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Isb. My business is a word or two with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome. Look, signior;

here's your sister. Duke. Provost, a word with you. Prov. As many as you please. 5) Duke. Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be conceal'd.

Exeunt DUKE and Provost.
Claud. Now, sister, what's the comfort?
Isab. Why, as all comforts are; most good,
most good, indeed.

Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
Intends you for his swift ambassador,
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
Therefore your best appointment make with

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Perpetual durance? Isab. Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint, Though all the world's vastidity you had, To a determin'd scope.

Claud. But in what nature? Isab. In such a one as, you consenting to 't, Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, And leave you naked.


Let me know the point. 70 Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, Lest thou a feverous life should'st entertain, And six or seven winters more respect Than a perpetual honour. Dar'st thou die? The sense of death is most in apprehension, And the poor beetle, that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant dies.

Claud. Why give you me this shame? Think you I can a resolution fetch From flowery tenderness? If I must die, I will encounter darkness as a bride, And hug it in mine arms.


Isab. There spake my brother: there my father's grave

Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die: Thou art too noble to conserve a life

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Claud. If it were damnable, he being so wise, Why would he for the momentary trick Be perdurably fin'd? O Isabel ! Isab. What says my brother? Claud.

Death is a fearful thing. Isab. And shamed life a hateful. Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where ;


To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
Of those that lawless and incertain thoughts
Imagine howling: 'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
Isab. Alas! alas!
Sweet sister, let me live. 130
What sin you do to save a brother's life,
Nature dispenses with the deed so far
That it becomes a virtue.

O you beast!
O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
Is 't not a kind of incest, to take life

From thine own sister's shame? What should I think?

Heaven shield my mother play'd my father fair;
For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take my defiance:
Die, perish! Might but my bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed.
I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,

In base appliances. This outward sainted No word to save thee. deputy,

Whose settled visage and deliberate word

Nips youth i' the head, and follies doth emmew

Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel. Isab.


O! fie, fie, fie.

Thy sin 's not accidental, but a trade.

Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
'Tis best that thou diest quickly.

O hear me, Isabella!
Re-enter DUKE.

Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick, the great soldier who mis. carried at sea?

Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good

Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one words went with her name. word.

Isab. What is your will?


Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you the satisfaction I would require is likewise your own benefit.

Isab. I have no superfluous leisure: my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile.


Duke. Aside to CLAUDIO. Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an assay of her virtue to practise his judgment with the disposition of natures. She, having the truth of honour in her, hath made him that gracious denial which he is most glad to receive: I am confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to death. Do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible: to-morrow you must die. Go to your knees and make ready. 170 Claud. Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love with life that I will sue to be rid of it. Duke. Hold you there: farewell.

Re-enter Provost,

Provost, a word with you.


Prov. What's your will, father? Duke. That now you are come, you will be gone. Leave me awhile with the maid: my mind promises with my habit no loss shall touch her by my company.

Prov. In good time.

Exit. 180 Duke. The hand that hath made you fair hath made you good: the goodness that is cheap in beauty makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo hath made to you, fortune hath conveyed to my understanding; and, but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How will you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother? 190

Isab. I am now going to resolve him. I had rather my brother die by the law than my son should be unlawfully born. But O! how much is the good duke deceived in Angelo. If ever he return and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government.

Duke. That shall not be much amiss; yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation: he made trial of you only. Therefore, fasten your ear on my advisings: to the love I have in doing good a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit, redeem your brother from the angry law, do no stain to your own gracious person, and much please the absent duke, if peradventure he shall ever return to have hearing of this business.

Isab. Let me hear you speak further. I have spirit to do any thing that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.


Duke. She should this Angelo have married; was affianced to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea, having in that perished vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark how heavily this befell to the poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most kind and natural; with him the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage dowry; with both, her combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo.


Isab. Can this be so? Did Angelo so leave her? Duke. Left her in her tears, and dried not one of them with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dis. honour: in few, bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet wears for his sake, and he, a marble to her tears, is washed with them, but relents not.

Isab. What a merit were it in death to take this poor maid from the world! What corrup tion in this life, that it will let this man live! But how out of this can she avail?


Duke. It is a rupture that you may easily heal; and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps you from dishonour in doing it.

Isab. Show me how, good father.

Duke. This forenamed maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection: his unjust unkindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current, made it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo: answer his requiring with a plausible obedience: agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage, first, that your stay with him may not be long, that the time may have all shadow and silence in it, and the place answer to convenience. This being granted in course, and now follows all, we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompense; and here by this is your brother saved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. The maid will I frame and make fit for his attempt. If you think well to carry this, as you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof. What think you of it?

Isab. The image of it gives me content already, and, I trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.


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SCENE II.-The Street before the Prison. Enter DUKE, as a friar; to him ELBOW, POMPEY, and Officers.

Elb. Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.

Duke. O heavens! what stuff is here? Pompey. 'Twas never merry world, since, of two usuries, the merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by order of law a furred gown to keep him warm; and furred with fox and lamb. skins too, to signify that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.


Elb. Come your way, sir. Bless you, good

father friar.

Duke. And you, good brother father. What offence hath this man made you, sir?

Elb. Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have sent to the deputy.

Duke. Fie, sirrah! a bawd, a wicked bawd! 20 The evil that thou causest to be done, That is thy means to live. Do thou but think What 'tis to cram a maw or clothe a back From such a filthy vice: say to thyself, From their abominable and beastly touches I drink, I eat, array myself, and live. Canst thou believe thy living is a life,

So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend. Pompey. Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir, I would prove

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Duke. Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin,

Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer;
Correction and instruction must both work
Ere this rude beast will profit.

Elb. He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him warning. The deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if he be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.

Duke. That we were all, as some would seem to be,

From our faults, as faults from seeming, free! Elb. His neck will come to your waist, cord, sir.

Pompey. I spy comfort: I cry bail. gentleman and a friend of mine.

Enter LUCIO.



Here's a

Lucio. How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of Cæsar? Art thou led in triumph? What, is there none of Pygmalion's images, newly made woman, to be had now, for putting the hand in the pocket and extracting it clutched? What reply, ha? What sayest thou to this tune, matter and method? Is 't not drowned i' the last rain, ha? What sayest thou, Trot? Is the world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words, or how? The trick of it?

Duke. Still thus, and thus: still worse! Lucio. How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she still, ha?

Pompey. Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in the tub. 60

Lucio. Why, 'tis good; it is the right of it; it must be so: ever your fresh whore and your

powdered bawd: an unshunned consequence; it must be so. Art going to prison, Pompey? Pompey. Yes, faith, sir.

Lucio. Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell. Go, say I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey, or how?


Elb. For being a bawd, for being a bawd. Lucio. Well, then imprison him. If imprisonment be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right: bawd is he doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawdborn. Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison, Pompey. You will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house. Pompey. I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.

Lucio. No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage: if you take it not patiently, why, your mettle is the more. Adieu, trusty Pompey. Bless you, friar.

Duke. And you.


What news

Lucio. Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha? Elb. Come your ways, sir; come. Pompey. You will not bail me then, sir? Lucio. Then, Pompey, nor now, abroad, friar? What news? Elb. Come your ways, sir; come. Lucio. Go to kennel, Pompey; go.


Exeunt ELBOW, POMPEY, and Officers.

What news, friar, of the duke?

Duke. I know none. Can you tell me of any? Lucio. Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you?

Duke. I know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well.

Lucio. It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence; he puts transgression to 't. Duke. He does well in 't.


Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him: something too crabbed that way, friar.

Duke. It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.

Lucio. Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred; it is well allied; but it is impossible to extirp it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put down. They say this Angelo was not made by man and woman after this downright way of creation: is it true, think you?


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Duke. I never heard the absent duke much detected for women; he was not inclined that


Lucio. O, sir, you are deceived.

Duke. "Tis not possible.

Lucio. Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty, and his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish; the duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk too; that let me inform you. 140 Duke. You do him wrong, surely. Lucio. Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the duke; and I believe I know the cause of his withdrawing.

Duke. What, I prithee, might be the cause? Lucio. No, pardon: 'tis a secret must be locked within the teeth and the lips; but this I can let you understand, the greater file of the subject held the duke to be wise.

Duke. Wise! why, no question but he was. 150 Lucio. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.

| Can censure 'scape: back-wounding calumny
The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
But who comes here?

Enter ESCALUS, Provost, and Officers with
Mistress OVERDONE.

Escal. Go away with her to prison !
Overdone. Good my lord, be good to me; your
honour is accounted a merciful man; good my

Escal. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the same kind! This would make mercy swear and play the tyrant. Prov. A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it please your honour.



Overdone. My lord, this is one Lucio's in. formation against me. Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the duke's time; he promised her marriage; his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob; I have Duke. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mis-kept it myself, and see how he goes about to taking the very stream of his life and the abuse me! business he hath helmed must upon a warranted need give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much darkened in your malice. 161

Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him. Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.

Lucio. Come, sir, I know what I know. Duke. I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak. But, if ever the duke return, as our prayers are he may, let me desire you to make your answer before him: if it be honest you have spoke, you have courage to maintain it. I am bound to call upon you; and, I pray you, your name?


Lucio. Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the duke.

Duke. He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you.

Lucio. I fear you not.

Duke. O you hope the duke will return no more, or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed I can do you little harm; you'll forswear this again.


Lucio. I'll be hanged first: thou art deceived in me, friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell if Claudio die to-morrow or no?

Duke. Why should he die, sir?

Lucio. Why? for filling a bottle with a tundish. I would the duke we talk of were returned again: this ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with continency; sparrows must not build in his house-caves, because they are lecherous. The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light would he were returned! Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing. Farewell, good friar; I prithee, pray for me. The duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's not past it yet, and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt brown bread and garlic: say that I said so. Farewell. Exit. 200 Duke. No might nor greatness in mortality

Escal. That fellow is a fellow of much license: let him be called before us. Away with her to prison! Go to; no more words. Exeunt Mistress OVERDONE and Officers. Provost, my brother Angelo will not be altered; Claudio must die to-morrow. Let him be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.

Prov. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advised him for the entertainment of death.

Escal. Good even, good father.
Duke. Bliss and goodness on you!
Escal. Of whence are you?


Duke. Not of this country, though my chance
is now

To use it for my time: I am a brother
Of gracious order, late come from the See
In special business from his Holiness.


Escal. What news abroad i' the world? Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure, but security enough to make fellowships accursed. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke? Escal. One that, above all other strifes, contended especially to know himself.


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of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life, which I by my good leisure have discredited to him, and now is he resolved to die.


Escal. You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have laboured for the poor gentleman to the extremest shore of my modesty; but my brother justice have I found so severe, that he hath forced me to tell him he is indeed Justice.

Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself. Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner. you well.

Duke. Peace be with you!



Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost. He who the sword of heaven will bear

Should be as holy as severe;
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go;
More nor less to others paying
Than by self-offences weighing.
Shame to him whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking!
Twice treble shame on Angelo,
To weed my vice and let his grow!
O! what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side;
How may likeness made in crimes,
Making practice on the times,
To draw with idle spiders' strings
Most ponderous and substantial things!
Craft against vice I must apply:
With Angelo to-night shall lie
His old betrothed but despised:
So disguise shall, by the disguised,
Pay with falsehood false exacting,
And perform an old contracting.


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Duke. Very well met, and well come.
What is the news from this good deputy?
Isab. He hath a garden circummur'd with brick,
Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd;
And to that vineyard is a planched gate,
That makes his opening with this bigger key;
This other doth command a little door
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads;
There have I made my promise

Upon the heavy middle of the night
To call upon him.

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, 290 In action all of precept, he did show me The way twice o'er.



SCENE I.-The moated Grange at ST. LUKE'S.

Enter MARIANA and a Boy. Boy sings.

Take, O take those lips away,

That so sweetly were forsworn;

And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn :
But my kisses bring again,

bring again,
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain.
scal'd in vain.

Mari. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away:

Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.


Exit Boy.

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Duke. 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 my brother.


"Tis well borne up. 50 I have not yet made known to Mariana A word of this. What, ho! within! come forth. Re-enter MARIANA.

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Are stuck upon thee: volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dream
And rack thee in their fancies!


Welcome! How agreed? Isab. She'll take the enterprise upon her, father, If you advise it. Duke.

It is not my consent, But my entreaty too.

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


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