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In the second part of K. Henry IV. A& III, Falstaff compares Shallow to Vice's dagger of lath. In Hamlet, A& III. Hamlet calls his uncle, A Vice of Kings : i.e. a ridiculous representation of majefty. These passages the editors have very rightly expounded. I will now mention some others, which seem to have escaped their notice, the allusions being not quite so obvious.
The INIQUITy was often the Vice in our old Moralities; and is introduced in B. Johnson's play call'd the Devil's an ass : and likewise mention'd in his Epigr. CXV.
Being no vitions person, but the Vice
Of miming, gets th' opinion of a wit. But a paffage cited from his play will make the following obfervations more plain. Act I. Pug asks the Devil 66 to lend him a Vice.
to Satan. What Vice ? 6 What kind wouldst thou have it of?
" Pug. Why, any Fraud, « Or Covetoufnefs, or Lady Vanity, " Or old Iniquity : I'll call him hither." Thus the passage should be ordered. " Pug. Why any : Fraud, « Or Covetousness, or Lady Vanity " Or old INIQUITY. «. Satan, I'll call him hither.
“ Enter Iniquity, the Vice. “ Ini. What is he calls upon me, and would seem to lack
" à Vice ? “ Ere his words be half spoken, I am with him in a trice.”
And in his Staple of News, Act II. “ Mirth. How like « you the Vice i' 'the play? Expe&tation. Which is he “ Mirth. Three or four, old Covetousness, the fordid Pea
niboy, the Money-bard, who is a flesh-bawd too they say. “ Tattle. But here is never a Fiend to carry
away. « Befides, he has never a wooden-dagger ! I'd not give a " rush for a Vice, that has not a wooden-dagger to snap « at every body he meets. Mirth. That was the old “ way, Gosip, when Iniquity came in like hokos pokos, “ in a juglers jerkin, &c.” He alludes to the Vice in the Alchymist, Act I. Sc. III. « Subt. And, on your stall, a puppet, with a Vice." Some places of Shakespeare will from hence appear more easy: as in the ist part of Henry IV. Act II. where Hal, humourously characterizing Falstaff, calls him, That reverend Vice, that grey INIQUITY, that father RUFFIAN, that VANITY in years, in allusion to this buffoon character. In K. Richard III. Act III.
Thus like the formal Vice, Iniquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word. Ini Quity is the formal Vice. Some correct the passage,
Thus, like the formal wife Antiquity,
I moralize two meanings in one word, Which correction is out of alf rule of criticism. In Hamlet, A& I. there is an allusion, still more diftant, to the Vice; which will not be obvious at first, and therefore is to be introduced with a short explanation. This buffoon cha. racter was used to make fun with the Devil ; and he had several trite expressions, as, I'll be with you in a trice : Ah, ha, boy, are you there, &c. And this was great enter
tainment to the audience, to see their old enemy so bela bour'd in effigy. In K. Henry V. A& IV. a boy characterizing Piftol, says, Bardolph and Nim had ten times more walour, than this roaring Devil i' th old play ; every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger. Now Hamlet, having been instructed by his father's ghoft, is resolved to break the subject of the discourse to none but Horatio ; and to all others his intention is to appear as a sort of madman : when therefore the oath of secrefy is given to the centinels, and the Ghoft unseen calls out fwear ; Hamlet speaks to it as The Vice does to the Devil. Ah, ha boy, fayft thou so ? Art thou there, trupenny ? Hamlet had a mind that the centinels should imagine this was a shape that the Devil had put on ; and in Act III. he is somewhat of this opinion himself,
The Spirit that I have seen
This manner of speech therefore to the Devil was what all the audience were well acquainted with ; and it takes off in some measure from the horror of the scene. Perhaps too the poet was willing to inculcate, that good humour is the beft weapon to deal with the Devil. True penny is either by way of irony, or literally from the Greek Tgúnavov, veterator. Which word the Scholiaft on Arifto. phanes' Clouds *. 447. explains, spójn, ó megölelpofafeévos év τοϊς πράγμασιν, δν ημείς TPYΠANON καλέμεν, Several have tried to find a derivation of the Vice ; if I should not hit on the right, I should only err with others. The Vice is either a quality personalized as BIH and KAPTOE in Hesiod and Aeschylus. Sin and DEATH in Milton ; and indeed Vice itself is a person. B. XI, 517.
And took wis image whom they feru'd, a brutisa Vick.
bis image, i.e. a brutish Vice's image: the Vice Gluttony ; not without some allusion to the Vice of the old plays. Or Vice may be in the abstract, as in Martial,
Non Vitiofus homo es, Zoile, sed Virium. But rather, I think, 'tis an abbreviation of Vice-Devil, as Vice-roy, Vice-doge, &c, and therefore properly called The Vice. He makes very free with his master, like moft other Vice-roys, or prime-ministers. So that he is the Devil's Vice, and prime minister ; and 'tis this, that makes him fo fawcy.
The other old droll characters, are the Fool, and the Clown, which we have in Shakespeare's plays. The Ro. mans in their Atellan interludes, and Mimes, had their buffoons, called Maccus, Mūxos, from whence the Englila word Mocker ; and Sannio, from whence the Italian Zanni, and Zang, See Cicer. de Orat. L. 2. c. 61. and Bucco è quoigrales, quod buccas inflaret ad rifum movendum: from whence is derived a Buffoon
Page 128. SHAKESPEARE labouring with a mul tiplicity of sublime ideas often gives bimself not time to be delivered of them by the rules of “ Now“ endeavouring art:" bence be crowds various figures together, and METAPHOR upon METAPHOR ; and runs the hazard of far-fetched expressions, whilf intent on nobler ideas be candescends not to grammatical niçeties.]
The crouding and mixing together heterogeneous taphors is doing a sort of violence to the mind; for each new metaphor calls it too foon off from the idea which the former has rais'd : 'tis a fault doubtless, and not to be
In King Henry VIII. A III. Sc. the last. “ Say, Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory, « And founded all the depths and shoals of honour, « Found thee a way, &c. Mr. W.-" Rode the waves of glory.”. In Julius Cæsar, Act II.
." But do not stain “ The even virtue of our enterprize, “ Nor th' insuppressive mettle of our spirits “ To think that or our cause, or our performance,
as Did need an oath. Mr. W. to preserve the integerity of the metaphor, reads, “ do not STRAIN.”
In Antony and Cleopatra, Aa I.
“ Into a ftrumpet's fool. “ The metaphor is here miserably mangled; we should « read. “ Into a strumpet's sȚOOL,
Mr. W. There is much more of this kind of uncritical stuff in the late edition ; but I am already weary with transcribing.
Page 216. SHAKESPEARE was a great reader of the scriptures, and from the bold figures and metaphors be found there euriched his own ellewhere unmatcbed ideas.
I could with some of our modern poets would follow the example of the three beft Makers, that our nation, or