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Lucio. Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.

2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.

1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.

Lucio. Away: let's go learn the truth of it.

[Exeunt LUCIO and Gentlemen. Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I How now? what's the news with

am custom-shrunk.


Enter Clown.

Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison.

Bawd. Well: what has he done?

Clo. A woman.

Bawd. But what's his offence?

Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him? Clo. No; but there's a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the proclamation, have you? Bawd. What proclamation, man?

Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city? Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down

too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.

Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down?

Clo. To the ground, mistress.

Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?

Clo. Come; fear not you: good counsellors lack no clients though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster still. Courage!

there will be pity taken on you; you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service: you will be considered.

Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster 5? Let's withdraw.

Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison; and there's madam Juliet.



The Same.

Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers; LUCIO, and two Gentlemen.

Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to th' world?

Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

Prov. I do it not in evil disposition, But from lord Angelo by special charge.

Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight.The words of heaven;-on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so: yet still 'tis just ".

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio? whence comes this restraint?

Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty: As surfeit is the father of much fast,

So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue,

"Thomas Tap

5 What's to do here, Thomas Tapster?] She uses the name ster," merely as a designation of the Clown's business. Thomas, or Tom Tapster, was a common mode of speaking of a drawer.

6 Thus can the demi-god, Authority,] "Authority," Henley remarks, being absolute in Angelo, is finely styled by Claudio," the demi-god." To this uncontroulable power, the poet applies a passage from St. Paul to the Romans, ch. ix. v. 15. 18, which he properly styles, "the words of heaven :" "for he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy," &c. And again: "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy," &c.

Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,

A thirsty evil, and when we drink, we die '.

Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors. And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment.-What's thy offence, Claudio?


Claud. What but to speak of would offend again.
Lucio. What is it? murder?

Claud. No.

Lucio. Lechery?

Claud. Call it so.

Prov. Away, sir: you must go.

Claud. One word, good friend.-Lucio, a word with


[Takes him aside. Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.—Is lechery so look'd after?

Claud. Thus stands it with me:-Upon a true con


I got possession of Julietta's bed:

You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order: this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower'
Remaining in the coffer of her friends,

From whom we thought it meet to hide our love,
Till time had made them for us.

But it chances,

The stealth of our most mutual entertainment

And when we drink, we die.] The following lines from Chapman's "Revenge for Honour," 1654, as quoted by Steevens, form an excellent commentary upon

this passage:

"Like poison'd rats, which, when they've swallowed

The pleasing bane, rest not until they drink;
And can rest then much less, until they burst."

- as the MORALITY] The old copies have mortality. The correction was made by Sir W. Davenant in his adaptation of this play.

Only for PROPAGATION of a dower] "I suppose the speaker means (says Steevens) for the sake of getting the dower." Malone suggested prorogation instead of "propagation," to which he was perhaps led by the spelling of the first folio "propogation."

With character too gross is writ on Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps?

Claud. Unhappily, even so.

And the new deputy now for the duke,—
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness,
Or whether that the body public be

A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
Whether the tyranny be in his place,

Or in his eminence that fills it up,

I stagger in ;-but this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,

Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall
So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act

Freshly on me:-'tis surely, for a name.

Lucio. I warrant, it is; and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him '.

Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found.

I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service.

This day my sister should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation:
Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him:
I have great hope in that; for in her youth
There is a prone and speechless dialect,

Such as moves men: beside, she hath prosperous art,
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade..


Lucio. I pray, she may: as well for the encourage

and appeal to him.] This speech seems to have been originally meant for verse, though not so printed in any edition.

ment of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of ticktack. I'll to her.

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours,


Come, officer; away!



A Monastery.

Enter Duke, and Friar THOMAS.

Duke. No, holy father; throw away that thought:
Believe not that the dribbling dart of love 3
Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee
To give me secret harbour hath a purpose

More grave and wrinkled, than the aims and ends
Of burning youth.


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 assemblies,

Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps*.

2- a game of TICK-TACK.] Tick-tack (in French tric-trac, and sometimes spelt trick-track in English) was a game at tables.

'Believe not that the DRIBBLING dart of love] Steevens quotes what he calls Sir Philip Sidney's "Arcadia," meaning his "Astrophel and Stella," respecting the word dribbling :

"Not at first sight, nor with a dribbed shot
Love gave the wound."

But dribbed, as it stands in the ordinary impressions, is not the word wanted. Thomas Nash published a surreptitious edition of "Astrophel and Stella," in 1591, 4to, and there we have the very word employed by Shakespeare :—

"Not at the first sight, nor with a dribling shot

Love gave the wound," &c.

This is in the second sonnet, and not in the second stanza, as Steevens misterms it. In the later impressions, as in that of 1598, folio, dribling is altered to dribbed. Dribbed was a technical word in archery, and it is employed by Ascham in his Toxophilus, 1545.

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AND witless bravery keeps.] “ And,” from the folio, 1632. VOL. II.


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