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VICENTIO, 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 Fantastic.
Two OTHER LIKE GENTLEMEN.
VARRIUS, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.
ELBOW, a simple Constable.
FROTH, a foolish Gentleman.
Clown, Servant to MRS. OVERDONE
ABHORSON, an Executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.
ISABELLA, Sister to CLAUDIO.
MARIANA, betrothed to ANGELO.
JULIET, beloved by CLAUDIO.
FRANCISCA, a Nun.
MISTRESS OVERDOSE, a Bawd.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Attendants.
SCENE I.-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. - [Excit 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.
Duke. 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 forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely tou
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 weil Their loud applause and aves vehement: