Measure for Measure

A comedy written in 1604 by William Shakespeare

1(stage directions)11[An apartment in the DUKE'S palace. Enter DUKE VINCENTIO, ESCALUS, Lords and Attendants]
311ESCALUSMy lord.
411DUKE VINCENTIOOf government the properties to unfold, Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse; Since I am put to know that your own science Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice My strength can give you: then no more remains, But that to your sufficiency [--] [--] as your Worth is able,] And let them work. The nature of our people, Our city's institutions, and the terms For common justice, you're as pregnant in As art and practise hath enriched any That we remember. There is our commission, From which we would not have you warp. Call hither, I say, bid come before us Angelo. [Exit an Attendant] What figure of us Think you he will bear? For you must know, we have with special soul Elected him our absence to supply, Lent him our terror, dress'd him with our love, And given his deputation all the organs Of our own power: what think you of it?
511ESCALUSIf any in Vienna be of worth To undergo such ample grace and honour, It is Lord Angelo.
611DUKE VINCENTIOLook where he comes.
7(stage directions)11[Enter ANGELO]
811ANGELOAlways obedient to your grace's will, I come to know your pleasure.
911DUKE VINCENTIOAngelo, 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 The smallest scruple of her excellence But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines Herself the glory of a creditor, Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech To one that can my part in him advertise; Hold therefore, Angelo:-- In our remove be thou at full ourself; Mortality and mercy in Vienna Live in thy tongue and heart: old Escalus, Though first in question, is thy secondary. Take thy commission.
1011ANGELONow, good my lord, Let there be some more test made of my metal, Before so noble and so great a figure Be stamp'd upon it.
1111DUKE VINCENTIONo more evasion: We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours. Our haste from hence is of so quick condition That it prefers itself and leaves unquestion'd Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, As time and our concernings shall importune, How it goes with us, and do look to know What doth befall you here. So, fare you well; To the hopeful execution do I leave you Of your commissions.
1211ANGELOYet give leave, my lord, That we may bring you something on the way.
1311DUKE VINCENTIOMy haste may not admit it; Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do With any scruple; your scope is as mine own So to enforce or qualify the laws As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand: I'll privily away. I love the people, But do not like to stage me to their eyes: Through it do well, I do not relish well Their loud applause and Aves vehement; Nor do I think the man of safe discretion That does affect it. Once more, fare you well.
1411ANGELOThe heavens give safety to your purposes!
1511ESCALUSLead forth and bring you back in happiness!
1611DUKE VINCENTIOI thank you. Fare you well.
17(stage directions)11[Exit]
1811ESCALUSI 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.
1911ANGELO'Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together, And we may soon our satisfaction have Touching that point.
2011ESCALUSI'll wait upon your honour.
21(stage directions)11[Exeunt]
22(stage directions)12[Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen]
2312LUCIOIf the duke with the other dukes come not to composition with the King of Hungary, why then all the dukes fall upon the king.
2412FIRST GENTLEMANHeaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary's!
2612LUCIOThou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped one out of the table.
2712SECOND GENTLEMAN'Thou shalt not steal'?
2812LUCIOAy, that he razed.
2912FIRST GENTLEMANWhy, '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, do relish the petition well that prays for peace.
3012SECOND GENTLEMANI never heard any soldier dislike it.
3112LUCIOI believe thee; for I think thou never wast where grace was said.
3212SECOND GENTLEMANNo? a dozen times at least.
3312FIRST GENTLEMANWhat, in metre?
3412LUCIOIn any proportion or in any language.
3512FIRST GENTLEMANI think, or in any religion.
3612LUCIOAy, why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as, for example, thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace.
3712FIRST GENTLEMANWell, there went but a pair of shears between us.
3812LUCIOI grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet. Thou art the list.
3912FIRST GENTLEMANAnd 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?
4012LUCIOI 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.
4112FIRST GENTLEMANI think I have done myself wrong, have I not?
4212SECOND GENTLEMANYes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted or free.
4312LUCIOBehold, behold. where Madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof as come to--
4412SECOND GENTLEMANTo what, I pray?
4612SECOND GENTLEMANTo three thousand dolours a year.
4712FIRST GENTLEMANAy, and more.
4812LUCIOA French crown more.
4912FIRST GENTLEMANThou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou art full of error; I am sound.
5012LUCIONay, 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.
51(stage directions)12[Enter MISTRESS OVERDONE]
5212FIRST GENTLEMANHow now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
5312MISTRESS OVERDONEWell, well; there's one yonder arrested and carried to prison was worth five thousand of you all.
5412SECOND GENTLEMANWho's that, I pray thee?
5512MISTRESS OVERDONEMarry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior Claudio.
5612FIRST GENTLEMANClaudio to prison? 'tis not so.
5712MISTRESS OVERDONENay, 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.
5812LUCIOBut, after all this fooling, I would not have it so. Art thou sure of this?
5912MISTRESS OVERDONEI am too sure of it: and it is for getting Madam Julietta with child.
6012LUCIOBelieve me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.
6112SECOND GENTLEMANBesides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
6212FIRST GENTLEMANBut, most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.
6312LUCIOAway! let's go learn the truth of it.
64(stage directions)12[Exeunt LUCIO and Gentlemen]
6512MISTRESS OVERDONEThus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. [Enter POMPEY] How now! what's the news with you?
6612POMPEYYonder man is carried to prison.
6712MISTRESS OVERDONEWell; what has he done?
6812POMPEYA woman.
6912MISTRESS OVERDONEBut what's his offence?
7012POMPEYGroping for trouts in a peculiar river.
7112MISTRESS OVERDONEWhat, is there a maid with child by him?
7212POMPEYNo, but there's a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
7312MISTRESS OVERDONEWhat proclamation, man?
7412POMPEYAll houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.
7512MISTRESS OVERDONEAnd what shall become of those in the city?
7612POMPEYThey shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
7712MISTRESS OVERDONEBut shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?
7812POMPEYTo the ground, mistress.
7912MISTRESS OVERDONEWhy, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
8012POMPEYCome; fear you not: 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.
8112MISTRESS OVERDONEWhat's to do here, Thomas tapster? let's withdraw.
8212POMPEYHere comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison; and there's Madam Juliet.
83(stage directions)12[Exeunt]
84(stage directions)12[Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers]
8512CLAUDIOFellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world? Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
8612PROVOSTI do it not in evil disposition, But from Lord Angelo by special charge.
8712CLAUDIOThus can the demigod 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.
88(stage directions)12[Re-enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen]
8912LUCIOWhy, how now, Claudio! whence comes this restraint?
9012CLAUDIOFrom 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 ravin down their proper bane, A thirsty evil; and when we drink we die.
9112LUCIOIf 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?
9212CLAUDIOWhat but to speak of would offend again.
9312LUCIOWhat, is't murder?
9612CLAUDIOCall it so.
9712PROVOSTAway, sir! you must go.
9812CLAUDIOOne word, good friend. Lucio, a word with you.
9912LUCIOA hundred, if they'll do you any good. Is lechery so look'd after?
10012CLAUDIOThus stands it with me: upon a true contract I got possession of Julietta's bed: You know the lady; she is fast my wife, Save that we do the denunciation lack Of outward order: this we came not to, Only for propagation of a dower Remaining in the coffer of her friends, From whom we thought it meet to hide our love Till time had made them for us. But it chances The stealth of our most mutual entertainment With character too gross is writ on Juliet.
10112LUCIOWith child, perhaps?
10212CLAUDIOUnhappily, 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 emmence 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 So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round And none of them been worn; and, for a name, Now puts the drowsy and neglected act Freshly on me: 'tis surely for a name.
10312LUCIOI warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke and appeal to him.
10412CLAUDIOI have done so, but he's not to be found. I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my sister should the cloister enter And there receive her approbation: Acquaint her with the danger of my state: Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him: I have great hope in that; for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect, Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous art When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade.
10512LUCIOI pray she may; as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her.
10612CLAUDIOI thank you, good friend Lucio.
10712LUCIOWithin two hours.
10812CLAUDIOCome, officer, away!
109(stage directions)12[Exeunt]
110(stage directions)13[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO and FRIAR THOMAS]
11113DUKE VINCENTIONo, holy father; throw away that thought; Believe not that the dribbling dart of love Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends Of burning youth.
11213FRIAR THOMASMay your grace speak of it?
11313DUKE VINCENTIOMy holy sir, none better knows than you How I have ever loved the life removed And held in idle price to haunt assemblies Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps. I have deliver'd to Lord Angelo, A man of stricture and firm abstinence, My absolute power and place here in Vienna, And he supposes me travell'd to Poland; For so I have strew'd it in the common ear, And so it is received. Now, pious sir, You will demand of me why I do this?
11413FRIAR THOMASGladly, my lord.
11513DUKE VINCENTIOWe have strict statutes and most biting laws. The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds, Which for this nineteen years we have let slip; Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers, Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch, Only to stick it in their children's sight For terror, not to use, in time the rod Becomes more mock'd than fear'd; so our decrees, Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead; And liberty plucks justice by the nose; The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart Goes all decorum.
11613FRIAR THOMASIt rested in your grace To unloose this tied-up justice when you pleased: And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd Than in Lord Angelo.
11713DUKE VINCENTIOI do fear, too dreadful: Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, 'Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them For what I bid them do: for we bid this be done, When evil deeds have their permissive pass And not the punishment. Therefore indeed, my father, I have on Angelo imposed the office; Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home, And yet my nature never in the fight To do in slander. And to behold his sway, I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, Visit both prince and people: therefore, I prithee, Supply me with the habit and instruct me How I may formally in person bear me 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 Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see, If power change purpose, what our seemers be.
118(stage directions)13[Exeunt]
119(stage directions)14[Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA]
12014ISABELLAAnd have you nuns no farther privileges?
12114FRANCISCAAre not these large enough?
12214ISABELLAYes, truly; I speak not as desiring more; But rather wishing a more strict restraint Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.
12314LUCIO[Within] Ho! Peace be in this place!
12414ISABELLAWho's that which calls?
12514FRANCISCAIt is a man's voice. Gentle Isabella, Turn you the key, and know his business of him; You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn. When you have vow'd, you must not speak with men But in the presence of the prioress: Then, if you speak, you must not show your face, Or, if you show your face, you must not speak. He calls again; I pray you, answer him.
126(stage directions)14[Exit]
12714ISABELLAPeace and prosperity! Who is't that calls
128(stage directions)14[Enter LUCIO]
12914LUCIOHail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me As bring me to the sight of Isabella, A novice of this place and the fair sister To her unhappy brother Claudio?
13014ISABELLAWhy 'her unhappy brother'? let me ask, The rather for I now must make you know I am that Isabella and his sister.
13114LUCIOGentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you: Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
13214ISABELLAWoe me! for what?
13314LUCIOFor that which, if myself might be his judge, He should receive his punishment in thanks: He hath got his friend with child.
13414ISABELLASir, make me not your story.
13514LUCIOIt is true. I would not--though 'tis my familiar sin With maids to seem the lapwing and to jest, Tongue far from heart--play with all virgins so: I hold you as a thing ensky'd and sainted. By your renouncement an immortal spirit, And to be talk'd with in sincerity, As with a saint.
13614ISABELLAYou do blaspheme the good in mocking me.
13714LUCIODo not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus: Your brother and his lover have embraced: As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time That from the seedness the bare fallow brings To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.
13814ISABELLASome one with child by him? My cousin Juliet?
13914LUCIOIs she your cousin?
14014ISABELLAAdoptedly; as school-maids change their names By vain though apt affection.
14114LUCIOShe it is.
14214ISABELLAO, let him marry her.
14314LUCIOThis is the point. The duke is very strangely gone from hence; 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.
14414ISABELLADoth he so seek his life?
14514LUCIOHas censured him Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath A warrant for his execution.
14614ISABELLAAlas! what poor ability's in me To do him good?
14714LUCIOAssay the power you have.
14814ISABELLAMy power? Alas, I doubt--
14914LUCIOOur 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, Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel, All their petitions are as freely theirs As they themselves would owe them.
15014ISABELLAI'll see what I can do.
15114LUCIOBut speedily.
15214ISABELLAI 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.
15314LUCIOI take my leave of you.
15414ISABELLAGood sir, adieu.
155(stage directions)14[Exeunt] [Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, and a Justice, Provost,] Officers, and other Attendants, behind]
15621ANGELOWe must not make a scarecrow of the law, Setting it up to fear the birds of prey, And let it keep one shape, till custom make it Their perch and not their terror.
15721ESCALUSAy, but yet Let us be keen, and rather cut a little, Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas, this gentleman Whom I would save, had a most noble father! Let but your honour know, Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue, That, in the working of your own affections, Had time cohered with place or place with wishing, Or that the resolute acting of your blood Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose, Whether you had not sometime in your life Err'd in this point which now you censure him, And pull'd the law upon you.
15821ANGELO'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, Another thing to fall. I not deny, The jury, passing on the prisoner's life, May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two Guiltier than him they try. What's open made to justice, That justice seizes: what know the laws That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very pregnant, The jewel that we find, we stoop and take't Because we see it; but what we do not see We tread upon, and never think of it. You may not so extenuate his offence For I have had such faults; but rather tell me, When I, that censure him, do so offend, Let mine own judgment pattern out my death, And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.
15921ESCALUSBe it as your wisdom will.
16021ANGELOWhere is the provost?
16121PROVOSTHere, if it like your honour.
16221ANGELOSee that Claudio Be executed by nine to-morrow morning: Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared; For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.
163(stage directions)21[Exit Provost]
16421ESCALUS[Aside] Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all! Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall: Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none: And some condemned for a fault alone.
165(stage directions)21[Enter ELBOW, and Officers with FROTH and POMPEY]
16621ELBOWCome, 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.
16721ANGELOHow now, sir! What's your name? and what's the matter?
16821ELBOWIf it Please your honour, I am the poor duke's constable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean upon justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good honour two notorious benefactors.
16921ANGELOBenefactors? Well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors?
17021ELBOWIf 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.
17121ESCALUSThis comes off well; here's a wise officer.
17221ANGELOGo to: what quality are they of? Elbow is your name? why dost thou not speak, Elbow?
17321POMPEYHe cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.
17421ANGELOWhat are you, sir?
17521ELBOWHe, 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.
17621ESCALUSHow know you that?
17721ELBOWMy wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,--
17821ESCALUSHow? thy wife?
17921ELBOWAy, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,--
18021ESCALUSDost thou detest her therefore?
18121ELBOWI 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.
18221ESCALUSHow dost thou know that, constable?
18321ELBOWMarry, sir, by my wife; who, if she had been a woman cardinally given, might have been accused in fornication, adultery, and all uncleanliness there.
18421ESCALUSBy the woman's means?
18521ELBOWAy, sir, by Mistress Overdone's means: but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.
18621POMPEYSir, if it please your honour, this is not so.
18721ELBOWProve it before these varlets here, thou honourable man; prove it.
18821ESCALUSDo you hear how he misplaces?
18921POMPEYSir, 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 three-pence; your honours have seen such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very good dishes,--
19021ESCALUSGo to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.
19121POMPEYNo, 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.
19221FROTHNo, indeed.
19321POMPEYVery well: you being then, if you be remembered, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes,--
19421FROTHAy, so I did indeed.
19521POMPEYWhy, 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,--
19621FROTHAll this is true.
19721POMPEYWhy, very well, then,--
19821ESCALUSCome, 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.
19921POMPEYSir, your honour cannot come to that yet.
20021ESCALUSNo, sir, nor I mean it not.
20121POMPEYSir, but you shall come to it, by your honour's leave. And, I beseech you, look into Master Froth here, sir; a man of four-score pound a year; whose father died at Hallowmas: was't not at Hallowmas, Master Froth?
20221FROTHAll-hallond eve.
20321POMPEYWhy, very well; I hope here be truths. He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir; 'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where indeed you have a delight to sit, have you not?
20421FROTHI have so; because it is an open room and good for winter.
20521POMPEYWhy, very well, then; I hope here be truths.
20621ANGELOThis will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave. And leave you to the hearing of the cause; Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all.
20721ESCALUSI think no less. Good morrow to your lordship. [Exit ANGELO] Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
20821POMPEYOnce, sir? there was nothing done to her once.
20921ELBOWI beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.
21021POMPEYI beseech your honour, ask me.
21121ESCALUSWell, sir; what did this gentleman to her?
21221POMPEYI beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face. Good Master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a good purpose. Doth your honour mark his face?
21321ESCALUSAy, sir, very well.
21421POMPEYNay; I beseech you, mark it well.
21521ESCALUSWell, I do so.
21621POMPEYDoth your honour see any harm in his face?
21721ESCALUSWhy, no.
21821POMPEYI'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.
21921ESCALUSHe's in the right. Constable, what say you to it?
22021ELBOWFirst, an it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected woman.
22121POMPEYBy this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.
22221ELBOWVarlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet! the time has yet to come that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.
22321POMPEYSir, she was respected with him before he married with her.
22421ESCALUSWhich is the wiser here? Justice or Iniquity? Is this true?
22521ELBOWO thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married to her! If ever I was respected with her, or she with me, let not your worship think me the poor duke's officer. Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee.
22621ESCALUSIf he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your action of slander too.
22721ELBOWMarry, I thank your good worship for it. What is't your worship's pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff?
22821ESCALUSTruly, officer, because he hath some offences in him that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses till thou knowest what they are.
22921ELBOWMarry, 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.
23021ESCALUSWhere were you born, friend?
23121FROTHHere in Vienna, sir.
23221ESCALUSAre you of fourscore pounds a year?
23321FROTHYes, an't please you, sir.
23421ESCALUSSo. What trade are you of, sir?
23521POMPEYTapster; a poor widow's tapster.
23621ESCALUSYour mistress' name?
23721POMPEYMistress Overdone.
23821ESCALUSHath she had any more than one husband?
23921POMPEYNine, sir; Overdone by the last.
24021ESCALUSNine! 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.
24121FROTHI thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room in a tap-house, but I am drawn in.
24221ESCALUSWell, no more of it, Master Froth: farewell. [Exit FROTH] Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What's your name, Master tapster?
24421ESCALUSWhat else?
24521POMPEYBum, sir.
24621ESCALUSTroth, 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.
24721POMPEYTruly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.
24821ESCALUSHow would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?
24921POMPEYIf the law would allow it, sir.
25021ESCALUSBut the law will not allow it, Pompey; nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna.
25121POMPEYDoes your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city?
25221ESCALUSNo, Pompey.
25321POMPEYTruly, 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.
25421ESCALUSThere are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: it is but heading and hanging.
25521POMPEYIf 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.
25621ESCALUSThank 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 Caesar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.
25721POMPEYI 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 is not whipt out of his trade.
258(stage directions)21[Exit]
25921ESCALUSCome hither to me, Master Elbow; come hither, Master constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?
26021ELBOWSeven year and a half, sir.
26121ESCALUSI thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time. You say, seven years together?
26221ELBOWAnd a half, sir.
26321ESCALUSAlas, it hath been great pains to you. They do you wrong to put you so oft upon 't: are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it?
26421ELBOWFaith, sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all.
26521ESCALUSLook you bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish.
26621ELBOWTo your worship's house, sir?
26721ESCALUSTo my house. Fare you well. [Exit ELBOW] What's o'clock, think you?
26821JUSTICEEleven, sir.
26921ESCALUSI pray you home to dinner with me.
27021JUSTICEI humbly thank you.
27121ESCALUSIt grieves me for the death of Claudio; But there's no remedy.
27221JUSTICELord Angelo is severe.
27321ESCALUSIt is but needful: Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so; Pardon is still the nurse of second woe: But yet,--poor Claudio! There is no remedy. Come, sir.
274(stage directions)21[Exeunt]
275(stage directions)22[Enter Provost and a Servant]
27622SERVANTHe's hearing of a cause; he will come straight I'll tell him of you.
27722PROVOSTPray you, do. [Exit Servant] I'll know His pleasure; may be he will relent. Alas, He hath but as offended in a dream! All sects, all ages smack of this vice; and he To die for't!
278(stage directions)22[Enter ANGELO]
27922ANGELONow, what's the matter. Provost?
28022PROVOSTIs it your will Claudio shall die tomorrow?
28122ANGELODid not I tell thee yea? hadst thou not order? Why dost thou ask again?
28222PROVOSTLest I might be too rash: Under your good correction, I have seen, When, after execution, judgment hath Repented o'er his doom.
28322ANGELOGo to; let that be mine: Do you your office, or give up your place, And you shall well be spared.
28422PROVOSTI crave your honour's pardon. What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet? She's very near her hour.
28522ANGELODispose of her To some more fitter place, and that with speed.
286(stage directions)22[Re-enter Servant]
28722SERVANTHere is the sister of the man condemn'd Desires access to you.
28822ANGELOHath he a sister?
28922PROVOSTAy, my good lord; a very virtuous maid, And to be shortly of a sisterhood, If not already.
29022ANGELOWell, let her be admitted. [Exit Servant] See you the fornicatress be removed: Let have needful, but not lavish, means; There shall be order for't.
291(stage directions)22[Enter ISABELLA and LUCIO]
29222PROVOSTGod save your honour!
29322ANGELOStay a little while. [To ISABELLA] You're welcome: what's your will?
29422ISABELLAI am a woeful suitor to your honour, Please but your honour hear me.
29522ANGELOWell; what's your suit?
29622ISABELLAThere is a vice that most I do abhor, 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.
29722ANGELOWell; the matter?
29822ISABELLAI have a brother is condemn'd to die: I do beseech you, let it be his fault, And not my brother.
29922PROVOST[Aside] Heaven give thee moving graces!
30022ANGELOCondemn 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.
30122ISABELLAO just but severe law! I had a brother, then. Heaven keep your honour!
30222LUCIO[Aside 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!
30322ISABELLAMust he needs die?
30422ANGELOMaiden, no remedy.
30522ISABELLAYes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.
30622ANGELOI will not do't.
30722ISABELLABut can you, if you would?
30822ANGELOLook, what I will not, that I cannot do.
30922ISABELLABut 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?
31022ANGELOHe's sentenced; 'tis too late.
31122LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] You are too cold.
31222ISABELLAToo late? why, no; I, that do speak a word. 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, You would have slipt like him; but he, like you, Would not have been so stern.
31322ANGELOPray you, be gone.
31422ISABELLAI would to heaven I had your potency, And you were Isabel! should it then be thus? No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge, And what a prisoner.
31522LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] Ay, touch him; there's the vein.
31622ANGELOYour brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words.
31722ISABELLAAlas, alas! Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once; And He that might the vantage best have took Found out the remedy. How would you be, If He, which is the top of judgment, should But judge you as you are? O, think on that; And mercy then will breathe within your lips, Like man new made.
31822ANGELOBe you content, fair maid; It is the law, not I condemn your brother: Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him: he must die tomorrow.
31922ISABELLATo-morrow! O, that's sudden! Spare him, spare him! He's not prepared 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? There's many have committed it.
32022LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] Ay, well said.
32122ANGELOThe law hath not been dead, though it hath slept: Those many had not dared 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-conceived, And so in progress to be hatch'd and born, Are now to have no successive degrees, But, ere they live, to end.
32222ISABELLAYet show some pity.
32322ANGELOI 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 wrong, Lives not to act another. Be satisfied; Your brother dies to-morrow; be content.
32422ISABELLASo you must be the first that gives this sentence, And he, that suffer's. O, it is excellent To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant.
32522LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] That's well said.
32622ISABELLACould 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 Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak Than the soft myrtle: but man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he's most assured, 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.
32722LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] O, to him, to him, wench! he will relent; He's coming; I perceive 't.
32822PROVOST[Aside] Pray heaven she win him!
32922ISABELLAWe cannot weigh our brother with ourself: Great men may jest with saints; 'tis wit in them, But in the less foul profanation.
33022LUCIOThou'rt i' the right, girl; more o, that.
33122ISABELLAThat in the captain's but a choleric word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
33222LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] Art avised o' that? more on 't.
33322ANGELOWhy do you put these sayings upon me?
33422ISABELLABecause authority, though it err like others, Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself, That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know That's like my brother's fault: if it confess A natural guiltiness such as is his, Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue Against my brother's life.
33522ANGELO[Aside] She speaks, and 'tis Such sense, that my sense breeds with it. Fare you well.
33622ISABELLAGentle my lord, turn back.
33722ANGELOI will bethink me: come again tomorrow.
33822ISABELLAHark how I'll bribe you: good my lord, turn back.
33922ANGELOHow! bribe me?
34022ISABELLAAy, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.
34122LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] You had marr'd all else.
34222ISABELLANot with fond shekels of the tested gold, Or stones whose rates are either rich or poor As fancy values them; but with true prayers That shall be up at heaven and enter there Ere sun-rise, prayers from preserved souls, From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate To nothing temporal.
34322ANGELOWell; come to me to-morrow.
34422LUCIO[Aside to ISABELLA] Go to; 'tis well; away!
34522ISABELLAHeaven keep your honour safe!
34622ANGELO[Aside]. Amen: For I am that way going to temptation, Where prayers cross.
34722ISABELLAAt what hour to-morrow Shall I attend your lordship?
34822ANGELOAt any time 'fore noon.
34922ISABELLA'Save your honour!
350(stage directions)22[Exeunt ISABELLA, LUCIO, and Provost]
35122ANGELOFrom thee, even from thy virtue! What's this, what's this? Is this her fault or mine? The tempter or the tempted, who sins most? Ha! Not she: nor doth she tempt: but it is I That, lying by the violet in the sun, Do as the carrion does, not as the flower, Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be That modesty may more betray our sense Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground enough, 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 her, That I desire to hear her speak again, And feast upon her eyes? What is't I dream on? O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint, 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. Even till now, When men were fond, I smiled and wonder'd how.
352(stage directions)22[Exit] [Enter, severally, DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as a] friar, and Provost]
35323DUKE VINCENTIOHail to you, provost! so I think you are.
35423PROVOSTI am the provost. What's your will, good friar?
35523DUKE VINCENTIOBound by my charity and my blest order, 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.
35623PROVOSTI would do more than that, if more were needful. [Enter JULIET] 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, sentenced; a young man More fit to do another such offence Than die for this.
35723DUKE VINCENTIOWhen must he die?
35823PROVOSTAs I do think, to-morrow. I have provided for you: stay awhile, [To JULIET] And you shall be conducted.
35923DUKE VINCENTIORepent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?
36023JULIETI do; and bear the shame most patiently.
36123DUKE VINCENTIOI'll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience, And try your penitence, if it be sound, Or hollowly put on.
36223JULIETI'll gladly learn.
36323DUKE VINCENTIOLove you the man that wrong'd you?
36423JULIETYes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him.
36523DUKE VINCENTIOSo then it seems your most offenceful act Was mutually committed?
36723DUKE VINCENTIOThen was your sin of heavier kind than his.
36823JULIETI do confess it, and repent it, father.
36923DUKE VINCENTIO'Tis meet so, daughter: but lest you do repent, As that the sin hath brought you to this shame, Which sorrow is always towards ourselves, not heaven, Showing we would not spare heaven as we love it, But as we stand in fear,--
37023JULIETI do repent me, as it is an evil, And take the shame with joy.
37123DUKE VINCENTIOThere rest. Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow, And I am going with instruction to him. Grace go with you, Benedicite!
372(stage directions)23[Exit]
37323JULIETMust die to-morrow! O injurious love, That respites me a life, whose very comfort Is still a dying horror!
37423PROVOST'Tis pity of him.
375(stage directions)23[Exeunt]
376(stage directions)24[Enter ANGELO]
37724ANGELOWhen 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 fear'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. [Enter a Servant] How now! who's there?
37824SERVANTOne Isabel, a sister, desires access to you.
37924ANGELOTeach her the way. [Exit Servant] O heavens! Why does my blood thus muster to my heart, Making both it unable for itself, And dispossessing all my other parts Of necessary fitness? So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons; Come all to help him, and so stop the air By which he should revive: and even so The general, subject to a well-wish'd king, Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love Must needs appear offence. [Enter ISABELLA] How now, fair maid?
38024ISABELLAI am come to know your pleasure.
38124ANGELOThat you might know it, would much better please me Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live.
38224ISABELLAEven so. Heaven keep your honour!
38324ANGELOYet may he live awhile; and, it may be, As long as you or I. yet he must die.
38424ISABELLAUnder your sentence?
38624ISABELLAWhen, I beseech you? that in his reprieve, Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted That his soul sicken not.
38724ANGELOHa! fie, these filthy vices! It were as good To pardon him that hath from nature stolen A man already made, as to remit Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven's image 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.
38824ISABELLA'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.
38924ANGELOSay you so? then I shall pose you quickly. 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?
39024ISABELLASir, believe this, I had rather give my body than my soul.
39124ANGELOI talk not of your soul: our compell'd sins Stand more for number than for accompt.
39224ISABELLAHow say you?
39324ANGELONay, 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?
39424ISABELLAPlease you to do't, I'll take it as a peril to my soul, It is no sin at all, but charity.
39524ANGELOPleased you to do't at peril of your soul, Were equal poise of sin and charity.
39624ISABELLAThat 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.
39724ANGELONay, but hear me. Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant, Or seem so craftily; and that's not good.
39824ISABELLALet me be ignorant, and in nothing good, But graciously to know I am no better.
39924ANGELOThus wisdom wishes to appear most bright When it doth tax itself; as these black masks 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.
40124ANGELOAnd his offence is so, as it appears, Accountant to the law upon that pain.
40324ANGELOAdmit 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 desired 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 supposed, or else to let him suffer; What would you do?
40424ISABELLAAs much for my poor brother as myself: That is, were I under the terms of death, The impression of keen whips I'ld wear as rubies, And strip myself to death, as to a bed That longing have been sick for, ere I'ld yield My body up to shame.
40524ANGELOThen must your brother die.
40624ISABELLAAnd 'twere the cheaper way: Better it were a brother died at once, Than that a sister, by redeeming him, Should die for ever.
40724ANGELOWere not you then as cruel as the sentence That you have slander'd so?
40824ISABELLAIgnomy in ransom and free pardon Are of two houses: lawful mercy Is nothing kin to foul redemption.
40924ANGELOYou seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant; And rather proved the sliding of your brother A merriment than a vice.
41024ISABELLAO, 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.
41124ANGELOWe are all frail.
41224ISABELLAElse let my brother die, If not a feodary, but only he Owe and succeed thy weakness.
41324ANGELONay, women are frail too.
41424ISABELLAAy, as the glasses where they view themselves; 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.
41524ANGELOI 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 destined livery.
41624ISABELLAI have no tongue but one: gentle my lord, Let me entreat you speak the former language.
41724ANGELOPlainly conceive, I love you.
41824ISABELLAMy brother did love Juliet, And you tell me that he shall die for it.
41924ANGELOHe shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
42024ISABELLAI know your virtue hath a licence in't, Which seems a little fouler than it is, To pluck on others.
42124ANGELOBelieve me, on mine honour, My words express my purpose.
42224ISABELLAHa! little honour to be much believed, And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seeming! 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 aloud What man thou art.
42324ANGELOWho 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 brother 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 true.
424(stage directions)24[Exit]
42524ISABELLATo whom should I complain? Did I tell this, 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. That, had he twenty heads to tender down On twenty bloody blocks, he'ld yield them up, Before his sister should her body stoop To such abhorr'd pollution. 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.
426(stage directions)24[Exit] [Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before, CLAUDIO,] and Provost]
42731DUKE VINCENTIOSo then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?
42831CLAUDIOThe miserable have no other medicine But only hope: I've hope to live, and am prepared to die.
42931DUKE VINCENTIOBe absolute for death; either death or life Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life: If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art, Servile to all the skyey influences, That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st, 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; For all the accommodations that thou bear'st Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant; For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep, And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself; For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not; For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get, And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain; For thy complexion shifts to strange effects, After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor; For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows, Thou bear's thy heavy riches but a journey, And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none; For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire, The mere effusion of thy proper loins, 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 beauty, To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this That bears the name of life? Yet in this life Lie hid moe thousand deaths: yet death we fear, That makes these odds all even.
43031CLAUDIOI humbly thank you. To sue to live, I find I seek to die; And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.
43131ISABELLA[Within] What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!
43231PROVOSTWho's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
43331DUKE VINCENTIODear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
43431CLAUDIOMost holy sir, I thank you.
435(stage directions)31[Enter ISABELLA]
43631ISABELLAMy business is a word or two with Claudio.
43731PROVOSTAnd very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister.
43831DUKE VINCENTIOProvost, a word with you.
43931PROVOSTAs many as you please.
44031DUKE VINCENTIOBring me to hear them speak, where I may be concealed.
441(stage directions)31[Exeunt DUKE VINCENTIO and Provost]
44231CLAUDIONow, sister, what's the comfort?
44331ISABELLAWhy, 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 speed; To-morrow you set on.
44431CLAUDIOIs there no remedy?
44531ISABELLANone, but such remedy as, to save a head, To cleave a heart in twain.
44631CLAUDIOBut is there any?
44731ISABELLAYes, brother, you may live: There is a devilish mercy in the judge, If you'll implore it, that will free your life, But fetter you till death.
44831CLAUDIOPerpetual durance?
44931ISABELLAAy, just; perpetual durance, a restraint, Though all the world's vastidity you had, To a determined scope.
45031CLAUDIOBut in what nature?
45131ISABELLAIn such a one as, you consenting to't, Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, And leave you naked.
45231CLAUDIOLet me know the point.
45331ISABELLAO, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain, And six or seven winters more respect Than a perpetual honour. Darest 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.
45431CLAUDIOWhy 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.
45531ISABELLAThere 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 In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy, Whose settled visage and deliberate word Nips youth i' the head and follies doth emmew As falcon doth the fowl, is yet a devil His filth within being cast, he would appear A pond as deep as hell.
45631CLAUDIOThe prenzie Angelo!
45731ISABELLAO, 'tis the cunning livery of hell, The damned'st body to invest and cover In prenzie guards! Dost thou think, Claudio? If I would yield him my virginity, Thou mightst be freed.
45831CLAUDIOO heavens! it cannot be.
45931ISABELLAYes, he would give't thee, from this rank offence, So to offend him still. This night's the time That I should do what I abhor to name, Or else thou diest to-morrow.
46031CLAUDIOThou shalt not do't.
46131ISABELLAO, were it but my life, I'ld throw it down for your deliverance As frankly as a pin.
46231CLAUDIOThanks, dear Isabel.
46331ISABELLABe ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow.
46431CLAUDIOYes. Has he affections in him, That thus can make him bite the law by the nose, When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin, Or of the deadly seven, it is the least.
46531ISABELLAWhich is the least?
46631CLAUDIOIf it were damnable, he being so wise, Why would he for the momentary trick Be perdurably fined? O Isabel!
46731ISABELLAWhat says my brother?
46831CLAUDIODeath is a fearful thing.
46931ISABELLAAnd shamed life a hateful.
47031CLAUDIOAy, 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 thought 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.
47131ISABELLAAlas, alas!
47231CLAUDIOSweet sister, let me live: What sin you do to save a brother's life, Nature dispenses with the deed so far That it becomes a virtue.
47331ISABELLAO 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 issued 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, No word to save thee.
47431CLAUDIONay, hear me, Isabel.
47531ISABELLAO, fie, fie, fie! Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade. Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd: 'Tis best thou diest quickly.
47631CLAUDIOO hear me, Isabella!
477(stage directions)31[Re-enter DUKE VINCENTIO]
47831DUKE VINCENTIOVouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.
47931ISABELLAWhat is your will?
48031DUKE VINCENTIOMight 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.
48131ISABELLAI have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile.
482(stage directions)31[Walks apart]
48331DUKE VINCENTIOSon, I have overheard what hath passed between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an essay 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: tomorrow you must die; go to your knees and make ready.
48431CLAUDIOLet me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love with life that I will sue to be rid of it.
48531DUKE VINCENTIOHold you there: farewell. [Exit CLAUDIO] Provost, a word with you!
486(stage directions)31[Re-enter Provost]
48731PROVOSTWhat's your will, father
48831DUKE VINCENTIOThat 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.
48931PROVOSTIn good time.
490(stage directions)31[Exit Provost. ISABELLA comes forward]
49131DUKE VINCENTIOThe 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?
49231ISABELLAI 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.
49331DUKE VINCENTIOThat 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.
49431ISABELLALet me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to do anything that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.
49531DUKE VINCENTIOVirtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick the great soldier who miscarried at sea?
49631ISABELLAI have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.
49731DUKE VINCENTIOShe 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.
49831ISABELLACan this be so? did Angelo so leave her?
49931DUKE VINCENTIOLeft her in her tears, and dried not one of them with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonour: 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.
50031ISABELLAWhat a merit were it in death to take this poor maid from the world! What corruption in this life, that it will let this man live! But how out of this can she avail?
50131DUKE VINCENTIOIt 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.
50231ISABELLAShow me how, good father.
50331DUKE VINCENTIOThis 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?
50431ISABELLAThe image of it gives me content already; and I trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.
50531DUKE VINCENTIOIt lies much in your holding up. Haste you speedily to Angelo: if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will presently to Saint Luke's: there, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana. At that place call upon me; and dispatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly.
50631ISABELLAI thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father.
507(stage directions)31[Exeunt severally] [Enter, on one side, DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as] before; on the other, ELBOW, and Officers with POMPEY]
50832ELBOWNay, 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.
50932DUKE VINCENTIOO heavens! what stuff is here
51032POMPEY'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.
51132ELBOWCome your way, sir. 'Bless you, good father friar.
51232DUKE VINCENTIOAnd you, good brother father. What offence hath this man made you, sir?
51332ELBOWMarry, 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.
51432DUKE VINCENTIOFie, sirrah! a bawd, a wicked bawd! 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.
51532POMPEYIndeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir, I would prove--
51632DUKE VINCENTIONay, 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.
51732ELBOWHe 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.
51832DUKE VINCENTIOThat we were all, as some would seem to be, From our faults, as faults from seeming, free!
51932ELBOWHis neck will come to your waist,--a cord, sir.
52032POMPEYI spy comfort; I cry bail. Here's a gentleman and a friend of mine.
521(stage directions)32[Enter LUCIO]
52232LUCIOHow now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of Caesar? 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 clutch'd? 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?
52332DUKE VINCENTIOStill thus, and thus; still worse!
52432LUCIOHow doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she still, ha?
52532POMPEYTroth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in the tub.
52632LUCIOWhy, '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?
52732POMPEYYes, faith, sir.
52832LUCIOWhy, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell: go, say I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? or how?
52932ELBOWFor being a bawd, for being a bawd.
53032LUCIOWell, then, imprison him: if imprisonment be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right: bawd is he doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-born. Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison, Pompey: you will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house.
53132POMPEYI hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.
53232LUCIONo, 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.
53432LUCIODoes Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha?
53532ELBOWCome your ways, sir; come.
53632POMPEYYou will not bail me, then, sir?
53732LUCIOThen, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad, friar? what news?
53832ELBOWCome your ways, sir; come.
53932LUCIOGo to kennel, Pompey; go. [Exeunt ELBOW, POMPEY and Officers] What news, friar, of the duke?
54032DUKE VINCENTIOI know none. Can you tell me of any?
54132LUCIOSome say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you?
54232DUKE VINCENTIOI know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well.
54332LUCIOIt 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.
54432DUKE VINCENTIOHe does well in 't.
54532LUCIOA little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him: something too crabbed that way, friar.
54632DUKE VINCENTIOIt is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.
54732LUCIOYes, 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?
54832DUKE VINCENTIOHow should he be made, then?
54932LUCIOSome report a sea-maid spawned him; some, that he was begot between two stock-fishes. But it is certain that when he makes water his urine is congealed ice; that I know to be true: and he is a motion generative; that's infallible.
55032DUKE VINCENTIOYou are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.
55132LUCIOWhy, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a man! Would the duke that is absent have done this? Ere he would have hanged a man for the getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a thousand: he had some feeling of the sport: he knew the service, and that instructed him to mercy.
55232DUKE VINCENTIOI never heard the absent duke much detected for women; he was not inclined that way.
55332LUCIOO, sir, you are deceived.
55432DUKE VINCENTIO'Tis not possible.
55532LUCIOWho, 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.
55632DUKE VINCENTIOYou do him wrong, surely.
55732LUCIOSir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the duke: and I believe I know the cause of his withdrawing.
55832DUKE VINCENTIOWhat, I prithee, might be the cause?
55932LUCIONo, 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.
56032DUKE VINCENTIOWise! why, no question but he was.
56132LUCIOA very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
56232DUKE VINCENTIOEither this is the envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life and the 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.
56332LUCIOSir, I know him, and I love him.
56432DUKE VINCENTIOLove talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.
56532LUCIOCome, sir, I know what I know.
56632DUKE VINCENTIOI 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?
56732LUCIOSir, my name is Lucio; well known to the duke.
56832DUKE VINCENTIOHe shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you.
56932LUCIOI fear you not.
57032DUKE VINCENTIOO, 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.
57132LUCIOI'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?
57232DUKE VINCENTIOWhy should he die, sir?
57332LUCIOWhy? For filling a bottle with a tundish. I would the duke we talk of were returned again: the ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with continency; sparrows must not build in his house-eaves, 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.
574(stage directions)32[Exit]
57532DUKE VINCENTIONo might nor greatness in mortality 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?
576(stage directions)32[Enter ESCALUS, Provost, and Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE]
57732ESCALUSGo; away with her to prison!
57832MISTRESS OVERDONEGood my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted a merciful man; good my lord.
57932ESCALUSDouble and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the same kind! This would make mercy swear and play the tyrant.
58032PROVOSTA bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it please your honour.
58132MISTRESS OVERDONEMy lord, this is one Lucio's information 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 kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me!
58232ESCALUSThat fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be called before us. Away with her to prison! Go to; no more words. [Exeunt Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE] 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.
58332PROVOSTSo please you, this friar hath been with him, and advised him for the entertainment of death.
58432ESCALUSGood even, good father.
58532DUKE VINCENTIOBliss and goodness on you!
58632ESCALUSOf whence are you?
58732DUKE VINCENTIONot 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.
58832ESCALUSWhat news abroad i' the world?
58932DUKE VINCENTIONone, 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 accurst: 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?
59032ESCALUSOne that, above all other strifes, contended especially to know himself.
59132DUKE VINCENTIOWhat pleasure was he given to?
59232ESCALUSRather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which professed to make him rejoice: a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous; and let me desire to know how you find Claudio prepared. I am made to understand that you have lent him visitation.
59332DUKE VINCENTIOHe professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice: yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction 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.
59432ESCALUSYou 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.
59532DUKE VINCENTIOIf his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.
59632ESCALUSI am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
59732DUKE VINCENTIOPeace 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 practise 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.
598(stage directions)32[Exit] [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 sealed in vain, sealed in vain.
59941MARIANABreak 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] [Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before] I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish You had not found me here so musical: Let me excuse me, and believe me so, My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.
60041DUKE VINCENTIO'Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm To make bad good, and good provoke to harm. I pray, you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here to-day? much upon this time have I promised here to meet.
60141MARIANAYou have not been inquired after: I have sat here all day.
602(stage directions)41[Enter ISABELLA]
60341DUKE VINCENTIOI do constantly believe you. The time is come even now. I shall crave your forbearance a little: may be I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself.
60441MARIANAI am always bound to you.
605(stage directions)41[Exit]
60641DUKE VINCENTIOVery well met, and well come. What is the news from this good deputy?
60741ISABELLAHe hath a garden circummured 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.
60841DUKE VINCENTIOBut shall you on your knowledge find this way?
60941ISABELLAI 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.
61041DUKE VINCENTIOAre there no other tokens Between you 'greed concerning her observance?
61141ISABELLANo, 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.
61241DUKE VINCENTIO'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.
61341ISABELLAI do desire the like.
61441DUKE VINCENTIODo you persuade yourself that I respect you?
61541MARIANAGood friar, I know you do, and have found it.
61641DUKE VINCENTIOTake, then, this your companion by the hand, Who hath a story ready for your ear. I shall attend your leisure: but make haste; The vaporous night approaches.
61741MARIANAWill't please you walk aside?
618(stage directions)41[Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA]
61941DUKE VINCENTIOO place and greatness! millions of false eyes 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 dreams And rack thee in their fancies. [Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA] Welcome, how agreed?
62041ISABELLAShe'll take the enterprise upon her, father, If you advise it.
62141DUKE VINCENTIOIt is not my consent, But my entreaty too.
62241ISABELLALittle have you to say When you depart from him, but, soft and low, 'Remember now my brother.'
62341MARIANAFear me not.
62441DUKE VINCENTIONor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all. He is your husband on a pre-contract: To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin, Sith that the justice of your title to him Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go: Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to sow.
625(stage directions)41[Exeunt]
626(stage directions)42[Enter Provost and POMPEY]
62742PROVOSTCome hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's head?
62842POMPEYIf the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a married man, he's his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.
62942PROVOSTCome, 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 gyves; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping, for you have been a notorious bawd.
63042POMPEYSir, 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 my fellow partner.
63142PROVOSTWhat, ho! Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?
632(stage directions)42[Enter ABHORSON]
63342ABHORSONDo you call, sir?
63442PROVOSTSirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow 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.
63542ABHORSONA bawd, sir? fie upon him! he will discredit our mystery.
63642PROVOSTGo to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale.
637(stage directions)42[Exit]
63842POMPEYPray, sir, by your good favour,--for surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that you have a hanging look,--do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery?
63942ABHORSONAy, sir; a mystery
64042POMPEYPainting, 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 hanged, I cannot imagine.
64142ABHORSONSir, it is a mystery.
64342ABHORSONEvery 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.
644(stage directions)42[Re-enter Provost]
64542PROVOSTAre you agreed?
64642POMPEYSir, I will serve him; for I do find your hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth oftener ask forgiveness.
64742PROVOSTYou, sirrah, provide your block and your axe to-morrow four o'clock.
64842ABHORSONCome on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.
64942POMPEYI do desire to learn, sir: and I hope, if you have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me yare; for truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you a good turn.
65042PROVOSTCall hither Barnardine and Claudio: [Exeunt POMPEY and ABHORSON] The one has my pity; not a jot the other, Being a murderer, though he were my brother. [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 Barnardine?
65142CLAUDIOAs fast lock'd up in sleep as guiltless labour When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones: He will not wake.
65242PROVOSTWho can do good on him? Well, go, prepare yourself. [Knocking within] But, hark, what noise? Heaven give your spirits comfort! [Exit CLAUDIO] By and by. I hope it is some pardon or reprieve For the most gentle Claudio. [Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before] Welcome father.
65342DUKE VINCENTIOThe best and wholesomest spirts of the night Envelope you, good Provost! Who call'd here of late?
65442PROVOSTNone, since the curfew rung.
65542DUKE VINCENTIONot Isabel?
65742DUKE VINCENTIOThey will, then, ere't be long.
65842PROVOSTWhat comfort is for Claudio?
65942DUKE VINCENTIOThere's some in hope.
66042PROVOSTIt is a bitter deputy.
66142DUKE VINCENTIONot so, not so; his life is parallel'd 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 To qualify in others: were he meal'd with that Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous; But this being so, he's just. [Knocking within] Now are they come. [Exit Provost] This is a gentle provost: seldom when The steeled gaoler is the friend of men. [Knocking within] How now! what noise? That spirit's possessed with haste That wounds the unsisting postern with these strokes.
662(stage directions)42[Re-enter Provost]
66342PROVOSTThere he must stay until the officer Arise to let him in: he is call'd up.
66442DUKE VINCENTIOHave you no countermand for Claudio yet, But he must die to-morrow?
66542PROVOSTNone, sir, none.
66642DUKE VINCENTIOAs near the dawning, provost, as it is, You shall hear more ere morning.
66742PROVOSTHappily You something know; yet I believe there comes No countermand; no such example have we: Besides, upon the very siege of justice Lord Angelo hath to the public ear Profess'd the contrary. [Enter a Messenger] This is his lordship's man.
66842DUKE VINCENTIOAnd here comes Claudio's pardon.
66942MESSENGER[Giving a paper] My lord hath sent you this note; and by me this further charge, that you swerve not from the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance. Good morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day.
67042PROVOSTI shall obey him.
671(stage directions)42[Exit Messenger]
67242DUKE VINCENTIO[Aside] This is his pardon, purchased by such sin For which the pardoner himself is in. Hence hath offence his quick celerity, When it is born in high authority: When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended, That for the fault's love is the offender friended. Now, sir, what news?
67342PROVOSTI told you. Lord Angelo, belike thinking me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted putting-on; methinks strangely, for he hath not used it before.
67442DUKE VINCENTIOPray you, let's hear.
67542PROVOST[Reads] 'Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let Claudio be executed by four of the clock; and in the afternoon Barnardine: for my better satisfaction, let me have Claudio's head sent me by five. Let this be duly performed; with a thought that more depends on it than we must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your office, as you will answer it at your peril.' What say you to this, sir?
67642DUKE VINCENTIOWhat is that Barnardine who is to be executed in the afternoon?
67742PROVOSTA Bohemian born, but here nursed un and bred; one that is a prisoner nine years old.
67842DUKE VINCENTIOHow came it that the absent duke had not either delivered him to his liberty or executed him? I have heard it was ever his manner to do so.
67942PROVOSTHis friends still wrought reprieves for him: and, indeed, his fact, till now in the government of Lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.
68042DUKE VINCENTIOIt is now apparent?
68142PROVOSTMost manifest, and not denied by himself.
68242DUKE VINCENTIOHath he born himself penitently in prison? how seems he to be touched?
68342PROVOSTA man that apprehends death no more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless of what's past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal.
68442DUKE VINCENTIOHe wants advice.
68542PROVOSTHe will hear none: he hath evermore had the liberty of the prison; give him leave to escape hence, he would not: drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very oft awaked him, as if to carry him to execution, and showed him a seeming warrant for it: it hath not moved him at all.
68642DUKE VINCENTIOMore of him anon. There is written in your brow, provost, honesty and constancy: if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but, in the boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here you have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo who hath sentenced him. To make you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four days' respite; for the which you are to do me both a present and a dangerous courtesy.
68742PROVOSTPray, sir, in what?
68842DUKE VINCENTIOIn the delaying death.
68942PROVOSTA lack, how may I do it, having the hour limited, and an express command, under penalty, to deliver his head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.
69042DUKE VINCENTIOBy the vow of mine order I warrant you, if my instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine be this morning executed, and his head born to Angelo.
69142PROVOSTAngelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour.
69242DUKE VINCENTIOO, death's a great disguiser; and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard; and say it was the desire of the penitent to be so bared before his death: you know the course is common. If any thing fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good fortune, by the saint whom I profess, I will plead against it with my life.
69342PROVOSTPardon me, good father; it is against my oath.
69442DUKE VINCENTIOWere you sworn to the duke, or to the deputy?
69542PROVOSTTo him, and to his substitutes.
69642DUKE VINCENTIOYou will think you have made no offence, if the duke avouch the justice of your dealing?
69742PROVOSTBut what likelihood is in that?
69842DUKE VINCENTIONot a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor persuasion can with ease attempt you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you. Look you, sir, here is the hand and seal of the duke: you know the character, I doubt not; and the signet is not strange to you.
69942PROVOSTI know them both.
70042DUKE VINCENTIOThe contents of this is the return of the duke: you shall anon over-read it at your pleasure; where you shall find, within these two days he will be here. This is a thing that Angelo knows not; for he this very day receives letters of strange tenor; perchance of the duke's death; perchance entering into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of what is writ. Look, the unfolding star calls up the shepherd. Put not yourself into amazement how these things should be: all difficulties are but easy when they are known. Call your executioner, and off with Barnardine's head: I will give him a present shrift and advise him for a better place. Yet you are amazed; but this shall absolutely resolve you. Come away; it is almost clear dawn.
701(stage directions)42[Exeunt]
702(stage directions)43[Enter POMPEY]
70343POMPEYI am as well acquainted here as I was in our house of profession: one would think it were Mistress Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old customers. First, here's young Master Rash; he's in for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger, ninescore and seventeen pounds; of which he made five marks, ready money: marry, then ginger was not much in request, for the old women were all dead. Then is there here one Master Caper, at the suit of Master Three-pile the mercer, for some four suits of peach-coloured satin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and young Master Deep-vow, and Master Copperspur, and Master Starve-lackey the rapier and dagger man, and young Drop-heir that killed lusty Pudding, and Master Forthlight the tilter, and brave Master Shooty the great traveller, and wild Half-can that stabbed Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in our trade, and are now 'for the Lord's sake.'
704(stage directions)43[Enter ABHORSON]
70543ABHORSONSirrah, bring Barnardine hither.
70643POMPEYMaster Barnardine! you must rise and be hanged. Master Barnardine!
70743ABHORSONWhat, ho, Barnardine!
70843BARNARDINE[Within] A pox o' your throats! Who makes that noise there? What are you?
70943POMPEYYour friends, sir; the hangman. You must be so good, sir, to rise and be put to death.
71043BARNARDINE[Within] Away, you rogue, away! I am sleepy.
71143ABHORSONTell him he must awake, and that quickly too.
71243POMPEYPray, Master Barnardine, awake till you are executed, and sleep afterwards.
71343ABHORSONGo in to him, and fetch him out.
71443POMPEYHe is coming, sir, he is coming; I hear his straw rustle.
71543ABHORSONIs the axe upon the block, sirrah?
71643POMPEYVery ready, sir.
717(stage directions)43[Enter BARNARDINE]
71843BARNARDINEHow now, Abhorson? what's the news with you?
71943ABHORSONTruly, sir, I would desire you to clap into your prayers; for, look you, the warrant's come.
72043BARNARDINEYou rogue, I have been drinking all night; I am not fitted for 't.
72143POMPEYO, the better, sir; for he that drinks all night, and is hanged betimes in the morning, may sleep the sounder all the next day.
72243ABHORSONLook you, sir; here comes your ghostly father: do we jest now, think you?
723(stage directions)43[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before]
72443DUKE VINCENTIOSir, induced by my charity, and hearing how hastily you are to depart, I am come to advise you, comfort you and pray with you.
72543BARNARDINEFriar, not I. I have been drinking hard all night, and I will have more time to prepare me, or they shall beat out my brains with billets: I will not consent to die this day, that's certain.
72643DUKE VINCENTIOO, sir, you must: and therefore I beseech you Look forward on the journey you shall go.
72743BARNARDINEI swear I will not die to-day for any man's persuasion.
72843DUKE VINCENTIOBut hear you.
72943BARNARDINENot a word: if you have any thing to say to me, come to my ward; for thence will not I to-day.
730(stage directions)43[Exit]
73143DUKE VINCENTIOUnfit to live or die: O gravel heart! After him, fellows; bring him to the block.
732(stage directions)43[Exeunt ABHORSON and POMPEY]
733(stage directions)43[Re-enter Provost]
73443PROVOSTNow, sir, how do you find the prisoner?
73543DUKE VINCENTIOA creature unprepared, unmeet for death; And to transport him in the mind he is Were damnable.
73643PROVOSTHere in the prison, father, There died this morning of a cruel fever One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate, A man of Claudio's years; his beard and head Just of his colour. What if we do omit This reprobate till he were well inclined; And satisfy the deputy with the visage Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?
73743DUKE VINCENTIOO, 'tis an accident that heaven provides! Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on Prefix'd by Angelo: see this be done, And sent according to command; whiles I Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.
73843PROVOSTThis shall be done, good father, presently. But Barnardine must die this afternoon: And how shall we continue Claudio, To save me from the danger that might come If he were known alive?
73943DUKE VINCENTIOLet this be done. Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio: Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting To the under generation, you shall find Your safety manifested.
74043PROVOSTI am your free dependant.
74143DUKE VINCENTIOQuick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo. [Exit Provost] Now will I write letters to Angelo,-- The provost, he shall bear them, whose contents Shall witness to him I am near at home, And that, by great injunctions, I am bound To enter publicly: him I'll desire To meet me at the consecrated fount A league below the city; and from thence, By cold gradation and well-balanced form, We shall proceed with Angelo.
742(stage directions)43[Re-enter Provost]
74343PROVOSTHere is the head; I'll carry it myself.
74443DUKE VINCENTIOConvenient is it. Make a swift return; For I would commune with you of such things That want no ear but yours.
74543PROVOSTI'll make all speed.
746(stage directions)43[Exit]
74743ISABELLA[Within] Peace, ho, be here!
74843DUKE VINCENTIOThe tongue of Isabel. She's come to know If yet her brother's pardon be come hither: But I will keep her ignorant of her good, To make her heavenly comforts of despair, When it is least expected.
749(stage directions)43[Enter ISABELLA]
75043ISABELLAHo, by your leave!
75143DUKE VINCENTIOGood morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.
75243ISABELLAThe better, given me by so holy a man. Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?
75343DUKE VINCENTIOHe hath released him, Isabel, from the world: His head is off and sent to Angelo.
75443ISABELLANay, but it is not so.
75543DUKE VINCENTIOIt is no other: show your wisdom, daughter, In your close patience.
75643ISABELLAO, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!
75743DUKE VINCENTIOYou shall not be admitted to his sight.
75843ISABELLAUnhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel! Injurious world! most damned Angelo!
75943DUKE VINCENTIOThis nor hurts him nor profits you a jot; Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven. Mark what I say, which you shall find By every syllable a faithful verity: The duke comes home to-morrow; nay, dry your eyes; One of our convent, and his confessor, Gives me this instance: already he hath carried Notice to Escalus and Angelo, Who do prepare to meet him at the gates, There to give up their power. If you can, pace your wisdom In that good path that I would wish it go, And you shall have your bosom on this wretch, Grace of the duke, revenges to your heart, And general honour.
76043ISABELLAI am directed by you.
76143DUKE VINCENTIOThis letter, then, to Friar Peter give; 'Tis that he sent me of the duke's return: Say, by this token, I desire his company At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause and yours I'll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you Before the duke, and to the head of Angelo Accuse him home and home. For my poor self, I am combined by a sacred vow And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter: Command these fretting waters from your eyes With a light heart; trust not my holy order, If I pervert your course. Who's here?
762(stage directions)43[Enter LUCIO]
76343LUCIOGood even. Friar, where's the provost?
76443DUKE VINCENTIONot within, sir.
76543LUCIOO pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see thine eyes so red: thou must be patient. I am fain to dine and sup with water and bran; I dare not for my head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set me to 't. But they say the duke will be here to-morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother: if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been at home, he had lived.
766(stage directions)43[Exit ISABELLA]
76743DUKE VINCENTIOSir, the duke is marvellous little beholding to your reports; but the best is, he lives not in them.
76843LUCIOFriar, thou knowest not the duke so well as I do: he's a better woodman than thou takest him for.
76943DUKE VINCENTIOWell, you'll answer this one day. Fare ye well.
77043LUCIONay, tarry; I'll go along with thee I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.
77143DUKE VINCENTIOYou have told me too many of him already, sir, if they be true; if not true, none were enough.
77243LUCIOI was once before him for getting a wench with child.
77343DUKE VINCENTIODid you such a thing?
77443LUCIOYes, marry, did I. but I was fain to forswear it; they would else have married me to the rotten medlar.
77543DUKE VINCENTIOSir, your company is fairer than honest. Rest you well.
77643LUCIOBy my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's end: if bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little of it. Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr; I shall stick.
777(stage directions)43[Exeunt]
778(stage directions)44[Enter ANGELO and ESCALUS]
77944ESCALUSEvery letter he hath writ hath disvouched other.
78044ANGELOIn most uneven and distracted manner. His actions show much like to madness: pray heaven his wisdom be not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and redeliver our authorities there
78144ESCALUSI guess not.
78244ANGELOAnd why should we proclaim it in an hour before his entering, that if any crave redress of injustice, they should exhibit their petitions in the street?
78344ESCALUSHe shows his reason for that: to have a dispatch of complaints, and to deliver us from devices hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand against us.
78444ANGELOWell, I beseech you, let it be proclaimed betimes i' the morn; I'll call you at your house: give notice to such men of sort and suit as are to meet him.
78544ESCALUSI shall, sir. Fare you well.
78644ANGELOGood night. [Exit ESCALUS] This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid! And by an eminent body that enforced The law against it! But that her tender shame Will not proclaim against her maiden loss, How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares her no; For my authority bears of a credent bulk, That no particular scandal once can touch But it confounds the breather. He should have lived, Save that riotous youth, with dangerous sense, Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge, By so receiving a dishonour'd life With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had lived! A lack, when once our grace we have forgot, Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not.
787(stage directions)44[Exit]
788(stage directions)45[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO in his own habit, and FRIAR PETER]
78945DUKE VINCENTIOThese letters at fit time deliver me [Giving letters] The provost knows our purpose and our plot. The matter being afoot, keep your instruction, And hold you ever to our special drift; Though sometimes you do blench from this to that, As cause doth minister. Go call at Flavius' house, And tell him where I stay: give the like notice To Valentinus, Rowland, and to Crassus, And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate; But send me Flavius first.
79045FRIAR PETERIt shall be speeded well.
791(stage directions)45[Exit]
792(stage directions)45[Enter VARRIUS]
79345DUKE VINCENTIOI thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made good haste: Come, we will walk. There's other of our friends Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius.
794(stage directions)45[Exeunt]
795(stage directions)46[Enter ISABELLA and MARIANA]
79646ISABELLATo speak so indirectly I am loath: I would say the truth; but to accuse him so, That is your part: yet I am advised to do it; He says, to veil full purpose.
79746MARIANABe ruled by him.
79846ISABELLABesides, he tells me that, if peradventure He speak against me on the adverse side, I should not think it strange; for 'tis a physic That's bitter to sweet end.
79946MARIANAI would Friar Peter--
80046ISABELLAO, peace! the friar is come.
801(stage directions)46[Enter FRIAR PETER]
80246FRIAR PETERCome, I have found you out a stand most fit, Where you may have such vantage on the duke, He shall not pass you. Twice have the trumpets sounded; The generous and gravest citizens Have hent the gates, and very near upon The duke is entering: therefore, hence, away!
803(stage directions)46[Exeunt] [MARIANA veiled, ISABELLA, and FRIAR PETER, at their] stand. Enter DUKE VINCENTIO, VARRIUS, Lords, ANGELO, ESCALUS, LUCIO, Provost, Officers, and Citizens, at several doors]
80451DUKE VINCENTIOMy very worthy cousin, fairly met! Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you.
80551ANGELO[with Escalus] Happy return be to your royal grace!
80651DUKE VINCENTIOMany and hearty thankings to you both. We have made inquiry of you; and we hear Such goodness of your justice, that our soul Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks, Forerunning more requital.
80751ANGELOYou make my bonds still greater.
80851DUKE VINCENTIOO, your desert speaks loud; and I should wrong it, To lock it in the wards of covert bosom, When it deserves, with characters of brass, A forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time And razure of oblivion. Give me your hand, And let the subject see, to make them know That outward courtesies would fain proclaim Favours that keep within. Come, Escalus, You must walk by us on our other hand; And good supporters are you.
809(stage directions)51[FRIAR PETER and ISABELLA come forward]
81051FRIAR PETERNow is your time: speak loud and kneel before him.
81151ISABELLAJustice, O royal duke! Vail your regard Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have said, a maid! O worthy prince, dishonour not your eye By throwing it on any other object Till you have heard me in my true complaint And given me justice, justice, justice, justice!
81251DUKE VINCENTIORelate your wrongs; in what? by whom? be brief. Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice: Reveal yourself to him.
81351ISABELLAO worthy duke, You bid me seek redemption of the devil: Hear me yourself; for that which I must speak Must either punish me, not being believed, Or wring redress from you. Hear me, O hear me, here!
81451ANGELOMy lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm: She hath been a suitor to me for her brother Cut off by course of justice,--
81551ISABELLABy course of justice!
81651ANGELOAnd she will speak most bitterly and strange.
81751ISABELLAMost strange, but yet most truly, will I speak: That Angelo's forsworn; is it not strange? That Angelo's a murderer; is 't not strange? That Angelo is an adulterous thief, An hypocrite, a virgin-violator; Is it not strange and strange?
81851DUKE VINCENTIONay, it is ten times strange.
81951ISABELLAIt is not truer he is Angelo Than this is all as true as it is strange: Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth To the end of reckoning.
82051DUKE VINCENTIOAway with her! Poor soul, She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.
82151ISABELLAO prince, I conjure thee, as thou believest There is another comfort than this world, That thou neglect me not, with that opinion That I am touch'd with madness! Make not impossible That which but seems unlike: 'tis not impossible But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground, May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute As Angelo; even so may Angelo, In all his dressings, characts, titles, forms, Be an arch-villain; believe it, royal prince: If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more, Had I more name for badness.
82251DUKE VINCENTIOBy mine honesty, If she be mad,--as I believe no other,-- Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense, Such a dependency of thing on thing, As e'er I heard in madness.
82351ISABELLAO gracious duke, Harp not on that, nor do not banish reason For inequality; but let your reason serve To make the truth appear where it seems hid, And hide the false seems true.
82451DUKE VINCENTIOMany that are not mad Have, sure, more lack of reason. What would you say?
82551ISABELLAI am the sister of one Claudio, Condemn'd upon the act of fornication To lose his head; condemn'd by Angelo: I, in probation of a sisterhood, Was sent to by my brother; one Lucio As then the messenger,--
82651LUCIOThat's I, an't like your grace: I came to her from Claudio, and desired her To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo For her poor brother's pardon.
82751ISABELLAThat's he indeed.
82851DUKE VINCENTIOYou were not bid to speak.
82951LUCIONo, my good lord; Nor wish'd to hold my peace.
83051DUKE VINCENTIOI wish you now, then; Pray you, take note of it: and when you have A business for yourself, pray heaven you then Be perfect.
83151LUCIOI warrant your honour.
83251DUKE VINCENTIOThe warrants for yourself; take heed to't.
83351ISABELLAThis gentleman told somewhat of my tale,--
83551DUKE VINCENTIOIt may be right; but you are i' the wrong To speak before your time. Proceed.
83651ISABELLAI went To this pernicious caitiff deputy,--
83751DUKE VINCENTIOThat's somewhat madly spoken.
83851ISABELLAPardon it; The phrase is to the matter.
83951DUKE VINCENTIOMended again. The matter; proceed.
84051ISABELLAIn brief, to set the needless process by, How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneel'd, How he refell'd me, and how I replied,-- For this was of much length,--the vile conclusion I now begin with grief and shame to utter: He would not, but by gift of my chaste body To his concupiscible intemperate lust, Release my brother; and, after much debatement, My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour, And I did yield to him: but the next morn betimes, His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant For my poor brother's head.
84151DUKE VINCENTIOThis is most likely!
84251ISABELLAO, that it were as like as it is true!
84351DUKE VINCENTIOBy heaven, fond wretch, thou knowist not what thou speak'st, Or else thou art suborn'd against his honour In hateful practise. First, his integrity Stands without blemish. Next, it imports no reason That with such vehemency he should pursue Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended, He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself And not have cut him off. Some one hath set you on: Confess the truth, and say by whose advice Thou camest here to complain.
84451ISABELLAAnd is this all? Then, O you blessed ministers above, Keep me in patience, and with ripen'd time Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up In countenance! Heaven shield your grace from woe, As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go!
84551DUKE VINCENTIOI know you'ld fain be gone. An officer! To prison with her! Shall we thus permit A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall On him so near us? This needs must be a practise. Who knew of Your intent and coming hither?
84651ISABELLAOne that I would were here, Friar Lodowick.
84751DUKE VINCENTIOA ghostly father, belike. Who knows that Lodowick?
84851LUCIOMy lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling friar; I do not like the man: had he been lay, my lord For certain words he spake against your grace In your retirement, I had swinged him soundly.
84951DUKE VINCENTIOWords against me? this is a good friar, belike! And to set on this wretched woman here Against our substitute! Let this friar be found.
85051LUCIOBut yesternight, my lord, she and that friar, I saw them at the prison: a saucy friar, A very scurvy fellow.
85151FRIAR PETERBlessed be your royal grace! I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard Your royal ear abused. First, hath this woman Most wrongfully accused your substitute, Who is as free from touch or soil with her As she from one ungot.
85251DUKE VINCENTIOWe did believe no less. Know you that Friar Lodowick that she speaks of?
85351FRIAR PETERI know him for a man divine and holy; Not scurvy, nor a temporary meddler, As he's reported by this gentleman; And, on my trust, a man that never yet Did, as he vouches, misreport your grace.
85451LUCIOMy lord, most villanously; believe it.
85551FRIAR PETERWell, he in time may come to clear himself; But at this instant he is sick my lord, Of a strange fever. Upon his mere request, Being come to knowledge that there was complaint Intended 'gainst Lord Angelo, came I hither, To speak, as from his mouth, what he doth know Is true and false; and what he with his oath And all probation will make up full clear, Whensoever he's convented. First, for this woman. To justify this worthy nobleman, So vulgarly and personally accused, Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes, Till she herself confess it.
85651DUKE VINCENTIOGood friar, let's hear it. [ISABELLA is carried off guarded; and MARIANA comes forward] Do you not smile at this, Lord Angelo? O heaven, the vanity of wretched fools! Give us some seats. Come, cousin Angelo; In this I'll be impartial; be you judge Of your own cause. Is this the witness, friar? First, let her show her face, and after speak.
85751MARIANAPardon, my lord; I will not show my face Until my husband bid me.
85851DUKE VINCENTIOWhat, are you married?
85951MARIANANo, my lord.
86051DUKE VINCENTIOAre you a maid?
86151MARIANANo, my lord.
86251DUKE VINCENTIOA widow, then?
86351MARIANANeither, my lord.
86451DUKE VINCENTIOWhy, you are nothing then: neither maid, widow, nor wife?
86551LUCIOMy lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.
86651DUKE VINCENTIOSilence that fellow: I would he had some cause To prattle for himself.
86751LUCIOWell, my lord.
86851MARIANAMy lord; I do confess I ne'er was married; And I confess besides I am no maid: I have known my husband; yet my husband Knows not that ever he knew me.
86951LUCIOHe was drunk then, my lord: it can be no better.
87051DUKE VINCENTIOFor the benefit of silence, would thou wert so too!
87151LUCIOWell, my lord.
87251DUKE VINCENTIOThis is no witness for Lord Angelo.
87351MARIANANow I come to't my lord She that accuses him of fornication, In self-same manner doth accuse my husband, And charges him my lord, with such a time When I'll depose I had him in mine arms With all the effect of love.
87451ANGELOCharges she more than me?
87551MARIANANot that I know.
87651DUKE VINCENTIONo? you say your husband.
87751MARIANAWhy, just, my lord, and that is Angelo, Who thinks he knows that he ne'er knew my body, But knows he thinks that he knows Isabel's.
87851ANGELOThis is a strange abuse. Let's see thy face.
87951MARIANAMy husband bids me; now I will unmask. [Unveiling] This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, Which once thou sworest was worth the looking on; This is the hand which, with a vow'd contract, Was fast belock'd in thine; this is the body That took away the match from Isabel, And did supply thee at thy garden-house In her imagined person.
88051DUKE VINCENTIOKnow you this woman?
88151LUCIOCarnally, she says.
88251DUKE VINCENTIOSirrah, no more!
88351LUCIOEnough, my lord.
88451ANGELOMy lord, I must confess I know this woman: And five years since there was some speech of marriage Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off, Partly for that her promised proportions Came short of composition, but in chief For that her reputation was disvalued In levity: since which time of five years I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her, Upon my faith and honour.
88551MARIANANoble prince, As there comes light from heaven and words from breath, As there is sense in truth and truth in virtue, I am affianced this man's wife as strongly As words could make up vows: and, my good lord, But Tuesday night last gone in's garden-house He knew me as a wife. As this is true, Let me in safety raise me from my knees Or else for ever be confixed here, A marble monument!
88651ANGELOI did but smile till now: Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice My patience here is touch'd. I do perceive These poor informal women are no more But instruments of some more mightier member That sets them on: let me have way, my lord, To find this practise out.
88751DUKE VINCENTIOAy, with my heart And punish them to your height of pleasure. Thou foolish friar, and thou pernicious woman, Compact with her that's gone, think'st thou thy oaths, Though they would swear down each particular saint, Were testimonies against his worth and credit That's seal'd in approbation? You, Lord Escalus, Sit with my cousin; lend him your kind pains To find out this abuse, whence 'tis derived. There is another friar that set them on; Let him be sent for.
88851FRIAR PETERWould he were here, my lord! for he indeed Hath set the women on to this complaint: Your provost knows the place where he abides And he may fetch him.
88951DUKE VINCENTIOGo do it instantly. [Exit Provost] And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin, Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth, Do with your injuries as seems you best, In any chastisement: I for a while will leave you; But stir not you till you have well determined Upon these slanderers.
89051ESCALUSMy lord, we'll do it throughly. [Exit DUKE] Signior Lucio, did not you say you knew that Friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person?
89151LUCIO'Cucullus non facit monachum:' honest in nothing but in his clothes; and one that hath spoke most villanous speeches of the duke.
89251ESCALUSWe shall entreat you to abide here till he come and enforce them against him: we shall find this friar a notable fellow.
89351LUCIOAs any in Vienna, on my word.
89451ESCALUSCall that same Isabel here once again; I would speak with her. [Exit an Attendant] Pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; you shall see how I'll handle her.
89551LUCIONot better than he, by her own report.
89651ESCALUSSay you?
89751LUCIOMarry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately, she would sooner confess: perchance, publicly, she'll be ashamed.
89851ESCALUSI will go darkly to work with her.
89951LUCIOThat's the way; for women are light at midnight. [Re-enter Officers with ISABELLA; and Provost with] the DUKE VINCENTIO in his friar's habit]
90051ESCALUSCome on, mistress: here's a gentlewoman denies all that you have said.
90151LUCIOMy lord, here comes the rascal I spoke of; here with the provost.
90251ESCALUSIn very good time: speak not you to him till we call upon you.
90451ESCALUSCome, sir: did you set these women on to slander Lord Angelo? they have confessed you did.
90551DUKE VINCENTIO'Tis false.
90651ESCALUSHow! know you where you are?
90751DUKE VINCENTIORespect to your great place! and let the devil Be sometime honour'd for his burning throne! Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak.
90851ESCALUSThe duke's in us; and we will hear you speak: Look you speak justly.
90951DUKE VINCENTIOBoldly, at least. But, O, poor souls, Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox? Good night to your redress! Is the duke gone? Then is your cause gone too. The duke's unjust, Thus to retort your manifest appeal, And put your trial in the villain's mouth Which here you come to accuse.
91051LUCIOThis is the rascal; this is he I spoke of.
91151ESCALUSWhy, thou unreverend and unhallow'd friar, Is't not enough thou hast suborn'd these women To accuse this worthy man, but, in foul mouth And in the witness of his proper ear, To call him villain? and then to glance from him To the duke himself, to tax him with injustice? Take him hence; to the rack with him! We'll touse you Joint by joint, but we will know his purpose. What 'unjust'!
91251DUKE VINCENTIOBe not so hot; the duke Dare no more stretch this finger of mine than he Dare rack his own: his subject am I not, Nor here provincial. My business in this state Made me a looker on here in Vienna, Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble Till it o'er-run the stew; laws for all faults, But faults so countenanced, that the strong statutes Stand like the forfeits in a barber's shop, As much in mock as mark.
91351ESCALUSSlander to the state! Away with him to prison!
91451ANGELOWhat can you vouch against him, Signior Lucio? Is this the man that you did tell us of?
91551LUCIO'Tis he, my lord. Come hither, goodman baldpate: do you know me?
91651DUKE VINCENTIOI remember you, sir, by the sound of your voice: I met you at the prison, in the absence of the duke.
91751LUCIOO, did you so? And do you remember what you said of the duke?
91851DUKE VINCENTIOMost notedly, sir.
91951LUCIODo you so, sir? And was the duke a fleshmonger, a fool, and a coward, as you then reported him to be?
92051DUKE VINCENTIOYou must, sir, change persons with me, ere you make that my report: you, indeed, spoke so of him; and much more, much worse.
92151LUCIOO thou damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by the nose for thy speeches?
92251DUKE VINCENTIOI protest I love the duke as I love myself.
92351ANGELOHark, how the villain would close now, after his treasonable abuses!
92451ESCALUSSuch a fellow is not to be talked withal. Away with him to prison! Where is the provost? Away with him to prison! lay bolts enough upon him: let him speak no more. Away with those giglots too, and with the other confederate companion!
92551DUKE VINCENTIO[To Provost] Stay, sir; stay awhile.
92651ANGELOWhat, resists he? Help him, Lucio.
92751LUCIOCome, sir; come, sir; come, sir; foh, sir! Why, you bald-pated, lying rascal, you must be hooded, must you? Show your knave's visage, with a pox to you! show your sheep-biting face, and be hanged an hour! Will't not off?
928(stage directions)51[Pulls off the friar's hood, and discovers DUKE VINCENTIO]
92951DUKE VINCENTIOThou art the first knave that e'er madest a duke. First, provost, let me bail these gentle three. [To LUCIO] Sneak not away, sir; for the friar and you Must have a word anon. Lay hold on him.
93051LUCIOThis may prove worse than hanging.
93151DUKE VINCENTIO[To ESCALUS] What you have spoke I pardon: sit you down: We'll borrow place of him. [To ANGELO] Sir, by your leave. Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence, That yet can do thee office? If thou hast, Rely upon it till my tale be heard, And hold no longer out.
93251ANGELOO my dread lord, I should be guiltier than my guiltiness, To think I can be undiscernible, When I perceive your grace, like power divine,. Hath look'd upon my passes. Then, good prince, No longer session hold upon my shame, But let my trial be mine own confession: Immediate sentence then and sequent death Is all the grace I beg.
93351DUKE VINCENTIOCome hither, Mariana. Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman?
93451ANGELOI was, my lord.
93551DUKE VINCENTIOGo take her hence, and marry her instantly. Do you the office, friar; which consummate, Return him here again. Go with him, provost.
936(stage directions)51[Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER and Provost]
93751ESCALUSMy lord, I am more amazed at his dishonour Than at the strangeness of it.
93851DUKE VINCENTIOCome hither, Isabel. Your friar is now your prince: as I was then Advertising and holy to your business, Not changing heart with habit, I am still Attorney'd at your service.
93951ISABELLAO, give me pardon, That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd Your unknown sovereignty!
94051DUKE VINCENTIOYou are pardon'd, Isabel: And now, dear maid, be you as free to us. Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart; And you may marvel why I obscured myself, Labouring to save his life, and would not rather Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power Than let him so be lost. O most kind maid, It was the swift celerity of his death, Which I did think with slower foot came on, That brain'd my purpose. But, peace be with him! That life is better life, past fearing death, Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort, So happy is your brother.
94151ISABELLAI do, my lord.
942(stage directions)51[Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER, and Provost]
94351DUKE VINCENTIOFor this new-married man approaching here, Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd Your well defended honour, you must pardon For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudged your brother,-- Being criminal, in double violation Of sacred chastity and of promise-breach Thereon dependent, for your brother's life,-- The very mercy of the law cries out Most audible, even from his proper tongue, 'An Angelo for Claudio, death for death!' Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure; Like doth quit like, and MEASURE still FOR MEASURE. Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested; Which, though thou wouldst deny, denies thee vantage. We do condemn thee to the very block Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like haste. Away with him!
94451MARIANAO my most gracious lord, I hope you will not mock me with a husband.
94551DUKE VINCENTIOIt is your husband mock'd you with a husband. Consenting to the safeguard of your honour, I thought your marriage fit; else imputation, For that he knew you, might reproach your life And choke your good to come; for his possessions, Although by confiscation they are ours, We do instate and widow you withal, To buy you a better husband.
94651MARIANAO my dear lord, I crave no other, nor no better man.
94751DUKE VINCENTIONever crave him; we are definitive.
94851MARIANAGentle my liege,--
949(stage directions)51[Kneeling]
95051DUKE VINCENTIOYou do but lose your labour. Away with him to death! [To LUCIO] Now, sir, to you.
95151MARIANAO my good lord! Sweet Isabel, take my part; Lend me your knees, and all my life to come I'll lend you all my life to do you service.
95251DUKE VINCENTIOAgainst all sense you do importune her: Should she kneel down in mercy of this fact, Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break, And take her hence in horror.
95351MARIANAIsabel, Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me; Hold up your hands, say nothing; I'll speak all. They say, best men are moulded out of faults; And, for the most, become much more the better For being a little bad: so may my husband. O Isabel, will you not lend a knee?
95451DUKE VINCENTIOHe dies for Claudio's death.
95551ISABELLAMost bounteous sir, [Kneeling] Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd, As if my brother lived: I partly think A due sincerity govern'd his deeds, Till he did look on me: since it is so, Let him not die. My brother had but justice, In that he did the thing for which he died: For Angelo, His act did not o'ertake his bad intent, And must be buried but as an intent That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subjects; Intents but merely thoughts.
95651MARIANAMerely, my lord.
95751DUKE VINCENTIOYour suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say. I have bethought me of another fault. Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded At an unusual hour?
95851PROVOSTIt was commanded so.
95951DUKE VINCENTIOHad you a special warrant for the deed?
96051PROVOSTNo, my good lord; it was by private message.
96151DUKE VINCENTIOFor which I do discharge you of your office: Give up your keys.
96251PROVOSTPardon me, noble lord: I thought it was a fault, but knew it not; Yet did repent me, after more advice; For testimony whereof, one in the prison, That should by private order else have died, I have reserved alive.
96351DUKE VINCENTIOWhat's he?
96451PROVOSTHis name is Barnardine.
96551DUKE VINCENTIOI would thou hadst done so by Claudio. Go fetch him hither; let me look upon him.
966(stage directions)51[Exit Provost]
96751ESCALUSI am sorry, one so learned and so wise As you, Lord Angelo, have still appear'd, Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood. And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.
96851ANGELOI am sorry that such sorrow I procure: And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart That I crave death more willingly than mercy; 'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it. [Re-enter Provost, with BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO muffled,] and JULIET]
96951DUKE VINCENTIOWhich is that Barnardine?
97051PROVOSTThis, my lord.
97151DUKE VINCENTIOThere was a friar told me of this man. Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul. That apprehends no further than this world, And squarest thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd: But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all; And pray thee take this mercy to provide For better times to come. Friar, advise him; I leave him to your hand. What muffled fellow's that?
97251PROVOSTThis is another prisoner that I saved. Who should have died when Claudio lost his head; As like almost to Claudio as himself.
973(stage directions)51[Unmuffles CLAUDIO]
97451DUKE VINCENTIO[To ISABELLA] If he be like your brother, for his sake Is he pardon'd; and, for your lovely sake, Give me your hand and say you will be mine. He is my brother too: but fitter time for that. By this Lord Angelo perceives he's safe; Methinks I see a quickening in his eye. Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well: Look that you love your wife; her worth worth yours. I find an apt remission in myself; And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon. [To LUCIO] You, sirrah, that knew me for a fool, a coward, One all of luxury, an ass, a madman; Wherein have I so deserved of you, That you extol me thus?
97551LUCIO'Faith, my lord. I spoke it but according to the trick. If you will hang me for it, you may; but I had rather it would please you I might be whipt.
97651DUKE VINCENTIOWhipt first, sir, and hanged after. Proclaim it, provost, round about the city. Is any woman wrong'd by this lewd fellow, As I have heard him swear himself there's one Whom he begot with child, let her appear, And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd, Let him be whipt and hang'd.
97751LUCIOI beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore. Your highness said even now, I made you a duke: good my lord, do not recompense me in making me a cuckold.
97851DUKE VINCENTIOUpon mine honour, thou shalt marry her. Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal Remit thy other forfeits. Take him to prison; And see our pleasure herein executed.
97951LUCIOMarrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
98051DUKE VINCENTIOSlandering a prince deserves it. [Exit Officers with LUCIO] She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore. Joy to you, Mariana! Love her, Angelo: I have confess'd her and I know her virtue. Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness: There's more behind that is more gratulate. Thanks, provost, for thy care and secrecy: We shill employ thee in a worthier place. Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home The head of Ragozine for Claudio's: The offence pardons itself. Dear Isabel, I have a motion much imports your good; Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline, What's mine is yours and what is yours is mine. So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.
981(stage directions)51[Exeunt]

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