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P. 115, 1. 7. The law hath not been dead, though
it hath slept:] Doro miunt aliquando leges, moriuntur nunquam, is a maxim in our law. HOLT WHITE. P. 115, l. 10. If the first man that did the
edict infringe,] The word man has been supplied by the modern edi. tors. I would rather read
If he, the first, etc. TYRWHITT. Man was introduced by Mr. Pope. MALONE, P. 115, 1. 13. — and, like a prophet, looks in a
glass,] This alludes to the fopperics of the beril, much used at that time by cheats and fortune- tellers to predict by.
WARBURTON, The beril, which is a kind of crystal, hath a weak tincture of red in it. Among other tricks of Astrologers, the discovery of past or future events was supposed to be the consequence of looking into it. See Aubrey's Miscellanies, P. 165. edit. 1721. PEED. P. 113, 1. 21. Tor then I pity those I do nigt.
know, ] This one of Hale's memorials. When I find myself swayed to mercy, let me remember, that there is a mercy likewise, due to the country. JOHNSON, P. 115, l. 28 30. 0, it is excellent To have a giant's strength; but it is
tyrannous, To use it like a giant.] Isabella allud es to the savage conduct of giants in ancient ro
STEEVENS. P. 116, 1. 3. Gnarre is the old English word for a knot in wood. STEEVENS.
P, 116, 1. 9. As make the angels weep;] The notion of angels weeping for the sins of men is rabbinical. Ob peccatum flentes angelos in ducunt Hebraeorum magistri. Grotius ad S. Lucam. THEOBALD. P. 116, 1. 9. 10.
who , 'with our spleens, Would all themselves laugh mórtal.] Mr. Theobald says the meaning of this is, that if they were endowed with our spleens and pe, rishable organs, they would laugh themselves out of immortality : as we say in common life, laugh themselves dead; which amounts to this, that if they were mortal, they would not be immortal. Shakspeare meant no such nonsense. By spleens, he meant that peculiar turn of the human mind, that always inclines it to a spitefnl, unseasonable mirth. Had the angels. that, says Shakspeare, they would laugh themselves out of their immortality, by indulging a passion which does not deserve that prerogative. Thé ancients thought, that immoderate laughter was caused by the bigness of the spleen. WARBURTON. P. 116, 1. 15. We cannot weigh our brother
with ourself:]: We mortals, proud and foolish, cannot prevail ou our passions to weigh or compare brother, a being of like nature and like frailty, with our self. We have different names and different judgements for the same faults committed by persons of diffe renat condition, JOHNSON. P. 116, 1. 33. 34. She speaks, and 'tis
Such sense, that my sense. breeds with it.) Tlius all thc folios. Some lateu editor has changed breeds to bleeds, and Dr. Warburtou blames poor Tlaeobald for recalling the old word, which yet . is certainly right. Mr sense breeds with her
ense, 'that is,' news thoughts are stirring in my mind, new conceptions are hatched in my imagi. dation. So we say, to brood over thought
JOINSON, The sentence significa, Isabella, does not inter barren words, but speaks such sense as breers or produces a consequence in Angelo's miúd. Thus truths, which generate no conclusion are often termed barren facts. BOLT WHITE.
I randerstand the passage thus : Her arguments are: enforced with so much good sense, increase that stock of sense which I already possess.
Deuce. P. 117, 1. 9. Fond means "very frequently in our author, foolish. It signifies in this place valsied or prized by folly. * STEEVENS.
P. 117, 1. 9. tested gold, i. e. attested, or. marked with the standard staup. VARBURTON," Rathee cupelled, brought to the test, refined.
JOHNSON. All gold that is tested is not marked with the standard stamp.
The verb has a different scrise, and meaus tried by the cuppel, which is called by the refiziers a test. Vide Harris's Lex, Tech. Voce CUPPELL. San J. HAWKINS. * P. 117,- 1. 13. preserved souls, 'i. e. preser. jed from the corruption of the world. The me. taphor is taken from fruits preserved in sugar,
+ for I
Where prayers crossr] Which way An: gelo is going to temptation, we begin to perceive; but how prayers cross that way, or cross each, other, ac that way, more than any other, I do not understand.
Isabella prays that his honour may be safe, meaning only to give him his title: his imagination is caught by the word honour: hic feels that his honour is in danger, and therefore, I believe, answers this:
I am that way going to temptation,,
Which your prayers cross. That is, I am tempted to lose that honour of which thou implorest the preservation. The tempo tation, under which I labour is that which thoa hast mknowingly thwarted with thy prayer. He uses the same mode of language a few lines lower. Isabella, parting, says:
Save you honour! Angelo catches the word Save it! From what? From thee; even from thy virtue!
JOHNSON, The best method of illustrating this passage will be 10 quote of similar one from The Merchant of Venice, Act. 111., sc. i: Co Sal. I would it might prove the end of his
1. losses ! „Sola. Let me say Amen betimes, lest the deux
crossicky prayer “. For the same reason Angelo seems to say Amen 10 Isabella's prayer; i bút, to make the expression clear, we should read perhaps
Where prayers are crossed. TYRWHITT.
The petition of the Lord's Prayer ni lead us not into temptation" 'is here considered as cross ing or intercepting the onward way in which Àngelo was 'going; appointment of his for the morrow's meeting, being a premeditated expo. sure of himself to temptation, which it was tle general object of praye to thyvart. HENLEY.
P. 117, 1. 53. and fol. Not skie; nor doth she
tempt: but etc.] I am not corrupted by her, but my own heart, which excites foal desires under the same benign inueuces that exalt her purity, as the carrion grows putrid by those beams which increase the fragrance of the violet. JOHNSON. - P! Tig, 1. 4. And pitch our evils there?] So, iu King Henry VIII: 25,Nor build their evils on the graves of
grcat men." Neither of these passages appears to contain a very elegant allusion.
sts Evils, in the present instance; undoubtedly stand för foricae Dr. Farmer assures 'me e lie-has seen the word evil usta in this sense by our ancient writers; and it appears from Harrington's Metamorphosis of Ajax, etc. that privies were originally so ill-contrived, even in royal palaces, as to desejve the title of evils or nuisances. «7.198 and to: 6.1 genis
** STEEVENS. No language could more forcibly express the aggia vated profligacy of Angelo's passion, which the purity of Isabella but served the more
to inHams. The desecration of edifices devoted to religion, by couverting them to the most abject purposes of nature,
was an eastern method of expressing contempt. See 2 Kings, X. 27. HENLEY.
P. 118, 1. 19. As a day must now intervene between this conferer ce of Isabella with Angelo, and the next; the act might more properly, end here;' and liere, in my opinion, it was ended by efie poet." JOHNSON. P. 118, 1. 29. 30. I come to visit the afflicted
spirits Hore in the prison:] This is a scrip: .