« ZurückWeiter »
Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the sin you
carry ? Juliet. I do; and bear the shame most patiently. Duke. I'll teach you how you shall arraign your
I'll gladly learn.
him. Duke. So then, it seems, your most offenceful act Was mutually committed ? Juliet.
Mutually. DUKE. Then was your sin of heavier kind than
his. Juliet. I do confess it, and repent it, father. DUKE. 'Tis meet so, daughter : But lest you do
repent, As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, not
heaven; Showing, we'd not spare heaven", as we love it, But as we stand in fear,-
3 – But lest you do repent,] Thus the old copy. The modern editors, led by Mr. Pope, read :
But repent you not," But lest you do repent is only a kind of negative imperativeNe te poeniteat,—and means, repent not on this account.
Steevens. I think that a line at least is wanting after the first of the Duke's speech. It would be presumptuous to attempt to replace the words; but the sense, I am persuaded, is easily recoverable out of Juliet's answer. I suppose his advice, in substance, to have been nearly this : “ Take care, lest you repent (not so much of your fault, as it is an evil,) as that ihe sin hath brought you to this shame." Accordingly, Juliet's answer is explicit to this point :
I do repent me, as it is an evil,
Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil;
[Exit. Juliet. Must die to-morrow! O, injurious love?, That respites me a life, whose very comfort Is still a dying horror! Prov.
'Tis pity of him. [Exeunt.
* Showing, we'd not spare heaven,] The modern editors had changed this word into seek. Steevens. “ Showing we'd not spare heaven," i. e. spare to offend heaven.
Malone. s There rest.] Keep yourself in this temper. Johnson. Grace
go with you ! BENEDICITE !] The former part of this line evidently belongs to Juliet. Benedicite is the Duke's reply.
RITSON This regulation is undoubtedly proper : but I suppose Shakspeare to have written
“ Juliet. May grace go with you!
Benedicite !" STEEVENS. 7 O, injurious love,] Her execution was respited on account of her pregnancy, the effects of her love ; therefore she calls it injurious; not that it brought her to shame, but that it hindered her freeing herself from it. Is not this all very natural? yet the Oxford editor changes it to injurious law. Johnson.
I know not what circumstance in this play can authorise a supposition that Juliet was respited on account of her pregnancy; as her life was in no danger from the law, the severity of which was exerted only on the seducer. I suppose she means that a parent's love for the child she bears is injurious, because it makes her careful of her life in her present shameful condition.
Mr. Tollet explains the passage thus : “O, love, that is injurious in expediting Claudio's death, and that respites me a life, which is a burthen to me worse than death!” Steevens.
Both Johnson's explanation of this passage, and Steevens's refutation of it, prove the necessity of Hanmer's amendment, which removes every difficulty, and can scarcely be considered as an alteration, the trace of the letters in the words law and love being so nearly alike.—The law affected the life of the man only, not that of the woman ; and this is the injury that Juliet complains of, as she wished to die with him. M. Mason.
A Room in ANGELO's House.
Enter ANGELOS. Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and
pray To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words; Whilst
invention', hearing not my tongue,
8 Enter ANGELO.) Promos, in the play already quoted, has likewise a soliloquy previous to the second appearance of Cassandra. It begins thus :
“ Do what I can, no reason cooles desire :
&c. STEEVENS. 9 Whilst my INVENTION] Nothing can be either plainer or exacter than this expression. (Dr. Warburton means-intention, a word substituted by himself.] But the old blundering folio having it—invention, this was enough for Mr. Theobald to prefer authority to sense. WARBURTON.
Intention (if it be the true reading) has, in this instance, more than its common meaning, and signifies eagerness of desire. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :
course o'er my exteriors, with such greediness of inten
tion.” By invention, however, I believe the poet means imagination.
STEEVENS. So, in our author's 103d Sonnet :
a face, “That overgoes my blunt invention quite.” Again, in K. Henry V.:
• O for a muse of fire, that would ascend
“ The brightest heaven of invention !” Malone. Steevens says that intention, in this place, means eagerness of desire :—but I believe it means attention only, a sense in which the word is frequently used by Shakspeare and the other writers of his time.-Angelo says, he thinks and prays to several subjects ; that Heaven has his prayers, but his thoughts are fixed on Isabel. So, in Hamlet, the King says:
Anchors on Isabel': Heaven in my mouth,
“My words fly up, my thoughts remain below:
M. Mason. * Anchors on Isabel :] We have the same singular expression in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ There would he anchor his aspéct, and die
“ With looking on his life.” Malone. The same phrase occurs again in Cymbeline :
“ Posthumus anchors upon Imogen.” Steevens. 2 Grown Fear'd and tedious ;] We should read seared, i. e. old. So, Shakspeare uses in the sear, to signify old age.
WARBURTON. I think fear'd may
stand. What we go to with reluctance may be said to be fear'd. Johnson.
3 -- with Boot,] Boot is profit, advantage, gain. So, in M. Kyffin's translation of The Andria of Terence, 1588: “ You obtained this at my hands, and I went about it while there was
Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1599 :
“ Then list to me: Saint Andrew be my boot,
“ But I'll raze thy castle to the very ground.” Steevens. s-case,] For outside; garb; external shew. Johnson. 6 Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming?] Here Shakspeare judiciously distinguishes the different operations of high place upon different minds. Fools are frighted, and wise men are allured. Those who cannot judge but by the eye, are easily awed by splendour; those who consider men as well as conditions, are easily persuaded to love the appearance of virtue dignified with power. Johnson.
7 - Blood, thou still art blood :] The old copy reads
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn, "Tis not the devil's crest S.
Blood, thou art blood. Mr. Pope, to supply the syllable wanting to complete the metre, reads—“Blood, thou art but blood !" But the word now introduced appears to me to agree better with the context, and therefore more likely to have been the author's.Blood is used here, as in other places, for temperament of body.
MALONE. 8 Let's write good angel on the devil's horn,
'Tis not the devil's crest.] i, e. Let the inost wicked thing have but a virtuous pretence, and it shall pass for innocent. This was his conclusion from his preceding words :
“ To thy false seeming?" But the Oxford editor makes him conclude just counter to his own premises ; by altering it to
“ Is't not the devil's crest ?" So that, according to this alteration, the reasoning stands thus : “ False seeming, wrenches awe from fools, and deceives the wise." Therefore, “Let us but write good angel on the devil's horn,” (i. e. give him the appearance of an angel,) and what then?“ Is’t not the devil's crest ?” (i. e. he shall be esteemed a devil.)
WARBURTON. I am still inclined to the opinion of the Oxford editor. Angelo, reflecting on the difference between his seeming character, and his real disposition, observes, that he “could change his gravity for a plume.” He then digresses into an apostrophe, “O dignity, how dost thou impose upon the world !” then returning to himself, “ Blood (says he) thou art but blood," however concealed with appearances and decorations. Title and character do not alter na. ture, which is still corrupt, however dignified:
“Let's write good angel on the devil's horn;
“ Ís'l not?-or rather—'Tis yet the devil's crest." It may however be understood, according to Dr. Warburton's explanation : "O place, how dost thou impose upon the world by false appearances
s !” so much, that if we “write good angel on the devil's horn, 'tis not taken any longer to be the devil's crest." In this sense
“ Blood, thou art but blood !" is an interjected exclamation. Johnson. A Hebrew proverb seems to favour Dr. Johnson's reading :
-"Tis yet the devil's crest." “A nettle standing among myrtles, doth notwithstanding retain the name of a nettle. Steevens,