תמונות בעמוד

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 three-pence a bay *: If you live to see this come to pass, say, Pompey

told you so.

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



take order -] i. e. take measures.

I'll rent the fairest house in it, after three-pence a bay:] A bay of building is, in many parts of England, a common term, which perhaps means, the space between the main beams of the roof; so that a barn crossed twice with beams is a barn of three bays.

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 you well. [Erit 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.

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.



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 Servant.] 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 !-



Now, what's the matter, provost ? Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow?

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.

Go to ; let that be mine:
Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spar'd.

I crave your honour's pardon.--
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet ?
She's very near her hour.

Dispose of her
To some more fitter place; and that with speed.

Re-enter Servant.


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

Hath he a sister ?
Prov. Ay, my good lord ; a very virtuous maid,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.
Well, let her be admitted.

[Exit Servant.
See you, the fornicatress be remov'd;
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means;
There shall be order for it.

Enter Lucio and ISABELLA.

Prov. Save your honour !

[Offering to retire.



Ang. Stay a little while.—[TO ISAB.] You are wel



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

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,
And let go by the actor.

O just, but severe law !
I had a brother then. -Heaven keep your honour !

[Retiring. Lucio. [TO ISAB.] Give't not o'er so; to him again,

intreat 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 ?

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.



let it be his fault, And not my brother.] i.e. let his fault be condemned, or extirpated, but let not my brother himself suffer.



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 sentenc'd ; '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, believe 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. [A side.

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?.

touch'd with that remorse -] Remorse for pity. ? And mercy then will breathe within your lips,

Like man new made.] As amiable as a man come fresh out of the hands of his Creator ; or, as tender-hearted and merciful as the first man was in his days of innocence, immediately after his creation.

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