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VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
ANGELO, Lord-deputy in the Duke's absence.
ESCALUS, an ancient Lord, joine Depuiy witb Angelo.
CLAUDIO, a young Gentleman.
Lucio, a Fantastick.
VARRIUS, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke,
Elbow, a fimple Constable.
Froth, a foolish Gentleman.
Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over-don.
ABHORSON, an Executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.
ISABELLA, Siffer 10 Claudio.
MARIANA, betrotbed to Angelo.
JULIET, beloved of Claudio.
FRANCISCA, a Nun.
Mistress OVER-DON, a Bawd.
Guards, Officers, and otber Attendants,
The Story is taken from Cinthio's Novels. Dec. 8. Nov. 5.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Enter Duke, Escalus, and Lords.
Efcal. My lord.
Duke. Of Government the properties
Would seem in me t' affect speech and dis-
Since I am not 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 you join
A will to serve us as your worth is able,
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms
Of common justice, y'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,
[To the Attendants.
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 giv’n his deputation all the organs
Of our own power : say, what think you of it?
Escal, If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is lord Angelo.
SCENE JI. Enter 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 th' observer, doth thy history
Fully unfold: thyself and thy belongings
Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
Thy self upon thy virtues, them on thee :
Heav'n 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 as if
We had them not. Spirits are not finely touch’d,
But to fine illues ; nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, the determines
Herself the glory of a creditor,
Both thanks, and use. But I do bend my speech
To one that can in my part me advertise ;
Hold therefore, Angelo. [Giving bim bis commision.
In our remove, be thou at full our felf.
Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Live in thy tongue and heart : old Escalus,
Though first in question, is thy fecondary.
Take thy commiffion.
Ang. Now, good my lord,
Let there be some more teft made of my metal,
Before so noble and fo great a figure
Be fiampt upon it.
Duke. Come, no more evasion :
We have with a prepar'd and leaven'd choice
Proceeded to you ; therefore take your honours.
Our halte from hence is of fo quick condition,
That it prefers it felf, and leaves unquestion'd
Matters of needful value. We shall write,
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 th' hopeful execution do I leave you
Of our commiffion.
Ang. Yet give leave, my lord,
That we may bring you something on the way.
Duke. My hafte may not admit it;
Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do
With any scruple ; your scope is as mine own,
So to inforce, or qualifie the law,
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 Ave's vehement :
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion
That does affect it. Once more fare you well.
Ang. The heav'ns 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 pow'r I have, but of what itrength 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
[Exeunt. SCENE III, The Street.
Enter Lucio, and two Gentlemen. Lucio. If the Duke, with the other Dukes, come not to compofition with the King of Hungary, why then all the Dukes fall upon the King.
1 Gent. Heav'n grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary's!
2 Gent. Amen!
Lucio. Thou conclud'At like the sanctimonicus pyrate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but Icrap'd one out of the table. 2 Gers, Thou shalt not steal ?
Lucio. Ay, that he raz'd.
1 Gert. 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 after 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 waft where grace was said.
2 Gent. No ? a dozen times at least. I Gent. What? in meeter? Lucio. Not in any profession, or in any language, I think, or in any religion.
2 Gent. And why not? grace is grace, despight of all controverfie.
Lucio. As for example, thou thyself art a wicked villain, despight of all grace.
2 Geni. Well; there went but a pair of Theers between Lucio. I grant ; as there may between the lists and the velvet. Thou art the lift.
2 Gent. And thou the velvet; thou art good velvet ; thou’rt 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 pild, 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 confeffion, learn to begin thy health ; but, whilft I live, forget to drink after thee.
2 Gent. I think I have done myself wrong, have I not? 1 Gens. Yes, that thou haft; whether thou art tainted,
SCEN E IV. Bawd, coming at a distance. Lucio. Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation comes.
i Gent. I have purchas'd as many diseases under her roof, as come to
2 Gent. To what, pray?
i Gent. Judge.
2. Gent. To three thousand dollars * a year.
* A quibble
intended between dollars and dolours.