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VINCENTIO, duke of Vienna.
ANGELO, lord deputy in the duke's absence.
ESCALUS, an ancient lord, joined with Angelo in the

deputation.
CLAUDIO, a young gentleman.
Lucio, a fantastic.
Two other like Gentlemen.
*VARRIUS, a gentleman, servant to the duke.
Provost.
THOMAS,

PETER,S; } two friers.

A Justice.
ELBOW, a simple constable.
Froth, a foolish gentleman.
Clown, servant to Mrs. Over-done.
ABHORSON, an executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute prisoner.

IS ABELLA, 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 Atten.

dants.

SCENE-Vienna,

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

MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

ACT I.

SCENE I. An apartment in the Duke's palace. En

ter Duke, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants.

Duke. ESCALUS,

Escal. My lord.

Dnke. 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,
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.
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 belonging's

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
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.

Ang. 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.

Duke. No more evasion :
We have with a leaven'd2 and prepared choice
Proceeded to you ; therefore take your honours.
Our haste from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd
Matters of needful value. We shail 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.

Ång. 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,
As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand;
I'll privily away : I love the people,
6:33

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 :
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 happiness.
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 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

[3] 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. Judge.
2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a year.
1 Gent. Ay, and more.
Lucio. A French crown more.

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. [4] 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.

WARBURTON.

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