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Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous impofition'; as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack 2. I'll to her.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
[Exeunt. SCENE VI.
prone and speechless diale&?,] Prone, I believe, is used here for prompt, fignificani, expresive (though speechless), as in our author's ‘Rape of Lucrece it means ardent, bead-Jirong, rushing forward to its object :
" O that prere lust should stain lo pure a bed !" MALONE. Prone, perhaps, may stand for bumble, as a prone posture is a posture of fupplication. So, in the opportunity, by Shirley, 1640 :
“ You have proftrate language." The same thought occurs in the Winter's Tale :
“ The flence often of pure innocence
“ Perfuades, when speaking fails." Sir W. D'Avenant, in his alteration of the play, changes prone to Sweet. I mention some of his variations, to thew that what appear difficulties to us were difficulties to him, who living nearer the time of Shakspeare, might be supposed to have understood his language more intimately. STEEVENS.
1 - nder grievous imposition ;] I once thought it should be inquisi. tion; but the present reading is probably right. The crime would be under griez'ous penalties imposed. JOHNSON.
2-off at a game of tick-tack.] Tick-tack is a game at tables. « Jouer au tric-iras" is used in French, in a wanton sense. MALONE. VOL. II.
Can pierce a complete bosom? : why I desire thee
Fri. T. May your grace speak of it?
Duke. My holy fir, none better knows than you
Fri, T. Gladly, my lord.
Duke. We have striết statutes, and most biting laws, (The needful bits and curbs to head-trong iteeds) Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep ?;
Even 3 Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
Canpierce a complete bofom :] Think not that a breast completely armed can be pierced by the dart of love, that comes fluttering witbout force. JOHNS
ibe life remov’d;] i. e. a life of retirement, a life removed from the bustle of the world. STEEVENS.
So, in Hamlet :“ It wafts you to a more removed ground."MALONE.
$ - and wirless bravery-] Bravery in old language often means, Splen-dour of dress. And was supplied by the second folio. Malone.
6 A man of stricture,] Striture for frietness. JOHNSON. 7 We bave strict statutes, and most biting laws,
(The needful bits and curbs to head-trong steeds,)
Which for these fourteen years we bave let Neep ;] The old copy reads--head-trong weeds, and let sip. Both the emeņdations were made by Mr. Theobald. The latter may derive support (as he has observed) from a subsequent line in this play :
“ The law hath not been dead, though it hath pepe." So, also, from a pallage in Hamlet :
How stand I then,
“ And let all sleep ş
Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave,
Fri. T. It rested in your grace
Duke. I do fear, too dreadful:
which for these fourteen years we have suffered to pass #rnoticed, unobserved; for so the same phrase is used in Twelfth Night: “ Let him let this matter slip, and I'll give him my horse, grey Capulet."
Mr. Theobald altered fourteen to nineteen, to make the Duke's account correspond with a speech of Claudio's in a former scene, but without neceflity; for our author is often incorrect in the computation of time. MALONE.
Theobald's correction is misplaced. If any correction is really necessary, it should have been made where Claudio, in a foregoing line, says nineteen years. I am disposed to take the Duke's words. WHALI.EY.
8 Becomes more mockd, tban fiar'd:] Becomes was added by Mr. Pope to restore sense to the partage, some such word having been left out. STIEVENS.
9 Silb-] i. e. fince. STEEVENS. ! To do ic Nander :) The original copy reads-- To do in Nander. The emendation was Sir Thomas Hanmer's. In the preceding line the first folio appears to have--fight; which seems to be countenanced by the words ambuse and strike. Sighe was introduced by Mr. Pope.
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
Isab. And have you nuns no farther privileges ?
I/ab. Yes, truly: I speak not as defiring more ;
Fran. It is a man's voice: Gentle Isabella,
the key, and know his business of him ;
may not ; you are yet unsworn :
Ijab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls ?
Hanmer's emendation is supported by a passage in Henry IV. P.I: “ Do me no Jander, Douglass, I dare fight.” STEEVENS."
in person bear me] Me, which leems to have been accidentally omitted in the old copy, was inserted by Mr. Steevens. MALONI. So, in the Tempeft:
some good instruction give, " How I may bear me here." STEEVENS. 3 Stands at a guard) Stands on terms of defiance. JOHNSON.
Isab. Why her unhappy brother ? let me alk;
Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you : Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Isab. Woe me! For what?
Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be his judge, He should receive his punishment in thanks : He hath got his friend with child.
Isab. Sir, mock me not :- your forys. Lucio. 'Tis true :- I would not :- Though 'tis my familiar fin
With 4 For that, which, if myself might be bis judge,] Perhaps these words were transposed at the press. The sense seems to require-That, for which, &c. Malone.
5 Sir, make me not your story.] Thus the old copy. I have no doubt that we ought to read (as I have printed,) Sir, mock me not :- your story. So, in Macbetb :
“ Thou com'ft to use thy tongue :~ by story quickly.” In King Lear we have“ Pray, do not mock me." 1 beseech you, Sir, (says Isabel) do not play upon my fears; reserve this idle talk for some other occasion ;-proceed at once to your tale. Lucio's subsequent words, (“ 'Tis true, "-i. e. you are right; I thank you for reminding me ;) which, as the text has been hither to printed, had no meaning, are then pertinent and clear. Mr. Pope was so sensible of the impoffibility of reconciling them to what preceded in the old copy, that he fairly omitted them. What Isabella says afterwards, fully supports this emendation:
“ You do blafpheme the good, in mocking me." I have observed that almost every passage in our author, in which there is either a broken speech, or a sudden transition without a connect. ing particle, has been corrupted by the carelessness of either the tranfcriber or compofitor. See a note on Love's Labour's Loft, A& 11. Sc.i:
“ A man of-sovereign, peerless, he's esteem'd." And another on Coriolanus, Act I, Scene iv :
" You thames of Rome! you herd of -Boils and plagues
" Plaister you o'er!" MALONE. 6 I would for.] i, e. Be aflured, I would not meek you. So after