

" nec fuper eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nihi per legale judicium parium sujrum, vel per legem terræ." MALONE.

9. 'Tis very pregrant,] 'Tis plain that we must act with bad as with good ; we punish the faults, as we take the advantages, that lie in our way, and what we do not see we cannot note. JOHNSON.

i For I have bad such faules,] That is, beiarfe, by reason that I have had such faults. JOHNSON,

6

$

Ang.

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