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Sc. I

And now, dear maid, be you as free1 to us.
Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart;
And you may marvel why I obscur'd myself,
Labouring to save his life, and would not rather
Make rash demonstrance 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,

Make it your comfort,

Than that which lives to fear.
So happy is your brother.


Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and Provost.
I do, my Lord.
DUKE. For 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 adjudg'd 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


O my most gracious Lord,
I hope you will not mock me with a husband!
DUKE. It is your husband mock'd you with a husband:
Consenting to the safeguard of your honour,

Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested,

Which, though thou would'st 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!

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,

1 generous.

2 lecherous.



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O my
I crave no other nor no better man.
DUKE. Never crave him; we are definitive.
MARI. Gentle, my Liege—


You do but lose your labour. Away with him to death! Now, Sir, [to LUCIO.] to


MARI. O, 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.
DUKE. Against 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.


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?
DUKE. He dies for Claudio's death.


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.

Most bounteous Sir, [kneeling.
Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother liv'd: I partly think

A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,

Till he did look on me: since it is so,


Merely, my Lord.
DUKE. Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say.
I have bethought me of another fault :

1 force of attainder.

2 give you in jointure.




Sc. I

Sc. I

Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded
At an unusual hour?


It was commanded.
DUKE. Had you a special warrant for the deed?
PROV. No, my good Lord: it was by private message.
DUKE. For which I do discharge you of

your office:

Give up your keys.


Pardon 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 reserv'd alive.

What's he?
His name is Barnardine.
DUKE. I would thou hadst done so by Claudio.
Go, fetch him hither; let me look upon him.

[Exit Provost.

ESCAL. I 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.
ANG. I 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.

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Enter Provost, with BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO muffled, and JULIET.



DUKE. Which is that Barnardine ?
This [he], my Lord.
DUKE. There 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 squar❜st 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



PROV. This is another prisoner that I sav'd,
That should have died when Claudio lost his head:

As like almost to Claudio as himself.

[unmuffles CLAUDIO. DUKE. [to ISABELLA.] If he be like your brother, for his


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 quick'ning in his eye.
Well, Angelo, your evil quits1 you well:

Look that you love your wife; her worth, worth your's.

I find an apt remission2 in myself,

And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon.

[to LUCIO.] You, sirrah, that knew me for a fool, a

One all of luxury, an ass, a madman;
Wherein have I deserved so of you
That you extol me thus ?


LUCIO. '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 whipp'd.
DUKE. Whipp'd first, Sir, and hang'd after.

Proclaim it, Provost, round about the City:
If any woman's wrong'd by this lewd fellow
(As I have heard him swear himself there's one,
Whom he hath got with child), let her appear,
And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd,
Let him be whipp'd and hang'd.


LUCIO. I 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.

DUKE. Upon 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.
LUCIO. Marrying a punk, my Lord, is pressing to death,

whipping, and hanging.

2 readiness.



3 lechery.


4 fashion.

5 offences.


Sc. I

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