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Isab. Sir, make me not your story s.
Lucio. 'Tis true :- I would not (though 'tis my fa-

miliar sin
With maids to seem the lapwing., and to jest,

s make me not your story.] Do not, by deceiving me, make me a subject for a tale. JOHNSON.JI

Perhaps only, Do not divert yourself with me, as you would with a story, do not make me the subject of your drama. Benedict talks of becoming—the argument of his own scorn. Sir W. Davenant reads -- fcorn instead of story, STEEVENS.

'tis my familiar from With maids to seem the lapwing; ] The Oxford editor's note on this paffage is in there words. The lapwings fly, with seeming fright and anxiety, far from their nefts, to deceive those who seek their young. And do not all other birds do the same? But what has this to do with the infidelity of a general loyer, to whom this bird is compared ? It is another quality of the lapwing, that is here alluded to, viz. its perpetually Nýing so low and lo near the paffenger,' that he thinks he has it, and then is suddenly gone again. This made it a proverbial expression to signify a lover's falfhood : and it seems to be a very old one: for Chaucer, in his Plowman's Tale, says:

- And lapwings that well conith lie. WARBURTON. The modern editors have not taken in the whole fimilitude here: they have taken notice of the lightness of a spark's behaviour to his mistress, and compared it to the lapwing's hovering and fluttering as it flies. But the chief, of which no notice is taken, is,

and to jest. (See Ray's Proverbs) “ The tapwing cries, tongue far from heart." - i.e. most fartheit from the next, i. e. She is, as Shakespeare has it here

Tongue far from heart. « The farther she is from her nest, where her heart is with her young ones, she is the louder, or perhaps all tongue.” SMITH,

Shakespeare has an expreffion of the like kind, Com. nf Errors, act. iv. sc.

Adr. Far from her neft the lapwing cries away,
My heart

prays for him, tho' my tongue do curse." We meet with the same thought in John Lilly's comedy, intitled Campaspe (first published in 1591) act ii. ic. 2. from whence Shakespeare might borrow it : 66 Alex. Not with Timoleon

you mean, wherein


resemble the lapwing, who crieth most where her neft is not, and fo, to lead me from espying your love for Campalpe, you cry Timocle..” GRAY,



Tongue far from heart) play with all virgins fo :
I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted;
By your renouncement, an immortal spirit;
And to be talked with in fincerity,
As with a saint.

Isab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me:
Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewnefs and truth, 'tis

thus : Your brother and his lover have embrac'd : As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time: That from the seedness the bare fallow brings To teeming foyson ; fo her plenteous womb Exprefseth his full tilth and husbandry. Ijab. Some one with child by him? --My cousin

Juliet ? Lucio. Is she your coufin? Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their

By vain though ape affection.

Lucio. She it is.
Isab. O, let him marry hero !
Lucio.. This is the point,


true ones.


-Fewness and truth, &c.] i. e. in fer words, and those
In feru, is many times thus used by Shakespeare.

as blossoming time
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
To teeming foyson ; fo

] As the sentence now stands, it is apparently ungrammatical. I read,

At blossoming time, &c. That is, As they that feed grow full, so her womb now, at blossom ing time, at that time through which the feed time proceeds to the har. vest, her womb shows what has been doing. Lucio ludicrously calls pregnancy blossoming time, the time when fruit is promised, though not yet ripe. Johnson.

Instead of that, we may read-doth; and, instead of brings, bring. Steevens.

9 0, let him marry her.] O is an insertion of the modern edi., tors. I cannot relish it. If any word is to be inserted to fill up the metre, I should prefer, Why. TYRWHITT.


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The duke is 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
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to 3 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 Spith
Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother.

Isab. Doth he so seek his life?

· Bore many gentlemen

In hand and hope of action; ]
To bear in hand is a common phrase for to keep in expectation and
dependance, but we fhould read,

- with hope of action. JOHNSON
? _with full line-) With full extent, with the whole length.

3 — give fear to use-) To intimidate use, that is, practices
long countenanced by custom. JOHNSON

* Unless you have the grace ] That is, the acceptableness,
the power of gaining favour. So when she makes her suit, the
provost says:
Heaven give thee moving graces. JOHNSON.

Of business -]
The inmost part, the main of my message. Johnson.

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Lucio. Has censur'd him
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 ?

Lucio. Afsay the power you have.
Isab. My power! Alas! I doubt,-

Lucio. 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 truly theirs
As they themselves would owe them?.

Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio. But, speedily.
Isab. I will about it strait ;
No longer staying but to give the mother 8
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.
Isab. Good fir, adieu.

-cenfur'd bim,-] i. e. fentenced him. So in Othello:

66 to you, lord

governor, Remains the censure of this hellish villain." STEEVENS. ? would owe them.] To owe fignifies in this place, as in many others, to pofless, to have. So in Othello:

that sweet sleep
That thou ow'dst yesterday- STEEVENS.
-the mother] The abbess, or prioress. JOHNSON.






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Angelo's House.
Enter Angelo, Escalus, a Fustice, Provolt), and Attendants':

Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the laws
Setting it up to fear 'the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch, and not their terror.

Escal. Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death 2: Alas! this gentlemang
Whom I would save, had a moft noble father.
Let but your honour know }, (whom I believe

. Provojt.] A provost is generally the executioner of an army. So in the Famous History of Tho. Stukely, 1605: Bl. L.

Provost, lay irons upon him and take him to your charge." Again, in the Virgin Martyr by Massenger :

Thy provost to see execution done
« On these basë Christians in Cæfarea." STEÉVENS.

to fear the birds of prey,] To fear is to affright, to terrify. So in The Merchant of Venice:

" — this aspect of mine

“ Hath fear'd the valiant." STEEVENS. ? Than fall, and bruise to death.-] I should rather read, fell, i. e. strike down. So in Timon of Athens :

All, save thee, I fell with curses.WARBURTON. Fall is the old reading, and the true one. Shakespeare has used the same verb active in the Comedy of Errors:

“ -as easy may'st thou fall

66 A drop of water,
i. e. let fall. So in As You like it :

-the executioner
Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck."

3 Let but your honoúr know,-) To know is here to examine, to
take cognisance. So in Midsummer-Night's Dream :

Therefore, fair Hermia, question your deffres ;
« Know of your truth, examine well your



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