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Vincentio, duke of Vienna
Angelo, lord deputy in the duke's alsence.
Escalus, an ancient lord, joined with Angelo in the

Claudio, a young gentleman.
Lucio, a fantastick.
Two other like gentlemen.
Varrius,* a gentleman, servant to the duke.


} two friars.

Peter, s o I
A Justice.
Elbow, a simple constalle.
Froth, a foolish gentleman.
Clown, servant to Mrs. Over-done
Abhorson, an erecutioner.
Barnardine, a dissolute prisoner.

Isabella, sister to Claudio.
Mariana, betrothed to Angelo.
Juliet, beloved by Claudio.
Francisca, a nun.
Mistress Over-done, a lawd.

Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other


SCENE, Vienna.


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


ACT І. 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 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,

Since I am put to know,] may mean, I am compelled to acknowledge. 2 — lists ] Bounds, limits.

Then no more remains
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,

And let them work.] Something is wanting in this passage, which the commentators have not been able to supply. The meaning may be, your skill in government is, in ability to serve me, equal to the integrity of your heart, and let them co-operate in your future ministry.



From which we would not have you warp.—Call

hither, I 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, 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.

Enter Angelo.

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 belongingss
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,

4 with special soul

Elected him;] By these words the poet perhaps means that he was the immediate choice of his heart. 5 t hy belongings ) i. e, endowments.

Are not thine own so proper,] i. e. are not so much thy own property. STEVENS.

to fine issues :) To great consequences.

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;8
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 stamp'd upon it.

No more evasion:
We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice
Proceeded to you; therefore take honours.
Our haste from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd
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.
- Ang.

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 honour, have to do
With any scruple: your scope is as mine own;
So to enforce, or qualify the laws,

o I do bend my speech

To one that can my part in him advertise;] This is obscure. I believe the meaning is—I am talking to one who is himself already sufficiently conversant with the nature and duties of my office. MALONE. !— first in question,] That is, first called for ; first appointed.

As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand ;
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;
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 happi-

Duke. I thank you: Fare you well. [Exit.

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. 'Tis so with me :-Let us withdraw toge-

And we may soon our satisfaction have
Touching that point.
I'll wait upon your honour.


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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.

i 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.

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