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- Who knew of your intent, and coming hither? Isab. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick. Duke. A ghostly father, belike:- Who knows that
Lodowick? Lucio. My lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling friar; I do not like the man; had he been lay, my lord, For certain words he spake against your grace In your retirement, I had swing’d him soundly.
Duke. Words against me? This' a good friar, belike! And to set on this wretched woman here Against our substitute!--Let this friar be found.
Lucio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar I saw them at the prison: a saucy friar, A very scurvy fellow. F. Peter.
Blessed be your royal grace! I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard Your royal ear abus'd: First hath this woman Most wrongfully accus'd your substitute; Who is as free from touch or soil with her, As she from one ungot. Duke.
We did believe no less.
you that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of?
Again, in King Fobnia
“ It is the shameful work of Hubert's hand,
“ The practice and the purpose of the king.” Steevens.
- nor a temporary ineddler,] It is hard to know what is meant by a temporary meddler. In its usual sense, as opposed to perpetual, it cannot be used here. It may stand for temporal : the sense will then be, I know him for a boly man, one that med. dles not with secular affairs. It may mean temporising : I know bim to be a holy man, one who would not temporise, or take the opportunity of your absence to defame you. Or, we may read:
Not scurdy, nor a tamperer and meddler: not one who would have tampered with this woman to make her a false evidence against your deputy. Fohnson.
Peter here refers to what Lucio had before affirmed concerning Friar Lodowick. Hence it is evident that the phrase "s temporary meddler," was intended to signify one who introduced bimself, as often as he could find opportunity, into other men's concerns. See the context. Henley.
Did, as he vouches, misreport your grace.
Lucio. My lord, most villainously; believe it.
self; But at this instant he is sick, my lord, Of a strange fever: Upon his mere request,8 (Being come to knowledge that there was complaint Intended 'gainst lord Angelo) came I hither, To speak, as from his mouth, what he doth know Is true, and false; and what he with his oath, And all probation, will make up full clear, Whensoever he's convented.9 First, for this woman ; (To justify this worthy nobleman, So vulgarly, and personally accus'd,)
8 his mere request,] i. e. his absolute request. So, in Fulius Cesar :
"Some mere friends, some honourable Romans." Again, in Othello :
“ The mere perdition of the Turkish fleet.” Steevens. 9 W bensoever be's convented.) The first folio reads, convented, and this is right: for to convene signifies to assemble; but convent, to cite or summons. Yet because convented hurts the measure, the Oxford editor sticks to conven'd, though it be nonsense,
and signifies, Whenever be is assembled together. But thus it will be, when the author is thinking of one thing, and his critic of another. The poet was attentive to his sense, and the editor quite throughout his performance, to nothing but the measure ; which Shakspeare having entirely neglected, like all the dramatic writers of that age, he has spruced him up with all the exactness of a modern measurer of syllables. This being here taken notice of once for all, shall, for the future, he forgot, as if it had never been. Warburton.
The foregoing account of the measure of Shakspeare, and his contemporaries, ought indeed to be forgotten, because it is untrue.
To convent is no uncommon word. So, in Woman 's a Weathercock, 1612:
lest my looks “ Should tell the company convented there,” &c. To convent and to convene are derived from the same Latin verb, and have exactly the same meaning. Steevens.
1 So vulgarly - ) Meaning either so grossly, with such indeçency of invective, or by so mean and inadequate witnesses.
Fohnson. Vulgarly, I believe, means publickly. The vulgar are the common people. Daniel uses vulgarly for among the common people :
and which pleases vulgarly.” Steevens.
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
Good friar, let's hear it.
Mari. Pardon, my lord; I will not show my face,
What, are you married? Mari. No, my lord.
Mr. Steevens's interpretation is certainly the true one. So, in The Comedy of Errors, Act III, sc. i:
“ A vulgar comment will be made of it;
“ That may,” &c. Again, in Twelfth Night:
for 'tis a vulgar proof,
Come, cousin Angelo;
of your own cause.] Surely, says Mr. Theobald, this duke had odd notions of impartiality! He reads therefore,~I will be partial, and all the editors follow him: even Mr. Heath declares the observation unanswerable. But see the uncertainty of criti. cism! impartial was sometimes used in the sense of partial. In the old play of Swetnam, the Woman Hater, Atlanta cries out, when the judges decree against the women :
You are impartial, and we do appeal
“From you to judges more indifferent.” Fariner. So, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, 2d Part, 1602:
“ There's not a beauty lives,
“ O'er my affects, as your enchanting graces.”. Again, in Romeo and Juliet, 1597:
“ Cruel, unjust, impartial destinies!" Again:
this day, this unjust impartial day." In the language of our author's time im was frequently used as an augmentative or intensive particle. Malone.
her face;] The original copy reads your face. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
Are you a maid? Mari.
No, my lord. Duke. A widow then? Mari.
Neither, my lord. Duke.
Why, you Are nothing then :-Neither maid, widow, nor wife?4
Lucio. My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.
Duke. Silence that fellow: I would, he had some
To prattle for himself.
Lucio. Well, my lord.
Mari. My lord, I do confess I ne'er was married: And, I confess, besides, I am no maid : I have known my husband; yet my husband knows
not That ever he knew me.
Lucio. He was drunk then, my lord; it can be no better.
Duke. For the benefit of silence, 'would thou wert so too.
Lucio. Well, my lord.
Mari. Now I come to 't, my lord:
Charges she more than me?
No? you say, your husband. Mari. Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo, Who thinks, he knows, that he ne'er knew my body, But knows, he thinks, that he knows Isabel's.
Ang. This is a strange abuse.5 Let's see thy face.
4 Neither maid, widow, nor wife?] This is a proverbial phrase, to be found in Ray's Collection. Steevens
5 This is a strange abuse :) Abuse stands in this place for decettion or puzzle. So, in Macbeth:
my strange and self abuse,” means, this strange deception of myself. Fohnson.
Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask.
Know you this woman?
Sirrah, no more.
Ang. My lord, I must confess, I know this woman; And, five years since, there was some speech of mar
riage Betwixt myself and her: which was broke off, Partly, for that her promised proportions Came short of composition;" but, in chief, For that her reputation was disvalued In levity; since which time, of five years, I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her, Upon my faith and honour. Mari.
Noble prince, As there comes light from heaven, and words from
breath, As there is sense in truth, and truth in virtue,
6 And did supply thee at thy garden-house,] A garden-house in the time of our author was usually appropriated to purposes of intrigue. So, in SKIALETHIA, or a shadow of truth, in certain Epigrams and Satyres, 1598:
“Who, coming from the Curtain, sneaketh in
“ To some old garden noted bouse for sin.” Again, in The London Prodigal, a comedy, 1605: “ Sweet lady, if you have any friend, or garden-house, where you may employ a poor gentleman as your friend, I am yours to command in all secret service.” Malone.
See also an extract from Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 4to, 1597, p. 57; quoted in Vol. V, of Dodsley's Old Plays, edit. 1780, p. 74. Reed.
her promised proportions Came short of composition ;) Her fortune, which was prom-. ised proportionate to mine, fell short of the composition, that is, contract or bargain. Johnson.