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-Who knew of your intent, and coming hither ? Isab. One that I would were here, friar Lodo
wick. DUKE. A ghostly father, belike:-Who knows
that Lodowick ? Lucio. My lord, I know him ; 'tis a medling
friar; I do not like the man : had he been lay, my lord, For certain words he spake against your grace In your retirement, I had swing'd him soundly. Duke. Words against me? This' a good friar,
Blessed be your royal grace !
We did believe no less. Know you that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of ? F. Peter. I know him for a man divine and
holy; Not scurvy, nor a temporary medler,
“ It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand,
“ The practice and the purpose of the king." Steevens. 3 - nor a TEMPORARY medler,] It is hard to know what is meant by a temporary medler. In its usual sense, as opposed to perpetuul, it cannot be used here. It may stand for temporal: the sense will then be, “ I know him for a holy man, one that meddles not with secular affairs.” It may mean temporising: “I know him to be a holy man, one who would not temporise, or take the opportunity of your absence to defame you.” Or we may read :
As he's reported by this gentleman;
Lucio. My lord, most villainously; believe it.
himself ; But at this instant he is sick, my lord, Of a strange fever: Upon his mere request*, (Being come to knowledge that there was com
plaint Intended ’gainst lord Angelo,) came I hither, To speak, as from his mouth, what he doth know Is true, and false ; and what he with his oath, And all probation, will make up full clear, Whensoever he's convented 5. First, for this wo
“ Not scurvy, nor a tamperer and medler :" not one who would have tampered with this woman to make her a false evidence against your deputy. Johnson.
Peter here refers to what Lucio had before affirmed concerning Friar Lodowick. Hence it is evident that the phrase temporary meiller, was intended to signify one who introduced himself, as often as he could find opportunity, into other men's concerns. See the context. HENLEY.
4 — his MERE request,] i. e. his absolute request. So, in Julius Cæsar :
“ Some mere friends, some honourable Romans.” Again, in Othello :
“ The mere perdition of the Turkish Aleet." STEVENS. s Whensoever he's CONVENTED.] The first folio reads convented, and this is right : for to convene signifies to assemble ; but convent, to cite, or summons. Yet because convented hurts the measure, the Oxford editor sticks to conven'd, though it be nonsense, and signifies, “ Whenever he is assembled together.” But thus it will be, when the author is thinking of one thing, and his critic of another. The poet was attentive to his sense, and the editor, quite throughout his performance, to nothing but the measure ; which Shakspeare having entirely neglected, like all the dramatic writers of that age, he has spruced him up with all the exactness of a modern measurer of syllables. This being here taken notice of once for all, shall, for the future, be forgot, as if it had never been. WARBURTON.
(To justify this worthy nobleman,
Good friar, let's hear it. [ISABELLA is carried off guarded ; and Ma
RIANA comes forward. Do you not smile at this, lord Angelo ?O heaven! the vanity of wretched fools ! Give us some seats.-Come, cousin Angelo; In this I'll be impartial; be you judge Of your own cause ?:- Is this the witness, friar ?
The foregoing account of the measure of Shakspeare, and his contemporaries, ought indeed to be forgotten, because it is untrue.
To convent is no uncommon word. So, in Woman's a Weathercock, 1612:
“ - lest my looks
“Should tell the company convented there,” &c. To convent and to convene are derived from the same Latin verb, and have exactly the same meaning. STEEVENS.
6 SOVULGARLY —] Meaning either so grossly, with such indecency of invective, or by so mean and inadequate witnesses.
Johnson. Vulgarly, I believe, means publickly. The vulgar are the common people. Daniel uses vulgarly for among the common people :
“ ánd which pleases vulgarly." Steevens. Mr. Steevens's interpretation is certainly the true one. So, in The Comedy of Errors, Act UI. Sc. I.:
“A vulgar comment will be made of it;
“ That mav,” &c. Again, in Twelfth-Night :
“- for 'tis a vulgar proof
“ That very oft we pity enemies." MALONE. 7-- Come, cousin Angelo; In this I'll be IMPARTIAL ; be you judge
Of your own cause.] Surely, says Mr. Theobald, this Duke had odd notions of impartiality! He reads therefore, I will be partial, and all the editors follow him : even Mr. Heath declares the observation unanswerable. But see the uncertainty of criticism ! impartial was sometimes used in the sense of partial. In the old play of Swetnam, the Woman Hater, Atlanta cries out, when the judges decree against the women :
First, let her show her face ®; and, after, speak. 11.1R1. Pardon, my lord; I will not show my
face, Until my husband bid me. DIHE.
What, are you married ? M.1ri. No, my lord.. DIKE.
Are you a maid ? Mari.
No, my lord. Duke. A widow then ? MARI.
Neither, my lord. Duke.
Why, you Are nothing then :- Neither maid, widow, nor
wife o? Lucio. My lord, she may be a punk ; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife. Duke. Silence that fellow: I would, he had some
cause To prattle for himself.
Lucio. Well, my lord.
Mari. My lord, I do confess I ne'er was married; And, I confess, besides, I am no maid : I have known my husband; yet my husband knows
not, That ever he knew me.
“ You are impartial, and we do appeal
“ From you to judges more indifferent." FARMER. So, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, 2d Part, 1602 :
“ There's not a beauty lives,
“ O'er my affects, as your enchanting graces.” Again, in Romeo and Juliet, 1597 :
“Cruel, unjust, impartial destinies !” Again :
“ this day, this unjust, impartial day." In the language of our author's time, im was frequently used as an augmentative or intensive particle. Malone.
8 - HER face;] The original copy reads—your face. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
9 Neither maid, widow, nor wife?] This is a proverbial phrase, to be found in Ray's Collection. STEEVENS.
Lucio. He was drunk then, my lord ; it can be no better.
Duke. For the benefit of silence, 'would thou wert so too.
Lucio. Well, my lord.
Mari. Now I come to‘t, my lord :
Charges she more than me?
Mari. Why, just my lord, and that is Angelo, Who thinks, he knows, that he ne'er knew my
body, But knows, he thinks, that he knows Isabel's. Ang. This is a strange abuse':-Let's see thy
face. Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask.
[Unveiling. This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, Which, once thou sworst, was worth the looking
"This is a strange abuse :] Abuse stands in this place for deception or puzzle. So, in Macbeth :
"--my strange and self abuse,” means, “ this strange deception of myself.” Johnson.
? And did supply thee at thy GARDEN-HOUSE) A garden-house in the time of our author was usually appropriated to purposes of