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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.
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. It grieves me for the death of Claudio :
Just. Lord Angelo is severe.
It is but needful :
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
All sects, all ages smack of this vice; and he
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 :
Go to ; let that be mine:
I crave your honour's pardon.--
Dispose of her
Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd,
Hath he a sister ?
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 !
O just, but severe law !
[Retiring. Lucio. [TO ISAB.] Give't not o'er so; to him again,
intreat him ;
Maiden, no remedy.
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.
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.