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Measure for Measure The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.]

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ACT I. I. 1 Scene I. An apartment in the Duke’s palace. Enter Duke, Escalus, .

Duke. Escalus.

Escal. My lord.

Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,

Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse;

5 Since I am to know that your own science

Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice

My strength can give you: then no more

. . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . as your worth is able,

10 And let them work. The nature of our people,

Our institutions, and the terms

For common justice, you’re as pregnant in

As art and practice hath enriched any

That we remember. There is our commission,

15 From which we would not have you warp. Call hither,

I say, bid come before us Angelo.


What figure of us think you he will bear?

For you must know, we have with special

Elected him our absence to supply;

20 Lent him our terror, dress’d him with our love,

And given his deputation all the organs

Of our own power: think you of it?

Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth

To undergo such ample grace and honour,

It is Lord Angelo.

I. 1.25 Duke.

Look where he comes.


Ang. Always obedient to your Grace’s will,

I come to know .



There is a kind of in thy ,

That to th’ observer doth thy

30 Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings

Are not thine own so proper, as to waste

Thyself upon thy virtues, on thee.

Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,

Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues

35 Did not go forth of us, ’twere

had them not. Spirits are not finely touch’d

But to fine issues; Nature never lends

The smallest scruple of her excellence,

But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines

40 Herself the glory of a creditor,

Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech

To one that can advertise;


In our remove be thou at full ourself;

45 and mercy in Vienna

Live in thy tongue and heart: old Escalus,

Though first in question, is thy secondary.

Take thy commission.


Now, good my lord,

Let there be some more test made of my metal,

I. 1.50 Before so noble and so great a figure

Be stamp’d .



We have with a choice

Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.

Our haste from hence is of so quick condition,

55 That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion’d

Matters of needful value. We shall write ,

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:

60 To the hopeful execution do I leave you

Of .


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

65 With any scruple; your scope is as mine own,

So to enforce or qualify the

As to your soul seems good....