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"and even so
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.
VINCENTIO, the Duke.
MISTRESS OVER-DONE, a Bawd.
tendants. SCENE, Vienna.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
SCENE I.–An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants.
Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
[Giving it. From which we would not have you warp.-Call hither, I
say, bid come before us Angelo.-- [Exit an Attendant.
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
Look, where he comes.
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.
There is a kind of character in thy life,
[Giving it. Ang.
Now, good my lord,
No more evasion :
Yet, give leave, my lord,
Duke. My haste may not admit it;
2 3 Not in f. e.
I'll privily away: I love the people,
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes !
Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happiness ! Duke. I thank you. Fare
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.