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Better it were, a brother died at once,
Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
Isab. Ignomy in ransom, 4 and free pardon,
Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant ;
Isab. O, pardon me, my lord ; it oft falls out,
Ang. We are all frail.
Isab. Else let my brother die, If not a feodary, 5 but only he, Owe, and succeed by weakness, 6
Ang. Nay, women are frail too.
Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves; Which are as easy broke as they make forms. Women !-Help heaven ! men their creation mar In profiting by them.7 Nay, call us ten times frail ; For we are as soft as our complexions are, And credulous to false prints.
Ang. I think it well : And from this testimony of your own sex, (Since, I suppose, we are made to be no stronger Than faults may shake our frames) let me be bold ;I do arrest your words ; Be that you are, That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none : If you be one, (as you are well expressid By all external warrants,) show it now,
 Ignomy-So the word ignominy was formerly written. REED.
(5) This is so obscure, but the allusion so fine, that it deserves to be ex. plained. A feodary was one that in the times of vassalage held lands of the chief lord, under the tenure of paying rent and service : which tenures were called feuda amongst the Goths. Now,' says Angelo, we are all frail ;'
Yes,' replies Isabella, if all mankind were not feodaries, who owe what they are to this tenure of imbecility, and who succeed each other by the same tenure, as well as my brother, I would give him up.' The comparing mankind, lying under the weight of original sin, to a feodary, who owes suit and service to his lord, is, I think, not ill imagined. JOHNSON  To owe is, in this place, to own, to hold, to have possession. JOHNS.
Her meaning is, that “ men debase their nature by taking advantage of such weak pitiful creatures." -Edin. Mag. Nov. 1806. STEEV.
By putting on the destin'd livery.
Isab. I have no tongue but one : gentle my lord, Let me intreat you speak the former language.
Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.
Isab. My brother did love Juliet ; and you tell me, That he shall die for it.
Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
Isab. I know, your virtue hath a licence in't, 8
Ang. Believe me, on mine honour,
Isab. Ha ! little honour to be much believ'd,
Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel ;
Isab. To whom shall I complain? Did I tell this,
 Alluding to the licences given by ministers to their spies, to go into ali susp-eted companies, and join in the language of malcontents. WARB.
I suspect Warburton's interpretation to be more ingenious than just. The obvious meaning is-“ I know your virtue assumes an air of licentiousness which is not natural to you, on purpose to try mo."-Ed. Mag. 1806 STEE.
 Seeming, seeming-Hypocrisy, bypocrisy; counterfeit virtue. JOHNS.
Bidding the law make court'sy to their will ;
SCENE I.-A Room in the Prison. Enter Duke,
CLAUDIO, and Provost.
Clau. The miserable have no other medicine,
Duke. Be absolute for death ; either death, or life,
 Dr. Warburton is undoubtedly mistaken in supposing that by ba seness is meant self-love, here assigned as the notive of all human actions. Shakspeare only meant to observe, that a minute analysis of life at once destroys that splendour which dazzles the imagination. Whatever grandeur can display, or luxury enjoy, is procured by baseness, by offices of which the mind shrinks from the contemplation. All the delicacies of the table may be tra. ced back to the shambles and the dunghill, all magnificence of building was hewn from the quarry, and all the pomp of ornament dug from among the damps and darkness of the mine. JOHNSON
30 VOL. I.
Of a poor worm :2 Thy best of rest is sleep,
Dreaming on both : for all thy blessed youth
Clau. I humbly thank you.
 Worm is put for any creeping thing or serpent. Shakspeare supposes falsely, but according to the vulgar notion, that a serpent wounds with his tongue, and that his tongue is forked. He confounds reality and fiction ; a serpent's tongue is soft, but not forked nor hurtful. If it could hurt, it could not be soft. JOHNSON.Shakspeare mentions the “adder's fork?' in Macbeth; and might have caught this idea from old tapestries or paintings, in which the tongues of serpents and dragons always appear barbed like the point of an arrow. STEÊVENS.
 Thou art perpetually repaired and renovated by external assistance, thou subsistest upon foreign matter, and hast no power of producirg or continuing thy own being. JOHNSON
 For effects read affects; that is, affections, passions of mind, or disor. ders of body variously affected. JOHNSON
 This is exquisitely imagined. When we are young, we busy ourselves in forming schemes for gucceeding time, and miss the gratifications that are before us; when we are old, we amuse the languor of age with the recollection of youthful pleasures or performances ; so that our life, of which no part is filled with the business of the present time, resembles our dreams after dinner, when the events of the morning are mingled with the designs of the evening JOHNSON
 Eld is generally used for old age. decrepitude. It is here put for old people, persons worn with years. STEVEENS.