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fhall find me yare : for, truly, Sir, for your kindness } owe you a good turn.

[Exit. Prov. Call hither Barnardine, and Claudio : One has my pity ; not a jot the other, Being a murd'rer, tho' he were my brother.

Enter Claudio. Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death ; 'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine?

Claud. As fast lock'd up in sleep, as guiltless labour When it lies ftarkly in the traveller's bones : He'll not awake.

Prov. Who can do good on him? Well, go, prepare yourself. [Exit Claud.] But, hark, what noise ?

[Knock within Heav'n give your spirits comfort !-by and by ;-I hope, it is some pardon, or reprieve, For the most gentle Claudio. Welcome, father,

Enter Duke.
Duke. The best and wholesom't spirits of the night
Invellop you, good Provost! who call'd here of late :

Prov. None, since the curphew rupg.
Duke. Not Ijabel ?
Prov. No.
Duke. They will then, ere't be long.
Prov. What comfort is for Claudio ?
Duke. There is some in hope.
l'rcu. It is a bitter Deputy.

Duke. Not fo, not fo; his life is parallel'd Evin with the stroak and line of his great justice; He doth with holy abftinence subdue That in himself, which he spurs on his pow'r To qualify in others. Were he meal'd books have it, You shall find me y'are.-Very little fagacity might have in tracted them, that the corruption is only in the apostrofbe; and that the Poet's word was yare; i, e. dextrous in the office; a word very frequent in our Author's writings,

With that, which he corrects, then were he tyrannous; But this being so, he's juít. Now are they come.

[Knock again. Provost goes out. This is a gentle Provost; seldom when The steeled goaler is the friend of men, How now? what noise! that spirit's possest with hafte, That wounds th' unrefitting poitern with the strokes.

[Provost returns. Prov. There he must stay, until the officer Arise to let himn in ; he is call'd up.

Duke. Have you no countermand for Claudio yet, But he muit die to-morrow?

Prov. None, Sir, none.

Duke. As near the dawning, Provot, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.

Prov. Happily,
You something know; yet, I believe, there comes
No countermand; no such exanıple have we :
Besides, upon the very fiege of justice,
Lord Angelo hath to the publick ear
Profeft the contrary.

Enter a Messenger.
Duke. This is his Lordship’s man.
Prov. And here comes Claudio's pardon.

Mell. My Lord hath sent you this note, and by me this further charge, that you swerve not from the smalleft article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance. Good morrow; for as I take it, it is almost day. Prov. I shall obey him.

[Exit Mefien Duke. This is his pardon, purchas'd by such sin, For which the pardoner himfelf is in: Hence hath offence his quick celerity, When it is borne in high authority; When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended, That, for the fault's love, is th' offender friended. Now, Sir, what news ? Prov. I told you: Lord Angelo, be-like, thinking me


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remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted putting on; methinks, ftrangely; for he hath not us'd it before. Duke. Pray you, let's hear.

Provost reads the letter. V hatsoever you may bear to the contrary, let Claudio

be executed by four of the clock, and in the afternoon Barnardine: for my better satisfaction, let me bave Claudio's bead sent me by five. Let this be duly performed, with a thought that more depends on it than rue must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your office, as

you will answer it at your peril. What say you to this, Sir?

Duke. What is that Barnardine, who is to be executed in the afternoon?

Prov. A Bohemian born; but here nurst up and bred; one, that is a prisoner nine years old.

Duke. How came it, that the absent Duke had not either deliver'd him to his liberty, or executed him ? I have heard, it was ever his manner to do so.

Prov. His friends ftill wrought reprieves for him, and, indeed, his fact, 'till now in the government of Lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.

Duke. Is it now apparent ?
Prov. Most manifest, and not deny'd by himself.

Duke. Hath he borne himself penitently in prison ! how seems he to be touch'd ?

Prov. A man that apprehends death no more dread fully, but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless of what's past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal.

D. ke. He wants advice.

Prov. He will hear none; he hath evermore had the liberty of the prison : give him leave to escape hence, he would not : drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very oft awak'd him, as if to carry him to execution, and shew'd him

a seeming

a seeming warrant for it; it hath not mov'd him at all.

Duke. More of him anon. There is written in your brow, Provost, honesty and constancy ; if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but in the boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard. Cloudio, whom here you have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo, who hath sentenc'd him. To make you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four days respite ; for the which you are to do me both a present and a dangerous. courtesy.

Prov. Pray, Sir, in what?
Duke. In the delaying death.

Prov, Alack! how may I do it, having the hour limited, and an express command, under penalty, to deliver his head in the view of Angelo? I may make: my cafe as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.

Duke. By the vow of inine order, I warrant you, if my instructions may be your guide : let this Bernerdine be this morning executed, and his head borne to Angelo.

Prov. Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover: the favour.

Duke. Oh, death's a great disguiser, and you may add to it; shave the head, and tie the beard, and say it was the desire of the penitent to be so barb’d before his death; you know the course is common. thing fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good fortune; by the Saint whom. I profess, I will plead: against it with my life.

Prov. Pardon me, good father; it is against my oath.

Duke. Were you sworn to the Duke, or to the De..

If any


Prov. To him, and to his substitutes.

Duke. You will think you have made no offence, if: the Duke avouch the justice of your dealing? Prov. But what likelihood is in that.?.



Duke. Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet fince I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor my pursuasion, can with ease attempt you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you. Look you, Sir, here is the hand and feal of the Dake; you know the character, I doubt not; and the fignet is not strange to you.

Prov. I know thein both.

Duke. The contents of this is the return of the Duke; you thall anon over-read it at your pleasure ; where you shall find, within these two days he will be here. This is a thing, which Angelo knows not; for he this very day receives letters of strange tenor; perchance, of ihe Duke's death ; perchance, of his entering into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of what is writ. Look, the unfolding star calls up the hepherd; put not yourself into amazement how these things mhould be; all difficulties are but easy, when they are known. Call your executioner, and off with Barnardine's head : I will give him a present fhrift, and advise him for a better place. Yet you are amaz'd, but this shall absolutely resolve you. Come away, it is almost clear dawn.

[Exeunt. Enter Clown. Clown. I am as well acquainted here, as I was in our house of profession; one would think it were mistress Over-don's own house ; for here be many of her old cuítomers. First, here's young Mr. Rash; he's in for a commodity of brown pepper and old ginger, ninefcore and seventeen pounds ; of which he made five marks ready money: marry, then, ginger was not much in requeft: for the old women were all dead. Then is there here one Mr. Caper, at the suit of matter Three-Pile the mercer ; for some four suits of peachcolour'd fattin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young Dizzy, and young Mr. Deepvow, and Mr. Copper-spur, and master Starve-Lacky the Fapier and dagger-man, and young Drop-heir that kill'd


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