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Tins comcily contains scenes which are truly | And, finally, when he thought his object accoin. worthy 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 solemn engagements. brother, and afterwards insisting that his life must These are the crimes, which, in the language 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 thiein, 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 wicked. ness of Angelo is so atrocious, that I recollect only
(laudio's life having been preserved by the Proove instance of a similar kind being recorded in vost, it would not, perhaps, liave 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 them 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,
“And never show thy head by day nor light."
This monhead of Ragozine had been Claudio's ster of iniquity appears before the Duke, defending
Other parts of the play are not without faults. his cause with unblushing boldness; and after the The best characters act too much upon a system o. 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 profligate Пе despicable of all reasons, the loss of her fortune. appears, in the first act, as the friend of Claudio, He added to his guilt not only insensibility to her and in the fifth he assists the cause of Angelo, attiction, 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 demo i brother to death, but make
of the whole work were to be decided by the exa. “ His death draw out to lingering sufferance.' mination of this very extraordinary Play, as it is
now printed in the Family Shakspeare.
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 Enter Duke, EscALUS, and Lords.
To th' hopeful execution do I leave you Duke. Escalus, –
Of your commissions. 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 hand; 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. (Exit. 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.
Mitigation comes. Take thy commission.
Enter Mrs. OVERDONE. Ang.
Now, good my lord, Let there be some more test made of my mettle, Overdone. There's one yonder, arrested and carBefore so noble and so great a figure
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 3 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 thc 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 Clown. 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 ?
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio. Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, Lucio. Within two hours, liberty:
Claud. Come, officer, away.
[Exeunt. 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. A 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 to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of To give me secret harbour, 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.
May your grace speak of it. Lucio. What is it ? murder ?
Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than you
How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd;
Or if you show your face, you must not speak. And held in idle price to haunt assemblies, He calls again ; I pray you answer him. Where youth and cost, and witless bravery keeps.
[Erit FRANCISCA. I have deliver'd to lord Angelo
Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls? (A man of stricture and firm abstinence)
Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be; as those cheek-roses For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me, And so it is receivd: Now, pious sir,
As bring me to the sight of Isabella, You will demand of me, why I do this?
A novice of this place, and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother Claudio ?
Isab. Why her unhappy brother ? let me ask ; laws, (The needful bits and curbs for head-strong steeds,) I am that Isabella, and his sister. Which'for these fourteen years we have let sleep;
Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave,
you : That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond fathers Not to be weary with you, he's in prison. Having bound up the threatning twigs of birch,
Isab. Woe me! For what? Only to stick it in their children's sight,
Lucio. For that which if myself might be his For terror, not to use ; in time the rod
judge, Becomes more mock'd than fear'd: so our decrees, He should receive his punishment in thanks : Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;
His friend's with child by him. And liberty plucks justice by the nose ;
Isab. Sir, make me not your story.'
Lucio. The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
It is true. Goes all decorum.
I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted;
By your renouncement an immortal spirit;
And to be talk'd with in sincerity,
As with a saint.
Isab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me
Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth , Sith 'twas my fault, to give the people scope,
'tis thus: 'Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them
Your brother and his lover have embrac'd : For what I bid them do : For we bid this be done,
Isab. My cousin Juliet ? When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
Lucio. Is she your cousin ? And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my
Isab. Adoptedly: as school-maids change their father,
names, I have on Angelo impos'd the office ;
By vain though apt affection. Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home,
She it is. And yet my nature never in the sight,
Isab. O, let him marry her! To do it slander: And to behold his sway,
This is the point. I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
The duke is very strangely gone from hence; Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr’ythee, In hand, and hope of action : but we do learn
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
By those that know the very nerves of state,
His givipgs out were of an infinite distance At our more leisure shall I render you;
From his true-meant design. Upon his place, Only, this one :- Lord Angelo is precise ;
And with full line of his authority, Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
Governs lord Angelo ;
man, whose blood That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels Is more to bread than stone: Hence shall we see,
The wanton stings and motions of the sense ; If power change purpose, what our seemers be.
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge [Ereunt.
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law,
As mice by lions,) hath pick'd out an act,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
And follows close the rigour of the statute, Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more; To make him an example: all hope is gone, But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of saint Clare. To soften Angelo: And that's my pith Lucio Ho! Peace be in this place! [Within. Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother. Isab.
Who's that which calls ? Isab. Doth he so seek his life? Fran. It is a man's voice: Gentle Isabella,
Has censur'ds him Turn you the key, and know his business of him ; Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn : A warrant for his execution. When you have vow'd, you must not speak with Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me men,
To do him good ? But in the presence of the prioress :
1 Do not make a jest of me. Then, if you speak, you must not show your face ;
2 In few and true words.
Lucio. Assay the power you have. Lucio.
But speedily. Isab. My power! Alas! I doubt,
Isab. I will about it straight;
Our doubts are traitors, No longer staying but to give the mother
Good sir, adieu. As they themselves would owe + them.
[Exeunt. Isab. I'll see what I can do.
SCENE I. - A Hall in Angelo's House. SCENE II. - Another Room in the same. Enter Angelo, Escalus, Provost, Officers, and Enter Provost and a Servant. other Attendants.
Serv. He's hearing of a cause; he will come Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the
I'll tell him of you. Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
Prov. Pray you, do. (Exit Servant.] I'll know And let it keep one shape, till custom make it his pleasure ; may be, he will relent : Their perch and not their terror. Escal. Ay, but yet
Enter ANGELO. Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Ang. Now, what's the matter, Provost ? Than fall, and bruise to death: Alas! this gentle- Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to man,
morrow? Whom I would save, had a most noble father. Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea ? hadst thou not Let but your honour know,
order? (Whom I believe to be most straight in virtue,) Why dost thou ask again ? That, in the working of your own affections,
Lest I might be too rash :
When, after execution, judgment hath
Go to ; let that be mine : Err'd in this point which now you censure him, Do you your office, or give up your place, And pull’d the law upon you.
And you shall well be spar'd. Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, Prov. I crave your honour's pardon. Another thing to fall. I not deny,
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet ? The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
She's very near her hour. May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two
Dispose of her Guiltier than him they try: What's open made to To some more fitter place; and that with speed.
justice, That justice seizes. What know the laws,
Re-enter Servant. That thieves do pass on thieves ? 'Tis very pregnant,
Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
Desires access to you. Because we see it; but what we do not see,
Hath he a sister ? We tread upon, and never think of it.
Prov. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid, You may not so extenuate his offence,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
Ang. Well, let her be admitted.
[Exit Servant. And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die. See you, that Julietta be remov'd; Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means;
Where is the provost ? There shall be order for it.
Enter Lucio and ISABELLA.
Prov. Save your honour ! [Offering to retire. Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared : Ang. Stay a little while. - [To IsaB. ) You are For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.
welcome : What's your will ? (Exeunt ANGELO and Provost. Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honour : Escal. Well, heaven forgive him; and forgive Please but your honour hear me.
Well; what's your suit ? Mercy is not itself that oft looks so,
Isab. There is a vice that most I do abhor, Pardon is still the nurse of second woe.
And most desire should meet the blow of justice; But yet, poor Claudio ! - there's no remedy. For which I would not plead, but that I must;
[Exit. For which I must not plead, but that I am 4 Have
At war, 'twixt will, and will not.