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Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly
Isab. Woe me! for what?
Isab. Sir, make me not your story.
It is true. 30
Isab. You do blaspheme the good in mocking
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 tiltht and husbandry. *Plenty Isab. Some one with child by him? My cousin Juliet ?
Tillage. Lucio. Is she your cousin ? Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their
She it is.
This is the point.
very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense,
71 Isab. Doth he so seek his life? Lucio.
Has censured him Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath A warrant for his execution.
Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
Lucio. Assay* the power you have. *Attempt.
Our doubts are traitors
Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Good sir, adieu. 90
[Exeunt. ACT II. SCENE I. A hall in ANGELO's house. Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, and a Justice, Provost,
Officers, and other Attendants, behind. Ang. We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
Ay, but yet
the law upon you.
Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Where is the provost ?
See that Claudio
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared;
[Exit Provost. Escal. (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.
40 Enter ELBOW, and Officers with FROTH and
POMPEY. Elb. 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.
Ang. How now, sir! What's your name? and what's the matter?
Elb. 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. 50
Ang. Benefactors ? Well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors ?
Elb. 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.
Escal. This comes off well; here's a wise officer.
Ang. Go to: what quality* are they of? Elbow is your name? why dost thou not speak, Elbow?
Pom. He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.
62 Elb. 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.
Escal. How know you that?
Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,
70 Escal. How? thy wife?
Elb. Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,
Escal. Dost thou detest her therefore ?
Elb. 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.
Escal. How dost thou know that, constable ?
Elb. 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.
Escal. By the woman's means ?
Elb. Ay, sir, by. Mistress Overdone's means: but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.
Pom. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.
Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable man; prove it. Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces ?
90 Pom. 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,
Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.
Pom. 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.
Pom. Very well; you being then, if you be remembered, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes,
Froth. Ay, so I did indeed.