Sivut kuvina

My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
And he supposes me travell’d to Poland ;
For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv'd. Now, pious sir,
You will demand of me, why I do this ?

Fri. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting laws,
(The needful bits and curbs to headstrong steeds ',)
Which for this fourteen years we have let sleep;
Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave,

goes not out to prey: now, as fond fathers,
Having bound up the threat’ning twigs of birch
Only to stick it in their children's sight,
For terror’, not to use, in time the rod’s
More mock'd, than fear'd: so our most just decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,
And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.

It rested in your grace
To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd;
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd,
Than in lord Angelo.

I do fear, too dreadful :
Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,
'Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them
For what I bade them do: for we bid this be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass,


6 (The needful bits and curbs to headstrong stEEDS,)] " Steeds " is weeds in all the folios, but weeds is amended to “steeds" in the corr. fo. 1632. In the next line it properly alters slip of the folios to “sleep ;' and in “ The Two Gentlemen of Verona" (this Vol. p. 132) we have seen the word “sleep” and its mispronunciation slip played upon for the purpose of a joke. Here, of course, the error was unintentional on the part of the old printer, and not only does the simile which immediately follows it correct the blunder, but Angelo himself, in the next act, says that the law " bath slept."

7 For TERROR,] The second folio reads, “for error;" but the mistake is remedied by the old corrector, and the whole passage is made to run as in our text, the ordinary lection having been this:-

For terror, not to use, in time the rod

Becomes more mock'd than fear'd; so our decrees,

Dead to infliction,” &c. Becomes was added by Pope. In Mr. Singer's copy of the second folio rod is altered to “rods,” as in our corr. fo. 1632; but it has not the words “most just" before “ decrees,” necessary for the measure, and which we venture to accept, on the same authority, as having been accidentally omitted in the press.

And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my father,
I have on Angelo impos'd the office,
Who may, in th' ambush of my name, strike home,
And yet my nature never in the sight,
To draw on slander 8. And to behold his sway,
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr’ythee,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear me
Like a true friar. More reasons for this action,
At our more leisure shall I render

Only, this one:—Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see,

power change purpose, what our seemers be. [Exeunt.



A Nunnery.


Isab. And have you nuns no farther privileges ?
Fran. Are not these large enough ?

Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more,
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of saint Clare.

Lucio. [Within.] Ho! Peace be in this place!

Who's that which calls ?


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8 And yet my nature never in the sight,

TO DRAW on slander.] i. e. He should never be seen in the execution of the old law, in order that be might avoid the slander of undue severity. In the folios

sight” was misprinted fight, and “draw on do in. “Sight" was Hanmer's alteration, and adding to it “ draw on as the words appear in the corr. fo. 1632, the whole obscurity of the passage, which has caused much doubt, and dispute, seems removed.

9 How I may formally in person bear ME] The pronoun me” is in the margin of the corr. fo. 1632, and is necessary, unless we suppose that the words were originally, as Pope supposed,

“ How I may formally my person bear

Like a true friar." Mr. Singer adopts me from our Vol. of “Notes and Emendations," p. 44, or from Malone; but is silent upon the subject, so that it looks, on his part, like an unauthorized interpolation.


Fran. It is a man's voice. Gentle Isabella,
Turn you the key, and know his business of him :

not; you are yet unsworn.
When you have vow'd, you must not speak with men,
But in the presence of the prioress :
Then, if you speak, you must not show your face;
Or, if you show your face, you must not speak. [Lucio calls. .
He calls again : I pray you, answer him. [Exit FRANCISCA.

Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls ?

Enter Lucio.

Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses
Proclaim you are no less, can you so stead me,
As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
A novice of this place, and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother Claudio ?

Isab. Why her unhappy brother ? let me ask,
The rather, for I now must make you

know I am that Isabella, and his sister.

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you. Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.

Isab. Woe me! for what?

Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be his judge,
He should receive his punishment in thanks.
He hath got his friend with child.

Isab. Sir, make me not your scorn'.
Lucio. 'Tis true. I would not, though ’tis

I would not, though 'tis my familiar sin



Sir, make me not your scorn.] So the corr. fo. 1632, but the word in all the old copies is story, and so it remained until the time of Davenant, who altered storie to “scorn,” or scorne, as it was then written and printed with a final e. But although

is unquestionably the genuine text, there is a passage in Fletcher's “ Lover's Progress,” A. ii. sc. 1 (edit. Dyce, xi. p. 47), where story is used in a very similar manner : Clarangè has been praising Lydian, and Lysander observes, “ You're a fair story of your friend.” How could the Rev. Mr. Dyce consent, in a later part of that play, A. v. sc. 1, to print "prefer” for preserve, clearly the proper word, and pointed out to him even by the editors of 1750 ? “Prefer” was anciently spelt preferre; and recollecting how often the long s and f were confounded, the mistake was as easy as it is evident. In “ Henry VI., Part I.” (Vol. iii. pp. 686. 689), we retained prefer in our text, because it might be doubted whether the poet did not use that word, and not preserve, recom mended by the corr. fo. 1632; but how could any doubt of the kind exist in regard to such a passage as the following ?

“ The principal means appointed to preserve

Societies and kingdoms." Mr. Dyce allows prefer to usurp the place of “preserve,” just as if societies and kingdoms were to be preferred, not “preserved."

With maids to seem the lapwing !, and to jest,
Tongue far from heart, play with all virgins so:
I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted
By your renouncement, an immortal spirit,
And to be talk'd with in sincerity,
As with a saint.

Isab. You do blaspheme the good in mocking me.

Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus: Your brother and his lover have embrac’d: As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time, That from the seeding the bare fallow brings To teeming foison", even so her plenteous womb Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

Isab. Some one with child by him ?—My cousin Juliet ?
Lucio. Is she your cousin ?

Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their names
By vain, though apt, affection.

She it is.
Isab. Oh! let him marry her.

This is the point.
The duke, who's very strangely gone from hence *,
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
In hand, and hope of action ; but we do learn,
By those that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority,
Governs lord Angelo; a man whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense,
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge


2 With maids to seem the lapwing,] An allusion to the proverb (also referred to in “Much Ado about Nothing," A. iii. sc. I, “ The Comedy of Errors,” A. iv. sc. 2, “ Hamlet,” A. v. sc. 2, &c.), that the lapwing cries loudest when at the greatest distance from her nest, in order to mislead. 3 That from the SEEDING the bare fallow brings

To teeming FUTSON,] Seeding,” according to the corr. fo. 1632, is misprinted seedness in the folios. “Foison ” is plenty, abundance, and figuratively autumn: see Vol. v. p. 414. The opposite of “foison” is geason.

+ The duke, who's very strangely gone from bence,] So the corr. fo. 1632 instead of “ The duke is,” &c., which can hardly be right, since it leaves the verb “ bore,” in the next line, without a nominative. Four lines lower, for “ giving out” of the old copies we are told, on the same authority, to read “givings out,” as governing the plural verb “were" in the same line. Mr. Singer prints “ His givings out were,” &c., but does not state how the change was warranted.

With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law,
As mice by lions,) hath pick'd out an act,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it,
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example. All hope is gone,
Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
To soften Angelo; and that's my pith
Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother.

Isab. Doth he so seek his life?

Has censur'd him 5
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
A warrant for his execution.

Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
To do him good ?

Assay the power you have.
Isab. My power, alas ! I doubt.

Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt. Go to lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,
Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely their's
As they themselves would owe them o.

Isab. I'll see what I can do.

But speedily.
Isab. I will about it straight,
No longer staying but to give the mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
Commend me to my brother; soon at night
I'll send him certain word of

my success.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.

Good sir, adieu. [Exeunt.


5 Has censur'd him] i. e. Sentenced him, pronounced judgment upon him : this use of the verb to “ censure was so common, that it is needless to cite examples : see also p. 281. In the same way the substantive“

sometimes meant judgment, but oftener opinion.

o As they themselves would owe them.] Here, as in innumerable other places, to “owe” means to own. The meaning of the passage seems to be, that their petitions are granted as freely, as if they themselves had to comply with them.

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