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Measure for Measure




ANGELO	Deputy.

ESCALUS	an ancient Lord.

CLAUDIO	a young gentleman.

LUCIO	a fantastic.

	Two other gentlemen.
	(First Gentleman:)
	(Second Gentleman:)

		|  two friars.

	A Justice.


ELBOW	a simple constable.

FROTH	a foolish gentleman.

POMPEY	servant to Mistress Overdone.

ABHORSON	an executioner.

BARNARDINE	a dissolute prisoner.

ISABELLA	sister to Claudio.

MARIANA	betrothed to Angelo.

JULIET	beloved of Claudio.



	Lords, Officers, Citizens, Boy, and Attendant.

SCENE	Vienna.



SCENE I	An apartment in the DUKE'S palace.



ESCALUS	My lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Of government the properties to unfold,
	Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse;
	Since I am put to know that your own science
	Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
	My strength can give you: then no more remains,
	But that to your sufficiency [           ]
	[                  ] as your Worth is able,
	And let them work. The nature of our people,
	Our city's institutions, and the terms
	For common justice, you're as pregnant in
	As art and practise hath enriched any
	That we remember. There is our commission,
	From which we would not have you warp. Call hither,
	I say, bid come before us Angelo.

	[Exit an Attendant]

	What figure of us think you he will bear?
	For you must know, we have with special soul
	Elected him our absence to supply,
	Lent him our terror, dress'd him with our love,
	And given his deputation all the organs
	Of our own power: what think you of it?

ESCALUS	If any in Vienna be of worth
	To undergo such ample grace and honour,
	It is Lord Angelo.

DUKE VINCENTIO	                  Look where he comes.

	[Enter ANGELO]

ANGELO	Always obedient to your grace's will,
	I come to know your pleasure.

	There is a kind of character in thy life,
	That to the observer doth thy history
	Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings
	Are not thine own so proper as to waste
	Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.
	Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,
	Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues
	Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike
	As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd
	But to fine issues, nor Nature never lends
	The smallest scruple of her excellence
	But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
	Herself the glory of a creditor,
	Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
	To one that can my part in him advertise;
	Hold therefore, Angelo:--
	In our remove be thou at full ourself;
	Mortality and mercy in Vienna
	Live in thy tongue and heart: old Escalus,
	Though first in question, is thy secondary.
	Take thy commission.

ANGELO	Now, good my lord,
	Let there be some more test made of my metal,
	Before so noble and so great a figure
	Be stamp'd upon it.

DUKE VINCENTIO	No more evasion:
	We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice
	Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.
	Our haste from hence is of so quick condition
	That it prefers itself and leaves unquestion'd
	Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,
	As time and our concernings shall importune,
	How it goes with us, and do look to know
	What doth befall you here. So, fare you well;
	To the hopeful execution do I leave you
	Of your commissions.

ANGELO	Yet give leave, my lord,
	That we may bring you something on the way.

DUKE VINCENTIO	My haste may not admit it;
	Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do
	With any scruple; your scope is as mine own
	So to enforce or qualify the laws
	As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand:
	I'll privily away. I love the people,
	But do not like to stage me to their eyes:
	Through it do well, I do not relish well
	Their loud applause and Aves vehement;
	Nor do I think the man of safe discretion
	That does affect it. Once more, fare you well.

ANGELO	The heavens give safety to your purposes!

ESCALUS	Lead forth and bring you back in happiness!

DUKE	I thank you. Fare you well.


ESCALUS	I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
	To have free speech with you; and it concerns me
	To look into the bottom of my place:
	A power I have, but of what strength and nature
	I am not yet instructed.

ANGELO	'Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,
	And we may soon our satisfaction have
	Touching that point.

ESCALUS	I'll wait upon your honour.




SCENE II	A Street.

	[Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen]

LUCIO	If the duke with the other dukes come not to
	composition with the King of Hungary, why then all
	the dukes fall upon the king.

First Gentleman	Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of

Second Gentleman	Amen.

LUCIO	Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that
	went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped
	one out of the table.

Second Gentleman	'Thou shalt not steal'?

LUCIO	Ay, that he razed.

First Gentleman	Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and
	all the rest from their functions: they put forth
	to steal. There's not a soldier of us all, that, in
	the thanksgiving before meat, do relish the petition
	well that prays for peace.

Second Gentleman	I never heard any soldier dislike it.

LUCIO	I believe thee; for I think thou never wast where
	grace was said.

Second Gentleman	No? a dozen times at least.

First Gentleman	What, in metre?

LUCIO	In any proportion or in any language.

First Gentleman	I think, or in any religion.

LUCIO	Ay, why not? Grace is grace, despite of all
	controversy: as, for example, thou thyself art a
	wicked villain, despite of all grace.

First Gentleman	Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.

LUCIO	I grant; as there may between the lists and the
	velvet. Thou art the list.

First Gentleman	And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou'rt
	a three-piled piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief
	be a list of an English kersey as be piled, as thou
	art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak
	feelingly now?

LUCIO	I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful
	feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own
	confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I
	live, forget to drink after thee.

First Gentleman	I think I have done myself wrong, have I not?

Second Gentleman	Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted or free.

LUCIO	Behold, behold. where Madam Mitigation comes! I
	have purchased as many diseases under her roof as come to--

Second Gentleman	To what, I pray?

LUCIO	Judge.

Second Gentleman	To three thousand dolours a year.

First Gentleman	Ay, and more.

LUCIO	A French crown more.

First Gentleman	Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou
	art full of error; I am sound.

LUCIO	Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound as
	things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow;
	impiety has made a feast of thee.


First Gentleman	How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?

MISTRESS OVERDONE	Well, well; there's one yonder arrested and carried
	to prison was worth five thousand of you all.

Second Gentleman	Who's that, I pray thee?

MISTRESS OVERDONE	Marry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior Claudio.

First Gentleman	Claudio to prison? 'tis not so.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested, saw
	him carried away; and, which is more, within these
	three days his head to be chopped off.

LUCIO	But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so.
	Art thou sure of this?

MISTRESS OVERDONE	I am too sure of it: and it is for getting Madam
	Julietta with child.

LUCIO	Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two
	hours since, and he was ever precise in

Second Gentleman	Besides, you know, it draws something near to the
	speech we had to such a purpose.

First Gentleman	But, most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.

LUCIO	Away! let's go learn the truth of it.

	[Exeunt LUCIO and Gentlemen]

MISTRESS OVERDONE	Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what
	with the gallows and what with poverty, I am

	[Enter POMPEY]

	How now! what's the news with you?

POMPEY	Yonder man is carried to prison.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	Well; what has he done?

POMPEY	A woman.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	But what's his offence?

POMPEY	Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	What, is there a maid with child by him?

POMPEY	No, but there's a woman with maid by him. You have
	not heard of the proclamation, have you?

MISTRESS OVERDONE	What proclamation, man?

POMPEY	All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	And what shall become of those in the city?

POMPEY	They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too,
	but that a wise burgher put in for them.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be
	pulled down?

POMPEY	To the ground, mistress.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth!
	What shall become of me?

POMPEY	Come; fear you not: good counsellors lack no
	clients: though you change your place, you need not
	change your trade; I'll be your tapster still.
	Courage! there will be pity taken on you: you that
	have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you
	will be considered.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	What's to do here, Thomas tapster? let's withdraw.

POMPEY	Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost to
	prison; and there's Madam Juliet.


	[Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers]

CLAUDIO	Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?
	Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

Provost	I do it not in evil disposition,
	But from Lord Angelo by special charge.

CLAUDIO	Thus can the demigod Authority
	Make us pay down for our offence by weight
	The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will;
	On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.

	[Re-enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen]

LUCIO	Why, how now, Claudio! whence comes this restraint?

CLAUDIO	From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty:
	As surfeit is the father of much fast,
	So every scope by the immoderate use
	Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue,
	Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,
	A thirsty evil; and when we drink we die.

LUCIO	If could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would
	send for certain of my creditors: and yet, to say
	the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom
	as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy
	offence, Claudio?

CLAUDIO	What but to speak of would offend again.

LUCIO	What, is't murder?


LUCIO	Lechery?

CLAUDIO	Call it so.

Provost	Away, sir! you must go.

CLAUDIO	One word, good friend. Lucio, a word with you.

LUCIO	A hundred, if they'll do you any good.
	Is lechery so look'd after?

CLAUDIO	Thus stands it with me: upon a true contract
	I got possession of Julietta's bed:
	You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
	Save that we do the denunciation lack
	Of outward order: this we came not to,
	Only for propagation of a dower
	Remaining in the coffer of her friends,
	From whom we thought it meet to hide our love
	Till time had made them for us. But it chances
	The stealth of our most mutual entertainment
	With character too gross is writ on Juliet.

LUCIO	With child, perhaps?

CLAUDIO	Unhappily, even so.
	And the new deputy now for the duke--
	Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness,
	Or whether that the body public be
	A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
	Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
	He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
	Whether the tyranny be in his place,
	Or in his emmence that fills it up,
	I stagger in:--but this new governor
	Awakes me all the enrolled penalties
	Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall
	So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round
	And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
	Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
	Freshly on me: 'tis surely for a name.

LUCIO	I warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle on
	thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love,
	may sigh it off. Send after the duke and appeal to

CLAUDIO	I have done so, but he's not to be found.
	I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
	This day my sister should the cloister enter
	And there receive her approbation:
	Acquaint her with the danger of my state:
	Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
	To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him:
	I have great hope in that; for in her youth
	There is a prone and speechless dialect,
	Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous art
	When she will play with reason and discourse,
	And well she can persuade.

LUCIO	I pray she may; as well for the encouragement of the
	like, which else would stand under grievous
	imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I
	would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a
	game of tick-tack. I'll to her.

CLAUDIO	I thank you, good friend Lucio.

LUCIO	Within two hours.

CLAUDIO	                  Come, officer, away!




SCENE III	A monastery.


DUKE VINCENTIO	No, holy father; throw away that thought;
	Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
	Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee
	To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose
	More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
	Of burning youth.

FRIAR THOMAS	                  May your grace speak of it?

DUKE VINCENTIO	My holy sir, none better knows than you
	How I have ever loved the life removed
	And held in idle price to haunt assemblies
	Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.
	I have deliver'd to Lord Angelo,
	A man of stricture and firm abstinence,
	My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
	And he supposes me travell'd to Poland;
	For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
	And so it is received. Now, pious sir,
	You will demand of me why I do this?

FRIAR THOMAS	Gladly, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	We have strict statutes and most biting laws.
	The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds,
	Which for this nineteen years we have let slip;
	Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave,
	That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers,
	Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch,
	Only to stick it in their children's sight
	For terror, not to use, in time the rod
	Becomes more mock'd than fear'd; so our decrees,
	Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;
	And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
	The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
	Goes all decorum.

FRIAR THOMAS	                  It rested in your grace
	To unloose this tied-up justice when you pleased:
	And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd
	Than in Lord Angelo.

DUKE VINCENTIO	I do fear, too dreadful:
	Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,
	'Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them
	For what I bid them do: for we bid this be done,
	When evil deeds have their permissive pass
	And not the punishment. Therefore indeed, my father,
	I have on Angelo imposed the office;
	Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home,
	And yet my nature never in the fight
	To do in slander. And to behold his sway,
	I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
	Visit both prince and people: therefore, I prithee,
	Supply me with the habit and instruct me
	How I may formally in person bear me
	Like a true friar. More reasons for this action
	At our more leisure shall I render you;
	Only, this one: Lord Angelo is precise;
	Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
	That his blood flows, or that his appetite
	Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see,
	If power change purpose, what our seemers be.




SCENE IV	A nunnery.


ISABELLA	And have you nuns no farther privileges?

FRANCISCA	Are not these large enough?

ISABELLA	Yes, truly; I speak not as desiring more;
	But rather wishing a more strict restraint
	Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.

LUCIO	[Within]  Ho! Peace be in this place!

ISABELLA	Who's that which calls?

FRANCISCA	It is a man's voice. Gentle Isabella,
	Turn you the key, and know his business of him;
	You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn.
	When you have vow'd, you must not speak with men
	But in the presence of the prioress:
	Then, if you speak, you must not show your face,
	Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
	He calls again; I pray you, answer him.


ISABELLA	Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls

	[Enter LUCIO]

LUCIO	Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses
	Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me
	As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
	A novice of this place and the fair sister
	To her unhappy brother Claudio?

ISABELLA	Why 'her unhappy brother'? let me ask,
	The rather for I now must make you know
	I am that Isabella and his sister.

LUCIO	Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you:
	Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.

ISABELLA	Woe me! for what?

LUCIO	For that which, if myself might be his judge,
	He should receive his punishment in thanks:
	He hath got his friend with child.

ISABELLA	Sir, make me not your story.

LUCIO	It is true.
	I would not--though 'tis my familiar sin
	With maids to seem the lapwing and to jest,
	Tongue far from heart--play with all virgins so:
	I hold you as a thing ensky'd and sainted.
	By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
	And to be talk'd with in sincerity,
	As with a saint.

ISABELLA	You do blaspheme the good in mocking me.

LUCIO	Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus:
	Your brother and his lover have embraced:
	As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time
	That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
	To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb
	Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

ISABELLA	Some one with child by him? My cousin Juliet?

LUCIO	Is she your cousin?

ISABELLA	Adoptedly; as school-maids change their names
	By vain though apt affection.

LUCIO	She it is.

ISABELLA	O, let him marry her.

LUCIO	This is the point.
	The duke is very strangely gone from hence;
	Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
	In hand and hope of action: but we do learn
	By those that know the very nerves of state,
	His givings-out were of an infinite distance
	From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
	And with full line of his authority,
	Governs Lord Angelo; a man whose blood
	Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
	The wanton stings and motions of the sense,
	But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
	With profits of the mind, study and fast.
	He--to give fear to use and liberty,
	Which have for long run by the hideous law,
	As mice by lions--hath pick'd out an act,
	Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
	Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it;
	And follows close the rigour of the statute,
	To make him an example. All hope is gone,
	Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
	To soften Angelo: and that's my pith of business
	'Twixt you and your poor brother.

ISABELLA	Doth he so seek his life?

LUCIO	Has censured him
	Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
	A warrant for his execution.

ISABELLA	Alas! what poor ability's in me
	To do him good?

LUCIO	                  Assay the power you have.

ISABELLA	My power? Alas, I doubt--

LUCIO	Our doubts are traitors
	And make us lose the good we oft might win
	By fearing to attempt. Go to Lord Angelo,
	And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,
	Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
	All their petitions are as freely theirs
	As they themselves would owe them.

ISABELLA	I'll see what I can do.

LUCIO	But speedily.

ISABELLA	I will about it straight;
	No longer staying but to give the mother
	Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
	Commend me to my brother: soon at night
	I'll send him certain word of my success.

LUCIO	I take my leave of you.

ISABELLA	Good sir, adieu.




SCENE I	A hall In ANGELO's house.

	[Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, and a Justice, Provost,
	Officers, and other Attendants, behind]

ANGELO	We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
	Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
	And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
	Their perch and not their terror.

ESCALUS	Ay, but yet
	Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
	Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas, this gentleman
	Whom I would save, had a most noble father!
	Let but your honour know,
	Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,
	That, in the working of your own affections,
	Had time cohered with place or place with wishing,
	Or that the resolute acting of your blood
	Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,
	Whether you had not sometime in your life
	Err'd in this point which now you censure him,
	And pull'd the law upon you.

ANGELO	'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
	Another thing to fall. I not deny,
	The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
	May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two
	Guiltier than him they try. What's open made to justice,
	That justice seizes: what know the laws
	That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very pregnant,
	The jewel that we find, we stoop and take't
	Because we see it; but what we do not see
	We tread upon, and never think of it.
	You may not so extenuate his offence
	For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
	When I, that censure him, do so offend,
	Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
	And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.

ESCALUS	Be it as your wisdom will.

ANGELO	Where is the provost?

Provost	Here, if it like your honour.

ANGELO	See that Claudio
	Be executed by nine to-morrow morning:
	Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared;
	For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.

	[Exit Provost]

ESCALUS	[Aside]  Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all!
	Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
	Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none:
	And some condemned for a fault alone.

	[Enter ELBOW, and Officers with FROTH and POMPEY]

ELBOW	Come, bring them away: if these be good people in
	a commonweal that do nothing but use their abuses in
	common houses, I know no law: bring them away.

ANGELO	How now, sir! What's your name? and what's the matter?

ELBOW	If it Please your honour, I am the poor duke's
	constable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean upon
	justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good
	honour two notorious benefactors.

ANGELO	Benefactors? Well; what benefactors are they? are
	they not malefactors?

ELBOW	If it? please your honour, I know not well what they
	are: but precise villains they are, that I am sure
	of; and void of all profanation in the world that
	good Christians ought to have.

ESCALUS	This comes off well; here's a wise officer.

ANGELO	Go to: what quality are they of? Elbow is your
	name? why dost thou not speak, Elbow?

POMPEY	He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.

ANGELO	What are you, sir?

ELBOW	He, sir! a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that
	serves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was, as they
	say, plucked down in the suburbs; and now she
	professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too.

ESCALUS	How know you that?

ELBOW	My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,--

ESCALUS	How? thy wife?

ELBOW	Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,--

ESCALUS	Dost thou detest her therefore?

ELBOW	I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as
	she, that this house, if it be not a bawd's house,
	it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house.

ESCALUS	How dost thou know that, constable?

ELBOW	Marry, sir, by my wife; who, if she had been a woman
	cardinally given, might have been accused in
	fornication, adultery, and all uncleanliness there.

ESCALUS	By the woman's means?

ELBOW	Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone's means: but as she
	spit in his face, so she defied him.

POMPEY	Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.

ELBOW	Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable
	man; prove it.

ESCALUS	Do you hear how he misplaces?

POMPEY	Sir, she came in great with child; and longing,
	saving your honour's reverence, for stewed prunes;
	sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very
	distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit-dish, a
	dish of some three-pence; your honours have seen
	such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very
	good dishes,--

ESCALUS	Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.

POMPEY	No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in
	the right: but to the point. As I say, this
	Mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and
	being great-bellied, and longing, as I said, for
	prunes; and having but two in the dish, as I said,
	Master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the
	rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very
	honestly; for, as you know, Master Froth, I could
	not give you three-pence again.

FROTH	No, indeed.

POMPEY	Very well: you being then, if you be remembered,
	cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes,--

FROTH	Ay, so I did indeed.

POMPEY	Why, very well; I telling you then, if you be
	remembered, that such a one and such a one were past
	cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very
	good diet, as I told you,--

FROTH	All this is true.

POMPEY	Why, very well, then,--

ESCALUS	Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What
	was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to
	complain of? Come me to what was done to her.

POMPEY	Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.

ESCALUS	No, sir, nor I mean it not.

POMPEY	Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honour's
	leave. And, I beseech you, look into Master Froth
	here, sir; a man of four-score pound a year; whose
	father died at Hallowmas: was't not at Hallowmas,
	Master Froth?

FROTH	All-hallond eve.

POMPEY	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.

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

ANGELO	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.

ESCALUS	I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship.

	[Exit ANGELO]

	Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?

POMPEY	Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once.

ELBOW	I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.

POMPEY	I beseech your honour, ask me.

ESCALUS	Well, sir; what did this gentleman to her?

POMPEY	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?

ESCALUS	Ay, sir, very well.

POMPEY	Nay; I beseech you, mark it well.

ESCALUS	Well, I do so.

POMPEY	Doth your honour see any harm in his face?

ESCALUS	Why, no.

POMPEY	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 him, how could Master Froth do the
	constable's wife any harm? I would know that of
	your honour.

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

ELBOW	First, an it like you, the house is a respected
	house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his
	mistress is a respected woman.

POMPEY	By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected
	person than any of us all.

ELBOW	Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet! the
	time has yet to come that she was ever respected
	with man, woman, or child.

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

ESCALUS	Which is the wiser here? Justice or Iniquity? Is
	this true?

ELBOW	O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked
	Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married
	to her! If ever I was 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.

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

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

ESCALUS	Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him
	that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him
	continue in his courses till thou knowest what they

ELBOW	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.

ESCALUS	Where were you born, friend?

FROTH	Here in Vienna, sir.

ESCALUS	Are you of fourscore pounds a year?

FROTH	Yes, an't please you, sir.

ESCALUS	So. What trade are you of, sir?

POMPHEY	Tapster; a poor widow's tapster.

ESCALUS	Your mistress' name?

POMPHEY	Mistress Overdone.

ESCALUS	Hath she had any more than one husband?

POMPEY	Nine, sir; Overdone by the last.

ESCALUS	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.

FROTH	I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never
	come into any room in a tap-house, but I am drawn

ESCALUS	Well, no more of it, Master Froth: farewell.

	[Exit FROTH]

	Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What's your
	name, Master tapster?

POMPEY	Pompey.

ESCALUS	What else?

POMPEY	Bum, sir.

ESCALUS	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.

POMPEY	Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.

ESCALUS	How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What
	do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?

POMPEY	If the law would allow it, sir.

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

POMPEY	Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the
	youth of the city?

ESCALUS	No, Pompey.

POMPEY	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.

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

POMPEY	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.

ESCALUS	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
	Caesar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall
	have you whipt: so, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

POMPEY	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 is not whipt out of his trade.


ESCALUS	Come hither to me, Master Elbow; come hither, Master
	constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?

ELBOW	Seven year and a half, sir.

ESCALUS	I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had
	continued in it some time. You say, seven years together?

ELBOW	And a half, sir.

ESCALUS	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?

ELBOW	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

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

ELBOW	To your worship's house, sir?

ESCALUS	To my house. Fare you well.

	[Exit ELBOW]

	What's o'clock, think you?

Justice	Eleven, sir.

ESCALUS	I pray you home to dinner with me.

Justice	I humbly thank you.

ESCALUS	It grieves me for the death of Claudio;
	But there's no remedy.

Justice	Lord Angelo is severe.

ESCALUS	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 is no remedy.
	Come, sir.




SCENE II	Another room in the same.

	[Enter Provost and a Servant]

Servant	He's hearing of a cause; he will come straight
	I'll tell him of you.

Provost	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't!

	[Enter ANGELO]

ANGELO	                  Now, what's the matter. Provost?

Provost	Is it your will Claudio shall die tomorrow?

ANGELO	Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thou not order?
	Why dost thou ask again?

Provost	Lest I might be too rash:
	Under your good correction, I have seen,
	When, after execution, judgment hath
	Repented o'er his doom.

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

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

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

	[Re-enter Servant]

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

ANGELO	Hath he a sister?

Provost	Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid,
	And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
	If not already.

ANGELO	                  Well, let her be admitted.

	[Exit Servant]

	See you the fornicatress be removed:
	Let have needful, but not lavish, means;
	There shall be order for't.


Provost	God save your honour!

ANGELO	Stay a little while.


		You're welcome: what's your will?

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

ANGELO	Well; what's your suit?

ISABELLA	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.

ANGELO	Well; the matter?

ISABELLA	I have a brother is condemn'd to die:
	I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
	And not my brother.

Provost	[Aside]  Heaven give thee moving graces!

ANGELO	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 fine the faults whose fine stands in record,
	And let go by the actor.

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

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]  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!

ISABELLA	Must he needs die?

ANGELO	                  Maiden, no remedy.

ISABELLA	Yes; I do think that you might pardon him,
	And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.

ANGELO	I will not do't.

ISABELLA	                  But can you, if you would?

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

ISABELLA	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?

ANGELO	                  He's sentenced; 'tis too late.

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]  You are too cold.

ISABELLA	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.

ANGELO	Pray you, be gone.

ISABELLA	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.


		Ay, touch him; there's the vein.

ANGELO	Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
	And you but waste your words.

ISABELLA	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.

ANGELO	                  Be you content, fair maid;
	It is the law, not I condemn your brother:
	Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son,
	It should be thus with him: he must die tomorrow.

ISABELLA	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.

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]           Ay, well said.

ANGELO	The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept:
	Those many had not dared to do that evil,
	If the first that did the edict infringe
	Had answer'd for his deed: now 'tis awake
	Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet,
	Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils,
	Either new, or by remissness new-conceived,
	And so in progress to be hatch'd and born,
	Are now to have no successive degrees,
	But, ere they live, to end.

ISABELLA	Yet show some pity.

ANGELO	I show it most of all when I show justice;
	For then I pity those I do not know,
	Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall;
	And do him right that, answering one foul wrong,
	Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
	Your brother dies to-morrow; be content.

ISABELLA	So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
	And he, that suffer's. O, it is excellent
	To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
	To use it like a giant.

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]   That's well said.

ISABELLA	Could great men thunder
	As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
	For every pelting, petty officer
	Would use his heaven for thunder;
	Nothing but thunder! Merciful Heaven,
	Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
	Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
	Than the soft myrtle: but man, proud man,
	Drest in a little brief authority,
	Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
	His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
	Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
	As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
	Would all themselves laugh mortal.

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]  O, to him, to him, wench! he
	will relent;
	He's coming; I perceive 't.

Provost	[Aside]  Pray heaven she win him!

ISABELLA	We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:
	Great men may jest with saints; 'tis wit in them,
	But in the less foul profanation.

LUCIO	Thou'rt i' the right, girl; more o, that.

ISABELLA	That in the captain's but a choleric word,
	Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]  Art avised o' that? more on 't.

ANGELO	Why do you put these sayings upon me?

ISABELLA	Because authority, though it err like others,
	Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
	That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom;
	Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know
	That's like my brother's fault: if it confess
	A natural guiltiness such as is his,
	Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
	Against my brother's life.

ANGELO	[Aside]                  She speaks, and 'tis
	Such sense, that my sense breeds with it. Fare you well.

ISABELLA	Gentle my lord, turn back.

ANGELO	I will bethink me: come again tomorrow.

ISABELLA	Hark how I'll bribe you: good my lord, turn back.

ANGELO	How! bribe me?

ISABELLA	Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]  You had marr'd all else.

ISABELLA	Not with fond shekels of the tested gold,
	Or stones whose rates are either rich or poor
	As fancy values them; but with true prayers
	That shall be up at heaven and enter there
	Ere sun-rise, prayers from preserved souls,
	From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate
	To nothing temporal.

ANGELO	Well; come to me to-morrow.

LUCIO	[Aside to ISABELLA]  Go to; 'tis well; away!

ISABELLA	Heaven keep your honour safe!

ANGELO	[Aside]	Amen:
	For I am that way going to temptation,
	Where prayers cross.

ISABELLA	At what hour to-morrow
	Shall I attend your lordship?

ANGELO	At any time 'fore noon.

ISABELLA	'Save your honour!

	[Exeunt ISABELLA, LUCIO, and Provost]

ANGELO	                  From thee, even from thy virtue!
	What's this, what's this? Is this her fault or mine?
	The tempter or the tempted, who sins most?
	Not she: nor doth she tempt: but it is I
	That, lying by the violet in the sun,
	Do as the carrion does, not as the flower,
	Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be
	That modesty may more betray our sense
	Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground enough,
	Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary
	And pitch our evils there? O, fie, fie, fie!
	What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo?
	Dost thou desire her foully for those things
	That make her good? O, let her brother live!
	Thieves for their robbery have authority
	When judges steal themselves. What, do I love her,
	That I desire to hear her speak again,
	And feast upon her eyes? What is't I dream on?
	O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint,
	With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous
	Is that temptation that doth goad us on
	To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet,
	With all her double vigour, art and nature,
	Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
	Subdues me quite. Even till now,
	When men were fond, I smiled and wonder'd how.




SCENE III	A room in a prison.

	[Enter, severally, DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as a
	friar, and Provost]

DUKE VINCENTIO	Hail to you, provost! so I think you are.

Provost	I am the provost. What's your will, good friar?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Bound by my charity and my blest order,
	I come to visit the afflicted spirits
	Here in the prison. Do me the common right
	To let me see them and to make me know
	The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
	To them accordingly.

Provost	I would do more than that, if more were needful.

	[Enter JULIET]

	Look, here comes one: a gentlewoman of mine,
	Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth,
	Hath blister'd her report: she is with child;
	And he that got it, sentenced; a young man
	More fit to do another such offence
	Than die for this.

DUKE VINCENTIO	When must he die?

Provost	                  As I do think, to-morrow.
	I have provided for you: stay awhile,


	And you shall be conducted.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?

JULIET	I do; and bear the shame most patiently.

DUKE VINCENTIO	I'll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience,
	And try your penitence, if it be sound,
	Or hollowly put on.

JULIET	I'll gladly learn.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Love you the man that wrong'd you?

JULIET	Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him.

DUKE VINCENTIO	So then it seems your most offenceful act
	Was mutually committed?

JULIET	Mutually.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Then was your sin of heavier kind than his.

JULIET	I do confess it, and repent it, father.

DUKE VINCENTIO	'Tis meet so, daughter: but lest you do repent,
	As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,
	Which sorrow is always towards ourselves, not heaven,
	Showing we would not spare heaven as we love it,
	But as we stand in fear,--

JULIET	I do repent me, as it is an evil,
	And take the shame with joy.

	Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow,
	And I am going with instruction to him.
	Grace go with you, Benedicite!


JULIET	Must die to-morrow! O injurious love,
	That respites me a life, whose very comfort
	Is still a dying horror!

Provost	'Tis pity of him.




SCENE IV	A room in ANGELO's house.

	[Enter ANGELO]

ANGELO	When I would pray and think, I think and pray
	To several subjects. Heaven hath my empty words;
	Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
	Anchors on Isabel: Heaven in my mouth,
	As if I did but only chew his name;
	And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
	Of my conception. The state, whereon I studied
	Is like a good thing, being often read,
	Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity,
	Wherein--let no man hear me--I take pride,
	Could I with boot change for an idle plume,
	Which the air beats for vain. O place, O form,
	How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
	Wrench awe from fools and tie the wiser souls
	To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood:
	Let's write good angel on the devil's horn:
	'Tis not the devil's crest.

	[Enter a Servant]

		      How now! who's there?

Servant	One Isabel, a sister, desires access to you.

ANGELO	Teach her the way.

	[Exit Servant]

	O heavens!
	Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,
	Making both it unable for itself,
	And dispossessing all my other parts
	Of necessary fitness?
	So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons;
	Come all to help him, and so stop the air
	By which he should revive: and even so
	The general, subject to a well-wish'd king,
	Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness
	Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
	Must needs appear offence.


		     How now, fair maid?

ISABELLA	I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO	That you might know it, would much better please me
	Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA	Even so. Heaven keep your honour!

ANGELO	Yet may he live awhile; and, it may be,
	As long as you or I	yet he must die.

ISABELLA	Under your sentence?


ISABELLA	When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve,
	Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted
	That his soul sicken not.

ANGELO	Ha! fie, these filthy vices! It were as good
	To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
	A man already made, as to remit
	Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven's image
	In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easy
	Falsely to take away a life true made
	As to put metal in restrained means
	To make a false one.

ISABELLA	'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO	Say you so? then I shall pose you quickly.
	Which had you rather, that the most just law
	Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem him,
	Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
	As she that he hath stain'd?

ISABELLA	Sir, believe this,
	I had rather give my body than my soul.

ANGELO	I talk not of your soul: our compell'd sins
	Stand more for number than for accompt.

ISABELLA	How say you?

ANGELO	Nay, I'll not warrant that; for I can speak
	Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
	I, now the voice of the recorded law,
	Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life:
	Might there not be a charity in sin
	To save this brother's life?

ISABELLA	Please you to do't,
	I'll take it as a peril to my soul,
	It is no sin at all, but charity.

ANGELO	Pleased you to do't at peril of your soul,
	Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA	That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
	Heaven let me bear it! you granting of my suit,
	If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
	To have it added to the faults of mine,
	And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO	Nay, but hear me.
	Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
	Or seem so craftily; and that's not good.

ISABELLA	Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
	But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO	Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
	When it doth tax itself; as these black masks
	Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
	Than beauty could, display'd. But mark me;
	To be received plain, I'll speak more gross:
	Your brother is to die.


ANGELO	And his offence is so, as it appears,
	Accountant to the law upon that pain.


ANGELO	Admit no other way to save his life,--
	As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
	But in the loss of question,--that you, his sister,
	Finding yourself desired of such a person,
	Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
	Could fetch your brother from the manacles
	Of the all-building law; and that there were
	No earthly mean to save him, but that either
	You must lay down the treasures of your body
	To this supposed, or else to let him suffer;
	What would you do?

ISABELLA	As much for my poor brother as myself:
	That is, were I under the terms of death,
	The impression of keen whips I'ld wear as rubies,
	And strip myself to death, as to a bed
	That longing have been sick for, ere I'ld yield
	My body up to shame.

ANGELO	Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA	And 'twere the cheaper way:
	Better it were a brother died at once,
	Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
	Should die for ever.

ANGELO	Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
	That you have slander'd so?

ISABELLA	Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
	Are of two houses: lawful mercy
	Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO	You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant;
	And rather proved the sliding of your brother
	A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA	O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out,
	To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean:
	I something do excuse the thing I hate,
	For his advantage that I dearly love.

ANGELO	We are all frail.

ISABELLA	                  Else let my brother die,
	If not a feodary, but only he
	Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO	Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA	Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves;
	Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
	Women! Help Heaven! men their creation mar
	In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail;
	For we are soft as our complexions are,
	And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO	I think it well:
	And from this testimony of your own sex,--
	Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
	Than faults may shake our frames,--let me be bold;
	I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
	That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none;
	If you be one, as you are well express'd
	By all external warrants, show it now,
	By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA	I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord,
	Let me entreat you speak the former language.

ANGELO	Plainly conceive, I love you.

ISABELLA	My brother did love Juliet,
	And you tell me that he shall die for it.

ANGELO	He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA	I know your virtue hath a licence in't,
	Which seems a little fouler than it is,
	To pluck on others.

ANGELO	Believe me, on mine honour,
	My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA	Ha! little honour to be much believed,
	And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seeming!
	I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for't:
	Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
	Or with an outstretch'd throat I'll tell the world aloud
	What man thou art.

ANGELO	                  Who will believe thee, Isabel?
	My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life,
	My vouch against you, and my place i' the state,
	Will so your accusation overweigh,
	That you shall stifle in your own report
	And smell of calumny. I have begun,
	And now I give my sensual race the rein:
	Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite;
	Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes,
	That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother
	By yielding up thy body to my will;
	Or else he must not only die the death,
	But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
	To lingering sufferance. Answer me to-morrow,
	Or, by the affection that now guides me most,
	I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
	Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true.


ISABELLA	To whom should I complain? Did I tell this,
	Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,
	That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
	Either of condemnation or approof;
	Bidding the law make court'sy to their will:
	Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite,
	To follow as it draws! I'll to my brother:
	Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,
	Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour.
	That, had he twenty heads to tender down
	On twenty bloody blocks, he'ld yield them up,
	Before his sister should her body stoop
	To such abhorr'd pollution.
	Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
	More than our brother is our chastity.
	I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
	And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.




SCENE I	A room in the prison.

	[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before, CLAUDIO,
	and Provost]

DUKE VINCENTIO	So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?

CLAUDIO	The miserable have no other medicine
	But only hope:
	I've hope to live, and am prepared to die.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Be absolute for death; either death or life
	Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
	If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
	That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art,
	Servile to all the skyey influences,
	That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
	Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
	For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun
	And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble;
	For all the accommodations that thou bear'st
	Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant;
	For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
	Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
	And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st
	Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
	For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
	That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not;
	For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get,
	And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain;
	For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
	After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor;
	For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
	Thou bear's thy heavy riches but a journey,
	And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none;
	For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
	The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
	Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
	For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age,
	But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
	Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
	Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
	Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
	Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
	To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this
	That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
	Lie hid moe thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
	That makes these odds all even.

CLAUDIO	I humbly thank you.
	To sue to live, I find I seek to die;
	And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.

ISABELLA	[Within]  What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!

Provost	Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.

CLAUDIO	Most holy sir, I thank you.


ISABELLA	My business is a word or two with Claudio.

Provost	And very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Provost, a word with you.

Provost	As many as you please.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be concealed.

	[Exeunt DUKE VINCENTIO and Provost]

CLAUDIO	Now, sister, what's the comfort?

	As all comforts are; most good, most good indeed.
	Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
	Intends you for his swift ambassador,
	Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
	Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
	To-morrow you set on.

CLAUDIO	Is there no remedy?

ISABELLA	None, but such remedy as, to save a head,
	To cleave a heart in twain.

CLAUDIO	But is there any?

ISABELLA	Yes, brother, you may live:
	There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
	If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
	But fetter you till death.

CLAUDIO	Perpetual durance?

ISABELLA	Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint,
	Though all the world's vastidity you had,
	To a determined scope.

CLAUDIO	But in what nature?

ISABELLA	In such a one as, you consenting to't,
	Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear,
	And leave you naked.

CLAUDIO	Let me know the point.

ISABELLA	O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
	Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain,
	And six or seven winters more respect
	Than a perpetual honour. Darest thou die?
	The sense of death is most in apprehension;
	And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
	In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
	As when a giant dies.

CLAUDIO	Why give you me this shame?
	Think you I can a resolution fetch
	From flowery tenderness? If I must die,
	I will encounter darkness as a bride,
	And hug it in mine arms.

ISABELLA	There spake my brother; there my father's grave
	Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die:
	Thou art too noble to conserve a life
	In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,
	Whose settled visage and deliberate word
	Nips youth i' the head and follies doth emmew
	As falcon doth the fowl, is yet a devil
	His filth within being cast, he would appear
	A pond as deep as hell.

CLAUDIO	The prenzie Angelo!

ISABELLA	O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
	The damned'st body to invest and cover
	In prenzie guards! Dost thou think, Claudio?
	If I would yield him my virginity,
	Thou mightst be freed.

CLAUDIO	O heavens! it cannot be.

ISABELLA	Yes, he would give't thee, from this rank offence,
	So to offend him still. This night's the time
	That I should do what I abhor to name,
	Or else thou diest to-morrow.

CLAUDIO	Thou shalt not do't.

ISABELLA	O, were it but my life,
	I'ld throw it down for your deliverance
	As frankly as a pin.

CLAUDIO	Thanks, dear Isabel.

ISABELLA	Be ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow.

CLAUDIO	Yes. Has he affections in him,
	That thus can make him bite the law by the nose,
	When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin,
	Or of the deadly seven, it is the least.

ISABELLA	Which is the least?

CLAUDIO	If it were damnable, he being so wise,
	Why would he for the momentary trick
	Be perdurably fined? O Isabel!

ISABELLA	What says my brother?

CLAUDIO	Death is a fearful thing.

ISABELLA	And shamed life a hateful.

CLAUDIO	Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
	To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
	This sensible warm motion to become
	A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
	To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
	In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
	To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
	And blown with restless violence round about
	The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
	Of those that lawless and incertain thought
	Imagine howling: 'tis too horrible!
	The weariest and most loathed worldly life
	That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
	Can lay on nature is a paradise
	To what we fear of death.

ISABELLA	Alas, alas!

CLAUDIO	          Sweet sister, let me live:
	What sin you do to save a brother's life,
	Nature dispenses with the deed so far
	That it becomes a virtue.

ISABELLA	O you beast!
	O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!
	Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
	Is't not a kind of incest, to take life
	From thine own sister's shame? What should I think?
	Heaven shield my mother play'd my father fair!
	For such a warped slip of wilderness
	Ne'er issued from his blood. Take my defiance!
	Die, perish! Might but my bending down
	Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed:
	I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,
	No word to save thee.

CLAUDIO	Nay, hear me, Isabel.

ISABELLA	O, fie, fie, fie!
	Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade.
	Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
	'Tis best thou diest quickly.

CLAUDIO	O hear me, Isabella!


DUKE VINCENTIO	Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.

ISABELLA	What is your will?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and
	by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I
	would require is likewise your own benefit.

ISABELLA	I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be
	stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile.

	[Walks apart]

DUKE VINCENTIO	Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you
	and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to
	corrupt her; only he hath made an essay of her
	virtue to practise his judgment with the disposition
	of natures: she, having the truth of honour in her,
	hath made him that gracious denial which he is most
	glad to receive. I am confessor to Angelo, and I
	know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to
	death: do not satisfy your resolution with hopes
	that are fallible: tomorrow you must die; go to
	your knees and make ready.

CLAUDIO	Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love
	with life that I will sue to be rid of it.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Hold you there: farewell.


	Provost, a word with you!

	[Re-enter Provost]

Provost	What's your will, father

DUKE VINCENTIO	That now you are come, you will be gone. Leave me
	awhile with the maid: my mind promises with my
	habit no loss shall touch her by my company.

Provost	In good time.

	[Exit Provost. ISABELLA comes forward]

DUKE VINCENTIO	The hand that hath made you fair hath made you good:
	the goodness that is cheap in beauty makes beauty
	brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of
	your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever
	fair. The assault that Angelo hath made to you,
	fortune hath conveyed to my understanding; and, but
	that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should
	wonder at Angelo. How will you do to content this
	substitute, and to save your brother?

ISABELLA	I am now going to resolve him: I had rather my
	brother die by the law than my son should be
	unlawfully born. But, O, how much is the good duke
	deceived in Angelo! If ever he return and I can
	speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or
	discover his government.

DUKE VINCENTIO	That shall not be much amiss: Yet, as the matter
	now stands, he will avoid your accusation; he made
	trial of you only. Therefore fasten your ear on my
	advisings: to the love I have in doing good a
	remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe
	that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged
	lady a merited benefit; redeem your brother from
	the angry law; do no stain to your own gracious
	person; and much please the absent duke, if
	peradventure he shall ever return to have hearing of
	this business.

ISABELLA	Let me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to do
	anything that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have
	you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of
	Frederick the great soldier who miscarried at sea?

ISABELLA	I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.

DUKE VINCENTIO	She should this Angelo have married; was affianced
	to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between
	which time of the contract and limit of the
	solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea,
	having in that perished vessel the dowry of his
	sister. But mark how heavily this befell to the
	poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and
	renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most
	kind and natural; with him, the portion and sinew of
	her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her
	combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo.

ISABELLA	Can this be so? did Angelo so leave her?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Left her in her tears, and dried not one of them
	with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole,
	pretending in her discoveries of dishonour: in few,
	bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet
	wears for his sake; and he, a marble to her tears,
	is washed with them, but relents not.

ISABELLA	What a merit were it in death to take this poor maid
	from the world! What corruption in this life, that
	it will let this man live! But how out of this can she avail?

DUKE VINCENTIO	It is a rupture that you may easily heal: and the
	cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps
	you from dishonour in doing it.

ISABELLA	Show me how, good father.

DUKE VINCENTIO	This forenamed maid hath yet in her the continuance
	of her first affection: his unjust unkindness, that
	in all reason should have quenched her love, hath,
	like an impediment in the current, made it more
	violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo; answer his
	requiring with a plausible obedience; agree with
	his demands to the point; only refer yourself to
	this advantage, first, that your stay with him may
	not be long; that the time may have all shadow and
	silence in it; and the place answer to convenience.
	This being granted in course,--and now follows
	all,--we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up
	your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter
	acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to
	her recompense: and here, by this, is your brother
	saved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana
	advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. The maid
	will I frame and make fit for his attempt. If you
	think well to carry this as you may, the doubleness
	of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof.
	What think you of it?

ISABELLA	The image of it gives me content already; and I
	trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.

DUKE VINCENTIO	It lies much in your holding up. Haste you speedily
	to Angelo: if for this night he entreat you to his
	bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will
	presently to Saint Luke's: there, at the moated
	grange, resides this dejected Mariana. At that
	place call upon me; and dispatch with Angelo, that
	it may be quickly.

ISABELLA	I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father.

	[Exeunt severally]



SCENE II	The street before the prison.

	[Enter, on one side, DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as
	before; on the other, ELBOW, and Officers with POMPEY]

ELBOW	Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will
	needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we
	shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.

DUKE VINCENTIO	O heavens! what stuff is here

POMPEY	'Twas never merry world since, of two usuries, the
	merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by
	order of law a furred gown to keep him warm; and
	furred with fox and lamb-skins too, to signify, that
	craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.

ELBOW	Come your way, sir. 'Bless you, good father friar.

DUKE VINCENTIO	And you, good brother father. What offence hath
	this man made you, sir?

ELBOW	Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we
	take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found
	upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have
	sent to the deputy.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Fie, sirrah! a bawd, a wicked bawd!
	The evil that thou causest to be done,
	That is thy means to live. Do thou but think
	What 'tis to cram a maw or clothe a back
	From such a filthy vice: say to thyself,
	From their abominable and beastly touches
	I drink, I eat, array myself, and live.
	Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
	So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.

POMPEY	Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet,
	sir, I would prove--

DUKE VINCENTIO	Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin,
	Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer:
	Correction and instruction must both work
	Ere this rude beast will profit.

ELBOW	He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him
	warning: the deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if
	he be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were
	as good go a mile on his errand.

DUKE VINCENTIO	That we were all, as some would seem to be,
	From our faults, as faults from seeming, free!

ELBOW	His neck will come to your waist,--a cord, sir.

POMPEY	I spy comfort; I cry bail. Here's a gentleman and a
	friend of mine.

	[Enter LUCIO]

LUCIO	How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of
	Caesar? art thou led in triumph? What, is there
	none of Pygmalion's images, newly made woman, to be
	had now, for putting the hand in the pocket and
	extracting it clutch'd? What reply, ha? What
	sayest thou to this tune, matter and method? Is't
	not drowned i' the last rain, ha? What sayest
	thou, Trot? Is the world as it was, man? Which is
	the way? Is it sad, and few words? or how? The
	trick of it?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Still thus, and thus; still worse!

LUCIO	How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she
	still, ha?

POMPEY	Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she
	is herself in the tub.

LUCIO	Why, 'tis good; it is the right of it; it must be
	so: ever your fresh whore and your powdered bawd:
	an unshunned consequence; it must be so. Art going
	to prison, Pompey?

POMPEY	Yes, faith, sir.

LUCIO	Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell: go, say I
	sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? or how?

ELBOW	For being a bawd, for being a bawd.

LUCIO	Well, then, imprison him: if imprisonment be the
	due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right: bawd is he
	doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-born.
	Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison,
	Pompey: you will turn good husband now, Pompey; you
	will keep the house.

POMPEY	I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.

LUCIO	No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear.
	I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage: If
	you take it not patiently, why, your mettle is the
	more. Adieu, trusty Pompey. 'Bless you, friar.


LUCIO	Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha?

ELBOW	Come your ways, sir; come.

POMPEY	You will not bail me, then, sir?

LUCIO	Then, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad, friar?
	what news?

ELBOW	Come your ways, sir; come.

LUCIO	Go to kennel, Pompey; go.

	[Exeunt ELBOW, POMPEY and Officers]

	What news, friar, of the duke?

DUKE VINCENTIO	I know none. Can you tell me of any?

LUCIO	Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other
	some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you?

DUKE VINCENTIO	I know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well.

LUCIO	It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from
	the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born
	to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence; he
	puts transgression to 't.

DUKE VINCENTIO	He does well in 't.

LUCIO	A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in
	him: something too crabbed that way, friar.

DUKE VINCENTIO	It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.

LUCIO	Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred;
	it is well allied: but it is impossible to extirp
	it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put
	down. They say this Angelo was not made by man and
	woman after this downright way of creation: is it
	true, think you?

DUKE VINCENTIO	How should he be made, then?

LUCIO	Some report a sea-maid spawned him; some, that he
	was begot between two stock-fishes. But it is
	certain that when he makes water his urine is
	congealed ice; that I know to be true: and he is a
	motion generative; that's infallible.

DUKE VINCENTIO	You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.

LUCIO	Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the
	rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a
	man! Would the duke that is absent have done this?
	Ere he would have hanged a man for the getting a
	hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing
	a thousand: he had some feeling of the sport: he
	knew the service, and that instructed him to mercy.

DUKE VINCENTIO	I never heard the absent duke much detected for
	women; he was not inclined that way.

LUCIO	O, sir, you are deceived.

DUKE VINCENTIO	'Tis not possible.

LUCIO	Who, not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and
	his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish: the
	duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk too;
	that let me inform you.

DUKE VINCENTIO	You do him wrong, surely.

LUCIO	Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the
	duke: and I believe I know the cause of his

DUKE VINCENTIO	What, I prithee, might be the cause?

LUCIO	No, pardon; 'tis a secret must be locked within the
	teeth and the lips: but this I can let you
	understand, the greater file of the subject held the
	duke to be wise.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Wise! why, no question but he was.

LUCIO	A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Either this is the envy in you, folly, or mistaking:
	the very stream of his life and the business he hath
	helmed must upon a warranted need give him a better
	proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own
	bringings-forth, and he shall appear to the
	envious a scholar, a statesman and a soldier.
	Therefore you speak unskilfully: or if your
	knowledge be more it is much darkened in your malice.

LUCIO	Sir, I know him, and I love him.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with
	dearer love.

LUCIO	Come, sir, I know what I know.

DUKE VINCENTIO	I can hardly believe that, since you know not what
	you speak. But, if ever the duke return, as our
	prayers are he may, let me desire you to make your
	answer before him. If it be honest you have spoke,
	you have courage to maintain it: I am bound to call
	upon you; and, I pray you, your name?

LUCIO	Sir, my name is Lucio; well known to the duke.

DUKE VINCENTIO	He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to
	report you.

LUCIO	I fear you not.

DUKE VINCENTIO	O, you hope the duke will return no more; or you
	imagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed I
	can do you little harm; you'll forswear this again.

LUCIO	I'll be hanged first: thou art deceived in me,
	friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell if
	Claudio die to-morrow or no?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Why should he die, sir?

LUCIO	Why? For filling a bottle with a tundish. I would
	the duke we talk of were returned again: the
	ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with
	continency; sparrows must not build in his
	house-eaves, because they are lecherous. The duke
	yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would
	never bring them to light: would he were returned!
	Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing.
	Farewell, good friar: I prithee, pray for me. The
	duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on
	Fridays. He's not past it yet, and I say to thee,
	he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt brown
	bread and garlic: say that I said so. Farewell.


DUKE VINCENTIO	No might nor greatness in mortality
	Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny
	The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
	Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
	But who comes here?

	[Enter ESCALUS, Provost, and Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE]

ESCALUS	Go; away with her to prison!

MISTRESS OVERDONE	Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted
	a merciful man; good my lord.

ESCALUS	Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in
	the same kind! This would make mercy swear and play
	the tyrant.

Provost	A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it please
	your honour.

MISTRESS OVERDONE	My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me.
	Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the
	duke's time; he promised her marriage: his child
	is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob:
	I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me!

ESCALUS	That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be
	called before us. Away with her to prison! Go to;
	no more words.

	[Exeunt Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE]

	Provost, my brother Angelo will not be altered;
	Claudio must die to-morrow: let him be furnished
	with divines, and have all charitable preparation.
	if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be
	so with him.

Provost	So please you, this friar hath been with him, and
	advised him for the entertainment of death.

ESCALUS	Good even, good father.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Bliss and goodness on you!

ESCALUS	Of whence are you?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Not of this country, though my chance is now
	To use it for my time: I am a brother
	Of gracious order, late come from the See
	In special business from his holiness.

ESCALUS	What news abroad i' the world?

DUKE VINCENTIO	None, but that there is so great a fever on
	goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it:
	novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous
	to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous
	to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce
	truth enough alive to make societies secure; but
	security enough to make fellowships accurst: much
	upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This
	news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I
	pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke?

ESCALUS	One that, above all other strifes, contended
	especially to know himself.

DUKE VINCENTIO	What pleasure was he given to?

ESCALUS	Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at
	any thing which professed to make him rejoice: a
	gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to
	his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous;
	and let me desire to know how you find Claudio
	prepared. I am made to understand that you have
	lent him visitation.

DUKE VINCENTIO	He professes to have received no sinister measure
	from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself
	to the determination of justice: yet had he framed
	to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many
	deceiving promises of life; which I by my good
	leisure have discredited to him, and now is he
	resolved to die.

ESCALUS	You have paid the heavens your function, and the
	prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have
	laboured for the poor gentleman to the extremest
	shore of my modesty: but my brother justice have I
	found so severe, that he hath forced me to tell him
	he is indeed Justice.

DUKE VINCENTIO	If his own life answer the straitness of his
	proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he
	chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.

ESCALUS	I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Peace be with you!

	[Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost]

	He who the sword of heaven will bear
	Should be as holy as severe;
	Pattern in himself to know,
	Grace to stand, and virtue go;
	More nor less to others paying
	Than by self-offences weighing.
	Shame to him whose cruel striking
	Kills for faults of his own liking!
	Twice treble shame on Angelo,
	To weed my vice and let his grow!
	O, what may man within him hide,
	Though angel on the outward side!
	How may likeness made in crimes,
	Making practise on the times,
	To draw with idle spiders' strings
	Most ponderous and substantial things!
	Craft against vice I must apply:
	With Angelo to-night shall lie
	His old betrothed but despised;
	So disguise shall, by the disguised,
	Pay with falsehood false exacting,
	And perform an old contracting.




SCENE I	The moated grange at ST. LUKE's.

	[Enter MARIANA and a Boy]

	[Boy sings]

	Take, O, take those lips away,
	That so sweetly were forsworn;
	And those eyes, the break of day,
	Lights that do mislead the morn:
	But my kisses bring again, bring again;
	Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain.

MARIANA	Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away:
	Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
	Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.

	[Exit Boy]

	[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before]

	I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
	You had not found me here so musical:
	Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
	My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.

DUKE VINCENTIO	'Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm
	To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
	I pray, you, tell me, hath any body inquired
	for me here to-day? much upon this time have
	I promised here to meet.

MARIANA	You have not been inquired after:
	I have sat here all day.


DUKE VINCENTIO	I do constantly believe you. The time is come even
	now. I shall crave your forbearance a little: may
	be I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself.

MARIANA	I am always bound to you.


DUKE VINCENTIO	Very well met, and well come.
	What is the news from this good deputy?

ISABELLA	He hath a garden circummured with brick,
	Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd;
	And to that vineyard is a planched gate,
	That makes his opening with this bigger key:
	This other doth command a little door
	Which from the vineyard to the garden leads;
	There have I made my promise
	Upon the heavy middle of the night
	To call upon him.

DUKE VINCENTIO	But shall you on your knowledge find this way?

ISABELLA	I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't:
	With whispering and most guilty diligence,
	In action all of precept, he did show me
	The way twice o'er.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Are there no other tokens
	Between you 'greed concerning her observance?

ISABELLA	No, none, but only a repair i' the dark;
	And that I have possess'd him my most stay
	Can be but brief; for I have made him know
	I have a servant comes with me along,
	That stays upon me, whose persuasion is
	I come about my brother.

DUKE VINCENTIO	'Tis well borne up.
	I have not yet made known to Mariana
	A word of this. What, ho! within! come forth!

	[Re-enter MARIANA]

	I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;
	She comes to do you good.

ISABELLA	I do desire the like.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?

MARIANA	Good friar, I know you do, and have found it.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Take, then, this your companion by the hand,
	Who hath a story ready for your ear.
	I shall attend your leisure: but make haste;
	The vaporous night approaches.

MARIANA	Will't please you walk aside?


DUKE VINCENTIO	O place and greatness! millions of false eyes
	Are stuck upon thee: volumes of report
	Run with these false and most contrarious quests
	Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit
	Make thee the father of their idle dreams
	And rack thee in their fancies.

	[Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA]

		          Welcome, how agreed?

ISABELLA	She'll take the enterprise upon her, father,
	If you advise it.

DUKE VINCENTIO	                  It is not my consent,
	But my entreaty too.

ISABELLA	Little have you to say
	When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
	'Remember now my brother.'

MARIANA	Fear me not.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.
	He is your husband on a pre-contract:
	To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin,
	Sith that the justice of your title to him
	Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go:
	Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to sow.




SCENE II	A room in the prison.

	[Enter Provost and POMPEY]

Provost	Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's head?

POMPEY	If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a
	married man, he's his wife's head, and I can never
	cut off a woman's head.

Provost	Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a
	direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio
	and Barnardine. Here is in our prison a common
	executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if
	you will take it on you to assist him, it shall
	redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall have
	your full time of imprisonment and your deliverance
	with an unpitied whipping, for you have been a
	notorious bawd.

POMPEY	Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind;
	but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I
	would be glad to receive some instruction from my
	fellow partner.

Provost	What, ho! Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?


ABHORSON	Do you call, sir?

Provost	Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow in
	your execution. If you think it meet, compound with
	him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if
	not, use him for the present and dismiss him. He
	cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.

ABHORSON	A bawd, sir? fie upon him! he will discredit our mystery.

Provost	Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn
	the scale.


POMPEY	Pray, sir, by your good favour,--for surely, sir, a
	good favour you have, but that you have a hanging
	look,--do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery?

ABHORSON	Ay, sir; a mystery

POMPEY	Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery; and
	your whores, sir, being members of my occupation,
	using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery:
	but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I
	should be hanged, I cannot imagine.

ABHORSON	Sir, it is a mystery.


ABHORSON	Every true man's apparel fits your thief: if it be
	too little for your thief, your true man thinks it
	big enough; if it be too big for your thief, your
	thief thinks it little enough: so every true man's
	apparel fits your thief.

	[Re-enter Provost]

Provost	Are you agreed?

POMPEY	Sir, I will serve him; for I do find your hangman is
	a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth
	oftener ask forgiveness.

Provost	You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe
	to-morrow four o'clock.

ABHORSON	Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.

POMPEY	I do desire to learn, sir: and I hope, if you have
	occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find
	me yare; for truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you
	a good turn.

Provost	Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:


	The one has my pity; not a jot the other,
	Being a murderer, though he were my brother.

	[Enter CLAUDIO]

	Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:
	'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow
	Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine?

CLAUDIO	As fast lock'd up in sleep as guiltless labour
	When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones:
	He will not wake.

Provost	                  Who can do good on him?
	Well, go, prepare yourself.

	[Knocking within]

		      But, hark, what noise?
	Heaven give your spirits comfort!


		                  By and by.
	I hope it is some pardon or reprieve
	For the most gentle Claudio.

	[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before]

		       Welcome father.

DUKE VINCENTIO	The best and wholesomest spirts of the night
	Envelope you, good Provost! Who call'd here of late?

Provost	None, since the curfew rung.


Provost	          No.

DUKE VINCENTIO	                  They will, then, ere't be long.

Provost	What comfort is for Claudio?

DUKE VINCENTIO	There's some in hope.

Provost	It is a bitter deputy.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Not so, not so; his life is parallel'd
	Even with the stroke and line of his great justice:
	He doth with holy abstinence subdue
	That in himself which he spurs on his power
	To qualify in others: were he meal'd with that
	Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous;
	But this being so, he's just.

	[Knocking within]

		        Now are they come.

	[Exit Provost]

	This is a gentle provost: seldom when
	The steeled gaoler is the friend of men.

	[Knocking within]

	How now! what noise? That spirit's possessed with haste
	That wounds the unsisting postern with these strokes.

	[Re-enter Provost]

Provost	There he must stay until the officer
	Arise to let him in: he is call'd up.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
	But he must die to-morrow?

Provost	None, sir, none.

DUKE VINCENTIO	As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
	You shall hear more ere morning.

Provost	Happily
	You something know; yet I believe there comes
	No countermand; no such example have we:
	Besides, upon the very siege of justice
	Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
	Profess'd the contrary.

	[Enter a Messenger]

		  This is his lordship's man.

DUKE VINCENTIO	And here comes Claudio's pardon.

Messenger	[Giving a paper]

	My lord hath sent you this note; and by me this
	further charge, that you swerve not from the
	smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or
	other circumstance. Good morrow; for, as I take it,
	it is almost day.

Provost	I shall obey him.

	[Exit Messenger]

DUKE VINCENTIO	[Aside]  This is his pardon, purchased by such sin
	For which the pardoner himself is in.
	Hence hath offence his quick celerity,
	When it is born in high authority:
	When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended,
	That for the fault's love is the offender friended.
	Now, sir, what news?

Provost	I told you. Lord Angelo, belike thinking me remiss
	in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted
	putting-on; methinks strangely, for he hath not used it before.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Pray you, let's hear.

Provost	[Reads]

	'Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let
	Claudio be executed by four of the clock; and in the
	afternoon Barnardine: for my better satisfaction,
	let me have Claudio's head sent me by five. Let
	this be duly performed; with a thought that more
	depends on it than we must yet deliver. Thus fail
	not to do your office, as you will answer it at your peril.'
	What say you to this, sir?

DUKE VINCENTIO	What is that Barnardine who is to be executed in the

Provost	A Bohemian born, but here nursed un and bred; one
	that is a prisoner nine years old.

DUKE VINCENTIO	How came it that the absent duke had not either
	delivered him to his liberty or executed him? I
	have heard it was ever his manner to do so.

Provost	His friends still wrought reprieves for him: and,
	indeed, his fact, till now in the government of Lord
	Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.

DUKE VINCENTIO	It is now apparent?

Provost	Most manifest, and not denied by himself.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Hath he born himself penitently in prison? how
	seems he to be touched?

Provost	A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully but
	as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless
	of what's past, present, or to come; insensible of
	mortality, and desperately mortal.

DUKE VINCENTIO	He wants advice.

Provost	He will hear none: he hath evermore had the liberty
	of the prison; give him leave to escape hence, he
	would not: drunk many times a day, if not many days
	entirely drunk. We have very oft awaked him, as if
	to carry him to execution, and showed him a seeming
	warrant for it: it hath not moved him at all.

DUKE VINCENTIO	More of him anon. There is written in your brow,
	provost, honesty and constancy: if I read it not
	truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but, in the
	boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard.
	Claudio, whom here you have warrant to execute, is
	no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo who hath
	sentenced him. To make you understand this in a
	manifested effect, I crave but four days' respite;
	for the which you are to do me both a present and a
	dangerous courtesy.

Provost	Pray, sir, in what?

DUKE VINCENTIO	In the delaying death.

Provost	A lack, how may I do it, having the hour limited,
	and an express command, under penalty, to deliver
	his head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case
	as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.

DUKE VINCENTIO	By the vow of mine order I warrant you, if my
	instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine
	be this morning executed, and his head born to Angelo.

Provost	Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour.

DUKE VINCENTIO	O, death's a great disguiser; and you may add to it.
	Shave the head, and tie the beard; and say it was
	the desire of the penitent to be so bared before his
	death: you know the course is common. If any thing
	fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good
	fortune, by the saint whom I profess, I will plead
	against it with my life.

Provost	Pardon me, good father; it is against my oath.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Were you sworn to the duke, or to the deputy?

Provost	To him, and to his substitutes.

DUKE VINCENTIO	You will think you have made no offence, if the duke
	avouch the justice of your dealing?

Provost	But what likelihood is in that?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet since I see
	you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor
	persuasion can with ease attempt you, I will go
	further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you.
	Look you, sir, here is the hand and seal of the
	duke: you know the character, I doubt not; and the
	signet is not strange to you.

Provost	I know them both.

DUKE VINCENTIO	The contents of this is the return of the duke: you
	shall anon over-read it at your pleasure; where you
	shall find, within these two days he will be here.
	This is a thing that Angelo knows not; for he this
	very day receives letters of strange tenor;
	perchance of the duke's death; perchance entering
	into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of what
	is writ. Look, the unfolding star calls up the
	shepherd. Put not yourself into amazement how these
	things should be: all difficulties are but easy
	when they are known. Call your executioner, and off
	with Barnardine's head: I will give him a present
	shrift and advise him for a better place. Yet you
	are amazed; but this shall absolutely resolve you.
	Come away; it is almost clear dawn.




SCENE III	Another room in the same.

	[Enter POMPEY]

POMPEY	I am as well acquainted here as I was in our house
	of profession: one would think it were Mistress
	Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old
	customers. First, here's young Master Rash; he's in
	for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger,
	ninescore and seventeen pounds; of which he made
	five marks, ready money: marry, then ginger was not
	much in request, for the old women were all dead.
	Then is there here one Master Caper, at the suit of
	Master Three-pile the mercer, for some four suits of
	peach-coloured satin, which now peaches him a
	beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and young
	Master Deep-vow, and Master Copperspur, and Master
	Starve-lackey the rapier and dagger man, and young
	Drop-heir that killed lusty Pudding, and Master
	Forthlight the tilter, and brave Master Shooty the
	great traveller, and wild Half-can that stabbed
	Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in
	our trade, and are now 'for the Lord's sake.'


ABHORSON	Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.

POMPEY	Master Barnardine! you must rise and be hanged.
	Master Barnardine!

ABHORSON	What, ho, Barnardine!

BARNARDINE	[Within]  A pox o' your throats! Who makes that
	noise there? What are you?

POMPEY	Your friends, sir; the hangman. You must be so
	good, sir, to rise and be put to death.

BARNARDINE	[Within]  Away, you rogue, away! I am sleepy.

ABHORSON	Tell him he must awake, and that quickly too.

POMPEY	Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till you are
	executed, and sleep afterwards.

ABHORSON	Go in to him, and fetch him out.

POMPEY	He is coming, sir, he is coming; I hear his straw rustle.

ABHORSON	Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?

POMPEY	Very ready, sir.


BARNARDINE	How now, Abhorson? what's the news with you?

ABHORSON	Truly, sir, I would desire you to clap into your
	prayers; for, look you, the warrant's come.

BARNARDINE	You rogue, I have been drinking all night; I am not
	fitted for 't.

POMPEY	O, the better, sir; for he that drinks all night,
	and is hanged betimes in the morning, may sleep the
	sounder all the next day.

ABHORSON	Look you, sir; here comes your ghostly father: do
	we jest now, think you?

	[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before]

DUKE VINCENTIO	Sir, induced by my charity, and hearing how hastily
	you are to depart, I am come to advise you, comfort
	you and pray with you.

BARNARDINE	Friar, not I	I have been drinking hard all night,
	and I will have more time to prepare me, or they
	shall beat out my brains with billets: I will not
	consent to die this day, that's certain.

DUKE VINCENTIO	O, sir, you must: and therefore I beseech you
	Look forward on the journey you shall go.

BARNARDINE	I swear I will not die to-day for any man's

DUKE VINCENTIO	But hear you.

BARNARDINE	Not a word: if you have any thing to say to me,
	come to my ward; for thence will not I to-day.


DUKE VINCENTIO	Unfit to live or die: O gravel heart!
	After him, fellows; bring him to the block.


	[Re-enter Provost]

Provost	Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner?

DUKE VINCENTIO	A creature unprepared, unmeet for death;
	And to transport him in the mind he is
	Were damnable.

Provost	                  Here in the prison, father,
	There died this morning of a cruel fever
	One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate,
	A man of Claudio's years; his beard and head
	Just of his colour. What if we do omit
	This reprobate till he were well inclined;
	And satisfy the deputy with the visage
	Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?

DUKE VINCENTIO	O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides!
	Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on
	Prefix'd by Angelo: see this be done,
	And sent according to command; whiles I
	Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.

Provost	This shall be done, good father, presently.
	But Barnardine must die this afternoon:
	And how shall we continue Claudio,
	To save me from the danger that might come
	If he were known alive?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Let this be done.
	Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio:
	Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting
	To the under generation, you shall find
	Your safety manifested.

Provost	I am your free dependant.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Quick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo.

	[Exit Provost]

	Now will I write letters to Angelo,--
	The provost, he shall bear them, whose contents
	Shall witness to him I am near at home,
	And that, by great injunctions, I am bound
	To enter publicly: him I'll desire
	To meet me at the consecrated fount
	A league below the city; and from thence,
	By cold gradation and well-balanced form,
	We shall proceed with Angelo.

	[Re-enter Provost]

Provost	Here is the head; I'll carry it myself.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Convenient is it. Make a swift return;
	For I would commune with you of such things
	That want no ear but yours.

Provost	I'll make all speed.


ISABELLA	[Within]  Peace, ho, be here!

DUKE VINCENTIO	The tongue of Isabel. She's come to know
	If yet her brother's pardon be come hither:
	But I will keep her ignorant of her good,
	To make her heavenly comforts of despair,
	When it is least expected.


ISABELLA	Ho, by your leave!

DUKE VINCENTIO	Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.

ISABELLA	The better, given me by so holy a man.
	Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?

DUKE VINCENTIO	He hath released him, Isabel, from the world:
	His head is off and sent to Angelo.

ISABELLA	Nay, but it is not so.

DUKE VINCENTIO	It is no other: show your wisdom, daughter,
	In your close patience.

ISABELLA	O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!

DUKE VINCENTIO	You shall not be admitted to his sight.

ISABELLA	Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel!
	Injurious world! most damned Angelo!

DUKE VINCENTIO	This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot;
	Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven.
	Mark what I say, which you shall find
	By every syllable a faithful verity:
	The duke comes home to-morrow; nay, dry your eyes;
	One of our convent, and his confessor,
	Gives me this instance: already he hath carried
	Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
	Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
	There to give up their power. If you can, pace your wisdom
	In that good path that I would wish it go,
	And you shall have your bosom on this wretch,
	Grace of the duke, revenges to your heart,
	And general honour.

ISABELLA	                  I am directed by you.

DUKE VINCENTIO	This letter, then, to Friar Peter give;
	'Tis that he sent me of the duke's return:
	Say, by this token, I desire his company
	At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause and yours
	I'll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you
	Before the duke, and to the head of Angelo
	Accuse him home and home. For my poor self,
	I am combined by a sacred vow
	And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter:
	Command these fretting waters from your eyes
	With a light heart; trust not my holy order,
	If I pervert your course. Who's here?

	[Enter LUCIO]

LUCIO	Good even. Friar, where's the provost?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Not within, sir.

LUCIO	O pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see
	thine eyes so red: thou must be patient. I am fain
	to dine and sup with water and bran; I dare not for
	my head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set
	me to 't. But they say the duke will be here
	to-morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother:
	if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been
	at home, he had lived.


DUKE VINCENTIO	Sir, the duke is marvellous little beholding to your
	reports; but the best is, he lives not in them.

LUCIO	Friar, thou knowest not the duke so well as I do:
	he's a better woodman than thou takest him for.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Well, you'll answer this one day. Fare ye well.

LUCIO	Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee
	I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.

DUKE VINCENTIO	You have told me too many of him already, sir, if
	they be true; if not true, none were enough.

LUCIO	I was once before him for getting a wench with child.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Did you such a thing?

LUCIO	Yes, marry, did I	but I was fain to forswear it;
	they would else have married me to the rotten medlar.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Sir, your company is fairer than honest. Rest you well.

LUCIO	By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's end:
	if bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little of
	it. Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr; I shall stick.




SCENE IV	A room in ANGELO's house.


ESCALUS	Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched other.

ANGELO	In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions
	show much like to madness: pray heaven his wisdom be
	not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and
	redeliver our authorities there

ESCALUS	I guess not.

ANGELO	And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his
	entering, that if any crave redress of injustice,
	they should exhibit their petitions in the street?

ESCALUS	He shows his reason for that: to have a dispatch of
	complaints, and to deliver us from devices
	hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand
	against us.

ANGELO	Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaimed betimes
	i' the morn; I'll call you at your house: give
	notice to such men of sort and suit as are to meet

ESCALUS	I shall, sir. Fare you well.

ANGELO	Good night.


	This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant
	And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid!
	And by an eminent body that enforced
	The law against it! But that her tender shame
	Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
	How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares her no;
	For my authority bears of a credent bulk,
	That no particular scandal once can touch
	But it confounds the breather. He should have lived,
	Save that riotous youth, with dangerous sense,
	Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge,
	By so receiving a dishonour'd life
	With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had lived!
	A lack, when once our grace we have forgot,
	Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not.




SCENE V	Fields without the town.

	[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO in his own habit, and FRIAR PETER]

DUKE VINCENTIO	These letters at fit time deliver me

	[Giving letters]

	The provost knows our purpose and our plot.
	The matter being afoot, keep your instruction,
	And hold you ever to our special drift;
	Though sometimes you do blench from this to that,
	As cause doth minister. Go call at Flavius' house,
	And tell him where I stay: give the like notice
	To Valentinus, Rowland, and to Crassus,
	And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate;
	But send me Flavius first.

FRIAR PETER	It shall be speeded well.


	[Enter VARRIUS]

DUKE VINCENTIO	I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made good haste:
	Come, we will walk. There's other of our friends
	Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius.




SCENE VI	Street near the city gate.


ISABELLA	To speak so indirectly I am loath:
	I would say the truth; but to accuse him so,
	That is your part: yet I am advised to do it;
	He says, to veil full purpose.

MARIANA	Be ruled by him.

ISABELLA	Besides, he tells me that, if peradventure
	He speak against me on the adverse side,
	I should not think it strange; for 'tis a physic
	That's bitter to sweet end.

MARIANA	I would Friar Peter--

ISABELLA	O, peace! the friar is come.


FRIAR PETER	Come, I have found you out a stand most fit,
	Where you may have such vantage on the duke,
	He shall not pass you. Twice have the trumpets sounded;
	The generous and gravest citizens
	Have hent the gates, and very near upon
	The duke is entering: therefore, hence, away!




SCENE I	The city gate.

	[MARIANA veiled, ISABELLA, and FRIAR PETER, at their
	stand. Enter DUKE VINCENTIO, VARRIUS, Lords,
	ANGELO, ESCALUS, LUCIO, Provost, Officers, and
	Citizens, at several doors]

DUKE VINCENTIO	My very worthy cousin, fairly met!
	Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you.

	|  Happy return be to your royal grace!

DUKE VINCENTIO	Many and hearty thankings to you both.
	We have made inquiry of you; and we hear
	Such goodness of your justice, that our soul
	Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks,
	Forerunning more requital.

ANGELO	You make my bonds still greater.

DUKE VINCENTIO	O, your desert speaks loud; and I should wrong it,
	To lock it in the wards of covert bosom,
	When it deserves, with characters of brass,
	A forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time
	And razure of oblivion. Give me your hand,
	And let the subject see, to make them know
	That outward courtesies would fain proclaim
	Favours that keep within. Come, Escalus,
	You must walk by us on our other hand;
	And good supporters are you.

	[FRIAR PETER and ISABELLA come forward]

FRIAR PETER	Now is your time: speak loud and kneel before him.

ISABELLA	Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard
	Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have said, a maid!
	O worthy prince, dishonour not your eye
	By throwing it on any other object
	Till you have heard me in my true complaint
	And given me justice, justice, justice, justice!

DUKE VINCENTIO	Relate your wrongs; in what? by whom? be brief.
	Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice:
	Reveal yourself to him.

ISABELLA	O worthy duke,
	You bid me seek redemption of the devil:
	Hear me yourself; for that which I must speak
	Must either punish me, not being believed,
	Or wring redress from you. Hear me, O hear me, here!

ANGELO	My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm:
	She hath been a suitor to me for her brother
	Cut off by course of justice,--

ISABELLA	By course of justice!

ANGELO	And she will speak most bitterly and strange.

ISABELLA	Most strange, but yet most truly, will I speak:
	That Angelo's forsworn; is it not strange?
	That Angelo's a murderer; is 't not strange?
	That Angelo is an adulterous thief,
	An hypocrite, a virgin-violator;
	Is it not strange and strange?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Nay, it is ten times strange.

ISABELLA	It is not truer he is Angelo
	Than this is all as true as it is strange:
	Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth
	To the end of reckoning.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Away with her! Poor soul,
	She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.

ISABELLA	O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believest
	There is another comfort than this world,
	That thou neglect me not, with that opinion
	That I am touch'd with madness! Make not impossible
	That which but seems unlike: 'tis not impossible
	But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground,
	May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute
	As Angelo; even so may Angelo,
	In all his dressings, characts, titles, forms,
	Be an arch-villain; believe it, royal prince:
	If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more,
	Had I more name for badness.

DUKE VINCENTIO	By mine honesty,
	If she be mad,--as I believe no other,--
	Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense,
	Such a dependency of thing on thing,
	As e'er I heard in madness.

ISABELLA	O gracious duke,
	Harp not on that, nor do not banish reason
	For inequality; but let your reason serve
	To make the truth appear where it seems hid,
	And hide the false seems true.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Many that are not mad
	Have, sure, more lack of reason. What would you say?

ISABELLA	I am the sister of one Claudio,
	Condemn'd upon the act of fornication
	To lose his head; condemn'd by Angelo:
	I, in probation of a sisterhood,
	Was sent to by my brother; one Lucio
	As then the messenger,--

LUCIO	That's I, an't like your grace:
	I came to her from Claudio, and desired her
	To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo
	For her poor brother's pardon.

ISABELLA	That's he indeed.

DUKE VINCENTIO	You were not bid to speak.

LUCIO	No, my good lord;
	Nor wish'd to hold my peace.

DUKE VINCENTIO	I wish you now, then;
	Pray you, take note of it: and when you have
	A business for yourself, pray heaven you then
	Be perfect.

LUCIO	I warrant your honour.

DUKE VINCENTIO	The warrants for yourself; take heed to't.

ISABELLA	This gentleman told somewhat of my tale,--

LUCIO	Right.

DUKE VINCENTIO	It may be right; but you are i' the wrong
	To speak before your time. Proceed.

	To this pernicious caitiff deputy,--

DUKE VINCENTIO	That's somewhat madly spoken.

ISABELLA	Pardon it;
	The phrase is to the matter.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Mended again. The matter; proceed.

ISABELLA	In brief, to set the needless process by,
	How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneel'd,
	How he refell'd me, and how I replied,--
	For this was of much length,--the vile conclusion
	I now begin with grief and shame to utter:
	He would not, but by gift of my chaste body
	To his concupiscible intemperate lust,
	Release my brother; and, after much debatement,
	My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour,
	And I did yield to him: but the next morn betimes,
	His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant
	For my poor brother's head.

DUKE VINCENTIO	This is most likely!

ISABELLA	O, that it were as like as it is true!

DUKE VINCENTIO	By heaven, fond wretch, thou knowist not what thou speak'st,
	Or else thou art suborn'd against his honour
	In hateful practise. First, his integrity
	Stands without blemish. Next, it imports no reason
	That with such vehemency he should pursue
	Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended,
	He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself
	And not have cut him off. Some one hath set you on:
	Confess the truth, and say by whose advice
	Thou camest here to complain.

ISABELLA	And is this all?
	Then, O you blessed ministers above,
	Keep me in patience, and with ripen'd time
	Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up
	In countenance! Heaven shield your grace from woe,
	As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go!

DUKE VINCENTIO	I know you'ld fain be gone. An officer!
	To prison with her! Shall we thus permit
	A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall
	On him so near us? This needs must be a practise.
	Who knew of Your intent and coming hither?

ISABELLA	One that I would were here, Friar Lodowick.

DUKE VINCENTIO	A ghostly father, belike. Who knows that Lodowick?

LUCIO	My lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling friar;
	I do not like the man: had he been lay, my lord
	For certain words he spake against your grace
	In your retirement, I had swinged him soundly.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Words against me? this is a good friar, belike!
	And to set on this wretched woman here
	Against our substitute! Let this friar be found.

LUCIO	But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar,
	I saw them at the prison: a saucy friar,
	A very scurvy fellow.

FRIAR PETER	Blessed be your royal grace!
	I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard
	Your royal ear abused. First, hath this woman
	Most wrongfully accused your substitute,
	Who is as free from touch or soil with her
	As she from one ungot.

DUKE VINCENTIO	We did believe no less.
	Know you that Friar Lodowick that she speaks of?

FRIAR PETER	I know him for a man divine and holy;
	Not scurvy, nor a temporary meddler,
	As he's reported by this gentleman;
	And, on my trust, a man that never yet
	Did, as he vouches, misreport your grace.

LUCIO	My lord, most villanously; believe it.

FRIAR PETER	Well, he in time may come to clear himself;
	But at this instant he is sick my lord,
	Of a strange fever. Upon his mere request,
	Being come to knowledge that there was complaint
	Intended 'gainst Lord Angelo, came I hither,
	To speak, as from his mouth, what he doth know
	Is true and false; and what he with his oath
	And all probation will make up full clear,
	Whensoever he's convented. First, for this woman.
	To justify this worthy nobleman,
	So vulgarly and personally accused,
	Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
	Till she herself confess it.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Good friar, let's hear it.

	[ISABELLA is carried off guarded; and MARIANA comes forward]

	Do you not smile at this, Lord Angelo?
	O heaven, the vanity of wretched fools!
	Give us some seats. Come, cousin Angelo;
	In this I'll be impartial; be you judge
	Of your own cause. Is this the witness, friar?
	First, let her show her face, and after speak.

MARIANA	Pardon, my lord; I will not show my face
	Until my husband bid me.

DUKE VINCENTIO	What, are you married?

MARIANA	No, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Are you a maid?

MARIANA	No, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	A widow, then?

MARIANA	Neither, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Why, you are nothing then: neither maid, widow, nor wife?

LUCIO	My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are
	neither maid, widow, nor wife.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Silence that fellow: I would he had some cause
	To prattle for himself.

LUCIO	Well, my lord.

MARIANA	My lord; I do confess I ne'er was married;
	And I confess besides I am no maid:
	I have known my husband; yet my husband
	Knows not that ever he knew me.

LUCIO	He was drunk then, my lord: it can be no better.

DUKE VINCENTIO	For the benefit of silence, would thou wert so too!

LUCIO	Well, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	This is no witness for Lord Angelo.

MARIANA	Now I come to't my lord
	She that accuses him of fornication,
	In self-same manner doth accuse my husband,
	And charges him my lord, with such a time
	When I'll depose I had him in mine arms
	With all the effect of love.

ANGELO	Charges she more than me?

MARIANA	Not that I know.

DUKE VINCENTIO	No? you say your husband.

MARIANA	Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo,
	Who thinks he knows that he ne'er knew my body,
	But knows he thinks that he knows Isabel's.

ANGELO	This is a strange abuse. Let's see thy face.

MARIANA	My husband bids me; now I will unmask.


	This is that face, thou cruel Angelo,
	Which once thou sworest was worth the looking on;
	This is the hand which, with a vow'd contract,
	Was fast belock'd in thine; this is the body
	That took away the match from Isabel,
	And did supply thee at thy garden-house
	In her imagined person.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Know you this woman?

LUCIO	Carnally, she says.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Sirrah, no more!

LUCIO	Enough, my lord.

ANGELO	My lord, I must confess I know this woman:
	And five years since there was some speech of marriage
	Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off,
	Partly for that her promised proportions
	Came short of composition, but in chief
	For that her reputation was disvalued
	In levity: since which time of five years
	I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her,
	Upon my faith and honour.

MARIANA	Noble prince,
	As there comes light from heaven and words from breath,
	As there is sense in truth and truth in virtue,
	I am affianced this man's wife as strongly
	As words could make up vows: and, my good lord,
	But Tuesday night last gone in's garden-house
	He knew me as a wife. As this is true,
	Let me in safety raise me from my knees
	Or else for ever be confixed here,
	A marble monument!

ANGELO	                  I did but smile till now:
	Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice
	My patience here is touch'd. I do perceive
	These poor informal women are no more
	But instruments of some more mightier member
	That sets them on: let me have way, my lord,
	To find this practise out.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Ay, with my heart
	And punish them to your height of pleasure.
	Thou foolish friar, and thou pernicious woman,
	Compact with her that's gone, think'st thou thy oaths,
	Though they would swear down each particular saint,
	Were testimonies against his worth and credit
	That's seal'd in approbation? You, Lord Escalus,
	Sit with my cousin; lend him your kind pains
	To find out this abuse, whence 'tis derived.
	There is another friar that set them on;
	Let him be sent for.

FRIAR PETER	Would he were here, my lord! for he indeed
	Hath set the women on to this complaint:
	Your provost knows the place where he abides
	And he may fetch him.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Go do it instantly.

	[Exit Provost]

	And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin,
	Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth,
	Do with your injuries as seems you best,
	In any chastisement: I for a while will leave you;
	But stir not you till you have well determined
	Upon these slanderers.

ESCALUS	My lord, we'll do it throughly.

	[Exit DUKE]

	Signior Lucio, did not you say you knew that
	Friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person?

LUCIO	'Cucullus non facit monachum:' honest in nothing
	but in his clothes; and one that hath spoke most
	villanous speeches of the duke.

ESCALUS	We shall entreat you to abide here till he come and
	enforce them against him: we shall find this friar a
	notable fellow.

LUCIO	As any in Vienna, on my word.

ESCALUS	Call that same Isabel here once again; I would speak with her.

	[Exit an Attendant]

	Pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; you
	shall see how I'll handle her.

LUCIO	Not better than he, by her own report.

ESCALUS	Say you?

LUCIO	Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately,
	she would sooner confess: perchance, publicly,
	she'll be ashamed.

ESCALUS	I will go darkly to work with her.

LUCIO	That's the way; for women are light at midnight.

	[Re-enter Officers with ISABELLA; and Provost with
	the DUKE VINCENTIO in his friar's habit]

ESCALUS	Come on, mistress: here's a gentlewoman denies all
	that you have said.

LUCIO	My lord, here comes the rascal I spoke of; here with
	the provost.

ESCALUS	In very good time: speak not you to him till we
	call upon you.


ESCALUS	Come, sir: did you set these women on to slander
	Lord Angelo? they have confessed you did.


ESCALUS	How! know you where you are?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Respect to your great place! and let the devil
	Be sometime honour'd for his burning throne!
	Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak.

ESCALUS	The duke's in us; and we will hear you speak:
	Look you speak justly.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Boldly, at least. But, O, poor souls,
	Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox?
	Good night to your redress! Is the duke gone?
	Then is your cause gone too. The duke's unjust,
	Thus to retort your manifest appeal,
	And put your trial in the villain's mouth
	Which here you come to accuse.

LUCIO	This is the rascal; this is he I spoke of.

ESCALUS	Why, thou unreverend and unhallow'd friar,
	Is't not enough thou hast suborn'd these women
	To accuse this worthy man, but, in foul mouth
	And in the witness of his proper ear,
	To call him villain? and then to glance from him
	To the duke himself, to tax him with injustice?
	Take him hence; to the rack with him! We'll touse you
	Joint by joint, but we will know his purpose.
	What 'unjust'!

DUKE VINCENTIO	                  Be not so hot; the duke
	Dare no more stretch this finger of mine than he
	Dare rack his own: his subject am I not,
	Nor here provincial. My business in this state
	Made me a looker on here in Vienna,
	Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble
	Till it o'er-run the stew; laws for all faults,
	But faults so countenanced, that the strong statutes
	Stand like the forfeits in a barber's shop,
	As much in mock as mark.

ESCALUS	Slander to the state! Away with him to prison!

ANGELO	What can you vouch against him, Signior Lucio?
	Is this the man that you did tell us of?

LUCIO	'Tis he, my lord. Come hither, goodman baldpate:
	do you know me?

DUKE VINCENTIO	I remember you, sir, by the sound of your voice: I
	met you at the prison, in the absence of the duke.

LUCIO	O, did you so? And do you remember what you said of the duke?

DUKE VINCENTIO	Most notedly, sir.

LUCIO	Do you so, sir? And was the duke a fleshmonger, a
	fool, and a coward, as you then reported him to be?

DUKE VINCENTIO	You must, sir, change persons with me, ere you make
	that my report: you, indeed, spoke so of him; and
	much more, much worse.

LUCIO	O thou damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by the
	nose for thy speeches?

DUKE VINCENTIO	I protest I love the duke as I love myself.

ANGELO	Hark, how the villain would close now, after his
	treasonable abuses!

ESCALUS	Such a fellow is not to be talked withal. Away with
	him to prison! Where is the provost? Away with him
	to prison! lay bolts enough upon him: let him
	speak no more. Away with those giglots too, and
	with the other confederate companion!

DUKE VINCENTIO	[To Provost]  Stay, sir; stay awhile.

ANGELO	What, resists he? Help him, Lucio.

LUCIO	Come, sir; come, sir; come, sir; foh, sir! Why, you
	bald-pated, lying rascal, you must be hooded, must
	you? Show your knave's visage, with a pox to you!
	show your sheep-biting face, and be hanged an hour!
	Will't not off?

	[Pulls off the friar's hood, and discovers DUKE

DUKE VINCENTIO	Thou art the first knave that e'er madest a duke.
	First, provost, let me bail these gentle three.


	Sneak not away, sir; for the friar and you
	Must have a word anon. Lay hold on him.

LUCIO	This may prove worse than hanging.

DUKE VINCENTIO	[To ESCALUS]  What you have spoke I pardon: sit you down:
	We'll borrow place of him.


		     Sir, by your leave.
	Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence,
	That yet can do thee office? If thou hast,
	Rely upon it till my tale be heard,
	And hold no longer out.

ANGELO	O my dread lord,
	I should be guiltier than my guiltiness,
	To think I can be undiscernible,
	When I perceive your grace, like power divine,
	Hath look'd upon my passes. Then, good prince,
	No longer session hold upon my shame,
	But let my trial be mine own confession:
	Immediate sentence then and sequent death
	Is all the grace I beg.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Come hither, Mariana.
	Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman?

ANGELO	I was, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Go take her hence, and marry her instantly.
	Do you the office, friar; which consummate,
	Return him here again. Go with him, provost.

	[Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER and Provost]

ESCALUS	My lord, I am more amazed at his dishonour
	Than at the strangeness of it.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Come hither, Isabel.
	Your friar is now your prince: as I was then
	Advertising and holy to your business,
	Not changing heart with habit, I am still
	Attorney'd at your service.

ISABELLA	O, give me pardon,
	That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd
	Your unknown sovereignty!

DUKE VINCENTIO	You are pardon'd, Isabel:
	And now, dear maid, be you as free to us.
	Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart;
	And you may marvel why I obscured myself,
	Labouring to save his life, and would not rather
	Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power
	Than let him so be lost. O most kind maid,
	It was the swift celerity of his death,
	Which I did think with slower foot came on,
	That brain'd my purpose. But, peace be with him!
	That life is better life, past fearing death,
	Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort,
	So happy is your brother.

ISABELLA	I do, my lord.

	[Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER, and Provost]

DUKE VINCENTIO	For this new-married man approaching here,
	Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd
	Your well defended honour, you must pardon
	For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudged your brother,--
	Being criminal, in double violation
	Of sacred chastity and of promise-breach
	Thereon dependent, for your brother's life,--
	The very mercy of the law cries out
	Most audible, even from his proper tongue,
	'An Angelo for Claudio, death for death!'
	Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure;
	Like doth quit like, and MEASURE still FOR MEASURE.
	Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested;
	Which, though thou wouldst deny, denies thee vantage.
	We do condemn thee to the very block
	Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like haste.
	Away with him!

MARIANA	                  O my most gracious lord,
	I hope you will not mock me with a husband.

DUKE VINCENTIO	It is your husband mock'd you with a husband.
	Consenting to the safeguard of your honour,
	I thought your marriage fit; else imputation,
	For that he knew you, might reproach your life
	And choke your good to come; for his possessions,
	Although by confiscation they are ours,
	We do instate and widow you withal,
	To buy you a better husband.

MARIANA	O my dear lord,
	I crave no other, nor no better man.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Never crave him; we are definitive.

MARIANA	Gentle my liege,--


DUKE VINCENTIO	                  You do but lose your labour.
	Away with him to death!


		  Now, sir, to you.

MARIANA	O my good lord! Sweet Isabel, take my part;
	Lend me your knees, and all my life to come
	I'll lend you all my life to do you service.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Against all sense you do importune her:
	Should she kneel down in mercy of this fact,
	Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break,
	And take her hence in horror.

	Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me;
	Hold up your hands, say nothing; I'll speak all.
	They say, best men are moulded out of faults;
	And, for the most, become much more the better
	For being a little bad: so may my husband.
	O Isabel, will you not lend a knee?

DUKE VINCENTIO	He dies for Claudio's death.

ISABELLA	Most bounteous sir,


	Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
	As if my brother lived: I partly think
	A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,
	Till he did look on me: since it is so,
	Let him not die. My brother had but justice,
	In that he did the thing for which he died:
	For Angelo,
	His act did not o'ertake his bad intent,
	And must be buried but as an intent
	That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subjects;
	Intents but merely thoughts.

MARIANA	Merely, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say.
	I have bethought me of another fault.
	Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded
	At an unusual hour?

Provost	It was commanded so.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Had you a special warrant for the deed?

Provost	No, my good lord; it was by private message.

DUKE VINCENTIO	For which I do discharge you of your office:
	Give up your keys.

Provost	                  Pardon me, noble lord:
	I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
	Yet did repent me, after more advice;
	For testimony whereof, one in the prison,
	That should by private order else have died,
	I have reserved alive.


Provost	His name is Barnardine.

DUKE VINCENTIO	I would thou hadst done so by Claudio.
	Go fetch him hither; let me look upon him.

	[Exit Provost]

ESCALUS	I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
	As you, Lord Angelo, have still appear'd,
	Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood.
	And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.

ANGELO	I am sorry that such sorrow I procure:
	And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart
	That I crave death more willingly than mercy;
	'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.

	[Re-enter Provost, with BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO muffled,
	and JULIET]

DUKE VINCENTIO	Which is that Barnardine?

Provost	This, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO	There was a friar told me of this man.
	Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul.
	That apprehends no further than this world,
	And squarest thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd:
	But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
	And pray thee take this mercy to provide
	For better times to come. Friar, advise him;
	I leave him to your hand. What muffled fellow's that?

Provost	This is another prisoner that I saved.
	Who should have died when Claudio lost his head;
	As like almost to Claudio as himself.

	[Unmuffles CLAUDIO]

DUKE VINCENTIO	[To ISABELLA]  If he be like your brother, for his sake
	Is he pardon'd; and, for your lovely sake,
	Give me your hand and say you will be mine.
	He is my brother too: but fitter time for that.
	By this Lord Angelo perceives he's safe;
	Methinks I see a quickening in his eye.
	Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well:
	Look that you love your wife; her worth worth yours.
	I find an apt remission in myself;
	And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon.


	You, sirrah, that knew me for a fool, a coward,
	One all of luxury, an ass, a madman;
	Wherein have I so deserved of you,
	That you extol me thus?

LUCIO	'Faith, my lord. I spoke it but according to the
	trick. If you will hang me for it, you may; but I
	had rather it would please you I might be whipt.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Whipt first, sir, and hanged after.
	Proclaim it, provost, round about the city.
	Is any woman wrong'd by this lewd fellow,
	As I have heard him swear himself there's one
	Whom he begot with child, let her appear,
	And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd,
	Let him be whipt and hang'd.

LUCIO	I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore.
	Your highness said even now, I made you a duke:
	good my lord, do not recompense me in making me a cuckold.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
	Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
	Remit thy other forfeits. Take him to prison;
	And see our pleasure herein executed.

LUCIO	Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death,
	whipping, and hanging.

DUKE VINCENTIO	Slandering a prince deserves it.

	[Exit Officers with LUCIO]

	She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore.
	Joy to you, Mariana! Love her, Angelo:
	I have confess'd her and I know her virtue.
	Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness:
	There's more behind that is more gratulate.
	Thanks, provost, for thy care and secrecy:
	We shill employ thee in a worthier place.
	Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
	The head of Ragozine for Claudio's:
	The offence pardons itself. Dear Isabel,
	I have a motion much imports your good;
	Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline,
	What's mine is yours and what is yours is mine.
	So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show
	What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.


Next: Midsummers' Night Dream