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VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
Angelo, Lord Deputy in the Duke's abfence.

Efcalus,} An ancient Lord, joined with Angelo in

the Deputation.


Claudio, a young Gentleman.
Lucio, a Fantaftick.

Two other like Gentlemen.

* Varrius, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.

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Guards, Officers, and other Attendants.

* Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and fays nothing.

SCENE, Vienna.

Of this Play the first known Edition is in the Folio of 1623.

Editions from which the various Readings are collected.

I. Folio 1623.
II. Folio 1632.
III. Folio 1664.



The Duke's PALACE.

Enter Duke, Elfcalus, and Lords.



Efcal. My Lord.

Duke. Of Government the properties t'unfold,
Would seem in me t'affect speech and discourse.
Since I am not to know, that your own Science
Exceeds, in that, the lifts of all advice (1)
My ftrength can give you then no more remains: (3)


*There is perhaps not one of Shakespear's plays more darkened than this by the peculiarities of its Authour, and the unskilfulness of its Editors, by diftortions of phrase, or negligence of transcription.

I The story is taken from Cinthio's Novels, Decad 8. Novel 5. Porz.

+ I. II. III. put to know. Perhaps rightly. (a) Lifts.] Bounds, Limits.


Then no more remains, &c.

This is a paffage which has exercifed the fagacity of the Editors, and is now to employ mine.

Then no more remains:

Put that to your Sufficiency, as your Worth is able,

And let them work.] I doubt not, but this Paffage, either from the Impertinence of the Actors, or the Negligence of the Copyifts, has come maim'd to us. In the first Place, what an unmeasurable, inharmonious, Verfe have we here; and, then, how lame is the Senfe! What was Efcalus to put to his Sufficiency? Why, his Science. But his Science and his Sufficiency were but One and the fame Thing. On what then does the Relative them, depend? The old Editions read thus.


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But that to your fufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work. The nature of our people
Our city's inftitutions, and the terms

Then no more remains.

But that to your Sufficiency, as your Worth is able,
And let them work.

Here again the Sense is manifeftly lame and defective, and as the Verfification is fo too, they concur to make me think, a Line has accidentally been left out. Perhaps, fomething like This might fupply our Author's Meaning.

Then no more remains,

But that to your Sufficiency you add

Due Diligency, as your Worth is able ;
And let them work.


y fome fuch Supplement both the Senfe and Measure would be Cur'd. But as the Conjecture is unfupported by any Authorities, I have not pretended to thruft it into the Text; but fubmit it to Judgment. They, who are acquainted with Books, know, that, where two Words of a firmilar Length and Termination happen to lie under one another, nothing is more common than for Transcribers to glance their Eye at once from the first to the undermoft Word, and fo leave out the intermediate part of the Sentence, THEOBALD.

Since I am not to know, that your own Science
Exceeds, in that, the lifts of all advice

My frength can give you then no more remains:
Put that to your fufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work.

To the integrity of this reading, Mr. Theobald objects, and fays, What was Efcalus to put to his fufficiency! why his fcience: But bis Icience and fufficiency were but one and the fame thing. On what then dies the relative them depend? He will have it, therefore that a line has been accidentally dropt, which he attempts to restore by due diligence. Nodum in fcirpo quarit. And all for want of knowing, that by fufficiency is meant authority, the power deegated by the Duke to Efcalus. The plain meaning of the word being this: Put your skill in governing (fays the Duke) to the power which I give you to exercife it, and let them work together.


Sir The. Hanmer having caught from Mr. Theobald a hint that line was loft, endeavours to fupply it thus.


-Then no more remains,

But that to your fufficiency you join

A will to ferve us, as your worth is able.

He has by this bold conjecture undoubtedly ob'ained a meaning, but, perhaps not, even in his own opinion, the meaning




For common juftice, y'are as pregnant in, (4)
As art and practice hath enriched any
That we remember. There is our Commiflion,
From which we would not have you warp. Call hither,
I fay, bid come before us Angelo:
What figure of us, think you, he will bear?
For you must know, we have with special foul (5)


That the paffage is more or less corrupt, I believe every reader will agree with the Editors. I am not convinced that a line is loft, as Mr. Theobald conjectures, nor that the change of but to put, which Dr. Warburton has admitted after fome other Editor, will amend the fault. There was probably fame original obfcurity in the expreffion, which gave occafion to mistake in repetition or tranfcription. I therefore fufpect that the Author wrote thus,

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-Then no more remains,

But that to your fufficiencies your worth is abled,
And let them work.


Then nothing remains more than to tell you that your Virtue is now invefted with power equal to your knozvledge and wisdom. Let there fore your knowledge and your virtue now work together. It may eafily be conceived how fufficiencies was, by an inarticulate fpeaker, or inattentive hearer, confounded with Jufficiency as, anhow abled, a word very unusual was changed into able. For abled, however, an authority is not wanting. Lear ufes it in the fame fenfe or nearly the fame with the Duke. As for fufficiencies, D. Hamilton, in his dying fpeech, prays that Charles II. may exceed both the virtues and fufficiencies of his father.

The terms

(4) For common juftice you're as pregnant in.] The latter Editions all give it, without authority, the terms of justice, and Dr. Warburton makes terms fignify bounds or limits. I rather think the Duke meant to fay, that Efcalus was pregnant, that, is, ready and knowing in all the forms of law, and among other things, in the terms or times fet apart for its administration.

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(5) For you must know, we have with special sour

Elected him our abjence to supply.] This nonsense must be correRed thus,

with special ROLL

i. e. by a special commiffion.

For it appears, from this fcene, that Escalus had one commission and Angelo another. The Duke had before delivered Efcalus his commiflion. He now declares that defigned for Angelo: and he fays, afterwards to both,

To the hopeful execution do 1 leave you
Of your commiffions.

A 3


Elected him our Abfence to fupply;

Lent him our Terror, dreft him with our Love;
And giv'n his Deputation all the organs
Of our own Power: fay, what think you of it?
Efcal. If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo fuch ample grace and honour,
It is lord Angelo.


Enter Angelo.

Duke. Look, where he comes.

Ang. Always obedient to your Grace's will, I come to know your pleasure.

Duke. Angelo,

There is a kind of character in thy life, (6)
That to th' obferver doth thy history
Fully unfold. Thyfelf and thy belongings
Are not thine own fo proper, as to walte
Thy felf upon thy virtues; them on thee.
Heav'n doth with us, as we with torches do,
Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues (7)

Why Angelo's was called the special roll was because he was in authority fuperior to Efcalus.

old Efcalus,

Tho' firft in question, is thy fecondary.


This Editor is, I think, right in fuppofing a corruption, but lefs happy in his emendation. I read,

We have with special feal
Elected him our abfence to supply.

A special seal is a very natural Metonymy for a special commission.

(6) There is a kind of character in thy life, That to th' obferver, &c.]

Either this introduction has more folemnity than meaning, or it has a meaning which I cannot difcover. What is there peculiar in this, that a man's life informs the observer of his hiftory? Might it be fuppofed that Shakespear wrote this?

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