« PreviousContinue »
That, to the observer, doth thy history
Now, good my lord,
No more evasion :
Yet, give leave, my lord,
Duke. My haste may not admit it;
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes !
Ang. 'Tis so with me:- let us withdraw together,
[Exeunt. SCENE II. A Street.
Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen.
Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come not to composition with the king of Hungary, why, then, all the dukes fall upon the king.
1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the king of Hungary's!
2 Gent. Amen.
Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scraped one out of the table.
2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal ? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.
1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions; they put forth to steal : there's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well that prays
2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Lucio. I believe thee; for I think, thou never wast where
grace was said.
2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least.
Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as for example; thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace.
1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of shears between us. Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet : thou art the list.
1 Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou art a three-piled piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?
Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.
1 Gent. I think I have done myself wrong; have I not?
2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art tainted or free.
Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comes ! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to
2 Gent. To what, I pray ?
1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou art full of error: I am sound.
Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound, as things that are hollow; thy bones are hollow: impiety has made a feast of thee.
Enter Bawd. 1 Gent. How now? Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
Bawd. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.
1 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee? Bawd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, seignior Claudio. 1 Gent. Claudio to prison! 'Tis not so.
Bawd. Nay, but I know 'tis so; I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his heads to be chopped off.
Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so: art thou sure of this?
Bawd. I am too sure of it; and it is for getting madam Julietta with child. Lucio
. Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since; and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.
2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the proclamation. Lucio. Away; let's go learn the truth of it.
[Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen. Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am customshrunk. How now? What's the news with you?
Clo. No; but there's a woman with maid by him: you have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
Bawd. What proclamation, man?
C'lo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.
Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city ?
Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?
Clo. To the ground, mistress.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
Clo. 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 stilí. Courage; there will be pity taken on you: you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.
Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster ? Let's withdraw.
Clo. Here comes seignior Claudio, led by the provost tó prison; and there's madam Juliet.
Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers : Lucio and
two Gentlemen. 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 demi-god, Authority,
Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? Whence comes this restraint ?
Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty;
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.
[Takes him aside. Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.Is lechery so looked after ?
Claud. Thus stands it with me:- upon a true contract, I
got possession of Julietta's bed;
Lucio. With child, perhaps ?
Claud. Unhappily, even so.