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Though, I confess, much like the character:
* — importance;] Importunacy. k convents,) i. e. Shall be convenient.
A solemn combination shall be made
Clo. When that I was and a little tiny boy,
For when I came to man's estate,
'Gainst knave and thief men shut their gate,
But when I came alas! to wive,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
But when I came unto my bed,
With toss-pots still had drunken head
A great while ago the world begun,
But that's all one, our play is dome,
This play is in the graver part elegant and easy, and in some of the lighter scenes exquisitely humorous. Ague-cheek is drawn with great propriety, but his character is, in a great measure, that of natural fatuity, and is therefore not the proper prey of a satirist., The soliloquy of Malvolio is truly comic; he is betrayed to ridicule merely by his pride. The marriage of Olivia, and the succeeding perplexity, though well enough contrived to divert on the stage, wants credibility, and fails to produce the proper instruction required in the drama, as it exhibits no just picture of life.—Johnson.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
This play was not printed till 1623–Mr. Malone supposes it to have been written in 1603.− The plot is found in Cinthio's Novels, Decad 8. Novel 5.-But Shakspeare took the subject of his drama from an old play called Promos and Cassandra written by George Whetstone, and 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. The 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 im
possible to detect them, as it is to point out in the acorn the future ramifications of the oak.-MAlone.
ViceNTIo, Duke of Vienna.
ANGELo, lord deputy in the Duke’s absence.
EscALUs, an ancient lord, joined with ANGELo in the deputation.
CLAUDIO, a young gentleman.
Lucio, a fantastic.
Two other like gentlemen.
WARRI Us," a gentleman servant to the Duke.
ELBow, a simple constable.
FROTH, a foolish gentleman.
Clown, servant to Mrs. Over-done.
ABHOR so N, an executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute prisoner.
Is ABELLA, sister to Claudio.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Attendants.
* Warrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and says nothing. —Johnson.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
Scen E. I.-An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Escal. My lord.
Duke. Of government the properties to unfold, Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse; Since I am put to know,” that your own science Exceeds, in that, the lists" of all advice My strength can give you: Then no more remains But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able, And let them work." The nature of our people, Our city's institutions, and the terms For common justice, you are as pregnant in, As art and practice hath enriched any That we remember : There is our commission, From which we would not have you warp.–Call hither, I say, bid come before us Angelo.— [Erit 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
* Since I am put to know,)—may mean, I am compelled to acknowledge.
b lists—] i. e. Limits.
* — Then no more remains
But that to your sufficiency, &c.] This passage is considered as corrupt,
as defective, as inexplicable. May it not mean—That the Duke has no further counsel to give, but that Escalus should apply himself to his sufficiency * i.e. his skill and knowledge of law and government, as his worth is able, to the best of his ability, and let them, i.e. his sufficiency and his worth work—produce their natural consequences.