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"and even so
The general, subject to a well-wish'd King,
Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
Must needs appear offence.”

Steevens quotes a passage from “a True Narration of the Entertainment" of the King on his way from Edinburgh to London, printed in 1603, where it is said, “ he was fuine to publish an inhibition against the inordinate and dayly accesse of people comming." Taken with the context, the lines above quoted read like an insertion.

We may, therefore, arrive pretty safely at the conclusion, that “Measure for Measure was written either at the close of 1603, or in the beginning of 1604.

"Measure for Measure was first printed in the folio of 1623; and exactly fifty years afterwards was published Sir William Davenant's " Law against Lovers," founded upon it, and “Much ado about Nothing." With some ingenuity in the combination of the plots, he contrived to avail himself largely, and for his purpose judiciously, of the materials Shakespeare furnished.

Of Measure for Measure,” Coleridge observes in his “Literary Remains," ii. 122:'“This play, which is Shakespeare's throughout, is to me the most painful, say rather, the only painful part of his genuine works. The comic and tragic parts equally border on the mionteur—the one being disgusting, the other horrible; and the pardon and marriage of Angelo not merely baffles the strong indignant claim of justice (for cruelty, with lust and damnable baseness, cannot be forgiven, because we cannot conceive them as being morally repented of), but it is likewise degrading to the character of woman.

In the course of Lectures on Shakespeare delivered in the year 1818, Coleridge pointed especially to the artifice of Isabella, and her seeming consent to the suit of Angelo, as the circumstances which tended to lower the character of the female sex. He then called “Measure for Measure"

" only the “ least agrecable" of Shakespeare's dramas.

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VINCENTIO, the Duke.
ANGELO, the Deputy.
Escalus, an ancient Lord.
Claudio, a young Gentleman.
Lucio, a Fantastic.
Two other like Gentlemen.

Two Friars.
A Justice.
Elbow, a simple Constable.
Froth, a foolish Gentleman.
ABHORSON, an Executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.
ISABELLA, sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo.
JULIET, beloved of Claudio.

Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other At-

tendants. SCENE, Vienna.



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 t' affect speech and discourse;
Since I am apt to know, that your own science
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
My strength can give you : then, no more remains,
But add to your sufficiency your worth,
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms
For common justice, y are as pregnant in
As art and practice hath enriched any
That we remember. There is our commission,

[Giving it. From which we would not have you warp.-Call hither, I

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
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is lord Angelo.


Look, where he comes.
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,
I come to know your pleasure.

Angelo, 1 put : in f. e. 2 that: in f. e. 3 as your worth is able : in f. e.

4 Not in f. e.

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There is a kind of character in thy life,
That, to th' observer, doth thy history
Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings
Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do,
Not light them for ourselves; for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, 't were all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But 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 advertise :
Hold, therefore, Angelo : [Tendering his commission.'
In our remove be thou at full ourself';
Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Live in thy tongue and heart. Old Escalas,
Though first in question, is thy secondary:
Take thy commission.

[Giving it. Ang.

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 bèfall 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
With 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.

2 3 Not in f. e.

i interest.

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 happiness ! Duke. I thank you. Fare


Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
To have free speech with yon; and it concerns me
To look into the bottom of my place:
A power I have, but of what strength and nature
I am not yet instructed.

Ang. 'T is so with me. Let us withdraw together, And we may soon our satisfaction have Touching that point. Escal,

I'll wait upon your honour. (Exeunt.

SCENE II.-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 ?1 ’T was 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 Mr. Dyce removes the interrogation (?) giving why an emphatio sense only.

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