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Your well-defended honour, you must pardon him, For Mariana's sake : but, as he adjudged your bro
ther, (Being criminal in double violation, Of sacred chastity, and of promise breach,) We do condemn him to the very block Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like
Mari. O, my most gracious lord,
I hope, you will not mock me with a husband.
Duke. It is your husband mock'd you
with a husband : Consenting to the safeguard of your honour. I thought your marriage fit; else imputation, For that he knew you might reproach your life, And choke your good to come : - Away with him;
[Guards advance. His fault thus manifested, The very mercy
of the law cries out Most audible, even from his proper tongue, “ An Angelo for Claudio, death for death.” Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers Jeisure ; Like doth quit like, and “Measure still for Measure.'
Mari. Gentle my liege – [Falls on her knees.
Duke. You do but lose your labour ; Away with him to death.
[Guards draw their swords, advancing. Mari. O, my good lord ! - Sweet Isabel, take my
part: Lend me your knees, and, all my life to come, I'll lend you all my life to do you sérvice.
Duke. Against all sense you do importune her : Should she kneel down, in mercy of this fact, Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break, And take her hence in horror. Mari.
Isabel, Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me: They say, best men are moulded out of faults ; And, for the most, become much more the better
For being a little bad; so may my husband.-
O, Isabel ! - Will
you not lend a knee?
Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
Isa. Most bounteous sir,
Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother lived : I partly think,
A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,
Till he did look on me ; since it is so,
Let him not die : My brother had but justice
In that he did the thing for which he died :
His act did not o'ertake his bad intent;
And must be buried but as an intent,
That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subjects ;
Intents but merely thoughts.
Mari. Merely, my lord.
Duke. Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say:-
I have bethought me of another fault :-
P ost, how came it, Claudio was beheaded
At an unusual hour?
Prov. It was commanded so.
Duke. Had you a special warrant for the deed ?
Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private mes-
Duke. For which I do discharge you of your
office : Give up your keys.
Prov. Pardon me, noble lord :
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not :
Yet did repent me after more advice 3 :
For testimony whereof, one in the prison,
That should by private order else have died,
I have reserved alive.
Duke. What's he ?
Prov. His name is Barnardine,
Duke. I would, thou hadst done so by Claudio. Go, fetch him hither, let me look upon him.
[Exit Provost into the city. Esca. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
As you, lord Angelo, have still appear’d,
į Should slip so grossly, both in heat of blood,
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.
Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart,
That I crave death more willingly than mercy:
'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.
Enter Provost, BARNARDINE, and CLAUDIO,
muffled, from the City.
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
Prov. This, my
Duke. There was a friar told me of this man:
Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul,
That apprehends no further than this world,
And squar’st thy life according. Thou art con-
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
And pray thee, take this mercy to provide
For better times to come: Friar, advise him;
[Exeunt BARNARDINE and Friar PETER,
into the City.
What muffled fellow's that?
Prov. This is another prisoner that I saved,
Who should have died when Claudio lost his head;
As like almost to Claudio, as himself.
Duke. [To IsabelLA.] If he be like your brother,
for his sake
Is he pardon'd. [CLAUDIO discovers himself, -
ISABELLA runs and embraces him.. By this, lord Angelo perceives he's safe ; Methinks I see a quick’ning in his eye:
Well, Angelo, your evil quits + you well :
Look that you love your wife; her worth, worth
I find an apt remission in myself;
And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon ;
You, sirrah, that knew me for a fool, a coward,
One all of luxury, an ass, a madman :-
Wherein have I deserved so of you,
extol me thus ?
Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according
to the tricks: if you will hang me for it, you may ;
but I had rather it would please you, I might be
Duke. Whipp'd first, sir, and hang'd after. -
Proclaim it, provost, round about the city,
If any woman's wrong'd by this lewd fellow,
(As I have heard him swear himself there's one
Whom he begot with child,) let her appear,
And he shall marry her: the nuptial finishid,
Let him be whipp'd and hang'd.
Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a punk! Your highness said, even now, I made you a duke; good my lord, do not recompense me, in making me a cuckold.
Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.---
Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
Remit thy other forfeits :- Take him to prison;
And see our pleasure herein executed.
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
Slandering a prince deserves it.-
[Exeunt Lucio and two Apparitors.
She, Claudio, that you wrong’d, look you restore:
Joy to you, Mariana !- love her, Angelo :-
Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much good-
Thanks, Provost, for thy care and secresy ;
We shall employ thee in a worthier place.
For thee, sweet saint, — if for a brother saved,
From that most holy shrine thou wert devoted to,
Thou deign to spare some portion of thy love
Thy Duke, thy Friar, tempts thee from thy vow :
In its right orb let thy true spirit shine,
Blessing both prince and people : -- thus we'll reign,
Rich in possession of their hearts, and, warn'd
By the abuse of delegated trust,
Engrave this royal maxim on the mind,
To rule ourselves, before we rule mankind. [Exeunt.