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Claud. 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 ?
Claud. 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, let's it straight feel the spur : Whether the tyranny be in his place, Or in his eminence 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 zodiacks* 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 ticklep on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigb it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done so; but he's not to be found. I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my sister should the cloister enter, And there receive her approbation 1 : Acquaint her with the danger of my state; * Yearly circles. + Ticklish, Enter on her probation.
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
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.
Claud. I thank thee, good friend Lucio.
Enter Duke and Friar Thomas.
Duke. No, holy father; throw away that thought; Believe not that the dribbling dart of love Can pierce a complete bosom t; why I desire thee To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends Of burning youth. Fri.
May your grace speak of it? Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than you How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd I; And held in idle price to haunt assemblies, Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps g. I have deliver'd to lord Angelo (A man of strictures, and firm abstinence), My absolute power and place here in Vienna, And he supposes me travell’d to Poland ;
+ Completely armed.
Retired. § Sbowy dress resides.
For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
lord. Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting
laws, (The needful bits and curbs for headstrong steeds), Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep; Even like an over-grown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey: now, as fond fathers Having bound up the threat’ning 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. Fri.
It rested in your grace, To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas’d: And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd Than in lord Angelo. Duke.
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 impos'd the office; Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home, And yet my nature never in the sight, To do it slander : and to behold his sway, I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr’ythee, 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;
Enter Isabella and Francisca. Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges ? Fran. Are not these large enough?
Isab. Yes, truly : I speak not as desiring more; But rather wishing a more strict restraint Upon the sister-hood, the votarists of saint Clare.
Lucio. Ho ! peace be in this place! [Within. Isab.
Who's that which calls ? Fran. 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.
[Exit Francisca. Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls ?
Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be; as those cheek
Isab. 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
Isab. Woe me! For what?
Isab. Sir, make me not your story*.
It is true.
ing me. Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth t,
'tis thus : Your brother and his lover have embrac'd : As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time, That from the seedness the bare fallow brings To teeming foison I; even so her plenteous womb Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry. Ísab. Some one with child by him ?-My cousin
Juliet ? Lucio. Is she your cousin ? Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their
She it is.
This is the point. Do not make a jest of me.
of In few and true words. Breeding plenty.