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By your renouncement, an immortal spirit,
And to be talk'd with in sincerity,
As with a saint.

Isab. You do blaspheme the good in mocking me.
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
To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb
Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.
Isab. Some one with child by him ?-My cousin

Lucio. Is she your cousin ?

Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their
By vain, though apt, affection.

She it is.
Isab. O! let him marry her.

This is the point.
The duke is very strangely gone from hence,
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 giving out was 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

your poor brother. Isab.

Doth he so
Seek his life?

Lucio. Hath censur'd him already;
And, as I hear, the provost hath a warrant
For his execution.

Alas! what poor
Ability's in me to do him good ?

Lucio. Assay the power you have.

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,
Men give like gods; but when they weep and

All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would owe them.

Isab. I'll see what I can do.

But speedily.
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.




SCENE 1.-A Hall in Angelo's House. Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,

And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die. Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, a Justice, Officers, and

Escal. Be it as your wisdom will. other Attendants.


Where is the provost ? Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the

Enter Provost. law, Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,

Prov. Here, if it like your honour. And let it keep one shape, till custom make it


See that Claudio Their perch, and not their terror.

Be executed by nine to-morrow morning. Escal.

Ay, but yet Bring him his confessor, let him be prepar'd, Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,

For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage. Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas! this gentle

[Exit Provost. man,

Escal. Well, heaven forgive him, and forgive us Whom I would save, had a most noble father.

all ! Let but your honour know,

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall: (Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,) Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none, That, in the working of your own affections, And some condemned for a fault alone. Had time coher'd with place, or place with wishing, Or that the resolute acting of your blood

Enter Elbow, FROTH, Clown, Officers, etc. Could have attain'd th' effect of your own purpose, Elb. Come, bring them away. If these be good Whether you had not, sometime in your life, people in a common-weal, that do nothing but use Err'd in this point, which now you censure him, their abuses in common houses, I know no law: And pull'd the law upon you.

bring them away. Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, Ang. How now, sir! What's your name, and Another thing to fall. I not deny,

what's the matter? The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,

Elb. If it please your honour, I am the poor May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two duke's constable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean Guiltier than him they try: what's open made to upon justice, sir; and do bring in here before your justice,

good honour two notorious benefactors. That justice seizes : what know the laws,

Ang. Benefactors! Well; what benefactors are That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very pregnant, they ? are they not malefactors ? The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it, Èlb. If it please your honour, I know not well Because we see it; but what we do not see

what they are; but precise villains they are, that I We tread upon, and never think of it.

am sure of, and void of all profanation in the world, You may not so extenuate his offence,

that good Christians ought to have. For I have had such faults; but rather tell me, Escal. This comes off well: here's a wise When I, that censure him, do so offend,


Ang. Go to: what quality are they of? Elbow is your name : why dost thou not speak. Elbow?

Clo. 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, pluck'd down in the suburbs; and now she professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too.

Escal. How know you that?

Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,-

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?

Elb. Ay, sir, by mistress Over-done's means; but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.

Clo. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.

Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable man; prove it.

Escal. [TO ANGELO.) Do you hear how he misplaces ?

Clo. Sir, she came in great with child, and longing (saving your honour's reverence) for stew'd prunes : sir, we had but two in the bouse, which at that very distant time stood, as it were, in a fruitdish, a dish of some three-pence: your honours have seen such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very good dishes.

Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.

Clo. 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 belly'd, 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.

Clo. Very well: you being then, if you be remember'd, cracking the stones of the aforesaid prunes.

Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

Clo. Why, very well: I telling you then, if you be remember'd, 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 told you.

Froth. All this is true.
Clo. Why, very well then.

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.

Clo. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.

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Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.

Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it.—Thou Clo. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honour's seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon leave. And, I beseech you, look into master Froth thee: thou art to continue; now, thou varlet, thou here, sir ; a man of fourscore pound a year, whose art to continue. father died at Hallowmas.-Was't not at Hallow Escal. Where were you born, friend ? mas, master Froth ?

Froth. Here in Vienna, sir. Froth. All-hallownd eve.

Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year? Clo. Why, very well: I hope here be truths. Froth. Yes, an't please you, sir. He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir ; Escal. So.- What trade are you of, sir ? 'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you Clo. A tapster; a poor widow's tapster. have a delight to sit, have you not ?

Escal. Your mistress' name? Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, and Clo. Mistress Over-done. good for winter.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband ? Clo. Why, very well then: I hope here be truths. Clo. Nine, sir; Over-done by the last. Ang. This will last out a night in Russia,

Escal. Nine!-Come hither to me, master Froth. When nights are longest there. I'll take my leave, Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted And leave you to the hearing of the cause,

with tapsters; they will draw you, master Froth, Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all. and you will hang them: get you gone, and let me Èscal. I think no less. Good morrow to your

hear no more of you. lordship.

[Erit AngeLO. Froth. I thank your worship. For mine own Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, || part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but once more?

I am drawn in. Clo. Once, sir ? there was nothing done to her Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: fare

well.– [Exit FROTH.]-Come you hither to me, Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man master tapster. What's your name, master tapdid to my wife.

ster? Clo. I beseech your honour, ask me.

Clo. Pompey. Escal. Well, sir, what did this gentleman to her? Escal. What else?

Clo. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's Clo. Bum, sir. face.—Good master Froth, look upon his honour; Escal. 'Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing 'tis for a good purpose. Doth your honour mark about you; so that, in the beastliest sense, you are his face?

Pompey the great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Escal. Ay, sir, very well.

Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapster. Clo. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.

Are you not? come, tell me true: it shall be the Escal. Well, I do so.

better for you. Clo. Doth your honour see any harm in his face? Clo. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would Escal. Why, no.

live. Clo. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being worst thing about him. Good then; if his face be a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? the worst thing about him, how could master Froth is it a lawful trade? do the constable's wife any harm? I would know Clo. If the law would allow it, sir. that of your honour.

Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey; Escal. He's in the right. Constable, what say nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna.

Clo. Does your worship mean to geld and spay Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected all the youth of the city ? house; next, this is a respected fellow, and his Escal. No, Pompey. mistress is a respected woman.

Clo. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't Clo. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected then. If your worship will take order for the drabs person than any of us all.

and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds. Elb. Varlet, thou liest: thou liest, wicked varlet. Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can The time is yet to come that she was ever respected tell you: it is but heading and hanging. with man, woman, or child.

Clo. If you head and hang all that offend that Clo. Sir, she was respected with him, before he way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give married with her.

out a commission for more heads. If this law hold Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice, or in Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it Iniquity ?-Is this true ?

after three pence a bay. If you live to see this Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou come to pass, say, Pompey told you so. wicked Hannibal! I respected with her, before I Escal. Thank you, good Pompey; and, in requital was married to her ?-If ever I was respected with of your prophecy, hark you :-I advise you, let me her, or she with me, let not your worship think me not find you before me again upon any complaint the poor duke's officer.-Prove this, thou wicked whatsoever; no, not for dwelling where you do: if Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee. I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and

Escal. If he took you a box o'th' ear, you might prove a shrewd Cæsar to you. In plain dealing, have your action of slander too.

Pompey, I shall have you whipt. So, for this time, Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it. | Pompey, fare you well. What is’t your worship’s pleasure I shall do with Clo. I thank your worship for your good counsel, this wicked caitiff!

but I shall follow it, as the flesh and fortune shall Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offen better determine. ces in him, that thou wouldst discover if thou Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade; couldst, let him continue in his courses, till thou The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade. know'st what they are.


you to it ?

Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come Escal. Look you bring me in the names of some hither, master constable. How long have you been six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish. in this place of constable ?

Elb. To your worship’s house, sir ? Elb. Seven year and a half, sir.

Escal. To my house. Fare you well. (Exit Ele. Escal. I thought, by the readiness in the office, What's o'clock, think you ? you had continued in it some time. You say, seven Just. Eleven, sir. years together?

Escal. I pray you home to dinner with me. Elb. And a half, sir.

Just. I humbly thank you. Escal. Alas! it hath been great pains to you. Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio; They do you wrong to put you so oft upon't. But there's no remedy. Are there not men in your ward sufficient to Just. Lord Angelo is severe. serve it?


It is but needful: Elb. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters. | Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so ; As they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for Pardon is still the nurse of second woe. them: I do it for some piece of money, and go But yet, poor Claudio !—There is no remedy. through with all.

Come, sir.


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