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Isab. Some one with child by him ?--My cousin

Juliet? Lucio. Is she your cousin ? Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their

names,
By vain though apt affection.
Lucio.

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

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 givings out were 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 picked out an act,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigor 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 'twixt you and your poor brother.

Isab. Doth he so seek his life?
Lucio.

Has censured 2 him
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
A warrant for his execution.

Isab. Alas! What poor ability's in me
To do him good ?
Lucio. .

Assay the power you have.

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

Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio.

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.
Isab.

Good sir, adieu.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

SCENE I. A Hall in Angelo's House.

Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, a Justice, Provost, Officers,

and other Attendants.

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 gentleman, Whom I would save, had a most noble father. Let but your honor know,?

1 To owe is to have, to possess.

2 i. e. to examine.

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Enter Elbow, FROTH, Clown, Officers, &c. Elb. Come, bring them away; if these be good people in a commonweal, that do nothing but use their abuse 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.

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?

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, plucked 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 honor,

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.

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1 i. e. keeps a bagnio.

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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 honor, this is not so.

Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honorable man; prove it. Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces ?

[TO ANGELO. Clo. 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.

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 bellied, and longing, as I said, for prunes; and having but two in a 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 remembered, cracking the stones of the aforesaid prunes.

Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

Clo. 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 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

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