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Duke. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life and the business he 150 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.

Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him.

Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and know-
ledge with dearer love.

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

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

Duke.

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

report you.

Lucio. I fear you not.

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

Lucio. I'll be hanged first: thou art deceived in me,
Canst thou tell if

friar. But no more of this.
Claudio die to-morrow or no?

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Duke. Why should he die, sir? Lucio. Why? For filling a bottle with a tun-dish. I would the Duke we talk of were returned again : this ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with continency; sparrows must not build in his house-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: 190 I prithee, pray for me. The Duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's not past it yet, and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt brown bread and garlic: say that I said so. Farewell. [Exit. 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, and Officers with Mistress

Overdone.

Escal. Go; away with her to prison !

Mrs Ov. Good my lord, be good to

to me; your

honour is accounted a merciful man; good my
lord.

Escal. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit

in the same kind!

This would make mercy

swear and play the tyrant.

Prov. A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it

please your honour.

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Mrs Ov. My lord, this is one Lucio's information 210 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!

Escal. That fellow is a fellow of much license: let
him be called before us. Away with her to
prison ! Go to; no more words. [Exeunt
Officers with Mistress Ov.] Provost, my brother 220
Angelo will not be altered; Claudio must die
to-morrow: let him be furnished with divines,
and have all charitable preparation.
If my

brother wrought by my pity, it should not be
so with him.

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

Escal. Good even, good father.

Duke. Bliss and goodness on you!

Escal. Of whence are you?

Duke. Not of this country, though my chance is now
To use it for my time: I am a brother

Of gracious order, late come from the See

In special business from his Holiness.

Escal. What news abroad i' the world?

Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on

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goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it:
novelty is only in request; and it is as danger-
ous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is
virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. 240
There is scarce truth enough alive to make

societies secure; but security enough to make
fellowships accurst: much

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runs the wisdom of the world. This news is
old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray
you, sir, of what disposition was the Duke?

Escal. One that, above all other strifes, contended
especially to know himself.

Duke. What pleasure was he given to?

Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than 250 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.

Duke. He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice: 260 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.

Escal. You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have laboured for the poor gentleman to the extremest shore of my modesty: but my brother justice have I found so severe, that he hath forced me to tell him he is indeed Justice. 270 Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.

Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you

well.

Duke. Peace be with you! [Exeunt Escalus and Provost.

He who the sword of heaven will bear

Should be as holy as severe;

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

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290

[Exit.

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