« AnteriorContinuar »
the time when fruit is promised, though not yet ripe. JOHNSON.
Instead of that, we may read doch; ande instead of brings, bring. Foizon is plenty: Teeming foizon, is abundant produce. STEEVENS.
The passage seems to me to require no amend. ment; and the meaning of it is this: „Aş blossom. ing time proves the good tillage of the farmer, so the fertility of her womb expresses Claudio's full tilth and husbandry“ By blossoming time is meant ,
the time when the ears of corn are formed. M. MASON. P. 101, 1. 4.
To bear in hand is a common plirase for 'to keep in expectation and dependance ; but we shonld read :
with hope of action. JOHNSON, P. 101, 1. 8. with full line - ] With full extent, with the whole length. JOHNSON.
P. 101, l. 14. to give fear to use —] To intimidate use, that is, practices long countenauced by custom. JOHNSON,
P. 101, l. 21. Unless you have the grace -] That is, the acceptableness, the power of gaining favour. So, when she makes her suit, the provost says: „Heaven give thee moving graces!“ JOHNSON. P. 101, I. 22. and that's my pith Of business – ] The inmost part,
the main of my message. JOHNSON.
P. 101, I. 25. Has censur'd him i. e, sentenced him. - STEEVENS.
We should read, I think, He fras censured him, etc. In the Mss. of our author's time, and frequently in the printed copy of these plays, he has, when intended to be contracted, is written
k'as. Hence probably the mistake here MALONE.
P. 102, 1. 1. 2. All their petitions are as freely
theirs As they themselves would owe them.] All their requests are as freely granted to them, are granted in'as full' and beneficial a manner, as they themselves could wish. The editor of the second folio arbitrarily reads as truly theirs; which has been followed in all the subsequent copies. MALONE.
P. 102, 1. 2. To owe, signifies in this place, as in many others, to possess, to have. STEEVËNS.
P. 102, f. 6. the mother the ab beds, prioress. Johnson.
P. 102, l. 15. 4 Provost martial, Minshieu ex plains, „Prevost des mareschaux; Praefectus rerum capitalium, Praetor rerum capitalium.“ PEED. A provost is gencrally the executioner of an army.
STEEVENS. A prison for military offenders is at this day, in some places, called the Prevôt. · MALONE.
The Provost here, is not a military officer, but a kind of sheriff or gaoler, so called in foreigai countries. Douce. P. 102, 1. 18. To fear is to affright, to terrify.
STEEVENS. P. 102, 1. 93. Than fall -] I should rather rear fell, i. e. strike down. WARBIRTON.
Fall is the ofd reading, and the true one. Shakspeare has used the same verb active in the Cos medy of Errors. STEEVENS.
**T. 102, l. 26. To know is here to examine, to sake- cognisance. JOHNSON. P. 105, 1. 13. 14 Ithat know the laws,
That thieves do pass on thieves? -] How can the administrators of the laws' take cognizance of what I have just mentioned? How can
they know, whether the jurymen who decide on the life or death of thieves be themselves as criminal as those whom they try? To pass on is a forensick term. MALONE.
F. 105, 1. 14. 'Tis very pregnant, etc.] "Tis plain that we must act with bad as with good; we punish the faults, as we take the advantages that lie in our way, and what we do not see wc cannot note. JOHNSON
P. 103, 1. 19. For 'I have had such faults ;] That is, because, by reason that I have had such faults." JOHNSON.
P. 103, 1. 34. and fol. Some rise , etc.). This line is in the first, folio printed in Italics as a quotation. All the folios read in the next line : Some run from brakes of ice, and answer:
none. JOHNSON.. The old reading is, perhaps, the true one, and inay mean, some run away from dargery, and stay to
answer none of their faules, whilst others are condemned only an account of a single frailty. If this be the true seading, it should be printed : Some run" from breaks, (i. e. fractures)
of ice, etc. şince I suggested this,'.I have found reason to change my opinion. A brake anciently merfit not only a sharp bit, a 'snaffe, but also the engine with which farriers, confined the · legs of such unruly horses as would not otherwise submifs themselves to be shod, or. 19 luave a cruel operatioul performed on them. This, in some places, is: still called a smith's brake. In this last sense, Ben Jonson uses the word in his Underwoods. And,
for the former senise, bee The Silent Wo. man, Act lv.
I likewise find from Holinshed, p. 670, that the brake was an engine of torture. „The said Haw: kins was cast into the Tower, and at length brought to the brake, called the Dukę of Exces, ter's daughter, by means of which pain he sbewed many things,“ etc.
When the Dukes of Exeter and Suffolk (says Blackstone, in his Commentaries, Vol. IV, chap. XXV. P. 320, 321,) and other ministers of Hen. VI. had laid a design to introduce the civil law into this kingdom as the rule of government, for a bes ginning thereof they erected a rack for torture, which was called in derision the Duke of Exeter's Daughter, and still remains in the Tower of London, where it was occasionally used as an engine of state, not of law, more than once in the reign of Queen Elizabeth." See Coke's Instit. 65. Bar rington, 69, 385. and Fuller's Worthies, p. 317.
A part of this horrid engine still remains in the Tower, and the following is the figure of it:
It consists of a strong iron frame about six feet long, with three rollers of wood within it. The middle one of these, which has iron teeth at each end, is governed by two stops of iron; and was, probably, that part of the machine which suspend. ed the powers of the rest, wheu the unhappy. sufferer was sufficiently strained by the cords, etc. to begin confession. I cannot conclude this account of it without confessing my obligation to Sir Charles Frederick, who politely condescended to direct my cnquiries, while his high com: mand rendered every part of the Tower accessible to my researches.
I have since observed that, in Fox's Martyrs, edit. 1596, p. 1843, there is a representation of the same kind,
It should not, however, be dissembled, that yet a plainer meaning may be deduced from the same words.' By brakes of vice may be meant a collection, a number, a thicket of vices.
STREVENS. The words answer none (that is, make no confession of guilt) evidently shew that brake of vice here means the engine of torture. The same mode of question is again referred to in Act V: „To the rack with him: we'll 'touze you
joint by joint, „But we will know this purpose.“ The name of brake of vice, appears to have been given this machine, from its resemblance to that used to subdue vicious horses, HENLEY.
P. 104. 1. 18. This comes of well;} This is nimbly spoken; this is volubly uttered. Johnson.
'The same phrase is employed in Timon of Athens, and elsewhere; but in the present instance it is used ironically. The meaning of it, when