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SCENE II.- A Street,
There is a kind of character in thy life,

Enter Lucio and two Gentlemen. That to the observer doth thy history Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings Lucio. If the duke with the other dukes come Are not thine own so proper, as to waste not to composition with the King of Hungary, Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.

why then all the dukes fall upon the king. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, First Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues the King of Hungary's ! Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

Sccond Gent. Amen. As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious touch'd

pirate, that went to sea with the Ten Command. But to fine issues, nor Nature never lends ments, but scraped one out of the table. The smallest scruple of her excellence,

Second Gent. Thou shalt not steal’?
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines Lucio. Ay, that he razed.
Herself the glory of a creditor,

First Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech command the captain and all the rest from their To one that can my part in him advertise ; 41 functions: they put forth to steal. There's not Hold therefore, Angelo :

a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving In our remove be thou at full ourself;

before meat, doth relish the petition well that Mortality and mercy in Vienna

prays for peace. Live in thy tongue and heart. Old Escalus, Second Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Though first in question, is thy secondary.

Lucio. I believe thee, for I think thou never Take thy commission.

wast where grace was said. Ang.

Now, good my lord. Second Gent. No? a dozen times at least. Let there be some more test made of my First Gent. What, in metre? metal,

Lucio. In any proportion or in any language. Before so noble and so great a figure

First Gent, I think, or in any religion. Be stamp'd upon it.

Lucio. Ay, why not? Grace is grace, despite Duke.

No more evasion : 50 of all controversy: as for example, thou thyself We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice art a wicked villain, despite of all grace. Proceeded to you ; therefore take your honours. Pirst G nt. Well, there went but a pair of Our haste from hence is of so quick condition

shears between us. That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd Lucio. I grant ; as there may between the lists Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, and the velvet : thou art the list. As time and our concernings shall importune, First Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good How it goes with us; and do look to know velvet ; thou 'rt a three-piled piece, I warrant What doth befall you here. So, fare you well : thee. I had as lief be a list of an English kersey To the hopeful execution do I leave you

as be piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet. Of your commissions.

Do I speak feelingly now? Ang.

Yet give leave, my lord, co Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with That we may bring you something on the way. most painful feeling of thy speech : I will, out Duke. My haste may not admit it;

of thine own confession, learn to begin thy Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do health ; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after With any scruple : your scope is as mine own, thee. So to enforce or qualify the laws

First Gent. I think I have done myself wrong, As to your soul seems good. Give me your have I not? hand;

Second Gent. Yes, that thou hast, whether I'll privily away: I love the people,

thou art tainted or free. But do not like to stage me to their eyes.

Lucio. Behold, behold, where Madam MitigaThough it do well, I do not relish well

tion comes ! Their loud applause and Aves vehement,

First Gent. I have purchased as many diseases Nor do I think the man of safe discretion

under her roof as come toThat does affect it. Once more, fare you well. Second Gent. To what, I pray ? Ang. The heavens give safety to your pur

Lucio. Judge. poses !

Second Gent. To three thousand dolours a year, Escal. Lead forth and bring you back in happi- First Gent. Ay, and more. ness!

Lucio. A French crown more. Duke. I thank you. Fare you well. Erit. First Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases

Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave in me; but thon art full of error: I am sound. To have free speech with you; and it con- Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy ; but

so sound as things that are hollow: thy bones To look into the bottom of my place:

are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee. A power I have, but of what strength and nature I am not yet instructed.

Enter Mistress OVERDONE. Ang. "lis so with me. Let us withdraw Pirst Gent. How now! which of your hips has together,

the most profound sciatica ? And we may soon our satisfaction bave

Overdone. Well, well; there's one yonder Touching that point.

arrested and carried to prison was worth five Escal. I'll wait upon your honour. thousand of you all.

Excunt. Second Gent. Who's that, I pray thee ?



cerns me






with you.


Orerilone. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior | The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will ; Claudio.

On whom it will not, so: yet still 'tis just. Pirst Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so.

Re-enter Lucio and two Gentlemen. Overdone. Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested, saw him carried away; and, which is Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio! whence comes more, within these three days his head to be this restraint ? chopped off.

Cloud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not liberty : have it so. Art thou sure of this!

As surfeit is the father of much fast, Orer.one. I am too sure of it; and it is for So every scope by the immoderate use getting Madam Julietta with child.

Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue, Lucio

. Believe me, this may be : he promised Like rats that ravin down their proper bane, to meet me two hours since, and he was ever A thirsty evil, and when we drink we die. precise in promise-keeping.

Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an Second Gent. Besides, you know, it draws some arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors. thing near to the speech we had to such a purpose. And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the

First Gent. But most of all agreeing with the foppery of freedom as the morality of imprisonproclamation.

ment. What's thy offence, Claudio ? Lucio. Away! let's go learn the truth of it. Claud. What but to speak of would offend again.

Ereunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Lucio. What, is it murder ? Orerdone. Thus, what with the war, what with Claud. No. the sweat, what with the gallows and what with Lucio. Lechery? poverty, I am custom-shrupk.

Claud. Call it so.

Prov. Away, sir! you must go.

Claud. One word, good friend. Lucio, a word
How now! what's the news with you ?
Pompey. Yonder man is carried to prison. Lucio. A hundred, if they 'll do you any good.
Orerdone. Well: what has he done? 90 | Is lechery so looked after ?
Pompey. A woman.

Claud. Thus stands it with me: upon a true Orerdone. But what's his offence ?

contract Pompey. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. I got possession of Julietta's bed:

Orerdone. What, is there a maid with child You know the lady; she is fast my wife, by him?

Save that we do the annunciation lack Pompey. No, but there's a woman with maid Of outward order : this we came not to, by him. You have not heard of the proclama. Only for procuration of a dower tion, have you?

Remaining in the coffer of her friends, Overlone. What proclamation, man ?

From whom we thought it meet to hide our love Pompey. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna Till time had made them for us. But it chances must be plucked down.

101 The stealth of our most mutual entertainment 16) Orerdone. And what shall become of those in With character too gross is writ on Juliet.

Lucio. With child, perhaps? Pompey. They shall stand for seed: they had Claud.

Unhappily, even so. gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in And the new depnty now for the duke, for them.

Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness, Overdone. But shall all our houses of resort in Or whether that the body public be the suburbs be pulled down ?

A horse whereon the governor doth ride, Pompey. To the ground, mistress.

Who, newly in the seat, that it may know Oteritone. Why, here's a change indeed in the He can command, lets it straight feel the spur ; commonwealth! What shall become of me? w Whether the tyranny be in his place,

Pompey. Come ; fear not you: good counsellors Or in his eminence that fills it up, lack no clients : though you change your place, I stagger in :--but this new governor Fon need not change your trade; I'll be your Awakes me all the enrolled penalties tapster still. Courage! there will be pity taken which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the on you; you that have worn your eyes almost wall out in the service, you will be considered. So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round,

Deerdone. What's to do here, Thomas tapster? And none of them been worn; and, for a name. Let's withdraw.

Now puts the drowsy and neglected act Pompey. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by Freshly on me: 'tis surely for a name. the provost to prison; and there's Madam Juliet. Lucio. I warrant it is : and thy head stands so

Exeunt. tickle on thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she

be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke Enler Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, anal

and appeal to him. Oficers.

Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. Clond. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service : to the world?

12 This day my sister should the cloister enter, Bear me to prison, where I am committed. And there receive her approbation : Pror. I do it not in evil disposition,

Acquaint her with the danger of my state ; Bat from Lord Angelo by special charge. Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends

Claud. Thus can the demi-god Authority To the strict deputy ; bid herself assay him : Make us pay down for our offence by weight. 1 have great hope in that; for in her youth

the city ?


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There is a prone and speechless dialect,
Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous


Like a true friar. More reasons for this action
At our more leisure shall I render you;
Only, this one: Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see,
If power change purpose, what our seemers be.

When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade.

Lucio. I pray she may: as well for the en-
couragement of the like, which else would stand
under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying
of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus
foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours.

Come, officer; away! 200

SCENE III-A Monastery.
Enter DUKE and Friar THOMAS.

Duke. No, holy father; throw away that

Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee
To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose
More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
Of burning youth.

May your grace speak of it?
Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than you
How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd,
And held in idle price to haunt assemblies
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.
I have deliver'd to Lord Angelo,


A man of stricture and firm abstinence,
My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
And he supposes me travell'd to Poland;
For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv'd. Now, pious sir,
You will demand of me why I do this?


It rested in your grace
To unloose this tied-up justice when you pleas'd;
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd
Than in Lord Angelo.


I do fear, too dreadful: Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, "Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them For what I bid them do: for we bid this be done, When evil deeds have their permissive pass And not the punishment. Therefore indeed, my father,

SCENE IV.-A Nunnery.


Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges?
Fran. Are not these large enough?

Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more,
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.
Lucio. Within. Ho! Peace be in this place!
Who's that which calls!
Fran. It is a man's voice. Gentle Isabella,
Turn you the key, and know his business of him:
You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn.
When you have vow'd, you must not speak with



But in the presence of the prioress :
Then, if you speak, you must not show your face,
Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
He calls again: I pray you, answer him.
Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is 't that


Enter LUCIO.
Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-


Fri. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict statutes and most biting

The needful bits and curbs to headstrong steeds,
Which for this fourteen years we have let sleep;
Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave,
That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers,
Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch,
Only to stick it in their children's sight
For terror, not to use, in time the rod
Becomes more mock'd than fear'd; so our decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,
And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart so I would not, though 'tis my familiar sin
Goes all decorum.
With maids to seem the lapwing and to jest,
Tongue far from heart, play with all virgins so :
I hold you as a thing ensky'd and sainted;
By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
And to be talk'd with in sincerity,
As with a saint.

It is truc. 20


Isab. You do blaspheme the good in mocking

Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me
As bring me to the sight of Isabella,

A novice of this place, and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother Claudio?


Isab. Why her unhappy brother'? let me ask,
The rather for I now must make you know
I am that Isabella and his sister.

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly
greets you.

Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Isab. Woe me! for what?

Lucio. For that which, if myself might be his

He should receive his punishment in thanks :
He hath got his friend with child.
Isab. Sir, make me not your story.


Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus:


Your brother and his lover have embrac'd:
As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time
That from the seedness the bare fallow brings

I have on Angelo impos'd the office,


Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

İsab. Some one with child by him? My cousin

Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home, To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb
And yet my nature never in the fight
To do it slander. And to behold his sway,
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
Visit both prince and people: therefore, I prithee,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear me


Lucio. Is she vour cousin?

Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their


By vain though apt affection. Lucio.

Isab. O let him marry her. Lucio.

She it is.

This is the point. The duke is very strangely gone from hence; 50 Bore many gentlemen, myself being one, In hand and hope of action; but we do learn By those that know the very nerves of state, His givings-out were of an infinite distance From his true-meant design. Upon his place, And with full line of his authority, Governs Lord Angelo; a man whose blood Is very snow-broth; one who never feels The wanton stings and motions of the sense, But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge With profits of the mind, study and fast. He, to give fear to use and liberty, Which have for long run by the hideous law, As mice by lions, hath pick'd out an act, Under whose heavy sense your brother's life Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it, And follows close the rigour of the statute, To make him an example. All hope is gone, Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer To soften Angelo; and that's my pith of business Twixt you and your poor brother.

Isab. Doth he so seek his life?

Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me To do him good?

Lucio. Has censur'd him Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath A warrant for his execution.

All their petitions are as freely theirs As they themselves would owe them. Isab. I'll see what I can do.


Lucio. Assay the power you have. Isab. My power, alas! I doubt,Lucio. Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win, By fearing to attempt. Go to Lord Angelo, And let him learn to know, when maidens sue, so Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,

But speedily.


That justice seizes: what know the laws
That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very

Isab. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the Mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
Commend me to my brother; soon at night
I'll send him certain word of my success.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.

Good sir, adieu. Exeunt. 90

Had time coher'd with place or place with wishing,

Or that the resolute acting of your blood Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,


SCENE I-A Hall in ANGELO'S House. Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, a Justice, Provost, Officers, and other Attendants.

Ang. We must not make a scarecrow of the law, Setting it up to fear the birds of prey, And let it keep one shape, till custom make it Their perch and not their terror.

Excal Ay, but yet Let us be keen and rather cut a little, Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas! this gentleman,

Whether you had not, sometime in your life, Err'd in this point which now you censure him, And pull'd the law upon you.

Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, Another thing to fall. I not deny, The jury, passing on the prisoner's life, May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two 20 Guiltier than him they try; what's open made to justice,

The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it
Because we see it; but what we do not see
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death, 30
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.
Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Where is the provost ?
Prov. Here, if it like your honour.
See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning:
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepar'd;
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.
Exit Provost.
Escal. Well, heaven forgive him, and forgive

us all!

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall :
Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none,
And some condemned for a fault alone.


Enter ELBOW, and Officers with FROTH and POMPEY.

Elb. Come, bring them away: if these be good people in a commonweal that do nothing but use their abuses in common houses, I know no law : bring them away.

Ang. How now, sir. what's the matter?

What's your name, and

Elb. If it please your honour, I'm the poor duke's constable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean upon justice, sir; and do bring in here before your good honour two notorious benefactors. 50

Ang. Benefactors! Well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors?

Elb. If it please your honour, I know not well what they are; but precise villains they are, that I am sure of, and void of all profanation in the world that good Christians ought to have.

Escal. This comes off well: here's a wise officer. Ang. Go to: what quality are they of? Elbow is your name? why dost thou not speak, Elbow? Pompey. He cannot, sir: he's out at elbow. co Ang. What are you, sir?

Elb. He, sir! a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that serves a bad woman, whose house, sir, was, as they say, plucked down in the suburbs; and now she professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too.

Whom I would save, had a most noble father.
Let but your honour know,

Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,

That, in the working of your own affections, 10 and your honour,

Escal. How know you that?

Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven







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Escal. How! thy wife?

Ang. This will last ont a night in Russia, Eib. Ay, sir ; whom, I thank heaven, is an When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave, honest woman,

And leave you to the hearing of the cause, Escul. Dost thou detest her therefore ? Hoping you 'll find good cause to whip them all.

Elb. I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well Escal. I think no less. Good morrow to your as she, that this house, if it be not a bawd's house, lordship

Erit ANGELO. it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house. Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's

Escal. How dost thou know that, constable ? wife, once more ?

Elb. Marry, sir, by my wife ; who, if she had Pompey. Once, sir ? there was nothing done been a woman cardinally given, might have been to her once. accused in fornication, adultery, and all un- Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man cleanliness there.

did to my wife. Escal. By the woman's means ?

Pompey. I beseech your honour, ask me. El). Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone's means ; Escal. Well, sir, what did this gentleman to her? but as she spit in his face, so she defied him. Pompey. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentle

Pompey. Sir, if it please your honour, this is man's face. Good Master Froth, look upon bis not so.

honour; 'tis for a good purpose. Doth your Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honour mark liis face? honourable man, prove it.

Escal. Ay, sir, very well. Escal. To ANGELO. Do you hear how he mis- Pompey. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well. places ?

Escal. Well, I do so. Pompey. Sir, she came in great with child, Pompey. Doth your honour see any harm in and longing, saving your honour's reverence, his face? for stewed prunes. Sir, we had but two in the Escal. Why, no. house, which at that very distant time stood, Pompey. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face as it were, in a fruit-dish, a di-h of some three- is the worst thing about him. Good, then ; if pence; your honours have seen such dishes; his face be the worst thing about him, how conld they are not china dishes, but very good dishes. Master Froth do the constable's wife any harm?

Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir. I would know that of your honour.

Pompey. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin ; you are Escal. He's in the right. Constable, what say therein in the right; but to the point. As I say,

you to it? this Mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a and being great-bellied, and longing, as I said, respected house ; next, this is a respected fellow, for prunes, and having but two in the dish, as I and his mistress is a respected woman. said, Master Froth here, this very man, having Pompey. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying respected person than any of us all. for them very honestly ; for, as you know, Master Elb. Varlet, thou liest: thon liest, wicked Froth, I could not give you three-pence again. varlet. The time is yet to come that she was Froth. No, indeed.

ever respected with man, woman, or child. Pompey. Very well : you being then, if you be Pompey. Sir, she was respected with him before remembered, cracking the stones of the foresaid he married with ler. prunes, -

Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice or Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

Iniquity? Is this true ? Pompey. Why, very well: I telling you then, Elb. O thon caitiff! O thou varlet! 0 thou if you be remembered, that such a one and such wicked Hannibal! I respected with her before a one were past cure of the thing you wot of, I was married to her! If ever I was respected unless they kept very good diet, as I told you, - with her, or she with me, let not your worship Froth. All this true.

think me the poor duke's officer. Prove this, Pompey. Why, very well then, -

thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the of battery on thee. purpose. What was done to Elbow's wife, that Escal. If he took you a box o'th' car, you he hath cause to complain of? Come me to might have your action of slander too. what was done to her.

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it. Pompey. Sir, your honour cannot come to that What is 't your worship's pleasure I shall do with yet.

this wicked caitiff ! Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.

Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some Pompey. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your offences in him that thou would'st discover if honour's leave. And, I beseech you, look into thou couldst, let him continue in his courses till Master Froth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound thou knowest what they are. a year, whose father died at Hallowmas. Was 't Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou not at Hallowmas, Master Froth ?

13) seest, thou wicked varlet, now, what's come upon Proth. All-hallownd eve.

thee: thou art to continue now, thou varlet, Pompey. Why, very well: I hope here be truths. thou art to continue. He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir ; Escal. Where were you born, friend ? 'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where indeed you Froth. Here in Vienna, sir. have a delight to sit, have you not ?

Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year ? Proth. I have so, because it is an open room Froth. Yes, an 't please you, sir. and good for winter.

Escal. So. What trade are you of, sir ? Popey. Why, very well then : I hope here Pompey. A tapster ; a poor widow's tapster, be truths.

Escal. Your mistress' name?






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