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Claud. Thus stands it with me:-Upon a true con
Lucio. With child, perhaps?
Unhappily, even so.
know He can command, lets it straight feel the spur : Whether the tynanny 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 tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh 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 : 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 dialecto, Such as moves mens beside, she hath prosperous art When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade. Lucio. I
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 you, 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: 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; And held an 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 receiv'd: Now, pious sir, You will demand of me, why I do this ?
Fri. Gladly, my lord.
Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting laws, (The needful bits and curbs for head-strong steedo,) Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep”; Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond fathers
Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch,
It rested in your grace
I do fear, too dreadful :
ther, 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; Stands at a guard with envy ''; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Isab. Yes, truly : I speak not as desiring more ;
Lucio. Ho! Peace be in this place! [Within.
Who's that which calls ? Frun. 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-roses Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me,