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He has much difgrac'd me in't; I am angry at him,

Apparently from Othello:

“Demand me nothing; what you know, you know;
"From this time forth I never will speak word."

Again the Cardinal, fpeaking to his miftrefs Julia, who had importuned him to difclofe the cause of his melancholy, fays: Satisfy thy longing;

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The only way to make thee keep thy counfel,

"Is, not to tell thee."

So, in King Henry IV. Part I:

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for fecrecy

"No lady clofer; for I well believe

Thou wilt not utter what thou doft not know."

Again, in The White Devil:

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the fecret of my prince,

"Which I will wear i'th' infide of my heart.” Copied, I think, from thefe lines of Hamlet:

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"That is not paffion's flave, and I will wear him
"In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart."

The White Devil was not printed till 1612.- Hamlet had appeared in 1604. See also another imitation quoted in a note on Cymbeline, A& IV. fc. ii.; and the laft fcene of the fourth act of The Dutchess of Malfy, which feems to have been copied from our author's King John, A& IV. fc. ii.

The Dutchess of Malfy had certainly appeared before 1619, for Burbage, who died in that year, acted in it; I believe, before 1616, for I imagine it is the play alluded to in Ben Jonfon's Prologue to Every Man in his Humour, printed in that year :

"To make a child new-fwaddled to proceed

"Man," &c.

So that probably the lines above cited from Webfter's play by Mr. Steevens, were copied from Timon before it was in print; for it first appeared in the folio, 1623. Hence we may conclude, that thrive was not an error of the press, but our author's original word, which Webfter imitated, not from the printed book, but from the reprefentation of the play, or the Mf. copy.

It is obfervable, that in this piece of Webfter's, the dutchefs, who, like Desdemona, is ftrangled, revives after long feeming dead, speaks. a few words, and then dies.



That might have known my place: I fee no fense


But his occafions might have woo'd me first;
For, in my confcience, I was the first man
That e'er receiv'd gift from him:

And does he think fo backwardly of me now,
That I'll requite it laft? No: So it may prove
An argument of laughter to the rest,

And I amongst the lords be thought a fool.


I had rather than the worth of thrice the fum,
He had fent to me firft, but for my mind's fake;
I had fuch a courage to do him good. But now



And with their faint reply this answer join;
Who bates mine honour, fhall not know my coin.


SERV. Excellent! Your lordship's a goodly villain. The devil knew not what he did, when he made inan politick; he crofs'd himself by't: and I cannot think, but, in the end, the villainies of man will fet him clear. How fairly this lord ftrives to ap

And I amongst the lords be thought a fool.] [Old copy- and 'mongst lords be thought a fool.] The perfonal pronoun was inferted by the editor of the fecond folio. MALONE.

I have changed the pofition of the perfonal pronoun, and added the for the fake of metre, which, in too many parts of this play, is incorrigible. STEEVENS.

7 I had fuch a courage-] Such an ardour, such an eager defire. JOHNSON.


Excellent! &c.] I fuppofe the former part of this fpeech to have been originally written in verfe, as well as the latter; though the players having printed it as profe (omitting feveral fyllables neceffary to the metre) it cannot now be reftored without fuch additions as no editor is at liberty to infert in the text. STEEVENS.

I fufpe& no omiffion whatfoever here. MALONE.

9 The devil knew not what he did, when he made man politick; he erofs'd himself by't: and I cannot think, but, in the end, the villainies of man will fet him clear. I cannot but think that the negative

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pear foul? takes virtuous copies to be wicked; like

not has intruded into this paffage, and the reader will think fo too, when he reads Dr. Warburton's explanation of the next words.


will fet him clear. ] Set him clear does not mean acquit him before heaven; for then the devil must be supposed to know what he did; but it fignifies puzzle him, outdo him at his own weapons. WARBURTON.


How the devil, or any other being, fhould be fet clear by being puzzled and outdone, the commentator has not explained. When in a crowd we would have an opening made, we fay, Stand clear, that is, out of the way of danger. With fome affinity to this ufe, though not without great barshness, to fet clear, may be to set aside. I believe the original corruption is the infertion of the negative, which was obtruded by fome tranfcriber, who fuppofed cross'd to mean thwarted, when it meant, exempted from evil. The ufe of croffing by way of protection or purification, was probably not worn out in Shakspeare's time. The fenfe of fet clear is now easy; he has no longer the guilt of tempting man. To cross himself may mean, in a very familiar fenfe, to clear his fcore, to get out of debt, to quit his reckoning. He knew not what he did, may mean, he knew not how much good he was doing himself. There is no need of emendation. JOHNSON.

Perhaps Dr. Warburton's explanation is the true one. Clear is an adverb, or so used; and Dr. Johnfon's Dictionary obferves that to fet means, in Addison, to embarrass, to diftrefs, to perplex.If then the devil made men politick, he has thwarted his own intereft, because the superior cunning of man will at last puzzle him, or be above the reach of his temptations. TOLLET.

Johnson's explanation of this paffage is nearly right, but I don't fee how the infertion of the negative injures the fenfe, or why that fhould be confidered as a corruption. Servilius means to fay, that the devil did not foresee the advantage that would arife to himself from thence, when he made men politick. He redeemed himself by it; for men will, in the end, become fo much more villainous than he is, that they will fet him clear; he will appear innocent when compared to them. Johnson has rightly explained the words, "he croffed himself by it."-So, in Cymbeline, Pofthumus fays of himself:

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"That all the abhorred things o'the earth amend,
"By being worfe than they."


The meaning, I think, is this: -The devil did not know what he'

thofe that, under hot ardent zeal, would fet whole realms on fire. 2

Of fuch a nature is his politick love.

This was my lord's beft hope; now all are fled,

was about, how much his reputation for wickednefs would be dimi nifhed when he made man crafty and interested; he thwarted himself by it; by thus railing up rivals to contend with him in iniquity, and at length to furpass him; and I cannot but think that at last the enormities of mankind will rife to fuch a height, as to make even Satan himself, in comparison, appear (what he would leaft of all wish to be) Spotless and innocent.

Clear is in many other places ufed by our author and the contemporary writers, for innocent. So, in The Tempest:

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nothing but heart's forrow,

And a clear life enfuing."

Again, in Macbeth:

This Duncan

"Hath borne his faculties fo meek, hath been
"So clear in his great office,-".

Again, in the play before us:

Roots, ye clear gods!"

Again, in Marlowe's Luft's Dominion, 1657:

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- I know myself am clear

"As is the new-born infant." MALONE.

The devil's folly in making man politick, is to appear in this, that he will, at the long rua be too many for his old master, and get free of his bonds. The villainies of man are to fet himself clear, not the devil, to whom he is fuppofed to be in thraldom.



Concerning this difficult paffage, I claim no other merit than that of having left before the reader the notes of all the commentators. I myself am in the ftate of Dr. Warburton's devil,puzzled, iuftead of being set clear by them. takes virtuous copies to be wicked; like thofe &c.] This is a reflection on the puritans of that time. Thefe people were then fet upon the project of new-modelling the ecclefiaftical and civil government according to fcripture rules and examples; which makes him fay, that under zeal for the word of God, they would fet whole realms on fire. So, Sempronius pretended to that warm affection aud generous jealoufy of friendship, that is affronted, if any other be applied to before it. At beft the fimilitude is au aukward one but it fitted the audience, though not the speaker.


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Save the gods only: 3 Now his friends are dead,
Doors, that were ne'er acquainted with their wards
Many a bounteous year, must be employ'd
Now to guard fure their mafter.

And this is all a liberal course allows;

Who cannot keep his wealth, must keep his houfe.*



The fame. A Hall in Timon's Houfe.

Enter two fervants of Varro, and the fervant of Lucius, meeting TITUS, HORTENSIUS, and other fervants to Timon's Creditors, waiting his coming


VAR. SERV. Well met; good-morrow, Titus and Hortenfius.

TIT. The like to you, kind Varro.

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3 Save the gods only:]

Old copy

Save only the gods. The

tranfpofition is Sir Thomas Hanmer's.

keep his houfe.] i. e. keep within doors for fear of duns.


So, in Meafure for Measure, A& Ill. fc. ii: «You will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house.”


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