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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
CLAUDIO, a young gentleman.
Lucio, a fantastick.
Two other like Gentlemen.
VARRIUS *, a gentleman, servant to the duke.
ELBOW, a simple constable.
FROTH, a foolish gentleman.
Clown, servant to Mrs. Orer-done.
ABHORSON, an executioner.
BARNARDIN E, a dissolute prisoner.
IS ABELLA, sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, letrothed to Angelo.
JULIET, beloved by Claudio.
FRANCISCA, a nun.
Mistress OVER-DONE, a bawd.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other
* Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once spoken to, and says Hoching
An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords, and Attendants,
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,
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
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is lord 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 belonging
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
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 advértise :
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 your 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 befal 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 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, But do not like to stage me to their eyes:
Though it do well, I do not relish well
Their loud applause, and ares vehement;
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
That does affect it. Once
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes !
Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happiness!
Duke. I thank
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.
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 pi