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play upon the devil;) and this buffoon went by the name of a vice. This Buffoon was at first accoutred with a long Jer. kin, a cap with a pair of ass's ears, and a wooden dagger, with which (like another Arlequin) he was to make sport in belabouring the devil. This was the constant entertainment in the times of popery, whilst spirits, and witchcraft, and exorcising held their own. When the reformation took place, the stage shook off some groflities, and encreased in refine

The master-devil then was soon dismissed from the scene; and this buffoon was changed into a subordinate fiend, whose business was to range on earth, and seduce poor mora tals into that personated vicious quality, which he occanonally supported; as, iniquity, in general, bypocrisy, ufury, vanity, prodigality, gluttony, &c. Now as the fiend, (or wice) who personated iniquity (or hypocrisy, for instance) could never hope to play his game to the purpose but by hiding his cloven foot, and assuming a semblance quite dif. ferent from his real character ; he must certainly put on a formal demeanour, moralize and preváricate in his words, and pretend a meaning directly opposite to his genuine and primitive intention. If this does not explain the passage in question, 'tis all that I can at present suggest upon it. THEOB. Ibid. Tbus like the formal vice, iniquity,

I moralize two meanings in one word] That the buf. foon, or jester of the old English farces, was called the vice, is certain : and that, in their moral representations, it was common to bring in the deadly fins, is as true. Of these we have yet several remains. But that the vice used to assume the personage of these fins, is a fancy of Mr. Theobald's, who knew nothing of the matter. The truth is the vice was always a fool or jefter : And, (as the woman, in the Merchant of Venice, calls the clown, alluding to this character) a merry devil. Wh reas these mortal fins were fo many sad, serious ones. But what milled our editor was the name iniquity, given to this vice : But it was only on account of his unhappy tricks and rogueries. That it was given to him, and for the reason I mention, appears from the following passage of Johnson's Staple of News, second inter

M. How like you the vice i' the play?
T. Here is never a fiend to carry him away. Befides he


has never a wooden dagger,

M. That was the old way, Gossip, when iniquity came in like hocas pocas, in a jugler's jerkin, with false skirts like the knave of clubs. And, in The Devil's an. Afs, we see this old vice, iniquity, described more at large.

From all this, it may be gather'd, that the text, where Richard compares himself to the formal vice iniquiry, must be corrupt : And the interpolation of some foolish player. The vice or iniquity being not a formal, but a merry, buffoon character. Besides, Shakespeare could never make an exact speaker refer to this character, because the subject he is upon is tradition and antiquity, which have no relation to it; and because it appears from the turn of the passage, that he is apologizing for his equivocation by a reputable practice. To keep the reader no longer in suspence my conjecture is, that Shakespeare wrote and pointed the lines in this manner,

Thus like the formal wise antiquity

I moralize: Two meanings in one word. Alluding to the mythologic learning of the antients, of whom they are all here speaking. So that Richard's ironical apo-, logy is to this effect, You men of morals who so much extol your allwise antiquity, in what am I inferior to it? which was but an equivocator as I am. And it is remarkable, that the Greeks themselves called their remote anti. quity, Aixóuvis or the equivocator. So far as to the general sense; as to that which arises particularly out of the corrected expression, I shall only observe, that formal-wise is a compound epithet, an extreme fine one, and admirably fitted to the character of the speaker, who thought all wijdom but formality. It must therefore be read for the future with a hyphen. My other observation is with regard to the pointing; the common reading,

I moralize two meanings is nonsense: but reformed in this manner, very sensible,

Thus like the formal-wise antiquity

I moralize : Two meanings in one word. i. e. I moralize as the antients did. And how was that ? the having two meanings to one word. A ridicule on the morality of the antients, which he infinuates was no better than equivocating.


Ibid. Tbus, like the formal-wise antiquity

I moralize: Two meanings in one word.] As Mr. Warburton in his note on this passage hath been extremely formal-wise, and hath wasted a good deal of what looks like literature and reasoning absolutely to no purpose, I am obliged to be the more particular in my examination of it. I shall therefore begin with laying before the reader the ancient text,

Thus like the formal vice, iniquity,

I moralize two meanings in one word. That the vice was a standing character in our ancient drama; that the vice properly so called, as distinguished from particular vices, was named iniquity; that the character of this vice was that of a buffoon or jefter, hath been fully proved by Mr. Upton, Critic. Observat, and is not only acknowledged, but even confirmed by Mr. Warburton himself. That it is part of the character of a buffoon or jester to deal largely in double meanings, and by the help of them to aim at cracking a jest, and raising a laugh, needs no other proof than the reader's own knowledge and experience. These points being granted, one would imagine nothing more was wanting to establish the truth, and explain the meaning of this reading. But from these very premises Mr. Warburton draws the direct opposite conclusion, that “it is corrupt, and the interpolation of some foolish player.' And he gives three reasons to support his inference: First, That

the vice, iniquity, was not a formal, but a merry, buffcon character :' Secondly, "That the subject Shakespeare is upon is tradition and antiquity, which have no relation to this character:' Thirdly, “That from the turn of the passage it appears, that Richard is apologizing for his equivocation, as a reputable practice.' It is scarce possible to find even in Mr. Warburton's works, any thing more weak than these three reasons. The first is founded in a grofs ignorance of Shakespeare's phraseology; who by the formal zire doth not mean, the stiff solemn vice, but the vice which performs all the functions which properly and peculiarly conftitute and distinguish that character. Thus, a formal man, according to the poet, is one who performs all the functions proper and peculiar to a man; so in the Comedy of Errors,

yol. ii. P. 531:

Till I have us’d th' approved means I have,
With wholeiome firups, drugs, and holy prayers,

To make of him a formal man again. As to the second; he is quite mistaken in the subject the poet was upon, as he terms it, or rather, in the drift and f.ope of Richard in these lines, which was not either tradition, or antiquity, but the deceit he had just practised on his nephew the king, by his suddenly giving a very different turn to some dangerous words which had escaped him, and which the latter in part had over-heard. And as to the third, that the turn of the passage shews him to be apologizing for his equivocation, as being a reputable practice; to whom then doth he apologize ? to any person present? No; for these words are spoken afide, and as such Mr. Warburton himself hath given them. To himself? No, surely. The reader is by this time too well acquainted with his character, to admit such a supposition, after having seen him so often, deliberately, and without the least scruple or remorse, recoga nizing, and with satisfaction contemplating the villany of his own heart, The sense of the passage then is this ; • Thus my moralities, or the sententious expression I have juft uttered, resemble those of the vice, iniquity, in the play; the indecencies which lie at the bottom are sheltered from exception, and the indignation they would excite if nakedly delivered, under the ambiguity of a double meaning.' After this, it is needless to enter into a particular examination of that falemn sophistry, with which Mr. Warburton endeavours to recommend his own conjecture. It is sufficient to add, that in fact, as the reader must evidently see, Richard doth not in this passage seriously moralize at all, or even dream of so doing, and consequently could not say, that he moralized like the formal-wise antiquity,' which, in virtue of its allegorical mythology, might indeed very properly be said to do so. The term, moralize, is only introduced in allufion to the title of our old dramatick pieces, which were commonly called moralities, in which the vice was always one of the shining characters. And now, may I not be excused in teftifying my astonishment, to find so acute and sensible a writer as Mr. Seward, in his preface to Beaumont and Fletcher, p. 27. licking up VOL. IV. PART II.


this spittle, and applauding this emendation as a most ex. ceeding ingenious conjecture?

Revis.* Ibid.] Mr. Upton very juftly censures Dr. Warburton's alteration, who, in my opinion, has done nothing but cor. tect the punctuation, if indeed any alteration be really necessary.

To this long collection of notes may be added a question, to what equivocation Richard refers? The pofition immediately preceding, that fame lives long without chara&ters, that is, without the help of letters, seems to have no ambiguity. He must allude to the former line,

So young, so wise, they say, did ne'er live long, in which he conceals, under a proverb, his design of haften. ing the prince's death.

I fall here subjoin two dissertations, one by Dr. Ware burton, and one by Mr. Upton, upon the vice. JOHNS.

Ibid. Thus like the formal vice, iniquity, &c.] As this corrupt reading in the common books hath occafioned our faying something of the barbarities of theatrical representations amongst us before the time of Shakespeare, it may not be improper, for a better apprehension of this whole matter, to give the reader some general account of the rise and progress of the modern stage.

The first form, in which the drama appeared in the west of Europe, after the destruction of learned Greece and Rome, and that a calm of dulness had finished upon letters what the rage of barbarism had begun, was that of the mysteries. These were the fashionable and favourite diversions of all ranks of people both in France, Spain, and England. In which last place, as we learn by Stow, they were in use about the time of Richard the second and Henry the fourth. As to Italy, by what I can find, the first rudiments of their Aage, with regard to the matter, were prophane subjects, and, with regard to the form, a corruption of the ancient Mimes and Attellanes: By which means they got sooner into the right road than their neighbours; having had regular plays amongst them wrote as early as the fifteenth century.

As to these mysteries, they were, as their name {peaks them, a representation of some fcripture-ftory, to the life :

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