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Of disobedience, or unduteous title ;
Since therein she doth evitate and shun
A thousand irreligious cursed hours,
Which forced marriage would have brought upon her.
Ford. Stand not amaz'd: here is no remedy.-

In love, the heavens themselves do guide the state;
Money buys lands, and wives are sold by fate.

Fal. I am glad, though you have ta'en a special stand to strike at me, that your arrow hath glanced.

Page. Well, what remedy ?-Fenton, heaven give thee joy!—
What cannot be eschew'd, must be embrac'd.
Fal. When night-dogs run, all sorts of deer are chas'd.
Mrs Page. Well, I will muse no farther.-Master Fenton,
Heaven give you many, many merry days!—
Good husband, let us every one go home,

And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire;
Sir John and all.

Ford. Let it be so. Sir John,

To master Brook you yet shall hold your word;
For he, to-night, shall lie with mistress Ford.




VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.

ANGELO, the 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 attending on the Duke.


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A Justice.

ELBOW, a simple Constable.

FROTH, a foolish Gentleman.

POMPEY, a Clown; servant to Mistress OVERDONE.

ABHORSON, an Executioner.

BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.

MARIANA, betrothed to ANGELO.
JULIET, beloved of CLAUDIO.

Mistress OVERDONE, a Bawd.

Lords, Officers, Citizens, Boy, and Attendants.




SCENE I.-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 t' 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.-Call hither,

[Giving it.

[Exit an Attendant.

I say, bid come before us Angelo.-
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.


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 th' 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 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 advèrtise;

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.


[Tendering his 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

[Gives it.

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