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There have I made my promise to call on him,
Upon the heavy middle of the night.
Duke. But shall you on your knowledge find

this way?
Isab. I have ta’en a due and wary note upon't;
With whispering and most guilty diligence,
In action all of precept, he did show me
The way twice o'er.

Are there no other tokens Between you 'greed, concerning her observance?

Isab. No, none, but only a repair i' the dark ; And that I have possess'd him, my most stay Can be but brief: for I have made him know, I have a servant comes with me along, That stays’ upon me; whose persuasion is, I come about


brother. Duke.

'Tis well borne up. I have not yet made known to Mariana A word of this:- What, ho! within!' come forth!

Re-enter MARIANA.
I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;
She comes to do you good.

I do desire the like. Duke. Do you persuade yourself that I respect

you? Mari. Good friar, I know you do; and have

found it. Duke. Take then this your companion by the

Who hath a story ready for your ear :
I shall attend your leisure; but make haste;
The vaporous night approaches.

Will't please you walk aside ?

(Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA. 1 Informed.

2 Waits.

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Duke. O place and greatness, millions of false

eyes Are stuck upon thee ! volumes of report Run with these false and most contrarious quests 3 Upon thy doings ! thousand 'scapes 4 of wit Make thee the father of their idle dream, And rack thee in their fancies ! — Welcome! How


Isab. She'll take the enterprize upon her, father,
If you advise it.

It is not my consent,
But my intreaty too.

Little have you to say,
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
Remember now my brother.

Fear me not.
Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all :
He is

husband on a pre-contract :
To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin;
Siths that the justice of your title to him
Doth flourish 6 the deceit. Come, let us go;
Our corn’s to reap, for yet our tithe's7 to sow.




A Room in the Prison.

Enter Provost and Clown. Prov. Come hither, sirrah: Can you cut off a man's head?

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5 Since.

Inquisitions, inquiries.

4 Sallies.
6 Gild, or varnish over.
7 Tilth, land prepared for sowing.

Clo. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can: but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.

Prov. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: Here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves8; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping; for you have been a notorious bawd.

Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruction from


fellow partner: Prov. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?

Enter ABHORSON. Abhor. Do you call, sir?

Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you tomorrow in your execution : 'if you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him: He cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.

Abhor. A bawd, sir ? Fye upon him, he will discredit our mystery. 9

Prov. Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale.

[Exit. Clo. Pray, sir, by your good favour, (for, surely, sir, a good favouri you have, but that you




8 Fetters.

9 Trade.

1 Countenance.

hanging look,) do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery? Abhor. Ay, sir; a mystery.

Clo. Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery; and your whores, sir, being members of my occupation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hang'd, I cannot imagine.

Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery.
Clo. Proof.

Abhor. Every true? man's apparel fits your thief: If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough; if it be too big for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough: so every true man's apparel fits your thief.

Re-enter Provost Prov. Are you agreed ?

Clo. Sir, I will serve him; for I do find, your hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd, he doth oftener ask forgiveness.

Prov. You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe, lo-morrow four o'clock.

Abhor. Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.

Clo. I do desire to learn, sir; and, I hope, if you have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me yare3: for, truly, sir, for yoạr kindness, I owe you a good turn. Prov. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:

[Exeunt Clown and ABHORSON. One has my pity; not a jot the other, Being a murderer, though he were my brother.

2 Honest.

3 Ready.


Enter CLAUDIO. Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death: 'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnar

dine? Claud. As fast lock'd up in sleep, as guiltless

When it lies starkly4 in the traveller's bones:
He will not wake.

Who can do good on him? Well, go, prepare yourself. But hark, what noise?

[Knocking within. Heaven give your spirits comfort! [Exit CLAUDIO.

By and by : I hope it is some pardon, or reprieve, For the most gentle Claudio. Welcome, father.

Enter Duke. Duke. The best and wholesomest spirits of the

night Envelope you, good Provost! Who call'd here of

late Prov. None, since the curfew rung. Duke.

Not Isabel ? Prov. No. Duke. They will then ere't be long, Prov. What comfort is for Claudio ? Duke.

There's some in hope. Prov. It is a bitter deputy:

Duke. Not so, not so; his life is paralleld Even with the stroke and line of his great justice; He doth with holy abstinence subdue That in himself, which he spurs on his power

* Stiffly.


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