Measure for Measure
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Navigate this workMeasure for Measure
Human nature and the law often collide in Measure for Measure. As the play begins, the Duke of Vienna announces he is going away and puts his deputy Angelo in charge of the state. Angelo immediately enforces a law prohibiting sex outside of marriage, sentencing Claudio to death for sleeping with Juliet, Claudio’s now-pregnant fiancée.
Claudio’s sister Isabella, a novice nun, appeals to Angelo to save her brother. But the supposedly pure Angelo demands that Isabella sleep with him to save Claudio. To Claudio’s dismay, Isabella refuses.
The duke, who has remained in Vienna disguised as a friar, suggests that Angelo’s jilted fiancée, Mariana, could take Isabella’s place. Although the trick succeeds, Angelo orders Claudio beheaded anyway. The duke saves Claudio, but he tells Isabella that Claudio is dead.
The duke, resuming his identity, sentences Angelo to wed Mariana and then be put to death. But Mariana and Isabella plead for Angelo’s life. Revealing that Claudio is alive, the duke pardons Angelo and proposes to Isabella.
DUKE 0001 Escalus.
ESCALUS 0002 My lord.
0003 Of government the properties to unfold
0004 Would seem in me t’ affect speech and discourse,
0005 5 Since I am put to know that your own science
0006 Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
0007 My strength can give you. Then no more remains
0008 But that, to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
0009 And let them work. The nature of our people,
0010 10 Our city’s institutions, and the terms
0011 For common justice, you’re as pregnant in
0012 As art and practice hath enrichèd any
0013 That we remember. There is our commission,
⌜He hands Escalus a paper.⌝
0014 From which we would not have you warp.—Call
0015 15 hither,
0016 I say, bid come before us Angelo.
⌜An Attendant exits.⌝
0017 What figure of us think you he will bear?
0018 For you must know, we have with special soul
0019 Elected him our absence to supply,
0020 20 Lent him our terror, dressed him with our love,
0022 Of our own power. What think you of it?
0023 If any in Vienna be of worth
0024 To undergo such ample grace and honor,
0025 25 It is Lord Angelo.
DUKE 0026 Look where he comes.
0027 Always obedient to your Grace’s will,
0028 I come to know your pleasure.
DUKE 0029 Angelo,
0030 30 There is a kind of character in thy life
0031 That to th’ observer doth thy history
0032 Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings
0033 Are not thine own so proper as to waste
0034 Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.
0035 35 Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,
0036 Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues
0037 Did not go forth of us, ’twere all alike
0038 As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touched
0039 But to fine issues, nor nature never lends
0040 40 The smallest scruple of her excellence
0041 But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
0042 Herself the glory of a creditor,
0043 Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
0044 To one that can my part in him advertise.
0045 45 Hold, therefore, Angelo.
0046 In our remove be thou at full ourself.
0047 Mortality and mercy in Vienna
0048 Live in thy tongue and heart. Old Escalus,
0049 Though first in question, is thy secondary.
0050 50 Take thy commission.⌜He hands Angelo a paper.⌝
ANGELO 0051 Now, good my lord,
0052 Let there be some more test made of my mettle
0054 Be stamped upon it.
DUKE 0055 55 No more evasion.
0056 We have with a leavened and preparèd choice
0057 Proceeded to you. Therefore, take your honors.
0058 Our haste from hence is of so quick condition
0059 That it prefers itself and leaves unquestioned
0060 60 Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
0061 As time and our concernings shall importune,
0062 How it goes with us, and do look to know
0063 What doth befall you here. So fare you well.
0064 To th’ hopeful execution do I leave you
0065 65 Of your commissions.
ANGELO 0066 Yet give leave, my lord,
0067 That we may bring you something on the way.
DUKE 0068 My haste may not admit it.
0069 Nor need you, on mine honor, have to do
0070 70 With any scruple. Your scope is as mine own,
0071 So to enforce or qualify the laws
0072 As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand.
0073 I’ll privily away. I love the people,
0074 But do not like to stage me to their eyes.
0075 75 Though it do well, I do not relish well
0076 Their loud applause and aves vehement,
0077 Nor do I think the man of safe discretion
0078 That does affect it. Once more, fare you well.
0079 The heavens give safety to your purposes.
0080 80 Lead forth and bring you back in happiness.
DUKE 0081 I thank you. Fare you well.He exits.
ESCALUS, ⌜to Angelo⌝
0082 I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
0083 To have free speech with you; and it concerns me
0084 To look into the bottom of my place.
0086 I am not yet instructed.
0087 ’Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,
0088 And we may soon our satisfaction have
0089 Touching that point.
ESCALUS 0090 90 I’ll wait upon your Honor.
LUCIO 0091 If the Duke, with the other dukes, come not to
0092 composition with the King of Hungary, why then all
0093 the dukes fall upon the King.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0094 Heaven grant us its peace, but not
0095 5 the King of Hungary’s!
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0096 Amen.
LUCIO 0097 Thou conclud’st like the sanctimonious pirate
0098 that went to sea with the ten commandments but
0099 scraped one out of the table.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0100 10“Thou shalt not steal”?
LUCIO 0101 Ay, that he razed.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0102 Why, ’twas a commandment to command
0103 the Captain and all the rest from their functions!
0104 They put forth to steal. There’s not a soldier of
0105 15 us all that in the thanksgiving before meat do relish
0106 the petition well that prays for peace.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0107 I never heard any soldier dislike it.
LUCIO 0108 I believe thee, for I think thou never wast where
0109 grace was said.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0110 20No? A dozen times at least.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0111 What? In meter?
LUCIO 0112 In any proportion or in any language.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0113 I think, or in any religion.
0115 25 controversy; as, for example, thou thyself art a
0116 wicked villain, despite of all grace.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0117 Well, there went but a pair of shears
0118 between us.
LUCIO 0119 I grant, as there may between the lists and the
0120 30 velvet. Thou art the list.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0121 And thou the velvet. Thou art good
0122 velvet; thou ’rt a three-piled piece, I warrant thee. I
0123 had as lief be a list of an English kersey as be piled,
0124 as thou art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak
0125 35 feelingly now?
LUCIO 0126 I think thou dost, and indeed with most painful
0127 feeling of thy speech. I will, out of thine own
0128 confession, learn to begin thy health, but, whilst I
0129 live, forget to drink after thee.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0130 40I think I have done myself wrong,
0131 have I not?
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0132 Yes, that thou hast, whether thou
0133 art tainted or free.
Enter ⌜Mistress Overdone, a⌝ Bawd.
LUCIO 0134 Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation
0135 45 comes! I have purchased as many diseases under
0136 her roof as come to—
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0137 To what, I pray?
LUCIO 0138 Judge.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0139 To three thousand dolors a year.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0140 50Ay, and more.
LUCIO 0141 A French crown more.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0142 Thou art always figuring diseases in
0143 me, but thou art full of error. I am sound.
LUCIO 0144 Nay, not, as one would say, healthy, but so sound
0145 55 as things that are hollow. Thy bones are hollow.
0146 Impiety has made a feast of thee.
0148 hips has the most profound sciatica?
BAWD 0149 Well, well. There’s one yonder arrested and
0150 60 carried to prison was worth five thousand of you all.
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0151 Who’s that, I pray thee?
BAWD 0152 Marry, sir, that’s Claudio, Signior Claudio.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0153 Claudio to prison? ’Tis not so.
BAWD 0154 Nay, but I know ’tis so. I saw him arrested, saw
0155 65 him carried away; and, which is more, within these
0156 three days his head to be chopped off.
LUCIO 0157 But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so!
0158 Art thou sure of this?
BAWD 0159 I am too sure of it. And it is for getting Madam
0160 70 Julietta with child.
LUCIO 0161 Believe me, this may be. He promised to meet
0162 me two hours since, and he was ever precise in
SECOND GENTLEMAN 0164 Besides, you know, it draws something
0165 75 near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
FIRST GENTLEMAN 0166 But most of all agreeing with the
LUCIO 0168 Away. Let’s go learn the truth of it.
⌜Lucio and Gentlemen⌝ exit.
BAWD 0169 Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat,
0170 80 what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am
0172 How now? What’s the news with you?
POMPEY 0173 Yonder man is carried to prison.
BAWD 0174 Well, what has he done?
POMPEY 0175 85A woman.
BAWD 0176 But what’s his offense?
POMPEY 0177 Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.
BAWD 0178 What? Is there a maid with child by him?
0180 90 You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
BAWD 0181 What proclamation, man?
POMPEY 0182 All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be
0183 plucked down.
BAWD 0184 And what shall become of those in the city?
POMPEY 0185 95They shall stand for seed. They had gone down
0186 too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
BAWD 0187 But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs
0188 be pulled down?
POMPEY 0189 To the ground, mistress.
BAWD 0190 100Why, here’s a change indeed in the commonwealth!
0191 What shall become of me?
POMPEY 0192 Come, fear not you. Good counselors lack no
0193 clients. Though you change your place, you need
0194 not change your trade. I’ll be your tapster still.
0195 105 Courage. There will be pity taken on you. You that
0196 have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you
0197 will be considered.
Enter Provost, Claudio, Juliet, ⌜and⌝ Officers.
BAWD 0198 What’s to do here, Thomas Tapster? Let’s
POMPEY 0200 110Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the Provost
0201 to prison. And there’s Madam Juliet.
⌜Bawd and Pompey⌝ exit.
CLAUDIO, ⌜to Provost⌝
0202 Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to th’ world?
0203 Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
0204 I do it not in evil disposition,
0205 115 But from Lord Angelo by special charge.
0206 Thus can the demigod Authority
0207 Make us pay down for our offense, by weight,
0209 On whom it will not, so; yet still ’tis just.
Enter Lucio and Second Gentleman.
0210 120 Why, how now, Claudio? Whence comes this
0212 From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty.
0213 As surfeit is the father of much fast,
0214 So every scope by the immoderate use
0215 125 Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue,
0216 Like rats that raven down their proper bane,
0217 A thirsty evil, and when we drink, we die.
LUCIO 0218 If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I
0219 would send for certain of my creditors. And yet, to
0220 130 say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of
0221 freedom as the mortality of imprisonment. What’s
0222 thy offense, Claudio?
0223 What but to speak of would offend again.
LUCIO 0224 What, is ’t murder?
CLAUDIO 0225 135No.
LUCIO 0226 Lechery?
CLAUDIO 0227 Call it so.
PROVOST 0228 Away, sir. You must go.
0229 One word, good friend.—Lucio, a word with you.
LUCIO 0230 140A hundred, if they’ll do you any good. Is lechery
0231 so looked after?
0232 Thus stands it with me: upon a true contract
0233 I got possession of Julietta’s bed.
0234 You know the lady. She is fast my wife,
0235 145 Save that we do the denunciation lack
0236 Of outward order. This we came not to
0238 Remaining in the coffer of her friends,
0239 From whom we thought it meet to hide our love
0240 150 Till time had made them for us. But it chances
0241 The stealth of our most mutual entertainment
0242 With character too gross is writ on Juliet.
0243 With child, perhaps?
CLAUDIO 0244 Unhappily, even so.
0245 155 And the new deputy now for the Duke—
0246 Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness,
0247 Or whether that the body public be
0248 A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
0249 Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
0250 160 He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
0251 Whether the tyranny be in his place
0252 Or in his eminence that fills it up,
0253 I stagger in—but this new governor
0254 Awakes me all the enrollèd penalties
0255 165 Which have, like unscoured armor, hung by th’ wall
0256 So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round,
0257 And none of them been worn; and for a name
0258 Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
0259 Freshly on me. ’Tis surely for a name.
LUCIO 0260 170I warrant it is. And thy head stands so tickle on
0261 thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love, may
0262 sigh it off. Send after the Duke and appeal to him.
0263 I have done so, but he’s not to be found.
0264 I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
0265 175 This day my sister should the cloister enter
0266 And there receive her approbation.
0267 Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
0268 Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
0269 To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him.
0270 180 I have great hope in that, for in her youth
0272 Such as move men. Besides, she hath prosperous art
0273 When she will play with reason and discourse,
0274 And well she can persuade.
LUCIO 0275 185I pray she may, as well for the encouragement of
0276 the like, which else would stand under grievous
0277 imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I
0278 would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a
0279 game of tick-tack. I’ll to her.
CLAUDIO 0280 190I thank you, good friend Lucio.
LUCIO 0281 Within two hours.
CLAUDIO 0282 Come, officer, away.
0283 No, holy father, throw away that thought.
0284 Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
0285 Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee
0286 To give me secret harbor hath a purpose
0287 5 More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
0288 Of burning youth.
FRIAR THOMAS 0289 May your Grace speak of it?
0290 My holy sir, none better knows than you
0291 How I have ever loved the life removed,
0292 10 And held in idle price to haunt assemblies
0293 Where youth and cost witless bravery keeps.
0294 I have delivered to Lord Angelo,
0295 A man of stricture and firm abstinence,
0296 My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
0297 15 And he supposes me traveled to Poland,
0298 For so I have strewed it in the common ear,
0300 You will demand of me why I do this.
FRIAR THOMAS 0301 Gladly, my lord.
0302 20 We have strict statutes and most biting laws,
0303 The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds,
0304 Which for this fourteen years we have let slip,
0305 Even like an o’ergrown lion in a cave
0306 That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers,
0307 25 Having bound up the threat’ning twigs of birch
0308 Only to stick it in their children’s sight
0309 For terror, not to use—in time the rod
0310 More mocked than feared—so our decrees,
0311 Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,
0312 30 And liberty plucks justice by the nose,
0313 The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
0314 Goes all decorum.
FRIAR THOMAS 0315 It rested in your Grace
0316 To unloose this tied-up justice when you pleased,
0317 35 And it in you more dreadful would have seemed
0318 Than in Lord Angelo.
DUKE 0319 I do fear, too dreadful.
0320 Sith ’twas my fault to give the people scope,
0321 ’Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them
0322 40 For what I bid them do; for we bid this be done
0323 When evil deeds have their permissive pass
0324 And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my
0326 I have on Angelo imposed the office,
0327 45 Who may in th’ ambush of my name strike home,
0328 And yet my nature never in the fight
0329 To do in slander. And to behold his sway
0330 I will, as ’twere a brother of your order,
0331 Visit both prince and people. Therefore I prithee
0332 50 Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
0333 How I may formally in person bear
0335 At our more leisure shall I render you.
0336 Only this one: Lord Angelo is precise,
0337 55 Stands at a guard with envy, scarce confesses
0338 That his blood flows or that his appetite
0339 Is more to bread than stone. Hence shall we see,
0340 If power change purpose, what our seemers be.
0341 And have you nuns no farther privileges?
NUN 0342 Are not these large enough?
0343 Yes, truly. I speak not as desiring more,
0344 But rather wishing a more strict restraint
0345 5 Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.
0346 Ho, peace be in this place!
ISABELLA 0347 Who’s that which calls?
0348 It is a man’s voice. Gentle Isabella,
0349 Turn you the key and know his business of him.
0350 10 You may; I may not. You are yet unsworn.
0351 When you have vowed, you must not speak with men
0352 But in the presence of the Prioress.
0353 Then, if you speak, you must not show your face;
0354 Or if you show your face, you must not speak.
0355 15 He calls again. I pray you answer him.
0356 Peace and prosperity! Who is ’t that calls?
0357 Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses
0358 Proclaim you are no less. Can you so stead me
0359 As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
0360 20 A novice of this place and the fair sister
0361 To her unhappy brother, Claudio?
0362 Why “her unhappy brother”? Let me ask,
0363 The rather for I now must make you know
0364 I am that Isabella, and his sister.
0365 25 Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you.
0366 Not to be weary with you, he’s in prison.
ISABELLA 0367 Woe me, for what?
0368 For that which, if myself might be his judge,
0369 He should receive his punishment in thanks:
0370 30 He hath got his friend with child.
0371 Sir, make me not your story.
LUCIO 0372 ’Tis true.
0373 I would not, though ’tis my familiar sin
0374 With maids to seem the lapwing and to jest,
0375 35 Tongue far from heart, play with all virgins so.
0376 I hold you as a thing enskied and sainted,
0377 By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
0378 And to be talked with in sincerity
0379 As with a saint.
0380 40 You do blaspheme the good in mocking me.
0381 Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, ’tis thus:
0382 Your brother and his lover have embraced;
0383 As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time
0384 That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
0386 Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.
0387 Someone with child by him? My cousin Juliet?
LUCIO 0388 Is she your cousin?
0389 Adoptedly, as schoolmaids change their names
0390 50 By vain though apt affection.
LUCIO 0391 She it is.
0392 O, let him marry her!
LUCIO 0393 This is the point.
0394 The Duke is very strangely gone from hence;
0395 55 Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
0396 In hand, and hope of action; but we do learn,
0397 By those that know the very nerves of state,
0398 His ⌜givings-out⌝ were of an infinite distance
0399 From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
0400 60 And with full line of his authority,
0401 Governs Lord Angelo, a man whose blood
0402 Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
0403 The wanton stings and motions of the sense,
0404 But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
0405 65 With profits of the mind: study and fast.
0406 He—to give fear to use and liberty,
0407 Which have for long run by the hideous law
0408 As mice by lions—hath picked out an act
0409 Under whose heavy sense your brother’s life
0410 70 Falls into forfeit. He arrests him on it,
0411 And follows close the rigor of the statute
0412 To make him an example. All hope is gone
0413 Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
0414 To soften Angelo. And that’s my pith of business
0415 75 ’Twixt you and your poor brother.
ISABELLA 0416 Doth he so
0417 Seek his life?
0419 And, as I hear, the Provost hath a warrant
0420 80 For ’s execution.
0421 Alas, what poor ability’s in me
0422 To do him good?
LUCIO 0423 Assay the power you have.
0424 My power? Alas, I doubt—
LUCIO 0425 85 Our doubts are traitors
0426 And makes us lose the good we oft might win
0427 By fearing to attempt. Go to Lord Angelo
0428 And let him learn to know, when maidens sue
0429 Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
0430 90 All their petitions are as freely theirs
0431 As they themselves would owe them.
ISABELLA 0432 I’ll see what I can do.
LUCIO 0433 But speedily!
ISABELLA 0434 I will about it straight,
0435 95 No longer staying but to give the Mother
0436 Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you.
0437 Commend me to my brother. Soon at night
0438 I’ll send him certain word of my success.
0439 I take my leave of you.
ISABELLA 0440 100 Good sir, adieu.
0441 We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
0442 Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
0443 And let it keep one shape till custom make it
0444 Their perch and not their terror.
ESCALUS 0445 5 Ay, but yet
0446 Let us be keen and rather cut a little
0447 Than fall and bruise to death. Alas, this gentleman
0448 Whom I would save had a most noble father.
0449 Let but your Honor know,
0450 10 Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,
0451 That, in the working of your own affections,
0452 Had time cohered with place, or place with wishing,
0453 Or that the resolute acting of ⌜your⌝ blood
0454 Could have attained th’ effect of your own purpose,
0455 15 Whether you had not sometime in your life
0456 Erred in this point which now you censure him,
0457 And pulled the law upon you.
0458 ’Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
0459 Another thing to fall. I not deny
0460 20 The jury passing on the prisoner’s life
0461 May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two
0462 Guiltier than him they try. What’s open made to
0465 25 That thieves do pass on thieves? ’Tis very pregnant,
0466 The jewel that we find, we stoop and take ’t
0467 Because we see it; but what we do not see,
0468 We tread upon and never think of it.
0469 You may not so extenuate his offense
0470 30 For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
0471 When I that censure him do so offend,
0472 Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
0473 And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.
0474 Be it as your wisdom will.
ANGELO 0475 35 Where is the Provost?
0476 Here, if it like your Honor.
ANGELO 0477 See that Claudio
0478 Be executed by nine tomorrow morning.
0479 Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared,
0480 40 For that’s the utmost of his pilgrimage.
0481 Well, heaven forgive him and forgive us all.
0482 Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall.
0483 Some run from brakes of ice and answer none,
0484 And some condemnèd for a fault alone.
Enter Elbow ⌜and⌝ Officers, ⌜with⌝ Froth
ELBOW, ⌜to Officers⌝ 0485 45Come, bring them away. If these
0486 be good people in a commonweal that do nothing
0487 but use their abuses in common houses, I know no
0488 law. Bring them away.
ANGELO 0489 How now, sir, what’s your name? And what’s
0490 50 the matter?
0492 constable, and my name is Elbow. I do lean upon
0493 justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good
0494 Honor two notorious benefactors.
ANGELO 0495 55Benefactors? Well, what benefactors are they?
0496 Are they not malefactors?
ELBOW 0497 If it please your Honor, I know not well what
0498 they are, but precise villains they are, that I am sure
0499 of, and void of all profanation in the world that
0500 60 good Christians ought to have.
ESCALUS, ⌜to Angelo⌝ 0501 This comes off well. Here’s a wise
ANGELO, ⌜to Elbow⌝ 0503 Go to. What quality are they of?
0504 Elbow is your name? Why dost thou not speak,
0505 65 Elbow?
POMPEY 0506 He cannot, sir. He’s out at elbow.
ANGELO 0507 What are you, sir?
ELBOW 0508 He, sir? A tapster, sir, parcel bawd; one that
0509 serves a bad woman, whose house, sir, was, as they
0510 70 say, plucked down in the suburbs, and now she
0511 professes a hothouse, which I think is a very ill
0512 house too.
ESCALUS 0513 How know you that?
ELBOW 0514 My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and
0515 75 your Honor—
ESCALUS 0516 How? Thy wife?
ELBOW 0517 Ay, sir, whom I thank heaven is an honest
ESCALUS 0519 Dost thou detest her therefore?
ELBOW 0520 80I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as she,
0521 that this house, if it be not a bawd’s house, it is pity
0522 of her life, for it is a naughty house.
ESCALUS 0523 How dost thou know that, constable?
ELBOW 0524 Marry, sir, by my wife, who, if she had been a
0525 85 woman cardinally given, might have been accused
ESCALUS 0528 By the woman’s means?
ELBOW 0529 Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone’s means; but as
0530 90 she spit in his face, so she defied him.
POMPEY, ⌜to Escalus⌝ 0531 Sir, if it please your Honor, this is
0532 not so.
ELBOW 0533 Prove it before these varlets here, thou honorable
0534 man, prove it.
ESCALUS, ⌜to Angelo⌝ 0535 95Do you hear how he misplaces?
POMPEY 0536 Sir, she came in great with child, and longing,
0537 saving your Honor’s reverence, for stewed prunes.
0538 Sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very
0539 distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit dish, a dish
0540 100 of some threepence; your Honors have seen such
0541 dishes; they are not china dishes, but very good
ESCALUS 0543 Go to, go to. No matter for the dish, sir.
POMPEY 0544 No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in
0545 105 the right. But to the point: as I say, this Mistress
0546 Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great-bellied,
0547 and longing, as I said, for prunes; and
0548 having but two in the dish, as I said, Master Froth
0549 here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as I said,
0550 110 and, as I say, paying for them very honestly—for, as
0551 you know, Master Froth, I could not give you threepence
FROTH 0553 No, indeed.
POMPEY 0554 Very well. You being then, if you be remembered,
0555 115 cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes—
FROTH 0556 Ay, so I did indeed.
POMPEY 0557 Why, very well. I telling you then, if you be
0558 remembered, that such a one and such a one were
0559 past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept
0560 120 very good diet, as I told you—
FROTH 0561 All this is true.
ESCALUS 0563 Come, you are a tedious fool. To the purpose:
0564 what was done to Elbow’s wife that he hath cause to
0565 125 complain of? Come me to what was done to her.
POMPEY 0566 Sir, your Honor cannot come to that yet.
ESCALUS 0567 No, sir, nor I mean it not.
POMPEY 0568 Sir, but you shall come to it, by your Honor’s
0569 leave. And I beseech you, look into Master Froth
0570 130 here, sir, a man of fourscore pound a year, whose
0571 father died at Hallowmas—was ’t not at Hallowmas,
0572 Master Froth?
FROTH 0573 All-hallond Eve.
POMPEY 0574 Why, very well. I hope here be truths.—He,
0575 135 sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir—⌜To Froth.⌝
0576 ’Twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where indeed you
0577 have a delight to sit, have you not?
FROTH 0578 I have so, because it is an open room, and good
0579 for winter.
POMPEY 0580 140Why, very well then. I hope here be truths.
ANGELO, ⌜to Escalus⌝
0581 This will last out a night in Russia
0582 When nights are longest there. I’ll take my leave,
0583 And leave you to the hearing of the cause,
0584 Hoping you’ll find good cause to whip them all.
0585 145 I think no less. Good morrow to your Lordship
0586 Now, sir, come on. What was done to Elbow’s wife,
0587 once more?
POMPEY 0588 Once, sir? There was nothing done to her
ELBOW, ⌜to Escalus⌝ 0590 150I beseech you, sir, ask him what
0591 this man did to my wife.
POMPEY, ⌜to Escalus⌝ 0592 I beseech your Honor, ask me.
ESCALUS 0593 Well, sir, what did this gentleman to her?
POMPEY 0594 I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman’s
0596 ’Tis for a good purpose.—Doth your Honor mark
0597 his face?
ESCALUS 0598 Ay, sir, very well.
POMPEY 0599 Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
ESCALUS 0600 160Well, I do so.
POMPEY 0601 Doth your Honor see any harm in his face?
ESCALUS 0602 Why, no.
POMPEY 0603 I’ll be supposed upon a book, his face is the
0604 worst thing about him. Good, then, if his face be the
0605 165 worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do
0606 the Constable’s wife any harm? I would know that
0607 of your Honor.
ESCALUS 0608 He’s in the right, constable. What say you to
ELBOW 0610 170First, an it like you, the house is a respected
0611 house; next, this is a respected fellow, and his
0612 mistress is a respected woman.
POMPEY 0613 By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected
0614 person than any of us all.
ELBOW 0615 175Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet! The
0616 time is yet to come that she was ever respected with
0617 man, woman, or child.
POMPEY 0618 Sir, she was respected with him before he
0619 married with her.
ESCALUS 0620 180Which is the wiser here, Justice or Iniquity?
0621 Is this true?
ELBOW, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 0622 O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O
0623 thou wicked Hannibal! I respected with her before I
0624 was married to her?—If ever I was respected with
0625 185 her, or she with me, let not your Worship think me
0626 the poor duke’s officer.—Prove this, thou wicked
0627 Hannibal, or I’ll have mine action of batt’ry on thee.
ESCALUS 0628 If he took you a box o’ th’ ear, you might have
0629 your action of slander too.
ELBOW 0630 190Marry, I thank your good Worship for it. What
0632 wicked caitiff?
ESCALUS 0633 Truly, officer, because he hath some offenses
0634 in him that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst,
0635 195 let him continue in his courses till thou know’st
0636 what they are.
ELBOW 0637 Marry, I thank your Worship for it. ⌜To Pompey.⌝
0638 Thou seest, thou wicked varlet, now, what’s
0639 come upon thee. Thou art to continue now, thou
0640 200 varlet, thou art to continue.
ESCALUS, ⌜to Froth⌝ 0641 Where were you born, friend?
FROTH 0642 Here in Vienna, sir.
ESCALUS 0643 Are you of fourscore pounds a year?
FROTH 0644 Yes, an ’t please you, sir.
ESCALUS 0645 205So. ⌜To Pompey.⌝ What trade are you of, sir?
POMPEY 0646 A tapster, a poor widow’s tapster.
ESCALUS 0647 Your mistress’ name?
POMPEY 0648 Mistress Overdone.
ESCALUS 0649 Hath she had any more than one husband?
POMPEY 0650 210Nine, sir. Overdone by the last.
ESCALUS 0651 Nine?—Come hither to me, Master Froth.
0652 Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with
0653 tapsters; they will draw you, Master Froth, and you
0654 will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear no
0655 215 more of you.
FROTH 0656 I thank your Worship. For mine own part, I
0657 never come into any room in a taphouse but I am
0658 drawn in.
ESCALUS 0659 Well, no more of it, Master Froth. Farewell.
0660 220 Come you hither to me, Master Tapster. What’s your
0661 name, Master Tapster?
POMPEY 0662 Pompey.
ESCALUS 0663 What else?
POMPEY 0664 Bum, sir.
0666 about you, so that in the beastliest sense you are
0667 Pompey the Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd,
0668 Pompey, howsoever you color it in being a tapster,
0669 are you not? Come, tell me true. It shall be the
0670 230 better for you.
POMPEY 0671 Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.
ESCALUS 0672 How would you live, Pompey? By being a
0673 bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? Is it
0674 a lawful trade?
POMPEY 0675 235If the law would allow it, sir.
ESCALUS 0676 But the law will not allow it, Pompey, nor it
0677 shall not be allowed in Vienna.
POMPEY 0678 Does your Worship mean to geld and splay all
0679 the youth of the city?
ESCALUS 0680 240No, Pompey.
POMPEY 0681 Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to ’t
0682 then. If your Worship will take order for the drabs
0683 and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.
ESCALUS 0684 There is pretty orders beginning, I can tell
0685 245 you. It is but heading and hanging.
POMPEY 0686 If you head and hang all that offend that way
0687 but for ten year together, you’ll be glad to give out a
0688 commission for more heads. If this law hold in
0689 Vienna ten year, I’ll rent the fairest house in it after
0690 250 threepence a bay. If you live to see this come to
0691 pass, say Pompey told you so.
ESCALUS 0692 Thank you, good Pompey. And in requital of
0693 your prophecy, hark you: I advise you let me not
0694 find you before me again upon any complaint
0695 255 whatsoever; no, not for dwelling where you do. If I
0696 do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent and prove
0697 a shrewd Caesar to you. In plain dealing, Pompey, I
0698 shall have you whipped. So, for this time, Pompey,
0699 fare you well.
POMPEY 0700 260I thank your Worship for your good counsel.
0702 shall better determine.
0703 Whip me? No, no, let carman whip his jade.
0704 The valiant heart’s not whipped out of his trade.
ESCALUS 0705 265Come hither to me, Master Elbow. Come
0706 hither, Master Constable. How long have you been
0707 in this place of constable?
ELBOW 0708 Seven year and a half, sir.
ESCALUS 0709 I thought, by the readiness in the office, you
0710 270 had continued in it some time. You say seven years
ELBOW 0712 And a half, sir.
ESCALUS 0713 Alas, it hath been great pains to you. They do
0714 you wrong to put you so oft upon ’t. Are there not
0715 275 men in your ward sufficient to serve it?
ELBOW 0716 Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters. As
0717 they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for
0718 them. I do it for some piece of money and go
0719 through with all.
ESCALUS 0720 280Look you bring me in the names of some six
0721 or seven, the most sufficient of your parish.
ELBOW 0722 To your Worship’s house, sir?
ESCALUS 0723 To my house. Fare you well.
⌜Elbow and Officers exit.⌝
0724 ⌜To Justice.⌝ What’s o’clock, think you?
JUSTICE 0725 285Eleven, sir.
ESCALUS 0726 I pray you home to dinner with me.
JUSTICE 0727 I humbly thank you.
0728 It grieves me for the death of Claudio,
0729 But there’s no remedy.
0730 290 Lord Angelo is severe.
ESCALUS 0731 It is but needful.
0732 Mercy is not itself that oft looks so.
0734 But yet, poor Claudio. There is no remedy.
0735 295 Come, sir.
0736 He’s hearing of a cause. He will come straight.
0737 I’ll tell him of you.
PROVOST 0738 Pray you do.
0739 I’ll know
0740 5 His pleasure. Maybe he will relent. Alas,
0741 He hath but as offended in a dream.
0742 All sects, all ages smack of this vice, and he
0743 To die for ’t?
ANGELO 0744 Now, what’s the matter, provost?
0745 10 Is it your will Claudio shall die tomorrow?
0746 Did not I tell thee yea? Hadst thou not order?
0747 Why dost thou ask again?
PROVOST 0748 Lest I might be too rash.
0749 Under your good correction, I have seen
0750 15 When, after execution, judgment hath
0751 Repented o’er his doom.
ANGELO 0752 Go to. Let that be mine.
0753 Do you your office, or give up your place
0754 And you shall well be spared.
PROVOST 0755 20I crave your Honor’s pardon.
0757 She’s very near her hour.
ANGELO 0758 Dispose of her
0759 To some more fitter place, and that with speed.
0760 25 Here is the sister of the man condemned
0761 Desires access to you.
ANGELO 0762 Hath he a sister?
0763 Ay, my good lord, a very virtuous maid,
0764 And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
0765 30 If not already.
ANGELO, ⌜to Servant⌝ 0766 Well, let her be admitted.
0767 See you the fornicatress be removed.
0768 Let her have needful but not lavish means.
0769 There shall be order for ’t.
Enter Lucio and Isabella.
PROVOST, ⌜beginning to exit⌝ 0770 35Save your Honor.
0771 Stay a little while. ⌜To Isabella.⌝ You’re welcome.
0772 What’s your will?
0773 I am a woeful suitor to your Honor,
0774 Please but your Honor hear me.
ANGELO 0775 40 Well, what’s your
0777 There is a vice that most I do abhor,
0778 And most desire should meet the blow of justice,
0779 For which I would not plead, but that I must;
0781 At war ’twixt will and will not.
ANGELO 0782 Well, the matter?
0783 I have a brother is condemned to die.
0784 I do beseech you let it be his fault
0785 50 And not my brother.
PROVOST, ⌜aside⌝ 0786 Heaven give thee moving
0788 Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?
0789 Why, every fault’s condemned ere it be done.
0790 55 Mine were the very cipher of a function
0791 To fine the faults whose fine stands in record
0792 And let go by the actor.
ISABELLA 0793 O just but severe law!
0794 I had a brother, then. Heaven keep your Honor.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝
0795 60 Give ’t not o’er so. To him again, entreat him,
0796 Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown.
0797 You are too cold. If you should need a pin,
0798 You could not with more tame a tongue desire it.
0799 To him, I say.
ISABELLA, ⌜to Angelo⌝
0800 65 Must he needs die?
ANGELO 0801 Maiden, no remedy.
0802 Yes, I do think that you might pardon him,
0803 And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.
0804 I will not do ’t.
ISABELLA 0805 70 But can you if you would?
0806 Look what I will not, that I cannot do.
0807 But might you do ’t and do the world no wrong
0809 As mine is to him?
ANGELO 0810 75He’s sentenced. ’Tis too late.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝ 0811 You are too cold.
0812 Too late? Why, no. I that do speak a word
0813 May call it ⌜back⌝ again. Well believe this:
0814 No ceremony that to great ones longs,
0815 80 Not the king’s crown, nor the deputed sword,
0816 The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe
0817 Become them with one half so good a grace
0818 As mercy does.
0819 If he had been as you, and you as he,
0820 85 You would have slipped like him, but he like you
0821 Would not have been so stern.
ANGELO 0822 Pray you begone.
0823 I would to heaven I had your potency,
0824 And you were Isabel. Should it then be thus?
0825 90 No. I would tell what ’twere to be a judge
0826 And what a prisoner.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝ 0827 Ay, touch him; there’s the
0829 Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
0830 95 And you but waste your words.
ISABELLA 0831 Alas, alas!
0832 Why all the souls that were were forfeit once,
0833 And He that might the vantage best have took
0834 Found out the remedy. How would you be
0835 100 If He which is the top of judgment should
0836 But judge you as you are? O, think on that,
0837 And mercy then will breathe within your lips
0838 Like man new-made.
ANGELO 0839 Be you content, fair maid.
0840 105 It is the law, not I, condemn your brother.
0842 It should be thus with him. He must die tomorrow.
0843 Tomorrow? O, that’s sudden! Spare him, spare him.
0844 He’s not prepared for death. Even for our kitchens
0845 110 We kill the fowl of season. Shall we serve heaven
0846 With less respect than we do minister
0847 To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink
0849 Who is it that hath died for this offense?
0850 115 There’s many have committed it.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝ 0851 Ay, well said.
0852 The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.
0853 Those many had not dared to do that evil
0854 If the first that did th’ edict infringe
0855 120 Had answered for his deed. Now ’tis awake,
0856 Takes note of what is done, and, like a prophet,
0857 Looks in a glass that shows what future evils—
0858 Either now, or by remissness new-conceived,
0859 And so in progress to be hatched and born—
0860 125 Are now to have no successive degrees
0861 But, ⌜ere⌝ they live, to end.
ISABELLA 0862 Yet show some pity.
0863 I show it most of all when I show justice,
0864 For then I pity those I do not know,
0865 130 Which a dismissed offense would after gall,
0866 And do him right that, answering one foul wrong,
0867 Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
0868 Your brother dies tomorrow; be content.
0869 So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
0870 135 And he that suffers. O, it is excellent
0871 To have a giant’s strength, but it is tyrannous
0872 To use it like a giant.
ISABELLA 0874 Could great men thunder
0875 140 As Jove himself does, Jove would never be quiet,
0876 For every pelting, petty officer
0877 Would use his heaven for thunder,
0878 Nothing but thunder. Merciful heaven,
0879 Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
0880 145 Splits the unwedgeable and gnarlèd oak,
0881 Than the soft myrtle. But man, proud man,
0882 Dressed in a little brief authority,
0883 Most ignorant of what he’s most assured,
0884 His glassy essence, like an angry ape
0885 150 Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
0886 As makes the angels weep, who with our spleens
0887 Would all themselves laugh mortal.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝
0888 O, to him, to him, wench. He will relent.
0889 He’s coming. I perceive ’t.
PROVOST, ⌜aside⌝ 0890 155 Pray heaven she win him.
0891 We cannot weigh our brother with ourself.
0892 Great men may jest with saints; ’tis wit in them,
0893 But in the less, foul profanation.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝
0894 Thou ’rt i’ th’ right, girl. More o’ that.
0895 160 That in the captain’s but a choleric word
0896 Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝
0897 Art avised o’ that? More on ’t.
0898 Why do you put these sayings upon me?
0899 Because authority, though it err like others,
0900 165 Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself
0902 Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know
0903 That’s like my brother’s fault. If it confess
0904 A natural guiltiness such as is his,
0905 170 Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
0906 Against my brother’s life.
ANGELO, ⌜aside⌝ 0907 She speaks, and ’tis such sense
0908 That my sense breeds with it.⌜He begins to exit.⌝
0909 Fare you well.
ISABELLA 0910 175Gentle my lord, turn back.
0911 I will bethink me. Come again tomorrow.
0912 Hark how I’ll bribe you. Good my lord, turn back.
ANGELO 0913 How? Bribe me?
0914 Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝ 0915 180You had marred all else.
0916 Not with fond sicles of the tested gold,
0917 Or stones whose rate are either rich or poor
0918 As fancy values them, but with true prayers
0919 That shall be up at heaven and enter there
0920 185 Ere sunrise, prayers from preservèd souls,
0921 From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate
0922 To nothing temporal.
ANGELO 0923 Well, come to me tomorrow.
LUCIO, ⌜aside to Isabella⌝ 0924 Go to, ’tis well; away.
0925 190 Heaven keep your Honor safe.
ANGELO, ⌜aside⌝ 0926 Amen.
0927 For I am that way going to temptation
0928 Where prayers cross.
ISABELLA 0929 At what hour tomorrow
0930 195 Shall I attend your Lordship?
ANGELO 0931 At any time ’fore noon.
⌜She exits, with Lucio and Provost.⌝
ANGELO 0933 From thee, even from thy virtue.
0934 What’s this? What’s this? Is this her fault or mine?
0935 200 The tempter or the tempted, who sins most, ha?
0936 Not she, nor doth she tempt; but it is I
0937 That, lying by the violet in the sun,
0938 Do as the carrion does, not as the flower,
0939 Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be
0940 205 That modesty may more betray our sense
0941 Than woman’s lightness? Having waste ground
0943 Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary
0944 And pitch our evils there? O fie, fie, fie!
0945 210 What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo?
0946 Dost thou desire her foully for those things
0947 That make her good? O, let her brother live.
0948 Thieves for their robbery have authority
0949 When judges steal themselves. What, do I love her
0950 215 That I desire to hear her speak again
0951 And feast upon her eyes? What is ’t I dream on?
0952 O cunning enemy that, to catch a saint,
0953 With saints dost bait thy hook. Most dangerous
0954 Is that temptation that doth goad us on
0955 220 To sin in loving virtue. Never could the strumpet
0956 With all her double vigor, art and nature,
0957 Once stir my temper, but this virtuous maid
0958 Subdues me quite. Ever till now
0959 When men were fond, I smiled and wondered how.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
0960 Hail to you, provost, so I think you are.
0961 I am the Provost. What’s your will, good friar?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
0962 Bound by my charity and my blest order,
0963 I come to visit the afflicted spirits
0964 5 Here in the prison. Do me the common right
0965 To let me see them, and to make me know
0966 The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
0967 To them accordingly.
0968 I would do more than that if more were needful.
0969 10 Look, here comes one, a gentlewoman of mine,
0970 Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth,
0971 Hath blistered her report. She is with child,
0972 And he that got it, sentenced—a young man,
0973 More fit to do another such offense
0974 15 Than die for this.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
0975 When must he die?
PROVOST 0976 As I do think, tomorrow.
0977 ⌜To Juliet.⌝ I have provided for you. Stay awhile
0978 And you shall be conducted.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, to Juliet⌝
0979 20 Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?
0980 I do; and bear the shame most patiently.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
0981 I’ll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience,
0983 Or hollowly put on.
JULIET 0984 25 I’ll gladly learn.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 0985 Love you the man that wronged you?
0986 Yes, as I love the woman that wronged him.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
0987 So then it seems your most offenseful act
0988 Was mutually committed?
JULIET 0989 30 Mutually.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
0990 Then was your sin of heavier kind than his.
0991 I do confess it and repent it, father.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
0992 ’Tis meet so, daughter; but lest you do repent
0993 As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,
0994 35 Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, not
0996 Showing we would not spare heaven as we love it,
0997 But as we stand in fear—
0998 I do repent me as it is an evil,
0999 40 And take the shame with joy.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1000 There rest.
1001 Your partner, as I hear, must die tomorrow,
1002 And I am going with instruction to him.
1003 Grace go with you. Benedicite.He exits.
1004 45 Must die tomorrow? O injurious love
1005 That respites me a life, whose very comfort
1006 Is still a dying horror.
PROVOST 1007 ’Tis pity of him.
1008 When I would pray and think, I think and pray
1009 To several subjects. Heaven hath my empty words,
1010 Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
1011 Anchors on Isabel. ⌜God⌝ in my mouth,
1012 5 As if I did but only chew His name,
1013 And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
1014 Of my conception. The state whereon I studied
1015 Is, like a good thing being often read,
1016 Grown ⌜sere⌝ and tedious. Yea, my gravity,
1017 10 Wherein—let no man hear me—I take pride,
1018 Could I with boot change for an idle plume
1019 Which the air beats for vain. O place, O form,
1020 How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
1021 Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
1022 15 To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood.
1023 Let’s write “good angel” on the devil’s horn.
1024 ’Tis not the devil’s crest. ⌜Knock within.⌝ How now,
1025 who’s there?
1026 One Isabel, a sister, desires access to you.
1027 20 Teach her the way. ⌜Servant exits.⌝ O heavens,
1028 Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,
1029 Making both it unable for itself
1030 And dispossessing all my other parts
1031 Of necessary fitness?
1032 25 So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons,
1033 Come all to help him, and so stop the air
1034 By which he should revive. And even so
1035 The general subject to a well-wished king
1037 30 Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
1038 Must needs appear offense.
1039 How now, fair maid?
ISABELLA 1040 I am come to know your pleasure.
1041 That you might know it would much better please me
1042 35 Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.
ISABELLA 1043 Even so. Heaven keep your Honor.
1044 Yet may he live a while. And it may be
1045 As long as you or I. Yet he must die.
ISABELLA 1046 Under your sentence?
ANGELO 1047 40Yea.
1048 When, I beseech you? That in his reprieve,
1049 Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted
1050 That his soul sicken not.
1051 Ha! Fie, these filthy vices! It were as good
1052 45 To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
1053 A man already made, as to remit
1054 Their saucy sweetness that do coin ⌜God’s⌝ image
1055 In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy
1056 Falsely to take away a life true made
1057 50 As to put metal in restrainèd means
1058 To make a false one.
1059 ’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in Earth.
1060 Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly:
1061 Which had you rather, that the most just law
1062 55 Now took your brother’s life, ⌜or,⌝ to redeem him,
1064 As she that he hath stained?
ISABELLA 1065 Sir, believe this:
1066 I had rather give my body than my soul.
1067 60 I talk not of your soul. Our compelled sins
1068 Stand more for number than for accompt.
ISABELLA 1069 How say you?
1070 Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
1071 Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
1072 65 I, now the voice of the recorded law,
1073 Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
1074 Might there not be a charity in sin
1075 To save this brother’s life?
ISABELLA 1076 Please you to do ’t,
1077 70 I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
1078 It is no sin at all, but charity.
1079 Pleased you to do ’t, at peril of your soul,
1080 Were equal poise of sin and charity.
1081 That I do beg his life, if it be sin
1082 75 Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
1083 If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer
1084 To have it added to the faults of mine
1085 And nothing of your answer.
ANGELO 1086 Nay, but hear me.
1087 80 Your sense pursues not mine. Either you are
1089 Or seem so, crafty, and that’s not good.
1090 Let ⌜me⌝ be ignorant and in nothing good,
1091 But graciously to know I am no better.
1092 85 Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
1094 Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
1095 Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me.
1096 To be receivèd plain, I’ll speak more gross:
1097 90 Your brother is to die.
ISABELLA 1098 So.
1099 And his offense is so, as it appears,
1100 Accountant to the law upon that pain.
ISABELLA 1101 True.
1102 95 Admit no other way to save his life—
1103 As I subscribe not that, nor any other—
1104 But, in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
1105 Finding yourself desired of such a person
1106 Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
1107 100 Could fetch your brother from the manacles
1108 Of the all-⌜binding⌝ law, and that there were
1109 No earthly mean to save him but that either
1110 You must lay down the treasures of your body
1111 To this supposed, or else to let him suffer,
1112 105 What would you do?
1113 As much for my poor brother as myself.
1114 That is, were I under the terms of death,
1115 Th’ impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies
1116 And strip myself to death as to a bed
1117 110 That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
1118 My body up to shame.
ANGELO 1119 Then must your brother die.
ISABELLA 1120 And ’twere the cheaper way.
1121 Better it were a brother died at once
1122 115 Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
1123 Should die forever.
1124 Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
1125 That you have slandered so?
1126 Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
1127 120 Are of two houses. Lawful mercy
1128 Is nothing kin to foul redemption.
1129 You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
1130 And rather proved the sliding of your brother
1131 A merriment than a vice.
1132 125 O, pardon me, my lord. It oft falls out,
1133 To have what we would have, we speak not what we
1135 I something do excuse the thing I hate
1136 For his advantage that I dearly love.
1137 130 We are all frail.
ISABELLA 1138 Else let my brother die,
1139 If not a fedary but only he
1140 Owe and succeed thy weakness.
ANGELO 1141 Nay, women are frail too.
1142 135 Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,
1143 Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
1144 Women—help, heaven—men their creation mar
1145 In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
1146 For we are soft as our complexions are,
1147 140 And credulous to false prints.
ANGELO 1148 I think it well.
1149 And from this testimony of your own sex,
1150 Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
1151 Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold.
1152 145 I do arrest your words. Be that you are—
1153 That is, a woman. If you be more, you’re none.
1154 If you be one, as you are well expressed
1155 By all external warrants, show it now
1156 By putting on the destined livery.
1157 150 I have no tongue but one. Gentle my lord,
1158 Let me entreat you speak the former language.
ANGELO 1159 Plainly conceive I love you.
ISABELLA 1160 My brother did love Juliet,
1161 And you tell me that he shall die for ’t.
1162 155 He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
1163 I know your virtue hath a license in ’t
1164 Which seems a little fouler than it is
1165 To pluck on others.
ANGELO 1166 Believe me, on mine honor,
1167 160 My words express my purpose.
1168 Ha! Little honor to be much believed,
1169 And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!
1170 I will proclaim thee, Angelo, look for ’t.
1171 Sign me a present pardon for my brother
1172 165 Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world
1174 What man thou art.
ANGELO 1175 Who will believe thee, Isabel?
1176 My unsoiled name, th’ austereness of my life,
1177 170 My vouch against you, and my place i’ th’ state
1178 Will so your accusation overweigh
1179 That you shall stifle in your own report
1180 And smell of calumny. I have begun,
1181 And now I give my sensual race the rein.
1182 175 Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite;
1183 Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
1184 That banish what they sue for. Redeem thy brother
1185 By yielding up thy body to my will,
1186 Or else he must not only die the death,
1187 180 But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
1188 To ling’ring sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
1190 I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
1191 Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.
1192 185 To whom should I complain? Did I tell this,
1193 Who would believe me? O, perilous mouths,
1194 That bear in them one and the selfsame tongue,
1195 Either of condemnation or approof,
1196 Bidding the law make curtsy to their will,
1197 190 Hooking both right and wrong to th’ appetite,
1198 To follow as it draws. I’ll to my brother.
1199 Though he hath fall’n by prompture of the blood,
1200 Yet hath he in him such a mind of honor
1201 That, had he twenty heads to tender down
1202 195 On twenty bloody blocks, he’d yield them up
1203 Before his sister should her body stoop
1204 To such abhorred pollution.
1205 Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die.
1206 More than our brother is our chastity.
1207 200 I’ll tell him yet of Angelo’s request,
1208 And fit his mind to death, for his soul’s rest.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1209 So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?
1210 The miserable have no other medicine
1211 But only hope.
1212 I have hope to live and am prepared to die.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1213 5 Be absolute for death. Either death or life
1214 Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
1215 If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
1216 That none but fools would keep. A breath thou art,
1217 Servile to all the skyey influences
1218 10 That ⌜doth⌝ this habitation where thou keep’st
1219 Hourly afflict. Merely, thou art death’s fool,
1220 For him thou labor’st by thy flight to shun,
1221 And yet runn’st toward him still. Thou art not noble,
1222 For all th’ accommodations that thou bear’st
1223 15 Are nursed by baseness. Thou ’rt by no means
1225 For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
1226 Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
1227 And that thou oft provok’st, yet grossly fear’st
1228 20 Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself,
1229 For thou exists on many a thousand grains
1231 For what thou hast not, still thou striv’st to get,
1232 And what thou hast, forget’st. Thou art not certain,
1233 25 For thy complexion shifts to strange effects
1234 After the moon. If thou art rich, thou ’rt poor,
1235 For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
1236 Thou bear’st thy heavy riches but a journey,
1237 And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none,
1238 30 For thine own bowels which do call thee ⌜sire,⌝
1239 The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
1240 Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum
1241 For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor
1243 35 But as it were an after-dinner’s sleep
1244 Dreaming on both, for all thy blessèd youth
1245 Becomes as agèd and doth beg the alms
1246 Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
1247 Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty
1248 40 To make thy riches pleasant. What’s yet in this
1249 That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
1250 Lie hid more thousand deaths; yet death we fear,
1251 That makes these odds all even.
CLAUDIO 1252 I humbly thank you.
1253 45 To sue to live, I find I seek to die,
1254 And seeking death, find life. Let it come on.
1255 What ho! Peace here, grace, and good company.
1256 Who’s there? Come in. The wish deserves a welcome.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, to Claudio⌝
1257 Dear sir, ere long I’ll visit you again.
CLAUDIO 1258 50Most holy sir, I thank you.
ISABELLA, ⌜to Provost⌝
1259 My business is a word or two with Claudio.
1260 And very welcome.—Look, signior, here’s your
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1262 Provost, a word with you.
PROVOST 1263 55As many as you please.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, aside to Provost⌝
1264 Bring ⌜me⌝ to hear ⌜them⌝ speak, where I may be
⌜Duke and Provost exit.⌝
CLAUDIO 1266 Now, sister, what’s the comfort?
ISABELLA 1267 Why,
1268 60 As all comforts are, most good, most good indeed.
1269 Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
1270 Intends you for his swift ambassador,
1271 Where you shall be an everlasting leiger;
1272 Therefore your best appointment make with speed.
1273 65 Tomorrow you set on.
CLAUDIO 1274 Is there no remedy?
1275 None but such remedy as, to save a head,
1276 To cleave a heart in twain.
CLAUDIO 1277 But is there any?
ISABELLA 1278 70Yes, brother, you may live.
1279 There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
1280 If you’ll implore it, that will free your life
1281 But fetter you till death.
CLAUDIO 1282 Perpetual durance?
1283 75 Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint,
1284 ⌜Though⌝ all the world’s vastidity you had,
1285 To a determined scope.
CLAUDIO 1286 But in what nature?
1287 In such a one as, you consenting to ’t,
1288 80 Would bark your honor from that trunk you bear
1289 And leave you naked.
1291 O, I do fear thee, Claudio, and I quake
1292 Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain,
1293 85 And six or seven winters more respect
1294 Than a perpetual honor. Dar’st thou die?
1295 The sense of death is most in apprehension,
1296 And the poor beetle that we tread upon
1297 In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
1298 90 As when a giant dies.
CLAUDIO 1299 Why give you me this shame?
1300 Think you I can a resolution fetch
1301 From flowery tenderness? If I must die,
1302 I will encounter darkness as a bride,
1303 95 And hug it in mine arms.
1304 There spake my brother! There my father’s grave
1305 Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die.
1306 Thou art too noble to conserve a life
1307 In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy—
1308 100 Whose settled visage and deliberate word
1309 Nips youth i’ th’ head, and follies doth ⌜enew⌝
1310 As falcon doth the fowl—is yet a devil.
1311 His filth within being cast, he would appear
1312 A pond as deep as hell.
CLAUDIO 1313 105 The prenzie Angelo?
1314 O, ’tis the cunning livery of hell
1315 The damned’st body to invest and cover
1316 In prenzie guards. Dost thou think, Claudio,
1317 If I would yield him my virginity
1318 110 Thou mightst be freed?
CLAUDIO 1319 O heavens, it cannot be!
1320 Yes, he would give ’t thee; from this rank offense,
1321 So to offend him still. This night’s the time
1323 115 Or else thou diest tomorrow.
CLAUDIO 1324 Thou shalt not do ’t.
ISABELLA 1325 O, were it but my life,
1326 I’d throw it down for your deliverance
1327 As frankly as a pin.
CLAUDIO 1328 120 Thanks, dear Isabel.
1329 Be ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow.
CLAUDIO 1330 Yes. Has he affections in him
1331 That thus can make him bite the law by th’ nose,
1332 When he would force it? Sure it is no sin,
1333 125 Or of the deadly seven it is the least.
ISABELLA 1334 Which is the least?
1335 If it were damnable, he being so wise,
1336 Why would he for the momentary trick
1337 Be perdurably fined? O, Isabel—
1338 130 What says my brother?
CLAUDIO 1339 Death is a fearful thing.
ISABELLA 1340 And shamèd life a hateful.
1341 Ay, but to die, and go we know not where,
1342 To lie in cold obstruction and to rot,
1343 135 This sensible warm motion to become
1344 A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
1345 To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
1346 In thrilling region of thick-ribbèd ice,
1347 To be imprisoned in the viewless winds
1348 140 And blown with restless violence round about
1349 The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
1350 Of those that lawless and incertain thought
1351 Imagine howling—’tis too horrible.
1352 The weariest and most loathèd worldly life
1353 145 That age, ache, ⌜penury,⌝ and imprisonment
1355 To what we fear of death.
ISABELLA 1356 Alas, alas!
CLAUDIO 1357 Sweet sister, let me live.
1358 150 What sin you do to save a brother’s life,
1359 Nature dispenses with the deed so far
1360 That it becomes a virtue.
ISABELLA 1361 O, you beast!
1362 O faithless coward, O dishonest wretch,
1363 155 Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
1364 Is ’t not a kind of incest to take life
1365 From thine own sister’s shame? What should I think?
1366 Heaven shield my mother played my father fair,
1367 For such a warpèd slip of wilderness
1368 160 Ne’er issued from his blood. Take my defiance;
1369 Die, perish. Might but my bending down
1370 Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed.
1371 I’ll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,
1372 No word to save thee.
CLAUDIO 1373 165 Nay, hear me, Isabel—
ISABELLA 1374 O, fie, fie, fie!
1375 Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.
1376 Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd.
1377 ’Tis best that thou diest quickly.
CLAUDIO 1378 170O, hear me, Isabella—
⌜Enter Duke as a Friar.⌝
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, to Isabella⌝
1379 Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.
ISABELLA 1380 What is your will?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1381 Might you dispense with your leisure, I
1382 would by and by have some speech with you. The
1383 175 satisfaction I would require is likewise your own
ISABELLA 1385 I have no superfluous leisure. My stay must
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, taking Claudio aside⌝ 1388 180Son, I have overheard
1389 what hath passed between you and your
1390 sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her;
1391 only he hath made an assay of her virtue, to practice
1392 his judgment with the disposition of natures. She,
1393 185 having the truth of honor in her, hath made him
1394 that gracious denial which he is most glad to
1395 receive. I am confessor to Angelo, and I know this
1396 to be true. Therefore prepare yourself to death. Do
1397 not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are
1398 190 fallible. Tomorrow you must die. Go to your knees
1399 and make ready.
CLAUDIO 1400 Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of
1401 love with life that I will sue to be rid of it.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1402 Hold you there. Farewell.—Provost, a
1403 195 word with you.
PROVOST 1404 What’s your will, father?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1405 That now you are come, you will be
1406 gone. Leave me awhile with the maid. My mind
1407 promises with my habit no loss shall touch her by
1408 200 my company.
PROVOST 1409 In good time.He exits, ⌜with Claudio.⌝
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, to Isabella⌝ 1410 The hand that hath made
1411 you fair hath made you good. The goodness that is
1412 cheap in beauty makes beauty brief in goodness,
1413 205 but grace, being the soul of your complexion, shall
1414 keep the body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo
1415 hath made to you, fortune hath conveyed to my
1416 understanding; and but that frailty hath examples
1417 for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How will
1418 210 you do to content this substitute and to save your
1421 my brother die by the law than my son should be
1422 unlawfully born. But, O, how much is the good
1423 215 duke deceived in Angelo! If ever he return, and I
1424 can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or
1425 discover his government.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1426 That shall not be much amiss. Yet, as
1427 the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation:
1428 220 he made trial of you only. Therefore, fasten
1429 your ear on my advisings. To the love I have in doing
1430 good, a remedy presents itself. I do make myself
1431 believe that you may most uprighteously do a poor
1432 wronged lady a merited benefit, redeem your brother
1433 225 from the angry law, do no stain to your own
1434 gracious person, and much please the absent duke,
1435 if peradventure he shall ever return to have hearing
1436 of this business.
ISABELLA 1437 Let me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to
1438 230 do anything that appears not foul in the truth of my
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1440 Virtue is bold, and goodness never
1441 fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the
1442 sister of Frederick, the great soldier who miscarried
1443 235 at sea?
ISABELLA 1444 I have heard of the lady, and good words
1445 went with her name.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1446 She should this Angelo have married,
1447 was affianced to her oath, and the nuptial appointed.
1448 240 Between which time of the contract and
1449 limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was
1450 wracked at sea, having in that perished vessel the
1451 dowry of his sister. But mark how heavily this befell
1452 to the poor gentlewoman. There she lost a noble
1453 245 and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever
1454 most kind and natural; with him, the portion and
1455 sinew of her fortune, her marriage dowry; with
ISABELLA 1458 250Can this be so? Did Angelo so leave her?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1459 Left her in her tears and dried not one
1460 of them with his comfort, swallowed his vows
1461 whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonor; in
1462 few, bestowed her on her own lamentation, which
1463 255 she yet wears for his sake; and he, a marble to her
1464 tears, is washed with them but relents not.
ISABELLA 1465 What a merit were it in death to take this
1466 poor maid from the world! What corruption in this
1467 life, that it will let this man live! But how out of this
1468 260 can she avail?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1469 It is a rupture that you may easily heal,
1470 and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but
1471 keeps you from dishonor in doing it.
ISABELLA 1472 Show me how, good father.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1473 265This forenamed maid hath yet in her
1474 the continuance of her first affection. His unjust
1475 unkindness, that in all reason should have
1476 quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the
1477 current, made it more violent and unruly. Go you to
1478 270 Angelo, answer his requiring with a plausible obedience,
1479 agree with his demands to the point. Only
1480 refer yourself to this advantage: first, that your stay
1481 with him may not be long, that the time may have all
1482 shadow and silence in it, and the place answer to
1483 275 convenience. This being granted in course, and
1484 now follows all: we shall advise this wronged maid
1485 to stead up your appointment, go in your place. If
1486 the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may
1487 compel him to her recompense; and here, by this, is
1488 280 your brother saved, your honor untainted, the poor
1489 Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy
1490 scaled. The maid will I frame and make fit for his
1491 attempt. If you think well to carry this as you may,
1493 285 from reproof. What think you of it?
ISABELLA 1494 The image of it gives me content already, and
1495 I trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1496 It lies much in your holding up. Haste
1497 you speedily to Angelo. If for this night he entreat
1498 290 you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I
1499 will presently to Saint Luke’s. There at the moated
1500 grange resides this dejected Mariana. At that place
1501 call upon me, and dispatch with Angelo that it may
1502 be quickly.
ISABELLA 1503 295I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well,
1504 good father.
She exits. ⌜The Duke remains.⌝
ELBOW, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 1505 Nay, if there be no remedy for it
1506 but that you will needs buy and sell men and
1507 women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink
1508 brown and white bastard.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, aside⌝ 1509 5O heavens, what stuff is here?
POMPEY 1510 ’Twas never merry world since, of two usuries,
1511 the merriest was put down, and the worser allowed
1512 by order of law a furred gown to keep him warm,
1513 and furred with fox and lambskins too, to signify
1514 10 that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for
1515 the facing.
ELBOW 1516 Come your way, sir.—Bless you, good father
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1518 And you, good brother father. What
1519 15 offense hath this man made you, sir?
ELBOW 1520 Marry, sir, he hath offended the law; and, sir,
1521 we take him to be a thief too, sir, for we have found
1523 sent to the Deputy.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, to Pompey⌝
1524 20 Fie, sirrah, a bawd, a wicked bawd!
1525 The evil that thou causest to be done,
1526 That is thy means to live. Do thou but think
1527 What ’tis to cram a maw or clothe a back
1528 From such a filthy vice; say to thyself,
1529 25 From their abominable and beastly touches
1530 I drink, I eat, ⌜array⌝ myself, and live.
1531 Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
1532 So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.
POMPEY 1533 Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir. But yet,
1534 30 sir, I would prove—
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1535 Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin,
1536 Thou wilt prove his.—Take him to prison, officer.
1537 Correction and instruction must both work
1538 Ere this rude beast will profit.
ELBOW 1539 35He must before the Deputy, sir; he has given
1540 him warning. The Deputy cannot abide a whoremaster.
1541 If he be a whoremonger and comes before
1542 him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1543 That we were all, as some would seem to be,
1544 40 From our faults, as faults from seeming, free.
ELBOW 1545 His neck will come to your waist—a cord, sir.
POMPEY 1546 I spy comfort, I cry bail. Here’s a gentleman
1547 and a friend of mine.
LUCIO 1548 How now, noble Pompey? What, at the wheels of
1549 45 Caesar? Art thou led in triumph? What, is there
1550 none of Pygmalion’s images, newly made woman,
1551 to be had now, for putting the hand in the pocket
1552 and extracting ⌜it⌝ clutched? What reply, ha? What
1554 50 drowned i’ th’ last rain, ha? What sayst thou, trot? Is
1555 the world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad
1556 and few words? Or how? The trick of it?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, aside⌝ 1557 Still thus, and thus; still worse.
LUCIO, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 1558 How doth my dear morsel, thy
1559 55 mistress? Procures she still, ha?
POMPEY 1560 Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and
1561 she is herself in the tub.
LUCIO 1562 Why, ’tis good. It is the right of it. It must be so.
1563 Ever your fresh whore and your powdered bawd, an
1564 60 unshunned consequence; it must be so. Art going to
1565 prison, Pompey?
POMPEY 1566 Yes, faith, sir.
LUCIO 1567 Why, ’tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell. Go say I
1568 sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? Or how?
ELBOW 1569 65For being a bawd, for being a bawd.
LUCIO 1570 Well, then, imprison him. If imprisonment be
1571 the due of a bawd, why, ’tis his right. Bawd is he,
1572 doubtless, and of antiquity too. Bawd born.—
1573 Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison,
1574 70 Pompey. You will turn good husband now,
1575 Pompey; you will keep the house.
POMPEY 1576 I hope, sir, your good Worship will be my bail.
LUCIO 1577 No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the
1578 wear. I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage.
1579 75 If you take it not patiently, why, your mettle is
1580 the more. Adieu, trusty Pompey.—Bless you, friar.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1581 And you.
LUCIO, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 1582 Does Bridget paint still, Pompey,
ELBOW, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 1584 80Come your ways, sir, come.
POMPEY, ⌜to Lucio⌝ 1585 You will not bail me, then, sir?
LUCIO 1586 Then, Pompey, nor now.—What news abroad,
1587 friar? What news?
ELBOW, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 1588 Come your ways, sir, come.
⌜Elbow, Pompey, and Officers exit.⌝
1590 What news, friar, of the Duke?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1591 I know none. Can you tell me of any?
LUCIO 1592 Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia;
1593 other some, he is in Rome. But where is he, think
1594 90 you?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1595 I know not where, but wheresoever, I
1596 wish him well.
LUCIO 1597 It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal
1598 from the state and usurp the beggary he was never
1599 95 born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence.
1600 He puts transgression to ’t.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1601 He does well in ’t.
LUCIO 1602 A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm
1603 in him. Something too crabbed that way, friar.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1604 100It is too general a vice, and severity
1605 must cure it.
LUCIO 1606 Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred;
1607 it is well allied, but it is impossible to extirp it quite,
1608 friar, till eating and drinking be put down. They say
1609 105 this Angelo was not made by man and woman after
1610 this downright way of creation. Is it true, think
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1612 How should he be made, then?
LUCIO 1613 Some report a sea-maid spawned him; some,
1614 110 that he was begot between two stockfishes. But it is
1615 certain that when he makes water, his urine is
1616 congealed ice; that I know to be true. And he is a
1617 motion generative, that’s infallible.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1618 You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.
LUCIO 1619 115Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the
1620 rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a
1621 man! Would the duke that is absent have done this?
1622 Ere he would have hanged a man for the getting
1623 a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the
1625 sport, he knew the service, and that instructed him
1626 to mercy.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1627 I never heard the absent duke much
1628 detected for women. He was not inclined that way.
LUCIO 1629 125O, sir, you are deceived.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1630 ’Tis not possible.
LUCIO 1631 Who, not the Duke? Yes, your beggar of fifty;
1632 and his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish. The
1633 Duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk too,
1634 130 that let me inform you.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1635 You do him wrong, surely.
LUCIO 1636 Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the
1637 Duke, and I believe I know the cause of his
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1639 135What, I prithee, might be the cause?
LUCIO 1640 No, pardon. ’Tis a secret must be locked within
1641 the teeth and the lips. But this I can let you
1642 understand: the greater file of the subject held the
1643 Duke to be wise.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1644 140Wise? Why, no question but he was.
LUCIO 1645 A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1646 Either this is envy in you, folly, or
1647 mistaking. The very stream of his life and the
1648 business he hath helmed must, upon a warranted
1649 145 need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be
1650 but testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he
1651 shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman,
1652 and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskillfully. Or,
1653 if your knowledge be more, it is much darkened in
1654 150 your malice.
LUCIO 1655 Sir, I know him, and I love him.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1656 Love talks with better knowledge, and
1657 knowledge with ⌜dearer⌝ love.
LUCIO 1658 Come, sir, I know what I know.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1659 155I can hardly believe that, since you
1661 return, as our prayers are he may, let me desire you
1662 to make your answer before him. If it be honest you
1663 have spoke, you have courage to maintain it. I am
1664 160 bound to call upon you, and, I pray you, your name?
LUCIO 1665 Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the Duke.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1666 He shall know you better, sir, if I may
1667 live to report you.
LUCIO 1668 I fear you not.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1669 165O, you hope the Duke will return no
1670 more, or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite.
1671 But indeed I can do you little harm; you’ll
1672 forswear this again.
LUCIO 1673 I’ll be hanged first. Thou art deceived in me,
1674 170 friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell if Claudio
1675 die tomorrow or no?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1676 Why should he die, sir?
LUCIO 1677 Why? For filling a bottle with a tundish. I would
1678 the Duke we talk of were returned again. This
1679 175 ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with
1680 continency. Sparrows must not build in his house
1681 eaves, because they are lecherous. The Duke yet
1682 would have dark deeds darkly answered. He would
1683 never bring them to light Would he were returned.
1684 180 Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing.
1685 Farewell, good friar. I prithee pray for me. The
1686 Duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on
1687 Fridays. He’s now past it, yet—and I say to thee—
1688 he would mouth with a beggar though she smelt
1689 185 brown bread and garlic. Say that I said so. Farewell.
1690 No might nor greatness in mortality
1691 Can censure scape. Back-wounding calumny
1692 The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
1694 190 But who comes here?
Enter Escalus, Provost, ⌜Officers,⌝ and ⌜Mistress
Overdone, a⌝ Bawd.
ESCALUS, ⌜to Officers⌝ 1695 Go, away with her to prison.
BAWD 1696 Good my lord, be good to me. Your Honor is
1697 accounted a merciful man, good my lord.
ESCALUS 1698 Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit
1699 195 in the same kind? This would make mercy
1700 swear and play the tyrant.
PROVOST 1701 A bawd of eleven years’ continuance, may it
1702 please your Honor.
BAWD, ⌜to Escalus⌝ 1703 My lord, this is one Lucio’s information
1704 200 against me. Mistress Kate Keepdown was
1705 with child by him in the Duke’s time; he promised
1706 her marriage. His child is a year and a quarter old
1707 come Philip and Jacob. I have kept it myself, and see
1708 how he goes about to abuse me.
ESCALUS 1709 205That fellow is a fellow of much license. Let
1710 him be called before us. Away with her to prison.—
1711 Go to, no more words.⌜Officers exit with Bawd.⌝
1712 Provost, my brother Angelo will not be altered.
1713 Claudio must die tomorrow. Let him be furnished
1714 210 with divines and have all charitable preparation. If
1715 my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so
1716 with him.
PROVOST 1717 So please you, this friar hath been with him,
1718 and advised him for th’ entertainment of death.
ESCALUS 1719 215Good even, good father.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1720 Bliss and goodness on you.
ESCALUS 1721 Of whence are you?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1722 Not of this country, though my chance is now
1723 To use it for my time. I am a brother
1725 In special business from his Holiness.
ESCALUS 1726 What news abroad i’ th’ world?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1727 None but that there is so great a fever
1728 on goodness that the dissolution of it must cure it.
1729 225 Novelty is only in request, and it is as dangerous to
1730 be aged in any kind of course as it is virtuous to be
1731 constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth
1732 enough alive to make societies secure, but security
1733 enough to make fellowships accursed. Much upon
1734 230 this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news
1735 is old enough, yet it is every day’s news. I pray you,
1736 sir, of what disposition was the Duke?
ESCALUS 1737 One that, above all other strifes, contended
1738 especially to know himself.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1739 235What pleasure was he given to?
ESCALUS 1740 Rather rejoicing to see another merry than
1741 merry at anything which professed to make him
1742 rejoice—a gentleman of all temperance. But leave
1743 we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove
1744 240 prosperous, and let me desire to know how you find
1745 Claudio prepared. I am made to understand that
1746 you have lent him visitation.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1747 He professes to have received no
1748 sinister measure from his judge but most willingly
1749 245 humbles himself to the determination of justice. Yet
1750 had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his
1751 frailty, many deceiving promises of life, which I, by
1752 my good leisure, have discredited to him, and now
1753 is he resolved to die.
ESCALUS 1754 250You have paid the heavens your function and
1755 the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have
1756 labored for the poor gentleman to the extremest
1757 shore of my modesty, but my brother justice have I
1758 found so severe that he hath forced me to tell him
1759 255 he is indeed Justice.
1761 his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if
1762 he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.
ESCALUS 1763 I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1764 260Peace be with you.
⌜Escalus and Provost exit.⌝
1765 He who the sword of heaven will bear
1766 Should be as holy as severe,
1767 Pattern in himself to know,
1768 Grace to stand, and virtue go;
1769 265 More nor less to others paying
1770 Than by self-offenses weighing.
1771 Shame to him whose cruel striking
1772 Kills for faults of his own liking.
1773 Twice treble shame on Angelo,
1774 270 To weed my vice, and let his grow.
1775 O, what may man within him hide,
1776 Though angel on the outward side!
1777 How may likeness made in crimes,
1778 Making practice on the times,
1779 275 To draw with idle spiders’ strings
1780 Most ponderous and substantial things.
1781 Craft against vice I must apply.
1782 With Angelo tonight shall lie
1783 His old betrothèd but despisèd.
1784 280 So disguise shall, by th’ disguisèd,
1785 Pay with falsehood false exacting
1786 And perform an old contracting.
1787 Take, O take those lips away,
1788 That so sweetly were forsworn,
1789 And those eyes, the break of day,
1790 Lights that do mislead the morn.
1791 5 But my kisses bring again, bring again,
1792 Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain.
Enter Duke ⌜as a Friar.⌝
MARIANA, ⌜to Boy⌝
1793 Break off thy song and haste thee quick away.
1794 Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
1795 Hath often stilled my brawling discontent.
1796 10 I cry you mercy, sir, and well could wish
1797 You had not found me here so musical.
1798 Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
1799 My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1800 ’Tis good, though music oft hath such a charm
1801 15 To make bad good and good provoke to harm.
1802 I pray you tell me, hath anybody inquired for me
1804 here to meet.
MARIANA 1805 You have not been inquired after. I have sat
1806 20 here all day.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1807 I do constantly believe you. The time is
1808 come even now. I shall crave your forbearance a
1809 little. Maybe I will call upon you anon for some
1810 advantage to yourself.
MARIANA 1811 25I am always bound to you.She exits.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1812 Very well met, and welcome.
1813 What is the news from this good deputy?
1814 He hath a garden circummured with brick,
1815 Whose western side is with a vineyard backed;
1816 30 And to that vineyard is a planchèd gate
1817 That makes his opening with this bigger key.
1818 This other doth command a little door
1819 Which from the vineyard to the garden leads.
1820 There have I made my promise, upon the
1821 35 Heavy middle of the night, to call upon him.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1822 But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
1823 I have ta’en a due and wary note upon ’t.
1824 With whispering and most guilty diligence,
1825 In action all of precept, he did show me
1826 40 The way twice o’er.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1827 Are there no other tokens
1828 Between you ’greed concerning her observance?
1829 No, none, but only a repair i’ th’ dark,
1830 And that I have possessed him my most stay
1831 45 Can be but brief, for I have made him know
1832 I have a servant comes with me along
1834 I come about my brother.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1835 ’Tis well borne up.
1836 50 I have not yet made known to Mariana
1837 A word of this.—What ho, within; come forth.
1838 ⌜To Mariana.⌝ I pray you be acquainted with this
1840 She comes to do you good.
ISABELLA 1841 55I do desire the like.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, to Mariana⌝
1842 Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?
1843 Good friar, I know you do, and have found it.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1844 Take then this your companion by the hand,
1845 Who hath a story ready for your ear.
1846 60 I shall attend your leisure. But make haste.
1847 The vaporous night approaches.
MARIANA, ⌜to Isabella⌝ 1848 Will ’t please you walk aside?
⌜Isabella and Mariana⌝ exit.
1849 O place and greatness, millions of false eyes
1850 Are stuck upon thee; volumes of report
1851 65 Run with these false, and, most contrarious, quest
1852 Upon thy doings; thousand escapes of wit
1853 Make thee the father of their idle dream
1854 And rack thee in their fancies.
Enter Mariana and Isabella.
⌜DUKE, as Friar⌝ 1855 Welcome. How agreed?
1856 70 She’ll take the enterprise upon her, father,
1857 If you advise it.
1859 But my entreaty too.
ISABELLA, ⌜to Mariana⌝ 1860 Little have you to say
1861 75 When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
1862 “Remember now my brother.”
MARIANA 1863 Fear me not.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1864 Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.
1865 He is your husband on a precontract.
1866 80 To bring you thus together ’tis no sin,
1867 Sith that the justice of your title to him
1868 Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go.
1869 Our corn’s to reap, for yet our tithe’s to sow.
PROVOST 1870 Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man’s
POMPEY 1872 If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be
1873 a married man, he’s his wife’s head, and I can never
1874 5 cut off a woman’s head.
PROVOST 1875 Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield
1876 me a direct answer. Tomorrow morning are to die
1877 Claudio and Barnardine. Here is in our prison a
1878 common executioner, who in his office lacks a
1879 10 helper. If you will take it on you to assist him, it
1880 shall redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall
1881 have your full time of imprisonment and your
1882 deliverance with an unpitied whipping, for you have
1883 been a notorious bawd.
POMPEY 1884 15Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of
1885 mind, but yet I will be content to be a lawful
1887 from my fellow partner.
PROVOST 1888 What ho, Abhorson!—Where’s Abhorson
1889 20 there?
ABHORSON 1890 Do you call, sir?
PROVOST 1891 Sirrah, here’s a fellow will help you tomorrow
1892 in your execution. If you think it meet, compound
1893 with him by the year and let him abide here
1894 25 with you; if not, use him for the present and dismiss
1895 him. He cannot plead his estimation with you; he
1896 hath been a bawd.
ABHORSON 1897 A bawd, sir? Fie upon him! He will discredit
1898 our mystery.
PROVOST 1899 30Go to, sir; you weigh equally. A feather will
1900 turn the scale.He exits.
POMPEY 1901 Pray, sir, by your good favor—for surely, sir, a
1902 good favor you have, but that you have a hanging
1903 look—do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery?
ABHORSON 1904 35Ay, sir, a mystery.
POMPEY 1905 Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery;
1906 and your whores, sir, being members of my occupation,
1907 using painting, do prove my occupation a
1908 mystery; but what mystery there should be in hanging,
1909 40 if I should be hanged, I cannot imagine.
ABHORSON 1910 Sir, it is a mystery.
POMPEY 1911 Proof?
ABHORSON 1912 Every true man’s apparel fits your thief. If it
1913 be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it
1914 45 big enough; if it be too big for your thief, your thief
1915 thinks it little enough. So every true man’s apparel
1916 fits your thief.
PROVOST 1917 Are you agreed?
1919 50 is a more penitent trade than your bawd. He
1920 doth oftener ask forgiveness.
PROVOST, ⌜to Abhorson⌝ 1921 You, sirrah, provide your block
1922 and your axe tomorrow, four o’clock.
ABHORSON, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 1923 Come on, bawd. I will instruct
1924 55 thee in my trade. Follow.
POMPEY 1925 I do desire to learn, sir; and I hope, if you have
1926 occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find
1927 me ⌜yare.⌝ For truly, sir, for your kindness, I owe
1928 you a good turn.⌜Pompey and Abhorson⌝ exit.
PROVOST, ⌜to Officer⌝
1929 60 Call hither Barnardine and Claudio.
1930 Th’ one has my pity; not a jot the other,
1931 Being a murderer, though he were my brother.
Enter Claudio, ⌜with Officer.⌝
1932 Look, here’s the warrant, Claudio, for thy death.
1933 ’Tis now dead midnight, and by eight tomorrow
1934 65 Thou must be made immortal. Where’s Barnardine?
1935 As fast locked up in sleep as guiltless labor
1936 When it lies starkly in the traveler’s bones.
1937 He will not wake.
PROVOST 1938 Who can do good on him?
1939 70 Well, go, prepare yourself. ⌜Knock within.⌝ But hark,
1940 what noise?—
1941 Heaven give your spirits comfort. ⌜Claudio exits,
with Officer. Knock within.⌝ 1942 By and by!—
1943 I hope it is some pardon or reprieve
1944 75 For the most gentle Claudio.
Enter Duke, ⌜as a Friar.⌝
1945 Welcome, father.
1946 The best and wholesom’st spirits of the night
1947 Envelop you, good provost. Who called here of late?
1948 None since the curfew rung.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1949 80 Not Isabel?
PROVOST 1950 No.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 1951 They will, then, ere ’t be long.
PROVOST 1952 What comfort is for Claudio?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1953 There’s some in hope.
PROVOST 1954 85 It is a bitter deputy.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1955 Not so, not so. His life is paralleled
1956 Even with the stroke and line of his great justice.
1957 He doth with holy abstinence subdue
1958 That in himself which he spurs on his power
1959 90 To qualify in others. Were he mealed with that
1960 Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous,
1961 But this being so, he’s just. ⌜Knock within.⌝ Now are
1962 they come.⌜Provost exits.⌝
1963 This is a gentle provost. Seldom when
1964 95 The steelèd jailer is the friend of men.
⌜Enter Provost. Knocking continues.⌝
1965 How now, what noise? That spirit’s possessed with
1967 That wounds th’ unsisting postern with these strokes.
1968 There he must stay until the officer
1969 100 Arise to let him in. He is called up.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
1970 Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
1971 But he must die tomorrow?
PROVOST 1972 None, sir, none.
1973 As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
1974 105 You shall hear more ere morning.
PROVOST 1975 Happily
1976 You something know, yet I believe there comes
1977 No countermand. No such example have we.
1978 Besides, upon the very siege of justice
1979 110 Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
1980 Professed the contrary.
Enter a Messenger.
1981 This is his ⌜Lordship’s⌝ man.
⌜DUKE, as Friar⌝ 1982 And here comes Claudio’s pardon.
MESSENGER, ⌜giving Provost a paper⌝ 1983 My lord hath sent
1984 115 you this note, and by me this further charge: that
1985 you swerve not from the smallest article of it,
1986 neither in time, matter, or other circumstance.
1987 Good morrow, for, as I take it, it is almost day.
PROVOST 1988 I shall obey him.⌜Provost reads message.
1989 120 This is his pardon, purchased by such sin
1990 For which the pardoner himself is in.
1991 Hence hath offense his quick celerity
1992 When it is borne in high authority.
1993 When vice makes mercy, mercy’s so extended
1994 125 That for the fault’s love is th’ offender friended.
1995 ⌜As Friar.⌝ Now, sir, what news?
PROVOST 1996 I told you: Lord Angelo, belike thinking me
1997 remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted
1998 putting-on, methinks strangely; for he hath
1999 130 not used it before.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2000 Pray you let’s hear.
⌜PROVOST, reads⌝ the letter.
2001 Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let Claudio
2002 be executed by four of the clock, and in the afternoon
2004 135 Claudio’s head sent me by five. Let this be duly
2005 performed with a thought that more depends on it
2006 than we must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your
2007 office, as you will answer it at your peril.
2008 What say you to this, sir?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2009 140What is that Barnardine who is to be
2010 executed in th’ afternoon?
PROVOST 2011 A Bohemian born, but here nursed up and
2012 bred; one that is a prisoner nine years old.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2013 How came it that the absent duke had
2014 145 not either delivered him to his liberty, or executed
2015 him? I have heard it was ever his manner to do so.
PROVOST 2016 His friends still wrought reprieves for him;
2017 and indeed his fact, till now in the government of
2018 Lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2019 150It is now apparent?
PROVOST 2020 Most manifest, and not denied by himself.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2021 Hath he borne himself penitently in
2022 prison? How seems he to be touched?
PROVOST 2023 A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully
2024 155 but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and
2025 fearless of what’s past, present, or to come; insensible
2026 of mortality and desperately mortal.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2027 He wants advice.
PROVOST 2028 He will hear none. He hath evermore had the
2029 160 liberty of the prison; give him leave to escape
2030 hence, he would not. Drunk many times a day, if not
2031 many days entirely drunk. We have very oft awaked
2032 him, as if to carry him to execution, and showed
2033 him a seeming warrant for it. It hath not moved him
2034 165 at all.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2035 More of him anon. There is written in
2036 your brow, provost, honesty and constancy; if I read
2037 it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me. But in the
2038 boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard.
2040 no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo, who hath
2041 sentenced him. To make you understand this in a
2042 manifested effect, I crave but four days’ respite, for
2043 the which you are to do me both a present and a
2044 175 dangerous courtesy.
PROVOST 2045 Pray, sir, in what?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2046 In the delaying death.
PROVOST 2047 Alack, how may I do it, having the hour
2048 limited, and an express command, under penalty,
2049 180 to deliver his head in the view of Angelo? I may
2050 make my case as Claudio’s, to cross this in the
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2052 By the vow of mine order I warrant
2053 you, if my instructions may be your guide. Let this
2054 185 Barnardine be this morning executed and his head
2055 borne to Angelo.
PROVOST 2056 Angelo hath seen them both and will discover
2057 the favor.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2058 O, death’s a great disguiser, and you
2059 190 may add to it. Shave the head and tie the beard, and
2060 say it was the desire of the penitent to be so bared
2061 before his death. You know the course is common.
2062 If anything fall to you upon this, more than thanks
2063 and good fortune, by the saint whom I profess, I
2064 195 will plead against it with my life.
PROVOST 2065 Pardon me, good father, it is against my oath.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2066 Were you sworn to the Duke or to the
PROVOST 2068 To him and to his substitutes.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2069 200You will think you have made no
2070 offense if the Duke avouch the justice of your
PROVOST 2072 But what likelihood is in that?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2073 Not a resemblance, but a certainty; yet
2074 205 since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity,
2076 go further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of
2077 you. Look you, sir, here is the hand and seal of the
2078 Duke. ⌜He shows the Provost a paper.⌝ You know the
2079 210 character, I doubt not, and the signet is not strange
2080 to you.
PROVOST 2081 I know them both.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2082 The contents of this is the return of the
2083 Duke; you shall anon overread it at your pleasure,
2084 215 where you shall find within these two days he will
2085 be here. This is a thing that Angelo knows not, for
2086 he this very day receives letters of strange tenor,
2087 perchance of the Duke’s death, perchance entering
2088 into some monastery, but by chance nothing of
2089 220 what is writ. Look, th’ unfolding star calls up the
2090 shepherd. Put not yourself into amazement how
2091 these things should be. All difficulties are but easy
2092 when they are known. Call your executioner, and
2093 off with Barnardine’s head. I will give him a present
2094 225 shrift, and advise him for a better place. Yet you are
2095 amazed, but this shall absolutely resolve you.
⌜He gives the Provost the paper.⌝
2096 Come away; it is almost clear dawn.
POMPEY 2097 I am as well acquainted here as I was in our
2098 house of profession. One would think it were Mistress
2099 Overdone’s own house, for here be many of
2100 her old customers. First, here’s young Master Rash.
2101 5 He’s in for a commodity of brown paper and old
2102 ginger, ninescore and seventeen pounds, of which
2103 he made five marks ready money. Marry, then
2105 were all dead. Then is there here one Master Caper,
2106 10 at the suit of Master Three-pile the mercer, for some
2107 four suits of peach-colored satin, which now
2108 peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young
2109 Dizzy and young Master Deep-vow, and Master
2110 Copper-spur and Master Starve-lackey the rapier-and-dagger
2111 15 man, and young Drop-heir that killed
2112 lusty Pudding, and Master Forth-light the tilter, and
2113 brave Master Shoe-tie the great traveler, and wild
2114 Half-can that stabbed Pots, and I think forty more,
2115 all great doers in our trade, and are now “for the
2116 20 Lord’s sake.”
ABHORSON 2117 Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.
POMPEY, ⌜calling⌝ 2118 Master Barnardine, you must rise
2119 and be hanged, Master Barnardine.
ABHORSON, ⌜calling⌝ 2120 What ho, Barnardine!
BARNARDINE, within 2121 25A pox o’ your throats! Who makes
2122 that noise there? What are you?
POMPEY, ⌜calling to Barnardine offstage⌝ 2123 Your friends,
2124 sir, the hangman. You must be so good, sir, to rise
2125 and be put to death.
BARNARDINE, ⌜within⌝ 2126 30Away, you rogue, away! I am
ABHORSON, ⌜to Pompey⌝ 2128 Tell him he must awake, and
2129 that quickly too.
POMPEY, ⌜calling⌝ 2130 Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till
2131 35 you are executed, and sleep afterwards.
ABHORSON 2132 Go in to him, and fetch him out.
POMPEY 2133 He is coming, sir, he is coming. I hear his
2134 straw rustle.
ABHORSON 2135 Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?
POMPEY 2136 40Very ready, sir.
2138 with you?
ABHORSON 2139 Truly, sir, I would desire you to clap into
2140 your prayers, for, look you, the warrant’s come.
BARNARDINE 2141 45You rogue, I have been drinking all night.
2142 I am not fitted for ’t.
POMPEY 2143 O, the better, sir, for he that drinks all night
2144 and is hanged betimes in the morning may sleep the
2145 sounder all the next day.
Enter Duke, ⌜as a Friar.⌝
ABHORSON, ⌜to Barnardine⌝ 2146 50Look you, sir, here comes
2147 your ghostly father. Do we jest now, think you?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, to Barnardine⌝ 2148 Sir, induced by my
2149 charity, and hearing how hastily you are to depart, I
2150 am come to advise you, comfort you, and pray with
2151 55 you.
BARNARDINE 2152 Friar, not I. I have been drinking hard all
2153 night, and I will have more time to prepare me, or
2154 they shall beat out my brains with billets. I will not
2155 consent to die this day, that’s certain.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2156 60O, sir, you must. And therefore I
2157 beseech you look forward on the journey you shall
BARNARDINE 2159 I swear I will not die today for any man’s
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2161 65But hear you—
BARNARDINE 2162 Not a word. If you have anything to say to
2163 me, come to my ward, for thence will not I today.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2164 Unfit to live or die. O gravel heart!
2165 After him, fellows; bring him to the block.
⌜Abhorson and Pompey exit.⌝
2166 70 Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2167 A creature unprepared, unmeet for death,
2168 And to transport him in the mind he is
2169 Were damnable.
PROVOST 2170 Here in the prison, father,
2171 75 There died this morning of a cruel fever
2172 One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate,
2173 A man of Claudio’s years, his beard and head
2174 Just of his color. What if we do omit
2175 This reprobate till he were well inclined,
2176 80 And satisfy the Deputy with the visage
2177 Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2178 O, ’tis an accident that heaven provides!
2179 Dispatch it presently. The hour draws on
2180 Prefixed by Angelo. See this be done
2181 85 And sent according to command, whiles I
2182 Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.
2183 This shall be done, good father, presently.
2184 But Barnardine must die this afternoon,
2185 And how shall we continue Claudio,
2186 90 To save me from the danger that might come
2187 If he were known alive?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2188 Let this be done:
2189 Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and
2191 95 Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting
2192 To ⌜yonder⌝ generation, you shall find
2193 Your safety manifested.
PROVOST 2194 I am your free dependent.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2195 Quick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo.
2196 100 Now will I write letters to Angelo—
2197 The Provost he shall bear them—whose contents
2198 Shall witness to him I am near at home
2199 And that by great injunctions I am bound
2200 To enter publicly. Him I’ll desire
2201 105 To meet me at the consecrated fount
2202 A league below the city; and from thence,
2203 By cold gradation and well-balanced form,
2204 We shall proceed with Angelo.
Enter Provost, ⌜carrying a head.⌝
2205 Here is the head. I’ll carry it myself.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2206 110 Convenient is it. Make a swift return,
2207 For I would commune with you of such things
2208 That want no ear but yours.
PROVOST 2209 I’ll make all speed.
ISABELLA, within 2210 Peace, ho, be here.
2211 115 The tongue of Isabel. She’s come to know
2212 If yet her brother’s pardon be come hither.
2213 But I will keep her ignorant of her good
2214 To make her heavenly comforts of despair
2215 When it is least expected.
ISABELLA 2216 120 Ho, by your leave.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2217 Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.
2218 The better, given me by so holy a man.
2219 Hath yet the Deputy sent my brother’s pardon?
2220 He hath released him, Isabel, from the world.
2221 125 His head is off, and sent to Angelo.
2222 Nay, but it is not so.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2223 It is no other.
2224 Show your wisdom, daughter, in your close patience.
2225 O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2226 130 You shall not be admitted to his sight.
2227 Unhappy Claudio, wretched Isabel,
2228 Injurious world, most damnèd Angelo!
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2229 This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot.
2230 Forbear it, therefore; give your cause to heaven.
2231 135 Mark what I say, which you shall find
2232 By every syllable a faithful verity.
2233 The Duke comes home tomorrow—nay, dry your
2235 One of our convent, and his confessor,
2236 140 Gives me this instance. Already he hath carried
2237 Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
2238 Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
2239 There to give up their power. If you can, pace your
2241 145 In that good path that I would wish it go,
2242 And you shall have your bosom on this wretch,
2243 Grace of the Duke, revenges to your heart,
2244 And general honor.
ISABELLA 2245 I am directed by you.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar, showing her a paper⌝
2246 150 This letter, then, to Friar Peter give.
2247 ’Tis that he sent me of the Duke’s return.
2248 Say, by this token, I desire his company
2250 I’ll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you
2251 155 Before the Duke, and to the head of Angelo
2252 Accuse him home and home. For my poor self,
2253 I am combinèd by a sacred vow
2254 And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter.
⌜He hands her the paper.⌝
2255 Command these fretting waters from your eyes
2256 160 With a light heart. Trust not my holy order
2257 If I pervert your course.—Who’s here?
LUCIO 2258 Good even, friar, where’s the Provost?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2259 Not within, sir.
LUCIO 2260 O, pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see
2261 165 thine eyes so red. Thou must be patient. I am fain to
2262 dine and sup with water and bran. I dare not for my
2263 head fill my belly. One fruitful meal would set me to
2264 ’t. But they say the Duke will be here tomorrow. By
2265 my troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother. If the old
2266 170 fantastical duke of dark corners had been at home,
2267 he had lived.⌜Isabella exits.⌝
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2268 Sir, the Duke is marvelous little beholding
2269 to your reports, but the best is, he lives not
2270 in them.
LUCIO 2271 175Friar, thou knowest not the Duke so well as I do.
2272 He’s a better woodman than thou tak’st him for.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2273 Well, you’ll answer this one day. Fare
2274 you well.
LUCIO 2275 Nay, tarry, I’ll go along with thee. I can tell thee
2276 180 pretty tales of the Duke.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2277 You have told me too many of him
2278 already, sir, if they be true; if not true, none were
LUCIO 2280 I was once before him for getting a wench with
2281 185 child.
LUCIO 2283 Yes, marry, did I, but I was fain to forswear it.
2284 They would else have married me to the rotten
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2286 190Sir, your company is fairer than honest.
2287 Rest you well.
LUCIO 2288 By my troth, I’ll go with thee to the lane’s end. If
2289 bawdy talk offend you, we’ll have very little of it.
2290 Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr. I shall stick.
ESCALUS 2291 Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched
ANGELO 2293 In most uneven and distracted manner. His
2294 actions show much like to madness. Pray heaven his
2295 5 wisdom be not tainted. And why meet him at the
2296 gates and ⌜deliver⌝ our authorities there?
ESCALUS 2297 I guess not.
ANGELO 2298 And why should we proclaim it in an hour
2299 before his entering, that if any crave redress of
2300 10 injustice, they should exhibit their petitions in the
ESCALUS 2302 He shows his reason for that: to have a dispatch
2303 of complaints, and to deliver us from devices
2304 hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand
2305 15 against us.
ANGELO 2306 Well, I beseech you let it be proclaimed.
2307 Betimes i’ th’ morn, I’ll call you at your house. Give
2308 notice to such men of sort and suit as are to meet
ESCALUS 2310 20I shall, sir. Fare you well.
2312 This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant
2313 And dull to all proceedings. A deflowered maid,
2314 And by an eminent body that enforced
2315 25 The law against it. But that her tender shame
2316 Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
2317 How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares her no,
2318 For my authority bears of a credent bulk
2319 That no particular scandal once can touch
2320 30 But it confounds the breather. He should have lived,
2321 Save that his riotous youth with dangerous sense
2322 Might in the times to come have ta’en revenge
2323 By so receiving a dishonored life
2324 With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had lived.
2325 35 Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
2326 Nothing goes right. We would, and we would not.
DUKE, ⌜giving the Friar papers.⌝
2327 These letters at fit time deliver me.
2328 The Provost knows our purpose and our plot.
2329 The matter being afoot, keep your instruction
2330 And hold you ever to our special drift,
2331 5 Though sometimes you do blench from this to that
2332 As cause doth minister. Go call at ⌜Flavius’⌝ house
2333 And tell him where I stay. Give the like notice
2334 To Valencius, Rowland, and to Crassus,
2335 And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate.
2336 10 But send me Flavius first.
FRIAR PETER 2337 It shall be speeded well.⌜He exits.⌝
2338 I thank thee, Varrius. Thou hast made good haste.
2339 Come, we will walk. There’s other of our friends
2340 Will greet us here anon. My gentle Varrius.
2341 To speak so indirectly I am loath.
2342 I would say the truth, but to accuse him so
2343 That is your part; yet I am advised to do it,
2344 He says, to veil full purpose.
MARIANA 2345 5 Be ruled by him.
2346 Besides, he tells me that, if peradventure
2347 He speak against me on the adverse side,
2348 I should not think it strange, for ’tis a physic
2349 That’s bitter to sweet end.
2350 10 I would Friar Peter—
Enter ⌜Friar⌝ Peter.
ISABELLA 2351 O peace, the Friar is come.
2352 Come, I have found you out a stand most fit,
2353 Where you may have such vantage on the Duke
2354 He shall not pass you. Twice have the trumpets
2355 15 sounded.
2356 The generous and gravest citizens
2357 Have hent the gates, and very near upon
2358 The Duke is entering. Therefore hence, away.
⌜Provost, Officers, and⌝ Citizens at several doors.
DUKE, ⌜to Angelo⌝
2359 My very worthy cousin, fairly met.
2360 ⌜To Escalus.⌝ Our old and faithful friend, we are
2361 glad to see you.
2362 Happy return be to your royal Grace.
2363 5 Many and hearty thankings to you both.
2364 We have made inquiry of you, and we hear
2365 Such goodness of your justice that our soul
2366 Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks,
2367 Forerunning more requital.
ANGELO 2368 10You make my bonds still greater.
2369 O, your desert speaks loud, and I should wrong it
2370 To lock it in the wards of covert bosom
2371 When it deserves with characters of brass
2372 A forted residence ’gainst the tooth of time
2373 15 And razure of oblivion. Give ⌜me⌝ your hand
2374 And let the subject see, to make them know
2375 That outward courtesies would fain proclaim
2376 Favors that keep within.—Come, Escalus,
2378 20 And good supporters are you.
Enter ⌜Friar⌝ Peter and Isabella.
FRIAR PETER, ⌜to Isabella⌝
2379 Now is your time. Speak loud, and kneel before him.
2380 Justice, O royal duke. Vail your regard
2381 Upon a wronged—I would fain have said, a maid.
2382 O worthy prince, dishonor not your eye
2383 25 By throwing it on any other object
2384 Till you have heard me in my true complaint
2385 And given me justice, justice, justice, justice.
2386 Relate your wrongs. In what, by whom? Be brief.
2387 Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice.
2388 30 Reveal yourself to him.
ISABELLA 2389 O worthy duke,
2390 You bid me seek redemption of the devil.
2391 Hear me yourself, for that which I must speak
2392 Must either punish me, not being believed,
2393 35 Or wring redress from you. Hear me, O hear me,
2395 My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm.
2396 She hath been a suitor to me for her brother
2397 Cut off by course of justice.
ISABELLA, ⌜standing⌝ 2398 40 By course of justice!
2399 And she will speak most bitterly and strange.
2400 Most strange, but yet most truly will I speak.
2401 That Angelo’s forsworn, is it not strange?
2402 That Angelo’s a murderer, is ’t not strange?
2403 45 That Angelo is an adulterous thief,
2405 Is it not strange, and strange?
DUKE 2406 Nay, it is ten times strange.
2407 It is not truer he is Angelo
2408 50 Than this is all as true as it is strange.
2409 Nay, it is ten times true, for truth is truth
2410 To th’ end of reck’ning.
DUKE 2411 Away with her. Poor soul,
2412 She speaks this in th’ infirmity of sense.
2413 55 O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believest
2414 There is another comfort than this world,
2415 That thou neglect me not with that opinion
2416 That I am touched with madness. Make not
2418 60 That which but seems unlike. ’Tis not impossible
2419 But one, the wicked’st caitiff on the ground,
2420 May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute
2421 As Angelo. Even so may Angelo,
2422 In all his dressings, caracts, titles, forms,
2423 65 Be an archvillain. Believe it, royal prince,
2424 If he be less, he’s nothing, but he’s more,
2425 Had I more name for badness.
DUKE 2426 By mine honesty,
2427 If she be mad—as I believe no other—
2428 70 Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense,
2429 Such a dependency of thing on thing,
2430 As e’er I heard in madness.
ISABELLA 2431 O gracious duke,
2432 Harp not on that; nor do not banish reason
2433 75 For inequality, but let your reason serve
2434 To make the truth appear where it seems hid,
2435 And hide the false seems true.
DUKE 2436 Many that are not mad
2437 Have, sure, more lack of reason. What would you
2438 80 say?
2439 I am the sister of one Claudio,
2440 Condemned upon the act of fornication
2441 To lose his head, condemned by Angelo.
2442 I, in probation of a sisterhood,
2443 85 Was sent to by my brother; one Lucio
2444 As then the messenger—
LUCIO, ⌜to Duke⌝ 2445 That’s I, an ’t like your Grace.
2446 I came to her from Claudio and desired her
2447 To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo
2448 90 For her poor brother’s pardon.
ISABELLA, ⌜to Duke⌝ 2449 That’s he indeed.
DUKE, ⌜to Lucio⌝
2450 You were not bid to speak.
LUCIO 2451 No, my good lord,
2452 Nor wished to hold my peace.
DUKE 2453 95 I wish you now, then.
2454 Pray you take note of it, and when you have
2455 A business for yourself, pray heaven you then
2456 Be perfect.
LUCIO 2457 I warrant your Honor.
2458 100 The warrant’s for yourself. Take heed to ’t.
2459 This gentleman told somewhat of my tale.
LUCIO 2460 Right.
2461 It may be right, but you are i’ the wrong
2462 To speak before your time.—Proceed.
ISABELLA 2463 105 I went
2464 To this pernicious caitiff deputy—
2465 That’s somewhat madly spoken.
ISABELLA 2466 Pardon it;
2467 The phrase is to the matter.
2468 110 Mended again. The matter; proceed.
2469 In brief, to set the needless process by:
2470 How I persuaded, how I prayed and kneeled,
2471 How he refelled me, and how I replied—
2472 For this was of much length—the vile conclusion
2473 115 I now begin with grief and shame to utter.
2474 He would not, but by gift of my chaste body
2475 To his concupiscible intemperate lust,
2476 Release my brother; and after much debatement,
2477 My sisterly remorse confutes mine honor,
2478 120 And I did yield to him. But the next morn betimes,
2479 His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant
2480 For my poor brother’s head.
DUKE 2481 This is most likely!
2482 O, that it were as like as it is true!
2483 125 By heaven, fond wretch, thou know’st not what
2484 thou speak’st,
2485 Or else thou art suborned against his honor
2486 In hateful practice. First, his integrity
2487 Stands without blemish; next, it imports no reason
2488 130 That with such vehemency he should pursue
2489 Faults proper to himself. If he had so offended,
2490 He would have weighed thy brother by himself
2491 And not have cut him off. Someone hath set you on.
2492 Confess the truth, and say by whose advice
2493 135 Thou cam’st here to complain.
ISABELLA 2494 And is this all?
2495 Then, O you blessèd ministers above,
2496 Keep me in patience, and with ripened time
2497 Unfold the evil which is here wrapped up
2498 140 In countenance. Heaven shield your Grace from
2501 I know you’d fain be gone.—An officer!
⌜An Officer comes forward.⌝
2502 To prison with her. Shall we thus permit
2503 145 A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall
2504 On him so near us? This needs must be a practice.—
2505 Who knew of your intent and coming hither?
2506 One that I would were here, Friar Lodowick.
⌜Officer exits with Isabella.⌝
2507 A ghostly father, belike. Who knows that Lodowick?
2508 150 My lord, I know him. ’Tis a meddling friar.
2509 I do not like the man. Had he been lay, my lord,
2510 For certain words he spake against your Grace
2511 In your retirement, I had swinged him soundly.
2512 Words against me? This’ a good friar, belike.
2513 155 And to set on this wretched woman here
2514 Against our substitute! Let this friar be found.
2515 But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar,
2516 I saw them at the prison. A saucy friar,
2517 A very scurvy fellow.
FRIAR PETER, ⌜to Duke⌝ 2518 160Blessed be your royal Grace.
2519 I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard
2520 Your royal ear abused. First hath this woman
2521 Most wrongfully accused your substitute,
2522 Who is as free from touch or soil with her
2523 165 As she from one ungot.
DUKE 2524 We did believe no less.
2525 Know you that Friar Lodowick that she speaks of?
2526 I know him for a man divine and holy,
2528 170 As he’s reported by this gentleman;
2529 And on my trust, a man that never yet
2530 Did, as he vouches, misreport your Grace.
2531 My lord, most villainously, believe it.
2532 Well, he in time may come to clear himself;
2533 175 But at this instant he is sick, my lord,
2534 Of a strange fever. Upon his mere request,
2535 Being come to knowledge that there was complaint
2536 Intended ’gainst Lord Angelo, came I hither
2537 To speak as from his mouth, what he doth know
2538 180 Is true and false, and what he with his oath
2539 And all probation will make up full clear
2540 Whensoever he’s convented. First, for this woman,
2541 To justify this worthy nobleman,
2542 So vulgarly and personally accused,
2543 185 Her shall you hear disprovèd to her eyes
2544 Till she herself confess it.
DUKE 2545 Good friar, let’s hear it.—
2546 Do you not smile at this, Lord Angelo?
2547 O heaven, the vanity of wretched fools!—
2548 190 Give us some seats.—Come, cousin Angelo,
2549 In this I’ll be impartial. Be you judge
2550 Of your own cause.⌜Duke and Angelo are seated.⌝
Enter Mariana, ⌜veiled.⌝
2551 Is this the witness, friar?
2552 First, let her show ⌜her⌝ face, and after speak.
2553 195 Pardon, my lord, I will not show my face
2554 Until my husband bid me.
DUKE 2555 What, are you married?
MARIANA 2556 No, my lord.
DUKE 2557 Are you a maid?
DUKE 2559 A widow, then?
MARIANA 2560 Neither, my lord.
DUKE 2561 Why you are nothing, then, neither maid, widow,
2562 nor wife?
LUCIO 2563 205My lord, she may be a punk, for many of them
2564 are neither maid, widow, nor wife.
DUKE 2565 Silence that fellow. I would he had some cause
2566 to prattle for himself.
LUCIO 2567 Well, my lord.
2568 210 My lord, I do confess I ne’er was married,
2569 And I confess besides I am no maid.
2570 I have known my husband, yet my husband
2571 Knows not that ever he knew me.
LUCIO 2572 He was drunk, then, my lord; it can be no better.
DUKE 2573 215For the benefit of silence, would thou wert so
LUCIO 2575 Well, my lord.
2576 This is no witness for Lord Angelo.
MARIANA 2577 Now I come to ’t, my lord.
2578 220 She that accuses him of fornication
2579 In selfsame manner doth accuse my husband,
2580 And charges him, my lord, with such a time
2581 When, I’ll depose, I had him in mine arms
2582 With all th’ effect of love.
ANGELO 2583 225Charges she more than me?
MARIANA 2584 Not that I know.
DUKE 2585 No? You say your husband.
2586 Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo,
2587 Who thinks he knows that he ne’er knew my body,
2588 230 But knows, he thinks, that he knows Isabel’s.
2589 This is a strange abuse. Let’s see thy face.
2590 My husband bids me. Now I will unmask.
⌜She removes her veil.⌝
2591 This is that face, thou cruel Angelo,
2592 Which once thou swor’st was worth the looking on.
2593 235 This is the hand which, with a vowed contract,
2594 Was fast belocked in thine. This is the body
2595 That took away the match from Isabel
2596 And did supply thee at thy garden house
2597 In her imagined person.
DUKE, ⌜to Angelo⌝ 2598 240Know you this woman?
LUCIO 2599 Carnally, she says.
DUKE 2600 Sirrah, no more.
LUCIO 2601 Enough, my lord.
2602 My lord, I must confess I know this woman,
2603 245 And five years since there was some speech of
2605 Betwixt myself and her, which was broke off,
2606 Partly for that her promisèd proportions
2607 Came short of composition, but in chief
2608 250 For that her reputation was disvalued
2609 In levity. Since which time of five years
2610 I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her,
2611 Upon my faith and honor.
MARIANA, ⌜kneeling, to Duke⌝ 2612 Noble prince,
2613 255 As there comes light from heaven and words from
2615 As there is sense in truth and truth in virtue,
2616 I am affianced this man’s wife as strongly
2617 As words could make up vows. And, my good lord,
2618 260 But Tuesday night last gone in ’s garden house
2619 He knew me as a wife. As this is true,
2620 Let me in safety raise me from my knees,
2621 Or else forever be confixèd here
2622 A marble monument.
2624 Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice.
2625 My patience here is touched. I do perceive
2626 These poor informal women are no more
2627 But instruments of some more mightier member
2628 270 That sets them on. Let me have way, my lord,
2629 To find this practice out.
DUKE 2630 Ay, with my heart,
2631 And punish them to your height of pleasure.—
2632 Thou foolish friar, and thou pernicious woman,
2633 275 Compact with her that’s gone, think’st thou thy
2635 Though they would swear down each particular
2637 Were testimonies against his worth and credit
2638 280 That’s sealed in approbation?—You, Lord Escalus,
2639 Sit with my cousin; lend him your kind pains
2640 To find out this abuse, whence ’tis derived.
⌜The Duke rises. Escalus is seated.⌝
2641 There is another friar that set them on.
2642 Let him be sent for.
2643 285 Would he were here, my lord, for he indeed
2644 Hath set the women on to this complaint;
2645 Your provost knows the place where he abides,
2646 And he may fetch him.
DUKE, ⌜to Provost⌝ 2647 Go, do it instantly.
2648 290 ⌜To Angelo.⌝ And you, my noble and well-warranted
2650 Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth,
2651 Do with your injuries as seems you best
2652 In any chastisement. I for a while
2653 295 Will leave you; but stir not you till you have
2654 Well determined upon these slanderers.
ESCALUS 2655 My lord, we’ll do it throughly.⌜Duke⌝ exits.
2657 Lodowick to be a dishonest person?
LUCIO 2658 300Cucullus non facit monachum, honest in nothing
2659 but in his clothes, and one that hath spoke most
2660 villainous speeches of the Duke.
ESCALUS 2661 We shall entreat you to abide here till he
2662 come, and enforce them against him. We shall find
2663 305 this friar a notable fellow.
LUCIO 2664 As any in Vienna, on my word.
ESCALUS 2665 Call that same Isabel here once again. I would
2666 speak with her.⌜An Attendant exits.⌝
2667 ⌜To Angelo.⌝ Pray you, my lord, give me leave to
2668 310 question. You shall see how I’ll handle her.
LUCIO 2669 Not better than he, by her own report.
ESCALUS 2670 Say you?
LUCIO 2671 Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately,
2672 she would sooner confess; perchance publicly she’ll
2673 315 be ashamed.
ESCALUS 2674 I will go darkly to work with her.
LUCIO 2675 That’s the way, for women are light at midnight.
Enter Duke ⌜as a Friar,⌝ Provost, ⌜and⌝ Isabella,
ESCALUS, ⌜to Isabella⌝ 2676 Come on, mistress. Here’s a gentlewoman
2677 denies all that you have said.
LUCIO 2678 320My lord, here comes the rascal I spoke of, here
2679 with the Provost.
ESCALUS 2680 In very good time. Speak not you to him till
2681 we call upon you.
LUCIO 2682 Mum.
ESCALUS, ⌜to disguised Duke⌝ 2683 325Come, sir, did you set
2684 these women on to slander Lord Angelo? They have
2685 confessed you did.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2686 ’Tis false.
ESCALUS 2687 How? Know you where you are?
2688 330 Respect to your great place, and let the devil
2689 Be sometime honored for his burning throne.
2690 Where is the Duke? ’Tis he should hear me speak.
2691 The Duke’s in us, and we will hear you speak.
2692 Look you speak justly.
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝
2693 335 Boldly, at least.—But, O, poor souls,
2694 Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox?
2695 Good night to your redress. Is the Duke gone?
2696 Then is your cause gone too. The Duke’s unjust
2697 Thus to retort your manifest appeal,
2698 340 And put your trial in the villain’s mouth
2699 Which here you come to accuse.
2700 This is the rascal; this is he I spoke of.
ESCALUS, ⌜to disguised Duke⌝
2701 Why, thou unreverend and unhallowed friar,
2702 Is ’t not enough thou hast suborned these women
2703 345 To accuse this worthy man, but, in foul mouth
2704 And in the witness of his proper ear,
2705 To call him villain? And then to glance from him
2706 To th’ Duke himself, to tax him with injustice?—
2707 Take him hence. To th’ rack with him. We’ll touse
2708 350 ⌜him⌝
2709 Joint by joint, but we will know his purpose.
2710 What? “Unjust”?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2711 Be not so hot. The Duke
2712 Dare no more stretch this finger of mine than he
2713 355 Dare rack his own. His subject am I not,
2714 Nor here provincial. My business in this state
2715 Made me a looker-on here in Vienna,
2716 Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble
2717 Till it o’errun the stew. Laws for all faults,
2718 360 But faults so countenanced that the strong statutes
2720 As much in mock as mark.
ESCALUS 2721 Slander to th’ state!
2722 Away with him to prison.
ANGELO, ⌜to Lucio⌝
2723 365 What can you vouch against him, Signior Lucio?
2724 Is this the man that you did tell us of?
LUCIO 2725 ’Tis he, my lord.—Come hither, Goodman Baldpate.
2726 Do you know me?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2727 I remember you, sir, by the sound of
2728 370 your voice. I met you at the prison in the absence of
2729 the Duke.
LUCIO 2730 O, did you so? And do you remember what you
2731 said of the Duke?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2732 Most notedly, sir.
LUCIO 2733 375Do you so, sir? And was the Duke a fleshmonger,
2734 a fool, and a coward, as you then reported him to
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2736 You must, sir, change persons with me
2737 ere you make that my report. You indeed spoke so
2738 380 of him, and much more, much worse.
LUCIO 2739 O, thou damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by
2740 the nose for thy speeches?
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2741 I protest I love the Duke as I love
ANGELO 2743 385Hark how the villain would close now, after
2744 his treasonable abuses!
ESCALUS 2745 Such a fellow is not to be talked withal. Away
2746 with him to prison. Where is the Provost? ⌜Provost
comes forward.⌝ 2747 Away with him to prison. Lay bolts
2748 390 enough upon him. Let him speak no more. Away
2749 with those giglets too, and with the other confederate
⌜Provost seizes the disguised Duke.⌝
DUKE, ⌜as Friar⌝ 2751 Stay, sir, stay awhile.
ANGELO 2752 What, resists he?—Help him, Lucio.
LUCIO, ⌜to the disguised Duke⌝ 2753 395Come, sir, come, sir,
2755 you must be hooded, must you? Show your knave’s
2756 visage, with a pox to you! Show your sheep-biting
2757 face, and be hanged an hour! Will ’t not off?
⌜He pulls off the friar’s hood, and reveals the Duke.
Angelo and Escalus stand.⌝
2758 400 Thou art the first knave that e’er mad’st a duke.—
2759 First, provost, let me bail these gentle three.
2760 ⌜To Lucio.⌝ Sneak not away, sir, for the friar and
2762 Must have a word anon.—Lay hold on him.
LUCIO 2763 405This may prove worse than hanging.
DUKE, ⌜to Escalus⌝
2764 What you have spoke I pardon. Sit you down.
2765 We’ll borrow place of him. ⌜To Angelo.⌝ Sir, by your
2767 Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence
2768 410 That yet can do thee office? If thou hast,
2769 Rely upon it till my tale be heard,
2770 And hold no longer out.
ANGELO 2771 O my dread lord,
2772 I should be guiltier than my guiltiness
2773 415 To think I can be undiscernible,
2774 When I perceive your Grace, like power divine,
2775 Hath looked upon my passes. Then, good prince,
2776 No longer session hold upon my shame,
2777 But let my trial be mine own confession.
2778 420 Immediate sentence then and sequent death
2779 Is all the grace I beg.
DUKE 2780 Come hither, Mariana.
⌜Mariana stands and comes forward.⌝
2781 ⌜To Angelo.⌝ Say, wast thou e’er contracted to this
ANGELO 2783 425I was, my lord.
2784 Go take her hence and marry her instantly.
2787 Return him here again.—Go with him, provost.
⌜Angelo, Mariana, Friar Peter, and Provost⌝ exit.
2788 430 My lord, I am more amazed at his dishonor
2789 Than at the strangeness of it.
DUKE 2790 Come hither, Isabel.
2791 Your friar is now your prince. As I was then
2792 Advertising and holy to your business,
2793 435 Not changing heart with habit, I am still
2794 Attorneyed at your service.
ISABELLA 2795 O, give me pardon
2796 That I, your vassal, have employed and pained
2797 Your unknown sovereignty.
DUKE 2798 440 You are pardoned,
2800 And now, dear maid, be you as free to us.
2801 Your brother’s death, I know, sits at your heart,
2802 And you may marvel why I obscured myself,
2803 445 Laboring to save his life, and would not rather
2804 Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power
2805 Than let him so be lost. O most kind maid,
2806 It was the swift celerity of his death,
2807 Which I did think with slower foot came on,
2808 450 That brained my purpose. But peace be with him.
2809 That life is better life past fearing death
2810 Than that which lives to fear. Make it your comfort,
2811 So happy is your brother.
ISABELLA 2812 I do, my lord.
Enter Angelo, ⌜Mariana,⌝ ⌜Friar⌝ Peter, ⌜and⌝ Provost.
2813 455 For this new-married man approaching here,
2814 Whose salt imagination yet hath wronged
2815 Your well-defended honor, you must pardon
2818 460 Being criminal in double violation
2819 Of sacred chastity and of promise-breach
2820 Thereon dependent for your brother’s life—
2821 The very mercy of the law cries out
2822 Most audible, even from his proper tongue,
2823 465 “An Angelo for Claudio, death for death.”
2824 Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure;
2825 Like doth quit like, and measure still for
2827 Then, Angelo, thy fault’s thus manifested,
2828 470 Which, though thou wouldst deny, denies thee
2830 We do condemn thee to the very block
2831 Where Claudio stooped to death, and with like
2833 475 Away with him.
MARIANA 2834 O my most gracious lord,
2835 I hope you will not mock me with a husband.
2836 It is your husband mocked you with a husband.
2837 Consenting to the safeguard of your honor,
2838 480 I thought your marriage fit. Else imputation,
2839 For that he knew you, might reproach your life
2840 And choke your good to come. For his possessions,
2841 Although by ⌜confiscation⌝ they are ours,
2842 We do instate and widow you with all
2843 485 To buy you a better husband.
MARIANA 2844 O my dear lord,
2845 I crave no other nor no better man.
2846 Never crave him. We are definitive.
2847 Gentle my liege—
DUKE 2848 490 You do but lose your labor.—
2851 O, my good lord.—Sweet Isabel, take my part.
2852 Lend me your knees, and all my life to come
2853 495 I’ll lend you all my life to do you service.
2854 Against all sense you do importune her.
2855 Should she kneel down in mercy of this fact,
2856 Her brother’s ghost his pavèd bed would break
2857 And take her hence in horror.
MARIANA 2858 500 Isabel,
2859 Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me,
2860 Hold up your hands, say nothing. I’ll speak all.
2861 They say best men are molded out of faults,
2862 And, for the most, become much more the better
2863 505 For being a little bad. So may my husband.
2864 O Isabel, will you not lend a knee?
2865 He dies for Claudio’s death.
ISABELLA, ⌜kneeling⌝ 2866 Most bounteous sir,
2867 Look, if it please you, on this man condemned
2868 510 As if my brother lived. I partly think
2869 A due sincerity governed his deeds
2870 Till he did look on me. Since it is so,
2871 Let him not die. My brother had but justice,
2872 In that he did the thing for which he died.
2873 515 For Angelo,
2874 His act did not o’ertake his bad intent,
2875 And must be buried but as an intent
2876 That perished by the way. Thoughts are no subjects,
2877 Intents but merely thoughts.
MARIANA 2878 520 Merely, my lord.
2879 Your suit’s unprofitable. Stand up, I say.
2880 I have bethought me of another fault.—
2882 At an unusual hour?
PROVOST 2883 525 It was commanded so.
2884 Had you a special warrant for the deed?
2885 No, my good lord, it was by private message.
2886 For which I do discharge you of your office.
2887 Give up your keys.
PROVOST 2888 530 Pardon me, noble lord.
2889 I thought it was a fault, but knew it not,
2890 Yet did repent me after more advice,
2891 For testimony whereof, one in the prison
2892 That should by private order else have died,
2893 535 I have reserved alive.
DUKE 2894 What’s he?
PROVOST 2895 His name is Barnardine.
2896 I would thou hadst done so by Claudio.
2897 Go fetch him hither. Let me look upon him.
ESCALUS, ⌜to Angelo⌝
2898 540 I am sorry one so learnèd and so wise
2899 As you, Lord Angelo, have still appeared,
2900 Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood
2901 And lack of tempered judgment afterward.
2902 I am sorry that such sorrow I procure;
2903 545 And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart
2904 That I crave death more willingly than mercy.
2905 ’Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.
Enter Barnardine and Provost, Claudio, ⌜muffled,
DUKE, ⌜to Provost⌝
2906 Which is that Barnardine?
2908 550 There was a friar told me of this man.—
2909 Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul
2910 That apprehends no further than this world,
2911 And squar’st thy life according. Thou ’rt condemned.
2912 But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all,
2913 555 And pray thee take this mercy to provide
2914 For better times to come.—Friar, advise him.
2915 I leave him to your hand.—What muffled fellow’s
2917 This is another prisoner that I saved
2918 560 Who should have died when Claudio lost his head,
2919 As like almost to Claudio as himself.
⌜He unmuffles Claudio.⌝
DUKE, ⌜to Isabella⌝
2920 If he be like your brother, for his sake
2921 Is he pardoned; and for your lovely sake,
2922 Give me your hand and say you will be mine,
2923 565 He is my brother too. But fitter time for that.
2924 By this Lord Angelo perceives he’s safe;
2925 Methinks I see a quick’ning in his eye.—
2926 Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well.
2927 Look that you love your wife, her worth worth
2928 570 yours.
2929 I find an apt remission in myself.
2930 And yet here’s one in place I cannot pardon.
2931 ⌜To Lucio.⌝ You, sirrah, that knew me for a fool, a
2933 575 One all of luxury, an ass, a madman.
2934 Wherein have I so deserved of you
2935 That you extol me thus?
LUCIO 2936 Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the
2937 trick. If you will hang me for it, you may, but I had
2938 580 rather it would please you I might be whipped.
2940 Proclaim it, provost, round about the city,
2941 If any woman wronged by this lewd fellow—
2942 As I have heard him swear himself there’s one
2943 585 Whom he begot with child—let her appear,
2944 And he shall marry her. The nuptial finished,
2945 Let him be whipped and hanged.
LUCIO 2946 I beseech your Highness do not marry me to a
2947 whore. Your Highness said even now I made you a
2948 590 duke. Good my lord, do not recompense me in
2949 making me a cuckold.
2950 Upon mine honor, thou shalt marry her.
2951 Thy slanders I forgive and therewithal
2952 Remit thy other forfeits.—Take him to prison,
2953 595 And see our pleasure herein executed.
LUCIO 2954 Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death,
2955 whipping, and hanging.
DUKE 2956 Slandering a prince deserves it.
⌜Officers take Lucio away.⌝
2957 She, Claudio, that you wronged, look you restore.—
2958 600 Joy to you, Mariana.—Love her, Angelo.
2959 I have confessed her, and I know her virtue.—
2960 Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness.
2961 There’s more behind that is more gratulate.—
2962 Thanks, provost, for thy care and secrecy.
2963 605 We shall employ thee in a worthier place.—
2964 Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
2965 The head of Ragozine for Claudio’s.
2966 Th’ offense pardons itself.—Dear Isabel,
2967 I have a motion much imports your good,
2968 610 Whereto if you’ll a willing ear incline,
2969 What’s mine is yours, and what is yours is mine.—
2970 So, bring us to our palace, where we’ll show
2971 What’s yet behind ⌜that’s⌝ meet you all should know.