Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][subsumed][graphic][subsumed]

SCENE I.–An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. I say, bid come before us Angelo.—

(Erit an Attendant. Enler Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants.

What figure of us think you he will bear! Duke. Escalus !

For, you must know, we have with special soul Escal. My lord.

Elected him our absence to supply,
Duke. Of government the properties to unfold, Lent him our terror, drest him with our love,
Would seem in me t' affect speech and discourse ; And given his deputation all the organs
Since I am put to know, that your own science Of our own power. What think you of it ?
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice

Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth
My strength can give you: then, no more remains, To undergo such ample grace and honour,
But that, to your sufficiency, as your worth is able, It is lord Angelo.
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms

Enter Angelo.
For common justice, y' are as pregnant in

Duke. Look, where he comes. As art and practice hath enriched any

Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will, That we remember. There is our commission, I come to know your pleasure. From which we would not have you warp.—Call Duke.

Angelo, hither,

There is a kind of character in thy life,

[merged small][merged small][graphic]

Live in thy tongue and heart. Old Escalus, And we may soon our satisfaction have
Though first in question, is thy secondary :

Touching that point.
Take thy commission.

Escal.

I'll wait upon your honour. Ang. Now, good my lord,

[Exeunt. Let there be some more test made of my metal, Before so noble and so great a figure

SCENE II.-A Street.
Be stamp'd upon it.
Duke. No more evasion :

Enter Lucio, and two Gentlemen.
We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice

Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours. not to composition with the king of Hungary, why Our haste from hence is of so quick condition, then, all the dukes fall upon the king. That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd 1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, king of Hungary's! As time and our concernings shall importune,

2 Gent. Amen. How it goes with us; and do look to know

Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious What doth befall you here. So, fare you well: pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, To the hopeful execution do I leave you

but scraped one out of the table. Of your commissions.

2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal ? Ang. Yet, give leave, my lord,

Lucio. Ay, that he razed. That we may bring you something on the way. 1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command Duke. My haste may not admit it;

the captain and all the rest from their functions: Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do

they put forth to steal. There's not a soldier of us With any scruple : your scope is as mine own, all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish So to enforce, or qualify the laws

the petition well that prays for peace. As to your soul seems good. Give me your 2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. hand.

Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never ['ll privily away: I love the people,

wast where grace was said. But do not like to stage me to their eyes.

2 Gent. No ? a dozen times at least. Though it do well, I do not relish well

1 Gent. What, in metre? Their loud applause, and aves vehement,

Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language. Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,

1 Gent. I think, or in any religion. That does affect it. Once more, fare you well. Lucio. Ay; why not? Grace is grace, despite of

Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes ! | all controversy: as for example; thou thyself art a Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happi- wicked villain, despite of all grace. ness!

1 Genl. Well, there went but a pair of sheers Duke. I thank you. Fare you well. [Erit. || between us.

Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists To have free speech with you; and it concerns me and the velvet: thou art the list. To look into the bottom of my place:

1 Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet: A power I have, but of what strength and nature thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee. I had I am not yet instructed.

as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be pil'd, as Ang. 'Tis so with me. Let us withdraw thou art pild, for a French velvet. Do I speak together,

feelingly now?

Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's painful feeling of thy speech: I will out of thine the news with you? own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.

Enter Clown. 1 Gent. I think, I have done myself wrong, have

Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison. ( not?

Bawd. Well: what has he done? 2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art

Clo. A woman. tainted, or free.

Bawd. But what's his offence ? Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation

Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. comes !

Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him? 1 Gent. I have purchased as many diseases under

Clo. No; but there's a woman with maid by her roof, as come to

him. You have not heard of the proclamation, 2 Gent. To what, I pray ?

have you? Lucio. Judge. 2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a-year.

Bawd. What proclamation, man?

Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must 1 Gent. Ay, and more. Lucio. A French crown more.

be pluck'd down.

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the 2 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me; city? but thou art full of error: I am sound. Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.

Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone so sound as things that are hollow : thy bones are

Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee.

suburbs be pull'd down? Enter Bawd.

Clo. To the ground, mistress. 1 Gent. How now? Which of your hips has the

Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the

commonwealth! What shall become of me? most profound sciatica?

Clo. Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack Bawd. Well, well: there's one yonder arrested,

no clients : though you change your place, you need and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of

not change your trade; I'll be your tapster still. you all.

Courage! there will be pity taken on you; you that 2 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?

have worn your eyes almost out in the service: you Bawd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio; signior Claudio.

will be considered. 1 Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so.

Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster ? Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so: I saw him

Let's withdraw. arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is

Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the proinore, within these three days his head to be chopped vost to prison; and there's madam Juliet. off. Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not

[Exeunt. have it so.

Art thou sure of this?
Bawd. I am too sure of it; and it is for getting

SCENE III.—The Same. madam Julietta with child.

Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, Juliet, and Officers ; Lucio. Believe me, this may be : he promised to

Lucio, and Iwo Gentlemen. meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.

Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to 2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something

th' world? near to the speech we had to such a purpose. Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the pro Prov. I do it not in evil disposition, clamation.

But from lord Angelo by special charge. Lucio. Away: let's go learn the truth of it. Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority,

(Exeunt Lucio, and Gentlemen. Make us pay down for our offence by weight.Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the The words of heaven ;-on whom it will, it will; sweat, what with the gallows, and what with On whom it will not, so : yet still 'tis just.

[graphic]

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? whence comes
this restraint ?
Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio,

liberty;
As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue,

Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,
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 ?

with you.

Claud. What but to speak of would offend again. Acquaint her with the danger of my state ;
Lucio. What is it? murder ?

Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends Claud. No.

To the strict deputy ; bid herself assay him: Lucio. Lechery?

I have great hope in that; for in her youth Claud. Call it so.

There is a prone and speechless dialect, Prov. Away, sir : you must go.

Such as moves men: besides, she hath prosperous Claud. One word, good friend.—Lucio, a word

art,

[Takes him aside. When she will play with reason and discourse, Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. And well she can persuade. Is lechery so look'd after ?

Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encourClaud. Thus stands it with me :-Upon a true agement of the like, which else would stand under contract,

grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, I got possession of Julietta's bed:

who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost You know the lady; she is fast my wife,

at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her. Save that we do the denunciation lack

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio. Of outward order: this we came not to,

Lucio. Within two hours, Only for propagation of a dower

Claud.

Come, officer; away! Remaining in the coffer of her friends,

(Exeunt. From whom we thought it meet to hide our love, Till time had made them for us. But it chances,

SCENE IV.-A Monastery.
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment

Enter Duke, and Friar THOMAS.
With character too gross is writ on Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps ?

Duke. No, holy father; throw away that thought: Claud. Unhappily, even so.

Believe not that the dribbling dart of love And the new deputy now for the duke,–

Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness, To give me secret harbour hath a purpose Or whether that the body public be

More grave and wrinkled, than the aims and ends A horse whereon the governor doth ride,

Of burning youth. Who, newly in the seat, that it may know

Fri.

May your grace speak of it? He can command, lets it straight feel the spur; Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than Whether the tyranny be in his place,

you Or in his eminence that fills it up,

How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd; I stagger in ;--but this new governor

And held in idle price to haunt assemblies, Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,

Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps. Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the I have deliver'd to lord Angelo wall

(A man of stricture, and firm abstinence) So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round, My absolute power and place here in Vienna, And none of them been worn; and, for a name, And he supposes me travell’d to Poland; Now puts the drowsy and neglected act

For so I have strew'd it in the common ear, Freshly on me .—'tis surely, for a name.

And so it is receiv’d. Now, pious sir, Lucio. I warrant, it is ; and thy head stands so You will demand of me, why I do this? tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be Fri. Gladly, my lord. in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting appeal to him.

laws, Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. (The needful bits and curbs to head-strong steeds,) I prythee, Lucio, do me this kind service.

Which for this fourteen years we have let sleep; This day my sister should the cloister enter, Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave, And there receive her approbation:

That goes not out to prey: now, as fond fathers,

[graphic][merged small]

Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch Like a true friar. More reasons for this action, Only to stick it in their children's sight,

At our more leisure shall I render you; For terror, not to use, in time the rod

Only, this one :Lord Angelo is precise ; Becomes more mock'd, than fear'd; so our decrees, Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,

That his blood flows, or that his appetite And liberty plucks justice by the nose ;

more to bread than stone: hence shall we see, The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart If power change purpose, what our seemers be. Goes all decorum.

[Ereunt. Fri.

It rested in your grace
To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd;

SCENE V.-A Nunnery.
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd,
Than in lord Angelo.

Enter ISABELLA, and FRANCISCA.
Duke.
I do fear, too dreadful:

Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges ? Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,

Fran. Are not these large enough? 'Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them Isab. Yes, truly : I speak not as desiring more, For what I bid them do: for we bid this be done, But rather wishing a more strict restraint When evil deeds have their permissive pass, Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of saint Clare. And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my Lucio. [Within.] Ho! Peace be in this place! father,

Isab.

Who's that which calls ? I have on Angelo impos'd the office,

Fran. It is a man's voice. Gentle Isabella, Who may, in th' ambush of my name, strike bome, Turn you the key, and know his business of him: And yet my nature never in the fight,

You
may,

1 may not; you are yet unsworn. To do in slander. And to behold his sway, When you have vow'd, you must not speak with I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,

men, Visit both prince and people : therefore, I pr’ythee, But in the presence of the prioress : Supply me with the habit, and instruct me

Then, if you speak, you must not show your face; How I may formally in person bear

Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.

[graphic][merged small]

He calls again : I pray you, answer him.

[Erit Francisca. Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls ?

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

roses

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

judge,
He should receive his punishment in thanks.
He hath got his friend with child.

Isab. Sir, make me not your story.
Lucio. 'Tis true. I would not, though 'tis my

familiar sin
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

« PreviousContinue »