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Clo. Why, very well; I hope here be truths: He, Sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, Sir; 'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to sit: Have you not?

Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, and good for winter.

Clo. Why, very well, then;-I hope here be truths.

Ang. This will last out a night in Russia,

When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave,
And leave you to the hearing of the cause;

Hoping, you'll find good cause to whip them all.

Escal. I think no less: Good morrow to your lordship.

[Exit ANGELO. Now, Sir, come on: What was done to Elbow's wife, once more? Clo. Once, Sir? there was nothing done to her once.

Elb. I beseech you, Sir, ask him what this man did to my wife. Clo. I beseech your honour, ask me.

Escal. Well, Sir: What did this gentleman to her?

Clo. I beseech you, Sir, look in this gentleman's face:Good master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a good purpose: Doth your honour mark his face?

Escal. Ay, Sir, very well.

Clo. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.

Escal. Well, I do so.

Clo. Doth your honour see any harm in his face?

Escal. Why, no.

Clo. I'll be supposed* upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him: Good then; if his face be the worst thing about hini, how could master Froth do the constable's wife any harm? I would know that of your honour.

Escal. He's in the right: Constable, what say you to it?

Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected woman. Clo. By this hand, Sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.

Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet: the time is yet to come, that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.

Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.

Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice, or Iniquity ?+ Is this true ?

Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal ! ‡ I respected with her, before I was married to her ? If ever I was I respected with her, or she with me, let not your worship think me the poor duke's officer:-Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee.

Escal. If he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your action of slander too.

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it: What is't your worship's pleasure I should do with this wicked caitiff?

Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him,

* Deposed, sworn.

Constable or clown.

For cannibal,

[graphic]

that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses, till thou know'st what they are.

Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it:-Thou seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee; thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.

Escal. Where were you born, friend?
Froth. Here in Vienna, Sir.

Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?

Froth. Yes, and 't please you, Sir.

Escal. So. What trade are you of, Sir?

Clo. A tapster; a poor widow's tapster.
Escal. Your mistress's name?

Clo. Mistress Over-done.

[TO FROTH.

[To the CLOWN.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband?
Clo. Nine, Sir; Over-done by the last.

Escal. Nine! Come hither to me, master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters; they will draw you, master Froth, and you will hang them: Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.

[Exit

Froth. I thank your worship: For mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in. Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: farewell. FROTH.]-Come you hither to me, master tapster; what's your name, master tapster?

Clo. Pompey.
Escal. What else?

Clo. Bum, Sir.

Escal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you, so that in the beastliest sense, you are Pompey the great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapster. Are you not? come, tell me true; it shall be the better for you.

Clo. Truly, Sir, I am a poor fellow, that would live.

Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade? Clo. If the law would allow it, Sir.

Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey; nor it shali not be allowed in Vienna.

Clo. Does your worship mean to geld and spay all the youth in the city?

Escal. No, Pompey.

Clo. Truly, Sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't then: If your worship will take order* for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: It is but heading and hanging.

Clo. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give out a commission for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it, after threepence a bay: If you live to see this come to pass, say, Pompey told you so.

* Measures.

Escal. Thank you, good Pompey; and in requital of your prophecy, hark you, I advise you, let me not find you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever, no, not for dwelling where you do; if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Clo. I thank your worship for your good counsel; but I shall follow it, as the flesh and fortune shall better determine. Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade; The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade.

[Exit.

Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come hither, master Constable. How long have you been in this place of constable ? Elb. Seven year and a half, Sir.

Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time: You say, seven years together? Elb. And a half, Sir.

Escal. Alas! it hath been great pains to you! They do you wrong to put you so oft upon't: Are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it?

Elb. Faith, Sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all.

Escal. Look you, bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish.

Elb. To your worship's house, Sir?

Escal. To my house: Fare vou well. [Exit ELBOW.] What's o'clock, think you?

Just. Eleven, Sir.

Escal. I pray you home to dinner with me.

Just. I humbly thank you.

Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio;

But there's no remedy.

Just. Lord Angelo is severe.

Escal. It is but needful:

Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so;

Pardon is still the nurse of second woe:

But yet,-Poor Claudio!-There's no remedy.
Come, Sir.

SCENE II-Another Room in the same.

Enter PROVOST and a SERVANT.

Serv. He's hearing of a cause: he will come straight.

I'll tell him of you.

Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit SERV.] I'll know

His pleasure; may be, he will relent: Alas,

He hath but as offended in a dream!

All sects, all ages, smack of this vice; and he
To die for it!—

Enter ANGELO.

Ang. Now, what's the matter, provost ?

Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow?

[Exeunt.

[graphic]

Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not order?

Why dost thou ask again?

Prov. Lest I might be too rash:

Under your good correction, I have seen,

When, after execution, judgment hath
Repented o'er his doom.

Ang. Go to; let that be mine:

Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spared.

Prov. I crave your honour's pardon.

What shall be done, Sir, with the groaning Juliet ?
She's very near her hour.

Ang. Dispose of her

To some more fitting place; and that with speed.

Re-enter SERVANT.

Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd, Desires access to you.

Ang. Hath he a sister?

Prov. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid, And to be shortly of a sisterhood,

If not already.

Ang. Well, let her be admitted.

See you, the fornicatress be removed;

Let her have needful, but not lavish means;
There shall be order for it.

Enter LUCIO and ISABELLA.

Prov. Save your honour!

[Exit SERV.

[Offering to retire.

Ang. Stay a little while.-[To ISAB.] You are welcome: What's

your will?

Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honour, Please but your honour hear me.

Ang. Well; what's your suit?

Isab. There is a vice, that most I do abhor,

And most desire should meet the blow of justice;

For which I would not plead, but that I must;

For which I must not plead, but that I am

At war, 'twixt will, and will not.

Ang. Well; the matter?

Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die:

I do beseech you, let it be his fault,

And not my brother.

Prov. Heaven give thee moving graces!

Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it!

Why, every fault's condemn'd, ere it be done

Mine were the very cipher of a function,

To find the faults, whose fine stands in record,

by the actor.

And just, but severe law !

Isab.

I had a brother then.-Heaven keep your honour!

[Retiring.

Lucio. [To ISAB.] Give't not o'er so to him again, entreat him; Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;

You are too cold: if you should need a pin,

You could not with more tame a tongue desire it:
To him, I say.

Isab. Must he needs die?

Ang. Maiden, no remedy.

Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy. Ang. I will not do't.

Isab. But can you, if you would?

Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.

Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no wrong,
If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse*
As mine is to him?

Ang. He's sentenced; 'tis too late.

Lucio. You are too cold.

[TO ISABELLA.

Isab. Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a word,
May call it back again: Well believet this,
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace,
As mercy does. If he had been as you,
And you as he, you would have slipt like him;
But he, like you, would not have been so stern.
Ang. Pray you, begone.

Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency,
And you were Isabel! should it then be thus ?
No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge,
And what a prisoner.

Lucio. Ay, touch him: there's the vein. Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words.

Isab. Alas! alas!

Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once;
And he that might the vantage best have took,
Found out the remedy: How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? O, think on that;
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made.

Ang. Be you content, fair maid;

It is the law, not I, condemns your brother:

Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son,

It should be thus with him;-he must die to-morrow.

[Aside.

Isab. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him, spare him: He's not prepared for death! Even for our kitchens We kill the fowl of season; shall we serve heaven

With less respect than we do minister

To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you:
Who is it that hath died for this offence?

There's many have committed it.

* Pity.

Be assured.

+ When in season.

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