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Enter Duke, and Friar THOMAS.
May your grace speak of it? DUKE. My holy sir, none better knows than
you How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd?; And held in idle price to haunt assemblies, Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps'.
6 Believe not that the DRIBBLING dart of love
Can pierce a complete bosom:] Think not that a breast completely armed can be pierced by the dart of love, that comes
fluttering without force." Johnson.
A dribber, in archery, was a term of contempt which perhaps cannot be satisfactorily explained. Ascham, in his Toxophilus, edit. 1589, p. 32, observes: “ if he give it over, and not use to shoote truly, &c. he shall become of a fayre archer a starke squirter and dribber."
In the second stanza of Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia, the same term is applied to the dart of Cupid :
“ Not at first sight, nor yet with dribbed shot,
gave the wound,” &c. STEEVENS. 7 — the life REMOV'D ;] i. e. a life of retirement, a life remote, or removed, from the bustle of the world.
So, in the Prologue to Milton's Masque at Ludlow Castle: I mean the MS. copy in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge:
I was not sent to court your wonder
STEEVENS. witless BRAVERY —] Bravery, in the present instance, signifies showy dress. So, in The Taming of a Shrew :
I have delivered to lord Angelo
Fri. Gladly, my lord.
laws, (The needful bits and curbs for head-strong
“ With scarfs, and fans, and double change of bravery."
STEEVENS. 9 — keeps.] i. e. dwells, resides. In this sense it is still used at Cambridge, where the students and fellows, referring to their collegiate apartments, always say they keep, i. e. reside there.
Reed. * (A man of STRICTURE, and firm abstinence,)] Stricture makes no sense in this place. We should read
“ A man of strict ure and firm abstinence.” i. e, a man of the exactest conduct, and practised in the subdual of his passions. Ure is an old word for use, practice : so enur'd, habituated to. WARBURTON.
Stricture may easily be used for strictness; ure is indeed an old word, but, I think, always applied to things, never to persons.
JOHNSON Sir W. D'Avenant, in his alteration of this play, reads-strict
Ure is sometimes applied to persons, as well as to things. So, in the old interlude of Tom Tyler and his Wife, 1661 :
“ So shall I be sure
“ To keep him in ure.” The same word occurs in Promos and Cassandra, 1578:
“ The crafty man oft puts these wrongs in ure." STEVENS. 2 (The needful Bits and CURBS for head-strong steeds,)] In the copies
“ The needful bits and curbs for head-strong weeds." There is no manner of analogy or consonance in the metaphors here; and, though the copies agree, I do not think the author would have talked of bits and curbs for weeds. On the other hand, nothing can be more per, than to compare persons of
Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep'; Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave, unbridled licentiousness to head-strong steeds; and, in this view, bridling the passions has been a phrase adopted by our best poets.
THEOBALD. 3 Which for these FOURTEEN years we have let SLEEP;] Thus the old copy; which also reads
we have let slip.” Steevens. For fourteen I have made no scruple to replace nineteen. The reason will be obvious to him who recollects what the Duke (Claudio] has said in a foregoing scene. I have altered the odd phrase of " letting the laws slip:” for how does it sort with the comparison that follows, of a lion in his cave that went not out to prey? But letting the laws sleep, adds a particular propriety to the thing represented, and accords exactly too with the simile.' It is the metaphor too, that our author seems fond of using upon this occasion, in several other passages of this play: “ The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept ;
'Tis now awake.” And, so again :
but this new governor
and for a name
Freshly on me.” THEOBALD.
How stand I then,
“ And let all sleep?" If slip be the true reading, (which, however, I do not believe,) the sense may be, which for these fourteen years we have suffered to pass unnoticed, unobserved; for so the same phrase is used in Twelfth-Night:-“Let him let this matter slip, and I'll give him my horse, grey Capulet."
Mr. Theobald altered fourteen to nineteen, to make the Duke's account correspond with a speech of Claudio's in a former scene, but without necessity. “ Claudio would naturally represent the period during which the law had not been put in practice greater than it really was.” MALONE.
Theobald's correction is misplaced. If any correction is really necessary, it should have been made where Claudio, in a foregoing scene, says nineteen years. I am disposed to take the Duke's words. WHALLEY.
That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond fathers
It rested in your grace
I do fear, too dreadful : Sith 6 'twas my fault to give the people scope, 'Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them For what I bid them do: For we bid this be done, When evil deeds have their permissive pass, And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my
father, I have on Angelo impos'd the office; Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home, And yet my nature never in the sight, To do it slander? : And to behold his sway,
4 Becomes more mock'd, than fear'd :) Becomes was added by Mr. Pope, to restore sense to the passage, some such word having been left out. STEEVENS.
5 The baby beats the nurse,] This allusion was borrowed from an ancient print, entitled The World turn'd Upside Down, where an infant is thus employed. STEEVENS.
6 Sith -] i. e. since. Steevens.
“ So do in slander :-
“ To do it slander : Yet, perhaps, less alteration might have produced the true reading :
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
“ And yet my nature never, in the sight,
“ So doing slandered : And yet my nature never suffer slander, by doing any open: acts of severity. Johnson. The old text stood,
in the fight " To do in slander :Hanmer's emendation is supported by a passage in K. Henry IV. Part I. :
“ Do me no slander, Douglas, I dare fight.” Steevens. Fight seems to be countenanced by the words ambush and strike. Sight was introduced by Mr. Pope. Malone, - In person bear -] Mr. Pope reads
my person bear." Perhaps the word which I have inserted in the text, had dropped out while the sheet was at press. A similar phrase occurs in The Tempest :
some good instruction give
bear me here."
“ I may in person a true friar seem.” The sense of the passage (as Mr. Henley observes) is ~" How I may demean myself, so as to support the character I have as. sumed.” STEEVENS.
9 Stands at a guard -] Stands on terms of defiance. Johnson.
This rather means, to stand cautiously on his defence, than on terms of defiance. M. Mason,
“ How I