Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

merry at any thing which professed to make him rejoice: a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous; and let me desire to know how you find Claudio prepared. I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation.

Duke. He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice: yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I, by my good leisure, have discredited to him, and now is he resolved 25 to die.

Escal. You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have labour'd for the poor gentleman, to the extremest shore of my modesty; but my brother justice have I found so severe,

that he hath forced me to tell him, he is indeed-justice 26.

Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein, if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.

Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner: Fare you
well.
Duke. Peace be with you!

[Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost.
He, who the sword of heaven will bear,
Should be as holy as severe;
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go 27;

25 i. e. satisfied; probably because conviction leads to decision or resolution.

26 Summum jus, summa injuria.

27 This passage is very obscure, nor can it be cleared without a more licentious paraphrase than the reader may be willing to allow. He that bears the sword of heaven should be not less holy than severe ; should be able to discover in himself a pattern of such grace as can avoid temptation, and such virtue as may go abroad into the world without danger of seduction.'

More nor less to others paying,
Than by self-offences weighing.
Shame to him, whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking!
Twice treble shame on Angelo,
To weed my vice , and let his grow!
0, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
How may likeness, made in crimes,
Mocking 29, practice on the times,
To draw with idle spiders' strings
Most pond'rous and substantial things!
Craft against vice I must apply:
With Angelo to-night shall lie
His old betrothed, but despised;
So disguise shall, by the disguis'd,
Pay with falsehood false exacting,
And perform an old contracting.

[Exit. 28 The duke's vice may be explained by what he says himself, Act i. Sc. 4.

-'twas my fault to give the people scope.' Angelo's vice requires no explanation.

• How may likeness, made in crimes,

Mocking, practice on the times.' The old copies read making. The emendation is Mr. Malone's, The sense of this obscure passage appears to be :- How may persons assuming the likeness or semblance of virtue, while they are in fact guilty of the grossest crimes, impose with this counterfeit sanctity upon the world, in order to draw to themselves the flimsiest pretensions the most solid advantages; such as pleasure, honour, reputation, &c.' Mocke and make in old MSS. are easily confounded, and the words have frequently been thus misprinted in the old editions of these plays; in this very play we have before make instead of mock. (See p. 18, note 1.) Malone is generally sufficiently scrupulous in adhering to the old readings where it is possible to elucidate them. On the present occasion I think his emendation just and necessary. It is well supported by the frequent use the poet makes of the word mock, Thus in Macbeth :

*Away and mock the time with fairest show,' Made in crimes, is trained in iniquity and perfect in it. Likeness is seeming.

29

ACT IV.

SCENE I. A Room in Mariana's House.

MARIANA discovered sitting; a Boy singing.

SONG1.
Take, oh take those lips away,

That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,

Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again,

bring again,
Seals of love, but seald in vain,

seald in vain. Mari. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick

away; Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice Hath often stilld my brawling discontent.

[Exit Boy. Enter Duke. I

cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish You had not found me here so musical:

1 It does not appear certain to whom this beautiful little song rightly belongs. It is found with an additional stanza in Fletcher's Bloody Brother. Mr. Malone prints it as Shakspeare's, Mr. Boswell thinks Fletcher has the best claim to it, Mr. Weber that Shakspeare may have written the first stanza, and Fletcher the second. It may indeed be the property of some unknown or forgotten author. Be this as it may, the reader will be pleased to have the second stanza.

Hide, oh hide those bills of spow

Which thy frozen bosom bears,
On whose tops the pinks that glow

Are of those that April wears.
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.'

Let me excuse me, and believe me so,-
My mirth it much displeas’d, but pleas'd my woe?,
Duke. 'Tis good: though musick oft hath such a

charm, To make bad, good, and good provoke to harm. I pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here to-day? much upon this time have I promis'd here to meet.

Mari. You have not been inquired after: I have sat here all day.

Enter ISABELLA. Duke. I do constantly believe you :-The time is come, even now.

I shall crave

your

forbearance a little; may be, I will call upon you anon,

for advantage to yourself.

Mari. I am always bound to you. [Exit.

Duke. Very well met, and welcome. What is the news from this good deputy ?

Isab. He hath a garden circummur'd' with brick, Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd; And to that vineyard is a planched* gate, That makes his opening with this bigger key: This other doth command a little door, Which from the vineyard to the garden leads; There have I made my promise to call on him, Upon the heavy middle of the night.

Duke. But shall you on your knowledge find this

some

way?

Isab. I have ta’en a due and wary note upon't; With whispering and most guilty diligence, In action all of precept, he did show me The way

twice o’er.

Though the music soothed my sorrows, it had no tendency to produce light merriment.

3 Circummur'd, walled round. 4 Planched, planked, wooden.

Duke.

Are there no other tokens Between you 'greed, concerning her observance?

Isab. No, none, but only a repair i'the dark;
And that I have possess’ds him, my most stay
Can be but brief: for I have made him know,
I have a servant comes with me along,
That stays upon me; whose persuasion is,
I come about

my

brother. Duke.

'Tis well borne up. I have not yet made known to Mariana A word of this:- What, ho! within! come forth!

Re-enter MARIANA.
I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;
She comes to do

you good. Isab.

I do desire the like. Duke. Do you persuade yourself that I respect you? Mari. Good friar, I know you do; and have found it.

Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand, Who hath a story ready for your ear: I shall attend your leisure; but make haste; The vaporous night approaches. Mari.

Will't please you walk aside?

[Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA. Duke. O place and greatness, millions of false eyes Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report Run with these false and most contrarious quests? Upon thy doings? thousand 'scapes 8 of wit Make thee the father of their idle dream, And rack thee in their fancies !--Welcome! How

agreed?

5 i, e. informed. Thus Shylock says

• I have possess’d your grace of what I purpose.' 6 Stays, waits. 7 Quests, inquisitions, inquiries. 8 'Scapes, sallies, sportive wiles.

« EdellinenJatka »