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Line 369. -lighter) People of less dignity or import

JOHNSON. Line 373. -geck,] A fool.

JOHNSON. 381. here were presuppos'd-] Presuppos'd, for imposed.

WARBURTON. Presuppos'd rather seems to mean previously pointed out for thy imitation.

STEEVENS. Line 395. importance,] i. e. Importunity.







Line 5. Since I am put to know,] May mean, I am obliged to acknowledge.

STEEVENS. Line 6. lists-] Bounds, limits.


-Then no more remains,
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,

And let them work.] That this passage is more or less corrupt, I believe every reader will agree. There was probably some original obscurity in the expression, which gave occasion to mistake in repetition or transcription. I therefore suspect that the author wrote thus :

Then no more remains,
But that to your sufficiencies your worth is abled,

And let them work. Then nothing remains more than to tell you, that your virtue is now invested with power equal to your knowledge and wisdom. Let therefore your knowledge and your virtue now work together. It may easily be conceived how sufficiencies was, by an inarticulate speaker, ar inattentive hearer, confounded with sufficiency as, and how abled, a word very unusual, was changed into able. For abled, however, an authority is not wanting.

STEEVENS. Line 10.

-the terms

For conmon justice, you are as pregnant in,] I think the Duke meant to say, that Escalus was pregnant, that is, ready and knowing in all the forms of law, and, among other things, in the terms or times set apart for its administration. JOHNSON. Line 18. For you must know, we have with special soul

Elected him our absence to supply;] By the words with special soul elected him, I believe, the poet meant no more than that he was the immediate choice of his heart. A similar expression occurs in the Tempest:

-“ for several virtues
“ Have I lik'd several women, never any

“ With so full soul, but some defect," &c. STEEVENS. Line 30. There is a kind of character in thy life,

That, to the observer, &c.] Shakspeare must, I believe, be answerable for the unnecessary solemnity (which Dr. Johnson justly condemns) of this introduction. He has the same thought in Henry IV. p. 2. which is the best comment on this passage.

“ There is a history in all mens' lives,

Figuring the nature of the times deceas'd :
“ The which observ'd, a man may prophecy
“With a near aim, of the main chance of things
“ As yet not come to life,” &c.

STEEVENS. Line 36.

-for if our virtues, &c.] Paulum sepultæ distat inertiæ

Celata virtus HOR. 40. -to fine issues :) To great consequences. For high purposes.

JOHNSON. Line 44. Both thanks and use.] i. e. Both thanks and interest. 44.

-I do bend

my speech To one that can my part in him advertise ;] The meaning is, I direct my speech to one who is able to teach me how to govern: my part in him, signifying my office, which I have delegated to him. My part in him advertise ; i. e. who knows what appertains to the character of deputy or viceroy. WARBURTONI I know not whether we may not better read,

One that can my part to him advertise, One that can inform himself of that which it would be otherwise my part to tell him.

JOHNSON, Line 46. Hold therefore, Angelo:] That is, continue to be Angelo; hold as thou art.

JOHNSON. Line 50.-first in question,] That is, first called for; first appointed.

JOHNSON. Line 57. We hate with a leaven'd and prepared choice] Leaven'd choice is one of Shakspeare's harsh metaphors. His train of ideas seems to be this. I have proceeded to you with choice mature, concocted, fermented, leavened. When bread is leavened it is left to ferment: a leavened choice is therefore a choice not hasty, but considerate, not declared as soon as it fell into the imagination, but suffered to work long in the mind. Thus explained, it suits better with prepared than levelled, which is Dr. Warburton's reading.

JOHNSON, Line 68. bring you something on the way.] i.e. Travel some part of the

way Line 71.

-your scope is as mine own.] That is, your amplitude of power.


with you.

ACT I. SCENE II. Line 113. in metre ?] In the primers, there are metrical graces, such as, I suppose, were used in Shakspeare's time.

JOHNSON. Line 114. In any proportion, &c.] Proportion signifies measure: and refers to the question, What? in metre ? WARBURTON.

Line 116. Grace is grace, despite of all controversy:] Satirically insinuating that the controversies about grace were so intricate and endless, that the disputants unsettled every thing but this, that grace was grace; which, however, in spite of controversy, still remained certain.

WARBURTON. there went but a pair of sheers between us.] We are both of the same piece.

JOHNSON. So in The Maid of the Mill, by Beaumont and Fletcher.* There went but a pair of sheers and a bodkin between them.”


Line 119

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