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Duke. There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings Are not thine own so proper, as to waste Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd
But to fine issues, nor Nature never lends
Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
In our remove be thou at full ourself;
Live in thy tongue and heart. Old Escalus,
Let there be some more test made of my
Before so noble and so great a figure Be stamp'd upon it.
No more evasion:
We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice
As to your soul seems good. Give me your
First 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.
Second Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Lucio. I believe thee, for I think thou never wast where grace was said.
Second Gent. No? a dozen times at least.
Lucio. In any proportion or in any language. First 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 grace.
First G nt. Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.
Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet: thou art the list.
First Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou 'rt a three-piled piece, I warrant thee. I had as lief be a list of an English kersey as be piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?
Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.
First Gent. I think I have done myself wrong, have I not?
Second Gent. Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted or free.
Lucio. Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation comes!
First Gent. I have purchased as many diseases under her roof as come to
Second Gent. To what, I pray?
Second Gent. To three thousand dolours a year. First Gent. Ay, and more.
Lucio. A French crown more.
First 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 Mistress OVERDONE.
First Gent. How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
Overdone. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested and carried to prison was worth five thousand of you all.
Second Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?
Overdone. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior | The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will;
First Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so. Overdone. Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested, saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head to be chopped off.
Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so. Art thou sure of this!
Overdone. 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.
Second Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose. First Gent. But most of all agreeing with the proclamation.
Lucio. Away! let's go learn the truth of it. Exeunt LUCIO and Gentlemen.
Overdone. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk.
Pompey. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. Overdone. What, is there a maid with child by him?
Pompey. No, but there's a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
Overdone. What proclamation, man? Pompey. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down. 101
Overdone. And what shall become of those in the city?
Pompey. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in
Overdone. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?
Pompey. To the ground, mistress. Overdone. Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth! What shall become of me? 11 Pompey. 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 have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.
Overdone. What 's to do here, Thomas tapster? Let's withdraw.
Pompey. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison; and there's Madam Juliet. Exeunt.
Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and
Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty:
As surfeit is the father of much fast,
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 imprisonWhat's thy offence, Claudio?
Claud. What but to speak of would offend again.
I got possession of Julietta's bed:
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Unhappily, even so. And the new deputy now for the duke, Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness, Or whether that the body public be A horse whereon the governor doth ride, Who, newly in the seat, that it may know He can command, lets it straight feel the spur; Whether the tyranny be in his place, Or in his eminence that fills it up, I stagger in:--but this new governor Awakes me all the enrolled penalties Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall
There is a prone and speechless dialect,
When she will play with reason and discourse,
Like a true friar. More reasons for this action At our more leisure shall I render you; Only, this one: Lord Angelo is precise; Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses That his blood flows, or that his appetite Lucio. I pray she may: as well for the en. Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see, couragement of the like, which else would stand | If power change purpose, what our seemers be. under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying Exeunt. of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus SCENE IV.-A Nunnery. foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her. Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio. Lucio. Within two hours.
Come, officer; away! 200
SCENE III-A Monastery.
Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
A man of stricture and firm abstinence,
Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA.
Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more,
Isab. Why her unhappy brother'? let me ask,
Duke. We have strict statutes and most biting The rather for I now must make you know laws,
The needful bits and curbs to headstrong steeds,
I am that Isabella and his sister.
Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly
Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Lucio. For that which, if myself might be his
He should receive his punishment in thanks:
Isab. Sir, make me not your story.
It is truc. so
By vain though apt affection.
Isab. O let him marry her.
She it is.
This is the point. The duke is very strangely gone from hence; 50 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 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 Twixt you and your poor brother.
Isab. Doth he so seek his life? Lucio. Has censur'd 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. 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, so 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 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.
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it
Exit Provost. Escal. Well, heaven forgive him, and forgive us all!
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Enter ELBOW, and Officers with FROTH and
Elb. Come, bring them away: if these be good people in a commonweal that do nothing but use their abuses 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 honour, I'm the poor duke's constable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean upon justice, sir; and do bring in here before Good sir, adieu. Exeunt. 90 your good honour two notorious benefactors. 50
Ang. Benefactors! Well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors?
Elb. If it please your honour, 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? Pompey. He cannot, sir: he's out at elbow. Go 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
That, in the working of your own affections, 10 and your honour,—
Escal. How! thy wife?
Ang. This will last out a night in Russia,
Eib. Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave, 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 Overdone's means; but as she spit in his face, so she defied him. Pompey. Sir, if it please your honour, this is
And leave you to the hearing of the cause, Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all. Escal. I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship. Exit ANGELO. Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
Pompey. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once.
Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.
Pompey. I beseech your honour, ask me. Escal. Well, sir, what did this gentlemanto her? Pompey. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face. Good Master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a good purpose. Doth your
Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honour mark his face? honourable man, prove it.
Escal. To ANGELO. Do you hear how he misplaces?
Pompey. Sir, she came in great with child, and longing, saving your honour'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 threepence; 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. Pompey. 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 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.
Pompey. Very well you being then, if you be remembered, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes,
Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.
Pompey. 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.
Pompey. 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.
Escal. Ay, sir, very well.
Pompey. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Pompey. Doth your honour see any harm in his face?
Escal. Why, no.
Pompey. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the constable's wife any harm? I would know that of your honour.
Escal. He's in the right. Constable, what say you to it?
Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow, and his mistress is a respected woman. Pompey. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.
Elb. Varlet, thou liest: thou liest, wicked varlet. The time is yet to come that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.
Pompey. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.
Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice or Iniquity? Is this true?
Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it. What is 't your worship's pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff?
Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him that thou would'st discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses till thou knowest what they are.
Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou seest, thou wicked varlet, now, what's come upon thee: thou art to continue now, thou varlet, thou art to continue.
Escal. Where were you born, friend?
Escal. So. What trade are you of, sir?