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If the be but in love, may figh it off.
Send after the Duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done fo, but he's not to be found.
I pr'ythee, Lucio, do,me this kind service;
This day my fifter fhould the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation.
Acquaint her with the danger of my state,
Implore her in my voice, that the make friends
To the ftrict Deputy; bid her felf affay him,
I have great hope in that; for in her youth
There is a prone and fpeechless dialect,
Such as moves men: befide, the hath profp'rous art
When the will play with reafon and discourse,
And well the can perfuade.
Lucio. I pray the may;
As well for the encouragement of the like,
Which elfe would stand on grievous impofition;
As for thy life, which I'd be forry should be
Thus foolishly loft at a game of tick-tack,
I'll to her ftrait.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours.
Claud. Come, officer, away.
SCENE VII. A Monaftery.
Enter Duke and Friar Thomas.
Duke. No; holy father, throw
Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
Can pierce a compleat breast: why I defire thee
To give me fecret harbour, hath a purpose
More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
Of burning youth.
Fri. May your Grace speak of it?
Duke. My holy Sir, none better knows than you
How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd;
And held in idle price to haunt affemblies,
Where youth, and coft, and witless bravery keep.
I have deliver'd to lord Angelo
(A man of ftricture and firm abftinence)
My abfolute pow'r and place here in Vienna,
And he fuppofes me travell'd to Poland;
For fo I've firew'd it in the common ear,
And fo it is receiv'd: now, pious Sir,
You will demand of me, why I do this?
Friar. Gladly, my lord.
Duke. We have ftrict statutes and most biting laws,
(The needful bits and curbs for head-ftrong steeds)
Which for this nineteen years we have let fleep;
Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave,
That goes not out to prey: now, as fond fathers
Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch,
Only to stick it in their childrens fight,
For terror, not to use; in time the rod
Becomes more mock'd than fear'd: fo our degrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,
And liberty plucks juftice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.
Fri. It refted in your Grace
T' unloose this ty'd-up justice, when you pleas'd:
And it in you more dreadful would have feem'd
Than in lord Angelo.
Duke. I fear, too dreadful.
Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,
"Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them
For what I bid them do. For we bid this
When evil deeds have their permiffive pass,
And not the punishment. Therefore, my father,
I have on Angelo impos'd the office:
Who may in th' ambush of my name ftrike home,
And yet, my nature never in the fight
To do it flander: To behold his fway,
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
Vifit both Prince and people; therefore pr'ythee
Supply me with the habit, and inftruct me
How I may formally my perfon bear
Like a true Friar. More reafons for this action
At your more leifure fhall I render you;
Only this one: lord Angelo is precife,
Stands at a guard with envy, scarce confefles
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than ftone: hence shall we see,
If power change purpose, what our feemers be. [Exeunty SCENE VIII. A Nunnery.
Enter Ifabella and Francifca.
Ifab. And have you Nuns no farther privileges?
Nun. Are not these large enough?
Ifab. Yes truly; I fpeak not as defiring more,
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the fifter votarifts of Saint Clare,
Lucio. Hoa! peace be in this place!
Ifab, Who's that which calls?
Nun. It is a man's voice: gentle Ifabella,
Turn you the key, and know his business of him ;
You may; I may not; you are yet unfworn:
When you have vow'd, you must not speak with men
But in the prefence of the Priorefs;
Then if you fpeak, you must not fhew your face,
Or if you fhew your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you, anfwer him.
[Exit Franc. Ifab. Peace and profperity! who is't that calls? Enter Lucio.
Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-rofes
Proclaim you are no lefs, can you fo ftead me,
As bring me to the fight of Isabella,
A novice of this place, and the fair fifter
To her unhappy brother Claudio ?
Ifab. Why her unhappy brother? let me afk
The rather, for I now must make you know
I am that Ifabella, and his fifter.
Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you; Not to be weary with you, he's in prifon.
Ifab. Wo me, for what?
Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be his judge,
He should receive his punishment in thanks;
He hath got his friend with child.
Ifab. Sir, make me not your story.
Lucio. I would not, tho' 'tis my familiar fin
With maids to feem the lapwing*, and to jeft,
Tongue far from heart, play with all virgins fo."
I hold you as a thing ensky'd and fainted,
By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
And to be talk'd with in fincerity,
As with a faint.
Ifab. You do blafpheme the good, in mocking me. Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus ; Your brother and his lover having embrac'd, As those that feed grow full, as bloffoming time Doth from the feedness the bare fallow bring To teeming foyfon; so her plenteous womb Expreffeth its full tilth and husbandry.
Ifab. Some one with child by him? my cousin Juliet ? Lucio. Is fhe your coufin?
Ifab. Adoptedly, as fchool-maids change their names, By vain, tho' apt, affection. Lucio. She it is.
Ifab. Let him then marry her.
Lucio. This is the point.
The Duke is very ftrangely gone from hence;
Bore many gentlemen, my felf being one,
In hand and hope of action; but we learn,
By thofe that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
From his true meant defign. Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority,
Governs lord Angelo ; a man whofe blood
Is very fnow-broth, one who never feels
The wanton ftings and motions of the fenfe;
But doth rebate and blunt-his natural edge
With profits of the mind, ftudy and fast.
He, to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have long time run by the hideous law
As mice by lions; hath pickt out an act,
Under whofe heavy fenfe your brother's life
Falls into forfeit; he arrefts him on it,
And follows close the rigor of the statute,
• The lapwings fly with fecming frightand anxiety far from their neits to deceive thofe who feek their young.
To make him an example; all hope's gone,
Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
To foften Angelo; and that's my pith
Of business betwixt you and your poor brother.
Ifab. Doth he fo feek his life?
Lucio. H'as cenfur'd him
Already, and, I hear, the Provoft hath
A warrant for his execution.
Ifab. Alas! what poor ability's in me To do him' good?
Lucio. Affay the power you have.
Ifab. My power alas! I doubt.
Lucio. Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lofe the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt. Go to lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens fue
Men give like Gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as truly theirs,
As they themselves would owe them.
Ifab. I'll fee what I can do.
Lucio. But fpeedily.
Ifab. I will about it ftrait;
No longer ftaying, but to give the mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you;
Commend me to my brother: foon at night
I'll fend him certain word of my fuccefs.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Ifab. Good Sir, adieu.
Enter Angelo, Escalus, a Juftice, and Attendants, E muft not make a fcare-crow of the law, Setting it up to fear the birds of prey, And let it keep one fhape, 'till custom make it Their perch, and not their terror.
Efcal. Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruife to death. Alas! this gentleman, Whom I would fave, had a moft noble father;