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of the list by the mere 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. JOHNSON.

The Fable of Whetstone's Promos and Cassandra. 1578.

"The Argument of the whole Historye."

"In the cyttie of Julio (sometimes under the dominion of Corvinus, kynge of Hungarie and Boemia) there was a lawe, that what man soever committed adultery, should lose his head, and the woman offender should wear some disguised apparel, during her life, to make her infamously noted. This severe lawe, by the favour of some mercifull magistrate, became little regarded, untill the time of lord Promos authoritye: who convicting a young gentleman named Andrugio of incontinency, condemned, both him and his minion, to the execution of this statute. Andrugie had a very virtuous and beautiful gentle woman to his sister, named Cassandra: Cassandra, to enlarge her brother's life, submitted an humble petition to the lord Promos: Promos regarding her good behaviours, and fantasying her great beawtie, was much delighted with the sweete order of her talke: and doyng good, that evill might come thereof: for a time he repryv'd her brother: but wicked man, tourning his liking into unlawfull lust, he set downe the spoile of her honour,



raunsome for her brother's life: chaste Caffandra, abhorryng both him and his sute, by no persuasion would yeald to this But in fine, wonne with the importunitye of her brother (pleading for life): upon these conditions, she agreed to Promos. First, that he should pardon her brother, and after marry her. Promos as fearlesse in promisse, as carelesse in performance, with sollemne vowe sygned her conditions: but worse then any infydell, his will satissfyed, he performed neither the one nor the other: for to keepe his authoritye, unspotted with favour, and to prevent Cassandrae's clamors, he commaunded the gayler secretly, to present Cassandra with her brother's head. The gayler, with the outcryes of Andrugio (abhorryng Promos lewdenes) by the providence of God, provided thus for his safety. He presented Cassandra with a felon's head newlie executed, who (being mangled, knew it not from her brother's, by the gayler, who was set at libertie) was so agreeved at this trecherye, that at the point to kyl her self, she spared that stroke, to be avenged of Promos. And devysing a way, she concluded, to make her fortunes knowne unto the kinge. She (executing this resolution) was so highly favoured of the king, that forthwith he hasted to do justice on Promos: whose judgement was, to marrye Cassandra, to repaire her crased honour: which donne, for his hainous offence he should lose his head. This marryage solempnised, Cassandra tyed in the greatest bondes of affection to her husband, became an earnest suter for his life: the kinge (tendringe the generall benefit of the cōmon weale, before her special ease, although he favoured her much) would not graunt her sute. Andrugio (disguised amonge the company) sorrowing the griefe of his sister, bewrayde his safety, and craved pardon. The kinge, to renowne the vertues of Cassandra, pardoned both him, and Promos. The circumstances of this rare historye, in action livelye foloweth."

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Whetstone, however, has not afforded a very correct analysis of his play, which contains a mixture of comic scenes, between a Bawd, a Pimp, Felons, &c. together with some serious situations which are not described. STEEVENS.

Dramatis perfonae.


VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.

ANGELO, Lord Deputy in the Duke's absence.
ESCALUS, an ancient Lord, joined with Angelo in the depu


CLAUDIO, a young Gentleman.

LUCIO, a Fantastick.

Two other like Gentlemen.

"VARRIUS, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke."

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




The Duke's Palace. Enter Duke, ESCALUS, and Lords.


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 your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
"And let them work." The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms

For common 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.-Call



I say,

I say, bid come before us Angelo.

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 such ample grace and honour,
It is lord 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
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



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