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Pompey. Mistress Overdone.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband? 211

Pompey. Nine, sir; Overdone by the last. Escal. Nine! Come hither to me, Master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters; they will draw you, Master Froth, and you will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.

Froth. I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room iu a taphouse, but I am drawn in.


Escal. Well: no more of it, Master Froth: farewell. Exit FROTH. Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What's your name, Master tapster?

Pompey. Pompey. Escal. What else? Pompey. Bum, sir.

Escal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you, so that, in the beastliest sense, you are Pompey the Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapster, are you not? come, tell me true: it shall be the better for you.

Pompey. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.

Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?

Pompey. If the law would allow it sir.


Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey ; nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna. Pompey. Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city?

Escal. No, Pompey.

Pompey. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to 't then. If your worship will take order for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: it is but heading and hanging.


Pomper. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give out a commission for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it after three-pence a bay. If you live to see this come to pass, say Pompey told you so.

Escal. Thank you, good Pompey; and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you: I advise you, let me not find you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever; no, not for dwelling where you do: if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you. In plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt. So, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Pompey. I thank your worship for your good counsel; Aside; But I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.

Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade; The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade.

Exit. 270

Escal. Come hither to me, Master Elbow ; come hither, Master constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?

Elb. Seven year and a half, sir.

Escal. I thought, by the readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time. You say, seven years together?

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Prov. God save your honour! Ang. Stay a little while. To ISABELLA. You're welcome what's your will? Isub. I am a woeful suitor to your honour, Please but your honour hear me.

Ang. Well; what's your suit? Isab. There is a vice that most I do abhor, 29 And most desire should meet the blow of justice, For which I would not plead, but that I must For which I must not plead, but that I am At war 'twixt will and will not.

Ang. Well; the matter? Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die: I do beseech you, let it be his fault, And not my brother.

Prov. Aside. Heaven give thee moving graces! Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?


Why, every fault's condemn'd ere it be done.
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To fine the faults whose fine stands in record,
And let go by the actor.
O just but severe law!
I had a brother then. Heaven keep your honour!
Lucio. To ISABELLA. Give 't not o'er so: to
him again, entreat him;

Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown ;
You are too cold; if you should need a pin,
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it.
To him, I say!

Isab. Must he needs die ?

Maiden, no remedy. Isub. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him,


And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.
Ang. I will not do 't.

But can you, if you would? Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do. Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no wrong,

If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse As mine is to him?


He's sentenc'd: 'tis too late.
Lucio. To ISABELLA. You are too cold.
Isab. Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a

May call it back again. Well, believe this,
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does.

If he had been as you, and you as he,


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Isab. To-morrow! O! that's sudden. Spare him, spare him!

He's not prepar'd for death. Even for our kitchens

We kill the fowl of season: shall we serve heaven With less respect than we do minister

To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you:

Who is it that hath died for this offence? 90
There's many have committed it.

Ay, well said.
Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it
hath slept:

Those many had not dar'd to do that evil,
If the first that did the edict infringe
Had answer'd for his deed: now, 'tis awake,
Takes note of what is done, and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils,
Either new, or by remissness new-conceiv'd,
And so in progress to be hatch'd and born,
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, ere they live, to end.
Yet show some pity.
Ang. I show it most of all when I show justice;
For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall,
And do him right, that, answering one foul

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Isab. So you must be the first that gives this sentence,

And he that suffers. O! it is excellent
To have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

Lucio. To ISABELLA. That's well said. 111
Isab. Could great men thunder

As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet, For every pelting, petty officer

Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but thunder.

Merciful heaven!

Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Splitt'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle; but man, proud man,

You would have slipp'd like him; but he, like Drest in a little brief authority,


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Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Lucio. To ISABELLA. O! to him, to him, wench. He will relent: He's coming; I perceive 't.

Prov. Aside.

Pray heaven she win him! Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself: Great men may jest with saints; 'tis wit in them, But in the less foul profanation.


Lucio. To ISABELLA. Thou 'rt in the right, girl more o' that.

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Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary,
And pitch our evils there? O! fie, fie, fie.
What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo ?
Dost thou desire her foully for those things
That make her good? O let her brother live.
Thieves for their robbery have authority
When judges steal themselves. What do I love


With saints dost bait thy hook. Most dangerous
Is that temptation that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet,
With all her double vigour, art and nature,
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite.
Ever till now,
When men were fond, I smil'd and wonder'd how.
Exit. 190

SCENE III.--A Room in a Prison.

Enter DUKE, disguised as a friar, and Provost.
Duke. Hail to you, provost! so I think you are.
Prov. I am the provost. What's your will,
good friar?

Duke. Bound by my charity and my bless'd

I come to visit the afflicted spirits
Here in the prison: do me the common right
To let me see them and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
To them accordingly.

Prov. I would do more than that, if more were


Look, here comes one: a gentlewoman of mine,
Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth,
Hath blister'd her report. She is with child,
And he that got it, sentenc'd; a young man
More fit to do another such offence,
Than die for this.

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There rest.
Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow,
And I am going with instruction to him.
Grace go with you! Benedicite!




Juliet. Must die to-morrow! O! injurious love, That I desire to hear her speak again, That respites me a life, whose very comfort And feast upon her eyes? What is 't I dream on? Is still a dying horror. O cunning enemy! that, to catch a saint,


'Tis pity of him. Excunt.

SCENE IV.-A Room in ANGELO'S House.

Ang. When I would pray and think, I think
and pray

To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words,


Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: heaven in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew his name,
And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
Of my conception. The state, whereon I studied,
Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown scar'd and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein, let no man hear me, I take pride,
Could I with boot change for an idle plume,
Which the air beats for vain. O place! O form!
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood:
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn,
"Tis not the devil's crest.

Stand more for number than for accompt.
How say you?
Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that; for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I. now the voice of the recorded law,
Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life:
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother's life!



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How now, fair maid?

I am come to know your pleasure. Ang. That you might know it, would much better please me

Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot
1sab. Even so.

Heaven keep your honour!
Ang. Yet may he live awhile; and, it may be,
As long as you or I yet he must die.
Isab. Under your sentence?
Ang. Yea.

Isub. When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve,
Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not.

Ang. Ha! fie, these filthy vices! It were as

To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven's

In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easy
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.


Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth

Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem him,
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stain'd?
Sir, believe this,
I had rather give my body than my soul.
Ang. I talk not of your soul. Our compell'd



Ang. Say you so then I shall pose you quickly.

Please you to do 't,
I'll take it as a peril to my soul;
It is no sin at all, but charity.

Ang. Pleas'd you to do 't at peril of your soul,
Were equal poise of sin and charity.


Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it! you granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
To have it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your answer.


Nay, but hear me. Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,

Or seem so craftily; and that's not good.

Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good, But graciously to know I am no better.

Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most

When it doth tax itself; as these black masks so
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, display'd. But mark me;
To be received plain, I'll speak more gross;
Your brother is to die.

Isab. So.

Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears
Accountant to the law upon that pain.
Isab. True.


Ang. Admit no other way to save his life,—
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question,-that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desir'd of such a person,
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-building law; and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body
To this suppos'd, or else to let him suffer;
What would you do?


Isab. As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies,
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I'd yield
My body up to shame.

Then must your brother die.
Isab. And 'twere the cheaper way:
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
Should die for ever.

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Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a

And rather prov'd the sliding of your brother
A merriment than a vice.

Isab. O pardon me, my lord, it oft falls out, To have what we would have, we speak not what

we mean.

I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his advantage that I dearly love.
Ang. We are all frail.


Else let my brother die, That, had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorr'd pollution.

If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

Ang. Nay, women are frail too.

Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view them-

Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women! Help heaven! men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.


I think it well;
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold:
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you 're none;
If you be one, as you are well express'd
By all external warrants, show it now,
By putting on the destin'd livery.

Isb. I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord, 140 Let me entreat you speak the former language. Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.

Isab. My brother did love Juliet; and you tell me

That he shall die for 't.

Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
Isab. I know your virtue hath a license in 't,
Which seems a little fouler than it is,
To pluck on others.

Isab. To whom should I complain? Did I tell

Who would believe me? O perilous mouths!
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof,
Bidding the law make court'sy to their will,
Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite,
To follow as it draws. I'll to my brother:
Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour,


I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for 't:
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretch'd throat I'll tell the world

Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
More than our brother is our chastity.
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.



SCENE I-A Room in the Prison.

Enter DUKE, as a friar, CLAUDIO, and Provost.
Duke. So then you hope of pardon from
Lord Angelo?

Claud. The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope:

I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die. Duke. Be absolute for death; either death or life

Reason thus with

valiant ;

Believe me, on mine honour, For all the accommodations that thou bear'st
My words express my purpose.
Are nurs'd by baseness. Thou art by no means
Isab. Ha! little honour to be much believ'd, 150
And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seem-

For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok'st; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not

By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me to-morrow,
Or, by the affection that now guides me most,
I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your




Shall thereby be the sweeter.

If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep: a breath thouart,
Servile to all the skyey influences,
That do this habitation, where thou keep'st, 1)
Hourly afflict. Merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour st by thy flight to shun,
And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not
noble ;


What man thou art.
Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life,
My vouch against you, and my place i' the state,
Will so your accusation overweigh,
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein:
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite;
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes,
That banish what they sue for; redeem thy The mere effusion of thy proper loins,


For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains 20
That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get,
And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not

For thy complexion shifts to strange effects, After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor; 160 For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,

Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,


Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor
youth nor age,

But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms

Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor

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