« PreviousContinue »
Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
Yet, give leave, my lord, That we may bring you something on the way. Duke. My haste may not admit it; Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do With any scruple: your scope1 is as mine own; So to enforce, or qualify the laws,
As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand;
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes.
Duke. I thank you: fare you well. [Exit. Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave To have free speech with you; and it concerns me To look into the bottom of my place :
A power I have; but of what strength and nature I am not yet instructed.
Ang. 'Tis so with me:-Let us withdraw together, And we may soon our satisfaction have Touching that point. Escal.
I'll wait upon your honour. [Exeunt. SCENE II-A street. Enter Lucio and two Gentlemen.
Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come
not to composition with the king of Hungary, why, then all the dukes fall upon the king.
1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the king of Hungary's!
2 Gent. Amen.
Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scraped one out of the table.
2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.
1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions; they put forth to steal: there's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well that prays for peace. 2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never wast where grace was said.
2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least.
1 Gent. What? in metre?
Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language. 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion. Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as for example; thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all
1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers between us.2
Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet: thou art the list.
1 Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be pil'd, as thou art pil'd, for à French velvet.3 Do I speak feelingly now?
Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of
(2) A cut of the same cloth. A jest on the loss of hair by the French disease.
thine own confession, learn to begin thy health;
2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art tainted, or free.
Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to
2 Gent. To what, I pray?
2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a year.
Lucio. A French crown! more.
1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me: but thou art full of error; I am sound.
Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound, as things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee. Enter Bawd.
1 Gent. How now? Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
Bawd. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.
1 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?
Bawd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio 1 Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so. Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so: saw him ar-" rested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head's to be chopped off.
Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so: art thou sure of this?
Bawd. I am too sure of it: and it is for getting madam Julietta with child.
Lucio. Believe me, this may be: he promised
to meet me two hours since; and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.
2 Gent. Besides you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose. 1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.
Lucio. Away; let's go learn the truth of it. [Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat; what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's the news with you?
Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison.
Clo. A woman.
Bawd. But what's his offence?
Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him? Clo. No; but there's a woman with maid by him: you have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
Bawd. What proclamation, man?
Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.
Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city?
Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down?
Clo. To the ground, mistress.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
Clo. Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients: though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster still. Courage; there will be pity taken on you: you that
(1) The sweating sickness.
have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.
Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? let's withdraw.
Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison: and there's madam Juliet. [Exe.
SCENE III-The same. Enter Provost, Clandio, Juliet, and Officers; Lucio, and two Gentlemen.
Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight.— The words of heaven;-on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.
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 ravin2 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?
Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again. Lucio. What is it? murder?
Prov. Away, sir; you must go.
(2) Voraciously devour