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MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Enter Duke, Lords, &c. 187. Duke. “ Escalus
Esc. “My lord." It is improbable that any poet should begin a dialogue in verse with this awkward fragmentsomething has been lost, perhaps, like this
Duke. “ Now hear our purpose, Escalus''
No more remains
worth is able, “And let them work.” One more attempt, perhaps as unsatisfactory as those already produced, to restore this confused passage, to any thing like sense and harmony.
No more remains, “But to your sufficiency your worth be added; “ And let them work.”
I need not, says the Duke, suggest the rules of good government to one who is better ac.
quainted with them than myself: no more then remains, to qualify you fully and effectually to take my place, but that your worth, i. e. integrity, moral excellence be added, in the public estimation, to your acknowledged abilities, 189. “ The terms
“ For common justice, you are as pregnant
“ As art and practice hath enriched any, “That we remember.”
This is such verbal concord as an ostler uses, when, boasting of his experience, he says, I wish I had as many guineas as I have curried a horse. Some arrangement like this is necessary
The terms “For common justice, you are as pregnant in “ As any, most enrich'd by art and practice “ That we remember,” &c.
192. There is a kind of character in thy life,
“ That, to the observer, doth thy history
“ Fully unfold.” The progress of thy life has marked upon thy countenance and exterior, a character, which clearly denotes what thou art. 193. “ As if we had them not. Spirits are not
The hypermeter might be obviated in this manner
" . - 'Twere all alike, “We had them not; spiryts are not finely touch’d, “ But to fine issues; nor nature never lends.”
This is not a double negative, as Mr. Steevens calls it; “ nor" is the appropriate negative conjunction, as it is also in the passage quoted for similar censure from Julius Cæsar
“There is no harm intended to your person,
“ Nor to no Roman else.” 194. “ Both thanks and use.”
“Use,” here, is equivocal; exercise or application, and usance or interest.
“ To one that can my part in him advertise."
To one that can already declare or make known all those precepts which I would impart to him: in this sense advertisement seems to be used in Much ado about Nothing:
“My griefs cry louder than advertisement.” 197. “ I thank you ; fare you well.”
This hemistic appears to be interpolation: the Duke had already taken his leave; and the words of Escalus seem only intended to follow him.
“ And it concerns me.” I believe we should read, as it concerns me.
“ I am not yet instructed.” To this hemistic perhaps was added
" And would learn."
203. “ Is there a maid with child by him ?” Cl. “ No, but there's a woman with maid by
How can a woman with child be said to be with maid ? Perhaps the child unborn is called maiden, as a flower, before its leaves are unfolded, is so termed.
“ As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown.”
But I suspect that a quibble is intended; a woman with-made by him, i. e. made by him according to the sense in which to make or to do has already been used. 204. “ All houses in the suburbs.”
Mr. Tyrwhitt proposes that we should read bawdy-houses; but in this colloquy between the bawd and her tapster, the distinction seems superfluous; and there is, perhaps, more humour and character in its omission: no other kind of houses was in the clown's thoughts.
208. “ Propagation of a dower.”
Entailment, I suppose, fixed possession: we suspended the ceremony of marriage only for the purpose of making secure the possession of Julietta's fortune.
209. “Whether it be the fault and glimpse of
The meaning seems to be, whether it be an error, the result of inexperience and a hasty view or glimpse of the duties of his new office, &c. 211. “ In her youth,
“There is a prone and speechless dialect.” Prone, I believe, here, means spontaneous, apt, intuitive, congenial, natural, as in King Henry VIII. Act 1, "prone to mischief,” i. e. naturally or habitually addicted to it.
“Speechless dialect.” Thus in Troilus and Cressida, “ There lurks a still and dumb-discussive devil.” 212. Who I wou'd be sorry should be thus fool
ishly lost.” It should be which I would be, instead of who, or else shou’dst, instead of shou’d,
SCENE IV. 213. “ Can pierce a complete bosom."
Complete has the same accentuation in Hamlet. “ That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel.” 216. “ We bid this be done, “When evil deeds have their permissive