Measvre, For Measure


William Shakespeare

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Classic Literature Library

Measvre, For Measure Page 01

Actus primus, Scena prima.

Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords.

Duke. Escalus

Esc. My Lord

Duk. Of Gouernment, the properties to vnfold, Would seeme in me t' affect speech & discourse, Since I am put to know, that your owne Science Exceedes (in that) the lists of all aduice My strength can giue you: Then no more remaines But that, to your sufficiency, as your worth is able, And let them worke: The nature of our People, Our Cities Institutions, and the Termes For Common Iustice, y'are as pregnant in As Art, and practise, hath inriched any That we remember: There is our Commission, From which, we would not haue you warpe; call hither, I say, bid come before vs Angelo: What figure of vs thinke you, he will beare. For you must know, we haue with speciall soule Elected him our absence to supply; Lent him our terror, drest him with our loue, And giuen his Deputation all the Organs Of our owne powre: What thinke you of it? Esc. If any in Vienna be of worth To vndergoe such ample grace, and honour, It is Lord Angelo.

Enter Angelo.

Duk. Looke where he comes

Ang. Alwayes obedient to your Graces will, I come to know your pleasure

Duke. Angelo: There is a kinde of Character in thy life, That to th' obseruer, doth thy history Fully vnfold: Thy selfe, and thy belongings Are not thine owne so proper, as to waste Thy selfe vpon thy vertues; they on thee: Heauen doth with vs, as we, with Torches doe, Not light them for themselues: For if our vertues Did not goe forth of vs, 'twere all alike As if we had them not: Spirits are not finely touch'd, But to fine issues: nor nature neuer lends The smallest scruple of her excellence, But like a thrifty goddesse, she determines Her selfe the glory of a creditour, Both thanks, and vse; but I do bend my speech To one that can my part in him aduertise; Hold therefore Angelo: In our remoue, be thou at full, our selfe: Mortallitie and Mercie in Vienna Liue 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 mettle, Before so noble, and so great a figure Be stamp't vpon it

Duk. No more euasion: We haue with a leauen'd, and prepared choice Proceeded to you; therefore take your honors: Our haste from hence is of so quicke condition, That it prefers it selfe, and leaues vnquestion'd Matters of needfull value: We shall write to you As time, and our concernings shall importune, How it goes with vs, and doe looke to know What doth befall you here. So fare you well: To th' hopefull execution doe I leaue you, Of your Commissions

Ang. Yet giue leaue (my Lord,) That we may bring you something on the way

Duk. My haste may not admit it, Nor neede you (on mine honor) haue to doe With any scruple: your scope is as mine owne, So to inforce, or qualifie the Lawes As to your soule seemes good: Giue me your hand, Ile priuily away: I loue the people, But doe not like to stage me to their eyes: Though it doe well, I doe not rellish well Their lowd applause, and Aues vehement: Nor doe I thinke the man of safe discretion That do's affect it. Once more fare you well

Ang. The heauens giue safety to your purposes

Esc. Lead forth, and bring you backe in happinesse.


Duk. I thanke you, fare you well

Esc. I shall desire you, Sir, to giue me leaue To haue free speech with you; and it concernes me To looke into the bottome of my place: A powre I haue, but of what strength and nature, I am not yet instructed

Ang. 'Tis so with me: Let vs withdraw together, And we may soone our satisfaction haue Touching that point

Esc. Ile wait vpon your honor.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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