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Sc. II

DUKE. I can hardly believe that, since you know not
what you speak. But, if ever the Duke return (as our
prayers are he may), let me desire you to make your
answer before him. If it be honest you have spoke,
you have courage to maintain it. I am bound to call
upon you; and, I pray you, your name?
LUCIO. Sir, my name is Lucio; well known to the Duke.
DUKE. He shall know you better, Sir, if I may live to
report you.

LUCIO. I fear you not.


DUKE. O, you hope the Duke will return no more; or you
imagine me too unhurtful an opposite.1 But, indeed,
I can do you little harm: you'll forswear this again.
LUCIO. I'll be hang'd first: thou art deceiv'd in me,
Friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell if
Claudio die to-morrow, or no?
DUKE. Why should he die, Sir?


LUCIO. Why? For filling a bottle with a tundish. I would the Duke we talk of were return'd again! This ungenitur'd2 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 answer'd; he would never bring them to light. Would he were return'd! Marry, this Claudio is condemn'd for untrussing. Farewell, good Friar; I pr'ythee, 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.



DUKE. No 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?

Enter ESCALUS, Provost, Bawd, and Officers.

ESCAL. Go away with her to prison !

BAWD. Good my Lord, be good to me; your Honour is accounted a merciful man. Good my Lord!

1 adversary. 2 sexless. 3 downing his hose. 4 (slang) female flesh.

5 kiss.

ESCAL. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit1
in the same kind?2 This would make Mercy swear,
and play the tyrant.
PROV. A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it please
your Honour.


BAWD. My Lord, this is one Lucio's information against me: Mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the Duke's time; he promis'd 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.

ESCAL. That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be call'd before us.-Away with her to prison. Go to; no more words. [Exeunt Bawd and Officers.] Provost, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd: Claudio must die to-morrow; let him be furnish'd with divines, and have all charitable preparation. If my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.


PROV. So please you, this Friar hath been with him, and advis'd him for the entertainment of death.

ESCAL. Good even, good Father.

DUKE. Bliss and goodness on you!

ESCAL. Of whence are you?

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

To use it for my time: I am a Brother

Of gracious Order, late come from the See

In special business from his Holiness.


ESCAL. What news abroad i' the world?
DUKE. None, but that there is so great a fever on good-
ness that the dissolution of it must cure it: novelty
only is in request; and it is as dangerous to be ag'd
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 security3 enough
to make fellowships accurs'd. Much upon this riddle
runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old

I pray you, Sir,


enough, yet it is every day's news. of what disposition was the Duke? ESCAL. One, that, above all other strifes, contended especially to know himself.

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Sc. II

ACT III DUKE. What pleasure was he given to?

Sc. II


ESCAL. Rather rejoicing to see another merry than merry
at any thing which profess'd 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 pre-
par'd. I am made to understand, that you have lent
him visitation.
DUKE. He professes to have receiv'd no sinister measure
from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to
the determination of justice. Yet had he fram'd 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 resolv'd1 to die. 239
ESCAL. You have paid the Heavens your function, and
the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have
labour'd for the poor gentleman to the extremest shore
of my modesty; but my brother justice have I found
so severe that he hath forc'd me to tell him, he is

DUKE. If his own life answer the straitness of his pro-
ceeding, it shall become him well: wherein, if he chance
to fail, he hath sentenc'd himself.

ESCAL. I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
DUKE. Peace be with you! [Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost.

1 content.

He, who the sword of Heaven will bear,
Should be as holy as severe;

Pattern in himself to know,

Grace to stand,2 virtue to go;3
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* wade in crimes,
Making practice on the times,
To draw with idle spiders' strings

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

Enter DUKE.


[Exit Boy.

Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.
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 displeas'd, but pleas'd my woe.
DUKE. 'Tis good: though music oft hath such a charm

To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.


pray you, tell me, hath any body inquir'd for me here to-day? Much upon this time have I promis'd here to



MARI. You have not been inquir'd after: I have sat here all day.

Sc. I

ACT IV DUKE. I 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.

MARI. I am always bound to you.


DUKE. Very well met, and welcome!

What is the news from this good Deputy?
ISAB. He hath a garden circummur'd with brick,
Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd;
And to that vineyard is a planched1 gate,
That makes his opening with this bigger key:
This other doth command a little door,

Which from the vineyard to the garden leads:
There have I made my promise

Upon the heavy middle of the night

To call upon him.


DUKE. But shall you on your knowledge find this way?

ISAB. I have ta'en a due and wary note upon 't:

With whispering and most guilty diligence,

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


Are there no other tokens

Between you 'greed concerning her observance?
ISAB. No, none, but only a repair i' the dark;
And that I have possess'd2 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.




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I have not yet made known to Mariana

A word of this. What, ho! within! come forth!



pray you, be acquainted with this maid:

She comes to do you good.


I do desire the like.

DUKE. Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?

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