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est article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance. Good morrow; for as I take it, it is al. most day. Prov. I shall obey him.
[Exit Messenger. Duke. This is his pardon, purchas’d by such sin,
[Afide. For which the pardoner himself is in : Hence hath offence his quick celerity, When it is borne in high authority; When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended, That, for the faults love, is th' offender friended. Now, Sir, what news?
Prov. I told you : lord Angelo, be-like, thinking me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted putting on; methinks, Arangely , for he hath not us'd it before.
Duke. Pray you, let's hear.
Provost reads the letter. Whatsoever you may bear to the contrary, let Claudio be execut. d ly four of the clock, and in the afternoon Barnardine : for my better fatisfaction, let me have Claudio's bent fent me by five. Let this be duly perform’d, with a thought that more depends on it than we must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your office, as you will anfuer it at your peril. What say you to this, Sir ?
Duke. What is that Barnardine, who is to be executed in the afternoon ?
Prov. A Bohemian born ; but here nurst up and bred ; one that is a prisoner nine years
old. Duke. How came it that the absent Duke had not either deliver'd him to his liberty, or executed him ? I have heard, it was ever his manner to do so.
Prov. His friends ftill wrought reprieves for him ; and, indeed, his fact, 'till now in the government of lord Angelo, came not to an undoubted proof.
Duke. Is it now apparent ?
Duke. Hath he born himself penitent in prison ? how seems he to be touch'd ?
Prov. A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully, but as a drunken sleep; carelers, recklefs, and fearless of what's past, present, or to come
insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal. (7)
Duke. He wants advice.
Prev. He will hear none ; he hath evermore had the liberty of the prison : give him leave to escape hence, he would not : drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very often awak'd him, as if to carry him to execution, and thew'd him a seeming warrant for it ; it bạth ņot mov'd him at all. Duke. More of him anon.
There is written in your brow, Provolt, honesty and constancy; if I read it not truly, my ancient skil beguiles me ; but in the boldness of my cunning, I wil lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here you have a warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo, who hath sentenc'd him. To make you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four days respite ; for the which you are to do me both a present and a dangerous courtesy.
Prov. Pray, Sir, in what ?
Prov. Alack ! how may I do it, having the hour limited, and an express command, under penalty, to deliver his head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallert.
Duke. By the vow of mine Order, I warrant you, if my instructions
may be your guide. Let this Barnar. dine be this morning executed, and his head borne to Angelo.
Prov. Angelo hath feen them both, and will discover the favour.
Duke. Oh, death's a great disguiser, and you may (7) desperately mortal.). This expression is ob!cure. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads mortally desperate. Morially is in low converfation used in this Tense, but I know not whether it was ever written. am inclined to believe that desperately mortal menos desperately misobievous.
add to it. Shave the head, and tie * the beard, and say it was the desire of the penitent to be so barb'd before his death ; you know the course is common. If
any thing fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good fortune ; by the Saint whom I profess, I will plead againit it with my life.
Prov. Pardon me, good father, it is against my oath.
Duke. Were you sworn to the Duke, or to the de
Prov. To him, and to his substitutes.
Duke. You will think you have made no offence, if the Duke avouch the justice of your dealing ?
Prov. But what likelihood is in that ?
Duke. Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor my persuasion, can with ease attempt you, I will
go further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you. Look you, Sir, here is the hand and seal of the Duke ; you know the character; I doubt not; and the signet is not strange to you:
Prov. I know them both.
Duke. The contents of this is the return of the Duke ; you shall anon' over-read it at your pleasure; where you shall find, within these two days he will be here. This is a thing, which Angelo knows not, for he this very day receives letters of strange tenor ; perchance, of the Duke's death ; perchance, of his entering into some monastery ; but, by chance, nothing of what is writ. (8) Look, the unfolding star calls up the shepherd; put not yourself into amazement how these things should be ; all difficulties are but easy, when they are known. Call your executioner, and off with Barnardine's head : I will give him a present Ahrist, and advise him for a better place. Yet you are amaz'd, but this shall absolutely resolve you. Come away, it is almost clear dawn.
* Tie the beard,] The Rev fal recommends Mr. Simpson's emendation, die the beard ; the present reading may well Nand.
(8) Norbing of wbar is writ.] We should read bere writ. tbt Duke poioting to the letter in his hand.
Enter Clown. Clown. I am as well acquainted here, as I was in our house of profession ; one would think, it were mistress Over-done's own house ; for here be many of her old customers. First, here's young Mr. Rasb ; (9) he's in for a commodity of brown pepper and old ginger, ninescore and seventeen pounds, of which he made five marks ready money : marry, then, ginger was not much in request : for the old women were all dead. Then is there here one Mr. Caper, at the suit of master Three-Pile the mercer ; for some four suits of peach-colour'd fattin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young Dizzy, and young Mr. Deep-vow, , and Mr. Copper-spur, and master Starve-lackey the rapier and dagger-man, and young Drop-beir that kill'd lufty Pudding, and Mr. Fortbright the tilter, and brave Mr. Shroty the great traveller, and wild Half-canne that stabb’d Pors, and, I think, forty more ; all great doers in our trade, and are now in for the Lord's sake. (1)
Clown. Master Barnardine, you must rise and be hang’d, master Barnardine.
(9) First bere's young Mr. Rajh, &c.] This enumeration of the inhabitants of the prison affords a very friking view of the practices predominant io Shakespeare's age.
Besides those whose follies are common to all times, we have four fighting men and a traveller. It is not unlikely that the originals of these pictures were then known. (1) in for tbe Lord's sake.] i.e. to beg for the rest of their lives.
WARBURTON. I rather think this expression intended to ridicule the puritans, whose turbulency and indecency often brought them to prison, and who considered themselves as suffering for religion.
It is not unl.kely that men imprisoned for other crimes, might represent themselves to casual enquirers, as suffering for puritanism, and that this might the common cant of the prisons. Donne's time every prisoner was brought to jail by suretyship.
Abhor. What, hoa, Barnardine!
Barnar. [wilhin.) A pox o’your throats ; who makes that noise there? what are you?
Clown. Your friend, Sir, the hangman : you must be fo good, Sir, to rife, and be put to death.
Barnar. [within.) Away, you rogue, away ; I am fleepy.
Abbor. Tell him, he must awake, and that quickly too.
Clown. Pray, master Barnardine, awake 'till you are executed, and fleep afterwards.
Abbor. Go in to him, and fetch him out.
Clown. He is coming, Sir, he is coming; I hear the straw rustle.
Abhor. Truly, Sir, I would defire you to clap into your prayers : for, look you, the warrant's come.
Barnar. You rogue, I have been drinking all night, I am not fitted fort.
Clown. Oh, the better, Sir ; for he that drinks all night, and is hang'd betines in the morning, may sleep the founder all next day.
Enter Duke. Abbor. Look you, Sir, here comes your ghostly father ; do we jelt now, think you ?
Duke. Sir, induced by my charity, and hearing how hastily you are to depart, I am come to advise you, comfort you,
you. Barnar. Friar, not I : I have been drinking hard all night, and I will have more time to prepare me, or they shall beat out my brains with billets : I will not consent to die this day, that's certain.
Duke. Oh, Sir, you muft ; and therefore, I beseech you, look forward on the journey you shall
go. Barnar. I swear, I will not die to-day for any man's perfuafion.