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How 8 Whilft my invention, ] By invention, I believe the poet means imagination. STEEVENS. So, in our author's 103d fonnet :
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. 9 Anchors on Ijabel.] We meet with the same fingular expresion in Antony and Cleopatra:
« There would he ancbor his aspect, and die
“ With looking on his life.” MALONE. 1 Heaven in my moutb,] i.e. Heaven being in my mouth. MALONE,
2 Grown feard and redious;] What we go to with reluctance may be said to be fear'd. JOHNSON.
. with boot,] Boet is profit, advantage, gain. STEEVENS. 4 — change for an idle plume,
Wbicb iie air beats for vain. o place! O form! &c.] There is, I believe, no initance in Shakspeare, or any other author, of “ for vain" being used for “ in vain." Besides; has the air or wind lefs effect on a feather than on twenty other things? or rather, is not the reverse of this the truth? An idle plume assuredly is not that "ever-fixed mark," of which our author Ipeaks elsewhere, “ that looks on tempefts, and is never thaken.” The old copy has vaine, in which way a vane or weather-cock was formerly spelt. [See Minsneu's Dict. 1617, in verb. So allo, in Love's Labour's Loft, Act IV. sc. i. edit. 1623: “ What voine? what weathercock?"] I would therefore readmovane.--I would
How often doft thou with thy cases, thy habit,
Enter exchange my gravity, says Angelo, for an idle feather, which being driven along by the wind, ferves, to the spectator, for a vare or weao thercock. So, in The Winter's Tale :
“ I am a feather for each wind that blows,” And in the Mercbant of Venice we meet with a kindred thought:
.“ I should be still « Plucking the grass, to know where fits the wind." The omission of the article is certainly awkward, but not without example. Thus, in K. Lear:
“ Hot questrists after him met him at gate.”
an idle plume,
How often doft bou-&c.
s-case,] For outside; garb; external shew. JOHNSON. 6 Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To tby false seeming?] Here Shakipeare judiciously diftinguishes 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 dig. nified with power. JOHNSON.
7-Blocd, thou still art blood:] The old copy reads Blood, thou art blood. Mr. Pope, to fupply 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 creft.] i. e. let the most wicked thing have but a virtuous pretence, and it mall pass for innocent. WARFURTON.
It should be remembered that the devil is usually represented with borns and cloven fect.-Dr. Johnson would read 'Tis yet the devil's creft. He acknowledges, however, that the passage may be understood, according to Dr. Warburton's explanation. “O place, how dost thou
Enter Servant. How now, who's there?
Serv. One Isabel, a sister, desires access to you.
Ang. Teach her the way. [Exit Serv.] O heavens!
Must impose upon the world by, false appearances ! so much, that if we write good angel on ibe devil's born, ’ris not taken any longer to be rbo devil's creft. In this sense, Blood thou art, &c. is an interjected excla. macion." The old copy appears to me to require no alteration.
MALONE, - to my beart ;] Of this speech there is no other trace in Promos and Cassandra than the following:
“Both hope and dreade at once my harte doth tuch." STEEVENS. " The general, subject to a well-wish'd kirg, ] General was, in our author's time, a word for people, so that the general is the people, or mula titude, fubje&z to a king.' So, in Hamlet : « The play pleased not the million : 'twas caviare to the general." JOHNSON.
The use of this phrase, “ the general," for the people, continued so late as to the time of lord Clarendon :-—-6 as rather to be consented to, than that ebe general should suffer.” Hift. B.V. p. 530. Svo. MALONE. Twice in Hamlet our author uses subje? for subječts :
“ So nightly toils the subject of the land.” Ac I. sc. i. Again, Act I. sc. ii :
“ The lifts and full proportions all are made
« Out of his subjez?." STEEVENS. So the duke had before (act I. scene ii.) expressed his dinike of popular applause :
“ I'll privily away. I love the people,
“ That does affect it.” I cannot help thinking that Shakspeare, in these two partages, intended to flatter that unkirgly weakness of James the First, which made him so VOL. II.
Must needs appear offence.
Isab. I am come to know your pleasure.
please me, Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live.
Ijab. Even so ?-Heaven keep your honour! [retiring.
Ang. Yet may he live a while; and, it may be,
Ifab. Under your sentence?
Ijab. When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve,
Ang. Ha! Fie, these filthy vices ! It were as good
Falsely impatient of the crowds that focked to see him, especially upon his first coming, that, as some of our historians say, he restrained them by a proclamation. Sir Symonds D'Ewes, in his Memoirs of his own Life,
a Mf. in the Britith Museum,] has a remarkable passage with regard to this humour of James. After taking notice, that the king going to parliament, on the zoth of January, 1620-1, “ fpake lovingly to the people, and laid, God bless ye, God bless ye;" he adds there words, “ contrary to his former hafty and passionate custom, which often, in his fudden distemper, would bid a pox or a plague on such as tlocked to Ite him." TYRWHITT.
ibat baib from nature ftclen A man already made,] i. e. that hath killed a man. MALONE. 3 I beir lawry sweetnejs, ibat da cuin heaven's image
In stamps kat are forbid :) We meet with nearly the same words in King Edward III. a tragedy, 1596, certainly prior to this play:
And will your fac:ed telt
“ To fi amp his image in forbidden meal” These lin are ipoken by the counters of Salifoury, whore chastity (like Ilabel's) was atiailed by her fovereign.
Their jawcy sweetness Dr. Warburton interprets, iceir jawcy irdala
Falsely to take 4 away a life true made,
Ijab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth
Ang. Say you so ? then I shall poze you quickly.
gence of the appetite. Perhaps it means nearly the same as what is af. terwards called sweet uncleanness. MALONE.
4 Falsely to iake--] Falsely is the same with dishonestly, illegally: so false, in the next lines, is illegal, illegitimale. JOHNSON. 5 As to put mettle in restrained means,
To make a false one.) Metrle, the reading of the old copy, which was changed to metal by Mr. Theobald, (who has been followed by the subsequent editors,) is supported not only by the general purport of the passage, (in which our author having already illustrated the sentiment he has attributed to Angelo by an allusion to coining, would not give the fame image a second time,) but by a similar exprellion in Timon :
thy father, that poor rag,
“ Poor rogue hereditary." Again, in the Winter's Tale:
“ As rank as any flax-wench, that puts to,
“ Before her troth-plight.”. The controverted word is found again in the same sense in Macbeth
chy undaunted mettle should compose
that bed, that womb,
“ Made him a man.” Means is here used for medium, or object, and the sense of the whole · is this :: 'Tis as easy wickedly to deprive a man born in wedlock of lifi, as to have unlawful commerce with a maid, in order to give life to an illegia timale child. The thought is fimply, that murder is as easy as fornication; and the inference which Angelo would draw, is, that it is as improper to pardon the latter as the former. The words to make a false ontevidently referring to life, shew that the preceding line is to be understood in a natural, and not in a metaphorical, fente. MALONE.
6 'Tis fet down so in beaven, but not in earth.] What you have stated is undoubtedly the divine law: murder and fornication are both forbid by the canon of scripture;--but on earib the latter offence is considered as lefs heinous than the former. MALONE.
7 —or, toredeem him, ] The old copy has and to redeem him. The emendation was made by Sir William D'Avenant. MALONE.