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Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA.
pon her, father, If you advise it.
Duke. It is not my consent,
Little have you to say,
Fear me not.
Enter Provost and Clown. Prov. Come hither, sirrah: Can you cut off a man's head?
. Clo. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can : but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.
( contrarious quests — ] Different reports, running counter to each other.
i— 'scapes of wit -] i. e. sallies, irregularities. & Doth flourish the deceit.] i. e. ornament.
Prov. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: Here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping; for you have been a notorious bawd.
Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruction from my fellow partner.
Prov. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?
Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you tomorrow in your execution : If you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him: He cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.
Abhor. A bawd, sir? Fye upon him, he will discredit our mystery.
Proo. Go to, sir ; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale.
[Exit. Clo. Pray, sir, by your good favour, (for, surely, sir, a good favouro you have, but that you have a hanging look,) do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery?
Abhor. Ay, sir; a mystery.
Clo. Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery; and your whores, sir, being members of my occu
a good favouer -] . Favour is countenance.
pation, using what memang d, I ca
pation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hang'd, I cannot imagine.
Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery.
Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief: If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough; if it be too big for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough: so every true man's apparel fits your thief.
Re-enter Provost. Prov. Are you agreed ?
Clo. Sir, I will serve him; for I do find, your hangman is a more penitent'trade than your bawd; he doth oftner ask forgiveness.
Prov. You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe, to-morrow four o'clock.
Abhor. Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.
Clo. I do desire to learn, sir; and, I hope, if you have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me yare:' for, truly sir, for your. kindness, I owe you a good turn.. Prov. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:
[Excunt Clown and ABHORSON, One has my pity; not a jot the other, Being a murderer, though he were my brother.
Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death : 'Tis now dead midnight, and by cight to-morrow Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine?
Claud. As fast lock'd up in sleep, 'as guiltless
Who can do good on him? Well, go, prepare yourself. But hark, what noise ?
[Knocking within. Heaven give your spirits comfort! [Exit Claudio.
By and by:-I hope it is some pardon, or reprieve, For the most gentle Claudio.-Welcome, father.
Enter Duke. Duke. The best and wholesomest spirits of the
night Envelop you, good Provost! Who called here of
late? Prov. None, since the curfew rung.
• Not Isabel! Prov. No. Duke. They will then, ere't be long. Prov. What comfort is for Claudio ? Duke.
There's some hope. Prov. It is a bitter deputy.
Duke. Not so, not so; his life is paralleld Even with the stroke and line of his great jus
tice; He doth with holy abstinence subdue That in himself, which he spurs on his power To qualify? in others: were he mealdi With that which he corrects, then were he tyran
s tarkly-) Stilfly. These two lines afford a very pleasing image. Jouxson.
* To quality - ] as we say wine is qualified with water. * meal’d-] Were he sprinkled; or perhaps mingled.
But this being so, he's just:--Now are they come.
[Knocking within.—Provost goes out. This is a gentle provost: Seldom, when The steeled gaoler is the friend of men. How now What noise. That spirit's possess'd
with haste, That wounds the unsisting postern with these
Provost returns, speaking to one at the door.
Prov. There he must stay, until the officer Arise to let him in; he is call’d up.
Duke. Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
: None, sir, none.
Enter a Messenger,
Duke. This is his lordship's man.
Mess. My lord hath sent you this note; and by me this further charge, that you swerve not from the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance. Good morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day.
Proo, I shall obey him. [Exçit Messenger.
s. The unsisting postern), i. e. never at rest, always opening.
- siege of justice,] i. e. seat of justice. Siege, French.