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you of, sir ?


offences in him that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses till thou knowest what they are.

Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou seest, thou wicked varlet, now, what's come upon thee: thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.

Escal. [To Froth] Where were you born, friend? [Pompey pushes Froth forward. Froth. Here in Vienna, sir. Excal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year? Froth. Yes, an't please you, sir. Escal. So. [To Pompey] What trade are

[Froth gets behind Pompey. Pom. A tapster; a poor widow's tapster. Escal. Your mistress name? Pom. Mistress Overdone.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband?

Pom. Nine, sir; Overdone by the last.

Escal. Nine! Come hither to me, Master Froth. [Pompey pushes Froth across to Escalus] Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters: they will draw you, Master Froth, and you will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.

Froth. I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in.

Escal. Well, no more of it, Master Froth: farewell. (Exit Froth, Pompey pushing him 01.] Come you hither to me, master tapster. What's your name, master tapster ? Pom. [.Advancing] Pompey. Escal. [ What else? Pom. Bum, sir.

Exal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you; so that in the beastliest sense you are Pompey the Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapster, are you not? come, tell me true: it shall be the better for you.

Pom. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.

Excal. How would you live, Pompey ? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?

Pom. If the law would allow it, sir.

Excal. But the law will not allow it, Pomper; nor it shall not be allow'd in Vienna.

Pom. Does your worship mean to geld and splay' all the youth of the city?

Escal. No, Pompey.

Pom. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't, then. If your worship will take order for the drabs and the knaves, you need; not to fear the bawds.

Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: it is but heading and hanging.

Pom. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten year together, you 'll be, glad to give out a commission for more heads: if this law hold in Vienva ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it after three-pence a bay:3 if you live to see this come to pass, say Pompey told you so.

257 Escal. Thank you, good Pompey; and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you:-] I ad-> vise you, let me not find you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever; [no, not for dwelling where you do:] if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Pom. I thank your worship for your good counsel: [4 side] but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine. Whip me! No, no; let carman whip his jade: The valiant heart 's not whipt out of his trade.

[Erit. Escal. Come hither to me, Master Elbow; come hither, master constable. [Elbow advances.] How long have you been in this place of constable?

Elb. Seven year and a half, sir.

Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time. You say, seven years together?

Elb. And a half, sir.

Escal. Alas, it hath been great pains to you! They do you wrong to put you so oft upon

't: are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it?

Elb. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all.





1 Splay, ie, spay, castrate. 2 After, at the rate of.

3 See note 67.

Re-enter Serrant.



Escal. Look you bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish.

Elb. To your worship’s house, sir?

Escal. To my house. Fare you well. [Exit Elbow.] What's o'clock, think you?

Just. Eleven, sir.
Escal. I pray you home to dinner with me.
Just. I humbly thank you.

Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio; But there's no remedy.

Just. Lord Angelo is severe.

It is but needful:
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so;
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe:
But yet,-poor Claudio! There is no remedy.
Come, sir.


Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemnd Desires access to you.

Hath he a sister?

a Prov. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous

And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.
Ang. Well, let her be admitted.

[Exit Serrant.
See you the fornicatress be remov'd:
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means;
There shall be order for 't.

SCENE II. Another room in the same.


Enter PROVOST and a Servant. Serv. He's hearing of a cause; he will come

straight: I'll tell him of you. Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.] I'll

know His pleasure; may be he'll relent. Alas, He hath but as offended in a dream! All sects, all ages smack of this vice; and he To die for't!

Enter ANGELO. Ang. Now, what's the matter, provost? Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to

morrow? Ang. Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thou

not order? Why dost thou ask again? Prov.

Lest I might be too rash: Under your good correction, I have seen, When, after execution, judgment hath Repented o'er his doom. Ang.

Go to; let that be mine: Do you your office, or give up your place, And you

shall well be spar'd. Prov. I crave your honour's pardon. What shall be done, sir, with the groaning

She's very near her hour.

Dispose of her
To some more fitter place; and that with speed.

Enter ISABELLA and Lucio. Pror.

Save your honour!

[Offering to retire. Ang. Stay a little while. [Prorost with

draws.]-[To Isabella)
You 're welcome: what's


will? [Lucio goes to back of stage. Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honour, Please but your honour hear me. Ang.

Well; what's your suit? Isab. There is a vice that most I do abhor, And most desire should meet the blow of

justice; For which I would not plead, but that I must; For which I must not plead, but that I am At war 'twixt will and will not. Ang.

Well; the matter? Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die: I do beseech you, let it be his fault, And not my brother. [ Prov. [Aside] Heaven give thee moving

graces!] Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor

of it? Why, every fault's condemnd ere it be done: Mine were the very cipher of a function, To fine? the faults whose fine stands in record, And let go by the actor. Isab.

O just but severe law! I had a brother, then.- Heaven keep your honour! [Retiring. Lucio comes down




and meets her.

1 His fault, i.e. his fault that is condemned. 2 Fine, punish.

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1 Remorse, pity.

2 Longs, belongs.


Not the king's crown nor the deputed sword, The marshal's truncheon nor the judge's robe, Become them with one half so good a grace As mercy does.

If he had been as you, and you as he, Youwould have slipp'd like him; but he,likeyou, Would not have been so stern.


Pray you, be gone. Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency, And you were Isabel! should it then be thus? No; I would tell what 't were to be a judge, And what a prisoner.

[Lucio. [Aside to Isabella] Ay, touch him; there's the vein.]

Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words.



Alas, alas! Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once; And He that might the vantage best have took Found out the remedy. How would you be, If He, which is the top of judgment, should But judge you as you are? O, think on that; And mercy then will breathe within your lips, Like man new made.

Ang. Be you content, fair maid; It is the law, not I condemn your brother: Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him: he must die to

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[Lucio. [Aside to Isabella] Ay, well said.] Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept: Those many had not dar'd to do that evil, If the first that did the edíct infringe Had answer'd for his deed: [now 't is awake, Takes note of what is done, and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils, Either new, or by remissness new-conceiv'd, And so in progress to be hatch'd and born, Are now to have no súccessive degrees, But, ere they live, to end. ]

Isab. [Kneeling]

Yet show some pity.

Ang. I show it most of all when I show



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As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,

For every pelting2 petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder;
Nothing but thunder. Merciful Heaven!
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous

Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle: but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,


Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep; [who, with our

Would all themselves laugh mortal.]

Lucio. [Aside to Isabella] O, to him, to him, wench! he will relent; He's coming; I perceive 't.

[Prov. [Aside] Pray heaven she win him!] Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:

Great men may jest with saints; 't is wit in them,

But in the less foul profanation.

Lucio. [Aside to Isabella] Thou 'rt i' the right, girl; more o' that.

Isab. That in the captain's but a choleric word,

Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.


[Lucio. [Aside to Isabella] Art avis'd' o' that? more on 't.]

For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall;
And do him right that, answering one foul

Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
Your brother dies to-morrow;-be content.
[He raises her.
Isab. So you must be the first that gives
this sentence,

1 Of season, i.e. in its season.

Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me? Isab. Because authority, though it err like others,

Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,

That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom;

Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know

That's like my brother's fault: if it confess

Pelting, paltry.

3 Spleens, supposed to be the seat of mirth.

4 Aris'd, i.e. advised, or conscious.

& Skins, covers thinly over.

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