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Duke. Take then this your companion by the

Who hath a story ready for your ear:
I shall attend your leisure; but make hafte;
The vaporous night approaches.

Will’t please you walk aside?

[Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA. DUKE. O place and greatness, 6 millions of false


Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report Run with these false and most contrarious quests

60 place and greatness.] It plainly appears that this fine speecii belongs to ihat which concludes the preceding scene between the Duke and Lucio. For they are absolutely foreign to the subject of this, and are the natural reflections arising from that. Besides, the very words,

Run with these false and most contrarious quests, evidently refer to Lucio's scandals just preceding; which the Oxford editor, in his usual way, has emended, by altering these to their. But that some time might be given to the two women to confer together, the players, I suppose, took part of the speech, beginning at No might nor greatness, &c. and put it here, without troubling themselves about ils pertinency. However, we are obliged 10 them for not giving us their own impertinency, as they have frequently done in other places. WARBURTON.

I cannot agree that these lines are placed here by the players. The sentiments are common, and such as a prince, given to refeâion, must have often present. There was a necessity to fill up the time in which the ladies converse apart, and they must have quick tongues and ready apprehensións, if they understood cach other while this speech was uttered. - JOHNSON.

millions of falfe eyes ] That is, Eyes insidious and traiterous. JOHNSON. So, in Chaucer's Sompnoures Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. v. ;633:

" Ther is ful many an eye, and many an ere,
Awaiting on a lord," &c. STEEVENS.

còntrarious quejts ] Diferent reports, tuning counter to each other. JOHNSON. So, in Oihello :

" The senate has sent out three several quefis. " VOL. VI.



Upon thy doings ! tliousand 'scapes of wit?
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
And rack thee in their fancies ! :-Welcome! How


IS.AB. She'll take the enterprize upon her, father,
If you advise it.

It is not my consent,
But my intreaty too.

Little have you to say,
When you depart from him, but , soft and low,
Remember now my brother.

fear me not. Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all: He is your

husband on a pre-contráct :

In our author's K. Richard Ill. is a passage in some degree similar to the foregoing :

" My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
" And every tongue brings in a several tale,

" And every tale condemns "; STEEVENS. I incline to think that quesis here means inquisitions, in which sense the word was used in Shakspeare's time. See Minshieu's Di&. in v. Cole in his Latin Didionary, 1679, renders, “ A queft," by "examen, inquisitio." MALONE.

False and contrarious quests in this place rather mean lying and contradictory messengers, with whom run volumes of report. An explanation, which the line quoted by Mr. Steevens will serve to confirm. RITSON.

'scapes of wit -] i. e. fallics, irregularities. So, in King John, Ad 1. sc. iv:

" No Scape of nature, no distemper'd day.” STEEVENS. & And rack thee in their fancies ! ] Though rack, in the present instance, may signify torture or mangle, it might also mean confuse; as the rack, j. e. flecting cloud, renders the objeâ behind it obscure, and of undetermined form. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :

6. That which was now a horse, even with a thought,
6. The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct,
66 As water is in water, $TEEVENS,


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To bring you thus together, 'tis no fin;
Sith that the juslice of your title to him
Doth flourith the deceit.' Come, let us go;
Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to fow.'

[ Exeunt.

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9 Doth flourish the deceit. ) A metaphor taken from embroidery, where a coarse ground is filled up, and covered with figures of rich materials and elegant workmanship. WARBURTON.

Flourish is ornament in general. So, in our author's Twelfth Night:

empty trunks o'crflourish'd by the devil." Dr. Warburton's illustration of the metaphor scems to be in.

The passage from another of Shakspeare's plays, quoted by Mr. Steevens, suggests to us the true one.

The term - flourijn, alludes to the flowers impressed on the waste privted paper and old books, with which truuks are commonly lined.

HENLEY. When it is proved that the pradice alluded to, was as ancient as the time of Shakspeare, Mr. Henley's explanation inay be admitiedo

STEEVENS, for yet our tithe's to fow.) As before, the blondering editors have made a prince of the priestly Angelo, so here they have made a prielt of the prince. We should read tillh, i. e. Our tillage is yet to make.

The grain from which we expe&t our harvest, is not yet put into the ground. WARBURION.

The reader is here attacked with a petiy sophism. We should read tilth, i. e, our tillage is to make. But in the text it is to sow; and who lias ever said that his lillage was io sow? I believe tythe is right, and that the expression is proverbial, in which tythe is taken, by an easy metonymy, for larveft. Johnson.

Dr. Warburton did not do justice to his own conjecture; and no wonder, therefore, that Dr. Jolinson has not. Tilth is provincially used for land till’d, prepared for sowing. Shakspeare, however, has applied it before in its usual acceptation. FARMER.

Dr. Warbur:on's conje&ture may be supported by many instances in Markham's English Husbandman, 1635 : " After the beginning of March you ihall begin to lowe your barley upon that ground which the year before did , lye fallow, and is cominonly called your tilth or fallow field.

p. 74 of this book, a corruption, like our author's, occurs. As before, I faid beginne 10 fallow your tithe field ::" which is undoubtedly misprinted for tilth field.



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Enter Provoft and Clown. Prov. Come hither, firrah : Can you cut off a man's head?

Clo. If the man be a bachelor, fir, I can : but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.

Prov. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: Here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves; if not, you

shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping; . for you have been a notorius bawd.'

Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive fome instruction from my

. Tilth is used for crop, or harvest, by Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. V. fol. 93. b:

" To fowe cockill with the corne, /
" So that the tilth is nigh forlorne,

" Which Christ few first his owne honde. Shakspeare uses the word tilth in a former scene of this play i and, (as Dr. Farmer has observed, ) in its common acceptation:

her plenteous womb

Expresseth its full tilth and husbandry. " Again, in The Tempest :

bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none." but my quotation from Gower shows that, to bow tilth, was a phrase once in use. STEEVENS. This conjecture appears to me extremely probable. MALONE.

- an unpitied whipping; ] i. e. an unmerciful one. STEEVENS.

fellow partner:


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Prov. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?


have a

ABHOR. Do you call, fir?

Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you tomorrow in your execution : If you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let him abide here with

you; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him: He cannot plead his estimation with you;

he hath been a bawd. ABHOR. A bawd, 'fır? Fie upon him, he will discredit our mystery,

Prov. Go to, fir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale.

[Exit. Clo. Pray, fır, by your good favour, (for, furely, fir, a good favour' you have, but that

you hanging look,) do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery? ABHor. Ay, sır; a mystery.

Clo. Painting, fir, I have heard say, is a mystery; and your whores, fir, being members of my occupation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there flould be in hanging, if I should be hang'd, I cannot imagine.

3 a good favour -] Favour is countenance. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :

- why fo tart a favour ,
" To publish such good tidings." STEEVENS.

-what mystery, &c.] Though I have adopted an emenda. tion independent of the following note, the omillion of it would bave been unwarrantable. STEEVENS.

what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hangid, I cannot imagine.

Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery.
Clo. Proof.



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