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VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
ANGELO, Lord Deputy in the Duke's absence.
ESCALUs, an ancient Lord, joined with Angelo in
CLAUDIO, a young Gentleman.
Lucio, a Fantastic.
Two other like Gentlemen.
VARRIUS, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.
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.
MISTRESS OVER-DONE, a Bawd.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other
SCENE I. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants.
Duke. ESCALUS, –
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 ablé,
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: -
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, dressed 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 honor,
Look, where he comes.
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,
I come 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
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: old Escalus,
Though first in question, is thy secondary:
Take thy commission.
Now, good my lord,
Let there be some more test made of my metal,
Before so noble and so great a figure
Be stamped upon it.
No more evasion :
We have with a leavened and prepared choice
Proceeded to you; therefore take your honors.
Our haste from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestioned
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 doth befall you here. So, fare you well:
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 good. Give me your han
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
Their loud applause, and aves vehement;
Aor I.] MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
261 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 well
Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
To have free speech with you; and it concerns me
To look into the bottom of my place:
A power I have; but of what strength and nature
I am not yet instructed.
Ang. "I'is so with me:- let us withdraw together,
And we may soon our satisfaction have
Touching that point.
I'll wait upon your honor.
[Exeunt SCENE II. A Street.
Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen. Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come not to composition with the king of Hungary, why, then, all the dukes fall upon the king.
1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the king of Hungary's!
2 Gent. Amen.
Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scraped one out of the table.
2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal ? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.
1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions; they put forth to steal: there's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well that prays
2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it.
Lucio. I believe thee; for I think, thou never wast where grace was said.
2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least.
1 Gent. What? in metre?
Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language.
1 Gent. I think, or in any religion.
Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as for example; thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace.
1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.