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Clown. Come ; fear not you : good counsellors lack no clients : though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster ftill. Courage; there will be pity taken on you : you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.

Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster ? Let's withdraw.

Clown. Here comes fignior Claudio, led by the provost to prison : and there's madam Juliet.

[Exeuni Bawd and Clown.


Enter Provost, Claudio, Juliet, and Officers ; Lucio and

two Gentlemen. Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the

Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

Prov. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from lord Angelo by special charge.
Claud. Thus can the demi-god, authority,


3 Thus can the demi-god, Authority,

Make us pay down, for our offence, by weight.--
The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will ;

On whom it will not, fo: yet still’tis juft.] The wrong pointing of the second line hath made the paffage unintelligible. There ought to be a full stop at weight. And the sense of the whole is this : The demi-god, Authority, makes us pay the full penalty of our offence, and its decrees are as little to be questioned as the words of heaven, which pronounces its pleasure thus, -I punish and remit punishment according to my own uncontroulable will; and yet who can say, what dost thou ?--Make us pay down, fo: our offence, by weight, is a fine expreffion to signify paying the ful, penalty. The metaphor is taken from paying money by weight, which is always exact; not so by tale, on account of the pracice of diminishing the species. WARBURTON.

I Huspect that a line is lost. Johnson.
It nay be read, the word of beaven.
Thus can the demi-god, Authority,


Make us pay down for our offence by weight.
The words of heaven ;-on whom it will, it will;
On whom it will not, fo; yet still ’tis juft.

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? whence comes this restraint ?

Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty : As surfeit is the father of much fast, So every scope by the immoderate use Turns to restraint : Our natures do pursue, (Like rats that ravin + down their proper bane) A thirsty evil; and, when we drink, we die 5.

Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors : And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment.-What's thy offence, Claudio

Claud. What, but to speak of, would offend again.
Lucio. What is it > murder ?
Claud. No.

Make us pay down for our offence, by weight

The sword of heaven :-on tuhom, &c. Authority is then poetically called the sword of heaven, which will {pare or punish as it is commanded. The alteration is flight, being made only by taking a single letter from the end of the word, and placing it at the beginning.

This very ingenious and elegant emendation was suggested to me by the rev. Dr. Roberts, of Eton; and it may be countenanced by the following passage in the Cobler's Prophecy, 1594 :

"-In brief they are the fiords of heaven to punish.” Sir W. Davenant, who incorporated this play of Shakespeare with Much ado about Nothing, and formed out of them a Tragicomedy called The Law against Lovers, omits the two last lines, of this speech ; I suppose, on account of their seeming obscurity. STEVENS.

4 Like rats that ravin, &c.] Ravine is an ancient word for prey. So in Noah's Flood, by Drayton :

as well of ravine as that chew the cud." STEEYENS. 5 when we drink we die. So in Revenge for Honour, by Chapman :

" --like poison'd rats, which when they've swallow'd . The plealing bane, rest not until they drink, “ And can rest then much less, until they burst." STEEVENS. C2


Lucio. Lechery?
Claud. Call it so.
Prov. Away, fir ; you must go.
Claud. One word, good friend :-Lucio, a word

with you.

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Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.--
Is lechery so look'd after ?
Claud. Thus stands it with me,-Upon a true con-

• I got poffeffion of Julietta's bed;
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order : this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower
Remaining in the coffer of her friends ;
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love,
Till time had inade them for us. But it chances,
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment,
With character too grofs, is writ on Juliet.

Lucio. With child, perhaps ?

Claud. Unhappily, even so.
And the new deputy now for the duke,
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness ? ;
Or whether that the body public be
A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know

6. I got pollifion of Julietta's bed, &c.] This speech is surely too indelicate to be spoken concerning Juliet, before her face, for she appears to be brought in with the rest, tho' she has nothing to say.. The Clown points her out as they enter; and yet, from Claudio's telling Lucio, that he knows the lady, &c. one would think she was not meant to have made her personal appearance on the scene. STEEVENS.

-the fault and glimpse of newness ;] Fault and glimpse have so little relation to each other, that both can scarcely be right : we may read flash for fault: or, perhaps we may read,

Whether it be the fault or glimpse That is, whether it be the seeming enormity of the action, or the glare of new authority. . Yet the same sense follows in the next lines. JOHNSON.



He can command, let's it straight feel the spur :
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I stagger in : -- But this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unfcour'd armour $, hung by the

So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on me :-'tis, furely, for a name.

Lucio. I warrant, it is : and thy head stands fo tickle ' on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may figh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.

Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service : This day my sister should the cloister enter, And there receive her approbation : Acquaint her with the danger of my state; Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict deputy ; bid herself affay him;

like unfcour'd armour. } So in Troilus and Creffida:

" Like rusty mail in monumental mockery." STEEVENS. 9 So long that nineteen zodiacks have goue raund,] The duke in the fcene immediately following says,

Which for these fourteen years we have let flip. The author could not so disagree with himself. 'Tis necessary to make the two accounts correspond. THEOBALD.

'fo tickle.] i.e. ticklish. This word is frequently used by our old dramatic authors. So in The trke Tragedy of Marius and Scilla, 1594:

lords of Alia " Have stood on tickle terms. Again, in The Widozu's Tears, by Chapman, 1612 :

-upon as tickle a pin as the needle of a dial.” Again, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1610;

“ Now ftands our fortune on a tiekle point." Again, in Byron's Tragedy, 1608 :

all his sways " And tickle aptness to exceed his bounds." STEEVENS. C3

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I have great hope in that : for in her youth
There is a prone and speechless dialect *,
Such as moves men; beside, the hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourfe,
And well she can persuade,

Lucio. I pray, the may : as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under griev, pus imposition ?; as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her,

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio,
Lucio. Within two hours,
Claud, Come, officer, away:

[Exeunt, ---prone and speechless dialect,] I can scarcely tell what fignification to give to the word prone. "Its primitive and translated senses are welĩ known. The authour may, by a prone

dialect, mean a dialect which men are prone to regard, or a dialect natural and unforced, as those actions seem to which we are prone. Either of these interpretations are fufficiently strained; but such distors tion of words is not uncommon in our author. For the sake of an easier sense, we may read :

In her youth
There is a pow'r, and speechless dialect,

Such as moves men.
Pr thus :

There is a prompt and speechless dialect, Johnson.
Prore, perhaps, may ffand for humble, as a prone posture is a
posture of fupplication.
So in the Opportunity, by Shirley, 1640 :

66 You have prostrate language.”.
The same thought occurs in the Winter's Tale :
6. The silence often of


innocence “ Persuades, when speaking fails." Sir W. Davenant, in his alteration of the play, changes prone to sweet.' I mention some of his variations to thew that what appear difficulties to us, were difficulties to him, who living nearer the time of Shakespeare might be supposed to have uns derstood his language more intimately, STEEVENS,

3 Under grievozs imposition:) I once thought it should be inqui. ftion, but the present reading is probably right. The crime would be under grievous penalties imposed. Johnson,


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