you advise it.

Isab. She'll take the enterprize upon her, father,

It is not my consent,
But my intreaty too.

Little have you to say,
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
Remember now my brother.

Fear me not.
Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all :
He is your husband on a pre-contráct:
To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin;
Sith that the justice of your title to him
Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go;
Our corn 's to reap, for yet our tithe 's to sow.9


it obscure, and of undetermined form. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

“ That which was now a horse, even with a thought, « The rack dislimns, and makes it indistinct,

“As water is in water." Steevens. 8 Doth flourish the deceit.] A metaphor taken from embroidery, where a coarse ground is filled up, and covered with figures of rich materials and elegant workmanship. Warburton,

Flourish is ornament in general. So, in our author's Twelftb Nigbt :

empty trunks o'erflourish'd by the devil.” Steevens. Dr! Warburton's illustration of the metaphor seems to be inaccurate. The passage from another of Shakspeare's plays, quoted by Mr. Steevens, suggests to us the true one. The term

flourish, alludes to the flowers impressed on the waste printed paper and old books, with which trunks are commonly lined. Henley.

When it is proved that the practice alluded to, was as ancient as the time of Shakspeare, Mr. Henley's explanation may be admitted. Steevens. - for yet our tithe 's to som.

v.] As before, the blundering editors have made a prince of the priéstly Angelo, so here they have made a priest of the prince. We should read tilth, i. e. our tillage is yet to make. The grain from which we expect our harvest, is not yet put into the ground. Warburton.

The reader is here attacked with a petty sophism. We should read tilth, i. e. our tillage is to make. But in the text it is to sow; and who has ever said that his tillage was to sow; I believe tythe is right, and that the expression is proverbial, in which tythe is taken, by an easy metonymy, for barvest. Johnson.



A Room in the Prison.

Enter Provost and Clown. Prov. Come hither, sirrah: Can you cut off a man's

head? Clo. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can: but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.

Prov. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: Here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping;l for you have been a notorious bawd.

Dr. Warburton did not do justice to his own conjecture ; and no wonder, therefore, that Dr. Johnson has not.-Tilth is provincially used for land till’d, prepared for sowing. Shakspeare, however, has applied it before in its usual acceptation. Fariner.

Dr. Warburton's conjecture may be supported by many instances in Markham's English Husbandman, 1635: - After the beginning of March you shall begin to sowe your barley upon that ground which the year before did lye fallow, and is commonly called your tilth or fallow field.” In p. 74 of this book, a corruption, like our author's, occurs. “ As before, I said beginne to fallow your tithe field :” which is undoubtedly misprinted for tilth field. Tollet.

Tilth is used for crop, or harvest, by Gower, De Confessione Ainantis, Lib. V, fol. 93, b:

" To sowe cockill with the corne,
“ So that the tilth is nigh forlorne,

" Which Christ sew first his owne honde." Shakspeare uses the word tiltb in a former scene of this play; and, (as Dr. Farmer has observed) in its common acceptation ;

her plenteous womb

Expresseth its full tilth and husbandry.” Again, in The Tempest:

-bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none.” but my quotation from Gower shows that, to sow tilth, was a phrase once in use. Steevens.

This conjecture appears to me extremely probable. Malone. 1 - an unpitied shipping ;] i. e. an immerciful one. Steevens.

Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruction from my fellow partner.

Prov. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?

Enter Abhorson. Abhor. Do you call, sir? . Prov. Sirrah,here 's a fellow will help you to-morrow in your execution: If you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if not, lise him for the present, and dismiss him : He cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.

Abhor. A bawd, sir? Fie upon him, lie will discredit our mystery.

Prov. Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale.

[Exit. Clo. Pray, sir, by your good favour, (for, surely, sir, a good favour? you have, but that you have a hanging look,) do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery?

Abhor. Ay, sir; a mystery.

Clo. Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery: and your whores, sir, being members of my occupation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hang'd, I cannot imagine.3

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- gooil favour -] Favour is countenance.

So, in Antony and Cleopatra:

why so tart a favour,
"To publish such good tidings?” Steevens.

-what mystery, &c.] Though I have adopted an emendation independent of the following note, the omission of it would have been unwarrantable. Steerens.

what mystery there should be banging, if I should be bang'd, I cannot imagine.

Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery.
Glo. Proof
Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief:

Clo. If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough; if it be too big for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough : so every true man's apparel fits your thief ] Thus it stood in all the editions till Mr. Theobald's, and was, methinks, not very difficult to be understood. The plain and humorous sense

Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery.

of the speech is this. Every true man's apparel, which the thief robs him of, fits the thief. Why? Because, if it be too little for the thief, the true man thinks it big enough: i. e. a purchase too good for him. So that this fits the thief in the opinion of the true man. But if it be too big for the thief, yet the thief thinks it little enough : i. e. of value little enough. So that this fits the thief in his own opinion. Where we see, that the pleasantry of the joke consists in the equivocal sense of big enough, and little enough. Yet Mr. Theobald says he can see no sense in all this, and therefore alters the whole thus:

Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief.

Clown. If it be too little for jour true man, your thief thinks it big enough: if it be too big for your true man, your thief thinks it little enough.

And for his alteration gives this extraordinary reason.--I am satisfied the poet intended a regular syllogism: and I submit it to judgment, whether my regulation has not restored that wit and buinour which was quite lost in the depravation.—But the place is corrupt, though Mr. Theobald could not find it out. Let us consider it a little. The Hangman calls his trade a mystery: the Clown cannot conceive it. The Hangman undertakes to prove it in these words, Every true man's apparel, &c. but this proves the thief'strade a mystery, not the hang man's. Hence it appears, that the speech, in which the Hangman proved his trade a mystery, is lost. The very words it is impossible to retrieve, but one may easily understand what medinm he employed in proving it: without doubt, the very same the Clown employed to prove the thief's trade a mystery; namely, that all sorts of clothes fitted the bangman. The Clown, on hearing this argu. ment, replied, I suppose, to this effect: Why, by the same kind of reasoning, I can prove the thief's trade too to be a mystery. The other asks how, and the Clown goes on as above, Every true inan's apparel fits your thief; if it be too little, &c. The jocular conclusion from the whole, being an insinuation that thief and hangman were rogues alike. This conjecture gives a spirit and integrity to the dialogue, which, in its present mangled condition, is altogether wanting : and shews why the argument of every true man's apparel, &c. was in all editions given to the Clown, to whom indeed it belongs ; and likewise that the present reading of that argument is the true. Warburton.

If Dr. Warburton had attended to the argument by which the Bawd proves his own profession to be a mystery, he would not have been driven to take refuge in the groundless supposition “ that part of the dialogue had been lost or dropped.".

The argument of the Hangman is exactly similar to that of the Bawd. As the latter plits in his claim to the whores, as members of his occupation, and, in virtue of their painting, would enroll his own fraternity in the mystery of painters ; so


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Clo. Proof.

Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief:4 If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough; if it be too big for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough: so every true man's apparel fits your thief.

Re-enter Provost. Prov. Are you agreed?

Clo. Sir, I will serve him; for I do find, your hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth oftner ask forgiveness.

the former equally lays claim to the thieves, as members of his occupation, and, in their right, endeavours to rank his brethren, the hangmen, under the mystery of fitters of apparel, or tailors. The reading of the old editions is therefore undoubtedly right; except that the last speech, which makes part of the Hangman's argument, is, by mistake, as the reader's own sagacity will readily perceive, given to the Clown or Bawd. I suppose, therefore, the poet gave us the whole thus :

Abhor. Sir it is a mysterj.
Clown. Proof.

Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief; if it be too little

for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough: if it be too big for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough; so every true man's apparel fits your thief.

I must do Dr. Warburton the justice to acknowledge, that he hath rightly apprehended, and explained the force of the Hangman's argument Heuth.

There can be no doubt but the word Clown, prefixed to the last sentence, If it be to little, &c. should be struck out. It makes part of Abhorson's argument, who has undertaken to prove that hanging was a mystery, and convinces the Clown of it by this very speech. M. Mason.

4. Every true man's apparel fits your thief:] So, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578, the Hangman says:

“ Here is nyne and twenty sutes of apparell for my share." True man, in the language of ancient times, is always placed in opposition to thief. So, in Churchyaid's Warning to Wanderers abroade, 1593 :

“ The priuy thief that steales away our wealth,

Is sore afraid a true mum's steps to see.” Steevens. Mr. Steevens seems to be mistaken in his assertion that truc man in ancient times was always placed in opposition to thief. At least in the book of Genesis, there is one instance to the contrary, ch. xlii, v. II:-“ We are all one man's sons : we are all true men; thy servants are no spies.Henley.

ask forgiveness.] So, in As you Like it

The common executioner,


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