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Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended,
And is this all? Then, oh, you blessed ministers above, Keep me in patience; and with ripen'd time, Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up In countenance!-Heaven shield your grace from woe, As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go!
Duke. I know, you'd fain be gone:-An officer! To prison with her :-Shall we thus permit A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall On him so near us? This needs must be a practice. -Who knew of your intent, and coming hither? Isab. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick. Duke. A ghostly father, belike: Who knows that Lodowick?
Lucio. My lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling friar?
And to set on this wretched woman here
Blessed be your royal grace! I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard Your royal ear abus'd: First, hath this woman Most wrongfully accus'd your substitute; Who is as free from touch or soil with her, As she from one ungot.
We did believe no less. Know you that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of? F. Peter. I know him for a man divine and holy; Not scurvy, nor a temporary meddler, As he's reported by this gentleman; And, on my trust, a man that never yet Did, as he vouches, misreport your grace.
Lucio. My lord, most villanously; believe it. F. Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear himself; But at this instant he is sick, my lord, Of a strange fever: Upon his mere request, (Being come to knowledge that there was complaint Intended 'gainst lord Angelo,) came I hither, To speak, as from his mouth, what he doth know Is true, and false; and what he with his oath, And all probation, will make up full clear, Whensoever he's convented. First, for this woman; (To justify this worthy nobleman, So vulgarly and personally accus'd,) Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes, Tül she herself confess it. Duke.
Good friar, let's hear it.
Do you not smile at this, lord Angelo?-
Of your own cause.-Is this the witness, friar?
What, are you married?
Are you a maid?
Duke. A widow then?
No, my lord.
Mari. Not that I know. Duke.
No? you say, your husband. Mari. Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo, Who thinks, he knows, that he ne'er knew my body, But knows, he thinks, that he knows Isabel's.
Ang. This is a strange abuse:-Let's see thy face. Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask. This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, [Unveiling. Which, once thou swor'st, was worth the looking on: This is the hand, which, with a vow'd contract, Was fast belock'd in thine: this is the body That took away the match from Isabel, And did supply thee at thy garden-house, In her imagin'd person.
Know you this woman? Lucio. Carnally, she says. Duke.
Lucio. Enough, my lord.
Sirrah, no more.
Ang. My lord, I must confess, I know this woman; And, five years since, there was some speech of mar
Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off,
Let me in safety raise me from my knees;
Thou foolish friar; and thou pernicious woman,
F. Peter. Would he were here, my lord, for he, in-
Duke. Go, do it instantly.And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin, Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth, Do with your injuries as seems you best, In any chastisement: I for a while Will leave you; but stir not you, till you have well Determined upon these slanderers.
Escal. My lord, we'll do it thoroughly.-[Exit DUKE.] Signior Lucio, did not you say, you knew that friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person?
Lucio. Cucullus non facit monachum: honest in nothing, but in his clothes; and one that hath spoke most villanous speeches of the duke.
Escal. We shall intreat you to abide here till he come, and enforce them against him: we shall find this friar a notable fellow.
Lucio. As any in Vienna, on my word. Escal. Call that same Isabel here once again; [To an Attendant.] would speak with her: Pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; you shall see how I'll handle her.
Lucio. Not better than he, by her own report.
Lucio. Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately, she would sooner confess: perchance, publicly she'll be ashamed.
And in the witness of his proper ear,
And then to glance from him to the duke himself;
Dare no more stretch this finger of mine, than he
[prison. Escal. Slander to the state! Away with him to Ang. What can you vouch against him, signior Is this the man that you did tell us of? [Lucio? Lucio. 'Tis he, my lord. Come hither good-man bald-pate: Do you know me?
Duke. I remember you, sir, by the sound of your voice: I met you at the prison, in the absence of the duke.
Lucio. O did you so? And do you remember what you said of the duke?
Duke. Most notedly, sir.
Lucio. Do you so, sir? And was the duke a fleshmonger, a fool, and a coward, as you then reported him to be?
Duke. You must, sir, change persons with me, ere you make that my report: you, indeed, spoke so of him; and much more, much worse.
Lucio. O thou damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by the nose, for thy speeches?
Duke. I protest, I love the duke, as I love myself. Ang. Hark! how the villain would close now, after his treasonable abuses.
Escul. Such a fellow is not to be talk'd withal :Away with him to prison :-Where is the provost ?
Re-enter Officers, with ISABELLA; the DUKE, in theAway with him to prison; lay bolts enough upon
Friar's habit, and Provost.
Escal. I will go darkly to work with her.
Lucio. That's the way; for women are light at midnight.
Escal. Come on, mistress: [To ISABELLA.] here's a gentlewoman denies all that you have said. Lucio. My lord, here come's the rascal I spoke of; here with the provost.
Escal. In very good time:-speak not you to him, till we call upon you.
Escal. Come, sir: Did you set these women on to slander lord Angelo? they have confess'd you did. Duke. 'Tis false.
Escal. How! know you where you are? Duke. Respect to your great place! and let the devil Be sometime honour'd for his burning throne :Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak. Escal. The duke's in us; and we will hear you Look, you speak justly. [speak:
Duke. Boldly, at least: But, O, poor souls, Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox? Good night to your redress. Is the duke gone? Then is your cause gone too. The duke's unjust, Thus to retort your manifest appeal And put your trial in the villain's mouth, Which here you come to accuse.
Lucio. This is the rascal; this is he I spoke of. Escal. Why, thou unreverend and unhallow'd friar! Is't not enough, thou hast suborn'd these women, To accuse this worthy man; but, in foul mouth,
him: let him speak no more:- -Away with those giglots too, and with the other confederate companion. [The Provost lays hands on the Duke. Duke. Stay, sir; stay awhile. Ang. What! resists he! Help him, Lucio. Lucio. Come, sir; come, sir; come, sir; foh, sir: Why, you bald-pated, lying rascal! you must be hooded, must you? Shew your knave's visage, with a pox to you! shew your sheep-biting face, and be hang'd an hour! Will 't not off?
[Pulls off the Friar's hood, and discovers the Duke. Duke. Thou art the first kifave, that e'er made a duke.
First, provost, let me bail these gentle three :-
Lucio. This may prove worse than hanging. Duke. What you have spoke, I pardon; sit you down. [To ESCALUS. We'll borrow place of him-Sir, by your leave: [To ANGELO.
Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence,
O my dread lord, I should be guiltier than my guiltiness, To think I can be undiscernible, When I perceive, your grace, like power divine, Hath look'd upon my passes; Then, good prince, No longer session hold upon my shame,
But let my trial be mine own confession;
Come hither, Mariana:-
Duke. Go take her hence and marry her instantly.
Not changing heart with habit, I am still
O give me pardon,
That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd
You are pardon'd, Isabel:
Re-eater ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and Provost.
I do, my lord.
I'll lend you all my life to do you service.
Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
His act did not o'ertake his bad intent;
Pardon me, noble lord:
Yet did repent me after more advice:
Duke. For this new-married man, approaching here, I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
O, my most gracious lord,
Escal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
This, my lord.
[Unmuffles CLAUDIO. Duke. If he be like your brother, [to ISABELLA.] for his sake
Is he pardon'd; And, for your lovely sake,
Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick: If you will hang me for it, you may, but I had rather it would please you, I might be whipp'd. Duke. Whipp'd first, sir, and hang'd after,— Proclaim it, provost, round about the city; If any woman's wrong'd by this lewd fellow, (As I have heard him swear himself, there's one Whom he begot with child,) let her appear, And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd, Let him be whipp'd and hang'd.
Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said even now, I made
you a duke; good my lord, do not recompense me
Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
Duke. Slandering a prince deserves it.-
Of this play, the light or comic part is very natural and pleas- quent one with Claudio, exhibit, along with the most engaging ing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, have feminine diffidence and modesty, an extraordinary display of more labour than elegance. The plot is rather intricate than intellectual energy, of dexterous argument, and of indignant artful. The time of the action is indefinite; some time, we contempt. Her pleadings before the lord deputy, are directed know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess of with a strong appeal both to his understanding and his heart, the duke and the imprisonment of Claudio; for he must have while her sagacity and address in the communication of the relearned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated sult of her appointment with him to her brother, of whose weakhis power to a man already known to be corrupted. The unities ness and irresolution she is justly apprehensive, are, if possible, of action and place are sufficiently preserved.-JOHNSON. still more skilfully marked, and add another to the multitude There are very few readers whose admiration for Shakspeare of instances which have established for Shakspeare an unri will not be outraged by reading the above harsh and tasteless valled intimacy with the finest feelings of our nature." There observations of Dr. Johnson. It may perhaps allay their irri- is one beauty in this play which I do not remember to have seen tation to find that all critics are not equally cold to the various observed; though the vice of Claudio is one which the world merits of this beautiful play." Of Measure for Measure," says is inclined to think too lightly of, and though there was offered Dr. Drake, independent of the comic characters, which afford so easy and popular a way of exciting an interest for him in the a rich fund of entertainment, the great charm springs from the minds of the audience, by diminishing the heinousness of his lovely example of female excellence exhibited in the person of offence, and representing the transgressor rather as a martyr than Isabella. Piety, spotless purity, tenderness combined with a culprit; Shakspeare has in no instance breathed a syllable that firmness, and an eloquence the most persuasive, unite to render might seem to extenuate his guilt. Throughout the play, the her singularly interesting and attractive. C'est un ange de lu- crime which is so much debated, is represented as an object of miere sous l'humble habit d' une novice. To save the life of her disgust, both in its own impurity and in the mean, the selfish, brother she hastens to quit the peaceful seclusion of her con- and the loathsome baseness of its ministers. The very passages vent, and moves amid the votaries of corruption and hypocrisy, of a gross and indecent nature that occur, only serve to heighten amid the sensual, the vulgar, and the profligate, as a being of a the general, moral effect of the whole, and raise the reader's higher order, as a ministering spirit from the throne of grace. admiration of the holy chastity of Isabel, by placing it in conHer first interview with Angelo, and the immediately subse-trast with the repulsive levity of the votaries of licentiousness.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
THIS play was printed in quarto in the year 1600; and entered at Stationers' Hall, August 23, of that year: and as it is not mectioned by Meres, in his list of our Author's works pubhahed in 1599, the date of its production is ascertained with more than usual accuracy.
Mr. Pope says that the plot was taken from the fifth book of the Urlande Furioso.-Mr. Steevens conceives that not Ariosto but spenser afforded the subject of the play, and that it was taken from the Fairy Queen, b. 2. c. 4. But as both these
Don PEDEO, Prince of Arragon.
CLAUDIO, a young lord of Florence, favourite to Don
BENEDICE, a young lord of Padua, favourite likewise of Don Pedro.
LEONATO, governor of Messina.
ANTONIO, his brother.
BALTHAZAR, servant to Don Pedro.
BORACHIO, CONRADE, followers of Don John.
A Sexton, A Friar, A Boy.
HERO, daughter to Leonato.
originals are most justly acknowledged to be remote, it nas been suggested that the story might have been copied from the 18th history of the third volume of Belleforest. 't never appears to have entered into the minds of the critics that Shakspeare might occasionally have dramatized a story of his own invention.- Much ado about Nothing, is reported in Mr. Vertue's MSS. to have passed formerly under the name of Benedick and Beatrice.
much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping?
Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned from the wars, or no?
Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there was none such in the army of any sort.
Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece?
Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua.
Mess. O, he is returned, and as pleasant as ever he was.
Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged Cupid at the flight: and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt.-I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? for, indeed, I promised
MARGARET, URSULA, gentlewomen attending on Hero. to eat all of his killing.
Messengers, Watch, and Attendants.
SCENE I-Before Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others, with a Messenger.
Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.
Mess. He is very near by this; he was not three leagues off when I left him.
Lean. How many gentlemen have you lost in this
Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name. Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.
Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.
Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of it.
Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that joy could not shew itself modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.
Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Leon. A kind overflow of kindness: There are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How
Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these
Beat. It is so, indeed: he is no less than a stuffed man: but for the stuffing,-Well, we are all mortal.
Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece: there is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and her: they never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit between them.
Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the old man governed with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature.-Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother. Mess. Is it possible?
Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.
Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil?
Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio. Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a dis