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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
Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA.
Duke. It is not my consent,
Little have you to say,
Fear me not.
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. 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.
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 :
Prov. None, since the curfew rung.
Not Isabel !
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 Qualify—moderate. © 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,
None, sir, none.
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.