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Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel?
That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother
Or else he must not only die the death,
To lingering sufferance. Answer me to-morrow,
Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true.
Isab. To whom shall I complain? Did I tell this,
Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Of palsied eld; and when thou art old, and rich,
Claud. I humbly thank you.
To sue to live, I find, I seek to die,
And, seeking death, find life. Let it come on!
Isab.What,ho! Peace here; grace and good company! Prov. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you.
Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome.-Look, signior,here's your sister.
Duke. Provost, a word with you.
Prov. As many as you please.
Duke. Bring me to hear them to speak, where I may be
Claud. Now, sister, what's the comfort?
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
Claud. Is there no remedy?
Isab. None, but such remedy, as, to save a head,
[Exit. To cleave a heart in twain.
Duke.So,then you hope of pardon from lord Angelo? Claud. The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope:
I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.
Duke. Be 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 skiey influences,)
That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Claud. But is there any?
Isab. Yes, brother, you may live;
If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
Claud. Perpetual durance?
Isab. Ay, just, perpetual durance; a restraint,
Claud. But in what nature?
Isab. In such a one as (you consenting to't) Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, And leave you naked.
Claud. Let me know the point.
Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Claud. Why give you me this shame?
Isab. There spake my brother; there my father's grave
Did utter forth a voice! Yes, thou must die:
In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,—
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth, A pond as deep as hell.
Claud. The princely Angelo?
Isab. O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
In princely guards! Dost thou think, Claudio,
Claud. O, heavens! it cannot be.
Isab. I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you a while. Duke. [To Claudio, aside.] Son, I have overheard what hath past 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
Isab. Yes, he would give it thee, from this rank with the disposition of natures: she, having the truth
So to offend him still: this night's the time,
That I should do what I abhor to name,
Isab. O, were it but my life,
I'd throw it down for your deliverance
Claud. Thanks, dear Isabel!
Isab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow!
That thus can make him bite the law by the nose,
Claud. If it were damnable, he, being so wise,
Claud. Ay, but to die, and go, we know not where;
The weariest and most loathed worldly life,
To what we fear of death.
Isab. Alas! alas!
Claud. Sweet 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.
Isab. O, you beast!
O, faithless coward! O, dishonest wretch!
From thine own sister's shame? What should I think?
Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel!
Isab. Ofy, fy, fy!
Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade:
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd: 'Tis best that thou diest quickly.
Claud. O hear me, Isabella!
of honour in her, hath made him that gracious denial,
Claud. Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of
Prov. What's your will, father? Duke. That now you are come, you will be gone: leave me a while with the maid; my mind promises with my habit, no loss shall touch her by my company. Prov. In good time. Exit Provost.
Duke. The hand, that hath made you fair, hath made you good: the goodness, that is cheap in beauty, makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, should 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 would you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother?
Isab. I am now going to resolve him: I had rather my brother die by the law, than my son should be unlawfully born. But oh,how much is the good duke deceived in Angelo! If ever he return, and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government. Duke. That shall not be much amiss: yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation; he made trial of you only.-Therefore, fasten your ear on my advisings; to the love I have in doing good, a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe, that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit, redeem your brother from the angry law, do no stain to your own gracious person, and much please the absent duke, if, peradventure, he shall ever return to have hearing of this business.
Isab. Let me hear you speak further! I have spirit to do any thing, that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.
Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick, the great soldier, who miscarried at sea? Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.
Duke. Her 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 perish'd vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark, how heavily this befel 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 mar[Going. riage dowry; with both, her combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo.
Duke.Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word!
Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I would require, is likewise your own benefit.
Isab. Can this be so? Did Angelo so leave her?
Duke. Left her in her tears, and dry'd 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.
Isab. What 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?
Duke.It is a rupture, that you may easily heal: and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps you from dishonour in doing it.
Isab. Show me how, good father! Duke. This fore-named 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, now follows all. We shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place; ifthe 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?
İsab. The image of it gives me content already; and, I trust, it will grow to a most prosperous perfection. Duke. It 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 St Luke's; there, at the moated grange,resides this dejected Mariana. At that place call upon me; and despatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly. Isab. I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father! [Exeunt severally.
SCENE II.-The street before the prison. Enter Duke, as a Friar; to him ELBOW, Clown, and Officers.
Elb. Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard. Duke. O, heavens! what stuff is here!
Clo. 'Twas never merry world, since, of two usuries, the merriest was put down, and the worser allow'd by order of law a furr'd gown to keep him warm; and furr'd with fox and lambskins too, to signify, that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing. Elb.Come your way,sir !-Bless you,good father friar! Duke. And you, good brother father! What offence hath this man made you, sir?
Elb. Marry, sir, he hath offended the law; and, sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have sent to the deputy.
Duke. Fy, 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! Clo. Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir, I would prove▬▬
Duke. Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin, Thou wilt prove his.-Take him to prison, officer; Correction and instruction must both work, Ere this rude beast will profit.
Elb. He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him warning: the deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if he be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.
Duke. That we were all, as some would seem to be, Free from our faults, as faults from seeming, free!
Elb. His neck will come to your waist, a cord, sir. Clo. I spy comfort; I cry, bail: Here's a gentleman, and a friend of mine!
Lucio. How now, noble Pompey? What, at the heels 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 say'st thou to this tune,matter, and method? Is't not drown'd i' the last rain? Ha? What say'st thou, trot? Is the world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words? Or how? The trick of it? Duke. Still thus, and thus! still worse! Lucio. How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she still? Ha?
Clo. Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in the tub. Lucio. Why, 'tis good; it is the right of it; it must be so: ever your fresh whore, and your powder'd bawd: an unshun'd consequence; it must be so. Art going to prison, Pompey? Clo. Yes, faith, sir.
Lucio. Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey! Farewell! Go; say, I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? Or how? Elb. For being a bawd, for being a bawd. Lucio. Well, then imprison him! If imprisonment be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right! Bawd is he, doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-born.- Farewell, good Pompey: commend me to the prison, Pompey! You will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house.
Clo. I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail. Lucio. No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage: you take it not patiently,why, your mettle is the more. Adieu, trusty Pompey.-Bless you, friar! Duke. And you!
Lucio. Does Bridget paint still, Pompey? Ha?
Elb. Come your ways, sir; come!
[Exeunt Elbow, Clown, and Officers. What news, friar, of the duke?
Duke. I know none. Can you tell me of any? Lucio. Some say, he is with the emperor of Russia: other some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you? Duke. I know not where: but wheresoever, I wish him well.
Lucio. It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence: he puts transgression to't.
Duke. He does well in't.
Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him: something too crabbed that way, friar. Duke.It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it. Lucio. Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred; it is well ally'd: 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 the downright way of creation: is it true, think Duke. How should he be made then? you? Lucio. Some report, a sea-maid spawn'd him:
Some, that he was begot between two stockfishes:but it is certain, that, when he makes water, his urine is congeal'd ice; that I know to be true: and he is a motion ungenerative, that's infallible.
The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong,
Enter ESCALUS, Provost, Bawd, and Officers.
Duke. You are pleasant, sir; and speak apace. Lucio. Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a cod-piece, to take away the life of a man? Would the duke, that is absent, have done this? Ere he would have hang'd a man for the getting a hun-in dred 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. Duke. Inever heard the absent duke much detected for women; he was not inclined that way. Lucio. O, sir, you are deceived! Duke. 'Tis not possible.
Lucio. Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and his use was, to put a ducat in her clackdish the duke had crotchets in him: he would be drunk too; that let me inform you.
Duke. You do him wrong, surely!
Lucio, Sir, I was an inward of his: a shy fellow was the duke: and, I believe, I know the cause of his withdrawing.
Prov. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may it please your honour.
Bawd.My lord, this is oneLucio's information against
Duke. Not of this country, though my chance is now
Duke. What, Ipr'ythee, might be the cause? Lucio.No,-pardon;-'tis a secret must be lock'dwithin the teeth and the lips:but this I can let you understand, -the greater fle of the subject held the dube to be wise. Duke. Wise? why, no question but he was! Lucio.A very superficial,ignorant,unweighing fellow. Duke. Either this is 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 Escal. What news abroad i' the world? his own bringings forth, and he shall appear to the Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on envious a scholar, a statesman, and a soldier: there-goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: nofore, you speak unskilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much darken'd in your malice. Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him. Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and ledge with dearer love.
velty 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 know-alive, to make societies secure; but security enough,
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 Lucio. I fear you not. report you. 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 hang'd first: thou art deceived in me, fríar! But no more of this. Caust thou tell, if Claudio die to-morrow, or no?
Duke. Why should he die, sir?
Lucio. Why? for filling a bottle with a tun-dish. I would, the duke, we talk of, were return'd again: this ungenitur'd agent will unpeople the provincewith 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; Ipr'ythec, pray for me! The duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's now past it; yet, and I say to thee, he would mouth with abeggar, though she smelt brown bread and garlick: say, that [Exit.
said so. Farewell.
Duke. No might, nor greatness in mortality Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny
to make fellowships accurs'd: much upon this riddle runs the wisdom ofthe 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 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 prepared. I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation.
Duke. He professes to have received no sinister measures 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. 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 forced me to tell him, he is indeed justice.
Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein,if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself. Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well. Duke. Peace be with you! [Exeunt Escalus and He, who the sword of heaven will bear,
Should be as holy as severe;
Mari. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away; Here comes a man of comfort, whose advise Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.-[Exit Boy.
I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish,
Duke. I do constantly believeyon:-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. But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
The way twice o'er.
Duke. Are there no other tokens
Between you'greed, concerning her observance?
Isab. No, none, but only a repair i' the dark;
Duke. 'Tis well borne up.
I have not yet made known to Mariana
A word of this. -What, ho! within! come forth!
I pray you,
Isab. I do desire the like.
Duke. Do you persuade yourself, that I respect you? Mari. Good friar, I know you do, and have found it. Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand, Who hath a story ready for your ear:
I shall attend your leisure; but make haste!
Mari. Will't please you walk aside?
[Exeunt Mariana and Isabella. Duke. O place and greatness, millions of false eyes Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
And rack thee in their fancies! - Welcome! How agreed?
Re-enter MARIANA and ISAbella,
Duke. It is not my consent,
But my entreaty too.
Isab. Little have you to say,
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
Mari. Fear me not!
Duke. Nor, gentle daugther, fear you not at all :
Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to sow![Exeunt.
Enter Provost and Clown.
Prov. Come hither, sirrah! Can you cut off a man's head?
Clo. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can: but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.
Prov. Come, 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 conmon 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 deliv erance with an unpitied whipping; for you have been a notorious bawd.
Clo. Sir, 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.
Prov. What ho,Abhorson! Where's Abhorson,there? Enter ABHоrson.
Abhor. Do you call, sir?
Pro. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow 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. Abhor. A bawd, sir? Fy upon him, he will discredit our mystery!