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Ant. I once did lend my body for his wealth;
Which, but for him that had your husband's ring,
Had quite miscarried: I dare be bound again,
My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord
Will never more break faith advisedly,

Por. Then you shall be his surety: Give him

And bid him keep it better than the other.
Ant. Here, lord Bassanio; swear to keep this

Bass. By heaven, it is the same I gave the

Por. I had it of him: pardon me, Bassanio; For by this ring the doctor lay with me.

Ner. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano; For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, In lieu of this, last night did lie with me.

Gra. Why, this is like the mending of highways

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If you did know to whom I gave the ring,
If you did know for whom I gave the ring,
And would conceive for what I gave the ri
And how unwillingly I left the ring,


Por. If you had known the virtue of the ring,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,
Or your owa honour to contain the ring,
You would not then have parted with the ring.
What man is there so much unreasonable,
If you had pleas'd to have defended it
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty
To urge the thing held as a ceremony?
Nerissa teaches me what to believe;

I'll die for't, but some woman had the ring.
Bass. No, by mine honour, madam, by my

No woman had it, but a civil doctor,
Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me,
And begg'd the ring; the which I did deny him,
And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away;
Even he that had held up the very life

Here is a letter, read it at your leisure;
It comes from Padua, from Bellario,
There you shall find, that Portia was the doctor;
Nerissa there, her clerk: Lorenzo here
Shall witness, I set forth as soon as you,
And but even now return'd; I have not yet
Enter'd my house.-Antonio, you are welcome;

Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet And I have better news in store for you,

Than you expect: unseal this letter soon;

There you shall find, three of your argosies
Are richly come to harbour suddenly:

You shall not know by what strange accident
I chanced on this letter.
Ant. I am dumb.

Bass. Were you the doctor, and I knew you


I was enforc'd to send it after him;

I was beset with shame and courtesy ;
My honour would not let ingratitude

So much besmear it: Pardon me, good lady;
For, by these blessed candles of the night,
Had you been there, I think you would have

The ring of me to give the worthy doctor.

Por. Let not that doctor e'er come near my
Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd,
And that which you did swear to keep for me,
I will become as liberal as you :

I'll not deny him any thing I have,
No, not my body, nor my husband's bed:
Know him I shall, I am well sure of it:

Lie not a night from home; watch me, like
Argus :

If you do not, if I be left alone,

Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own,
I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow.

Ner. And I his clerk; therefore be well ad-

How you do leave me to mine own protection.
Gra. Well, do you so let me not take him

For, if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen.
Ant. I am the unhappy subject of these

Por. Sir, grieve not you; You are welcome

Bass. Portia, forgive me this enforced

And, in the hearing of these many friends,
I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes,
Wherein I see myself,-

Por. Mark you but that!

In both my eyes he doubly sees himself:
In each eye, one :-swear by your double self,
And there's an oath of credit.

In summer, where the ways are fair enough;
What! are we cuckolds, ere we have deserv'd


Bass. Nay, but hear me :

Pardon this fault, and by my soul 1 swear,
I never more will break an oath with thee.

Por. Speak not so grossly.-You are all amaz'd:

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THE fable of this play (written in 1603) was taken from the Promos and Cassandra of George Whetstone. The p duction is described as very meagre and insipid, though forming a complete embryo of Measure fut Me sure; and if the genius of Shakspeare enabled him to avoid the faults of his modelist, by imparting a presmer degree of interest to his own drama, it did not give him strength to resist the besetting sin of his pieces-un indulgence in obscenity, buffoonery, and quibble. Some portion of this would naturally result from the m delicate and improbable incident which he took for the ground-work of his plot. Such an occurrence coas only be wrought into a catastrophe, by the introduction of agents whom morality condemns, and by the ame of allusions at which modesty revolts. But neither the necessities of the story, nor the purposes of ar tertainment, can justify such a strange admixture of pathetic contingencies and unmeaning trifles--of cusok ng sentiment and disgusting ribaldry as are exhibited in this piece. Still the moral is of excrilent applica tion; since there are few situations of life in which delegated authority is not capable of abuse. Saim may fail in restraining tyranny, and precept in correcting intolerance; but they teach mankind the cessity of caution in conferring power, by shewing “the fantastic tricks” which mortals are prone to play, wİK "dressed, in a little authority," and entrusted with" the thunder of Jove." Though Shakspeare wrote to gratify monarchs, he never descended to palliate oppression ; and in the scene between Angelo and lesbecia, where the latter pleads for her brother's life, the reader will meet with another eloquent vindication of the principles of justice and humanity---differing from the speech of Portia, on a somewhat similar occaena, bit excellently opposed to that mild and dispassionate appeal, by the cutting and indignant sarcasm with which it lashes "the insolence of office." Dr. Johnson animadverts upon the peculiarities of the play, and thus decides upon its merits: "The light or comic part is very natural and pleasing; but the grave scars ja few passages excepted) have more labour than elegance. The plot is more intricate than artful”

VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
ANGELO, Lord Deputy in the Duke's ab-


ESCALUS, an ancient Lord, joined with Ange-
lo in the deputation.

CLAUDIO, a young Gentlemen.
LUCIO, a Fantastic.

Two other like Gentleman.


THOMAS, Two Friars.



ELBOW, a simple Constable.

VARRIUS, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.JULIET, beloved by Claudio.



MRS. OVER-DONE, a Bawed.


SCENE 1.-An apartment in the

Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and


• Bounds.

FROTH, a Foolish Gentleman.
CLOWN, Servant to Mrs. Over-done.
ABHORSON, an Executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.


ISABELLA, Sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo.


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 re-


Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Attendants.

Duke. Escalus,-
Escal. My lord.

Duke. Of government the properties to un-I
Would seem in me to affect speech and dis-

But that to your sufficiency, as your worth w

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,

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 ;

+ This a controverted passage; and as unintedig-bit Full of.

as ever.

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Both thanks and use. § But I do bend my speech
To one that can my part in him advertise;
Hold therefore, Angelo;

come not to composition with the king of Huagary, 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.

Duke. No more evasion:

We have with a leaver'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 impórtune,
How it goes with us; and do look to know
What doth befall you here. So, fare you well:
To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.

Ang. 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 seeins good. Give me your

In our remove, be thou at full ourself;
Mortality and inercy in Vienna

Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus,
Though first in question, is thy secondary :
Take thy commission.

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 ker

Ang. Now, good my lord,

Let there be some more test made of my metal, sey, as be pil'd, as thou art pil'd, for a French
Before so noble and so great a figure
Be stamp'd upon it.

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.

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 pur-
poses !
Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in


Duke. I thank you: Fare you well.
Escal. I shall desire you, Sir, to give me leave
To have free speech with you; and it concerns
To look into the bottom of my place: [me

A power I have; but of what strength and na-
I am not yet instructed.


Ang. 'Tis so with me :-Let us withdraw to-

And we may soon our satisfaction have
Touching that point.

Escul. I'll wait upon your honour. [Exeunt.

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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?

+ So much thy own property.

Lucio. Ay, that he razed.

1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to com. mand 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 Gent. What? in metre?

Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language. 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion. 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 lists and the velvet; Thou art the list.

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! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to

2 Gent. To what, I pray ?

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1 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?

Bawd. Marry, Sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio.

1 Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so. Bawd. Nay, But I know, 'tis so; I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his bead's to be chopped off.

Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so Art thou sure of this?

Bawd. I am too sure of it and it is for getting madain Julietta with child.

Lucio. Believe me, this may be he promised to meet me two hours since; and he was ever precise in promise-keeping

2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws some-
A cut of the same cloth.
A jest on the loss of hair by the French disease.

• Measure.

Corona veneris.

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SOENE III.-The same.

Officers; Lucio, and two Gentlemen.
Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to
the world?

Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Prov. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from lord Angelo by special charge.

Claud. Thus can the demi god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight.The words of heaven ;-on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio? whence comes this restraint?

Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty;

As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue,
(Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,)
A thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.

Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors: And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy offence, Claudio ?

Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again.

Lucio. What is it? murder?

Claud. No.

Lucio. Lechery?

Claud. Call it so.

Prov. Away, Sir; you must go.

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Claud. One word, good friend :—Lucio, a wort with you. [Takes him and Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. -Is lechery so look'd after?

Claud. Thus stands it with me :-Upon a true contract,

1 Voraciously devour.

I got possession of Julietta's bed;
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lark
Of outward order: this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower
Remaining in the coffer of her friends;
From whom we thought it meet to hide our lote,
Till time had made them for us. But it chances,
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment,
With character too gross, is writ on Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps?
Claud. Unhappily, even so.

And the new deputy now for the duke,—
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness:
Or whether that the body public be
A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur:
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I stagger in -But this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unscour❜d armour, hung by the

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I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service :
This day my sister should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation:
Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him;
I have great hope in that: for in ber youth
There is a prone § and speechless dialect,
Such as moves men; besides, she hath pros-
perous art

When she will play with reason and discouIST,
And well she can persuade.

Lucio. I pray, she may; as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition; as for the enjes af of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to


Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours,--
Claud. Come, officer, away.

SCENE IV-A Monastery. Enter DUKE and FRIAR THOMAS Duke. No; holy father; throw away that thought;

Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
Can pierce a complete bosom: [ why I destre

To give me secret harbour, bath a purpose
More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
Of burning youth.

Fri. May your grace speak of it?

Duke. My holy Sir, none better knows than you

How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd; ¶
Aud held in idle price to haunt assemblies,
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery


Yearly circles.

Enter on her probation. Completely armed.

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1 have delivered to lord Angelo
(A man of stricture, and firm abstinence,)
My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
And he supposes me travelPd to Poland;
For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv'd: Now, pious Sir,
You will demand of me, why I do this?
Fri. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting

(The needful bits and curbs for headstrong

Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep;
Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave,
That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond fathers
Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch,
Only to stick it in their children's sight,
For terror, not to use: in time the rod
Becomes more mock'd than fear'd: so our de-

Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;
And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
The baby bea.s the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.

Fri. It rested in your grace
To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd;
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd,
Than in lord Angels.

Duke. I do fear, too dreadful :

Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,
Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them
For what I bid then do: For we bid tiris be

When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my

I have on Angelo impos'd the office;
Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike

And yet my nature never in the sight,
Te do it slander: And to behold his sway,
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr'y-


Sapply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear me
Like a true friar. More reasons for this

At our more leisure shall I render you;
Only, this one :-Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
That bis blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone: Hence shall we see,
If power change purpose, what our scemers be.

SCENE V.-A Nunnery.


Isab. And have you nuns no further privi-

Fran. Are not these large enough?
Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring


• Strictness.


But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of saint Clare.
Lucio. Ho! Peace be in this place! [Within.]
Isab. Who's that which calls?


Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me
As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
A novice of this place, and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother, Claudio?

Isab. Why her unhappy brother? let me ask
The rather, for I now must make you know
I am that Isabella, and his sister.

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly
greets you:

Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Isab. Woe me! For what?

Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be
bis judge,

He should receive his punishment in thanks:
He hath got his friend with child.

Isab. Sir, make me not your story.
Lucio. It is true.

I would not-though 'tis my familiar sin
With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest,
Tongue far from heart,-play with all virgins so:
I hold you as a thing enskied and sainted;
By your renouncement, an immortal spirit;
And to be talk'd with in sincerity,
As with a saint.

Isub. You do bla-pheme the good, in mock-
ing me.

Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth,+
'tis thus:

Your brother and his lover have embrac'd:
As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time,
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
To teeming foison; even so her plenteons womb
Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.
Isab. Some one with child by him?-My
cousin Juliet ?

Fran. it is a man's voice: Gentle Isabella,
Taru you the key, and know his business of him;
You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn:
When you have vow'd, you must not speak with

But in the presence of the prioress :

Then, if you speak, you must not show your
Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you, auswer him.
Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that
calis ?

6 On his defence.

Enter Lucio.

Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be; as three cheek

+ Since.

Isab. Oh! let him marry her!

Lucio. This is the point.

The duke is very strangely gone from hence : ac- Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,

In haud, and hope of action: but we do learn
By those that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority,
Governs lord Angelo; a man, whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense;
But doth rebate aud blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have, for long, run by the hideons law,
As mice by lions,) hath pick'd out an act,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example: all hope is gone,
Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
To soften Angelo: And that's my pith
Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother.
Isab. Doth he so seek his life?
Lucio. Has censur'd ** him
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
A warrant for bis execution.

Lucio. Is she your cousin?

Isub. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their


By vain though apt affection.
Lucio. She it is.

Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
To do him good?

Lucio. Assay the power you have.
Isab. My power! Alas! I doubt.
Lucio. Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt: Go to lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,

Do not make a jest of me. In few and true words. 1 Breeding plenty. Tilling. Extent. Power of gaining favour. tt lave.


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