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Lucio. Some say, he is with the emperor of Russia; other some, he is in Rome: But where is he, think


Duke. I know not where: But wheresoever, I wish him well.

Lucio. It was a mad fantastical trick of him, to steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence; he puts transgression to 't.

Duke. He does well in't.

Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him: something too crabbed that way, friar.

Duke. It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.

Lucio. Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred; it is well ally'd: but it is impossible to extirp it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put down. They say, this Angelo was not made by man and woman, after the downright way of creation: Is it true, think you?

Duke. How should he be made then ?

Lucio. Some report a sea-maid spawn’d him :Some that he was begot between two stock-fishes : -But it is certain, that when he makes water, his urine is congeald ice; that I know to be true: and he is a motion 12 ungenerative, that's infallible.

Duke. You are pleasant, sir; and speak apace.

Lucio. Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a cod-piece, to take away the life of a man? Would the duke, that is absent, have done this? Ere he would have hang’d a man for the getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing of a thousand: He had some feeling of

12 i. e. a puppet, or moving body, without the power of gene


the sport; he knew the service, and that instructed

him to mercy

can let

Duke. I never heard the absent duke much detected 13 for women; he was not inclined that way.

Lucio. O, sir, you are deceived.
Duke. "Tis not possible.

Lucio. Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty ;-and his use was, to put a ducat in her clackdish 14: the duke had crotchets in him: He would be drunk too; that let me inform you.

Duke. You do him wrong, surely.

Lucio. Sir, I was an inward 15 of his: A shy fellow was the duke: and, I believe, I know the cause of his withdrawing.

Duke. What, I pr’ythee, might be the cause ?

Lucio. No,-pardon ;- 'tis a secret must be lock'd within the teeth and the lips : but this I you understand,—The greater file 16 of the subject held the duke to be wise.

Duke. Wise? why, no question but he was.

Lucio. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing 17 fellow.

Duke. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking; the very stream of his life, and the business he hath helmed 18, must, upon a warranted need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but 13 Detected for suspected. See Merry Wives of Windsor, p. 254.

A wooden dish with a moveable cover, formerly carried by beggars, which they clacked and clattered to show that it was empty. In this they received the alms. It was one mode of attracting attention. Lepers and other paupers deemed infectious, originally used it, that the sound might give warning not to approach too near, and alms be given without touching the object. The custom of clacking at Easter is not yet quite disused in some counties. Lucio's meaning is too evident, to want explanation.

15 i. e. intimate. 16 • The greater file, the majority of his subjects. 17 i. e. inconsiderate. 18 Guided, steered through, a metaphor from navigation,


testimonied in his own bringings forth, and he shall appear to the envious, a scholar, a statesman, and a soldier: Therefore, you speak unskilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much darkened in your malice.

Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him.

Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.

Lucio. Come, sir, I know what I know.

Duke. I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak. But, if ever the duke return (as our prayers are he may), let me desire you to make your answer before him: If it be honest you have spoke, you have courage to maintain it: I am bound to call upon you; and, I pray you, your name?

Lucio. Sir, my name is Lucio; well known to the duke.

Duke. He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you. Lucio. I fear


not. Duke. 0, you hope the duke will return no more; or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite 19. But, indeed, I can do you little harm; you'll forswear this again.

Lucio. I'll be hang’d first: thou art deceived in me, friar. But no more of this: Canst thou tell if Claudio die to-morrow, or no?

Duke. Why should he die, sir?

Lucio. Why? for filling a bottle with a tun-dish. I would, the duke, we talk of, were return’d again : this ungenitur'd 20 agent will unpeople the province

19 Opposite, opponent.

20 Ungenitur’d. This word seems to be formed from genitoirs, a word which occurs several times in Holland's Pliny, vol. ii. p. 321, 560, 589, and comes from the French genitoires.


with continency; sparrows must not build in his house-eaves, because they are lecherous. The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light: would he were return’d! Marry, this Claudio is condemn’d for untrussing. Farewell, good friar; I pr’ythee, pray for

The duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton 21 on Fridays. He's now past it; yet, and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt22 brown bread and garlick: say, that I said Farewell.

[Exit. Duke. No might nor greatness in mortality Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny The whitest virtue strikes : What king so strong, Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue? But who comes here?


Enter ESCALUS, Provost, Bawd, and Officers.
Escal. Go, away with her to prison.
Baud. Good my lord, be good to me; your

honour is accounted a merciful man: good my lord.

Escal. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit 23 in the same kind? This would make mercy swear, and play the tyrant.

Prov. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may it please your honour.

Bawd. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me: mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the duke's time, he promised her marriage; his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me.

21 A wench was called a laced mutton. In Doctor Faustus, 1604, Lechery says, “I am one that loves an inch of raw mutton better than an ell of stock-fish. See vol. i. p. 102, note 8.

22 Smelt, for smelt of.
23 Forfeit, transgress, offend, from forfaire. Fr.

Escal. That fellow is a fellow of much licence:let him be called before us.-Away with her to prison: Go to; no more words. [Exeunt Bawd and Officers.] Provost, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd, Claudio must die 'to-morrow: let him be furnished with divines, and have all charitable

preparation: if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.

Prov. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advised him for the entertainment of death.

Escal. Good even, good father.
Duke. Bliss and goodness on you!
Escal. Of whence are you?
Duke. Not of this country, though my chance is

now To use it for


I am a brother
Of gracious order, late come from the see,
In special business from his holiness.

Escal. What news abroad i' the world?

Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in


kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies secure; but security enough, to make fellowships accurs'd 24: much upon

this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke?

Escał. One, that, above all other strifes, contended especially to know himself.

Duke. What pleasure was he given to?
Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than

24 The allusion is to those legal securities into which fellowship leads men to enter for each other. For this quibble Shakspeare has high authority, *He that hateth suretiship is sure.' xi. 15.


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