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VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
Angelo, Lord Deputy in the Duke's absence.
Efcalus,} An ancient Lord, joined with Angelo in
Claudio, a young
Lucio, a Fantaftick.
Two other like Gentlemen.
* Varrius, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.
*Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and fays nothing.
Of this Play the first known Edition is in the Folio of 1623.
Editions from which the various Readings are collected.
ACT I. SCENE L (1)
The Duke's PALACE.
Enter Duke, Escalus, and Lords.
E Efcal. My Lord.
Duke. Of Government the properties t'unfold, Would seem in me t'affect speech and discourse. Since I am not to know, that your own Science Exceeds, in that, the lifts of all advice())
My ftrength can give you: then no more remains: (3) But
*There is perhaps not one of Shakespear's plays more darkened than this by the peculiarities of its Authour, and the unskilfulness of its Editors, by diftortions of phrafe, or negligence of tranfcription.
1 The story is taken from Cinthio's Novels, Decad 8. Novel 5.
+ I. II. III. put to know. Perhaps rightly.
(2) Lifts.] Bounds, Limits.
Then no more remains, &c.
This is a paffage which has exercifed the fagacity of the Editors, and is now to employ mine.
Then no more remains:
Put that to your Sufficiency, as your Worth is able,
And let them work.] I doubt not, but this Paffage, either from the
But that to your fufficiency, as your worth is able,
Then no more remains.
But that to your Sufficiency, as your Werth is able,
And let them work.
Here again the Senfe is manifeftly lame and defective, and as the Verfification is fo too, they concur to make me think, a Line has accidentally been left out. Perhaps, fomething like This might fupply our Author's Meaning.
-Then no more remains,
But that to your Sufficiency you add
Due Diligency, as your Worth is able i
By fome fuch Supplement both the Senfe and Measure would be
My frength can give you then no more remains: Put that to your fufficiency, as your worth is able, bas And let them work.
To the integrity of this reading, Mr. Theobald objects, and fays, What was Efcalus to put to his fufficiency! why his fcience: But bis feience and fufficiency were but one and the fame thing. On what then does the relative them depend? He will have it, therefore that a line has been accidentally dropt, which he attempts to restore by due diligence. Nodum in fcirpo quærit. And all for want of knowing, that by fufficiency is meant authority, the power delegated by the Dake to Elcalus. The plain meaning of the word being this: Put your skill in governing (fays the Duke) to the p:wer which I give you to exercife it, and let them work together. WARBURTON.
Sir The, Hanmer having caught from Mr. Theobald a hint that a lihe was loft, endeavours to fupply it thus.
He has by this bold conjecture undoubtedly ob'ained a meaning. but, perhaps not, even in his own opinion, the meaning of ShakeSpear.
For common justice, y'are as pregnant in, (4)
That we remember. There is our Commiflion,
What figure of us, think you, he will bear?
For you must know, we have with special foul (5)
That the paffage is more or lefs corrupt, I believe every reider will agree with the Editors. I am not convinced that a line is loft,. as Mr. Theobald conjectures, nor that the change of but to put, which Dr. Warburton has admitted after fome other Editor, will: amend the fault. There was probably fome. original obfcurity in he expreffion, which gave occafion to miftake in repetition or tranicription. I therefore fufpect that the Author wiote thus,
-Then no more remains,
But that to your fufficiencies your worth is abled,
Then nothing remains more than to tell you that your Virtue is now invefted with power equal to your knowledge and wisdom. Let there fore your knowledge and your virtue now work together. It may eafily be conceived how fufficiencies was, by an inarticulate speaker, or inattentive hearer, confounded with fufficiency as, anhow abled, a word very unafual was changed into able. For abled, however, an authority is not wanting. Lear ufes it in the fame fenfe or nearly the fame with the Duke. As for fufficiencies, D. Hamilton, in his dying fpeech, prays that Charles II. may exceed both the virtues and fufficiencies of his father.
For common juftice you're as pregnant in.] The latter Editions all give it, without authority, the terms of justice, and Dr. Warburton makes terms fignify bounds or limits. I rather think the Duke meant to fay, that Efcalus was pregnant, that, is, ready and knowing in all the forms of law, and among other things, in the terms or times fet apart for its administration.
(5) For you must know, we have with special soUL Elected him our abjence to fupply.] This nonfenfe must be corrected thus,
with special ROLL
i. e. by a fpecial commiffion.
For it appears, from this fcene, that Efcalus had one commiffion and Angelo another. The Duke had before delivered Efcalus his He now declares that defigned for Angelo: and he fays,
afterwards to both,
To the hopeful execution de 1 leaves
Elected him our Abfence to fupply;
Lent him our Terror, dreft him with our Love ;
Of our own Power: fay, what think you of it?
To undergo fuch ample grace and honour,
Duke. Look, where he comes.
Ang. Always obedient to your Grace's will, I come to know your pleasure.
There is a kind of character in thy life, (6)
Why Angelo's was called the special roll was becaufe he was in authority fuperior to Efcalus.
The' firft in question, is thy fecondary.
This Editor is, I think, right in fuppofing a corruption, but lefs happy in his emendation. I read,
We have with fpecial feal
Elected him our absence to supply.
A fpecial feal is a very natural Metonymy for a special commission. (6) There is a kind of character in thy life,
That to th' obferver, &c.]
Either this introduction has more folemnity than meaning, or it has a meaning which I cannot discover. What is there peculiar in this, that a man's life informs the obferver of his hiftory? Might it be fuppofed that Shakespear wrote this?
There is a kind of character in thy look.
- for if our virtues, &c.
Paulum fepuliæ diflat inertie