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feit in the same kind? this would make mercy swear, and play the tyrant.
Prov. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may it please your honour.
Bawd. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me: mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the duke's time; he promis'd her marriage; his child is a year and quarter old, come Philip and Jacob : 1 have kept it mylelf; and see, how he goes about to abuse me,
Escal. That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be call'd before us.-Away with her to prison; Go to; no more words. (Exeunt with the Bewd.] Provost, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd; Claudio muit die to-morrow: let him be furnish'd with divines, and have all charitable preparation. If my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.
Prov. So please you, this friar has been with him, and advis'd him for the entertainment of death.
Escal. Good even, good father.
Duke. Not of this country, tho' my chance is now
Escal. What news abroad i'the world?
mercy swear, ] We should read swerve, i. e. deviate from her -nature. The common reading gives us the idea of a ranting whore. WARBURTON.
There is surely no need of emendation. We say at present, Such a thing is en-ugh to make a parson swear, i. e. deviate from a proper respect to decency, and the sanctity of his character.
STEEVENS, from tbe fee] The folio reads, from the sea.
goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it. Novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be conftant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies secure; but security enough, to make fellowships accurs’d. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray you, fir, of what disposition was the duke?
Escal. One, that, above all other strifes, contended cspecially to know himself.
Duke. What pleasure was he given to ?
Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which profess’d to make him rejoice: A gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous ; and let me desire to know, how you find Claudio prepar'd ? I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation,
Duke. He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice : yer had he fram'd to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I, by my good leisure, have discredited to him, and now is he're. solved to die.
Escal. You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have labour'd for the poor gentleman, to the extremelt shore of my modesty ; but my brother justice have I found so severe, that he hath forc'd me to tell him, he is indeed Justice.
Duke. if his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenc'd himself.
Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner; Fare you well.
Duke. Peace be with you!
Draw 9 Pattern in himsef to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go ;] These lines I cannot understand, but believe that they should be read thus :
Patterning himse'f to know,
In grace 10 ftand, in virtue go ; To pattern
is to work after a pattern, and, perhaps, in Shakespeare's licentious diction, simply to work. The lente is, he that bears the Sword of beaven should be bely as well as je virt; one ibat after good examples labcurs to know himself, to live witb innocence, and to act with virtue. JOHNSON.
This passage is very obscure, nor can be cleared without a more licentious paraphrase than any reader may be willing to allow. He tbat biars she sword of beav'n fhould be not lefs baly rhan fivere : should be able to discover in himself a pattern of such grace as can avoid temptation, together wiih litch virtue as d'aris venture abroad into the world without danger of Jeduction. Steevens.
likin js made in crimes,
Moft pont 'rous and anijalibings !] Thus all the editions read corruptly: and so have made an obscure paliage in itself, quite unintelligible. Shakespeare wrote it thus,
that likenifs, made in crim!!,
Draw with idle spiders' strings
The sense is this, How much wickedness may a man hide within,
How may such likeness trade in crimes,
Most pond'rous and substantial things; meaning by pond'rous and substantial things, pleasure and wealth
Most pond'rous and substantial things? i.e How may the making it a practice of letting great rogues break through the laws with impunity, and hanging up little ones for the same crimes ; draw away in time with idle spiders strings, (For no better do the cords of the law become, according to the old saying. Léges fimiles aranearum telis, to which the allusion is) juitice and equity, the most ponderous and substantial bases, and pillars of government. When justice on offenders is not done, law, government, and commerce are overthrown. SMITH.
5 So disguise snall, by the disguis’d,] So disguise shall by means of & perfon dis uiled, return an injurivih demand with a counterfeit perJen. JOHNSON
Mari. Break off shy song, and haste thee quick
3 Take, ob, iake, &c.] This is part of a little song of Shakespeare's own writing, consisting of two stanzas, and so extremely sweet, that the reader won't be displeased to have the other.
Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Are of those thai April wears.
Bound in those icy chains by thee. WARBURTON.
Tho' Sewell and Gildon have printed this among Shakespeare's poems, they have done the same to so many other pieces, of which the real authors are fince known, that their evidence is not to be depended on. It is not found in Jaggard's edition of his sonnets, which was printed during his life-time. STEEVENS.