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Nor here PROVINCIAL"-" The different orders of "MEASURE FOR MEASURE, commonly referred to the monks (says M. Mason) have a chief, who is called the end of 1603, is perhaps, after HAMLET, LEAR, and Mac general of the order; and they have also superiors, sub- BETH, the play in which Shakespeare struggles, as it ordinate to the general, in the several provinces through were, most with the overmastering power of his own which the order may be dispersed. The friar, there- mind: the depths and intricacies of being which he las fore, means to say, that the Duke dares not touch a fin- searched and sounded, with intense reflection, perpler ger of his; for he could not punish him by his own and harass him; his personages arrest their course of authority, as he was not bis subject, nor through that action to pour forth, in language the most remote from of the superior, as he was not of that province.”

common use, thoughts which few could grasp in the

clearest expression; and thus he loses something or “ the forfeits in a barber's shop"-"Barbers'

dramatic excellence in that of his contemplative philos. shops were anciently places of great resort for passing ophy. The Duke is designed as the representative of away time in an idle manner. By way of enforcing this philosophical character. He is stern and melan. some kind of regularity, and, perhaps, at least as much to promote drinking, certain laws were usually hung up,

choly by temperament, averse to the exterior shows of the transgression of which was to be punished by spe

power, and secretly conscious of some unfitness for its

practical duties. The subject is not very happily chosen, cific forfeits ;' which were as much in mock as mark, because the barber had no authority of himself to en

but artfully improved by Shakespeare. In most of the

numerous stories of a similar nature, which before or force them, and also because they were of a ludicrous

since his time have been related, the sacrifice of chastity nature."-SINGER.

is really made, and made in vain. There is, however, "— Away with those Giglots"—i. e. Wantons. So, something too coarse and disgusting in such a story; King Henry VI., (part i.:)

and it would have deprived him of a splendid exhibition Young Talbot was not born

of character. The virtue of Isabella, inflexible and inTo be the pillage of a giglot wench.

dependent of circumstance, has something very grand

and elevated; yet one is disposed to ask, whether, if – Measure still for Measure"-"The play (says Claudio had been really executed, the spectator would Schlegel) takes its name improperly from the punish- not have gone away with no great affection for her; and ment: the sense of the whole is properly the triumph at least we now feel that her reproaches against her of mercy over strict justice; no man being himself so miserable brother, when he clings to life like a frail and secure from error as to be entitled to deal it out among guilty being, are too harsh. There is great skill in the his equals. The most beautiful ornament of this com- invention of Mariana, and without this the story could position is the character of Isabella, who, in the inten- not have had any thing like a satisfactory termination: tion of taking the veil, allows herself to be prevailed on yet it is never explained how the Duke had become acby pious love again to tread the perplexing ways of the quainted with this secret, and, being acquainted with it. world; while the heavenly purity of her mind is not how he had preserved his esteem and confidence in Adeven stained with one unholy thought by the general gelo. His intention, as hinted towards the end, to corruption. In the heavenly robes of the novice of a marry Isabella, is a little too common-place; it is one of nunnery, she is a true angel of light.” Hazlitt's criti- || Shakespeare's hasty half-thoughts. The language of cism is acute, but wants a true sympathy with the this comedy is very obscure, and the text seems to hare author's feelings and objects :—“This is a play as been printed with great inaccuracy. I do not value the full of genius as it is of wisdom. But there is a gen- comic parts highly; Lucio's impudent profligacy, the eral want of passion ; the affections are at a stand : our result rather of sensual debasement than of natural ill. sympathies are repulsed and defeated in all directions. disposition, is well represented; but Elbow is a very The only passion which influences the story is that of inferior repetition of Dogberry. In dramatic effeci, Angelo; and yet he seems to have a much greater pas- || MEASURE FOR MEASURE stands high; the two scenes sion for hypocrisy than for his mistress. Neither are we between Isabella and Angelo, that between her and greatly enamoured of Isabella's rigid chastity, though Claudio, those where the Duke appears in disguise, and she could not act otherwise than she did. We do not the catastrophe in the fifth act, are admirably written feel the same confidence in the virtue that is “sublimely and very interesting-except so far as the spectator's good' at another's expense, as if it had been put to knowledge of the two stratagems, which have deceived some more disinterested issue.” The same writer, after | Angelo, may prevent him from participating in the inremarking on the equivocal character and situation indignation at Isabella's imaginary wrong, which her lathe drama of the Duke, Claudio, and the love of Mariana || mentations would excite. Several of the circumstances for Angelo, at whose conduct we revolt, adds, that in and characters are borrowed from the old play of Whetthis respect there may be said to be a general system stone, : Promos and Cassandra ;' but very little of the of cross-purposes between the feelings of the different sentiments or language. What is good in MEASURE characters, and the sympathies of the reader or the FOR MEASURE is Shakespeare's own."—Hallam, Liter audience."

ature of Europe. 56

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