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Isab. Why,as all comforts are;nost good in deed :? Lord Angelo , having affairs to heaven, Intends you for his swift embaffador, Where you shall be an everlasting leiger: Therefore your best appointment make with speed; To-morrow
7 - as all comforts are; most good in deed :) If this reading be right, Ifabella must mean that the brings something better than words of comfort, she brings an assurance of deeds. This is barsh and constrained, but I know not what better to offer. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads :
in Speed. JOHNSON. The old copy reads :
Why, As all comforts are : most good, most good indeede. I believe the present reading, as explained by Dr. Johnson, is the
So , in Macbeth : - We're yet but young in deed." STEEVENS. I would point the lines thus: 4: Clau. Now, fifter, what's the comfort?
Isab. Why, as all comforts are, most good. Indeed Lord Angelo, " &c.
Indeed is the same as in truth, or truly, the common beginuing of speeches, in Shakspeare's age. See Charles the First's Trial. The King and Bradshaw seidom say any thing without this preface : Truly , Sir
BLACKSTONE. an everlasting leiger : Therefore your best appointment-) Leiger is the same with resident. Appointment ; preparation ; act of titting, or state of being fitted for any thing. So in old books, we have a knight well appointed ; that is, well armed and mouuted, or fitted at all, points. JOHNSON. The word leiger is thus used in The Comedy of Look about You, 1600:
Why do you stay, Sir?-
« Madam , as leiger to folicit for your absent love." Again, in Leicester's Commonwe and th , - a special man of that hasty king, who was his Ledger, or Agent, in London," &c. STEVENS,
your best appointment - ] The word appoiniment, on this occasion, should seem to conprehend confession, communion, and absolution. Let him (says Escalus) be furnished with dia vines, and have all charitable preparation. The King in Hamlet, who was cut off prematurely, and without such preparation, is
Is there no remedy?
But is there any?
But in what nature? Isab. In such a one as ( you consenting toʻt) Would bark your honour * from that trunk you bear, And leave you naked. CLAUD
Let me know the point. ISAB. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quakė, Lest thou a feverous lite should'st entertain, And fix or feven winters more respect Than a perpetual honour. Dar’st thou die? The sense of death is most in apprehension;
said to be dis-appointed. Appointment, however, may be more fimply explained by the following passage in the Antipodes, 1038 :
STEEVENS. 2 Though all the world's vastidity --) The old copy
reads Through all, &c. Corređed by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 13
a restraintTO a determind jcope.] A confinement of your mind to one painful idea; to ignominy, of which the remembrance can neither be fupprefled nor escaped. JOHNSON.
4 Would bark your honour -- A metaphor from stripping trees. of their bark. Douce.
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
Why give you me this shame?
father's grave Did utter forth a voice! Yes, thou must die: Thou art too noble to conserve a life In base appliances. This outward - fainted de
puty, Whose settled visage and deliberate word Nips youth i'the head, and follies doth enmew, ?.
the poor beetle, &c.] The reasoning is, that death is no more than every being must suffer, though the dread of it is peculiar to mar; or perhaps, that we are inconsistent with ourselves, when we so much dread that which we carelessly inflid on other creatures, that feel the pain as acutely as we. JOHNSON.
The meaning is-fear is the principal sensation in death, which has no pain ; and the giant when he dies feels no greater pain than the beetle.—This paffage, however, from its arrangement, is liable to an opposite conftru&ion, but which would totally destroy the illustration of the sentiment. Douce. 6 I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms. ] So, in the first part of Jeronimo , or The Spanish Tragedy, 1605 :
STEEVENS. Again , in Antony and Cleopatra :
I will be
- follies doth enmew, ] Forces follies to lie in cover, wilkout dariog to show themselves. Johnson.
As falcon doth the fowl_is
The princely Angelo?
: As falcon doth the fowl,] In whose presence the follies of
not hc that loves him best,
" Dares ftir a wing, if Warwick Thakes his bells.'
I have seen him fcale,
Clashing his warlike pinions, his feel'd cuirass,
« And, at his pitch , enmew the town below him. STEEVENS. 9 His filth within being caft, ] To cast a pond is to empty it of mud Mr. Upton reads :
His pond within being cast, he would appear
A filth as deep as hell. JOHNSON. 2. The princely Angelo?
princely guards! ] The ftupid editors , mistaking guards for satellites, (whereas it here fignifies lace, ) altered priejtly, in both places, to princely. Whereas Shakspeare wrote it briefly, as appears from the words themselves :
'Tis the cunning livery of hell.
With priestly guards.-
This out-zvard-sainted deputy ,
The first folio has, in both places, prenzie, from which the other folios
If I would yield him my virginity,
O, heavens! it cannot be. IsaB. Yes, he would give it thee, from this rank
Thou shalt not do't.
Thanks , dear Isabel.
Princely is the judicious correction of the second folio. Princely guards mean no more than the badges of royalty , ( laced or bordered robes,) which Angelo is supposed to assume during the absence of the Duke. The stupidity of the first editors is sometimes not more injurious to Shakspeare, than the ingenuity of those who succeeded them.
In the old play of Cambyses I meet with the fame expreffion. Sifamnes is left by Cambyses to distribute justice while he is absent; and in a soliloquy says:
6. Now may I wear the brodered garde,
And lye in downe-bed soft. Again, the queen of Cambyses says:
on I do forsake these broder'd gardes,
66 Aud all the facions new. STEEVENS. A guard, in old language, meant a welt or border of a garment; " because (says Minshieu) it gards and keeps the garment from tearing." These borders were sometimes of lace. So, in The Merchant of Venice :
Give him a livery
from the time of my committing this offence, you might persist in finning with safety. The advantages you would derive from my having such a secret of his in my keeping, would ensure you from further harm on account of the same fault, however frequently repeated. STEEVENS,
-as a pin. ] So, in Hamlet :