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A thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die 2.

Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors: And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy offence, Claudio ? CLAUD. What, but to speak of would offend

again. Lucio. What is it ? murder ? CLAUD. No. Lucio. Lechery? CLAUD. Call it so. Prov. Away, sir ; you must go. Claud. One word, good friend :-Lucio, a word

[Takes him aside. Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.Is lechery so look'd after ? Claud. Thus stands it with me :-Upon a true

contract, I got possession of Julietta's bedo;

with you.


- ravenest like a beare,” &c. Ravin is an ancient word for prey. So, in Noah's Flood, by Drayton :

“ As well of ravine, as that chew the cud.” STEEVENS.

when we DRINK, we die.] So, in Revenge for Honour, by Chapman :

“ Like poison'd rats, which when they've swallowed
“ The pleasing bane, rest not until they drink;
“ And can rest then much less, until they burst.”

STEEVENS. as the MORALITY —] The old copy has mortality. It was corrected by Sir William D'Avenant. MALONE.

4 I got possession of Julietta's bed; &c.] This speech is surely too indelicate to be spoken concerning Juliet, before her face; for she appears to be brought in with the rest, though she has nothing to say. The Clown points her out as they enter ; and

yet, from Claudio's telling Lucio, that he knows the lady, &c. one would think she was not meant to have made her personal appearance on the scene. STEEVENS.

The little seeming impropriety there is, will be entirely removed,




You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order: this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower
Remaining in the coffer of her friends 5;
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love,
Till time had made them for us. But it chances,
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment,
With character too gross, is writ on Juliet.

Lucro. With child, perhaps ?

Claud. Unhappily, even so.
And the new deputy now for the duke,
Vhether it be the fault and glimpse of newnesso;


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by supposing that when Claudio stops to speak to Lucio, the Pro-
vost's officers depart with Julietta. Ritson.
Claudio may be supposed to speak to Lucio apart. Malone.

this we came not to,
Only for PROPAGATION of a dower

Remaining in the coffer of her friends ;] This singular mode of expression certainly demands some elucidation. The sense appears to be this : “We did not think it proper publickly to celebrate our marriage; for this reason, that there might be no hindrance to the payment of Julietta's portion, which was then in the hands of her friends, from whom, therefore, we judged it expedient to conceal our love till we had gained their favour.” Propagation being here used to signify payment, must have its root in the Italian word pagare. Edinburgh Magazine for November, 1786. I

suppose the speaker means--for the sake of getting such a dower as her friends might hereafter bestow on her, when time had reconciled them to her clandestine marriage.

The verb-to propagate, is, however, as obscurely employed by Chapman, in his version of the sixteenth book of Homer's Odyssey:


“ Alone, may propagate to victory

“ Our bold encounters —"
Again, in the fourth Iliad, by the same translator, 4to. 1598 :

I doubt not but this night
“Even to the fleete to propagate the Greeks' unturnedi

Perhaps we should read-only for prorogation. MALONE.

the fault and Glimpse of newness;] Fault and glimpse


to try


Or whether that the body public be
A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur:
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I stagger in :-But this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unscour'd armour', hung by the

So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round ®
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on me! :--'tis surely, for a name.


have so little relation to each other, that both can scarcely be right: we may read flash for fault; or, perhaps, we may read,

• Whether it be the fault or glimpse--" That is, whether it be the seeming enormity of the action, or the glare of new authority. Yet the same sense follows in the next lines. OHNSON,

Fault, I apprehend, does not refer to any enormous act done by the deputy, (as Dr. Johnson seems to have thought,) but to new

The fault and glimpse is the same as the faulty glimpse. And the meaning seems to bem" Whether it be the fault of newness, a fault arising from the mind being dazzled by a novel authority, of which the new governor has yet had only a glimpse, -has yet taken only a hasty survey; or whether,” &c. Shakspeare has many similar expressions. MALONE. 7- like unsCOUR’D ARMOUR,]. So, in Troilus and Cressida:

“ Like rusty mail in monumental mockery.” Steevens. 8 So long, that NINETEEN zodiacks have gone round,] The Duke, in the scene immediately following, says: “ Which for these fourteen years we have let slip.”

But this new governor
Which have, like unscour'd armour, HUNG BY THE WALL


So long,


Freshly on me :] Lord Strafford, in the conclusion of his Defence in the House of Lords, had, perhaps, these lines in his thoughts :

Lucro. I warrant, it is : and thy head stands sơ tickle ? on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.

CLAUD. I have done so, but he's not to be found, I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my sister should the cloister enter, And there receive her approbation?: Acquaint her with the danger of my state; Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict deputy ; bid herself assay him ; I have great hope in that: for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect",

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“ It is now full two hundred and forty years since any man was touched for this alledged crime, to this height, before myself.Let us rest contented with that which our fathers have left us ; and not awake those sleeping lions, to our own destruction, by raking up a few musty records, that have lain so many ages by the walls, quite forgotten and neglected.” MALONE.

so tickle -] i. e. ticklish. This word is frequently used by our old dramatic authors. So, in The True Tragedy of Marius and Scilla, 1594 :

lords of Asia “ Have stood on tickle terms.” Again, in The Widow's Tears, by Chapman, 1612:

upon as tickle a pin as the needle of a dial.” Steevens. - her APPROBATION:) i. e. enter on her probation, or noviciate. So again, in this play:

“ I, in probation of a sisterhood.” Again, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton, 1608 :

Madam, for a twelvemonth's approbation, " We mean to make the trial of our child.” MALONE. :

PRONE and speechless dialect,] I can scarcely tell what signification to give to the word prone. Its primitive and translated senses are well known. The author may, by a prone dialect, mean a dialect which men are prone to regard, or a dialect natural and unforced, as those actions seem to which we are prone. Either of these interpretations is sufficiently strained; but such distortion of words is not uncommon in our author. For the sake of an easier sense, we may read:

in her youth
"There is a pow'r, and speechless dialect,
“ Such as moves men."


Such as moves men; beside, she hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade.

Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition * ; as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack'. I'll to her.

CLAUD, I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours,-
Claud. Come, officer, away.


Or thus:

There is a prompt and speechless dialect." Johnson. Prone, perhaps, may stand for humble, as a prone posture is a posture of supplication. So, in The Opportunity, by Shirley, 1640 :

“ You have prostrate language.” The same thought occurs in The Winter's Tale : 6. The silence often of


innocence • Persuades, when speaking fails.” Sir W. D'Avenant, in his alteration of the play, changes prone to sweet: I mention some of his variations, to shew that what appear difficulties to us, were difficulties to him, who, living nearer the time of Shakspeare, might be supposed to have understood hiş language more intimately. Steevens.

Prone, I believe, is used here for prompt, significant, expressive, (though speechless,) as in our author's Rape of Lucrece it means ardent, head-strong, rushing forward to its object :

“O that prone lust should stain so pure a bed!” Again, in Cymbeline : "Unless a man would marry a gallows, and beget young gibbets, I never saw any one so prone.Malone.

4 Under grievous IMPOSITION;] I once thought it should be inquisition, but the present reading is probably right. crime would be under grievous penalties imposed.” Johnson.

- lost at a game of TICK-TACK.] Tick-tack is a game at tables. “ Jouer au tric-trac," is used in French in a wanton şense, MALONE.

The same phrase, in Lucio's sportive sense, occurs in Lusty Juventus. STEEVENS

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