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VINCENTIO, duke of Vienna.
PETER,S; } two friers.
IS ABELLA, sister to Claudio.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Atten.
• Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and says nothing. JOHNSON.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
SCENE I. An apartment in the Duke's palace. En
ter Duke, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants.
Escal. My lord.
Dnke. Of government the properties to unfold,
- What figure of us think you he will bear?
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will,
Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
Ang. Now, good my lord,
Duke. No more evasion :
Ång. Yet, give leave, my lord,
Duke. My haste may not admit it;
To great consequences ; for high purposes. JOHNSON
When bread is leavened it is left to ferment; a leavened choice is therefore a choice not hasty, but considerate, not declared as soon as it fell into the imagination, but suffered to work long in the mind. JOHNSON
But do not like to stage me to their eyes :
[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 together, And we may soon our satisfaction have, Touching that point.
Escal. I'll wait upon your honour. [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 for peace.
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 ? 2
 In the primers, there are metrical graces, such as, I suppose, were used. in Shakspeare's time. JOHNSON
Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language. 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion.
Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despight of all controversy.4 As for example; Thou thyself art a wicked villain, despight of all grace.
1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers between us.
Lucio. I grant ; as there may between the lists and the velvet : Thou art the list.
1 Gent. And thou the velvet : thou art good velvet ; thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee : I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be pil'd, as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?
Lucio. I think thou dost ; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech : I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health ; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.
1 Gent. I think, I have done myself wrong; have I not?
2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast ; whether thou art tainted, or free.
Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as comes to
2 Gent. To what, I pray?
1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me : but thou art full of error ; I am sound.
Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy ; but so sound, as things that are hollow : thy bones are hollow ; impiety hath made a feast of thee.
Enter Bawd. 1 Gent. How now? Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica ?
Bawd. Well, well ; there's one yonder arrested, and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.
1 Gent. Who's that, I pr’ythee? Bawd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio.  Satirically insinuating that the controversies about grace were so intricate and endless, that the disputants unsettled every thing but this, that grace was grace : which, however, in spite of controversy, still remained certain.