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SCENE I.

ACT THE FIRST.

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, 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.

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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 belongings Are not thine own so proper, as to waste Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee. Heaven doth witli 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 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.

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'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 impórtune,
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 enforcé, or qualify the laws,

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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 pur
poses!

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,

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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?

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 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 velDo I speak feelingly now?

vet.

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 come 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 has 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 pray thee? Bawd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio.

1 Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so.

Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so: I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head's to be chopped off.

Lucio, But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so: Art thou sure of this?

Bawd. I am too sure of it: and it is for getting madam Julietta with child.

Lucio. Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since; and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.

2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purposc.

1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the proclamation. Lucio. Away; let's go learn the truth of it. [Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Buzod. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's the news with you?

Enter Clown.

Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison. Bawd. Well; what has he done?

Clo. A woman.

Bawd. But what's his offence?

Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him.

Clo, No; but there's a woman with maid by him: You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?

Bawd. What, proclamation, man.

Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city?

Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in

for them.

Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down?

Clo. To the ground, mistress.

Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?

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Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers; LUCIO, and two Gentlemen.

Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?

Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Prov. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from lord Angelo by special charge,

Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight.The words of heaven;-on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio? whence comes this restraint?

Claud, From too much liberty, my Lucio,

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liberty:

As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue,
(Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,)
A thirsty evil; and, when we drink, we die.

Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors: And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy offence, Claudio? Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again.

Lucio. What is it? murder?

Claud. No.

Lucio. Lechery? Claud. Call it so.

Prov. Away, sir; you must go. Claud. One word, good friend: Lucio, a word with you. [Takes him aside. Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.— Is lechery so look'd after?

Claud. Thus stands it with me:-Upon a true contráct

I got possession of Julietta's bed;
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order: this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower

Remaining in the coffer of her friends;
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love,
Till time had made them for us. But it chances,
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment,
With character too gross, is writ on Juliet.

Lucio. With child, perhaps? Claud. Unhappily, even so.

And the new deputy now for the duke,-
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness;
Or whether that the body public be

A horse, whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur:
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I stagger in:-But this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by
the wall

So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on me:-'tis surely, for a name.

Lucio. I warrant, it is: and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.

Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be
found.

I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
This day my sister should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation:
Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him;
I have great hope in that: for in her youth
There is a prone and speechless dialect,
Such as moves men; beside, she hath prosperous
art,

When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade.

Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition; as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her. Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio. Lucio. Within two hours,Claud. Come, officer, away.

SCENE IV.

A monastery.

Enter DUKE and Friar Thomas.

[Exeunt.

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I have delivered to lord Angelo
(A man of stricture, and firm abstinence,)
My absolute power and place here in Viema,
And he supposes me travell'd to Poland;
For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv'd: Now, pious sir,
You will demand of me, why I do this?
Fri. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting laws,

(The needful bits and curbs for head-strong steeds,)

Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep;
Even like an o'or-grown lion in a cave,
That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond fathers
Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch,
Only to stick it in their children's sight,
For terror, not to use; in time the rod
Becomes more mock'd, than fear'd: so our de

crees,

Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;
And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.
Fri.
It rested in your grace
To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd:
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd,
Than in lord Angelo.

Duke. I do fear, too dreadful: Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, 'Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them For what I bid them do: For we bid this be done,

When evil deeds have their permissive pass, And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my father,

I have on Angelo impos'd the office;
Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike
home,

And yet my nature never in the sight,
To do it slander: And to behold his sway,
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
Visit both prince and people: therefore, I
pr'ythee,

Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear me
Like a true friar. More reasons for this action,
At our more leisure shall I render you;
Only, this one:-Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses,
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone: Hence shall we see,
If
power change purpose, what our soemers be.
[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

A nunnery.

Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA.

Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges?

Fran. Are not these large enough?

Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring | Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

more;

But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sister-hood, the votarists of saint Clare:
Lucio. Ho! Peace be in this place! [Within.]
Isab.
Who's that which calls?

Fran. It is a man's voice: Gentle Isabella, Turn you the key, and know his business of him;

You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn:
When you have vow'd, you must not speak
with men,

But in the presence of the prioress:
Then, if you speak, you must not show your
face;

Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you, answer him.

Isab. Some one with child by him?-My cou

sin Juliet?

Lucio. Is she your cousin?

Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change
their names,

By vain though apt affection.
Lucio.

She it is.

This is the point.

Isab. O, let him marry her!
Lucio.
The duke is very strangely gone from hence;
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
In hand, and hope of action: but we do learn
By those, that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
From his true meant design. Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority,

Isab. Peace and prosperity Exit Francisca. Governs lord Angelo; a man, whose blood

calls?

Enter LUCIO.

Who is't, that

Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be; as those cheek

roses

Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me,
As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
A novice of this place, and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother Claudio?

Isab. Why her unhappy brother? let me ask;
The rather, for I now must make you know
I am that Isabella, and his sister.

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly
greets you:

Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Isab. Woe me! For what?

Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be his

judge,

He should receive his punishment in thanks:
He hath got his friend with child.

Isab. Sir, make me not your story.
Lucio.

It is true.

I would not-though 'tis my familiar sin
With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest,
Tongue far from heart, play with all vir-
gins so:

I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted;
By your renouncement, an immortal spirit;
And to be talk'd with in sincerity,

As with a saint.

Isab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking

me.

Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth,
'tis thus:

Your brother and his lover have embrac'd:
As those that feed grow full; as blossoming
time,

That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
To teeming foison; even so her plenteous womb

Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense;
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law,
As mice by lions,) hath pick'd out an act,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example: all hope is gone,
Unless have the grace by your
you
fair prayer
To soften Angelo: And that's my pith
Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother.
Isab. Doth he so seek his life?
Lucio,
Has censur'd him
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
A warrant for his execution.

Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
To do him good?

Lucio.

Assay the power you have.
Isab. My power! Alas! I doubt,

Lucio.
Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt: Go to lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,
Men give like gods; but when they weep and

kneel,

All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would owe them.
Isab. I'll see what I can do:
Lucio.

But, speedily,
Isab. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
Commend me to my brother: soon at night
I'll send him certain word of my success.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Isab.

Good sir, adieu. [Exeunt.

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