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MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
LITERARY AND HISTORICAL NOTICE. rue fable of this play (written in 1603) was taken from the Promos and Cassandra of George Whetstone. That pro
daction is described as very meagre and insipial, though forming a complete embryo of Measure for Measute; aud if the genius of Shakspeare enabled him to avoid the faults of his modelist, by imparting a greater degree of interest to his own drama, it did not give him strength to resist the besetting sin of his pieces---an indulgence in obscenity, buffoonery, and quibble. Some portion of this would naturally result from the indelicate and improbable incident which he took for the ground-work of his plot. Such an occurrence could only be wrought into a catastrophe, by the introduction of agents whom morality condemuis, and by the use of allusions at which modesty revolts. But neither the necessities of the story, nor the purposes of een tertainment,can justify such a strange admixture of pathetic contingencies and unmeaning trifles---of ennobling sentiment and disgusting ribaldry as are exhibited in this piece. Still the moral is of excellent application; since there are few situations of life in which delegated authority is not rapable of abuse. Satire way fail in restraining tyranny, and precept in correcting intolerance; but they teach mankind the be cessity of caution in conferrink power, by shewing " the fantastie tricks" which mortals are prone to play, when 's dressed in a little authority," and entrusted with the thunder of Jove." Thongh Shakspeare wrote to gratify mearchs, he never descended to palliate oppression; and in the scene between Angelo and Isabella, where the latter pleads for her brother's life, the reader will meet with another eloqnent vindicatiou of the principles of justice and humanity---differing from the speech of Portia, on a somewhat similar occasion, but excellently opposed to that mild and dispassionate appeal, by the cutting and indignant sarcasm with which itlashes “the insolence of office.” Dr. Jobnson animadverts upon the peculiarities of the play, and thus decides upon its merits: “ The light or comic part is very natural and pleasing ; but the grave scenes (a few passages excepted) have more labour than elegance. The plot is more iutricate than artful."
DRAMATIS PERSONA. VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
FROTH, a Foolish Gentleman. ANGELO, Lord Deputy in the Duke's ab. Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over-done. sence.
ABHORSON, an Erecutioner. Escalus, an ancient Lord, joined with Ange- BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.
io in the deputation. CLAUDIO, a young Gentlemen.
ISABELLA, Sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo.
JULIET, beloved by Claudio. PROVOST,
FRANCISCA, a Nun.
MRS. OVER-DONE, a Bawd.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and Elbow, a simple Constable.
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is
able, SCENE I.-An apartment in the Duke's And let them work. The nature of our people, Palace.
Our city's institutions, and the terms Entcr Duxe, Escalus, Lords, and Atten. For common justice, you are ag pregnant + in,
As art and practice hath enriched any dants.
That we remember : There is our commission, Duke. Escalas,
From which we would not bave you warp. Escal. My lord.
Call bither, Duke. of government the properties to un. I say, bid come before us Angelo. fold,
(Exit an Attendant. Would seem in me to affect speech and dis- What figure of us think you he will bear? course :
For you must know, we have with special scul Since I am put to know, that your own science, Elected bim our absence to supply ; Exceeds, in that the lists, of all advice
Lent him our terror, drest him with our love ; My strength can give you; Then no more re. mains
+ This is a controverted passage ; and es uninteiligible • Bounds.
• Full of.
And given his deputation all the organs
come not to composition with the king of Hun. of our own power : What ibiuk you of it? gary, why, then all the dukes fail upon the Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
king. To underg, such ample grace and honour,
i Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not It is lord Angelo.
the king of Hungary's!
2 Gent. Amen. Enter ANGELO.
Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonjuus Look. Look, where he comes.
pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandAng. Always obedient to your grace's will, ments, but scraped one out of the table. I come to know your pleasure.
2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal ? Duke. Angelo,
Lucio. Ay, that be razed. There is a kind of character in thy life,
1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to com. That, to the observer, doth thy history
mand the captain and all the rest from their Fully unfold : Thyself and thy belongings functions ; they put forth to steal : There's not Are not thine own so proper, t'as to waste a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thce.
before meat, doth relish the petition well that Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do ; prays for peace. Not ligbt them for themselves : for if our virtues 2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Did not go forth or us, 'twere all alike
Lucio. I believe thee ; for, Iibiok, thou never As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely wast where grace was said. touch'd,
2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least. But to tine issues ; $ por nature never lends
1 Gent. What? in metre? The smallest scruple of her excellence,
Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language. But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
1 Gent. I think, or in any religion. Herselt the glory of a creditor,
Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite Both thanks and use. ☺ But I do bend my speech of all controversy : As for example ; Thou thyTo one that can my part in him advertise ; self art a wicked villain, despite of all grace. Hold therefore, Angelo ;
I Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers In our remove, he thou at full ourself ;
between us. + Mortality and inercy in Vienna
Luci. I grant; as there may between the Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus, lists and the velvet ; Thou art the list. Though first in question, is thy secondary :
I Gent. And thou the velvet : thou art good Take thy commission.
velvet : thou art a tbree-pil'd piece, I warrant Ang. Now, good my lord,
thee : I had as lief be a list of an English ker. Let there be some more test made of my metal, sey, as be pil'd, as thau art pil'd, for a French Before so noble aud so great a figure
velvet. I Do I speak feelingly now? Be stamp'd upon it.
Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with Duke. No more evasion :
most painful feeling of thy speech : I will, out We have with a leaver å md prepared choice of thine own confession, learn to begin thy Proceeded to you ; therefore take your honours. health ; but, wbilst I live, forget to drink alter Our haste from hence is of so quick condition, thee. That it prefers itself, and leaves anquestion'd Gent. I think I have done myself wrong; Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, have I not? As tine and oux concemings shall inpórtune, 2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou How it goes with us; and do look to know art tainted, or free. What doth befall you here. So, fare you well : Lucio. Tebold, behold, where madam Miti. To the hopeful execution do I leave you
gation comes ! I lave purchased as many dis. of your commissions.
eases under her roof, as come toAng. Yet, give leave, my lord,
2 Gent. To what, I pray ? That we may bring you something on the way. 1 Gent. Judge. Duke. My haste may not adunit it ;
2 Cent. To three thousand dollars a year. Nor need yon, on mine honour, have to do
1 Gent. Ay, and more With any scruple : your scopell is as mine own; Lucio. A French crown $ more. So io enforce, or qualify the laws,
1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in As to your soul seems good. Give ine your me : But thou art full of error ; I am sound. hand;
Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy : I'll privily away: I love the people,
but $0 Sound, as things that are hollow : thy But do not like to stage me to their eyes : bones are bollow; impiety has made a feast Though it do weil, I do not relish weli
of thee. Their loud applause, and aresvebement : Vor do I think the man of safe discretion,
Enter BAWD. That does affect it. Once more, fare you well. 1 Gent. How now? Wbich of your hips bas Ang. The heavens give safety to your pur. the most profound sciatica ? poses !
Baud. 'Well, well; there's one yonder arEscal. Lead forth, and bring you back in rested, and carried to prisoll, was worth five bappiness.
thousand of you all. Duke. I thank you : Fare you well. [Erit. I Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?
Escal. I shall desire you, Sir, to give me leave Baud. Marry, Sir, that's Claudio, signior To have free speech with you; and it concerns Claudio. To look into the bottom of my place : (me 1 Gent. Claudio to prison ! 'tis not so. A power I have ; but of what strength and na. Bawd. Nay, But I know, 'tis so ; I saw bim I am not yet instructed.
(tire arrested ; saw him carried away ; and, wbich is Ang. 'Tis so with me :-Let us withdraw to more, within these thiee days bis head's to be getler,
chopped off. And we may soon our satisfaction have
Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not Touching that point.
bave it so : Art thou sore of this? Eical. I'll wait upon your bonour. (Eieunt. Bawd. I am too guise of it: and it is for get
ting madai Julietta witb cbild. SCENE II.-A Street.
Lucio. Believe me, this may be : he promised with you.
to meet me two hours since ; and he was eve Entor Lucio and tuo GENTLEMEN.
precise in promise keeping. Lucio. If the duke with the other dukes 2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws somo • Endowments. So much thy own property:
* Acut of the same cloth. For high purposes.
* A jest on the loss of hair by the French disease 1 Extent of power. T'Huilings.
$ Corona veneris,
thing near to the speech we had to such a pur- Claud. One word, good friend :-Lacio, a word pose.
(Takes him aside. 1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. proclamation.
-Is lechery so look'd after Lucio. Away ; let's go learn the truth of it. Claud. Thus stands it with me :--Upon a true (Ereunt Lucio and GENTLEMAN.
contract, Batrd. Thus, what with the war, what with the I got possession of Julietta's bed ; sweat, * what with the gallows, and what with You know the lady; she is fast my wife, poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now 1wbat's Save that we do the denunciation lack ibe news with you?
of ontward order : this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower
Remaining in the coffer of her friends ;
From whom we thought it meet to hide onr love, Baud. Well; what has he done?
Till time bad made them for us. But it chauces, Clo. A woman.
The stealth of our most mutnal entertainment, Bawd. But what's his offence ?
With character too gross, is writ on Juliet.
And the new deputy now for the duke,Clo. No; but there's a woman with maid by Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness : him : You have not heard of the proclamation, or whether that the body public be have you?
A horse whereon the governor doth ride, Baud. What proclamation, man?
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must He can command, lets it straight feel the spir: be pluck'd down.
Whether the tyranny be in his place, Bawd. And what sball become of those in the Or in his eminence that fills it up, city ?
I stagger in :- But this new governor Clo. They shall stand for seed : they had gone Awakes me all the enrolled penalties, down too, but that a wise burgber put in for which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the them.
wall Bawd. But shall all our house sof resort in the so long, that nineteen zodiacs * bave gone round, suburbs be pull'd down?
And none of them heen worn ; and, for a name, Clo. To the ground, mistress.
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act Baud. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the Freshly on me :-'tis surely, for a name. commonwealth! What shall become of me? Lucio. I warrant, it is : and thy head stands
Clo. Come; fear not you ; good counsellors so tickle + on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if lack no clients : though you change your place, you she be in love, many sigh it off. Send after the need not change your trade; I'll be you tapster duke, and appeal to him. still. Courage ; there will be pity taken on you: Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be you that have worn your eyes almost out in the
found. service, you will be considered.
I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service : Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? This day my sister should the cloister enter, Let's withdraw.
And there receive her approbation : 1 Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the Acquaint her with the danger of my state ; provost to prison : and there's madam Juliet. Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
(Excunt. To tbe strict deputy ; bid herself assay bim ;
I have great hope in that : for in her youth
There is a prone ø and speechless dialect,
Such as moves men; besides, she hath prosEnter PROVOST, + CLAUDIO, JULIET, and
perous art Officers ; Lucio, and two Gentlemen.
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade. Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to
Lucio. I pray, she may; as well for the enthe world?
couragement of the like, which else would stand Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
under grievous imposition; as for the enjoying Prov. I do it not in evil disposition,
of thy life, who I would be sorry should be But from lord Angelo by special charge.
thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to Claud. Thus can the demi god, Authority, her. Make us pay down for our offence by weight. Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio. The words of heaven ;-on whom it will, it will; Lucio. Wilbin two hours, On whom it will not, 80 ; yet still 'tis just.
Claud. Come, officer, away. (Ereunt. Lucio. Why, bow now, Claudio ? whence comes this restraints
SCENE IV.-A Monastery. Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty ;
Enter DUKE and FRIAR THOMAS. As surfeit is the father of much fast,
Duke. No; holy father; throw away that So every scope by the inmoderate use
thought ; Turns to restraint : Our natures do pursue, Believe not that the dribbling dart of love (Like rats that ravin : down their proper bane,) Can pierce a complete bosom : || why I desire À thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.
thee Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an To give me secret harbour, hath a porpose arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors : More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends And yet, to say the truth, 1 bad as lief have the of burning youth. foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprison- Fri. May your grace speak of it I ment.-What's tby offence, Claudio ?
Duke. My holy Sir, none better knows than Claud. What, but to speak of would offend
How I have ever lov'd tbe life remov'd ; Lucio. What is it? murder ?
And held in idle price to haunt assemblies, Claud. No.
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery Lucio. Lechery? Claud. Call it so. Prou. Away, Sir ; you must go.
• Yearly circles.
+ Ticklish. Enter on her probation.
Prompt. • The sweating sickness,
i Completely armed.
Retired, 1 Gaoler. Voraciously devour.