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VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna.
ANGLLO, Lord-deputy in the Duke's absence,
ESCALUS, an ancient Lord, joint Deputy with Angelo,
CLAUDI0, a young Gentleman,
Lucio, a Fantastick.
VARRIUS, & Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.
EL BOW, a fimple Constable.
FROTH, a foolish Gentleman.
Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over-don,
ABHORSON, an Executioner.
BARNARDINI, a difolute Prisoner,
ISABELLA, Sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, betrotbed to Angelo.
Juliet, beloved of Claudio.
FRANCISCA, a Nun.
Mistress OVER-DON, a Bawd.
Guards, Officers, and other Attendants,
The Story, is taken from Cinthio's Novels, Deca 8. Nov. So
ACT I. SCEN E I.
Enter Duke, Efcalus, and Lords. Duke:
Escal. My lord.
Duke. Of Government the properties
Would seem in me t' affect speech and
discourse, Since I am not to know, that your own science Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice My ftrength can give you: then no more remains, But that to your fufficiency 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 kither,
[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 foul Elected him our absence to supply;, Lent him our terror, dreft him with our love; And giv'n his deputation all the organs Of our own power : say, what think you of it ? Efcal. If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is lord Angelo.
SCENE II. 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 touchd,
But to fine issues ; nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddefs, 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 commilion.
In our remove, be thou at full our self.
Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Live in thy tongue and heart : old Escalus,
Though firft 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 stampt 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 hafte from hence is of so quick condition,
That it prefers it self, and leaves unquestion'd
Matters of needful value. We shall write,
As time and our concernings thall importune, • How it goes with us, and do look to know