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posed, yet his vices sit so fit in him that he is not at last suffered to starve.

61- -the first view shall kill

JOHNSON.

All repetition:—] The first interview shall put an end to all recollection of the past. Shakspeare is now hastening to the end of the play, finds his matter sufficient to fill up his remaining scenes, and therefore, as on other such occasions, contracts his dialogue and precipitates his action. Decency required that Bertram's double crime of cruelty and disobedience, joined likewise with some hypocrisy, should raise more resentment; and that though his mother might easily forgive him, his king should more pertinaciously vindicate his own authority and Helen's merit: of all this Shakspeare could not be ignorant, but Shakspeare wanted to conclude his play.

JOHNSON.

62 In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,] Bertram still continues to have too little virtue to deserve Helen. He did not know indeed that it was Helen's ring, but he knew that he had it not from a window.

63 Plutus himself,] Plutus the grand alchemist, who knows the tincture which confers the properties of gold upon base metals, and the matter by which gold is multiplied, by which a small quantity of gold is made to communicate its qualities to a large mass of metal.

In the reign of Henry the fourth a law was made to forbid all men thenceforth to multiply gold, or use

any craft of multiplication. Of which law Mr. Boyle, when he was warm with the hope of transmutation, procured a repeal.

common.

JOHNSON.

64 modern grace,] I believe modern means The sense will then be this-Her solicitation concurring with her appearance of being common, i. e. with the appearance of her being to be had, as we say at present. Shakspeare uses the word frequently, though its sense cannot always be precisely determined.

scorns a modern invocation. K. John.

Full of wise saws and modern instances. As You Like It. Trifles, such as we present modern friends with. --to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless.

STEEVENS.

END OF VOLUME IV.

T. Davison, White-friars.

a. a

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