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Duke. The tongue of Isabel:-She's come to know,
Duke. He hath releas'd him, Isabel, from the world; His head is off, and sent to Angelo.
Isab, Nay, but it is not so.
It is no other:
leab. O, I will to him, and pluck out his eyes. Duke. You shall not be admitted to his sight.
Isab. Unhappy Claudio! Wretched Isabel ! Injurious world! Most damned Angelo!
Duke. This nor hurts him, nor profits you a jot: Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven. Mark what I say; which you shall find By every syllable, a faithful verity: The duke comes home to-morrow;-nay, dry your
I am directed by you.
6 When it is least expected.] A better reason might have been given. It was necessary to keep Isabella in ignorance, that she might with more keenness accuse the deputy. Yobnson.
- your bosom--] Your wish ; your heart's desire. Fabnson.
Duke. This letter then to friar Peter give; 'Tis he that sent me of the duke's return: Say, by this token, I desire his company At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause, and yours, I'll perfect him withal; and he shall bring you Before the duke; and to the head of Angelo Accuse him home, and home. For my poor self, I am combined by a sacred vow,8 And shall be absent. Wend you' with this letter: Command these fretting waters from your eyes With a light heart; trust not my holy order, If I pervert your course. -Who's here?
Enter Lucio. Lucio.
Good even! Friar, where is the provost? Duke.
Not within, sir. Lucio. O, pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart, to see thine eyes so red: thou must be patient: I am fain to dine and sup with water and bran; I dare not for iny head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set me to 't: But they say the duke will be here to-morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I lov’d thy brother; if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been at home, he had lived.
[Exit Isab. Duke. Sir, the duke is marvellous little beholden to your reports; but the best is, he lives not in them.2
8 I am combined by a sacred vow,] I once thought this should be confined, but Shakspeare uses combine for to bind by a pact or agreement; so he calls Angelo the combinate husband of Mari
Fohnson. 9 Wend you -) To wend is to go.-An obsolete word. So, in The Come.ly of Errors:
“ Hopeless and helpless doth Ægeon wend.” Again, in Orlando Furioso, 1599:
“ To let his daughter wend with us to France.” Steevens.
if the old, &c.] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads—the odd fantastical duke; but old is a common word of aggravation in lu. dicrous language, as, there was old revelling: Fohnson.
Juke of dark corners -] This cluke who meets his mis. tresses in by-places. So, in Xing Henry VIII:
“ There is nothing I have done yet, o' my conscience, “ Deserves a corner." Malone,
Lucio. Friar, thou knowest not the duke so well as I do: he's a better woodmanthan thou takest him for.
Duke. Well, you 'll answer this one day. Fare ye well.
Lucio. Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee; I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.
Duke. You have told me too many of him already, sir, if they be true; if not true, none were enough.
Lucio. I was once before him for getting a wench with child.
Duke. Did you such a thing?
Lucio. Yes, marry, did I: but was fain to forswear it; they would else have married me to the rotten med. lar.
Duke. Sir, your company is fairer than honest: Rest you well.
Lucio. By my troth, I 'll go with thee to the lane's end: If bawdy talk offend you, we 'll have very little of it: Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr, I shall stick.
A Roon in ANGELO's House.
Enter ANGELO and ESCALUS.
Escal. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouch'd other.
be lives not in them.] i. e. his character depends not on them. So, in Much Ado about Nothing :
“ The practice of it lives in John the bastard.” Steevens. 3 - woodman -] A woodman seems to have been an atten. dant or servant to the Officer called Forrester. See Manwood on the Forest Laws, 4to. 1615, p. 46. It is here, however, used in a wanton sense, and was, probably, in our author's time, generally so received. In like manner, in The Chances, Act I, sc. ix, the Landlady says:
Well, well, son John,
" Your deer tho it be i' th’ dark.” Reed. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Falstaff asks his mistresses:
Am I a woodman? Ha!" Steevens.
Ang. In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions show much like to madness: pray heaven, his wisdom be not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and re-deliver our authorities there?
Escal. I guess not.
Ang. And why should we proclaim it an hour before his entering, that, if any crave redress of injustice, they should exhibit their petitions in the street?
Escal. He shows his reason for that: to have a despatch of complaints; and to deliver us from devices hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand against us.
Ang. Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaim’d: Betimes i’ the morn, I 'll call you at your house:5 Give notice to such men of sort and suit, As are to meet him. Escal.
I shall, sir: fare you well. [Exit. Ang. Good night.This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant," And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid! And by an eminent body, that enforc'd
4 Ang. And why should &c.] It is the conscious guilt of Angelo that prompts this question. The reply of Escalus is such as arises from an undisturbed mind, that only considers the mysterious conduct of the Duke in a political point of view.
Steevens. let it be proclaim’d: Betimes i' the morn, &c.] Perhaps it should be pointed thus:
let it be proclaim'd
Betimes i' the inorn: I'll call you at your house. So above : “And why should we proclaim it an hour before his entering?"
Malone. 6-sort and suit,] Figure and rank. Fohnson.
Not so, as I imagine, in this passage. In the feudal time's all vassals were bound to hold suit and service to their over-lord; that is, to be ready at all times to attend and serve him, either when summoned to his courts, or to his standard in war. Such men of sort and suit as are to meet him, I presume, means the Duke's vassals or tenants in capite.-Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. Steevens.
makes me unpregnant,] In the first scene the Duke says that Escalus is pregnant, i. e. ready in the forms of law. Unpregnant therefore, in the instance before us, is unready, unprepared. Steevens.
The law against it! --But that her tender shame
8 Yet reason dares her ?--no:] The old folio impressions read:
Yet reason dares ber No. And this is right. The meaning is, the circumstances of our case are such, that she will never venture to contradict me; dares ber to reply No to me, whatever I say. Warburton. Mr. Theobald reads.
Yet reason dares her note. Sir Thomas Hanmer:
Yet reason dares ber: No. Mr. Upton :
Yet reason dares ber-No. which he explains thus: Were it not for ber maiden modesty, how might the lady proclaim my guilt? Yet (you'll say) she has reason on her side, and that will make her dare to do it. I think not, for any authority is of such weight, &c. I am afraid dare has no such signification. I have nothing to offer worth insertion. Johnson.
To dare has two significations; to terrify, as in The Maid's Tragedy:
those mad mischiefs “ Would dare a woman.” In King Henry IV, P. I, it means to challenge, or call fortb:
“ Unless a brother should a brother dare
“To gentle exercise,” &c. I would therefore read :
let reason dares her not, For my authority, &c. Or perhaps, with only a slight transposition :
yet no reason dares her, &c. The meaning will then be —Yet reason does not challenge, call forth, or incite ber to appear against me, for my authority is above the reach of her accusation. Steevens.
Yet reason dares ber No.] Dr. Warburton is evidently right with respect to this reading, though wrong in his application. The expression is a provincial one, and very intelligible:
But that her tender shame
How might she tongue me? Yet reason dares her No. That is, reason dares her to do it, as by this means she would not only publish her“ maiden loss,” but also as she would certainly suffer from the imposing credit of his station and power, which would repel with disgrace any attack on his reputation:
For my authority bears a credent bulk,