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I do desire the like. Duke. Do you persuade yourself that I respect you ? Mari. Good friar, I know you do; and have found it.

Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand, Who hath a story ready for your ear : I shall attend your leisure; but make haste; The vaporous night approaches. Mari.

Will 't please you walk aside ?

[Exeunt Mari. and Isab. Duke. O place and greatness, millions of false eyes Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report Run with these false and most contrarious quests a Upon thy doings ! thousand escapes of wit Make thee the father of their idle dream, And rack thee in their fancies !- Welcome! How


Isab. She 'll take the enterprise upon her, father,
If you advise it.

Duke. It is not my consent,
But my entreaty too.

Little have you to say,
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
“ Remember now my brother."

Fear me not.
Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all :
He is your husband on a pre-contract :
To bring you thus together, 't is no sin ;
Sith that the justice of your title to him
Doth flourish b the deceit. Come, let us go;
Our corn 's to reap, for yet our tithe 'sc to sow. [Exeunt.

A Quests-inquisitions.

b Flourish—bestow propriety and ornament, like rich work upon a coarse ground.

c Tithe. Our corn's to reap," and therefore we must go to sow our tithe-our seed which is to produce tenfolu.

SCENE II.-A Room in the Prison.

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.

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 releem 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 hang

I would be glad to receive some instruction from my fellow partner.

Prov. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?


Enter ABHORSON. Abhor. Do you call, sir ?

Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow 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: Hé cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.

Abhor. A bawd, sir? Fie upon him, he will discredit our mystery.

Prov. Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale,


Clo. Pray, sir, by your good favour, (for, surely, sir, a good favour 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 occupation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hanged I cannot imagine.

Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery.
Clo. Proof?
Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief-

Clo. 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 oftener 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 : a for, truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you a good turn. Prov. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio :

[Exeunt Clown and ABHOR. Th' one has my pity; not a jot the other, Being a murtherer, though he were my brother.

a Yare-ready, nimble.


2 A

Enter CLAUDIO. Look, here 's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death : 'T is now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow Thou must be made immortal. Where 's Barnardine ?

Claud. As fast lock'd up in sleep, as guiltless labour When it lies starkly & in the traveller's bones : He will not wake. Prov.

Who can do good on him ? Well, go, prepare yourself. But hark, what noise ?

[Knocking within. Heaven give your spirits comfort ! [Exit Claud.

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 call’d 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 ?

There 's some in hope. Prov. It is a bitter deputy.

Duke. Not so, not so; his life is parallel'd Even with the stroke and line of his great justice; He doth with holy abstinence subdue That in himself, which he spurs on his power To qualify b in others : were he meal'de With that which he corrects, then were he tyrannous ; 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. a Starkly-stiffly.

b Qualifymoderate. © Meal'd-compounded; from mesler.

How now? What noise ? That spirit 's possess'd with

haste, That wounds the unsisting a postern with these strokes.

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,
But he must die to-morrow?

None, sir, none.
Duke. As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.

You something know; yet, I believe, there comes
No countermand; no such example have we:
Besides, upon the very siege b of justice,
Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
Profess'd the contrary.

Enter a Messenger.

This is his lordship’s man. Duke. And here comes Claudio's pardon.

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, nor other circumstance. Good morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day. Prov. I shall obey him.

[Exit Messenger. Duke. This is his pardon purchas’d by such sin,

[Aside. For which the pardoner himself is in : Hence hath offence his quick celerity, When it is borne in high authority :

à Unsisting. This is one of Shakspere's Latinisms, by which he means, never at rest, from sisto, to stand still. u Siege-seat.

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