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And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my father,

I have on Angelo impos'd the office;

Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home,
And yet my nature never in the sight,
To do it slander: 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

7 To do it slander :] The text stood: So do in slander :

8

Sir Thomas Hanmer has very well corrected it thus:
To do it slander:

Yet, perhaps, less alteration might have produced the true
reading:

And yet my nature never, in the sight,

So doing slandered :

And yet my nature never suffer slander, by doing any open acts of severity. JOHNSON.

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Hanmer's emendation is supported by a passage in K. Henry IV.
P. I:

"Do me no slander, Douglas, I dare fight." STEEVENS. Fight seems to be countenanced by the words ambush and strike. Sight was introduced by Mr. Pope. MAlone.

8

in person bear] Mr. Pope reads

my person bear.

Perhaps the word which I have inserted in the text, had dropped out while the sheet was at press. A similar phrase oc curs in The Tempest:

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some good instruction give

"How I may bear me here.”

Sir W. D'Avenant reads, in his alteration of the play:

I may

in person a true friar seem.

The sense of the passage (as Mr. Henley observes) is-How I may demean myself, so as to support the character I have assumed. STEEVENS.

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Like a true friar. More reasons for this action,
At our more leisure shall I render you;
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,
If power change purpose, what our seemers be.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

A Nunnery.

Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA.

ISAB. And have you nuns no further privileges? FRAN. Are not these large enough?

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ISAB. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more; But rather wishing a more strict restraint Upon the sister-hood, the votarists of saint Clare. LUCIO. Ho! Peace be in this place! [Within.] ISAB Who's that which calls?

FRAN. It is a man's voice: Gentle Isabella, Turn you the key, and know his business of him; You may, I may 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

"Stands at a guard-] Stands on terms of defiance.

face;

JOHNSON.

This rather means, to stand cautiously on his defence, than on terms of defiance. M. MASON.

Or, if you show your face, you must not speak. 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,1

He should receive his punishment in thanks :
He hath got his friend with child.

ISAB. Sir, make me not your story.2

For that, which, if myself might be his judge,] Perhaps these words were transposed at the press. The sense seems to require -That, for which, &c. MALONE.

2

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

Perhaps only, Do not divert yourself with me, as you would with a story, do not make me the subject of your drama. Benedick talks of becoming-the argument of his own scorn.

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LUCIO.

It is true.

I would not3-though 'tis my familiar sin

So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream: "If you have any pity, &c.

"You would not make me such an argument."

Sir W. D'Avenant reads-scorn instead of story.

After all, the irregular phrase [me, &c.] that, perhaps, obscures this passage, occurs frequently in our author, and particularly in the next scene, where Escalus says: "Come me to what was done to her.". "Make me not your story," may therefore signify-invent not your story on purpose to deceive me. It is true," in Lucio's reply, means-What I have already told you, is true. STEEVENS.

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Mr. Ritson explains this passage, "do not make a jest of me."

REED.

I have no doubt that we ought to read, (as I have printed,) Sir, mock me not:-your story.

So, in Macbeth:

"Thou com'st to use thy tongue-thy story quickly.” In King Lear we have―

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Pray, do not mock me."

I beseech you, Sir, (says Isabel) do not play upon my fears; reserve this idle talk for some other occasion;-proceed at once to your tale. Lucio's subsequent words, [" "Tis true,”—i. e. you are right; I thank you for remembering me;] which, as the text has been hitherto printed, had no meaning, are then pertinent and clear. Mr. Pope was so sensible of the impossibility of reconciling them to what preceded in the old copy, that he fairly omitted them.

What Isabella says afterwards fully supports this emendation: "You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me."

I have observed that almost every passage in our author, in which there is either a broken speech, or a sudden transition without a connecting particle, has been corrupted by the carelessness of either the transcriber or compositor. See a note on Love's Labour's Lost, Act II. sc. i:

"A man of sovereign, peerless, he's esteem'd." And another on Coriolanus, Act I. sc. iv:

"You shames of Rome! you herd of Boils and plagues "Plaster you o'er!" MALONE.

3 I would not - i, e. Be assured, I would not mock you.

With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest, Tongue far from heart,-play with all virgins so:5

So afterwards: "Do not believe it:" i. e. Do not suppose that I would mock you. MALONE..

I am satisfied with the sense afforded by the old punctuation. STEEVENS.

'tis my familiar sin

With maids to seem the lapwing,] The Oxford editor's note on this passage is in these words: The lapwings fly, with seeming fright and anxiety, far from their nests, 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 lover, to whom this bird is compared? It is another quality of the lapwing that is here alluded to, viz. its perpetual flying so low and so near the passenger, that he thinks he has it, and then is suddenly gone again. This made it a proverbial expression to signify a lover's falshood; 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 similitude 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 lapwing cries, tongue far from heart;" i. e. most farthest from the nest; i. e. She is, as Shakspeare 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.

Shakspeare has an expression of the like kind in his Comedy of Errors:

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"Adr. Far from her nest the lapwing cries away; My heart prays for him, though my tongue do curse. We meet with the same thought in Lyly's Campaspe, 1584, from whence Shakspeare might borrow it:

"Alex. you resemble the lapwing, who crieth most where her nest is not, and so, to lead me from espying your love for Campaspe, you cry Timoclea." GREY.

This

I would not-though 'tis my familiar sin

With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest,

Tongue far from heart, play with all virgins so: &c.] passage has been pointed in the modern editions thus:

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