Imagens das páginas

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly

greets you:
Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.

Isab. Woe me! for what?
Lucio. For that which, if myself might be his

He should receive his punishment in thanks:
He hath got his friend with child.

Isab. Sir, make me not your story.

It is true. 30
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.

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

By vain though apt affection.

She it is.
Isab. O, let him marry her.

This is the point.
The duke is very strangely gone from hence; 50
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

very snow-broth; one who never feels

The wanton stings and motions of the sense,
But doth rebate* and blunt his natural edge *Dun.
With profits of the mind, study and fast. 61
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.

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
To do him good ?

Lucio. Assay* the power you have. *Attempt.
Isab. My power? Alas, I doubt-

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 'earn to know, when maidens sue, 80
Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would owe them.

Isab. I'll see what I can do.

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

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,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch and not their terror.

Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas, this gentle-

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

Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attain'd the effect of your own pur-

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.
Ang '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 preg-
nant, t

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 judgement pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.

Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.

Where is the provost ?
Prov. Here, if it like your honour.

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. 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.
Ang. What are you, sir ?

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.
Pom. Why, very well; I telling you then, if


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