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Of outward order. This we came not to,
Lucio. With child, perhaps ?
Claud. Unhappily, even fo.
8 -- the fault and glimpse of newness ;] Fault and glimpse have so Jittle relation to each other, that both can scarcely be right: We may read flash for fault : or, perhaps we may read,
Whether it be the fault or glimteThat is, whether it be the seeming enormity of the action, or the glare of new authority. Yet the same sense follows in the next lines. JOHNSON.
9 So long that nineteen zodiacks have gone round,] The duke in the scene immediately following says,
Which for these fourteen years we have let flip. The author could not so disagree with himself. 'Tis necessary to make the two accounts correspond. THEOBALD.
Lucio. I warrant, it is : And thy head stands so tickle' on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my sister should the cloister enter, And there receive her approbation : Acquaint her with the danger of my state ; Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict deputy ; bid herself assay him ; I have great hope in that: for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect,
so tickle] i.e. ticklish. This word is frequently used by our old dramatic authors. So in The true Tragedy of Marius and Scilla, 1594,
-lords of Asia “ Have stood on tickle terms." Again, in The Widow's Tears, by Chapman, 1612,
“- upon as tickle a pin as the needle of a dial." Again, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1610,
“ Now stands our fortune on a tickle point." Again, Byron's Tragedy,
all his sways “ And tickle aptness to exceed his bounds." Steevens.
-prone and speecblefs diale&i,] I can scarcely tell what ligni. fication to give to the word prone. Its primitive and translated senses are well known. The authour may, by a prone diale&t, mean a dialect which men are prone to regard, or a dialect natural and unforced, as those actions seem to which we are prone. Either of these interpretations are sufficiently strained; but such distortion of words is not uncommon in our authour. For the sake of an cafier sense, we may read,
- In her youth There is a pow'r, and
sprechless dialeat, Such as moves men. Or thus,
Tbere is a prompt and speecbless diale&. JOHNSON. Prone, perhaps, may ftand for bumble, as a prone posure is a poffure of jupplication. STEVENS.
Such as moves men; beside, she hath prosperous art
Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under griev. ous imposition ;: as for the enjoying of thy life, wha I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Enter Duke and Friar Thomas. Duke. No; holy father,—Throw away that
thought ;Believe not, that the dribbling dart of love
Can pierce a compleat bofom : why I defire thee To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose More grave, and wrinkled, than the aims and ends Of burning youth.
Fri. May your grace speak of it?
Duke. My holy fir, none better knows than you, How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd; And held in idle price to haunt affemblies, Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps. I have deliver'd to lord Angelo
3 under grievous impofition :] I once thought it should be inquie tion, but the present reading is probably right. The crime would be uniter grievous penalties imposed. Jourson.
4 Believe tict, that the dribbling dart of love
Cunpierce a compleat bojim: --] Think not that a breast compleaty arized can be pierced by the dart of love that comes fiutering without force. JOHNSON.
(A man of stricture and firm abstinences)
Fri. Gladly, my lord.
Even 5 A man of stricture and firm abftinence,] Strieture makes no ferse in this place. We should read,
A man of frict ure and firm abstinence, i. e, a man of the exallefi conduct, and praised in the subdual of his paifions. Ure an old word for use, practice: fo enur’d, habituated to. WARBURTON.
Strieture may easily be used for strieness; ure is indeed an old word, but, I think, always applied to things, never to perfons.
JOHNSON The needful bits and curbs for head-Prong feeds, ] In the copies,
The needful bits and curbs for head-fireng weeds. There is no matter of analogy or consonance in the metaphors here: and, though the copies agree, I do not think, the author would have talked of bits and curbs for weeds. On the other hand, nothing can be more proper, than to compare persons of wbridied dicenticajnefs to head-strong ftieds: and, in this view, bridling the paffions has been a phrase adopted by our best poets. THEOBALD.
? Wbich for these nineteen ycars we have let freep ;) In former editions,
Wbich for these fourteen years we have let slip. For fourteen I have made no scruple to replace ninetech. I have altered the odd phrase of letting ibe laws slip : for how does it fort with the comparison that follows, of a lion in his cave that went not out to prey? But letting the laws sleep, adds a particular propriety to the thing represented, and accords exactly too with the fimile. It is the metaphor too, that our author seems fond of using upon this occasion, in several other passages of this play. The law hath not been dead, tho' it hath ilept; 'Tis now awake.
Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave,
Fri. It refted in your grace
Duke. I do fear, too dreadful. Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, 'Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them, For what I bid them do : For we bid this be done, When evil deeds have their permissive pass, And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my
father, I have on Angelo impos'd the office : Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home, And yet, my nature never in the sight To do it Nander. 9 And to behold his fway,
I wil] And so, again,
-but this new governor
rand for a name,
Freshly on me. THEOBALD. s Becomes more mock'd than fear'd :-} Becomes was added by Mr. Pope to restore sense to the passage, some such word having been left out. STEEVENS. 9 To do it Nander.--- -] The text stood,
So do in jiander.--