Measure for Measure
Act 1, Scene 1
Vienna. An apartment in the Duke’s palace.
- Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants.
- My lord.
Duke4 - 23
- 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,
- 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 pow’r. What think you of it?
Escalus24 - 26
- If any in Vienna be of worth
- To undergo such ample grace and honor,
- It is Lord Angelo.
- Enter Angelo.
- Look where he comes.
Angelo29 - 30
- Always obedient to your Grace’s will,
- I come to know your pleasure.
Duke31 - 52
- 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, they 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.
Angelo53 - 56
- Now, good my lord,
- Let there be some more test made of my mettle
- Before so noble and so great a figure
- Be stamp’d upon it.
Duke57 - 67
- No more evasion.
- We have with a leaven’d and prepared choice
- Proceeded to you; therefore take your honors.
- 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 th’ hopeful execution do I leave you
- Of your commissions.
Angelo68 - 69
- Yet give leave, my lord,
- That we may bring you something on the way.
Duke70 - 80
- My haste may not admit it,
- Nor need you (on mine honor) 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
- That does affect it. Once more fare you well.
- The heavens give safety to your purposes!
- Lead forth and bring you back in happiness!
- I thank you. Fare you well.
Escalus85 - 89
- 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 pow’r I have, but of what strength and nature
- I am not yet instructed.
Angelo90 - 92
- ’Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,
- And we may soon our satisfaction have
- Touching that point.
- I’ll wait upon your honor.