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Lucio. Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping
2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the proclamation. Lucio. Away: let's go learn the truth of it.
[Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's the news with
Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison.
Clo. No; but there's a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
Bawd. What proclamation, man?
Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.
Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city ?
Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulld down?
Clo. To the ground, mistress.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
Clo. Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients : though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster still. Courage!
there will be pity taken on you; you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service : you will be considered.
Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster 5? Let's withdraw.
Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison; and there's madam Juliet.
Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers ; Lucio,
and two Gentlemen. Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to
th' world? Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Prov. I do it not in evil disposition, But from lord Angelo by special charge.
Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight.The words of heaven on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so: yet still ’tis just o.
Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? whence comes this restraint ?
Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty: As surfeit is the father of much fast, So every scope by the immoderate use Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue,
5 What's to do here, Thomas Tapster ?] She uses the name “ Thomas Tapster,” merely as a designation of the Clown's business. Thomas, or Tom Tapster, was a common mode of speaking of a drawer.
6 Thus can the demi-god, Authority,] "Authority,” Henley remarks, being absolute in Angelo, is finely styled by Claudio, “the demi-god.” To this uncontroulable power, the poet applies a passage from St. Paul to the Romans, ch. ix, v. 15. 18, which he properly styles, “ the words of heaven :” “ for he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” &c. And again : “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy,” &c.
Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,
Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors. And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment.—What's thy offence, Claudio ?
Claud. What but to speak of would offend again.
[Takes him aside.
? And when we drink, we die.] The following lines from Chapman's “Revenge for Honour," 1654, as quoted by Steevens, form an excellent commentary upon this passage :
“ Like poison'd rats, which, when they've swallowed
The pleasing bane, rest not until they drink ;
And can rest then much less, until they burst." - as the MORALITY — ] The old copies have mortality. The correction was made by Sir W. Davenant in his adaptation of this play.
Only for PROPAGATION of a dower] “ I suppose the speaker means (says Steevens) for the sake of getting the dower.” Malone suggested prorogation instead of “propagation,” to which he was perhaps led by the spelling of the first folio “ propogation.”
With character too gross is writ on Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps?
Claud. Unhappily, even so. And the new deputy now for the duke,– Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness, Or whether that the body public be A horse whereon the governor doth ride, Who, newly in the seat, that it may know He can command, lets it straight feel the spur ; Whether the tyranny be in his place, Or in his eminence that fills it up, I stagger in ;-but this new governor Awakes me all the enrolled penalties, Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round, And none of them been worn; and, for a name, Now puts the drowsy and neglected act Freshly on me :-'tis surely, for a name.
Lucio. I warrant, it is; and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service. This day my sister should the cloister enter, And there receive her approbation : Acquaint her with the danger of my state; Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict deputy ; bid herself assay him : I have great hope in that; for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect, Such as moves men: beside, she hath prosperous art, When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade.
Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encourage
and appeal to him.] This speech seems to have been originally meant for verse, though not so printed in any edition.
ment of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of ticktack?. I'll to her.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Come, officer; away! [Exeunt.
Enter Duke, and Friar THOMAS.
May your grace speak of it?
- a game of TICK-TACK.] Tick-tack (in French tric-trac, and sometimes spelt trick-track in English) was a game at tables.
3 Believe not that the DRIBBLING dart of love] Steevens quotes what he calls Sir Philip Sidney's “Arcadia,” meaning his "Astrophel and Stella,” respecting the word dribbling :
“ Not at first sight, nor with a dribbed shot
Love gave the wound.” But dribbed, as it stands in the ordinary impressions, is not the word wanted. Thomas Nash published a surreptitious edition of “Astrophel and Stella,” in 1591, 4to, and there we have the very word employed by Shakespeare :
“ Not at the first sight, nor with a dribling shot
Love gave the wound,” &c. This is in the second sonnet, and not in the second stanza, as Steevens misterms it. In the later impressions, as in that of 1598, folio, dribling is altered to dribbed. Dribbed was a technical word in archery, and it is employed by Ascham in his Toxophilus, 1545. + — AND witless bravery keeps.) “ And,” from the folio, 1632. VOL. II.