« PreviousContinue »
It was commanded so.
sage. Duke. For which I do discharge you of your office: Give
up your keys.
Pardon me, noble lord:
His name is Barnardine. Duke. I would thou had'st done so by Claudio. Go, fetch him hither ; let me look upon him.
Exit Provost. Escal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise As you, lord Angelo, have still appear'd, Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood, And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.
Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure :
Duke. Which is that Barnardine ?
This, my lord.
Proo. This is another prisoner, that I sav'd, That should have died when Claudio lost his head; As like almost to Claudio, as himself.
[Unmuffles Claudio. Duke. If he be like your brother, (To Isabella.)
for his sake Is he pardon'd; And, for your lovely sake, Give me your hand, and say you will be mine, He is my brother too: But fitter time for that. By this, lord Angelo perceives he's safe : Methinks, I see a quickening in bis eye : Well, Angelo, your evil quitsl you well : Look that you love your wife; her worth, worth
you extol me thus ? Lrecio. '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.
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, in making me a cuckold. Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
(1) Requites. (2) Incontinence.
Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging:
Duke. Sland'ring a prince deserves it.She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore. Joy to you, Mariana love her, Angelo; I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue.Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness: There's more behind, that is more gratulate.2 Thanks, provost, for thy care, and secrecy ; We shall employ thee in a worthier place Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home The head of Ragozine for Claudio's; The offence pardons itself.- Dear Isabel, I have a motion much imports your good; Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline, What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine :So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.
The novel of Giraldi Cinthio, from which Shakspeare is supposed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in Shakspeare Illustrated, elegantly translated, with remarks which will assist the inquirer to discover how much absurdity Shakspeare has admitted or avoided.
I cannot but suspect that some other had newmodelled the novel of Cinthio, or written a story which in some particulars resembled it, and that Cinthio was not the author whom Shakspeare immediately followed. The emperor in Cinthio is named Maximine : the duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of the persons of the drama, is called Vin
(2) To reward.
centio. This appears a very slight remark; but since the duke has no name in the play, nor is ever mentioned but by his title, why should he be called Vincentio among the persons, but because the name was copied from the story, and placed superfluously at the head of the list, by the mere babit of transcription? It is therefore likely that there was then a story of Vincentio duke of Vienna, different from that of Maximine emperor of the Romans.
Of this play, the light or comic part is very natural and pleasing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, have more labour than elegance. The plot is rather intricate than artful. The time of the action is indefinite : some time, we know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess of the duke and the imprisonment of Claudio ; for he must have learned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated his power to a man already known to be corrupted. The unities of action and place are sufficiently preserved.
END OF VOL. I.