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Though, I confess, much like the character:
But, out of question, 'tis Maria's hand.
And now I do bethink me, it was she
First told me, thou wast mad; thou cam'st in smiling,
And in such forms which here were presuppos'ds
Upon thee in the letter. Pr'ythee, be content:
This practice hath most shrewdly pass'd upon thee:
But, when we know the grounds and authors of it,
Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge
Of thine own cause:


Good madam, hear me speak;
And let no quarrel, nor no brawl to come,
Taint the condition of this present hour,
Which I have wonder'd at. In hope it shall not,
Most freely I confess, myself, and Toby,
Set this device against Malvolio here,
Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts
We have conceiv'd against him: Maria writ
The letter, at sir Toby's great importance ;i
In recompense whereof, he hath married her.
How with a sportful malice it was follow'd,
May rather pluck on laughter than revenge;
If that the injuries be justly weigh'd,
That have on both sides past.

Oli. Alas, poor fool! how have they baffled thee!

Clo. Why, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them. I was one, sir, in this interlude; one sir Topas, sir; but that's all one : -By the Lord, fool, I am not mad;-But do you remember? Madam why laugh you at such a barren rascal? an smile not, he's gagg'd: And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges.

Mal. I'll be reveng'd on the whole pack of you. [Exit.
Oli. He hath been most notoriously abus'd.

Duke. Pursue him, and entreat him to a peace :—

He hath not told us of the captain yet;

When that is known and golden time convents,*

presuppos'd-] Previously pointed out for your imitation.

h against-] Tyrwhitt reads in.



importance;] Importunacy.

convents,] i. e. Shall be convenient.

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A solemn combination shall be made
Of our dear souls-Mean time, sweet sister,
We will not part from hence.-Cesario, come;
For so you shall be, while you are a man;
But, when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen.


CLO. When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.
For when I came to man's estate,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
'Gainst knave and thief men shut their gate,
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came alas! to wive,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,

For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came unto my bed,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken head

For the rain it raineth every day.
A great while ago the world begun,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.



This play is in the graver part elegant and easy, and in some of the lighter scenes exquisitely humorous. Ague-cheek is drawn with great propriety, but his character is, in a great measure, that of natural fatuity, and is therefore not the proper prey of a satirist. The soliloquy of Malvolio is truly comic; he is betrayed to ridicule merely by his pride. The marriage of Olivia, and the succeeding perplexity, though well enough contrived to divert on the stage, wants credibility, and fails to produce the proper instruction required in the drama, as it exhibits no just picture of life.-JOHNSON.


THIS play was not printed till 1623.-Mr. Malone supposes it to have been written in 1603.

The plot is found in Cinthio's Novels, Decad 8. Novel 5.-But Shakspeare took the subject of his drama from an old play called Promos and Cassandra written by George Whetstone, and published in 1578.—

A hint, like a seed, is more or less prolific, according to the qualities of the soil on which it is thrown. The story, which in the hands of Whetstone, produced little more than barren insipidity, under the culture of Shakspeare became fertile of entertainment. The curious reader will find that the old play of Promos and Cassandra, exhibits an almost complete embryo of Measure for Measure; yet the hints on which it is formed are so slight, that it is nearly as impossible to detect them, as it is to point out in the acorn the future ramifications of the oak.-MALONE.


VICENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
ANGELO, lord deputy in the Duke's absence.

ESCALUS, an ancient lord, joined with ANGELO in the depu


CLAUDIO, a young gentleman.

LUCIO, a fantastic.

Two other like gentlemen.

VARRIUS, a gentleman servant to the Duke.




two Friars.

A Justice.

ELBOW, a simple constable.
FROTH, a foolish gentleman.
Clown, servant to Mrs. Over-done.
ABHORSON, an executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute prisoner.

ISABELLA, sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, betrothed by Angelo.
JULIET, beloved by Claudio.


Mistress OVER-DONE, a bawd.

Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Attendants. Scene, VIENNA.

a Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and says nothing. -JOHNSON.



SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants. Duke. ESCALUS,

Escal. My lord.


Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse;
Since I am put to know, that your own science
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
My strength can give you: Then no more remains
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms
For common justice, you are as pregnant in,

As art and practice hath enriched any

That we remember: There is our commission,

From which we would not have you warp.-Call hither, say, bid come before us Angelo.- [Exit an Attendant. What figure of us think you he will bear?


For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply;

Lent him our terror, drest him with our love;
And given his deputation all the organs
Of our own power: What think you of it?
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth

a Since I am put to know,]-may mean, I am compelled to acknowledge. b lists- i. e. Limits.


Then no more remains

But that to your sufficiency, &c.] This passage is considered as corrupt, as defective, as inexplicable. May it not mean-That the Duke has no further counsel to give, but that Escalus should apply himself to his sufficiency? i.e. his skill and knowledge of law and government, as his worth is able, to the best of his ability, and let them, i. e. his sufficiency and his worth work-produce their natural consequences.

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