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MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
ACT I. SCENE I.
An Apartment in the DUKE's Palace.
Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants.
Duke. Escalus !
Duke. Of government the properties to unfold
LISTS] Bounds or limits : often so used : see particularly Vol. ii. p. 685.
then, no more remains, But add to your sufficiency your worth,
And let them work.] We know of no better way of overcoming the difficulty presented in the opening of this play, than adopting the text offered in the corr. fo. 1632, and that we present to our readers: the passage has usually been printed thus, from the folio, 1623 :
“then, no more remains,
And let them work." This cannot have been what the poet wrote; and what the old annotator on our fo. 1632 tells us was the text in his day is not merely clear and intelligible, but harmonious and correct as regards the verse. In a preceding line “ Since I am put to know" of the folio, 1623, might have remained, but that, on the same authority, we are instructed to read “ Since I am apt to know,” which certainly fills the place, and answers the purpose better.
As art and practice hath enriched any
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
Look, where he comes.
THEM on thee.] The old copy erroneously reads, " they on thee."
to fine issues;] For high purposes, or, more strictly, results. 3 Both thanks and use.] “Use" of old signified interest of money.
6 To one that can my part in him advertise: ] i, e. To one, says Malone, who is already informed as to the duties of my office.
7 Tendering his commission.] This stage-direction from the corr. fo. 1632 may be said to settle the question, argued between Johnson, Tyrwhitt, and - Steevens, whether at these words the Duke offered the commission to Angelo : it appears,
In our remove, be thou at full ourself;
[Giving it. Ang.
Now, good my lord, Let there be some more test made of
No more evasion :
your commissions. Ang.
Yet, give leave, my lord,
Duke. My haste may not admit it;
by a subsequent stage-direction, that Angelo did not take the instrument from the Duke's hand until afterwards : he perhaps, at first, showed modest hesitation.
I am not yet instructed.
Ang. 'Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,
I'll wait upon your honour. [Exeunt.
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
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.
8 ] Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment, &c.]. “Why” is here not an interrogation, but merely an expletive, and we agree with the Rev. Mr. Dyce, who adduces many examples to prove that if “why” be not an interrogation, it ought not to be followed by the corresponding mark: we do not suppose that such a matter will be doubted. In our former edition, however, we threw out a hint, that if
were treated as an interrogation, what succeeds probably belonged to Lucio, and not to the 1 Gent. Of this hint (which was founded on a mistake) Mr. Singer avails himself, and gives all that follows “Why?" to Lucio, - but without any notice that such a course had ever before been proposed. Here, by abandoning his usual authority, Mr. Dyce, and taking our hint for granted, Mr. Singer has committed the very error he was warned to avoid.
1 Gent. What, in metre?
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 list 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 pild, 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?
2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted, or free.
Lucio. Behold! behold, where madam Mitigation comes ? !
1 Gent. I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to
2 Gent. To what, I pray?
2 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
9 Well, there went but a pair of sheers between us.] A proverbial expression to show that they were both cut off the same piece : it is of common occurrence in our old dramatists. “ List" is lists in the folios in the next line.
as be Pil’D, as thou art PIL’D, for a French velvet.] The point of this retort depends upon the similarity of sound between “pild,” in reference to the pile of velvet, and pill’d, or peeld, in reference to a person losing his hair.
2 Behold! behold, where madam Mitigation comes !) The old copies give the whole of this speech to Lucio, but the latter part of it probably belongs to I Gent. Pope, and Malone following him, took it altogether from Lucio, but there is no reason for depriving him of the observation respecting the approach of the Bawd, who enters just afterwards, though the folios mark it here. 3 To three thousand DOLLARS a-year.] A quibble upon
“ dollar" and dolour., We have had it already in "The Tempest,” A. ii. sc. 1, this Vol. p. 35. See also “King Lear," A. ii. sc. 4, Vol. v. p. 661.