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Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine iffues; nor Nature never lends (8)
The fmalleft fcruple of her excellence,

But, like a thrifty Goddefs, the determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,

Both thanks and ufe. But I do bend my fpeech
To one that can my part in him advertise; (9)
Hold therefore Angelo: (1)

In our Remove, be thou at full our felf.
Mortality and Mercy in Vienna

Live in thy tongue and heart: old Efcalus,
Though firft in queftion, (2) is thy Secondary.
Take thy Commitlion.

Ang. Now, good my lord,

Let there be fome more teft made of my metal,,
Before so noble and so great a figure

Be ftampt upon it.

Duke. Come, no more evasion:

We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice (3)


(8) To fine issues.] To great confequences. For high purposes. (9) To one that can my part in him advertife.]

I do bend my fpeech

This obfcure. The meaning is, I direct my fpeech to one who is able to teach me how to govern: my part in him, fignifying my of fice, which I have delegated to him. My part in bim adverlife; i. e. who knows what appertains to the character of deputy or viceroy. Can advertise my part in him; that is, his reprefentation of my perfon. But all thefe quaintneffes of expreffion, the Oxford Editor feems fworn to extirpate; that is, to take away one of Shakespear's characteristic marks; which, if not one of the comeliest, is yet one of the ftrongeft. So he alters this to

To one that can, in my part, me advertise.

A better expreffion indeed, but, for all that, none of Shakespear's.

I know not whether we may not better read,
One that can my part to him advertise.

One that can inform himself of that which it would be otherwise my part to tell him.

(1) Hold therefore Angelo.] That is, continue to be Angelo, hold

as thou art.

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(2) Firft in question.] That is, first called for; first appointed. (3) We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice.] Leaven'd has

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Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.
Our hafte from hence is of fo quick condition,
That it prefers itfelf, and leaves unquestion'd
Matters of needful value. We fhall write to you,
As time and our concernings fhall importune,
How it goes with us; and do look to know
What doth befal you here. So, fare ye well.
To th' hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your Commiffions.

Ang. Yet give leave, my lord,

That we may bring you fomething on the way.
Duke. My hafte may not admit it.

Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do
With any fcruple; your fcope is as mine own, (4)
So to inforce, or qualify the Laws,


As to your foul feems good. Give me your
I'll privily away. I love the people,
But do not like to ftage me to their eyes;
Though it do well, I do not relish well
Their loud applaufe, and Ave's vehement :
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
That does affect it. Once more, fare ye well.
Ang. The heav'ns give fafety to your purposes!
Efcal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happiness.
Duke. I thank you, fare ye well.

Efcal. I fhall defire you, Sir, to give me leave
To have free fpeech with you; and it concerns me
To look into the bottom of my Place

A pow'r I have, but of what strength and nature
I am not yet inftructed.

no fenfe in this place: we should read LEVEL'D choice. The allufion is to archery, when a man has fixed upon his object, after taking good aim. WARBURTON.

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No emendation is neceffary. Leaven'd choice is one of ShakeSpear's harth metaphors. His train of ideas feems to be this. have proceeded to you with choice, mature, concocted, fermented, leaven'd. When Bread is leaven'd, it is left to ferment: a leaven'à choice is therefore a choice not hafty, but confiderate, not declared as foon as it fell into the imagination, but fuffered to work long in the mind. Thus explained it faits better with prepared than levelled. (4) Your fcope is as mine awn.] That is, Your amplitude of



Let us withdraw together,

Ang. 'Tis fo with me.
And we may foon our fatisfaction have

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Enter Lucio, and two gentlemen.


Lucio. TF the Duke, with the other Dukes, come not to compofition with the King of Hungary, why, then all the Dukes fall upon the King.

1 Gent. Heav'n grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary's!

2 Gent. Amen.

Lucio. Thou conclud'ft like the fanctimonious Pirate, that went to fea with the ten Commandments, but fcrap'd one out of the Table.

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2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal ?.

Lucio. Ay, that he raz'd.

1 Gent.. Why, 'twas a Commandment to command the captain and all the reft from their functions; they put forth to fteal. There's not a foldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition: well that prays for Peace.

2 Gent. I never heard any foldier diflike it.

Lucio. I believe.thee; for, 1 think, thou never waft where grace was faid..

2 Gent. No a dozen times at least.

1 Gent. What?* in meeter ?

Lucio. In any proportion, (5) or in any language. 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion.

Lucio. Ay, why not? grace is grace, defpite of all

In the primers, there are metrical graces, fuch as I fuppofe were used in Shakespear's time.

(5) In any proportion, &c.] The Oxford Editor gives us a dialogue of his own inftead of this: And all for want of knowing the meaning of the word proportion, which fignifies meafure and refers to the queftion, What, in meeter?

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controverfie; (6) as for example thou thyfelf art a wicked villain, defpight of all grace.

1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of fheers between us? (7)

Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lifts and the velvet. Thou art the lift.

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 kerfey, as be pil'd, as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet. (8) Do I fpeak feelingly now?

Lucio. I think thou doft; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy fpeech: I will, out of thine own confeffion, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.

1 Gent. I think, I have done myfelf wrong, have I not?

2 Gent. Yes, that thou haft; whether thou art tainted, or free.

(6) Despite of all controverfie.] Satirically infinuating that the controverfies about grace were fo intricate and endless, that the dif putants unfettled every thing but this, that grace was grace; which, however, in fpite of controverfy, ftill remained certain.


I am in doubt whether Shakespear's thoughts reached fo far into ecclefiaftical difputes. Every Commentator is warped a little by the tract of his own profeffion. The question is whether the fecend Gentleman has ever heard grace. The firft Gentleman limits the queftion to Grace in meeter. Lucio enlarges it to Grace in any form or language. The firft Gentleman, to go beyond him, fays, or in any religion, which Lucia allows, becaufe the nature of things is unalterable; Grace is as immutably Grace, as his merry antagonist. is a wicked villain. Difference of religion cannot make a Grace not to be Grace, a Prayer not to be holy; as nothing can make a villain not to be a villain. This feems to be the meaning fuch as it is.

(7) There went but a pair of beers between us.] We are both of the fame piece.

(8) Piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet.] The jest about the pile of a French velvet, alludes to the lofs of hair in the French difeafe, a very frequent topick of our author's jocularity. Lucio finding that the gentleman understands the diftemper fo well, and mentions it fo feelingly, promifes, to remember to drink his health, but to forget to drink after him. It was the opinion of Shakespear's time, that the cup of an infected perfon was contagious.


Lucio. Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation


1 Gent. 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. (9)

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


Lucio. Nay, not as one would fay healthy; but fo found, as things that are hollow; thy bones are hollow; impiety hath made a feast of thee.

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r Gent. How now, which of your hips has the moft profound sciatica ?

Bawd. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carry'd to prifon, was worth five thousand of you all... Gent. Who's that, I pr'ythee?

Bawd. Marry, Sir, that's Claudio; Signior Claudio 1 Gent. Claudio to prifon? 'tis not fo.

Bawd. Nay, but I know 'tis fo. I faw him arrefted ; faw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head is to be chopt: off.

Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it fo.. Art thou fure of this ?.

(9) A quibble intended between dollars and dolours: The fame jeft occurred before in the Tempeft.


(1) A French Crown more.] Lucio means here not the piece of money fo call'd, but that Venereal Scab which among the Surgeons is ftil'd Corona Veneris. To this, I think, our Author likewife makes Quince allude in Midsummer-Night's Dream.

Some of your French Crowns have no hair at all, and then you, will play bare faced.

For where thefe Eruptions are, the Skull is carious, and the Party becomes bald..


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