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VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
An ancient Lord, joined with Aagelo in
Isabella, Sifler to Claudio.
Guards, Officers, and orber Attendants.
* Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and says nothing.
Of this Play the first knowo Edition is in the Folio of 1623.
Editions from which the various Readings are collected.
1. Folio 1623. Jl. Folio 1632. III. Folio 1654.
ACT I. SCENE 1. (1)
The Duke's PALACE.
Enter Duke, Escalus, and Lords.
DU K E.
Escal. My Lord.
Duke. Of Government the properties t'unfold,
* There is perhaps not one of Shakespear's plays more darkened than this by the peculiarities of its Autbour, and the unskilfulness of its 'Editors, by distortions of phrase, or negligence of transcription. 1 The Story is taken from Cintbio's Novels, Decad 8. Novel 5.
Popz. + I. II. III. put to know. Perhaps rightly. (3) Lifts.] Bounds, Limits. (3) Tben no more remains, &c.
This is a passage which has exercised the sagacity of the Editores and is now to employ mine.
Tben no more remains:
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
Then no more remains.
Here again the Sense is manifestly lame and defective, and as the Versification is so too, they concur to make me think, a Line has accidentally bien left out. Perhaps, something like This rnight fupply our Author's Meaning.
--Then no more remains,
And let them work,
Judgment. They, who are acquainted with Books, know, that, where two Words of a fimilar Length and Termination happen to lie under one another, nothing is more common than for Transcribers to glance their Eye at once from the first to the undermast Word, and to leave out the intermediate part of the Sentence. THEOBALD.
Since I am not to know, that your own Science
And kt Ikem work, To the integrity of this reading, Mr. I heobald objects, and says, What was Efcalus to put to his sufficiency ! why his science : But bis science and sufficiency were but one and the fame ibing. On what then dies the relative them depend? He will have it, therefore that a line has been accidentally dropt, which he attempts to restore by due diligence. Nodum in fcirpo quærit. And all for want of knowing, that by suficiency is meant authority, the power dergited by the
Duke to Escalus. The plain meaning of the word being this : Put your skill in governing (says the Duke) to the power which I give you to exercise it, and let them work rogetber.
WARBURTON. Sir The. Hanmer having caught from Mr. Theobald a hint that a line was loft, endeavours to fupply it thus.
-Then no more remains, "But tlat to your suficiency you join A will to serve us, as your worth is able.
He has by this bold conjectare undoubtedly ob'ained a meaning, but, perhaps not, even in his owo opinion, the meaning of Shaka. pear.
For common justice, y’are as pregnant in, (4)
That the passage is more or less corrupt, I believe every reader will agree with the Editors. I am not convinced that a line is lost, as Mr. Theobald conjectures, nor that the change of but 10 pul, which Dr. Warburton has admitted after foine other Editor, will amend the fault. There was pr..bably fone original obseurity ia abe expreflion, which gave occafion to mistake in repetition or transcrips tion. I therefore suspect that the Author wrote ihus,
-Then no more remains,
Then nothing remains more than to tell you that your Virtue is notu invested with power équal to your krozwledge and wisdom. Let there. fore your knowledge and your virtue not work logerker. It may easily be conceived how sufficiencies was, by an inarticulate speaker, or ipattentive hearer, coufounded with Jufficiency a., anhow abled, a word very unusual was changed into able for abled, however, an authority is not wanting. Lear uses it in the fame fense or nearly the same with the Duke. As for fufficiencies, D. Hamilton, in his dying speech, prays that Charles II. may exceed borb the virtues and sufficiencies of his father.
() For common justice you're as pregnant in.] The latter Edicions all give it, without authority, the terms of justice, and Dr. Warburton makes Terms figoify bounds or limits. I rather think the Duke meant to tay, that Escalus was pregnant, that, is, ready and knowing in all the forms of law, and among other things, in the terms or rimes set a part for its administration.
(5) For you must know, we have with Special sout Elealed him our abfence to supply.] This nonsense must be corre led thus,
with special ROLL i. e. by a special commiffion. For it appears, from this scene, that Escalus had one commission and Angelo another. The Duke had before delivered Escolus his committion. He now declares that designed for Angelo ; and he says, afterwards to both,
To the hopeful execution de 1 leave you
Elected him our Absence to supply ;
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
S CE NE II.
Ang. Always obedient to your Grace's will,
Duke. Angelo, There is a kind of character in thy life, (6) That to th'observer doth thy history Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings Are not thine own so proper, as to walte Thyself upon thy virtues; them on thee. Heav'n doth with us, as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves : for if our virtues (7) Why Angelo's was called the special roll was because he was in au. thority superior to Efcalus.
old Escalus, Tho' forft in question, is thy fecondary.
WARBURTON. This Editor is, I thiok, right in fuppofing a corruption, but less happy in his emendation.
read, We have with special seal
Elaid bim our absence ou fupply. A special feal is a very natural Metonymy for a special commifion. (6) There is a kind of character in thy life, That ro rb'observer, &c.)
Either this introduction has more folemnity than meaning, or is has a meaning which I cannot discover. What is there peculiar io this, that a man's life informs the oblerver of his hiftory? Might it be supposed that Shakespear wrote this?
Tbere is a kind of character in tly look. (7)
- for if our virimes, &c. Paulum sepulle diftat inertia Çolata wirtus. HOR.