« ForrigeFortsett »
101 EXPLANATORY NOTES ON TWELFTH-NIGHT: OR, WHAT YOU WILL
P. 97. c. 2, 1. 10. 1 am shent, &c.] i. e. scolded, | Id. l. 17.. reproved.
Id. 1. 30. Like to the old vice,] The rice was the fool of the old moralities.
- interchangement of your ring; In our ancient marriage ceremony, the man received as well as gave a ring.
Id. 1. 23. - --case?] Case is a word used con temptuously for skin.
Id. 1. 62. Then he's a rogue. After a passy-mea-
Id. l. 67.- Will you help? An ass-head, &c."
Id. c. 2, 1. 2. A natural perspective.] A glass
Id. 1. 16. Of charity,] i. e. out of charity, tell
Id. 1. 78. A most extracting frenzy -] i. e. a
Ia. 1. 36.
The story is taken from Cinthio's Novels, lecad. 8, Novel 5. POPE.
We are sent to Cinthio for the plot of Measure
Measure, and Shakspeare's judgment hath een attacked for some deviations from him in le conduct of it, when probably all he knew of ie matter was from Madam Isabella, in The leptameron of Whetstone, Lond. 4to. 1582.be reports, in the fourth dayes Exercise, the re Historie of Promos and Cassandra. A arginal note informs us, that Whetstone was ie author of the Comedie on that subject; which kewise had probably fallen into the hands of hakspeare. FARMER.
There is perhaps not one of Shakspeare's plays ore darkened than this by the peculiarities of s author, and the unskilfulness of its editors, distortions of phrase, or negligence of tranription. JOHNSON.
Dr. Johnson's remark is so just respecting the rruptions of this play, that I shall not attempt ach reformation in its metre, which is too often sugh, redundant, and irregular Additions and
omissions (however trifling) cannot be made without constant notice of them; and such notices, in the present instance, would so frequently occur, as to become equally tiresome to the commentator and the reader.
Shakspeare took the fable of this play from the Promos and Cassandra of George Whetstone, 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. This 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 impossible to detect them, as it is to point out in the acorn the future ramifications of the oak.
Measure for Measure was, I believe, written MALONE.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
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 new-modelled 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 1. Cathio is named Maximine: the duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of the persons of the drama, is called Vinrest This appears a very slight remark; but since the duke has no name in the play, nor is ever mentioned but by hate, why should he be called Vincentio among the persons, but because the name was copied from the story, Kad paced superfluously at the bead of the list, by the mere habit 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 indesome time, we know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess of the duke and the imprisonment Codio, for he must have learned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated his power to a man already hown to be corrupted. The unities of action and place are sufficiently preserved. Johnson.
FROTH, a foolish Gentleman.
Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over-done.
ISABELLA, Sister to Claudio.
Mistress OVER-DONE, a Bawd.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other
ENE L-An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
ter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants. Duke. Escalus,
Escal. My lord.
Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
3 strength can give you: then no more remains
r city's institutions, and the terms
nt him our terror, drest him with our love;
Look, where he comes.
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,
aven doth with us, as we with torches do;
if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
t to fine issues: nor nature never lends
e smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
But I do bend my speech
In our remove, be thou at full ourself:
Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus,
No more evasion:
Yet, give leave, my lord,
That we may bring you something on the way.
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 seems good. Give me your hand;
But do not like to stage me to their eyes:
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? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.
1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command 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.
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 kersey, as be pil'd, as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?
Lucio. I think thon 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.
1 Gent. I think, I have done myself wrong; have I not? [tainted or free. 2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art 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?
1 Gent. Judge.
2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a-year.
1 Gent. Ay, and more.
Lucio. A French crown more.
1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me : but thou art full of error; I am sound.
Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound, as things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow: impiety has made a feast of thee.
1 Gent. How now? which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
Bawd. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.
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 head'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 madam 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 something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.
Lucio. Away; let's go learn the truth of it. [Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with po verty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's the news with you?
Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison.
Bawd. But what's his offence?
Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him' Clo. No; but there is a woman with maid by him you have not heard of the proclamation, have you Bawd. What proclamation, man?
Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.
Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city? Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had ge down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down?
Clo. To the ground, mistress.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the com monwealth! What shall become of me?
Clo. Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients: though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster stil. Courage; there will be pity taken on you: you, that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, y will be considered. [withdraw
Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? Letx Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the pr vost to prison; and there's madam Juliet. Ese
SCENE III-The same.
Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
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 t say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery freedom, as the morality of imprisonment.-What thy offence, Claudio?
Claud. What, but to speak of would offend aga
Prov. Away, sir; you must go.
Claud. One word, good friend:-Lucio, a word with you.
(Takes him aside Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. Is lechery so look'd after?
Claud. Thus stands it with me:-Upon a trus