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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.

Duke. Angelo,

There is a kind of character in thy life,
That, to the observer, doth thy history
Fully unfold:

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.

Ang. 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.

Duke. We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours. [ANGELO kneels, and receives his commission.]

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 well:
To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.

Ang. Yet, give leave, my lord,


That we may bring you something on the way.
Duke. My haste may not admit it:

I'll privily away.


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.

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.

[Exit Duke.
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 naturé
I am not yet instructed.

Ang. "T is so with me:-Let us withdraw together, And we may soon our satisfaction have

Touching that point.

Escal. I'll wait upon your honour.

[Exeunt ANGELO, and ESCALUS.


The Garden of a Monastery.

Enter Friar PETER, and the Duke.

Duke. No, holy father; throw away that thought; Believe not that the dribbling dart of love Can pierce a complete bosom: why I desire thee To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends Of burning youth.

Peter. May your grace speak of it?

Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than you How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd;

And held in idle price to haunt assemblies,
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.
I have deliver'd to lord Angelo,

(A man of stricture, and firm abstinence,)
My absolute power and place here in Vienna,

And he supposes me travel'd to Poland;

For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv'd. Now, pious sir,
You will demand of me, why I do this?
Peter. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting laws,

(The needful bits and curbs to headstrong steeds,)
Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep :
Now, as (fond fathers

Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch,
Only to stick it in their children's sight,

For terror, not to use,)—in time the rod
Becomes more mock'd, than fear'd: so our decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;

And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.

Peter. It rested in your grace

To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd: And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd, Than in lord Angelo.

Duke. I do fear, too dreadful:

Sith 't was my fault, to give the people scope,
'T would be my tyranny, to strike and gall them
For what I bid them do: For we bid this be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
And not the punishment. Therefore, my father,
I have on Angelo impos'd the office;

Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home:
And, to behold his sway,

I will, as 't were a brother of your order,

Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr'ythee,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear me
Like a true friar.-More reasons for this action,
At our more leisure, shall I render you;
Only, this one :-Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite

Is more to bread than stone: Hence shall we sce,
If power change purpose, what our seemers be.

[Exeunt the Duke, and Friar PETER.


The Street.


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.

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

Leo. Amen.

Lucio. Thou conclud'st like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scrap'd one out of the table.

Leo. Thou shalt not steal?

Lucio. Ay, that he raz'd.

Fred. Why, 't was 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, doth relish the petition well that prays for peace.

Leo. I never heard any soldier dislike it.

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

Enter Mrs. OVERDONE.

Fred. How now? Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica ?

Over. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carry'd to prison, was worth five thousand of you all. Lucio. Who's that, I pray thee?

Over. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio.
Fred. Claudio to prison! 't is not so.

Over. Nay, but I know, 't is so: I saw him arrested; saw him carry'd away: and, which is more, within these three days his head is to be chopp'd off.

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

Over. I am too sure of it: and, they say, it is for getting madam Julietta with child.

Lucio. Believe me, this may be: he promis'd to meet me two hours since; and he was ever precise in promise-keeping. Away; let's go learn the truth of it.

Exeunt Lucio, LEOPOLD, and FREDERICK. Over. Thus, what with the war, what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. Enter POMPEY.

How now? What's the news with you ?
Pom. Yonder man is carry'd to prison.

Over. What, is there a maid with child by him? Pom. No; but there's a woman with maid by him: You have not heard of the proclamation, have you? Over. What proclamation, man?

Pom. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.

Over. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth!--What's to do here?

Pon. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison.

Over. Let's withdraw.

[Exeunt Mrs. OVERDONE, and POMPEY.

Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, and two Apparitors.

Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?

Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

Prov. I do it not in evil disposition, But from lord Angelo by special charge.

Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight: The words of heaven ;-on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still 't is just.

Enter Lucio, FREDERICK, and LEOPOLD.

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio? whence comes this restraint?

Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty: As surfeit is the father of much fast,

So every scope by the immoderate use

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