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Mrs. Ov. And what shall become of those in the city ?

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

Mrs. Ov. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down ?

Pom. To the ground, mistress.

Mrs. Ov. Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?

Pom. Come, fear not you: 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.

Mrs. Ov. What's to do here, Thomas tapster? let's withdraw.

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

[Exeunt. Enter PROVOST, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and

Officers. Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus

to the world? Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

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

Claud. 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 ? Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio,

liberty: As surfeit is the father of much fast,

130 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. *Devour

I 20

with you.

Lucio. If I 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 ? Claud. What but to speak of would offend again.

140 Lucio. What, is't murder? Claud. No. Lucio. Lechery? Claud. Call it so. Prov. Away, sir! you must go. Claud. One word, good friend. Lucio, a word

Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good. Is lechery so look'd after? Claud.' Thus stands it with me: upon a true

contract I got possession of Julietta's bed:

150 You know the lady; she is fast* my wife,*Assuredly. Save that we do the denunciation lack Of outward order: this we came not to, Only for propagationt 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?

Unhappily, even so. 160
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 eminence that fills it up,
I stagger in:-but this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties

170 Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the


So long that nineteen zodiacs have


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 him.

*Ticklish. Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found.

180 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, *Ready: Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous art When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade.

191 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.

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours.

Come, officer, away!

[Exeunt. SCENE III. A monastery.

Enter DUKE and FRIAR THOMAS. Duke. No, holy father; throw away that

thought; Believe not that the dribbling* dart of love *Weak. 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. T.

May your grace speak of it? Duke. 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, *Sequestered.
A man of stricturet and firm abstinence, fStrictness.
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?

Fri. T. Gladly, my lord.
Duke. We have strict statutes and most biting

The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds,
Which for this nineteen years we have let slip; 21
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 30
Goes all decorum.
Fri. T.

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.

I do fear, too dreadful: Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, "Twould be my tyranný 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;

40 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.

[Exeunt. SCENE IV. A nunnery. Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA. Isab. And have you nuns no farther 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 sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare. Lucio. [Within] Ho! Peace be in this place! 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 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. Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls?

Enter Lucio. Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheekProclaim 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?

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






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