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Ant. Sebastian are you?
Fear'st thou that, Antonio i
Ant. How have you made division of yourself ?-
An apple, cleft in two, is not more twin
Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian ?
Oli. Most wonderful !
Seb. Do I stand there? I never had a brother:
Nor can there be that deity in my nature,
Of here and every where. I had a sister,
Whoin the blind waves and surges have devour'd:--
Of charity, what kin are you to me?
(T. VIOLA. What countryman ? what name? what parentage ?
Vio. Of Messaline : Sebastian was my father,
Such a Sebastian was my brother too,
So went he suited to his watery tomb:
If spirits can assume both form and suit
You come to fright us.
Seb. Were you a woman, as the rest goes even,
I should my tears let fall upon your cheek,
And say—Thrice welcome, drowned Viola!
Vio. My father had a mole upon his brow.
Seb. And so had mine.
Vio. And died that day when Viola from her birth
Had number'd thirteen years.
Seb. O, that record is lively, in my’soul !
He finished, indeed, in his mortal act,
That day that made my sister thirteen years.
Vio. If nothing lets to make us happy both
But this my masculine usurp'd attire,
Do not embrace me, till each circumstance
Of place, time, fortune, do cohere, and jump,
That I am Viola : which to confirm,
I'll bring you to a captain in this town,
Where lie my maiden weeds; by whose gentle help
I was preserv’d, to serve this noble count;
All the occurrence of my fortune since
Hath been between this lady and this lord.
Seb. So comes it, lady, you have been mistook : [TO ULITIA,
But nature to her bias drew in that,
You would have been contracted to a maid ;
Nor are you therein, by my life, deceiv’d,
You are betroth'd both to a maid and man.
Duke. Be not amaz’d; right noble is his blood.
If this be so, as yet the glass seems true,
I shall have share in this most happy wreck:
Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times,
Thou never should'st love woman like to me.
Vio. And all those sayings will I over-swear;
And all those swearings keep as true in soul,
As doth that orbed continent the fire
That severs day from night.
Give me thy hand;
And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds.
Vio. The captain, that did bring me first on shore, Hath
maid's garments : he upon some action,
Is now in durance : at Malvolio's suit,
A gentleman, and follower of my lady's.
Oli. He shall enlarge him.
My lord, so please you, these things further thought on,
To think me as well a sister as a wife,
One day shall crown the alliance on’t, so please you,
Here at my house, and at my proper cost.
Duke. Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer.-
Your master quits you ;-[TO VIOLA.]-and, for your service done
So much against the mettle of your sex,
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
And since you call'd me master for so long,
Here is my hand; you shall from this time be
Your master's mistress.
A sister ?-you are she.
Duke. A solemn combination shall be made
Of our dear souls-Meantime, sweet sister,
We will not part from hence.Cesario, come;
For so you shall be, while you are a man;
But, when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen,
The outline of this Play is taken from a novel of Cinthio, the Italian novelist and tragic author, to whom Shakspeare was likewise indebted for the story of Othello.
Measure for Measure, presents us with one of the most perfect of our author's female characters in the person of Isabella. Dr. Blake says, of this beautiful creation, that " Piety, spotless purity, tenderness combined with firmness, and an eloquence the most persuasive, unite to render her singularly interesting and attractive.” Of the general excellence of this Drama, Mr. Verplanck justly remarks, that “there is no composition, of the same length, in the language, which has left more of its expressive phrases, its moral aphor isms, its brief sentences, crowded with meaning, fixed on the general memory, and emDodied by daily use in every form of popular eloquence, argument, and literature."
Our extracts, though necessarily brief, will be found to embody the principal striking beauties of this truly impressive composition.
VICENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
ANGELO, lord deputy in the Duke's absence.
Escalus, an ancient lord, joined with Angelo in the deputation.
CLAUDIO, a young gentlemani.
Lucio, a fantastic.
Two other like gentlemen.
VARrius, a gentleman, servant to the Duke
Thomas, Peter, two friars.
Elbow, a simple constable.
FROTH, a foolish gentleman.
Clown, servant to Mrs. Over-done.
ABHORSON, an executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute prisoner.
ISABELLA, sister to Claudio
MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo.
Juliet, beloved by Claudio.
FRANCISCA, a nun.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Attendants.
The Duke of Vienna, determines to examine in person, the condition of his people. To do this effectually he purposes to resign, for a period, his government into the keeping of Lord Angelo, and Escalus, and in disguise to mix with his subjects and learn their actual condition, and ascertain whether the laws are faithfully administered.
SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants.
Escal. My lord.
Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse ;
Since I am put to know, that your own science
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
My strength can give you: Then no more remains
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms
For cominon justice, you are as pregnant in,
As art and practice hath enriched any
That we remember: There is our commission,
From which we would not have you warp.-Ca.. hither,
say, bid come before us Angelo.
[Exit an Attendant
What figure of us think you he will bear ?
For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply ;
Lent him our terror, drest him with our love ;
And given his deputation all the organs
Of our own power: What think you of it?
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth To undergo suci ample grace and honor, It is lord Angelo
Look, where he comes.
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,
I corne to know your pleasure.
There is a kind of character in thy life,
That, to the observer, doth thy history
Fully unfold: Thyself and thy belongings
Are not thine own so proper. as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do ;
Not light them for themselves : for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd.
But to fine issues : nor nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
To one that can my part in him advertise ;
Hold therefore, Angelo;
In our remove, be thou at full ourself:-
Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Live in thy tongue and heart: Escalus,
Though first in question, is the secondary :
Take thy comınission.
Now, good my lord,
Let there be some more test made of my metal,
Before so noble and so great a figure
Hje stamp'd upon it.
No more evasion:
We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice
Proceeded to you; therefore take your honors.
Our faste from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd
Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
As time and our concernings shall importune,
How it goes with us; and do look to know
What doch befall you here.
To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.
Yet, give leave, my lord,
That we may bring you something on the way.
Duke. My haste may not admit it;
Nor need you, on mine honor, have to do
With any scruple : your scope is as mine own:
So to enforce, or qualify the laws
As to your soul seems god. Give me your hand;
I'll privily away: I love the people,
But do not like to stage me to their eyes :
Though it do well, I do not relish well
loud applause, and aves vehement :
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
That does affect it. Once more, fare you well.
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes !
Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happiness.
Duke. I thank you: Fare you
Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
To bave free speech with you; and it concerns mo
To look into the bottom of my place:
A power I have ; but of what strength and nature
I am not yet instructed.
Ang. 'Tis so with me :-Let us withdraw together