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Duke You do but lose your labour; Away with him to death.-Now, sir, [To Lucio]
Mari. O, my good lord! -Sweet Isabel, take my part;
Lend me your knees, and, all my life to come
Duke. Against all sense you do impórtune her: Should she kneel down, in mercy of this fact, Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break, And take her hence in horror.
Hold up your hands, say nothing, I'll speak all,
Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
Most bounteous sir,
Let him not die: My brother had but justice,
His act did not o'ertake his bad intent?
And must be buried but as an intent
That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no sub
Intents but merely thoughts.
Merely, my lord.
8 Reason and affection,
Duke. Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I
I have bethought me of another fault:
Provost, how came it, Claudio was beheaded
It was commanded so.
Duke. For which I do discharge you of your
Give up your keys.
His name is Barnardine. Duke. I would thou had'st done so by Claudio.Go, fetch him hither; let me look upon him. [Exit Provost. Escal. I am sorry one so learned and so wise As you, lord Angelo, have still appear'd, Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood, And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.
Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure: And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart, That I crave death more willingly than mercy; 'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.
Re-enter Provost, BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO, and JULIET.
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
This, my lord.
Duke. There was a friar told me of this man:Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul, That apprehends no further than this world, And squar'st thy life according. Thou'rt con
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
For better times to come: -Friar, advise him ; I leave him to your hand. What muffled fellow's that?
Prov. This is another prisoner, that I sav'd, That should have died when Claudio lost his head; As like almost to Claudio, as himself.
[Unmuffles CLAUDIO. Duke. If he be like your brother, [To ISABELLA.] for his sake
Is he pardoned; And, for your lovely sake,
Look that you love your wife; her worth, worth
I find an apt remission in myself:
And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon;·
One all of luxury,2 an ass, a madman;
Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick:3 If you will hang me for it, you may,
1 Requites. 2 Incontinence.
3 Thoughtless practice.
but I had rather it would please you, I might be whipp'd.
Duke. Whipp'd first, sir, and hang'd after.-
Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said even now, I made you a duke; good my lord, do not recompense me, in making me a cuckold.
Duke. Upon mine honour thou shalt marry her. Thy slanders I forgive: and therewithal
Remit thy other forfeits: 4-Take him to prison: And see our pleasure herein executed.
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
Duke. Sland'ring a prince deserves it.
I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue.-
What's mine is yours, and what is yours is
5 To reward.
So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show What's yet behind, that's meet you all should [Exeunt.
The novel of Giraldi Cinthio, from which Shakspeare is supposed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in Shakspeare illustrated, elegantly translated, with remarks which will assist the inquirer to discover how much absurdity Shakspeare has admitted or avoided.
I cannot but suspect that some other had newmodelled the novel of Cinthio, or written a story which in some particulars resembled it, and that Cinthio was not the author whom Shakspeare immediately followed. The Emperor in Cinthio is named Maximine: the Duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of the persons of the drama, is called Vincentio. This appears a very slight remark; but since the Duke has no name in the play, nor is ever mentioned but by his title, why should he be called Vincentio among the persons, but because the name was copied from the story, and placed superfluously at the head of the list by the meer habit of transcription? It is therefore likely that there was then a story of Vincentio Duke of Vienna, different from that of Maximine Emperor of the Romans.
Of this play, the light or comick part is very natural and pleasing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, have more labour than elegance. The plot is rather intricate than artful. The time of the action is indefinite; some time, we know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess of the Duke and the imprisonment of Claudio; for he must have learned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated his power to a man already known to be corrupted. The unities of action and place are sufficiently preserved.