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Is there no remedy ?
But is there any?
Perpetual durance ?
But in what nature ? Isab. In such a one as (you consenting to't) Would bark your honour' from that trunk you
bear, And leave you naked. Claud.
Let me know the point. Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, Lest thou a feverous life should'st entertain, And six or seven winters more respect Than a perpetual honour. Dar'st thou die ? The sense of death is most in apprehension;
vines, and have all charitable preparation." The King in Hamlet, who was cut off prematurely, and without such preparation, is said to be dis-appointed. Appointment, however, may be more simply explained by the following passage in The Antipodes, 1638:
“ Is decently appointed." i. e. prepared, furnished. Steevens.
The latter and more simple explanation agrees better with the context, “ To-morrow you set on." BosweLL. 7 Though all the world's vastidity -] The old copy
reads Through all, &c. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE. 8 - a restraint
To a determin'd scope.] A confinement of your mind to one painful idea ; to ignominy, of which the remembrance can neither be suppressed nor escaped. JOHNSON.
9 Would Bark your honour -] A metaphor from stripping trees of their bark. Dovce.
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
Why give you me this shame ?
father's grave Did utter forth a voice! Yes, thou must die: Thou art too noble to conserve a life In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,— Whose settled visage and deliberate word Nips youth i'the head, and follies doth enmew?, As falcon doth the fowl *,-is yet a devil ;
I - the poor beetle, &c.] The reasoning is, that death is no more than every being must suffer, though the dread of it is peculiar to man;' or perhaps, that we are inconsistent with ourselves, when we so much dread that which we carelessly inflict on other creatures, that feel the pain as acutely as we. Johnson.
The meaning is-fear is the principal sensation in death, which has no pain ; and the giant, when he dies, feels no greater pain than the beetle. This passage, however, from its arrangement, is liable to an opposite construction, but which would totally destroy the illustration of the sentiment. Douce.
2 I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.) So, in the First Part of Jeronimo, or the Spanish Tragedy, 1605:
“ 'Tis she I hug as mine effeminate bride." STEEVENS. Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
I will be
“ As to a lover's bed." Malone. 3 — follies doth Enmew,] Forces follies to lie in cover, without daring to show themselves. Johnson.
4 As falcon doth the fowl,] In whose presence the follies of youth are afraid to show themselves, as the fowl is afraid to flutter while the falcon hovers over it.
So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. :
His filth within being cast“, he would appear
The princely Angelo ?
- not he that loves him best,
“ Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shakes his bells." To enmew is a term in falconry, also used by Beaumont and Fletcher, in the Knight of Malta :
I have seen him scale,
Steevens. s His filth within being cast,] To cast a pond is to empty it of mud. Mr. Upton reads :
“ His pond within being cast, he would appear
• A filth as deep as hell.” Johnson. 6 The PRINCELY Angelo ?
PRINCELY guards!)The stupid editors, mistaking guards for satellites, (whereas it here signifies lace,) altered priestly, in both places, to princely. Whereas Shakspeare wrote it priestly, as appears from the words themselves :
"Tis the cunning livery of hell,
“With priestly guards." In the first place we see that guards here signifies lace, as referring to livery, and as having no sense in the signification of satellites. Now priestly guards means sanctity, which is the sense required. But princely guards means nothing but rich lace, which is a sense the passage will not bear. Angelo, indeed, as deputy, might be called the princely Angelo: but not in this place, where the immediately preceding words of
« This out-ward-sainted deputy," demand the reading I have restored. WARBURTON.
The first folio has, in both places, prenzie, from which the other folios made princely, and every editor may make what he can. JOHNSON.
Princely is the judicious correction of the second folio. Princely guards mean no more than the badges of royalty, (laced or bordered robes,) which Angelo is supposed to assume during the absence of the Duke. The stupidity of the first editors is some
If I would yield him my virginity,
O, heavens! it cannot be. Isab. Yes, he would give it thee, from this rank
Thou shalt not do't.
times not more injurious to Shakspeare, than the ingenuity of those who succeeded them.
In the old play of Cambyses I meet with the same expression. Sisamnes is left by Cambyses to distribute justice while he is absent; and in a soliloquy says:
“ Now may I wear the brodered garde,
And lye in downe-bed soft." Again, the queen of Cambyses says:
“ I do forsake these broder'd gardes,
“ And all the facions new." STEEVENS. A guard, in old language, meant a welt or border of a garment; “ because (says Minsheu) it gards and keeps the garment from tearing.” These borders were sometimes of lace. So, in The Merchant of Venice :
Give him a livery “ More guarded than his fellows." MALONE. Warburton reads-priestly, and, in my opinion, very properly.
The meaning of the speech is, that it is the cunning policy of the devil, to invest the damnedest bodies in the most sanctified robes ; that is to say, in priestly guards, which, when applied to deceitful purposes, she calls the livery of hell. By guards, Isabella metaphorically means-outward appearances. M. Mason.
7 — FROM this rank offence,] I believe means, from the time of my committing this offence, you might persist in sinning with safety. The advantages you would derive from my having such a secret of his in my keeping, would ensure you from further harm on account of the same fault, however frequently repeated.
STEEVENS. - as a pin,] So, in Hamlet :
“ I do not set my life at a pin's fee." Steevens.
Thanks, dear Isabel. ISAB. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-mor
row. CLAUD. Yes.--Has he affections in him, That thus can make him bite the law by the nose, When he would force ito? Sure it is no sin; Or of the deadly seven it is the least'.
Isab. Which is the least ?
Claud. If it were damnable ?, he, being so wise, Why, would he for the momentary trick
9 Has he affections, &c.] 'Is he actuated by passions that impel him to transgress the law, at the very moment that he is enforcing it against others ?' [I find, he is.] Surely then, since this is so general a propensity, since the judge is as criminal as he whom he condemns, it is no sin, or at least a venial one. So, in the next Act :
A deflower'd maid,
“ The laro against it."
“ If you will now unite in your complaints,
And force them with a constancy." Again, in Coriolanus :
Why force you this?” Malone. ! Or of the deadly seven, &c.] It may be useful to know which they are; the reader is, therefore, presented with the following catalogue of them, viz. pride, envy, wrath, sloth, covetousness, gluttony, and lechery.' To recapitulate the punishments hereafter for these sins, might have too powerful an effect upon the weak nerves of the present generation ; but whoever is desirous of being particularly acquainted with them, may find information in some of the old monkish systems of divinity, and especially in a curious book entitled Le Kalendrier des Bergiers, 1500, folio, of which there is an English translation. Douce.
2 If it were damnable, &c.] Shakspeare shows his knowledge of human nature in the conduct of Claudio. When Isabella first tells him of Angelo's proposal, he answers, with honest indignation agreeably to his settled principles
“ Thou shalt not do’t." But the love of life being permitted to operate, soon furnishes him with sophistical arguments; he believes it cannot be very dangerous to the soul, since Angelo, who is so wise, will venture it. Johnson.