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pares Shallow to a Vice's dagger of lath. In Hamlet, A& III. Hamlet calls his uncle :
"A vice of kings."
i. e. a ridiculous representation of majesty. These paffages the editors have very rightly expounded. I will now mention fome others, which feem to have escaped their notice, the allufions being not quite so obvious.
The iniquity was often the Vice in our moralities; and is introduced in Ben Jonfon's play called The Devil's an Afs: and likewife mentioned in his Epigr. cxv:
Being no vitious perfon, but the Vice
"About the town,
"Acts old Iniquity, and in the fit
"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 atks the Devil" to lend him a Vice:"
"Satan. What Vice?
"What kind would thou have it of?
"Pug. Why, any Fraud,
"Or Covetousness, or lady Vanity,
"Or old Iniquity: I'll call him hither."
Thus the paffage should be ordered :
"Pug. Why any: Fraud,
"Or Covetousness, or lady Vanity,
Pug. I'll call him hither."
"Enter Iniquity the Vice.
"Ini. What is he calls upon me, and would seem to
lack a Vice?
"Ere his words be half spoken, I am with him in a trice." And in his Staple of News, A& II :
"Mirth. How like you the Vice i' th' play?
Expectation. Which is he?
"Mirth. Three or four; old Covetousness, the fordid PennyBoy, the Money-Bawd, who is a flesh-bawd too, they say.
Tattle. But here is never a Fiend to carry him away. Befides, he has never a wooden dagger! I'd not give a ruth for a Vice, that has not a wooden dagger to fnap atevery body he meets. "Mirth. That was the old way, goflip, when Iniquity came in, like hokos pokos, in a jugler's jerkin," &c.
He alludes to the Vice in The Alchymist, A&t I. fc. iii :
"Sub. And, on your ftall, a puppet, with a Vice.*"
a puppet, with a Vice.] Mr. Upton has mifinterpreted this paffage. A vice in the prefent inftance means a device, clock-work. Coryat, p. 254, fpeaks of a picture whose eyes were moyed by a vice. FARMER.
Some places of Shakspeare will from hence appear more easy, as in The First Part of King Henry IV. A& II. where Hal humorously characterizing Falstaff, calls him, That reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity, that father Ruffian, that Vanity in years, in allufion to this buffoon character. In King Richard III. A& III : "Thus like the formal Vice, Iniquity,
"I moralize two meanings in one word." Iniquity is the formal Vice. Some correct the paffage : "Thus like formal-wife antiquity,
"I moralize: Two meanings in one word."
Which correction is out of all rule of criticism. In Hamlet, A&t I. there is an allusion, still more distant, to the Vice; which will not be obvious at first, and therefore is to be introduced with a fhort explanation. This buffoon character was used to make fun with the Devil; and he had several trite expreffions, as, I'll be with you in a trice: Ah, ha, boy, are you there? &c. And this was great entertainment to the audience, to see their old enemy fo belaboured in effigy. In King Henry V. A& IV. a boy characterizing Piftol, fays, Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour, than this roaring Devil i' the old play: every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger. Now Hamlet, having been inftructed by his father's ghoft, is refolved to break the fubject of the discourse to none but Horatio; and to all others his intention is to appear as a fort of madman; when therefore the oath of fecrecy is given to the centinels, and the Ghost unseen calls out, fwear; Hamlet fpeaks to it as the Vice does to the Devil. Ah, ha, boy, fay'st thou fo? Art thou there, Truepenny? Hamlet had a mind that the Centinels fhould imagine this was a fhape that the devil had put on; and in A&t III. he is fomewhat of this opinion himself:
The manner of speech therefore to the Devil was what all the audience were well acquainted with: and it takes off, in fome measure, from the horror of the scene. Perhaps too the poet was willing to inculcate, that good humour is the best weapon to deal with the Devil. Truepenny, either by way of irony, or literally from the Greek, rpúnavov, veterator. Which word the Scholiaft on Ariftophanes' Clouds, ver. 447, explains, rpuun, Το περιτετριμμένος ἐν τοις πράγμασιν ον ἡμεῖς ΤΡΥΠΑΝΟN και AouμEv. Several have tried to find a derivation of the Vice: if I fhould not hit on the right, I should only err with others. The Vice is either a quality perfonalized, as BIH and KAPTOΣ in Hefiod and Æfchylus; Sin and Death in Milton; and indeed Vice itself is a perfon, B. XI. 517 :
“And took his image whom they ferv'd, a brutish Vice."
his image, i. e. a brutish Vice's image: the Vice, Gluttony; not without fome allufion to the Vice of the plays: but rather, I think, 'tis an abbreviation of vice-devil, as vice-roy, vice-doges, &c. and therefore properly called the Vice. He makes very free with his mafter, like moft other vice-roys, or prime minifters. So that he is the Devil's Vice, and prime minifter; and 'tis this that makes him fo faucy. UPTON.
Mr. Upton's learning only fupplies him with abfurdities. His derivation of vice is too ridiculous to be answered.
I have nothing to add to the observations of these learned criticks, but that fome traces of this antiquated exhibition are still retained in the ruftick puppet-plays, in which I have seen the Devil very luftily belaboured by Punch, whom I hold to be the legitimate fucceffor of the old Vice. JOHNSON.
END OF VOL. XIV.
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