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instrument of the gods for the happiness of Imogen. He is now grown reasonable enough to determine, that having done so much evil, he will do no more; that he will not fight against the country which he has already injured; but as life is not longer supportable, he will die in a just cause, and die with the obscurity of a man who does not think himself worthy to be remembered. JOHNSON. Line 10. to put on-] Is to incite, to instigate. JOHNS. ACT V. SCENE III.

Line 82. The country base,] i. e. a rustick game called prisonbars, vulgarly prison-base. STEEVENS. -for preservation cas'd, or shame,)] Shame for WARBURTON. JOHNSON.

Line 84.

Line 116.

bugs-] Terrors.

119. Nay, do not wonder at it:] Posthumus first bids him not wonder, then tells him in another mode of reproach,

that wonder is all that he was made for.

JOHNSON. Line 150. -great the answer be-] Answer, as once in this play before, is retaliation. JOHNSON. Line 158. That gave the affront with them.] That is, that turned their faces to the enemy. JOHNSON.


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Line 170. You shall not now be stolen,] the wit of the Gaoler alludes to the custom of putting a lock on a horse's leg, when he is turned to pasture. JOHNSON.

Line 190.

- -to satisfy,

If of my freedom 'tis the main part, take

No stricter render of me, than my all.]" Since for my crimes I have been deprived of my freedom, and since life itself is more valuable than freedom, let the gods take my life, and by this let heaven be appeased, how small soever the atonement may be." MALONE.

Line 204. cold bonds.] This equivocal use of bonds is another instance of our author's infelicity in pathetic speeches.


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Line 243. And to become the geck-] And permit Posthumus


to become the geck, &c.

Line 317. 'Tis still a dream; or else such stuff as madmen

Tongue, and brain not: either both, or nothing:
Or senseless speaking, or a speaking such

As sense cannot untie.] The meaning, which is too

thin to be easily caught, I take to be this: This is a dream or madness, or both-or nothing,—but whether it be a speech without consciousness, as in a dream, or a speech unintelligible, as in madness, be it as it is, it is like my course of life. JOHNSON.

Line 334. sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that you are paid too much ;] i. e. sorry that you have paid too much out of your pocket, and sorry that you are paid, or subdued, too much by the liquor. STEEVENS.

Line 340. —debitor and creditor-] For an accounting book. JOHNSON.


-one that promis'd nought

But beggary and poor looks.] To promise nothing but poor looks, may be, to give no promise of courageous behaviour.


Line 487. So feat,] So ready; so dexterous in waiting.

Line 393.

JOHNSON. -574. Quail to remember,] To quail is to sink into dejection. STEEVENS. 612. — as Dian—] i. e. as if Dian. MALONE. 635. —averring notes-] Such marks of the chamber and pictures, as averred or confirmed my report. JOHNSON. Line 654. —and she herself.] That is, She was not only the temple of virtue, but virtue herself. JOHNSON. Line 670. -these staggers—] This wild and delirious perturbation. Staggers is the horse's apoplexy. JOHNSON. Line 708. Think, that you are upon a rock ;] In this speech, or in the answer, there is little meaning. I suppose, she would say,-Consider such another act as equally fatal to me with precipitation from a rock, and now let me see whether you will repeat it. JOHNSON.

Line 771. By tasting of our wrath ?] The consequence is taken for the whole action: by tasting is by forcing us to make thee JOHNSON.

to taste.

Line 809. Your pleasure was my mere offence, &c.] My crime, my punishment, and all the treason that I committed, originated in, and were founded on, your caprice only.


Line 828. Thou weep'st, and speak'st.]" Thy tears give testimony to the sincerity of thy relation; and I have the less reason to be incredulous, because the actions which you have done within my knowledge are more incredible than the story which you relate." The king reasons very justly. JOHNSON.







LINE 4. my successive title-] i. e. my title to the suc




Line 74. Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!] We may suppose the Romans in a grateful ceremony, meeting the dead sons of Andronicus with mournful habits. JOHNSON.

Or that they were in mourning for their emperor who was just dead. STEEVENS.

Line 82. Thou great defender of this Capitol,] Jupiter, to whom the Capitol was sacred.


Line 176. And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!] To live in fame's date is, if an allowable, yet a harsh expression.

To outlive an eternal date is, though not philosophical, yet poetical sense. He wishes that her life may be longer than his, and her praise longer than fame. JOHNSON. Line 188. That hath aspir'd to Solon's happiness,] The maxim

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