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The story is taken from Cinthio's Novels, ecad. 8, Novel 5. POPE.

We are sent to Cinthio for the plot of Measure r Measure, and Shakspeare's judgment hath en attacked for some deviations from him in e conduct of it, when probably all he knew of e matter was from Madam Isabella, in The eptameron of Whetstone, Lond. 4to. 1582.he reports, in the fourth dayes Exercise, the re Historie of Promos and Cassandra. A arginal note informs us, that Whetstone was e author of the Comedie on that subject; which kewise had probably fallen into the hands of akspeare. FARMER.

There is perhaps not one of Shakspeare's plays ore darkened than this by the peculiarities of author, and the unskilfulness of its editors, distortions of phrase, or negligence of tranription. JOHNSON.

Dr. Johnson's remark is so just respecting the rruptions of this play, that I shall not attempt uch reformation in its metre, which is too often ugh, redundant, and irregular Additions and

omissions (however trifling) cannot be made without constant notice of them; and such notices, in the present instance, would so frequently occur, as to become equally tiresome to the commentator and the reader.

Shakspeare took the fable of this play from the Promos and Cassandra of George Whetstone, 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. This 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.

Measure for Measure was, I believe, written in 1603. MALONE.

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The novel of Giraldi Cinthio, from which Shakspeare is supposed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in Sakspeare Illustrated, elegantly translated, with remarks which will assist the inquirer to discover how much aburity Shakspeare has admitted or avoided.

I cannot but suspect that some other had new-modelled the novel of Cinthio, or written a story which in some particulars resembled it, and that Cinthio was not the author whom Shakspeare immediately followed. The emperor 1. Cuchio is named Maximine: the duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of the persons of the drama, is called Vinrea. This appears a very slight remark; but since the duke has no name in the play, nor is ever mentioned but by La tide, why should he be called Vincentio among the persons, but because the name was copied from the story, and placed superfluously at the head of the list, by the mere habit of transcription? It is therefore likely that there was then a story of Vincentio duke of Vienna, different from that of Maximine emperor of the Romans.

Of this play, the light or comic part is very natural and pleasing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, have more labour than elegance. The plot is rather intricate than artful. The time of the action is indete some time, we know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess of the duke and the imprisonment of Clodio, for he must have learned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated his power to a man already mown to be corrupted. The unities of action and place are sufficiently preserved. Johnson.

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FROTH, a foolish Gentleman.

Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over-done.
ABHORSON, an Executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.

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

Mistress OVER-DONE, a Bawd.

Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other

SCENE,- Vienna.

ENE L-An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. inter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants. Duke. Escalus,

Escal. My lord.

Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
ould seem in me to affect speech and discourse;
ice i am put to know, that your own science
ceeds, in that, the lists of all advice

strength can give you: then no more remains that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able, d let them work. The nature of our people, rcity's institutions, and the terms

common justice, you are as pregnant in,
art and practice hath enriched any

at we remember: there is our commission,
om which we would not have you warp.-Call
ay, bid come before us Angelo.- [hither,
(Exit an Attendant.
hat figure of us, think you, he will bear?
t you must know, we have with special soul
eted him our absence to supply;

at him our terror, drest him with our love;
dgiven his deputation all the organs
Our own power: what think you of it?
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
undergo such ample grace and hour,
slord Angelo.



Look, where he comes.

Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,

me to know your pleasure. Duke.


ere is a kind of character in thy life,
let, to the observer, doth thy history
lly unfold: thyself and thy belongings
re not thine own so proper, as to waste
yself upon thy virtues, them on thee.

eaven doth with us, as we with torches do;
tight them for themselves: for if our virtues
ad not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd, ut to fine issues: nor nature never lends

the smallest scruple of her excellence,

But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,

Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
To one, that can my part in him advértise;
Hold therefore, Angelo;

In our remove, be thou at full ourself:
Mortality and mercy in Vienna

Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus,
Though first in question, is thy secondary:
Take thy commission.

Now, good my lord,
Let there be some more test made of my metal,
Before so noble and so great a figure
Be stamp'd upon it.


No more evasion:
We have, with a leaven'd and prepared choice,
Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.
Our haste from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd
Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
As time and our concernings shall importune,
How it goes with us; and do look to know
What doth befall you here. So, fare you well:
To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.


Yet, give leave, my lord,

That we may bring you something on the way.
Duke. My haste may not admit it;

Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do


any scruple:

your scope is as mine own;

So to enforce, or qualify the laws,

As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand;
I'll privily away: I love the people,

But do not like to stage me to their eyes:
Though it do well, I do not relish well
Their loud applause, and aves vehement:
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
That does affect it. Once more, fare you well.
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes.
Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happi-

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I am not yet instructed.
Ang. "Tis so with me:-Let us withdraw toge-
And we may soon our satisfaction have [ther,
Touching that point.

Escal I'll wait upon your honour. [Exeunt.

SCENE IL-A Street.

Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen. Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come not to composition with the king of Hungary, why, then all the dukes fall upon the king.

1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the king of Hungary's!

2 Gent. Amen.

Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scraped one out of the table.

2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.

1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions; they put forth to steal: there's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well, that prays for peace.

2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never wast where grace was said.

2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least. 1 Gent. What? in metre?

Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language. 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion.

Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as for example; Thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace.

1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers between us.

Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet: thou art the list.

1 Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou art a three-pil'd piece. I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be pil'd, as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?

Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.

1 Gent. I think, I have done myself wrong; have I not? [tainted or free. 2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to

2 Gent. To what, I pray?

1 Gent. Judge.

2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a-year.

1 Gent. Ay, and more.

Lucio. A French crown more.

1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me : but thou art full of error; I am sound.

Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound, as things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow: impiety has made a feast of thee.

Enter Bawd.

1 Gent. How now? which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?

Bawd. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.

1 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee? Bawd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio. 1 Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so.

Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so: I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head's to be chopped off. Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so: art thou sure of this?

Bawd. I am too sure of it: and it is for getting madam Julietta with child.

Lucio. Believe me, this may be; he promised to meet me two hours since; and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.

2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.

1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the pro clamation.

Lucio. Away; let's go learn the truth of it. [Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with po verty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's the news with you?

Enter Clown.

Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison.
Bawd. Well; what has he done?
Clo. A woman.

Bawd. But what's his offence?

Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him! Clo. No; but there is a woman with maid by him you have not heard of the proclamation, have you! Bawd. What proclamation, man?

Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city? Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had ge down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in suburbs be pull'd down?

Clo. To the ground, mistress.

Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the com monwealth! What shall become of me?

Clo. Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients: though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster s Courage; there will be pity taken on you: you, th have worn your eyes almost out in the service, y will be considered. [withdraw

Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? Lets Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the pr vost to prison; and there's madam Juliet. Exe

SCENE III.-The same.

Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers
LUCIO, and two Gentlemen.
Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thas t
the world?

Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Pro. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from lord Angelo by special charge.

Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weightThe words of heaven;-on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio? whence comes this restraint?"

Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty As surfeit is the father of much fast, So every scope by the immoderate use Turns to restraint: our natures do pursue, (Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,) A thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.

Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest I would send for certain of my creditors: and y t say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery freedom, as the morality of imprisonment.Wi thy offence, Claudio?

Claud. What, but to speak of would offend aga
Lucio. What is it? murder?
Claud. No.

Lucio. Lechery?
Claud. Call it so.

Prov. Away, sir; you must go.

Claud. One word, good friend:-Lucio, a we with you. (Takes him aside Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. Is lechery so look'd after?


Claud. Thus stands it with me:-Upon a tro

I got possession of Julietta's bed;

For terror, not to use; in time the rod

You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack

Of outward 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 our love,
Tul time had made them for us. But it chances,
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment,
With character too gross, is writ on Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps?

Cand. Unhappily, even so.

And the new deputy now for the duke,

Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness;
Or whether that the body public be

A horse, whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know

He can command, lets it straight feel the spur:
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,


I stagger in:-But this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the
So long, that nineteen zodiacs have gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on me :-'tis surely, for a name.

Lucio. I warrant, it is: and thy head stands so bckle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.

Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. I prythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my sister should the cloister enter, And there receive her approbation: Acquaint her with the danger of my state; Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him; I have great hope in that: for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect, Sach as moves men; beside, she hath prosperous art, When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade.

Lucio. I pray, she may as well for the encou ragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition; as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her.

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours,-

Claud, Come, officer, away.

SCENE IV.-A Monastery.


Duke. No, holy father; throw away that thought; Believe not, that the dribbling dart of love


pierce a cómplete bosom: why I desire thee To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends Of burning youth.


May your grace speak of it?

Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than you
How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd;
And held in idle price to haunt assemblies,
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.
I have deliver'd to lord Angelo

A man of stricture, aud firm abstinence,)
My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
Aad be supposes me travell'd to Poland;

For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv'd: now, pious sir,
You will demand of me, why I do this?
Fri. Gladly, my lord.

Even like an


Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting The needful bits and curbs for head-strong steeds,) Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep; o'er-grown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey: now, as fond fathers Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch Unly to stick it in their children's sight,

Becomes more mock'd than fear'd: so our decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;
And liberty plucks justice by the nose;

The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.


It rested in your grace

To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd: And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd, Than in Lord Angelo.

Duke. I do fear, too dreadful: Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, "Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them For what I bid them do: for we bid this be done, When evil deeds have their permissive pass, And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my I have on Angelo impos'd the office; [father Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home, And yet my nature never in the sight, To do it slander: and to behold his sway, I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr'ythee, Supply me with the habit, and instruct me How I may formally in person bear me Like a true friar. More reasons for this action, At our more leisure shall I render you; Only, this one :-Lord Angelo is precise; Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses That his blood flows, or that his appetite Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see, If power change purpose, what our seemers be. [Exeunt.

SCENE V.-A Nunnery.

Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA. Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges? Fran. Are not these large enough?

Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more; But rather wishing a more strict restraint Upon the sister-hood, the votarists of saint Clare. Lucio. Ho! Peace be in this place! (Within.) Who's that which calls)


Fran. It is a man's voice: gentle Isabella, Turn you the key, and know his business of him; You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn: When you have vow'd, you must not speak with But in the presence of the prioress: Then, if you speak, you must not shew your face; Or, if you shew your face, you must not speak. He calls again; I pray you answer him. [Exit. Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls?

Enter LUCIO.


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