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Lent him our terror, drest him with our love;
And given his deputation all the organs
Of our own power: What think you of it?

Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is lord Angelo.


Look, where he comes.
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,
I come to know your pleasure.

There is a kind of character in thy life,
That, to the observer, 8 doth thy history
Fully unfold: Thyself and thy belongings'
Are not thine own so proper,' as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.”

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Ś There is a kind of character in thy life,

That, to the observer, &c.] Either this introduction has more solemnity than meaning, or it has a meaning which I cannot discover. What is there peculiar in this, that a man's life informs the observer of his bistory? Might it be supposed that Shakspeare wrote this?

There is a kind of character in thy look. History may be taken in a more diffuse and licentious meaning, for future occurrences, or the part of life yet to come. If this sense be received, the passage is clear and proper. Johnson.

Shakspeare must, I believe, be answerable for the unnecessary pomp of this introduction. He has the same thought in Henry IV, P. II, which affords some comment on this passage before us:

“ There is a history in all men's lives,

Figuring the nature of the times deceas’d:
“ The which observ’d, a man may prophecy,
“With a near aim, of the main chance of things

“ As yet not come to life,” &c. Steevens.
On considering this passage, I am induced to think that the
words character and history have been misplaced, and that it was
originally written thus:

There is a kind of history in thy life,
That to the observer doth thy character

Fully unfold.
This transposition seems to be justified by the passage quoted
by Steevens from the Second Part of Henry IV. M. Mason.

thy belongings – ] i. e. endowments. Malone. 1 Are not thine own so proper,] i. e. are not so much thy own property. Steevens.

them on thee.] The old copy reads—they on thee. The amendation was made by Sir T. Hanmer. Steevens


Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do;
Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues 3
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'da
But to fine issues:4 nor nature never lends 5
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
To one that can my part in him advértise;?

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for if our virtues, &c.]
Puntíum sepultæ distat inertiæ

Celata virtus." HOR. Tbeobald. Again, in Massinger's Maid of Honour :

“ Virtue, if not in action, is a vice,

“ And, when we move not forward, we go backward.” Thus, in the Latin adage— Non progredi ezt regredi. Steedens.

to fire issues : ] To great consequences; for high purposes. Fokuson.

5 nor nature never lends - ] Two negatives, not employcd to make an affirmative, are common in our author. So, in Julius Cæsar:

“There is no harm intended to your person,
" Nur to no Roman else.” Stecvens.

she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use.

e.] i. e. She (Nature) requires and allots to berself the same advantages that creditors usually enjoy,thanks for the endowments she has bestowed, and extraordinary exertions in those whom she hath thus favoured, by way of interest for what she has lent.

Use in the phraseology of our author's age, signified interest of monez. Malorie.

I do bend my speech, To one that can my part in him advertise ;] This is obscure. The meaning is, I direct my speech to one who is able to teach me how to govern; my part in bim, signifying my office, which I have delegated to him. My part in biin advertise ; i. e. who knows what appertains to the character of a deputy or viceroy. Can advertise my part in him; that is, his representation of my person. But all these quaintnesses of expression, the Oxford editor seems sworn to extirpate ; that is, to take away one of Shakspeare's characteristic marks; which, if not one of the comeliest, is yet one of the strongest. So he alters this to,

To one that can, in my part me advertise. A better expression indeed, but, for all that, none of Shak. speare's. Warburton.

Hold therefore, Angelo;8
In our remove, be thou at full ourself;
Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus,
Though first in question, is thy secondary:
Take thy commission.

Now, good my lord,
Let there be some more test made of my metal,
Before so noble and so great a figure
Be stamp'd upon it.

No more evasion:
We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice1

I know not wether we may not better read,

One that can, my part to him advertise. One that can inform himself of that which it would be otherwise my part to tell him. Johnson.

To advertise is used in this sense, and with Shakspeare's accentuation, by Chapman, in his version of the 11th Book of the Odyssey:

“ Or, of my father, if thy royal ear
rs Hath been advertis'd

Steevens. I believe, the meaning is,—I am talking to one who is himself already sufficiently conversant with the nature and duties of my office; -of that ofice, which I have now delegated to him. So, in Timon of Athens:

“ It is our part, and promise to the Athenians,

“ To speak with Timon.” Malone. & Hold therefore, Angelo;] That is, continue to be Angelo; bold as thou art. Johnsor.

I believe that– Hold therefore, Angelo; are the words which the Duke utters on tendering his commission to him. He concludes with - Take thy commission. Steevens.

If a full point be put after therefore, the Duke may be under. stood to speak of himself. Hold therefore, i, e. Let me there. fore hold, or stop.

And the sense of the whole passage may be this.—The Duke, who has begun an exhortation to Angelo, checks himself thus: “But I am speaking to one, that can in him [in or by himself ] apprehend my part [all that I have to say]: I will therefore say no more [on that subject].” He then merely signifies to Angelo his appointment. Tyrobitt.

first in question,] That is, first called for ; first appointed. Fohnson.

1 We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice -— ] Leaven'd choice is one of Shakspeare's harsh metaphors. His train of ideas seems to be this: I have proceeded to you with choice mature, concocted, fermented, leavened. When bread is leo.


Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.
Our haste from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion’d
Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
As time and our concernings shall importune,
How it goes with us; and do look to know
What doth befal you here. So, fare you

To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.

Yet, give leave, my lord,
That we may bring you something on the way.2

Duke. My haste may not admit it; Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do With any scruple: your scope is as mine own;3 So to enforce, or qualify the laws, As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand; I'll privily away: I love the people, But do not like to stage me to their eyes:“ Though it do well, I do not relish well Their loud applause, and aves vehement; Nor do I think the man of safe discretion, That does affect it. Once more, fare


well. Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes ! Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happiness! Duke. I thank you: Fare you well.

[Exit. Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave To have free speech with you; and it concerns me


rencd it is left to ferment: a leavened choice is therefore a choice not hastý, but considerate; not declared as soon as it fell into the imagination, but suffered to work long in the mind. Thus explained, it suits better with prepared than levelled. Johnson.

bring you something on the way.) i. e. accompany you. So, in A Woman kill'd with Kindness, by Heywood, 1617: “She went very lovingly to bring him on his way to horse.” And the same mode of expression is to be found in almost every writer of the times. Reelt.

- your scope is as mine own;] That is, your amplitude of power. Fohnson.

4 - to stage me to their eyes :] So, in one of Queen Elizabeth's speeches to parliament, 1586: “We princes, I tel you, are set on stages, in the sight and viewe of all the world,” &c. See The Copy of a Letter to the Right Honourable the Earle of Leycester, &c. 4to. 1586. Steevens.


To look into the bottom of my place:
A power I have; but of what strength and nature
I am not yet instructed.

Ang. 'Tis so with me:-Let us withdraw together,
And we may soon our satisfaction have
Touching that point.

I'll wait upon your honour. [Exeunt.


A Street.

Enter Lucio, and two Gentlemen.

Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come not to composition with the king of Hungary, why, then all the dukes fall upon the king.

1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the king of Hungary's!

2 Gent. Amen.

Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scraped one out of the table.

2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.

1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions; they put forth to steal: There 's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well that prays for peace.

2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it.

Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never wast where grace was said.

2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least.
1 Gent. What? in metre? 5
Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language.


in metre?] In the primers there are metrical graces, such as, I suppose, were used in Shakspeare's time. Fohnson.

6 In any proportion, &c.] Proportion signifies measure; and refers to the question, Wbat? in metre? Warburton.

This speech is improperly given to Lucio. It clearly belongs to the second Gentleman, who had heard grace

a dozen times at least.” Ritson.

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