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A thirsty evil ; and when we drink we die.
Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors : and yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy offence, Claudio ? Claud. What but to speak of would offend again.
140 Lucio. What, is’t murder? Claud. No. Lucio. Lechery ? Claud. Call it so, Prov. Away, sir ! you must go. Claud. One word, good friend. Lucio, a
word with you. Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any
good. Is lechery so look'd after ? Claud. Thus stands it with me : upon a
true contract I got possession of Julietta's bed :
150 You know the lady ; she is fast my wife, Save that we do the denunciation lack Of outward order : this we came not to, Only for propagation of a dower Remaining in the coffer of her friends, From whom we thought it meet to hide our
Lucio. With child, perhaps ?
Unhappily, even so. 160 And the new deputy now for the dukeWhether it be the fault and glimpse of new
ness, Or whether that the body public be A horse whereon the governor doth ride, Who, newly in the seat, that it may know He can command, lets it straight feel the spur; Whether the tyranny be in his place, Or in his eminence that fills it up, I stagger ip :--but this new governor Awakes me all the enrolled penalties 170 Which have, like unscour'd armor, hung by
the wall So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone rouud And none of them been worn; and, for a name, Now puts the drowsy and neglected act Freshly on me : 'tis surely for a name.
Lucio. I warraut it is : and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke and appeal to him. Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found.
180 I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service : This day my sister should the cloister enter And there receive her approbation : Acquaint her with the danger of my state: Implore her, in my voice, that she make
friends To the strict deputy ; bid herself assay him : I have great hope in that ; for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect,
Such as move men; beside, she hath prosper
ous art When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade.
191 Lucio. I pray she may ; as well for the encouragement 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 ticktack. I'll to her.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Come, officer, away!
[Excunt. SCENE III. A monastery. Enter Duke and FRIAR THOMAS. Duke. No, holy father ; throw away that
: ; thought; Believe not that the dribbling dart of love Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire
thee To give me secret harbor, hath a purpose More grave and wrinkled than the aims and
ends Of burning youth.
Fri. T. May your grace speak of it : Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than
you How I have ever loved the life removed And held in idle price to haunt assemblies Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.
10 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 received. Now, pious sir, You will demand of me why I do this ? Fri. T. Gladly, my lord. Duke. We have strict statutes and most
biting laws, The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds,
20 Which for this nineteen years we have let slip; Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey. Nov
as fond fathers, Having bound up the threatening 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 Goes all decorum.
31 Fri. T.
It rested in your grace To unloose this tied-up justice when you
pleased : And it in you more dreadful would have
seem'd Thau in Lord Angelo
I do fear, too dreadful: Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,
greets you: "Twould be mytyranny to strike and gall them Not to be weary with you, he's in prison. For what I bid them do : for we bid this be Isab. Woe me! for what? done,
Lucio. For that which, if myself might be When evil deeds have their permissive pass
his judge, And not the punishment. Therefore indeed, He should receive his punishment in thanks : my father,
He hath got his friend with child.
It is true. 30 home,
I would not-though 'tis my familiar sin fAnd yet my nature never in the fight
With maids to seem the lapwing and to jest, To do in slander. And to behold his sway, Tongue far from heart-play with all virgins I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, Visit both prince and people : therefore, I pri- I hold you as a thing ensky'd and sainted, thee,
By your renouncement au immortal spirit, Supply me with the habit and instruct me And to be talk'd with in sincerity, How I may formally in person bear me
As with a saint. Like a true friar. More reasons for this action Isab. You do blaspheme the good in mockAt our more leisure shall I render you ;
ing me. Only, this one : Lord Angelo is precise ; 50 Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and Stands at a guard with envy ; scarce confesses
truth, 'tis thus : That his blood flows, or that his appetite Your brother and his lover have embraced : Is more to bread than stone : hence shall we As those that feed grow full, as blossoming see,
time If power change purpose, what our seemers be. That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
[Exeunt. To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb
Expressetli his full tilth and husbandry.
Isab. Some one with child by him ? My
cousin Juliet ? Isub. And have you nuns no farther priv
Lucio. Is she your cousin ?
Isab. Adoptedly ; as school-maids change ileges ?
their names Fran. Are not these large enough ? Isab. Yes, truly ; I speak not as desiring
By vain though apt affection. more ;
She it is.
Isab. O, let him marry her. But rather wishing a more strict restraint
This is the point Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint
The duke is very strangely gone from hence ; Clare. Lucio. [Within] Ho! Peace be in this place!
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one, 51 Isab. Who's that which calls ?
In hand and hope of action : but we do learn Fran. It is a man's voice. Gentle Isabella,
By those that know the very nerves of state, Turn you the key, and know his business of
His givings-out were of an infinite distance
And with full line of his authority,
Governs Lord Angelo ; a man whose blood with men
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels But in the presence of the prioress :
The wanton stings and motions of the sense, Then, if you speak, you must not show your
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge 60 face,
With profits of the mind, study and fast. Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
He-to give fear to use and liberty, He calls again ; I pray you, answer him. (E.cit.
Which have for long run by the hideous law, Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that
As mice by lions-hath pick'd out an act, calls ?
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit : he arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigor of the statute, Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be, as those To make him an example. All hope is gone, cheek-roses
Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead To soften Angelo : and that's my pith of bus
70 As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
'Twixt you and your poor brother. A novice of this place and the fair sister
Isab. Doth he so seck his life ? To her unhappy brother Claudio ?
Has censured him Isab. Why her unhappy brother'? let me Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath ask,
A warrant for his execution.
To do him good ?
Lucio. Assay the power you have.
Our doubts are traitors And make as lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt. Go to Lord Angelo, And let him learn to know, when maidens sue, Men give like gods ; but when they weep and
Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Good sir, adieu. 90
ACT II. SCENE I. A hall in Angelo's house. Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, and a Justice, Provost, Officers, and other Attendants, behind. 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. Escal.
Ay, but yet Let us be keen, and rather cut a little, Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas, this gen
tleman, Whom I would save, had a most noble father! Let but your honor kuow, Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue, That, in the working of your own affections, Had time cohered with place or place with wishing,
11 Or that the resolute acting of your blood Could have attain'd the effect of your own
purpose, 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 Guiltier than him they try. What's open made to justice,
21 *That justice seizes : what know the laws That thieves do pass on thieves ? 'Tis very
pregnant, The jewel that we find, we stoop and take't 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
mo, When l that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
Where is the provost ?
See that Claudio Be executed by nine to-morrow morning : Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared ; For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.
[Exit Provost. Escal. [ Aside) Well, heave forgive him !
and forgive us all ! Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall : tSome run from brakes of ice, and answer
none : And some condemned for a fault alone.
40 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 your name? and what's the matter?
Elb. If it please your honor, I am the poor duke's constable, and my name is Elbow : I do lean upon justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good honor two notorious benefactors,
50 Ang. Benefactors? Well ; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors ?
Elb. If it please your honor, 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 ?
60 Pom. He cannot, sir ; he's out at elbow. 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.
Escal. How kuow you that ?
Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honor,
70 Escal. How? thy wife?
Elb. Ay, sir ; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,
Escal. Dost thou detest her therefore ?
Elb. I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as she, that this house, if it be not a bawd's house, it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house.
Escal. How dost thou know that, constable ?
Elb. Marry, sir, by my wife ; who, if she had been a woman cardinally given, might have been accused in fornication. adultery. and all uncleanliness there.
Escal. By the woman's means ?
El5. Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone's means : but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.
Pom. Sir, if it please your honor, this is not so.
Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honorable man ; prove it.
Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces ? 90
Pom. Sir, she came in great with child ; and longing, saving your honor's reverence, for stewed prunes; sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit-dish, a dish of some three-pence; your honors have seen such dishes ; they are not China dishes, but very good dishes,
[sir. Escal. Go to, go to : no inatter for the dish,
Pom. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin ; you are therein in the right : but to the point. As I say, this Mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great-bellied, and longing, as I said, for prunes ; and having but two in the dish, as I said, Master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly ; for, as you know, Master Froth, I could not give you three-pence again.
Froth. No, indeed.
Pom. Very well; you being then, if you be remembered, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes, –
111 Froth. Av, so I did indeed.
Pom. Why, very well ; I telling you then, if you be remembered, that such a one and such a one were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good diet, as I
Froth. All this is true,
Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool : to the purpose. What was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to complain of ? Come me to what was done to her.
Pom. Sir, your honor cannot come to that yet.
Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.
Pom. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honor's leave. And, I beseech you, look into Master Froth here, sir ; a man of fourscore poud a year ; whose father died at Hallowmas : was't not at Hallowmas, Master Froth? Froth. All-ballond ere.
130 Pom. Why, very well; I hope here be truths. He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir ; 'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where indeed you have a delight to sit, have you not?
Froth. I have so ; because it is an open room and good for winter.
Pom. Why, very well, then ; I hope here be truths.
Any. This will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there : l'll take my leave,
And leave you to the hearing of the canse ; Hoping you'll find good cause to whip thém
ali. Escal. I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship.
[Exit Angelo. Now, sir, come on : what was done to Elbow's wife, once more ?
Pom. Once, sir ? there was nothing done to her once.
Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this ma' did to my wife.
l'om. I beseech your honor, ask me. 150
Escal. Well, sir ; what did this gentleman to her ?
Pom. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face. Good Master Froth, look upon his honor ; 'tis for a good purpose. Doth your honor mark his face?
Escal Ay, sir, very well. Pom. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well. Escal. Well, I do so. Pom. Doth your honor see any harm in his face ?
160 Escal. Why, po.
Pom. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him. Good, then ; if his face be the worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the constable's wife any harm? I would know that of your honor.
Ëscal. He's in the right. Constable, what say you to it ?
Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house ; next, this is a respected fellow ; and his mistress is a respected woman.
Pom. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.
Elb. Varlet, thou liest ; thou liest, wicked varlet ! the time has yet to come that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.
Pom. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.
Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice or Iniquity? Is this true ?
181 Elb. O thou caitiff! O thon varlet! O thon wicked Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married to her! If ever I was respected with her, or she with me, let not your worship think me the poor duke's officer. Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll hare mine action of battery on thee.
Escal. If he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your action of slander too. 190
Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it. What is't your worship's pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff ?
Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses till thou knowest what they are.
Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou seest, thou wicked varlet, now, what's come upon thee : thou a to continue now, thou varlet ; thou art to continue.
201 Escal. Where were you born, friend ? Froth. Here in Vienna, sir.
Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a
Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband ?
211 Pom. Nine, sir ; Overdone by the last.
Escal. Nine! Come hither to me, Master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters: they will draw you, Master Froth, and you will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.
Froth. I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room in a tap-house, but I am drawn in.
220 Escal. Well, no more of it, Master Froth : rewell. [Erit Froth.] Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What's your name, Master tapster ?
Escal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you ; so that in the beastliest sense you are Pompey the Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you color it in being a tapster, are you not ? come, tell me true : it sball be the better for you.
Pom. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.
Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey ? is it a lawful trade ?
Pom. If the law would allow it, sir.
Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey ; nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna. 241
Pom. Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city ?
Escal. No, Pompey.
Pom. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't then. If your worship will take order for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.
Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you : it is but heading and hanging.
Pom. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give out a commission for more heads: if this law hold in Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it after three-pence a bay: if you live to see this come to pass, say Pompey told you so.
Escal. Thank you, good Pompey ; and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you : I advise you, let me not find you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever ; no, not for dwelling where you do: if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cusar to you ; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt : so, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.
Pom. I thank your worship for your good
counsel : [Aside] but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine. Whip me ? No, no ; let carman 'whip his jade: The valiant heart is not whipt out of his trade.
[Exit. 270 Escal. Come hither to me, Master Elbow ; come hither, Master constable.
How long have you been in this place of constable ?
Elb. Seven year and a half, sir. Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time. You say, seven years together ?
Elb. And a half, sir.
Escal. Alas, it hath been great pains to you. They do you wrong to put you so oft upon 't : are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it?
Elb. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters : as they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them ; I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all,
Escal. Look you bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish.
Elb. To your worship's house, sir ?
[Erit Elbow. What's o'clock, think you ?
Just. Lord Angelo is severe.
It is but needful :
[Exeunt. 290 SCENE II. Another room in the same.
Enter Provost and a Servant. Serv. He's hearing of a cause ; he will
come straight : I'll tell him of you. Prov. Pray you, do. (Exit Servant.]
I'll know His pleasure ; may be he will relent. Alas, He hath but as offended in a dream ! All sects, all ages smack of this vice ; and he To die for 't!
Enter ANGELO. Ang. Now, what's the matter, provost ? Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to
morrow i Ang. Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thor:
not order? Why dost thou ask again? Prov.
Lest I might be too rash : Under your good correction, I have seen, 10 When, after execution. judgment hath Repented o'er his doon. Ang.
Go to ; let that be mine :