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43 - Pygmalion's images, newly made woman,] Mr. Douce's note on this passage would be right I think, if the scene were laid in England. By Pygmalion's images, he understands new money of queen Elizabeth; but unfortunately the conversation is supposed to be holden at Vienna, and a Duke is the sovereign. Yet mistakes like this are not unfrequent in Shakspeare.
44 What say'st thou to this tune, matter, and method? Is't not drown'd i' the last rain ?] This nonsense should be thus corrected, It's not down i' the last reign, i. e, these are severities unknown to the old duke's time. And this is to the purpose.
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton's emendation is ingenious, but I know not whether the sense may not be restored with less change. Let us consider it. Lucio, a prating fop, meets his old friend going to prison, and pours out upon him his impertinent interrogatories, to which, when the poor fellow makes no answer, he adds, What reply? ha? what say'st thou to this? Tune, matter, and method, -is't not? Drown'd i th' last rain ? ha? what say'st thou? trot?
JOHNSON. 45 –in the tub.] The method of cure for venereal complaints is grossly called the powdering-tub.
JOHNSON 46 -clack-dish:] The beggars, two or three centuries ago, used to proclaim their want by a wooden dish with a moveable cover, which they clacked to shew that their vessel was empty. This appears
in passage quoted on another occasion by Dr. Gray.
47 Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, und virtue These lines I cannot understand, but believe that they should be read thus :
Patterning himself to know,
In grace to stand, in virtue go; To pattern is to work after a pattern, and, perhaps, in Shakspeare's licentious diction, simply to work. The sense is, he that bears the sword of heaven should be holy as well as severe; one that after good examples labours to know himself, to live with innocence, and to act with virtue.
JOHNSON. This passage
is very obscure, nor can be cleared without a more licentious paraphrase than any
reader may be willing to allow. He that bears the sword of heaven should be not less holy than severe : should be able to discover in himself a pattern of such grace as can avoid temptation, together with such virtue as dares renture abroad into the world without danger of seduction.
I should think Shakspeare rather wrote
Pattern in himself—to show
Grace to stand, and virtue go; As if he had said, becoming a pattern himself, (or being in himself an example,) that he might show to others how grace will withstand temptation, and how virtue may be rendered operative.
48 Take, oh take, &c.] This is part of a little song of Shakspeare's own writing, consisting of two stanzas;
and so extremely sweet, that the reader won't be disa pleased to have the other :
Hide, oh hide those hills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Are of those that April wears.
WARBURTON. --for yet our tithe's to sow.] As before, the blundering editors have made a prince of the priestly Angelo, so here they have made a priest of the prince, We should read tilth, i. e. our tillage is yet to make. The grain from which we expect our harvest, is not yet put into the ground.
WARBURTON. 50 ---starkly-] starkly is stifly, strongly. Stark in German is strong.
51 -the unsisting postern-] Unsisting may signify 'never at rest,' always opening.' BLACKSTONE. Sir T. Hanmer reads unresting ; Mr. Rowe unresisting.
52 desperately mortal] perhaps is the same as mortally desperate.
58 and tie the beard ;] The Revisal recommends Mr. Simpson's emendation, die the beard, but the present reading may stand. I believe it was usual to tie up the beard before decollation, that it might escape the blow. Sir T. More is said to have been very careful about this ornament of his face. It should however be remembered, that it was the custom to die beards. In the Midsummer Night's Dream, Bottom says,
“ I will discharge it either in your straw-colour'd “ beard, your orange-tawny beard, your purple in
grain, &c.” 'Again, in the old comedy of Ran Alley, 1611.
“ What colour'd beard comes next by the window? “ A black man's, I think. “I think, a red; for that is most in fashion."
A beard tied would give a very new air to that face, which had never been seen but with the beard loose, long, and squalid.
JOHNSON. First, here's young master Rash; &c.] This enumeration of the inhabitants of the prison affords a very striking view of the practices predominant in Shakspeare's age. Besides those whose follies are common to all times, we have four fighting men and a traveller. It is not unlikely that the originals of the pictures were then known.
JOHNSON. 55 brown paper and old ginger,] Thus the old copy. The modern editors read, brown pepper. The following passage in Michaelmas Term, Com. 1607, will justify the original reading.
“I know some gentlemen in town have been glad, and are glad at this time, to take up com“ modities in hawk's-hoods and brown paper.”
STEEVENS. 56 for the Lord's sake.] i. e. to beg for the rest of their lives.
WARBURTON. 57 The under generation,] So sir Thomas Hanmer, with true judgement. It was in all the former editions:
y' under and yonder were confounded. JOHNSON.
58 the old fantastical duke-] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, the odd fantastical duke ; but old is a common word of aggravation in ludicrous language, as, there was old revelling.
JOHNSON. 59 woodman-] i.e. hunt sman, here taken for a hunter of girls.
JOHNSON. —we would, and we would not.) Here undoubtedly the act should end, and was ended by the poet; for here is properly a cessation of action, and a night intervenes, and the place is changed, between the passages of this scene, and those of the next. The next act beginning with the following scene, proceeds without any interruption of time or change of place. JOHNSON.
61 Enter Friar Peter.] This play has two Friars, either of whom might singly have served. I should therefore imagine, that Friar Thomas, in the first act, might be changed, without any harm, to Friar Peter; for why should the Duke unnecessarily trust two in an affair which required only one? The name of Friar Thomas is never mentioned in the dialogue, and therefore seems arbitrarily placed at the head of the scene.
JOHNSON. 62 -characts,] i. e, characters. TYRWHIT. 43 How he refelld me,] To refel is to refute. " In countenance !) i. e. in partial favour.
WARBURTON. 65 - her promised proportions Cume short of composition;] Her fortune, which was