Imagens das páginas

LUCIO. O, fir, you are deceived. DUKE. 'Tis not poffible. Lucio. Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty;—and his use was, to put a ducat in her clack-difh: the duke had crotchets in him: He would be drunk too; that let me inform you. DUKE. You do him wrong, furely. LUCIO. Sir, I was an inward of his :3 A fhy fellow

Again, in Howe's Abridgment of Stowe's Chronicle, 1618, p. 363: in the month of February divers traiterous perfons were apprehended, and detected of moft wicked confpiracie againft his majestie: the 7th of Sept. certaine of them wicked fubjects were indicted," &c. MALONE.


clack-difh:] The beggars, two or three centuries ago, ufed to proclaim their want by a wooden-difh with a moveable cover, which they clacked, to fhow that their veffel was empty. This appears from a paffage quoted on another occafion by Dr. Grey.

Dr. Grey's affertion may be fupported by the following paffage in an old comedy, called The Family of Love, 1608:


"Can you think I get my living by a bell and a clack-dish?”
By a bell and a clack-dish? how's that?"
"Why, by begging, fir," &c.

Again, in Henderfon's Supplement to Chaucer's Troilus (and Grefféid:

"Thus fhalt thou go a begging from hous to hous,
"With cuppe and clappir like a lazarous.'


And by a flage direction in the Second Part of K. Edward IV. 1619:

Enter Mrs. Blague very poorly, begging with her basket and a clap-dish.


There is likewife an old proverb to be found in Ray's Collection, which alludes to the fame cuftom:

"He claps his difh at a wrong man's door." STEEVENS.

3 an inward of his :] Inward is intimate. So, in Daniel's Hymen's Triumph, 1623:

"You two were wont to be moft inward friends." Again, in Marston's Malcontent, 1604:

Come we must be inward, thou and I all one.

[ocr errors]


was the duke: * and, I believe, I know the cause of his withdrawing.

DUKE. What, I pr'ythee, might be the cause? LUCIO. No, pardon; 'tis a fecret must be lock'd within the teeth and the lips: but this I can let you understand,-The greater file of the subject' held the duke to be wife.

DUKE. Wife? why, no queftion but he was. LUCIO. A very fuperficial, ignorant, unweighing


DUKE. Either this is envy in you, folly, or miftaking; the very ftream of his life, and the bufinefs he hath helmed,' muft, upon a warranted need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings forth, and he fhall appear to the envious, a scholar, a ftatefman, and a foldier: Therefore, you fpeak unfkilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much darken'd in your malice.

LUCIO. Sir, I know him, and I love him. DUKE. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.

A fhy fellow was the duke:] The meaning of this term may be beft explained by the following lines in the fifth A&: "The wicked'ft caitiff on the ground,

May feem as fhy, as grave, as juft, as abfolute," &c.

[ocr errors]


The greater file of the subject-] The larger lift, the greater number. JOHNSON.

So, in Macbeth:




the valued file." STEEVENS. unweighing] i. e. inconfiderate. So, in The Merry Wives of Windfor: "What an unweighed behaviour hath Flemish drunkard pick'd out of my converfation," &c. STEEVENS. -the bufinefs he hath helmed,] The difficulties he hath beer'd through. A metaphor from navigation. STEEVENS.

LUCIO. Come, fir, I know what I know. DOKE. I can hardly believe that, fince you know not what you speak. But, if ever the duke return, (as our prayers are he may,) let me defire you to make your answer before him: If it be honest you have fpoke, you have courage to maintain it; I am bound to call upon you; and, I pray you, your name?

LUCIO. Sir, my name is Lucio; well known to the duke.

DUKE. He fhall know you better, fir, if I may live to report you.

LUCIO. I fear you not.

DUKE. O, you hope the duke will return no more; or you imagine me too unhurtful an oppofite. But indeed, I can do you little harm: you'll forfwear this again.

Lucio. I'll be hang'd firft: thou art deceived inme, friar. But no more of this: Canft thou tell, if Clandio die to-morrow, or no?

DUKE. Why fhould be die, fir?

LUCIO. Why? for filling a bottle with a tun-difh. I would, the duke, we talk of, were return'd again : this ungenitur'd agent? will unpeople the province with continency; fparrows muft not build in his houfe-eaves, because they are lecherous The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly anfwer'd; he would never bring them to light: would he were

6 oppofite. ] i. c. opponent, adverfary. So, in King Lear: thou waft not bound to answer

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"An unknown oppofite." STEEVENS.



ungenitur'd agent - This word feems to be formed from genitoirs, a word which occurs in Holland's Pliny, tom. ii. p. 321, 560, 589, and comes from the French génitoires, the genitals.


[ocr errors]


return'd! Marry, this Claudio is condemn'd for untruffing. Farewell, good friar; I pr'ythee, pray for me. The duke, I fay to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's now pait it; yet;ʼand I fay to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though fhe finelt brown bread and garlick: * say, that I said so. Farewell. [Exit.

DUKE. No might nor greatnefs in mortality Can cenfure 'fcape; back-wounding calumny The whiteft virtue ftrikes: What king fo ftroug, Can tie the gall up in the flanderous tongue! But who comes here?

Enter ESCALUS, Provoft, Bawd, and Officers.

ESCAL. Go, away with her to prison. BAWD. Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted a merciful man: good my lord. ESCAL. Double and treble adınonition, and still

eat mutton on Fridays.] A wench was called a laced THEOBALD.

8 mutton.

So, in Doctor Fauftus, 1604, Lechery fays:

I am

one that loves an inch of raw mutton better than an ell of Friday ftock-fifh " STEEVENS.

9 He's now past it; yet,] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads-He is not paft it yet. This emendation was received in the former edition, but feems not neceffary. It were to be wifhed, that we all explained more, and amended lefs. JOHNSON.

If Johnson understood the paffage as it ftands, I wish he had explained it. To me, Hanmer's amendment appears abfolutely neceffary. M. MASON.

I have inferted Mr. M. Mafon's remark and yet the old reading is, in my opinion, too intelligible to need explanation.



though he felt brown bread and garlick:] This was the phrafeology of our author's time. In the Merry Wives of Windfor, Mafter Fenton is faid to "Smell April and May," not "to fmell of," &c. MALONE.


forfeit in the fame kind? This would make mercy fwear, and play the tyrant.*

PROV. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may it please your honour.

BAWD. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me: mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the duke's time, he promised her marriage; his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me.

ESCAL. That fellow is a fellow of much licence:__ let him be called before us.-Away with her to prifon: Go to; no more words. [Exeunt Bawd and Officers.] Provost, my brother Angelo'will not be alter'd, Claudio muft die to-morrow: let him be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation if my brother wrought by my pity, it fhould not be fo with him.

PROV. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advised him for the entertainment of death. ESCAL. Good even, good father.


forfeit i. c. tranfgrefs, offend; from the French forfaire. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

mercy fwear, and play the tyrant. We fhould read swerve, · i. e. deviate from her nature. The common reading gives us the idea of a ranting whore. WARBURTON.

There is furely no need of emendation. We fay at prefent, Such a thing is enough to make a parfon fwear, i. e. deviate from a proper refped to decency, and the fandity of his character.

The idea of fwearing agrees very well with that of a tyrant in our ancient myfteries. STEEVENS.

I do not much like mercy fwear, the old reading; or mercy fwerve, Dr. Warburton's correction. I believe it fhould be, this would make mercy fevere. FARMER.

We ftill fay, to fwear like an emperor; and from fome old book, of which I unfortunately neglected to copy the title, I have notedto fwear like a tyrant. To fwear like a termagant is quoted elsewhere.


« AnteriorContinuar »