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VINCENTIO, the Duke.
ANGELO, the Deputy.
ESCALUS, an ancient Lord.
CLAUDIO, a young Gentleman.
LUCIO, a Fantastic.
Two other like Gentlemen.

Two Friars.
A Justice.
ELBOW, a simple Constable.
FROTH, a foolish Gentleman.
ABHORSON, an Executioner.
BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner.

ISABELLA, sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo.
JULIET, beloved of Claudio.

Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other Attendants.

SCENE, Vienna.

This list of characters (with the omission of “a Justice") is appended to the play in the folio of 1623.



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, y' are as pregnant in As art and practice hath enriched any That we remember. There is our commission,

* Since I am put to know,] i. e. I am compelled to know.
? — lists –] Bounds or limits.
$Then no more remains,
But that to your sUFFICIENCY, as your worth is able,

And let them work.] This passage is evidently corrupt, as is shown both by the metre and by the sense. The latter will be cleared by the omission of the preposition “to :"_“then no more remains [to be said), but that your sufficiency, as your worth is able, and let them work.” This change however will only partially cure the defective measure ; and even were we to omit “ that,” as well as “to," the line would not be perfect without reducing “sufficiency” to a trisyllable. It has been thought best, therefore, to leave the text as it stands in the first folio. “Sufficiency” is adequate authority.

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.


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 4.
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 5; 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 6. But I do bend my speech
To one that can my part in him advertise ?:

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THEM on thee.] The old copy reads- _" they on thee.”

to fine issues ;] for high purposes. 6 Both thanks and use.) Use of old signified interest of money.

7 To one that can my part in him advertise ;] i. e. to one, says Malone, who is already informed as to the duties of my office.

Hold, therefore, Angelo 8 :
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

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 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,

Hold, therefore, Angelo :) In all probability, tendering Angelo his commission, as the Duke had previously given a similar document to Escalus. Having stated its import, he places it in the hands of Angelo at the concluding words of the speech,“ Take thy commission.”

you. Fare

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. you


[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, And we may soon our satisfaction have Touching that point. Escal. I'll wait upon your honour.



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.

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

2 Gent. Amen.

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

' 1 Gent. Why?] It may be doubted whether what follows this interrogatory do not belong to Lucio, rather than to the gentleman who is thus made to ask a question and answer it himself. Ritson plausibly suggests that the observation afterwards, “In any proportion, or in any language," belongs to the 2 Gent., and not to Lucio.

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