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For ending thee no sooner: Thou hast nor youth, nor age;
3 -- Tbou bafi nor youth, nor age;
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep
Dreaming on both:] This is exquisitely imagined. When we are young, we busy ourselves in forming schemes for succeeding time, and miss the gratifications that are before us; when we are old, we amuse thel anguor of age with the recollection of youthful pleasures or perform. ances; 10 that our life, of which no part is filled with the bufiness of the present time, resembles our dreams after dinner, when the events of the morning are mingled with the designs of the evening. JOHNSON.
- for all thy blessed youth
Tbou baft neither beat, &c.] Shakspeare declares that man hath neither youth ner age ; for in youth, which is th: happiest time, or which might be the happiest, he commonly wants means to obtain what he could enjoy; he is dependent on palfied eld: must beg alms from the coffers of hoary avarice; and being very niggardly supplied, becoees as aged, looks, like an old man, on happiness which is beyond his reach. And, when be is old and rich, when he has wealth enough for the purchase of all that formerly excited his desires, he has no longer the pow. ers of enjoyment;
bas neither beat, affefion, limb, nor beauty, To make his ricbes pleasant. JOHNSON. The sentiment contained in theic lines, which Dr. Johnson has explained with his usual precision, occurs again in the forged letter that Edmund delivers to his father, as written by Edgar; K. Lear, Act I. ic. ii. : “ This policy, and reverence of age, makes the world bitter to the best of our times; keeps our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them."--Dr. Johnson would read blaffed youth ; but the words above, printed in Italicks, fupport, I think, the reading of the old copy blefjed youth,” and thew that any emendation is unnecessary.
MALONE. s Of palsied eld ;] Eld is generally used for old age, decrepirude. It is here put for old people, persons worn out with years.
STIEVENS. 6 Tbou has neieber belt, afection, limb, nor beauty,] By “ heat” and “ affection” the poet meant to express appetite, and by “ limb” and “ beauty,” strergib. EDWARDS.
Lie hid more thousand deaths ? : yet death we fear,
Claud. I humbly thank you.
Enter ISABELLA. l'ab. What, ho! Peace here ; grace and good company! Prov. Who's there? come in: the with deferves a wel
come. Duke. Dear fir, ere long I'll visit you again. Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you. Ijab. My business is a word or two with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome. Look, fignior, here's your
fifter. Duke. Provost, a word with you. Prov. As many as you please.
Duke. Bring me to hear them speak , where I may be Conceal'd.
[Exeunt Duke and Provott. Claud. Now, sister, what's the comfort?
Ijab. Why, As all comforts are ; most good, most good, in deed': Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
Intends 7 — more thousand deaths :) The meaning is not only a obufand dearbs, but a tbousand dearbs Defides what have been mentioned.
JOHNSON. * Bring me to bear them speak, where I may lej The old copy reads:
Bring them to tear me speak, &c. The emendation was suggested by Mr. Steevens The editor of the Lecond folio, after the word Conceald, 'has added, ---- Yet hear them.” But the alterations made in that copy do not deserve the smallest credit. There are undoubted proofs that they were merely arbitrary ; and in general they are also extremely injudicious. MALONE.
9 As all comforts are; milli god, most good, in ded:) If this reading be right, Ilabellă must mean that the brings something better than words of comfort, the brings an affurance of deeds. This is harsh and coria frainct, but I know not what better to offer. JOHNSON.
I believe in deed. as explained by Dr. Johnson, is the true reading. So in Marbeib :
“ We're yet but young in ded." STEEVENS. I would point the lines thus : Claud. Now, fiiter, what's the comfort? ljat. Why, as all comforts are, most good. Indeed lord Angelo, &c.
Intends you for his swift embassador,
Claud. Is there no remedy?
1/ab. None, but such remedy, as, to save a head, To cleave a heart in twain.
Claud. But is there any?
Ijab. Yes, brother, you may live;
Claud. Perpetual durance?
Claud. But in what nature?
1/ab. In such a one as (you consenting to't) Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, And leave you naked.
Indeed is the same as in truth, or truly, the common beginning of speeches in Shakspeare's age. Sce Charles the First's Trial. The king and Bradshaw feldom say any thing without this preface : “ Truly, Sirm," BLACKSTONE, " -- an everlasting leiger :
Tberefore your bejt appointment-] Leiger is the same with refident. Appointment; preparation; act of fitting, or state of being fitted for any thing. So in old books, we have a knight well appointed; that is, well armed and mounted, or fitted at all points. JOHNSON.
The word appointment, on this occasion, should seem to comprehend confeflion, communion, and absolution. « Let him (says Escalus) be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation.” The king in Hawki, who was cut off" prematurely, and without such preparation, is said to be dis-appointed. Af pointment, however, may be more simply explained by the following patrage in The Antipodes, 1638 :
--your lodging " Is decently appointed.” i.e. prepared, furnished. STEEVENS. 2 Though allıke world's vaftiditya] The old copy has brougb. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE, 3 a restraint,
To a determin’d scafe.) A confinement of your mind to one painful idea; to ignominy, of which the remembrance can neither be luppreiled nor escaped. JOHNSON.
Claud. Let me know the point.
Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Claud. Why give you me this same?
can a resolution fetch
Isab. There spake my brother; there my father's grave
4 The poor beetle, &c.] The reasoning is, that dearb is no more than every being must suffer, i bough the dread of it is peculiar to man; or perhaps, that we are inconsistent with ourselves, when we so much dread that which we carelely inflict on other creatures, that feel the pain as acutely as we. JOHNSON.
5 If I'muft die,
"I will be
" As to a lover's bed.” MALONE. 6-fellies deen emmew,] Forces follies to lie in cover, without daring to show themselves. JOHNSON.
7 As faulcon detbibe fowl,] In whose presence the follies of youth are afraid to show themselves, as the fowl is afraid to flutter while the falcon hovers over it. So, in K. Henry VI. P. III :
- not he that loves him best,
“ Dares ftir a wing, if Warwick shakes his bells.” To enmew is a term in falconry. STEEVENS. & -being caft,] To cast a pond is to empty it of mud. Johnson. VOL. II.
A pond as deep as hell.
Claud. The princely Angelo??
Ijab. O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
Claud. O heavens! it cannot be.
Claud. Thou shalt not do't.
Ijab. O, were it but my life,
Claud. Thanks, dear Isabel.
Claud. Yes.-Has he affections in him,
Tab. 9 The princely Angelo?
-princely guards!) The first folio has, in both places, prerzie, from which the other folios made princely, and every editor may make what he can. JOHNSON.
Princely guards mean no more than the ornaments of royalty, which Angelo is supposed to aflume during the absence of the duke. STEEV.
d guard, in old language, meant a welt or border of a garment; “ becaule (says Minthcu) it gards and keeps the garment from tearing.” Theic borders were sometimes of lace. So, in the M. of Venice :
“Give him a livery “ More guarded than his fellows." MALONE. I--from ibis rank offence,] I believe means, from the time of my committing this offence, you might pertist in finning with safety. The advantages you would derive from my having fuch a secret of his in my keeping would ensure you from further harm on account of the same fault, however frequently repeated. STEEVENS. 2 --As a pin.] So, in Hamlet :
"I do not set my life at a pin's fee." STEEVENS. 3 Has he affections &c.] Is be aEluated by passions tbat impel bix: 19 transgress tbe low, at the very moment that be is enforcing it again