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"Nor here PROVINCIAL"-" The different orders of monks (says M. Mason) have a chief, who is called the general of the order; and they have also superiors, subordinate to the general, in the several provinces through which the order may be dispersed. The friar, therefore, means to say, that the Duke dares not touch a finger of his; for he could not punish him by his own authority, as he was not his subject, nor through that of the superior, as he was not of that province."
"the FORFEITS in a barber's shop"-" Barbers' shops were anciently places of great resort for passing away time in an idle manner. By way of enforcing some kind of regularity, and, perhaps, at least as much to promote drinking, certain laws were usually hung up, the transgression of which was to be punished by specific forfeits;' which were as much in mock as mark, because the barber had no authority of himself to enforce them, and also because they were of a ludicrous nature."-SINGER.
"-Away with those GIGLOTS"-i. e. Wantons. So, KING HENRY VI., (part i.:)
Young Talbot was not born
"MEASURE FOR MEASURE, commonly referred to the end of 1603, is perhaps, after HAMLET, LEAR, and MACBETH, the play in which Shakespeare struggles, as it were, most with the overmastering power of his own mind: the depths and intricacies of being which he has searched and sounded, with intense reflection, perplex and harass him; his personages arrest their course of action to pour forth, in language the most remote from common use, thoughts which few could grasp in the clearest expression; and thus he loses something of dramatic excellence in that of his contemplative philosophy. The Duke is designed as the representative of this philosophical character. He is stern and melancholy by temperament, averse to the exterior shows of power, and secretly conscious of some unfitness for its practical duties. The subject is not very happily chosen, but artfully improved by Shakespeare. In most of the numerous stories of a similar nature, which before or since his time have been related, the sacrifice of chastity is really made, and made in vain. There is, however, something too coarse and disgusting in such a story; and it would have deprived him of a splendid exhibition of character. The virtue of Isabella, inflexible and independent of circumstance, has something very grand and elevated; yet one is disposed to ask, whether, if Claudio had been really executed, the spectator would not have gone away with no great affection for her; and at least we now feel that her reproaches against her miserable brother, when he clings to life like a frail and guilty being, are too harsh. There is great skill in the invention of Mariana, and without this the story could not have had any thing like a satisfactory termination; yet it is never explained how the Duke had become acquainted with this secret, and, being acquainted with it, how he had preserved his esteem and confidence in Angelo. His intention, as hinted towards the end, to marry Isabella, is a little too common-place; it is one of Shakespeare's hasty half-thoughts. The language of this comedy is very obscure, and the text seems to have been printed with great inaccuracy. I do not value the comic parts highly; Lucio's impudent profligacy, the result rather of sensual debasement than of natural illdisposition, is well represented; but Elbow is a very inferior repetition of Dogberry. In dramatic effect, MEASURE FOR MEASURE stands high; the two scenes between Isabella and Angelo, that between her and Claudio, those where the Duke appears in disguise, and the catastrophe in the fifth act, are admirably written and very interesting-except so far as the spectator's knowledge of the two stratagems, which have deceived Angelo, may prevent him from participating in the indignation at Isabella's imaginary wrong, which her lamentations would excite. Several of the circumstances and characters are borrowed from the old play of Whetstone, Promos and Cassandra;' but very little of the sentiments or language. What is good in MEASURE FOR MEASURE is Shakespeare's own."-HALLAM, Literature of Europe.
- Measure still for Measure"-"The play (says Schlegel) takes its name improperly from the punishment: the sense of the whole is properly the triumph of mercy over strict justice; no man being himself so secure from error as to be entitled to deal it out among his equals. The most beautiful ornament of this composition is the character of Isabella, who, in the inten tion of taking the veil, allows herself to be prevailed on by pious love again to tread the perplexing ways of the world; while the heavenly purity of her mind is not even stained with one unholy thought by the general corruption. In the heavenly robes of the novice of a nunnery, she is a true angel of light." Hazlitt's criticism is acute, but wants a true sympathy with the author's feelings and objects:-"This is a play as full of genius as it is of wisdom. But there is a general want of passion; the affections are at a stand: our sympathies are repulsed and defeated in all directions. The only passion which influences the story is that of Angelo; and yet he seems to have a much greater passion for hypocrisy than for his mistress. Neither are we greatly enamoured of Isabella's rigid chastity, though she could not act otherwise than she did. We do not feel the same confidence in the virtue that is sublimely good' at another's expense, as if it had been put to some more disinterested issue." The same writer, after remarking on the equivocal character and situation in the drama of the Duke, Claudio, and the love of Mariana for Angelo, at whose conduct we revolt, adds, that 'in this respect there may be said to be a general system of cross-purposes between the feelings of the different characters, and the sympathies of the reader or the audience."