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His old betrothed, but despis'd ;
ACT IV.....SCENE I.
A Room in MARIANA's House.
MARIANA discovered sitting; a Boy singing.
That so sweetly were forsworn;
Lights that do mislead the morn:
seald in vain.
In Much Ado about Nothing we have a similar thought:
“O, what authority and show of truth
“ Can cunning sin cover itself withal!” Malone. I cannot admit that make, in the ancient copies of our author, has been so frequently printed instead of mock; for the passages in which the one is supposed to have been substituted for the other, are still unsettled.-But, be this as it may, I neither comprehend the drift of the lines before us as they stand in the old edition, or with the aid of any changes hitherto attempted; and must therefore bequeath them to the luckier efforts of future criticism. Steevens.
By made in crimes, the Duke means, trained in iniquity, and perfect in it. Thus we say~
-a made horse ; a made pointer ; meaning one well trained. M. Mason.
2 So disguise skall, by the disguis’d,] So disguise shall by means of a person disguised, return an injurious demand with a counterfeit person. Johnson.
3 Take, oh take, &c.] This is part of a little song of Shakspeare's own writing, consisting of two stanzas, and so extremely sweet, that the reader won't be displeased to have the other:
Hide, ob bide those bills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Are of those that April wears.
Mari. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away; Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice Hath often stillid my brawling discontent.
[Exit Boy. Enter DUKE. I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish You had not found me here so musical: Let me excuse me, and believe me so,— My mirth it much displeas’d, but pleas'd my woe.4 Duke. 'Tis good: though musick oft hath such a
charm, To make bad, good, and good provoke to harm. I pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here to day? much upon this time have I promis'd here to meet.
Mari. You have not been inquired after: I have sat here all day.
This song is entire in Beaumont's Bloody Brother, and in Shakspeare's Poems. The latter stanza is omitted by Mariana, as. not suiting a female character. Theobald.
Though Sewell and Gildon have printed this among Shak. speare's Poems, they have done the same to so many other pieces, of which the real authors are since known, that their evidence is not to be depended on. It is not found in Jaggard's edition of our author's Sonnets, which was printed during his life-time.
Our poet, however, has introduced one of the same thoughts in his 142d Sonnet:
not from those lips of thine
“ And seald false bonds of love, as oft as mine.” Steevens. Again, in his Venus and Atlonis:
“ Pure lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,
“What bargains may I make, still to be sealing ” Malone. The same image occurs also in the old black-letter Translation of Amadis of Gaule, 4to. p. 171: “ rather with kisses (which are counted the seales of Love) they chose to confirm their unanimitie, than otherwise to offend a resolved pacience.” Reed.
This song is found entire in Shakspeare's Poems, printed in 1640; but that is a book of no authority: Yet I believe that both these stanzas were written by our author. Malone.
4 My mirth it much displeas'd, but pleas'd my woe.] Though the music soothed my sorrows, it had no tendency to produce light merriment. Johnson.
Enter ISABELLA. Duke. I do constantlys believe you :-The time is come, even now. I shall crave your forbearance a little; may be, I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself. Mari. I am always bound to you.
[Exit. Duke. Very well met, and welcome. What is the news from this good deputy?
Isab. He hath a garden circummur'd with brick,
Isab. I have ta’en a due and wary note upon 't;
constantly -] Certainly; without fluctuation of mind.
Fohnson. So, in The Merchant of Venice:
“ Could so much turn the constitution
circummurd with brick,] Circummured, walled round. " He caused the doors to be mured and cased up.”
Painter's Palace of Pleasure. Johnson. - a planched gate,] i.e. a gate made of boards. Planche, Fr.
A plancher is a plank. So, in Lyly's Maid's Metamorphosis, 1600 :
upon the ground doth lie
" Yet with his hoofes doth beat and rent
Steevens. & There bave I, &c.] In the old copy the lines stand thus :
There have I made my promise upon the
Heavy middle of the night, to call upon him. Steevens. The present regulation was made by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
Are there no other tokens
Isab. No, none, but only a repair i' the dark;
'Tis well borne .up.
Re-enter MARIANA. I
pray you be acquainted with this maid; She comes to do you good. Isab.
I do desire the like. Duke. Do you persuade yourself that I respect you? Mari. Good friar, I know you do; and have found it.
Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand, Who hath a story ready for your ear: I shall attend your leisure; but make haste; The vaporous night approaches. Mari.
Will 't please you walk aside ?
[Exeunt MARI, and Isab. Duke. O place and greatness,3 millions of false eyes Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report
9 In action all of precept,] i. e. showing the several turnings of the way, with his hand; which action contained so many precepts, being given for my direction. Warburton. I rather think we should read,
In precept of all action, that is, in direction given not by words, but by mute signs. Johnson.
I have possess'd him,] I have made him clearly and strongly comprehend. Fohnson.
To possess has formerly the sense of inform or acquaint. As in Every Man in his Humour, Act I, sc. v, Captain Bobadil says: “ Possess no gentleman of our acquaintance with notice of my lodging: Reed. 2 That stays upon me;] So, in Macbeth:
Worthy Macbeth, we stay upon your leisure.” Steevens. 3 O place and greatness,] It plainly appears that this fine speech belongs to that which concludes the preceding scene between the Duke and Lucio. For they are absolutely foreign to the subject of this, and are the natural reflections arising from that. Besides, the very words,
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Run with these false and most contrarious quests, evidently refer to Lucio's scandals just preceding; which the Oxford editor, in his usual way, has emended, by altering these to their. But that some time might be given to the two women to confertogether, the players, I suppose, took part of the speech, beginning at No might nor greatness, &c and put it here, without troubling themselves about its pertinency. However, we are obliged to them for not giving us their own impertinency, as they have frequently done in other places. Warburton.
I cannot agree that these lines are placed here by the players. The sentiments are common, and such as a prince, given to reflection, must have often present. There was a necessity to fill up the time in which the ladies converse apart, and they must have quick tongues and ready apprehensions, if they un. derstood each other while this speech was uttered. Fobnson..
millions of false eyes —] That is, Eyes insidious and traiterous. Johnson. So, in Chaucer's Sompnoures Tale, Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 7633:
“ Ther is ful many an eye, and many an ere,
Awaiting on a lord,” &c. Steevens. 5 contrarious quests -] Different reports, running counter to each other. Fobnson. So, in Othello:
“ The senate has sent out three several quests." In our author's K. Richard III, is a passage in some degree similar to the foregoing:
“ My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
- And every tale condemns". Steevens. I incline to think that quests here means inquisitions, in which sense the word was used in Shakspeare's time. See Minshieu's Dict. in v. Cole in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, renders “ A quest,” by “examin inquisitio.” Malone.
False and contrarious quests in this place rather mean lying and contradictory messengers, with whom run volumes of report. An explanation, which the line quoted by Mr. Steevens will serve to confirm. Ritson.
'scapes of wit ---] i. e. sallies, irregularities. So, in King Jobn, Act III, sc. iv:
“No 'scape of nature, no distemper'd day.” Steevens. 7 And rack thee in their fancies !] Though rack, in the present instance, may signify torture or mangle, it might also mean confuse; as the rack, i. e, fleeting cloud, renders the object behind