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In a disguise of love:
It is the lesser blot modesty finds,
Women to change their shapes, than men their minds.
Pro. Than men their minds! 'tis true: O heaven! were man
But constant, he were perfect: that one error
Fills him with faults ; makes him run through all sins :
Inconstancy falls off, ere it begins:
What is in Silvia's face, but I may spy
More fresh in Julia's with a constant eye?
Val. Come, come, a hand from either:
Let me be blest to make this happy close;
'Twere pity two such friends should be long foes.
Pro. Bear witness, heaven, I have my wish for ever.
Jul. And I have mine.
Enter OUTLAWS, with DUKE and THURIO.
Out. A prize, a prize, a prize!
Val. Forbear, I say; it is my lord the duke.
Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced,
Duke. Sir Valentine !
Thu. Yonder is Silvia ; and Silvia's mine.
Val. Thurio give back, or else embrace thy death;
Come not within the measure* of my wrath:
Do not name Silvia thine; if once again,
Milan shall not behold thee. Here she stands,
Take but possession of her with a touch ;-
I dare thee but to breathe upon my love.-
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I;
I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
His body for a girl that loves him not:
I claim her not, and therefore she is thine.
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou,
To make such meanst for her as thou hast done,
And leave her on such slight conditions.-
Now, by the honour of my ancestry,
I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
And think thee worthy of an empress' love.
Know then, I here forget all former griefs,
Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again.-
Plead a new state in thy unrivall’d merit,
To which I thus subscribe, -Sir Valentine,
Thou art a gentleman, and well derived;
Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her.
Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me happy
I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake,
To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.
Duke. I grant it, for thine own, whate'er it be.
Val. These banish'd men, that I have kept withal,
Are men endued with worthy qualities;
Forgive them what they have committed here,
And let them be recall’d from their exile:
They are reform'd, civil, full of good,
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
Duke. Thou hast prevaild: I pardon them and thee;
Dispose of them, as thou know'st their deserts.
Come, let us go; we will include* all jars
With triumphs,ť mirth, and rare solemnity:
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold.
With our discourse to make your grace to smile:
What think you of this page, my lord ?
Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he blushes.
Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than boy.
Duke. What mean you by that saying?
Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass along,
That you will wonder what hath fortuned.-
Come, Proteus; 'tis your penance but to hear
The story of your loves discover'd :
That done, our day of marriage shall be yours;
One feast, one house, one mutual happiness.
PERSONS REPRESENTED. VINCENTIO, Duke of Vienna. ELBOW, a simple Constable. ANGELO, Lord Deputy in the FROTH, a foolish Gentleman, Duke's absence.
CLOWN, Servant to Mrs. Over done. ESCALUS, an ancient Lord joined ABHORSON, an Executioner.
with Angelo in the deputation. BARNARDINE, a dissolute Prisoner. CLAUDIO, a young Gentleman. LUCIO, a Fantastic.
ISABELLA, Sister to Claudio. Two OTHER LIKE GENTLEMEN. MARTANA, betrothed to Angelo. VARRIUS, a Gentleman, Servant to JULIET, beloved by Claudia. the Duke.
FRANCISCA, a Nun. PROVOST.
MRS. OVER-DONE, a Bawd.
LORDS, GENTLEMEN, GUARDS, OF. A JUSTICE.
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 pregnantt 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.-
[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, dress'd 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,t as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.
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 : 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.
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. 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.
+ So much thy own proper # For high purposes.
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 avest vehement;
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
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: Fare you well.
Escal. I shall desire you, Šir, 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.
[Exeunt. SCENE II.-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 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.
2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it.
Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never wast where grace was said.
2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least. 1 Gent. What? in metre? Lucio. In any proportion, I or in any language. 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion. Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite of all contro* Extent of power.