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less, and fearless of what's past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and desperately mortalo.

DUKE. He wants advice.

Prov. He will hear none: he hath evermore had the liberty of the prison ; give him leave to escape hence, he would not : drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very often awaked him, as if to carry him to execution, and show'd him a seeming warrant for it: it hath not moved him at all.

DUKE. More of him anon. There is written in your brow, Provost, honesty and constancy: if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me: but in the boldness of my cunning?, I will lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here you have a warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo who hath sentenced him: To make you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four days respite; for the which you are to do me both a present and a dangerous courtesy.

6- desperately MORTAL.] This expression is obscure. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, mortally desperate. Mortally is in low conversation used in this sense, but I know not whether it was ever written. I am inclined to believe, that desperately mortal means desperately mischievous. Or desperately mortal may mean a man likely to die in a desperate state, without reflection or repentance. Johnson.

The word is often used by Shakspeare in the sense first affixed to it by Dr. Johnson, which I believe to be the true one. So, in Othello :

“And you, ye mortal engines," &c. Malone. As our author, in The Tempest, seems to have written “ harmonious charmingly," instead of “ harmoniously charming," he may, in the present instance, have given us “ desperately mortal,” for “ mortally desperate : " i. e. desperate in the extreme. In low provincial language,-mortal sick, mortal bad, mortal poor, is phraseology of frequent occurrence. STEEVENS.

7.- in the BOLDness of my cUNNING,] i. e. in confidence of my sagacity. Steevens.

1 Prov. Pray, sir, in what ?

Duke. In the delaying death.

Prov. Alack ! how may I do it? having the hour limited ; and an express command, under penalty, to deliver his head in the view of Angelo ? I may make my case as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.

DUKE. By the vow of mine order, I warrant you, if my instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine be this morning executed, and his head borne to Angelo.

Prov. Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour 8. : DUKE. O, death's a great disguiser: and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beardo; and say, it was the desire of the penitent to be so bared? before his death : You know, the course is com

8 — the favour.] See note 6, p. 146. STEEVENS.

9 - and tie the beard ;] The Revisal recommends Mr. Simpson's emendation, die the beard, but the present reading may stand. Perhaps it was usual to tie up the beard before decollation. Sir T. More is said to have been ludicrously careful · about this ornament of his face. It should, however, be remembered, that it was also the custom to die beards. So, in the old comedy of Ram-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." Again, in The Silent Woman : “ I have fitted my divine and canonist, dyed their beards and all." Again, in The Alchemist : "- he had dy'd his beard, and all."

STEEVENS. 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. 1 to be so BARED-] These words relate to what has just preceded-shave the head. The modern editions, following the fourth folio, read—to be so barb'd; but the old copy is certainly right. So, in All's Well That Ends Well : “ I would the cutting of my garments would serve the turn, or the baring of my beard; and to say it was in stratagem." MALONE.

mon?. If any thing fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good fortune, by the saint whom I profess, I will plead against it with my life.

Prov. Pardon me, good father; it is against my

oath.

DUKE. Were you sworn to the duke, or to the deputy ?

Prov. To him, and to his substitutes.

Duke. You will think you have made no offence, if the duke avouch the justice of your dealing? · Prov. But what likelihood is in that ?

Duke. Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor my persuasion, can with ease attempt you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you. Look you, sir, here is the hand and seal of the duke. You know the character, I doubt not; and the signet is not strange to you.

Prov. I know them both.

Duke. The contents of this is the return of the duke; you shall anon over-read it at your pleasure ; where you shall find, within these two days he will be here. This is a thing, that Angelo knows not : for he this very day receives letters of strange tenor; perchance, of the duke's death ; perchance, entering into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of what is writ'. Look, the unfolding star calls up the shepherd * : Put not yourself into amazement, how these things should be : all difficulties are but easy when they are known. Call your executioner, and off with Barnardine's head: I will give him a present shrift, and advise him for a better place. Yet you are amazed; but this shall absolutely resolve you 5. Come away; it is almost clear dawn.

2 – You know, the course is common.] P. Mathieu, in his Heroyke Life and Deplorable Death of Henry the Fourth, of France, says, that Ravaillac, in the midst of his tortures, lifted up his head and shook a spark of fire from his beard. “This unprofitable care, (he adds,) to save it, being noted, afforded matter to divers to praise the custome in Germany, Swisserland, and divers other places, to shave off, and then to burn all the haire from all parts of the bodies of those who are convicted for any notorious crimes."

Grimston's Translation, 4to. 1612, p. 181. Reed. This alludes to a practice frequent amongst Roman Catholicks, of desiring to receive the tonsure of the Monks before they die. It cannot allude to the custom which Mr. Reed tells us was established in some parts of Germany, that of shaving criminals previous to their execution, as here the penitent is supposed to be bared at his own request. M. Mason.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

Another Room in the Same.

Enter Clown. Clo. I am as well acquainted here, as I was in our house of profession o: one would think, it were mistress Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old customers. First, here's young master Rash'; he's in for a commodity of brown paper

3 — nothing of what is writ.] We should read-here writ; the Duke pointing to the letter in his hand. WARBURTON. 4 — the unfolding star calls up the shepherd :]

“ The star, that bids the shepherd fold,
“ Now the top of heaven doth hold.” Milton's Comus.

STEEVENS.
“ So doth the evening star present itself
“ Unto the careful shepherd's gladsome eyes,
“ By which unto the fold he leads his flock."

Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1613. Malone. 5 - this shall ABSOLUTELY RESOlve you.] That is, shall entirely convince you. M. Mason.

0 - in our house of Profession :] i. e. in my late mistress's house, which was a professed, a notorious bawdy-house. Malone.

7 First, here's young master Rash, &c.] This enumeration of the inhabitants of the prison affords a very striking view of the

and old gingers, ninescore and seventeen pounds : of which he made five marks, ready money: marry,

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.

All the names here mentioned are characteristical. Rash was a fine silken stuff formerly worn in coats. So, in A Reply as true as Steele, to a Rusty, Rayling, Ridiculous, Lying Libell, which was lately written by an impudent unsoder'd Ironmonger, and called by the Name of An Answer to a foolish Pamphlet entitled A Swarme of Sectaries and Schismatiques. By John Taylour, 1641 :

“And with mockado suit, and judgement rash,

“And tongue of saye, thou'lt say all is but trash.” Sericum rasum. See Minsheu's Dict. in v. Rash, and Florio's Italian Dict. 1598, in v. rascia, rascetta. Malone.

Rash was the name of some kind of stuff. So, in An Aprill Shower, shed in Abundance of Tears, for the Death and incomparable Losse, &c. of Richard Sacvile, &c. Earl of Dorset, &c. 1624 :

“ For with the plainest plaine yee saw him goe,
“ In ciuill blacke of Rash, of Serge, or so;

“ The liuerie of wise stayednesse-," Steevens. If this term alludes to the stuff so called, (which was probably one of the commodities fraudulently issued out by money-lenders,) there is nevertheless a pun intended. So, in an old MS. poem, entitled, The Description of Women:

“ Their head is made of Rash,

“ Their tongues are made of Say.” Douce. 8-a commodity of brown PAPER and old ginger,] Thus the old copy. The modern editors read, brown pepper ; but the following passage in Michaelmas Term, Com. 1607, will completely establish the original reading :

" I know some gentlemen in town have been glad, and are glad at this time, to take up commodities in hawk's-hoods and brown paper." Again, in A New Trick to cheat the Devil, 1636 :

“ — to have been so bit already
“ With taking up commodities of brown paper,
“ Buttons past fashion, silks, and sattins,
“ Babies and children's fiddles, with like trash

Took up at a dear rate, and sold for trifles.”
Again, in Greene's Quip for an Upstart Courtier, 1620:

“ For the merchant, he delivered the iron, tin, lead, hops, sugars, spices, oyls, brown paper, or whatever else, from six

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