Yet show some pity.
Ang. I show it most of all, when I show justice:
For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall;
And do him right, that, answering one foul wrong,
Lives not to act another. Be satisfied ;
Your brother dies to morrow; be content.
Isab. So you must be the first, that gives this sen-

And he, that suffers : 0, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous,
To use it like a giant."

That's well said.
Isab. Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting,2 petty officer,
Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but thun-

Merciful heaven !
Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak,

began i. e. with the criminal; who being punished for his first offence, could not proceed by successive degrees in wickedness, nor excite others, by his impunity, to vice. Sv, in the next speech:

“ And do him right, that, answering one foul wrong,

" Lives not to act another." It is more likely that a letter should have been omitted at the press, than that one should have been added.

The same mistake has happened in The Merchant of Venice, folio, 1623, p. 173, col. 2:-“ba, ha, bere in Genoa.”_instead of_" where in Genoa?” Malone.

Dr. Johnson applauds Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation. I prefer that of Mr. Malone. Steevens.

show some pity.
Ang. I show it most of all, when I show justice;

For then I pity those I do not know,] This was one of Hale's memorials. When I find myself swayed to mercy, let me remember, that there is a mercy likewise due to the country. Johnson.

1 To use it like a giant.] Isabella alludes to the savage conduct of giants in ancient romances. Steevens.

2 — pelting, ) i. e. paltry. This word I meet with in Mother Bombie, 1594: “ – will not shrink the city for a pelting jade." Steevens.

gnarled oak,] Gnarre is the old English word for a knot in wood.



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Than the soft myrtle ;_0, but man, proud man !!
Drest in a little brief authority;
Most ignorant of what he 's most assur'd,
His glassy 'essence,-like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep;s whò, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Lucio. O, to him, to him, wench: he will relent;
He's coming; I perceive 't.

Pray heaven she win him!
Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:?

So, in Antonio's Revenge, 1602:

“ Till by degrees the tough and gnarly trunk

“ Be riv'd in sunder.” Again, in Chaucer's Knight's Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. v, 1979:

“ With knotty knarry barrein trees old.” Steevens. 4 Than the soft myrtle ;-0, but man, proud man!

n!] The defective metre of this line shows that some word was accidentally omitted at the press; probably some additional epithet to man; perhaps weak,-“ but man, weak, proud man!" The editor of the second folio, to supply the defect, reads-0, but man, &c. which, like almost all the other emendations of that copy, is the worst and the most improbable that could have been chosen.

Malone. I am content with the emendation of the second folio), which I conceive to have been made on the authority of some manu. script, or corrected copy. Steevens.

5 As make the angels weep:] The notion of angels weeping for the sins of men is rabbinical.--Ob peccatum flentes angelos inducunt Hebræorum magistri.-Grotius ad S. Lucam. Theobald.

who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.] Mr. Theobald says

the meaning of this is, that if they were endowed with our spleens and perishable organs, they would laugh themselves out of immortality; or, as we say in common life, laugh themselves dead; which amounts to this, that if they were mortal, they would not be immortal. Shakspeare meant no such nonsense. By spleens, he meant that peculiar turn of the human mind, that always inclines it to a spiteful, unseasonable mirth. Had the angels that, says Shakspeare, they would laugh themselves out of their immortality, by indulging a passion which does not deserve that prerogative. The ancients thought, that immoderate laughter was caused by the bigness of the spleen. Warburton.

7 We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:] We mortals, proud and foolish, cannot prevail on our passions to weigh or compare our brother, a being of like nature and like frailty, VOL. III.

H h


Great men may jest with saints: 'tis wit in them;
But, in the less, foul profanation.

Lucio. Thou 'rt in the right, girl; more o' that.

Isab. That in the captain 's but a choleric word,
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Lucio. Art advis'd o' that? more on 't.
Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?

Isab. Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
That skins the vice o' the top:8 Go to your bosom;
Knock there; and ask your heart, what it doth know
That 's like my brother's fault: if it confess
A natural guiltiness, such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.

[ Aside.) She speaks, and 'tis Such sense, that my sense breeds with it.

-[To Isab.] Fare you well.

evith ourself. We have different names and different judgments for the same faults committed by persons of different condition.

Fobnson. The reading of the old copy, ourself, which Dr. Warburton changed to yourself, is supported by a passage in the fifth Act:

If he had so offended,
“ He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself,

“ And not have cut him off," Malone. & That skins the vice o' the top:] Shakspeare is fond of this indelicate metaphor. So, in Hamlet :

“ It will but skin and film the ulcerous place.” Steevens.

that my sense breeds with it.] Thus all the folios. Some later editor has changed breeds to bleeds, and Dr. Warburton blames poor Theobald for recalling the old word, which yet is certainly right. My sense breeds with her sense, that is, new thoughts are stirring in my mind, new conceptions are

hatched in my imagination. So we say, to brood over thought. Fohnson.

Sir William D'Avenant's alteration favours the sense of the old reading--breeds, which Mr. Pope had changed to bleeds.

She speaks such sense
As with my reason breeds such images

As she has excellently formido Steevens. I rather think the meaning is,-She delivers her sentiments with such propriety, force, and elegance, that my sensual desires are inflamed by what she says. Sense has been already used in this play with the same signification:

one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense."

Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.
Ang. I will bethink 'me: Come again to-morrow.
Isab. Hark, how I 'll bribe you: Good iny lord, turn

back. Ang. How! bribe me? Isab. Ay, with such gifts, that heaven shall share

with you.

Lucio. You had marr'd all else,

Isab. Not with fond shekels? of the tested gold,
Or stones, whose rates are either rich, or poor,
As fancy values them: but with true prayers,
That shall be up at heaven, and enter there,
Ere sun-rise; prayers from preserved souls,
From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.

Well: : come to me



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The word breets is used nearly in the same sense in The Tempest:

Fair encounter
“ Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace

“ On that which breeds between them!" Malone. The sentence signifies, Isabella does not utter barren words, but speaks such sense as breeds or produces a consequence in Angelo's mind. Thus truths which generate no conclusion are often termed barren facts. H. White.

I understand the passage thus:-Her arguments are enforced with so much good sense, as to increase that stock of sense which I already possess. Douce.

fond, shekels -] Fond means very frequently in our author, foolisb. , It signifies in this place valued or prized by folly.

Steevens. tested gold,] i. e. attested, or marked with the standard stamp. Warburton.

Rather cupelled,, brought to the test, refined. Fobnson. All gold that is tested is wet marked with the standard stamp. The verb has a different sense, and means tried by the cuppel, which is called by the refiners a test. Vide Harris's Lex. Tech. Voce CUPPELL, Sir 7. Hawkins.

preserved souls,] i. e. preserved from the corruption of the world. The metaphor is taken from fruits preserved in sugar. Warburton... So, in The Amorous War, 1648:

“ You do not reckon us 'mongst marmalade;

Quinces and apricots ? or take us for “ Ladies preserved?" Steevens,



Lucio. Go to; it is well; away. [.Aside to Isab.
Isab. Heaven keep your honour safe!

Amen: for I Am that way going to temptation,

[Aside Where prayers cross.

Isab. At what hour to-morrow
Shall I attend your lordship?

Ang. At any time 'fore noon.
Isab. Save your honour! [Exeunt Lucio and ISAB,

Ang. From thee; even from thy virtue!
What's this? what's this? Is this her fault, or mine?
The tempter, or the tempted, who sins most? Ha!'

I am that way going to temptation, Where prayers cross.] Which way Angelo is going to temptation, we begin to perceive; but how prayers cross that way, or cross each other, at that way, more than any other, I do not understand.

Isabella prays that his honour may be safe, meaning only to give him his title: his imagination is caught by the word bonour: he feels that his honour is in danger, and therefore, I beliere, answers thus:

I am that way going to temptation, tai

Which your prayers cross: That is, I am tempted to lose that honour of which thou implorest the preservation. The temptation under which I labour is that which thou hast unknowingly thwarted with thy prayer. He uses the same mode of language a few lines lower. Isabella, parting, says:

Save your honour!
Angelo catches the wordSave it! From what?

From thee; even from thy virtue ! Johnson. The best method of Illustrating this passage will be to quote 4 similar one from The Merchant of Venice, Act Ill, seci:

" Sal. I would it might prove the end of his losses!
Sola. Let me say Amen betimes, lest the devil cross thy

prayer.For the same reason' Angelo 'seems to say Amen to Isabella's prayer; but, to make the expression clear, we should read perhaps-Where prayers are crossed, ' Tyrukitt.

The petition of the Lord's Prayer" lead us not into tempta. tion"—is here considered as crossing or intercepting the onward way in which Angelo was going; this appointment of his for the morrow's meeting, being a premeditated exposure of himself to temptation, which it was the general object of prayer to thwart. Henley.

Ha!] This tragedy-Ha! (which clogs the metre) was certainly thrown in by the player editors. Steevens,


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