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SCENE 1. 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're 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.
I say, bid come before us Angelo.


Call hither,


[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, dress'd him with our love,
And given his deputations 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.


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 belongings
Are not thine own so proper as to waste



Thyself upon thy virtues, they 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.


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 befall 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 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.


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.

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.

First Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary's!

Sec. Gent. Amen.

Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped one out of the table.

Sec. Gent. "Thou shalt not steal"?
Lucio. Ay, that he razed.


First 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, do relish the petition well that prays for peace.

Sec. Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it.

Lucio. I believe thee; for I think thou never wast where grace was said.

Sec. Gent. No? a dozen times at least.

First Gent. What, in metre?

Lucio. In any proportion or in any language.

First 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.

First Gent. Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.

Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet. Thou art the list.


First Gent. And thou the velvet thou art good velvet; thou'rt a three-piled piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey as be piled, as thou art piled, 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. 40

First Gent. I think I have done myself wrong, have I


Sec. 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


Sec. Gent. To what, I pray?

Lucio. Judge.

Sec. Gent. To three thousand dolours a year.

First Gent. Ay, and more.

Lucio. A French crown more.


First 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.


First Gent. How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?

Mrs. Ov. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested and carried to prison was worth five thousand of you all.

Sec. Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?

Mrs. Ov. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior Claudio.
First Gent. Claudio to prison? 'tis not so.

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


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

Mrs. Ov. 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 promisekeeping.

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

First Gent. But, most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.

Lucio. Away! let's go learn the truth of it.


(Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Mrs. Oc. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows and what with poverty, I am customshrunk.


How now! what's the news with you?

Pom. Yonder man is carried to prison.

Mrs. Or. Well; what has he done?

Pom. A woman.

Mrs. Ov. But what's his offence?


Pom. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

Pom. No, but there's a woman with maid by him. You

Mrs. Ov. What, is there a maid with child by him?

have not heard of the proclamation, have you? Mrs. Ov. What proclamation, man?

Pom. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.


Mrs. Ov. And what shall become of those in the city? Pom. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.

Mrs. Ov. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?

Pom. To the ground, mistress.

Mrs. Ov. Why, here's a change indeed in the commouwealth What shall become of me?

Pom. Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tap-ter still. Courage! there will

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