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Duke. Peace be with you! Exeunt EscALUS and Prorost. He, who the sword of heaven will bear, Should be as holy as severe; Pattern in himself to know, Grace to stand, and virtue go‘; More nor less to others paying, Than by self offences weighing. Shame to him, whose cruel striking Kills for faults of his own liking! Twice treble shame on Angelo, To weed my vice, and let his grow! Oh, what may man within him hide, Though angel on the outward side! How may likeness, made in crimes, Making practice on the times, To draw with idle spiders' strings Most ponderous and substantial things! Craft against vice I must apply. With Angelo to-night shall lie His old betrothed, but despised : So disguise shall, by the disguised, Pay with falsehood false exacting, And perform an old contracting.
4 Grace to stand, and virtue go;] Coleridge, in his “Literary Remains," II. 124, observes upon this passage, “ Worse metre, indeed, but better English would be:
“Grace to stand, virtue to go,” and such is the emendation in the corr. fo. 1632; but we like it so little, that, with this note of the proposed change, we leave the old text unaltered.
5 Most ponderous and substantial things !] The passage ending with this line is very difficult: it is possible that the author's brevity rendered it obscure originally, and that it has since been made worse by corruption. . “Likeness” has been construed comeliness; but “likeness made in crimes" may refer to the resemblance in vicious inclination between Angelo and Claudio. Steevens gave up the four lines as quite unintelligible. We have printed the old text, because it is at least as good as any of the proposed emendations: the sense seems to be, “how may persons of similar criminality, by making practice on the times, draw to themselves, as it were with spiders' webs, the ponderous and substantial benefits of the world.” We will add merely that the corr. fo. 1632 gives the two preceding lines as follows, although we cannot adopt these, nor any other proposed emendations :
Masking practice on the times,
Draw with idle spiders' strings,” &c. It seems to us that the whole is irretrievably corrupt, and we are unwillingly compelled to leave it to the speculative ingenuity of the reader.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
A Room at the moated Grange.
MARIANA discovered sitting : a Boy singing.
Take, oh ! take those lips away',
That so sweetly were forsworn;
Lights that do mislead the morn;
seal'd in vain. Mari. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away: Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.- [Exit Boy.
cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
Duke. 'Tis good : though music oft hath such a charm,
6 Take, oh! take those lips away,] The earliest authority for assigning this song to Shakespeare (excepting that one stanza of it is found here) is the spurious edition of his Poems in 1640. It is inserted entire in Beaumont and Fletcher's Bloody Brother,” A. v. sc. 2, and there the second stanza runs as follows :
“ Hide, ob, hide those hills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Are of those that April wears;
Bound in those icy chains by thee." It may be doubted whether either stanza was the authorship of Shakespeare, as it certainly was the frequent custom of dramatists of that day to insert songs in their plays which were not of their own writing; but on the other hand, we have no proof that such was the practice with Shakespeare. By a MS. belonging to Earl Ferrers, and preserved at Staunton Harold, it appears that the air of this song was by John Wilson, the singer of the music in “Much Ado about Nothing" (Vol. ii. pp. 33, 34). The words in Lord Ferrers's MS. do not materially differ.
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here today? much upon this time have I promis'd here to meet.
Mari. You have not been inquired after: I have sat here
Duke. I do constantly believe you.—The time is come, 'even now. I shall crave your forbearance a little: may be, I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself. Mari. I am always bound to you.
[Erit. Duke. Very well met, and welcome. What is the news from this good deputy ?
Isab. He hath a garden circummur'd with brick,
Duke. But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
Isab. I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't :
Are there no other tokens
Isab. No, none, but only a repair i' the dark;
7 -- a PLANCHED gate,] i. e. A gate made of boards: from the Fr. Planche. 8 There have I made my promise on the heavy
Middle of the night to call upon him.] The old folios thus regulate and print these lines :
“There have I made my promise upon the
Heavy middle of the night to call upon him.” And Malone reads :
" There have I made my promise to call on him
Upon the heavy middle of the night." There is no need to take so much liberty with the text, for if we read upon in the first line on, the measure is not defective, though rather harsh.
I come about
'Tis well borne up. I have not yet made known to Mariana A word of this.—What, ho! within ! come forth.
I do desire the like.
Duke. Take, then, this your companion by the hand,
Will't please you walk aside ?
[Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA. Duke. Oh place and greatness ! millions of false eyes Are stuck upon thee. Volumes of report Run with base, false, and most contrarious quests' Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit Make thee the father of their idle dreams, And rack thee in their fancies!
Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA.
Welcome! How agreed ?
It is not my consent,
Little have you to say,
Fear me not.
9 Run with Base, false, and most contrarious Quests] It is “ these false," &c. in the old copies, but no “false and most contrarious quests” have before been spoken of, and the corr. fo. 1632 instructs us that these ought to be “base," which we believe : the whole passage is badly printed, for “quests" is quest in the folio, 1623, and altered to “quests" in the folio, 1632 : in the same way, in the next line but one, “ dreams" is dream in all the folios, and amended to the plural by the old annotator on that of 1632. VOL. I.
To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin,
A Room in the Prison.
Enter Provost and Cloron.
Prov. Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's head?
Clo. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.
Prov. Come, sir ; leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping, for you have been a notorious bawd.
Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruction from my fellow partner.
Prov. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?
Abhor. Do you call, sir ?
Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow in your execution. If you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him. He cannot plead his estimation with you: he hath been a bawd.
Abhor. A bawd, sir? Fie upon him! he will discredit our mystery.
1 Our corn's to reap, for yet our TILTH's to sow.] "Tilth," for tithe of all the folios, was Warburton's happy conjecture, entirely confirmed by the emendation in the corr. fo. 1632. The corn might well be to reap, since the seed was not yet even sown on the land prepared for seed.