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Duke. Peace be with you !
[Excunt ESCALUS and Provost. He, who the sword of heaven will bear, Should be as holy as severe; Pattern in himself to know, Grace to stand, and virtue go ; More nor less to others paying, Than by self offences weighing. Shame to him, whose cruel striking Kills for faults of his own liking! Twice treble shame on Angelo, To weed my vice, and let his grow! O, what may man within him hide, Though angel on the outward side ! How may likeness, made in crimes, Making practice on the times, To draw with idle spiders' strings Most pond'rous and substantial things * ! Craft against vice I must apply. With Angelo to-night shall lie His old betrothed, but despised : So disguise shall, by the disguised, Pay with falsehood false exacting, And perform an old contracting.
3 Grace to stand, and virtue go ;] Coleridge, in his “Literary Remains," II. 124, observes upon this passage, “Worse metre, indeed, but better English would be :
“ Grace to stand, virtue to go." Monck Mason proposed to read,
“ In grace to stand, and virtue go ;" but we had better leave the text as we find it in such cases.
* Most pond'rous and substantial things !] The passage ending with this line is very difficult : it is possible that the author's brevity rendered it obscure ori. ginally, and that it has since been made worse by corruption. “Likeness” has been construed comeliness, but “likeness made in crimes" may refer to the resemblance in vicious inclination between Angelo and Claudio. Steevens gave up the four lines as quite unintelligible, and the other commentators have not extracted much meaning out of them. We have printed the old text, as at least as good as any of the proposed emendations: the sense seems to be,“ how may persons of similar criminality, by making practice on the times, draw to themselves, as it were with spiders' webs, the ponderous and substantial benefits of the world."
ACT IV. SCENE I.
A Room at the moated Grange.
MARIANA discovered sitting : a Boy singing.
Take, O! take those lips away',
That so sweetly were forsworn ;
Lights that do mislead the morn :
seal'd in vain.
Mari. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick
away: Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice Hath often stilld my brawling discontent.
[Erit Boy. Enter DUKE. I
cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
5 Take, 0 ! take those lips away,] The earliest authority for assigning this song to Shakespeare (excepting that one stanza of it is found here) is the spurious edition of his Poems printed in 1640. It is inserted entire in Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Bloody Brother,” A. v. sc. 2, and there the second stanza runs as follows:
“ Hide, oh, hide those hills of snow,
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
Are of those that April wears ;
Bound in those icy chains by thee.” It may be doubted whether either stanza was the authorship of Shakespeare, as it certainly was the frequent custom of dramatists of that day to insert songs in their plays which were not of their own writing ; but, on the other hand, we have no proof that such was the usual practice of Shakespeare ; coupling the two circumstances that one stanza of the song is found in “ Measure for Measure," and that the whole was imputed to Shakespeare in 1640, his claim may perhaps be admitted, until better evidence is adduced to deprive him of it.
You had not found me here so musical :
charm, To make bad good, and good provoke to harm. I pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here to-day? much upon this time have I promis'd here to meet.
Mari. You have not been inquired after: I have sat here all day.
Enter ISABELLA. Duke. I do constantly believe you.—The time is come, even now. I shall crave your forbearance a little: may be, I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself. Mari. I am always bound to you.
[Exit. Duke. Very well met, and welcome. What is the news from this good deputy ?
Isab. He hath a garden circummur'd with brick,
a PLANCHED gate.] i.e. A gate made of boards : from the Fr. Planche. 7 There have I made my promise upon the heavy
Middle of the night to call upon him.] The old folios thus regulate these lines :
“ There have I made my promise, upon the
Heavy middle of the night to call upon him.” And Malone reads :
“ There have I made my promise to call on him
Upon the heavy middle of the night.” There is no need to take so much liberty with the text, for if we were to read upon in the first line on, the measure is not defective, though somewhat harsh.
Duke. But shall you on your knowledge find this
Are there no other tokens
Isab. No, none, but only a repair i' the dark ;
"Tis well borne up.
Re-enter MARIANA. I
pray you, be acquainted with this maid: She comes to do you good. Isab.
I do desire the like. Duke. Do you persuade yourself that I respect you? Mari. Good friar, I know you do, and have found it.
Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand, Who hath a story ready for your ear. I shall attend your leisure : but make haste; The vaporous night approaches. Mari.
Will’t please you walk aside ?
[Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA. Duke. O place and greatness ! millions of false eyes Are stuck upon thee.
thee. Volumes of report Run with these false and most contrarious quests Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit
8 – and most contrarious QUESTS] The first folio reads quest: the alteration was made in the second folio.
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA.
Welcome! How agreed?
It is not my consent,
Little have you to say,
Fear me not.
A Room in the Prison.
Enter Provost and Clown. Prov. Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's head?
Clo. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.
Prov. Come, sir; leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: here is in our prison a com
– for yet our tithe's to sow.] Warburton very plausibly conjectured that we ought to read tilth for tithe, meaning the ground as prepared for seed. With this observation, we adhere to the ancient reading.