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With maids to feem the lapwing?, and to jest,
Ifab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me.
Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth', 'tis thus: Your brother and his lover have embrac'd": wards : “ Do not believe it:" i. e. Do not suppose that I would mock you. MALONE.
7 Witb maids to seem tbe lapwing,] The lapwings fly with seeming fright and anxiety far from their neits, to deceive those who seek their young. HANMIR.
See Ray's Proverbs : “ The lapwing cries, tongue far from beart," The farther she is from her neft, where her heart is with her young ones, the is the louder, or perhaps all tongue. SMITH.
See the Comedy of Errors, AG IV. Sc. iii. GREY. 8 Though 'tis my familiar sin
With maidsin seem tbe lapwing, and rojefi,
Tongue far from beart,--play with all virgins so, &c.] This pas. sage has been pointed in the modern editions thus:
'Tis true :--) would not (though 'tis my familiar sin
I hold you &c. According to this punctuation, Lucio is made to deliver a sentiment directly opposite to that which the author intended. Though 'ris my common practice to jest with and to deceive all virgins, I would noe jo play wirb all virgins.
The sense, as the text is now regulated, appears to me clear and easy. 'Tis very true, (fays he) I owgbe indeed, as you say, to proceed at once to my flory. Be assured, I would not mcok you. Though it is my familiar practice to jest with maidens, and, like the lapwing, to deceive them by my insincere prattle, though, I say, it is my ordinary and babitual pralice to sport in this manner with all virgins, yet I foould never think of treating you so; for I consider you, in consequence of your having renounced the world, as an immortal spirit, as one to whom I ought to speak with as much fincerity as if I were addressing a faint. MALONE.
9 Fewness and trusb,] i. e. in few words, and those true In few, is many times thus used by Shakspeare. STEEVEN 3.
i Your breiber and bis lover--] i. e. his mistress; lover, in our author's time, being applied to the female as well as the male sex. Thus, one of his poems, containing the lamentation of a deierted maiden, is entitled " A Lover's Complaint." MALONE.
As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time,
Isab. Some one with child by him -My cousin Juliet?
Ijab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their names, By vain though apt affection.
Lucio. She it is.
Lucio. This is the point.
as blooming time,
Expreferb bis full tilth and busbandry.) This sentence, as Dr. Johnson has observed, is apparently ungrammatical. I suspect two half lines have been lost. Perhaps however an imperfect sentence was intended, of which there are many instances in these plays: -or, as might have been used in the sense of like. Teming foison is abundanc plenty. Tilth is tillage. MALONE. 3 Bore many gentlemen,
In band and tope of action:) To bear in bsnl is a common phrase for to keep in expeciation and dependance; but we should read,
with bope of aflion.. JOHNSON. 4 And with full line--] With full extent, with the whole lengtha
JOHNSON, 5 – 10 give fear to use-) To intimidate use, that is, practices long tountenanc:d by cuftom. JOHNSON.
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Ijab. Doth he so seek his life?
Lucio. Has cenfur'd him s
Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
Lucio. Afiay the power you have.
Lucio. Our doubts are traitors,
Ijab. I'll see what I can do. Lucio. But, speedily. 6 Unless you bave obe grace-] That is, the acceptableness, the power of gaining favour. So, when she makes her suit, the provoft says:
Heaven give thee moving graces ! JOHNSON.
my pith of bufiness ] The inmost part, the main of my message. JORNS. 8 Has cenfur d bim-] We should read, I think, He bas cenJured him, &c. In the Mís. of our author's time, and frequently in the printed copy of these plays, bebas, when intended to be contracted, is written--b'as. Hence probably the mistake here. MALONE. censur'd bim--] i.e. sentenced hini. So, in Oibello :
- to you, lord governor,
“ Remains the censure of this hellith villain.” STEEVENS. 9 All their petitions are as freely theirs] All their requests are as freely granted to them, are granted in as full and beneficial a manner, as they themselves could with. The editor the second folio arbitrarily reads - as truly tbeirs; which has been followed in all the subsequent copies. MALONE.
I would owe them.] To owe fignifies in this place, as in many others, to posless, to havc. STELVENS.
Ijab. I will about it straight;
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
A CT II. SCENE I.
A Hall in Angelo's House. Enter ANGELO, Escalus, a Justice, Provost?, Officers,
and other Attendants.
Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the law,
Escal. Ay, but yet
* -be morber] The abbess, or prioress. JOHNSON.
STEEVENS. “ A Provost martial” Minfheu explains “ Prevost des Mareschaux : “ Præfe&tus rerum capitalium, prætor rerum capitalium." REED.
A priton for military offenders is at this day, in some places, called the Prevôt. MALONE. 3 – to fear tbe birds of prey,] To fear is to affrigbi, to rcrrify.
STEEVENS. 4 Tban fall, and bruise to death:] i. e. fall the axe ;-or rather, let the criminal fall, &c. MALONE.
Shakspeare has used the same verb active in tbe Comedy of Errors, and As
like it. STEEVENS. 5 Lei bus your bonour know,] To know is here to examine, to take coz nijance. So, in A Midsummer Nigbt's Dream :
“ Tberefore, fair Hermia, question your desires;
That, in the working of your own affections,
Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
MALONE. 7-bieb natu you censure bim,] Some word seems to be wanting to make this line sense. Perhaps, we Mould read—which now you cenfure him for. STEEVENS.
- lat know the luws, That thieves do país on ebieves? ] How can the administrator of the laws take cognizance of what I have just mentioned? How can they know, whether the jurymen who decide on the life or death of thieves be themselves as criminal as those whom they try? To pass on is a forenfiek term. So, in the well-known provision of MAGNA CHARTA:
" nec fuper eum ibimus, nec super eum mittemus, nihi per legale judicium parium sujrum, vel per legem terræ." MALONE.
9. 'Tis very pregrant,] 'Tis plain that we must act with bad as with good ; we punish the faults, as we take the advantages, that lie in our way, and what we do not see we cannot note. JOHNSON.
i For I have bad such faules,] That is, beiarfe, by reason that I have had such faults. JOHNSON,