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MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
Clowx, Servant to Mrs. Overcione.
ISABELLA, Sister to Claudio. Lucio, a Fantastic.
Mariana, betrothed to Angelo.
JULIET, beloved by Claudio.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Elrow, 2 simple Constuble.
Tuis comcily contains scenes which are truly | And, finally, when he thought his object accomworthy of the first of dramatic poets. Isabella plished, he ordered Claudio to be murdered, in pleading with Angelo in behalf of mercy to her violation of his most solemnn engagements. brother, and afterwards insisting that his life must These are the crimes, which, in the language of not be purchased by the sacrifice of her chastity, Mariana, are expressed by the words a little bad; is an object of such interest, as to make the reader and with a perfect knowledge of Angelo's having desirous of overlooking the many great defects committed then, she which are to be found in other parts of this play.
“ Craves no other, vor no better man." The story is little suited to a comedy. The wickedness of Angelo is so atrocious, that I recollect only
(laudio's life liaving been preserved by the Proone instance of a similar kind being recorded in vost, it would not, perhaps, have been lawful to history *; and that is considered by many persons have put Angelo to death; but the Duke might as of doubtful authority. His crimes, indeed, are with great propriety have addressed him in the not coinpleted, but he supposes thein to be so words of Bolingbroke to Exton : and his guilt is as great as it would have been, if the person of Isabella had been violated, and the “ Go, wander through the shades of night, head of Ragozine had been Claudio's
“ And never show thy head by day nor light." ster of iniquity appears before the Duke, defending his cause with unblushing boldness; and after the The best characters act too much upon a system o.
Other parts of the play are not without faults. detection of his crimes, he can scarcely be said to
duplicity and falsehood; and the Duke, in the first receive any punishment. A hope is even expressed act, trifles cruelly with the feelings of Isabella, Liat he will prove a good husband, but for no good allowing her to suppose her brother to be dead reason - namely, because he has been a little bad. much longer than the story of the play required. Angelo abandoned bis contracted wife for the most Lucio is inconsistent as well as protigate le despicable of all reasons, the loss of her fortune. He added to his guilt not only insensibility to her appears in the first act, as the friend of Claudio,
and in the fifth he assists the cause of Angelo, attliction, but the detestable aggravation of injuring whom he supposes to be his murderer. Lastly, her reputation by an unfounded slander; ascribing the indecent expressions with which many of the his desertion of Mariana to levity in her conduct, scenes abound are so interwoven with the story, of which she never was guilty. He afterwards that it is extremely difficult to separate the one betrayed the trust reposed in him by the Duke.
from the other. He threatened Isabella that if she would not sur
I trust, however, that I have succeeded in doing render her virtue, he would not merely put her it, and I should not be sorry if the merit or denne i brother to death, but make
of the whole work were to be decided by the exa. “ His death draw out to lingering sufferancc.'
mination of this very extraordinary Play, as it is
SCENE I. · An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. | How it goes with us, and do look to know
What doth befall you here. So, fare you well: Enter Duke, Escalus, and Lords.
To th' hopeful execution do Duke. Escalus,
Of your coinmissions, Esc. My lord.
Yet, give leave, my lord, Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
That we may bring you something on the way. Would seem in me t’affect speech and discourse,
Duke. My haste may not admit it; Since I am put to know, that your own science
Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do Exceeds in that the lists of all advice
With any scruple: your scope is as mine own, My strength can give you: Then no more remains
So to enforce or qualify the laws But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
As to your soul seems good: – Give me your land; And let them work. The nature of our people,
I'll privily away: I love the people, Our city's institutions, and the terms
But do not like to stage me to their eyes : For common justice, y’are as pregnant in
Though it do well, I do not relish well As art and practice hath enriched any
Their loud applause, and aves vehement : That we remember: There is our commission,
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion From which we would not have you warp. Call hither, That does affect it. Once more, fare you well. I say, bid come before us Angelo.
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes ! What figure of us think you he will bear?
Esc. Lead forth, and bring you back in happiness! For you must know, we have with special soul
Duke. I thank you. Fare you well. [Erit. Elected him our absence to supply;
Esc. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave Lent him our terror, drest him with our love,
To have free speech with you; and it concerns me And given his deputations all the organs
To look into the bottom of my place: Of our own power: What think you of it? A power I have, but of what strength and nature, Esc. If any in Vienna be of worth
I am not yet instructed. To undergo such ample grace and honour,
Ang. 'Tis so with me:- Let us withdraw together, It is lord Angelo.
And we may soon our satisfaction have
Touching that point.
I'll wait upon your honour. Duke. Look, where he comes.
(Exeunt. Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,
SCENE II.- A Street.
Enter Lucio, and two Gentlemen. There is a kind of character in thy life,
Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come That, to th' observer, doth thy history
not to composition with the king of Hungary, why Fully unfold: - Thyself, and thy belongings, then all the dukes fall upon the king. Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
1st Gent. Heaven grant us its peace; but not the Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.
king of Hungary's! Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do,
2d Gent. Amen. Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandAs if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd ments, but scraped one out of the table. But to fine issues : nor nature never lends
2d Gent. Thou shalt not steal ? The smallest scruple of her excellence,
Lucio. Ay, that he razed. But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Ist Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to comHerself the glory of a creditor,
mand the captain and all the rest from their funcBoth thanks and use; but I do bend my speech tions; they put forth to steal : there's not a soldier To one that can my part in him advertise ;
of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, Hold, therefore, Angelo:
doth relish the petition well that prays for peace. In our remove, be thou at full ourself;
2d Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus, wast where grace was said. But see, where Madam Though first in question, is thy secondary.
Enter Mrs. OVERDONE.
ried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all. Be stamp'd upon it.
1st. Gent. Who's that, I pray thee? Duke. No more evasion :
Overd. Marry sir, that's Claudio, Signior Claudio. We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice
1st Gent. Claudio to prison ! 'tis not so. Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours. Overd. Nay, but I know 'tis so : I saw him arOur haste from hence is of so quick condition, rested ; saw him carried away; and, which is more, That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd within these three days his head's to be chopped off. Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not As time and our concernings shall importune, have it so: art thou sure of this?
Overd. I am too sure of it ; and it is on account Claud. No. of Madam Julietta.
Prov. Away, sir; you must go. Lucio. Believe me, this may be : he promised Claud. One word, good friend : Lucio, a word to meet me two hours since; and he was ever pre
[Takes him aside. cise in promise-keeping.
Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. 2d Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something Claud. Thus stands it with me : Upon a true near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
contract, 1st Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the I got possession of Julietta's bed ; proclamation.
You know the lady; she is fast my wife, Lucio. Away ; let's go learn the truth of it. Save that we do the denunciation lack
[Ereunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Of outward order : this we came not to, Overd. Thus, what with the war, what with the Only for propagation of a dower gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom- Remaining in the coffer of her friends; shrunk. How now! what's the news with you? From whom we thought it meet to hide our love,
Till time had made them for us. But it chances, Enter Clown.
The stealth of our most mutual intercourse, Clown. You have not heard of the proclamation, with character too gross, is writ on Juliet. have you?
Lucio. With child, perhaps ? Overd. What proclamation, man?
Claud. Unhappily, even so. Clown. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must And the new deputy now for the duke, be pluck'd down.
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness ; Overd. And what shall become of those in the Or whether that the body public be city ?
A horse whereon the governor doth ride, Clown. They had gone down too, but that a wise Who, newly in the seat, that it may know burgher put in for them.
He can command, let's it straight feel the spur: Overd. But, shall all our houses of resort in the Whether the tyranny be in his place, suburbs be pulled down?
Or in his eminence that fills it up, Clown. To the ground, mistress.
I stagger in:
But this new governor Overd. Why, here's a change indeed in the com- Awakes me all the enrolled penalties, monwealth : what shall become of me?
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall Clown. Come, fear not you; good counsellors So long, that nineteen zodiacs have gone round, lack no clients. Though you change your place; And none of them been worn; and, for a name, you need not change your trade; I'll be your Now puts the drowsy and neglected act tapster still.
Freshly on me:- 'tis surely, for a name. Overd. What's to do here? Thomas Tapster let's Lucio. I warrant, it is : and thy head stands se withdraw.
tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be Cloun. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and provost to prison; and there's Madam Juliet.
appeal to him.
I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
This day my sister should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation : Enter Provost, Claudio, JULIET, and Officers.
Acquaint her with the danger of my state ; Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends the world. Bear me to prison, where I am com- To the strict deputy: bid herself assay him; mitted.
I have great hope in that : for in her youth Prov. I do it not in evil disposition,
There is a prone and speechless dialect, But from lord Angelo by special charge.
Such as moves men: beside, she hath prosperous art Claud. Thus can the demigod, Authority, When she will play with reason and discourse, Make us pay down for our offence by weight. - And well she can persuade. The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will ; Lucio. I pray, she may : as well for the encouOn whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just. ragement of the like, which else would stand under
grievous imposition; as for the enjoying of thy life, Enter Lucio.
who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost. Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? whence comes I'll to her. this restraint ?
Clauu. I thank you, good friend Lucio. Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, Lucio. Within two hours, liberty:
Claud. Come, officer, away.
[Creunt. As surfeit is the father of much fast, So every scope by the immoderate use
SCENE IV. – A Monastery. Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue, (Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,)
Enter Duke and Friar THOMAS. À thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.
Duke. No; holy father; throw away that thought ; Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, Believe not that the dribbling dart of love I would send for certain of my creditors : And yet, Can pierce a complete bosom : why I desire thee lo say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of To give me secret barbour, hath a purpose freedom, as the morality of imprisonment. - What's More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends thy offence, Claudio ?
Of burning youth. Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again. Fri.
May your grace speak of it. Lucio. What is it ? murder ?
Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than you