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your grace from
And not have cut him off: Some one hath set you on;
And is this all ?
DUKE. I know, you'd fain be gone: ---An officer !
ISAB. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick.
I do not like the man : had he been lay, my
6 In countenance! ] i. e. in partial favour. WARBURTON.
Countenance, in my opinion, does not mean partial favour, as Warburton fupposes, but false appearance, hypocrisy. Isabella does not mean lo accuse the Duke of partiality ; but alludes to the fan&ified demeanour of Angelo, which, as she supposes, prevented the Duke from believing her story. M. MASON.
practice. ! Practice, in Shakspeare, very often means Jhameful ariifice, unjustifiable stratagem.' So, in King Lear:
This is pradice, Gloster,"
" It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand,
And to set on this wretched woman here
Lucio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar
Blessed be your royal grace ! I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard Your royal ear abus'd : First, hath this woman Most wrongfully accus'd your substitute ; Who is as free from touch or soil with her, As she froin one ungot. DUKE.
We did believe no less. Know you that friar Lodowick , that she speaks of ?
F. Peter. I know him for a man divine and holy;
Lucio. My lord, most villainoully; believe it,
not a temporary medler, ] It is hard to know what is mcant by a temporary medler. In iis usual sense, as opposed to perpetual, it cannot be used here. It may stand for temporal: the sense will then be, I know him for a holy man, one that meddles not with secular affairs. It may mean temporising: I know him to be a holy man, one who would not temporise, or take the opportunity of gour absence to defame you. Or we may read:
Not scurvy, nor a tamperer and medler : not one who would have tampered with this woman to make her a false evidence against your deputy. Johnson.
Peter here refers to what Lucio had before affirmed concerning Friar Lodowick. Hence it is evident that the phrase
temporary medler, was intended to signify one who introduced himself, as often as he could find opportunity, into other men's concerns. Scc the context. HENLEY.
Of a strange fever : Upon his mere request,'
- his mere request,] i. e. his absolute request. So, in Julius Cæfar: Soi
mere friends, fome honourable Romans. Again, in Othello :
" The mere perdition of the Turkish fleet." STLEVENS,
Whenfoever he's convented.] The firft folió reads, convented, and this is right: for to convene signifies to assemble; but convento to cite, or summons. Yet becausc convented hurts the measure, the Oxford editor sticks to conven'd, though it be nonsense, and fignifics, Whenever he is assembled together. But thus it will be, when the author is thinking of one thing, and his critic of anoiber. The poet was attentive to his sense, and the editor quite throughout his performance, 10 nothing but the measure; which Shakspeare having entirely negle&ed, like all' the dramatic writers of that age, he has spruced him up with all the exadness of a modern measurer of syllables. . This being here taken notice of once for all, mall, for the future, be forgot, as if it had never been.
WARBURTON. The foregoing account of the measure of Shakspeare, and his contemporaries, ought indeed to be forgoiten, because it is untrue.
To convent is no uncommon word. So, in womun's a Weather cock, 1612 :
left my looks " Should tell the company convented there, &c. To content and to convene are derived from the same Latin verb, and have exadly the saine meaning STEEVENS.
So valgarly-] Meaning either fo grossly, with such indecency of invective, or by so mean and inadequate witnesses. JOHNSON.
Vulgarly, I believe, means publickly. The vulgar are the common people. Daniel ules vulgarly for among the common people: - and which pleases vulgarly.
STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens's interpretation is certainly thc true onc. So, ip The Comedy of Errors, Ad III. sc. i:
Her shall you hear disproved to her
Good friar, let's hear it.
* A vulgar comment will be made of it;
" That may,” &c. Again, in Twelfth Night :
for 'tis a vulgar proof,
Come, cousin Angelo ;
of your own cause.] Surely, says Mr. Thcobald, this duke had odd notions of impartiality! He reads therefore, I will be partial, and all the editors follow him : even Mr. Heath declares: the observation unanswerable. But see the uncertainty of criticism! impartial was sometimes used in the sense of partial. In the old play of Swetnam, the Woman Hater, Atlanta cries out, when the judges decree against the women :
" You are impartial, and we do appeal
From you to judges more indifferent. FARMER,
6. There's not a beauty lives,
" O'er my affeas, as your enchanting graces.' Again, in Romeo and Juliet, 1597:
" Cruel, unjust, impartial deftinics! Again :
this day, this unjust, impartial day. In the language of our author's time im was frequently used as an augmentative or intensive particle. MALONE.
her face; ] The original copy reads—your face. The çmendation was made by the cditor of the second folio.
Mari. Pardon, my lord; I will not show my face,
husband bid me. DUKE.
What, are you married ? Mari. No, my lord. Duke.'
Are you a maid? MARI.
No, my lord. Duke. A widow then? MARI.
Neither, my lord. DUKE.
Why, you Are nothing then:Neither maid, widow,nor wife? 6.
Lucio. My lord , she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife. DUKE. Silence that fellow; I would, he had some
cause. To prattle for himself.
Lucio. Well, my lord,
Mari. My lord, I do confess I ne'er was married; And, I confess, besides, I am no m 1; I have known my husband; yet my husband knows
not, That ever he knew me.
Lucro. He was drunk then, my lord; it can be no better.
DUKE. For the benefit of filence', 'would thoa wert so too.
Lucio. Well, my lord. .
Mari. Now I come to't, my lord:
6 Neither maid, widow, nor wife?] This is a proverbial phrase, to be found in Ray's Colleâion. STEEVENS.