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Duke. For this new-married man, approaching here,

Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd

Your well-defended honour, you must pardon For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudg'd your brother,

Being criminal, in double violation

Of sacred chastity, and of promise-breach 410 Thereon dependent, for your brother's life,The very mercy of the law cries out

[Most audible, even from his proper tongue,] "An Angelo for Claudio, death for death!" Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure;

Like doth quit like, and MEASURE Still FOR

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Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother liv'd. I partly think
A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,
Till he did look on me: since it is so,
Let him not die. My brother had but justice,
In that he did the thing for which he died:
For Angelo,

Away with him!

[Officers advance and stand by Angelo's

1 Pain'd, put to labour.

2 Remonstrance, demonstration.

3 Salt, lustful.

His act did not o'ertake his bad intent,

And must be buried but as an intent

4 Confutation, conviction.

5 Definitive, resolved.


I say.



That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no

subjects, Intents but merely thoughts. Jari.

Merely, my lord. Duke. Your suit's unprofitable; stand up,

[Mariana and Isabella rise. I have bethought me of another fault. Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded At an unusual hour? Prov.

It was commanded so. Duke. Had you a special warrant for the deed? Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private

message. Duke. For which I do discharge you of your

office: Give up your keys. Prov.



noble lord:
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
Yet did repent me, after more advice:1
For testimony whereof, one in the prison,
That should by private order else have died,
I have reserv'd alive.

What's he?

His name is Barnardine. Duke. I would thou hadst done so by Claudio. Go fetch him hither; let me look upon him.

[Exit Provost. Duke talks apart

with Isabella. Escal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise As you, Lord Angelo, have still appeard, Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood, And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.

Ang. I am sorry that such sorrow I procure:
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart
That I crave death more willingly than mercy
'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.
Re-enter from the city, Provost, with BARNAR-

DINE, CLAUDIO muffled, and Juliet.
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?

lord. Duke. There was a friar told me of this man. Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul, That apprehends no further than this world, And squar’st thy life according. Thou’rt

condemn’d: But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all; And pray

thee take this mercy to provide

For better times to come. Friar, advise him; I leave him to your hand. [Exeunt Barnardine

and Friar into the city.] What mutiled

fellow's that? Prov. This is another prisoner that I savid, Who should have died when Claudio lost his

head; As like almost to Claudio as himself.

(Begins to unmuffle Claudio. Duke. [To Isabella] If he be like your bro

ther, for his sake Is he pardon'd, -[Claudio discovers himself to

Isabella-she rushes into his arms, and then kneels to Angelo,–] and, for your lovely

sake; Give me your hand, [raising her] and say you

will be mine, He is my brother too: (taking Claudio's hand]

but fitter time for that. By this Lord Angelo perceives he's safe;

[Crossing to Angelo. Methinks I see a quickening in his eye. Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well: Look that you love your wife; her worth worth

yours. I find an apt remission in myself; And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon. [To Lucio] You, sirrah, that knew me for a fool, a cow.

One all of luxury, an ass, a madman;
Wherein have I so deserv'd of you,
That you extol me thus?

Lucio. Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick. If you will hang me for it, you may; but I had rather it would please you I might be whipt.

Duke. Whipt first, sir, and hang'd after. Proclaim it, provost, round about the city, If any woman 's wrong'd by this lewd fellow, As I have heard him swear himself there's




This, my

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2 In place, present.

1 Advice, consideration.

Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry

her. Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal Remit thy other forfeits. Take him to prison;

[Officers seize Lucio. And see our pleasure herein executed.

Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping and hanging. Duke. Slandering a prince deserves it.

[Exeunt Officers with Lucio. She, Claudio, that you wrongd, look you re

store. Joy to you, Mariana! Love her, Angelo: I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue. Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much


There's more behind that is more gratulate.
Thanks, provost, for thy care and secrecy:
We shall employ thee in a worthier place.
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
The head of Ragozine for Claudio's:
The offence pardons itself. Dear Isabel, 540

[Taking her hand and kissing it. I have a motion much imports your good; Whereto if you 'll a willing ear incline, What's mine is yours, and what is yours is

mine. So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.



i Gratulate, gratifying.





1. Line 5: Since I am PUT to know.-Compare Cymbeline, ii. 3. 110:

You put me to forget a lady's manners.

2. Line 6: the LISTS of all advice; i.e. the limits. Compare I. Henry IV. iv. 1. 51, 52:

The very list, the very utmost bound
Of all our fortunes.

3. Lines 7-10:

then no more remains

But that, to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work.

This clause in the Duke's first sentence has proved a more awkward stumbling-block to commentators than almost any passage in Shakespeare. The Cambridge editors chronicle twelve conjectural emendations in their foot-note, and five others in the supplementary notes at the end of the play. It has been proved, however, by the Old-Spelling editors that the lines as they stand are capable of explanation -an explanation, it is true, which leaves the whole passage (lines 3-9) an example of the most contorted and arbitrary syntax. I give their note: "The words 'my strength' include (1) the Duke's science, his knowledge of the properties of government; (2) his ducal authority, which is his sole prerogative. Your owne science,' he says to Escalus, 'exceedes in that' (in that province of my strength which embraces my administrative skill) all that my 'aduice' (counsel) can give you. 'Then,' he continues, 'no more remaines (is needful) but that (my strength per se, which is mine alone) to your sufficiency' (legal science), -your 'worth' (character and rank) making you fit for the post,-and you may henceforth let 'them' (your prior sufficiency and my now deputed power) work together."

[This explanation of the Old-Spelling editors seems to me quite as involved and obscure as the text which it professes to explain. It is evident that the text is corrupt, probably through there having been some interlineation in the MS. from which it was printed; nor can I believe that Shakespeare would have wished such a hideously unrhythmical verse as line 8 to be spoken by any actor. If by my strength the Duke means "my power," or "my authority," we may imagine that the passage stood something like this:

then no more remains

But that [i.e. my strength] to add to your sufficiency,
And, as your worth is able, let them work.

The rest of line 9, The nature of our people, would then form an imperfect line by itself.-F. A. M.]

4. Line 11: the TERMS.-"Terms mean the technical language of the courts. An old book called Les Termes de la Ley (written in Henry the Eighth's time) was in Shakespeare's days, and is now, the accidence of young students in the law" (Blackstone).

5. Line 18: with special SOUL.-This metaphorical use of soul (meaning preference or regard) may be compared with a similar use of the word in The Tempest, iii. 1. 42-46:

for several virtues
Have I lik'd several women; never any
With so full soul, but some defect in her

Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd
And put it to the foil.

6. Line 31: proper; i.e. proprius, peculiar to one's self. Compare Timon, i. 2. 106, 107: "what better or properer can we call our own than the riches of our friends?" and below, in this play, v. 1. 110: "Faults proper to himself." 7. Line 41: use. -Use was in Shakespeare's time a customary word for interest. Compare Venus and Adonis, 768: But gold that's put to use more gold begets.

8. Lines 41, 42:

But I do bend my speech

To one that can my part in him advertise. The Duke has been giving Angelo advice; he now breaks off, intimating gracefully that, after all, he is speaking to one who can instruct him in such matters.

9. Line 43: Hold, therefore, Angelo.-This is generally supposed to be spoken by the Duke as he hands his com mission to Angelo. Grant White conjectures that a part of the line is lost, and he restores it thus:

Hold therefore, Angelo, our place and power; basing his guess on i. 3. 11-13 below:

I have deliver'd to Lord Angelo

My absolute power and place here in Vienna. But this is juggling with the text, not editing. Dyce quotes Gifford, on the words "Hold thee, drunkard" (ie. take the letter) in Jonson's Catiline: "There is no expression in the English language more common than this, which is to be found in almost every page of our old writers; yet the commentators on Shakespeare, with the exception of Steevens, who speaks doubtfully on the subject, misunderstand it altogether. In Measure for Measure, the Duke, on producing Angelo's commission, says: 'Hold, therefore, Angelo'" (Jonson's Works, vol. iv. p. 347).

10. Lines 45, 46:

Mortality and mercy in Vienna Live in thy tongue and heart. Douce rightly emphasizes the importance of these words -"the privilege of exercising mercy," conferred by the Duke upon his deputy. See also lines 65-67 below: your scope is as mine own, So to enforce or qualify the laws

As to your soul seems good.

The Duke thus renders it impossible for Angelo to make the excuse-such as it would be-that his instructions were precise and without margin of mercy.

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11. Line 52: We have with a LEAVEN'D and prepared choice.-A leavened choice is explained by Johnson as one "not declared as soon as it fell into the imagination, but suffered to work long in the mind." The metaphor may no doubt have this meaning, as leaven or yeast does take some hours to ferment; but may it not mean as well, or more primarily, that the choice was based on a thorough and searching scrutiny, as leaven works up through and permeates the whole mass of dough?

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13. Line 15: the thanksgiving BEFORE meat.-Hanmer reads after, and his reading, say the Cambridge editors, "is recommended by the fact that in the old forms of 'graces' used in many colleges, and, as we are informed, at the Inns of Court, the prayer for peace comes always after, and never before, meat. But as the mistake may easily have been made by Shakespeare, or else deliberately put into the mouth of the First Gentleman,' we have not altered the text."

14. Line 28: Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.-An expression, which may almost be termed proverbial for, We are both of one piece. Steevens cites Marston, The Malcontent, 1604: "There goes but a paire of sheeres betwixt an emperor and the sonne of a bagge-piper; onely the dying, dressing, pressing, glossing, makes the difference" (Works, vol. ii. p. 270). Compare, too, Dekker, The Gull's Hornbook, ch. i.: "there went but a pair of shears between them."

15. Line 35: as be PIL'D, as thou art PIL'D.-"A quibble between piled peeled, stripped of hair, bald (from the French disease), and piled as applied to velvet, threepiled velvet meaning the finest and costliest kind of velvet" (Dyce). Compare Chaucer, Prologue, line 627:

With skalled browes blake, and piled berd.

16. Line 39: forget to drink after thee.-That is, for fear of the contagion.

17. Lines 45, 46, 48.-These lines are given by Pope to the First Gentleman, and there is a good deal of probability in the surmise; still, it is only a probability; and, as the Cambridge editors remark, "It is impossible to discern any difference of character in the three speakers, or to introduce logical sequence into their buffoonery."

18 Line 52: A French crown; i.e. the corona Veneris. Compare Midsummer Night's Dream, i. 2. 99: "Some of your French crowns have no hair at all."

19. Line 84: the sweat.-This very likely refers to the plague or "sweating-sickness," which ravaged London in

1603, carrying off about a fifth of the population. The war, above, may also refer to the war with Spain, which came to an end in the autumn of 1604.

20. Lines 99, 100: ALL HOUSES in the SUBURBS of Vienna must be pluck'd down.-Tyrwhitt, quite unnecessarily, as I take it, would read all bawdy-houses. There is no doubt that this is meant, but when we remember who the speakers were, and how much a meaning look or an extra accent can convey, we may well suppose that Pompey said merely all houses, and that when he said houses Mrs. Overdone quite understood what he meant. As a matter of fact, houses of ill-fame were chiefly in the suburbs. Compare Heywood, The Rape of Lucrece, ii. 3: ". Bru... he removes himself from the love of Brutus that shrinks from my side till we have had a song of all the pretty suburbians" (p. 194)-a prelude to Valerius' rattling song of Molly, Nelly, Betty, Dolly, Nanny, Rachel, and Biddy.

21. Line 116: Thomas tapster. -Douce expresses his surprise that Mrs. Overdone "should have called the clown by this name when it appears by his own showing that his name was Pompey." But of course it is a mere classname, no more peculiar to one man than John Barleycorn or Tommy Atkins. For a contemporary instance of the precise alliterative form, compare Fletcher's Rollo, iii. 1 (end of scene), where a song, expanded from the Three merry men snatch, is sung by a Yeoman or "Page of the Cellar," a Butler, a Cook, and a Pantler. The last sings:

O man or beast, or you at least

that wear a brow or antler, Prick up your ears unto the tears of me poor Paul the Pantler.

22. Line 119.-The Folio after this line begins a new scene (Scena Tertia) with the entrance of the Provost, &c. The Collier MS. omits Juliet from the persons who enter here, since, if present, she is silent, and, as appears from Claudio's words to Lucio, out of sight and hearing. Yet Pompey has just said, "There's Madam Juliet." The Cambridge editors "suppose that she was following at a distance behind, in her anxiety for the fate of her lover. She appears again," they add, "as a mute personage at the end of the play."


[It looks very much here as if the author had originally intended to make some use of Julietta or Juliet in this scene, but in the course of working it out had changed that intention. It is evident, from act ii. scene 3, that Juliet was arrested as well as Claudio, and that, for some time at any rate, she was kept "under observation." the acting edition Juliet does not come on with the Provost and Claudio; but there is no reason why she should not be on the stage; for it is quite clear that the dialogue between Lucio and Claudio is spoken aside. Only one would certainly expect, if Juliet were at that time present on the stage, that Claudio would have made some allusion to the fact.-F. A. M.]

23. Lines 124-127:

Thus can the demigod Authority

Make us pay down for our offence by weight.
The words of heaven:-on whom it will, it will;
On whom it will not, so; yet still 't is just.

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