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To-day in our young lords; but they may jeft,
Till their own scorn return to them unnoted,
Ere they can hide their levity in honour.
3 So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness
Were in his pride or fharpnefs; if they were,
His equal had awak'd them; and his honour,
Clock to itself, knew the true minute when
Exception bid him fpeak, and, at that time,
4 His tongue obey'd his hand: who were below him

A paffage in the fecond act of the Merry Wives of Windfor, may ferve to fhew, that Hanmer's change is needlefs:

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biding mine honour in my neceffity." STEEVENS,

3 So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness

Were in his pride or fharpnefs; if they avere,

His equal had awak'd them;

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This paffage is fo very incorrectly pointed, that the author's meaning is loft. As the text and ftops are reformed, these are most beautiful lines, and the sense is this He had no contempt or bitterness; if he had any thing that look'd like pride or Sharpness, (of which qualities contempt and bitterness are the exceffes,) his equal had awaked them, not his inferior: to whom he fcorn'd to difcover any thing that bore the fhadow of pride or fharpness." WARBURTON.

The original edition reads the first line thus:

So like a courtier, contempt nor bitterness

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The fenfe is the fame. Nor was used without reduplication. So, in Meafare for Measure:

"More nor lefs to others paying,

"Than by felf-offences weighing.

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The old text needs to be explained. He was fo like a courtier, that there was in his dignity of manner nothing contemptuous, and in his keenness of wit nothing bitter. If bitterness or contemptuousness ever appeared, they had been awakened by fome injury, not of a man below him, but of his equal. This is the complete image of a well bred man, and fomewhat like this Voltaire has exhibited his hero Lewis XIV. JOHNSON.

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4 His tongue obeyed his band:-J We fhould read:

His tongue obeyed the band.

That is, the hand of his honour's clock, fhewing the true minute when exceptions bad him fpeak. JOHNSON.

His is put for its; fo, in Othello:

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"Blush'd at herself,"inftead of itself. STEEVENS.


* He us❜d as creatures of another place;
And bow'd his eminent top to their low ranks,
"Making them proud of his humility,

In their poor praise he humbled: Such a man
Might be a copy to these younger times;

Which, follow'd well, would demonftrate them now But goers backward.

Ber. His good remembrance, fir,

Lies richer in your thoughts, than on his tomb;
So in approof lives not his epitaph,

As in your royal fpeech.


5 He us'd as creatures of another place ;] i. e. He made allowances for their conduct, and bore from them what he would not from one of his own rank. The Oxford editor, not understanding the fenfe, has altered another place, to a brother-race. WARBURTON.


Making them proud of his humility,
In their poor praife, he humbled

But why were they proud of his humility? It should be read and pointed thus:

-Making them proud; and his humility,

In their poor praife, be humbled

i. e. by condefcending to ftoop to his inferiors, he exalted them and made them proud; and, in the gracious receiving their poor praife, he humbled even his humility. The fentiment is fine.


Every man has feen the mean too often proud of the humility of the great, and perhaps the great may fometimes be humbled in the praises of the mean, of thofe who commend them without conviction or difcernment: this, however, is not fo common; the mean are found more frequently than the great. JOHNSON.

7 So in approof lives not his epitaph,

As in your royal speech,]

Epitaph for character. WARBURTON.
I fhould with to read :

Approof fo lives not in his epitaph,
As in your royal fpeech.

Approof is approbation. If I fhould allow Dr. Warburton's interpretation of Epitaph, which is more than can be reasonably expected, I can yet find no fenfe in the prefent reading. JOHNSON. We might, by a flight tranfpofition, read:

So his approof lives not in epitaph.

Approof certainly means approbation. So, in Cinthia's Revenge, 1013;

C. 3


King. Would, I were with him! He would al

ways fay,

(Methinks, I hear him now; his plaufive words
He scatter'd not in ears, but grafted them
To grow there, and to bear)-Let me not live,→→→→
Thus his good melancholy oft began,

On the catastrophe and heel of pastime,
When it was out,-let me not live, quoth he,
After my fame lacks oil, to be the fnuff
Of younger fpirits, whofe apprehenfive fenfes
All but new things difdain; whofe judgments are
8 Mere fathers of their garments; whofe conftancies
Expire before their fashions This he wifh'd:

1, after him, do after him wish too,

Since I nor wax, nor honey, can bring home,
I quickly were diffolved from my hive,

To give fome labourer room.

2 Lord. You are lov'd, fir;

They, that leaft lend it you, fhall lack -you firft. King, I fill a place, I know't, -How long is't, count,

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Again, in Meafure for Measure:

"Either of condemnation or approof" STEEVENS. Perhaps the meaning is this: His epitaph or infcription on his tomb is not fo much in approbation or commendation of him, as is your rayal fpeech. TOLLET.

whofe judgments are

Mere fathers of their garments;-1

Who have no other ufe of their faculties, than to invent new modes of drefs. JOHNSON.

I have a fufpicion that Shakespeare wrote- meer feathers of their garments i. e. whofe judgments are meerly parts (and infignificant parts) of their drefs, worn and laid afide, as feathers are, from the meer love of novelty and change. He goes on to fay, that they are even lefs conftant in their judgments than in their drefs:

their conftancies

Expire before their fashions. TYRWHITT,

Since the phyfician at your father's died?
He was much fam'd.

Ber. Some fix months fince, my lord.

King. If he were living, I would try him yet;Lend me an arm ;-the reft have worn me out

With feveral applications :-nature and fickness
Debate it at their leifure. Welcome, count;

My fon's no dearer.

Ber. Thank your majesty.


[Flourish. Exeunt,


A room in the count's palace.

Enter Countefs, Steward, and Clown.

Count. I will now hear: what fay you of this gentlewoman?

9 Steward, and Clown.] A Clown in Shakespeare is commonly taken for a licensed jefter, or domeftick fool. We are not to wonder that we find this character often in his plays, fince fools were, at that time, maintained in all great families, to keep up merriment in the houfe. In the picture of fir Thomas More's family, by Hans Holbein, the only fervant represented is Patifon the fool. This is a proof of the familiarity to which they were admitted, not by the great only, but the wife.

In fome plays, a fervant, or a ruftic, of remarkable petulance and freedom of fpeech, is likewife called a clown. JOHNSON.

This dialogue, or that in Twelfth Night, between Olivia and the Clown, feems to have been particularly cenfured by Cartwright, in one of the copies of verfes prefixed to the works of Beaumont and Fletcher.

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Shakespeare to thee was dull, whofe best jest lies "I' th' lady's queftions, and fool's replies;

"Old fashion'd wit, which walk'd from town to town

"In trunk hofe, which our fathers call'd the Clown." In the MS. register of lord Stanhope of Harrington, treasurer of the chamber to king James I. from 1613 to 16:6, are the following entries: Tom Derry, his majefty's fool, at 2 s. per diem,

1615. Paid John Mawe, for the diet and lodging of Thomas Derrie, her majefty's jefter, for 13 weeks, 10. 18 s. 6d.-1616.

C 4




Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content, I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modefty, and make foul the clearness of our defervings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, firrah: The complaints, I have heard of you, I do not all believe; 'tis my flownefs, that I do not: for, I know, you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make fuch knaveries yours.

Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, that I am ą poor fellow.

Count. Well, fir.

Clo. No, madam, 'tis not fo well, that I am poor; though many of the rich are damn'd: But, if I may


to even your content,

-] To act up to your defires, JOHNSON.

? you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make fuch knaveries yours.] Well, but if he had folly to commit them, he neither wanted knavery, nor any thing elfe, fure, "to make them his own? This nonfenfe fhould be read, To make Juch knaveries YARE; nimble, dextrous. i.e. Though you be fool enough to commit knaveries, yet you have quickness enough to commit them dextroufly for this obfervation was to let us into his character. But now, though this be fet right, and, I dare fay, in Shakespeare's own words, yet the former part of the fentence will ftill be inaccurate-you lack not folly to commit them. Them, what? the fenfe requires knaveries, but the antecedent referred to, is complaints. But this was certainly a negligence of Shakespeare's, and therefore to be left as we find it. And the reader, who cannot fee that this is an inaccuracy which the author might well commit, and the other what he never could, has either read Shakespeare very little, or greatly mifpent his pains. The principal office of a cririck is to diftinguish between those two things. But 'tis that branch of criticism which no precepts can teach the writer to discharge, or the reader to judge of, WARBURTON.

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After premifing that the accufative, them, refers to the precedent word, complaints, and that this by a metonymy of the effect for the caufe, ftands for the freaks which occafioned thofe complaints, the fenfe will be extremely clear. You are fool enough to commit thofe irregularities you are charged with, and yet not fo much fool neither, as to difcredit the accufation by any defect in your ability. REVISAL,

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