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Turn you the key, and know his business of him;
may not ; you are yet unsworn : When
you have vow'd, you must not speak with men But in the presence of the prioress: Then, if you speak, you must not show your face; Or, if you show your face, you must not speak. He calls again: I pray you, answer him.
[Exit FRANCISCA. Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls ?
Enter LUCIO. Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be;. as those cheek-roses Proclaim you are no less ! can you so stead me, As bring me to the sight of Isabella, A novice of this place, and the fair sister To her unhappy brother Claudio ?
Isab. Why her unhappy brother ? let me ask ; The rather, for I now must make you
know I am that Isabella, and his sister. Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets
Isab. Woe me! For what?
Isab. Sir, make me not your story."
· Such is the reading of the original ; the me being expletive, as in the well-known passage setting forth the virtues of sack: " It ascends me into the brain,” &c. So that the meaning is, “ Make not your tale, invent not your fiction.” Malone improved the passage thus : “Sir, mock me not, — your story ;" which, surely, renders Lucio's reply, 'tis true, very unapt.
With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest,
Isab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me.
'tis thus :
She it is.
This is the point.
2 This bird is said to divert pursuers from her nest by crying in other places. “ The lapwing cries most, farthest from her nest,” is an old proverb. Thus in The Comedy of Errors : “ Far from her nest the lapwing cries away ;
My heart prays for him, though my tongue doth curse; which shows what is meant by “ tongue far from heart.” So, again, in Lyly's Alexander and Campaspe : “ You resemble the lapwing, who crieth most where her nest is not, and so, to lead me from espying your love for Campaspe, you cry Timoclea."
3 That is, in few and true words. 4 Teeming foison is abundant produce. 6 Tilth is tillage. So in Shakespeare's third Sonnet : « For who is she so fair, whose unrear'd womb
Disdains the tillage of thy husbandry ?”
The Duke is very strangely gone from hence;
prayer To soften Angelo : And that's my pith Of business 'twixt you
your poor brother.
Has censur'd' him
6 “ To bear in hand,” says Richardson, “ is merely to carry along with us, to lead along, as suitors, dependants, expectants, believers," The phrase is not uncommon in old writers. Thus, in 2 Henry IV. Act i. sc. 2: “A rascally yea-forsooth knave! to bear a gentleman in hand, and then stand upon security!” H.
7 To rebate is to beat back; hence, applied to any thing sharp, it is to make dull.
8 That is, to put the restraint of fear upon licentious custom and abused freedom.
9 To censure is to judge, to pass sentence. We have it again in the next scene :
“ When I that censure him do so offend,
Let mine own judgmeut pattern out my death."
Already; and, as I bear, the provost hath
Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
Assay the power you have.
Our doubts are traitors,
Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
A Hall in ANGELO's House.
Enter AngeLO, ESCALUS, a Justice, Provost, Officers,
and other Attendants. Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the law, Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
10 To owe is to have, to possess. 11 That is, the abbess. 1 To fear is to affright. VOL. II.
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Ay, but yet
tleman, Whom I would save, had a most noble father. Let but your honour know, (Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,) That, in the working of your own affections, Had time cober'd with place, or place with wishing, Or that the resolute acting of your
blood Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose, Whether
had not sometime in your life Err'd in this point which now you censure him, And pull’d the law upon you.
Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
made To justice, that justice seizes. What know the laws, That thieves do pass * on thieves ? 'Tis very preg
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
? That is, throw down ; to fall a tree is still used for to fell it.
3 To complete the sense of this line for seems to be required,“ which now you censure him for.” But Shakespeare frequently uses elliptical expressions.
4 An old forensic term, signifying to pass judgment, or sentence.
6 Full of force or conviction, or full of proof in itself. So, in Othello, Act ii. sc. 1: “As it is a most pregnant and unforc'd position.”
6 That is, because.