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Your provost knows the place where he abides, And he may fetch him.
Duke. Go, do it instantly.-[Exit Provost. And you, my noble and well warranted cousin, Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth, Do with your injuries as seems you best, In any chastisement: 1 for a while [well Will leave you; but stir not you, till you have Determined upon these slanderers.
Escal. My lord, we'll do it thoroughly.[Exit DUKE.]-Signior Lucio, did not you say, you knew that friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person?
Lucio. Cucullus non facit monachum: honest in nothing, but in his clothes; and one that hath spoke most villanous speeches of the duke.
Escal. We shall entreat you to abide here till he come, and enforce them against him: we shall find this friar a notable fellow.
Lucio. As any in Vienna, on my word. Escal. Call that same Isabel here once again; [To an Attendant.] I would speak with her: Pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; you shall see how I'll handle her. Lucio. Not better than he, by her own report.
Escal. Say you?
Lucio. Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately, she would sooner confess; perchance, publicly she'll be ashamed. Re-enter Officers, with ISA BELLA; the DUKE, in the Friar's habit, and Provost. Escal. I will go darkly to work with her. Lucio. That's the way; for women are light at midnight.
Escal. Come on, mistress: [To ISA BELLA.] here's a gentlewoman denies all that you have said.
Lucio. My lord, here comes the rascal spoke of; here with the provost.
Escal. In very good time:-speak not yon to him, till we call upon you.
Escal. How! know you where you are? Duke. Respect to your great place! and let the devil
Be sometime honour'd for his burningthrone:Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak. [you speak: Escal. The duke's in us; and we will hear Look, you speak justly.
Duke. Boldly, at least :-But, O, poor souls, Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox? Good night to your redress. Is the duke gone? Then is your cause gone too. The duke's unjust, Thus to retort t your manifest appeal, And put your trial in the villain's mouth, Which here you come to accuse.
Lucio. This is the rascal; this is he I spoke Escal. Why, thou unreverend and unhallow'd friar!
Stand like the forfeits in a barber's shop,
Escal. Slander to the state! Away with him to prison.
Ang. What can you vonch against him, sig. nior Lucio?
Is this the man that you did tell us of? Lucio. 'Tis he, my lord. Come hither, goodman bald-pate: Do you know me?
Duke. I remember you, sir, by the sound of your voice: I met you at the prison, in the absence of the duke.
Lucio. O, did you so? And do you remember what you said of the duke? Duke. Most notedly, sir.
Lucio. Do you so, sir? And was the duke a flesh-monger, a fool, and a coward, as you then reported him to be?
Duke. You must, sir, change persons with me, ere you make that my report: you, inIdeed, spoke so of him; and much more, much
Lucio. O thon damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by the nose, for thy speeches? Duke. I protest, I love the duke, as I love myself.
Ang. Hark! how the villain would close now, after his treasonable abuses.
Escal. Such a fellow is not to be talk'd withal-Away with him to prison:-Where is the provost?-Away with him to prison; lay bolts enough upon him: let him speak no more:-Away with those giglots too, and with the other confederate companion. [The Provost lays hands on the DUKE.
Duke. Stay, sir; stay a while.
Ang What! resists he? Help him, Lucio.
Lucio. Come, sir; come, sir; come, sir; foh, sir: Why, you bald-pated, lying rascal! you must be hooded, must you? Show your knave's visage, with a pox to you! show your sheep-biting face, and be hang'd an hour! Will't not off? [Pulls off the Friar's hood, and discovers the DUKE.
Duke. Thou art the first knave, that e'er made a duke.
First, provost, let me bail these gentle three:
Must have a word anon :-lay hold on him. Lucio. This may prove worse than hanging. Duke. What you have spoke, I pardon; sit you down. ————— [To ESCALUS. We'll borrow place of him-Sir, by your leave:[To ANGELO. Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence, That yet can do thee office? If thou hast, Rely upon it till my tale be heard, And hold no longer out.
O, my dread lord,
Ang. I should be guiltier than my guiltiness, To think I can be undiscernible, [divine, When I perceive, your grace, like power Hath look'd upon my passest: Then, good No longer session hold upon my shame, [prince, But let my trial be mine own confession; Immediate sentence then, and sequent‡ death, Is all the grace I beg. Duke. Come, hither, Mariana:Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman? Ang. I was, my lord. [instantly.Duke. Go take her hence, and marry her, Do you the office, friar; which consummate, Return him here again:-Go with him, Provost.
[Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and Provost.
Escal. My lord, I am more amaz'd at his Than at the strangeness of it. [dishonour, Duke. Come hither, Isabel: Your friar is now your prince: As I was then Advertising, and holy to your business, Not changing heart with habit, I am still Attorney'd at your service.
Isab O, give me pardon, That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd Your unknown sovereignty.
You are pardon'd, Isabel: And now, dear maid, be you as free to us. Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart; And you may marvel, why I obscur'd myself, Labouring to save his life; and would not rather Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power, Than let him so be lost: O, most kind maid, It was the swift celerity of his death, Which I did think with slower foot came on, That brain'd my purpose: But, peace be with That life is better life, past fearing death [him; Than that which lives to fear: make it your So happy is your brother. [comfort, Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and Provost.
Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers
We do condemn thee to the very block
Consenting to the safeguard of your honour,
Although by confiscation they are ours,
O, my dear lord,
Mari. O, my good lord!-Sweet Isabel, Lend me your knees, and all my life to come I'll lend you, all my life to do you service.
Duke.Against all sense you do impórtune her: Should she kneel down, in mercy of this fact, Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break, And take her hence in horror. Mari. Isabel, Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me; Hold up your hands, say nothing, I'll speak all. They say, best men are moulded out of faults; And, for the most, become much more the better For being a little bad; so may my husband. O, Isabel! will you not lend a knee?
Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
His act did not o'ertake his bad intent;
Prov. It was commanded so. Duke. Had you'a, special warrant for the deed? [message. Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private Duke. For which I do discharge you of Give up your keys, [your office: § Attentive.
Angelo's own tongue.
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
Prov. This is another prisoner, that I sav'd,
Is he pardon'd; And, for your lovely sake,
I find an apt remission in myself:
One all of luxury, an ass, a madman;
Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick: If you will hang me for it, you may, but I had rather it would please you, I might be whipp'd.
Duke. Whipp'd first, sir, and hang'd after.-
Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said even now, I made you a duke; good my lord, do not recompense me, in making me a cuckold.
Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry Thy slanders I forgive: and therewithal [her. Remit thy other forfeits :-Take him to prison: And see our pleasure herein executed.
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
Duke. Sland'ring a prince deserves it.She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you re
Joy to you, Mariana!-love her, Angelo;
There's more behind, that is more gratulate ||
The novel of Giraldi Cinthio, from which Shakspeare is supposed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in Shakspeare illustrated, elegantly trauslated, with remarks which will assist the inquirer to discover how much absurdity Shakspeare has admitted or avoided. I cannot but suspect that some other had new-modelled the novel of Cinthio, or written a story which in some particulars resembled it, and that Cinthio was not the author whom Shakspeare immediately followed. The Emperor in Cinthio is named Maximine: the Duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of the persons of the drama, is called Vincentio. This appears a very slight remark; but since the Duke has no name in the play, nor is ever mentioned but by his title, why should he be called Vincentio among the persons, but because the name was copied from the story, and placed superfluously at the head of the list by the mere habit of transcription? It is, therefore, likely that there was then a story of Vincentio Duke of Vienna, different from that of Maximine Emperor of the Romans.
Of this play, the light or comic part is very natural and pleasing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, have more labour than elegance. The plot is rather intricate than artful. The time of the action is indefinite; some time, we know not how much, must have elapsed between the recess of the Duke and the imprisonment of Claudio; for he must have learned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated his power to a man already known to be corrupted. The unities of action and place are sufficiently preserved. JOHNSON,
Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio. Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered expec tation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.
Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be very much glad of it.
Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much, that joy could not show itself modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.
Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Leon. A kind overflow of kindness: There are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping?
Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned from the wars, or no?
* Kind. † Abundance.
Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there was none such in the army of any sort. Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece? Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua.
Mess. O, he is returned; and as pleasant as ever he was.
Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged Cupid at the flight: and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the birdbolt.-I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.
Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meets with you, I doubt it not.
Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars.
Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trenchermian, he hath an excellent stomach.
Mess. And a good soldier too, lady. Beat. And a good soldier to a lady ;-But what is he to a lord?
Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all honourable virtues.
Beat. It is so, indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man: but for the stuffing,-Well, we are all mortal.
Léon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece: there is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and her they never meet,
but there is a skirmish of wit between them. Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. our last conflict, four of his five wits went § Even. A cuckold.
* At long lengths.
halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature.Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother.
Mess. Is it possible?
Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block*.
Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.
Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer + now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil? › Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.
Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.
Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady.
Leon. You will never run mad, niece,
D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it.
Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but, when you depart from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly. I think, this is your daughter. Leon. Her mother hath many times told
Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her?
Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.
Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat :-But it is certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.
Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than -a man swear he loves me.
Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall'scape a predestinate scratched face.
Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as yours were. Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Beat. A bird of my tongue, is better than a beast of yours.
Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue; and so good a continuer: But keep your way o'God's name; I have done. Beat. You always end with a jade's trick ; I know you of old.
D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato,signior Claudio, and signior Benedick,-my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all. tell him, we shall stay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays, some occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no bypocrite, but prays from his heart!
Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn.-Let me bid you welcome, my lord being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.
D. John. I thank you: I am not of many words, but I thank you.
Leon. Please it your grace lead on? D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together.
[Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of signior Leonato ?
Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. Claud. Is she not a modest young lady? Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to their sex?
Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment.
D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this what you are, being a Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too man. Truly, the lady fathers herself:-Belów for a bigh praise, too brown for a fair happy, lady! for you are like an honourable praise, and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her; that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but as she is, I do not like her.
Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, as like him as she is.
Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; nobody marks you. Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet living?
Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she bath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.
Claud. Thoa thinkest, I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou likest her. Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after her?
Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel? Bene, Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this with a sad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack; to tell us Cupid is a
Mould for a hat. † Quarrelsome fellow. # Trust.