« ZurückWeiter »
But that your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work. To the integrity of this reading Mr. Theobald objects, and says, What was scalus to put to bis Juffciency? wby bis science : But bis science and sufficiency were but one and the same thing. Or what then does the relative them depend? He will have it, therefore, that a line has been accidentally dropp’d, which he attempts to refore by due diligence. Nodum in fcirpo querit. And all for want of knowing, that by suficiency is meant authority, the power delegated by the duke to Escalus. The plain meaning of the word being this : Put your skill in governing (says the duke) to the power wbicb I give you to exercise it, and let obem work together.
WARBURTON. Sir Tho. Hanmer, having caught from Mr. Theobald a hint that a line was loft, endeavours to supply it thus.
Then no more remains,
A will to serve us, as your worrb is able.
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 to put, which Dr. Warburton has admitted after some other editor, will amend the fault. There was probably some original obscurity in the expression, which gave occasion to mistake in repetition or transcription. I therefore suspect that the authour wrote thus,
-Tben no more remains,
And let them work. Then nothing remains more than to tell you, that your virtue is now invifted with power equal to your knowledge and wisdom. Let tb:refore your knowledge and your virtue now work togeiher. It may easily be conceived how sufficiencies was, by an inarticulate speaker, or inattentive hcarer, confounded with fificiency as, and how abled, a word very unusual, was changed into able. For abled, however, an authority is not wanting. Lear uses it in the same sense, or
Our city's institutions, and the terms
nearly the same, with the Duke. As for fufficiencies, D. Hamilton, in his dying speech, prays that Charles II. may exceed both the virtues and sufficiencies of his fatber. JOHNSON.
The upcommon redundancy, as well as obscurity, of this verse may be considered as some evidence of its corruption. Take away the three firf words, and the sense joins well enough with what went before. Then (says the duke) no more remains to say :
" Your sufficiency as your worth is able,
And let them work.' i. e. Your skill in government is is ability to serve me, equal to be inlegrity of your beart, and let them co-operate in your future miniftry
The versification requires that either something should be added, or something retrenched. The latter is the easier, as well as the safer task. I join in the belief, however, that a line is loft ; and whoever is acquainted with the inaccuracy of the folio, (for of this play there is no other old edition) will find this opinion justified.
STEEVENS. The deficiency may be thus supplied.
then no more remains,
For common juftice, you are as pregnant in,] The later editions all give it, without authority,
the terms Of juflice, and Dr. Warburton makes terms fignify bounds or limits. I rather think the Duke meant to say, that Escalus was pregnant, that is, ready and knowing in all the forms of law, and, among other things, in the terms or times fet apart for its administration.
For you must know, we have with special soul?
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will, I come to know your pleasure.
- For you must know, we have with special soul
Elicted bim our abjence to fupply ;) This nonsense must be corrected thus,
-with special roll i. e. with a special commission. For it appears, from this scene, that Escalus had one commission, and Angelo another. The Duke bad before delivered Escalus his commillion. He now declares that designed for Angelo; and he says, afterwards, to both,
To the bepeful execution do I leave you
of your commilions. Why Angelo's was called the special rell was, because he was in authority fuperior to Escalus.
old E/calus, Tbi'first in question, is thy fecondary. WARBURTON. This editor is, I think, right in supposing a corruption, but less happy in his emendation. I read,
we bave with special feal Eleaned bim our abjence to supply. A special feal is a very natural metonymy for a special commission.
JOHNSON. By the words with special foul elected him, I believe, the poet meant no more than that be was the imm diate choice of his beari. A similar expression occurs in Troilus and Cressida,
.“ with private foul “ Did in great llion thus translate him to me.” Again, more appositely, in the Tempelt,
“* for several virtues 6. Have I lik'd several women, never any " With so full foul, but some defect,” &c. STEEVENS. B 4
8 There is a kind of character in thy life,
Thut to the objerver, &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 bijtcry?? Might it be supposed that Shakespeare wrote this?
There is a kind of charager in thy look. Hftig may be taken in a more diffuse and licentious meaning, for future occurrences, or the part of life yet to come. If this sente be received, the passage is clear and proper. JOHNSON.
Sh.kespeare muit, i believe, be answerable for the unnecessary folemnity of this introduction. He has the same thought in Henry IV. p. 2. which is the best comment on this passage.
“ There is a history in all mens' lives,
- for if our virtues, &c.]
Celata virtus Hor. WARBURTON. ito fine iflies: ] To great consequences. For high purposes. JOHNSON.
Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
Take thy commission.
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, fignifying my office, which I have delegated to him. 'My part in bim advertije; i.e. who knows what appertains to the character of deputy or viceroy. Can advertise my part in bim; 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 Shakespeare's characteristic marks]; which, if not one of the comelieft, 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 Shakespeare's.
WARBURTON. Į know not whether we may not better read,
One that can my part to bim advertise, One that can inform himself of that which it would be otherwise my part to tell him. JOHNSON.
* Hold therefore, Angelo : ] That is, continue to be Angelo ; bold as thou art. JOHNSON.
4-firft in question, ] That is, first called for ; first ap. pointed. JOHNSON.
s Webave with a leaven'd and prepared choice] Leaven'd has no fense in this place : we should read, levell'd choico,