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MEASURE for MEASURE.
COMEDY of ERRORS.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING,
LOVE's LABOUR LOST,
Printed for C. BATHURST, J. BEECROFT, W. STRANAN, J.
and F. RIVINGTON, J. HINTON, L. Davis, Hawes,
Clarke and COLLINS, R. HORSPIELD, W. JOHNSTON,
W. Owen, T. CASLON, E. JOHNSON, S. CROWDER, B.
White, T. LONGMAN, B. LAW, E. and C. DILLY, C.
CORBETT, W. Griffin, T. CADELL, W. WOODPALL, G.
KEITH, T. LOWNDES, T. Davies, J. ROBSON, T. Becket,
F. NEWBERY, G. ROBINION, T. PAYNE, J. WILLIAMS,
M. HINGEston, and J. RIDLEY.
VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
Angelo, Lord Deputy in the Duke's absence.
Escalus, an ancient Lord, joined with Angelo in the
Claudio, a young Gentleman.
Lucio, a Fantastick.
Two otber like Gentlemen.
* Varrius, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.
Elbow, a simple Constable.
Froth, a foolis Gentleman.
Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over done.
Abhorson, an Executioner.
Barnardine, a dissolute Prisoner.
Isabella, Sister to Claudio.
Mariana, betrothed to Angelo.
Juliet, beloved of Claudio.
Francisca, a Nun.
Mistress Over-done, a Bawd.
Guards, Officers, and olber Attendants.
• Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and says nothing. Johnson.
Enter Duke, Escalus, and Lords,
Escal. My Lord.
Duke. Of governmenç the properties to
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse ;
1 There is perhaps not one of Shakespeare's plays more darken. ed than this by the peculiarities of its authour, and the unkilfulness of its editors, by distortions of phrase, or negligence of tran. fcription. JOHNSON
Shakespeare took the fable of this play from the Promos and Caffandra of George Whetstone, published in 1598. See Theobald's note at the end.
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 infipidity, under the culture of Shakespeare became fertile of entertainment. The curious reader will find that the old play of Promos and CafJandra exhibits an almost complete embryo of Measure fur Measures yet the hints on which it is formed are lo sight, that it is nearly as impossible to detect them, as it is to point out in the acorn the future ramifications of the oak. Steevens. · The story is taken from Cintbio's Novels, Decad. 8. Novel 5.
Since I am 3 put to know, that your own science,
Exceeds, in chat, the lists of all advice 4
My strength can give you: Then no more remains,
But 3 Since I am not to know,-) Old copy,
-put 10 know, Perhaps rightly. Johnson. I am fut 10 know, may mean, I am obliged to acknowledge.
STEEVENS. -li,7s-m ] Bounds, limits. Johnson.
Then no more remains, &c.] This is a passage which has exercised the fagacity of the editors, and is now to employ mine.
-Thin no more remains,
Put abat to your suficiency, as your worth is able,
And let i bem work.
I doubt not, but this passage, either from the impertinence of the
actors, or the negligence of the copyists, has come maimed to us.
In the first place, what an unmeasurable, inharmonious verse have
we here ; and then, how lame is the sense! What was Escalus to
put to his sufficiency? Why, his science. But his science and his
fufficiency were but one and the same thing. On what then does
the relative them depend? The old editions read thus,
Then no more remains,
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work.
Here, again, the sense is manifefly lame and defective, and as the
versification is so too, they concur to make me think, a line has
accidentally been left out. Perhaps, something like this might
supply our author's meaning.
-T ben no more remains,
But that to your sufficiency you add
Due diligency, as your worib is able ;
And let them work.
By some such supplement both the sense and measure would be
cured. But as the conjecture is unsupported by any authorities, I
have not pretended to thrust it into the text; but submit it to
judgment. They, who are acquainted with books, know, that,
where two words of a similar length and termination happen to
lie under one another, nothing is more common than for transcri-
bers to glance their eye at once from the first to the undermoft word,
and so leave out the intermediate part of the sentence.