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Pros. A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may | Shame to him, whose cruel striking
Bard. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me: mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the duke's time, he promised her marrage; his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me.
Escal. That fellow is a fellow of much licence :let him be called before us.—Away with her to prison: Go to; no more words. [Exeunt Bawd and Officers.] Provost, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd, Claudio must die to-morrow: let him be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation: if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.
Proc. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advised him for the entertainment of death.
Escal. Good even, good father.
Duke. Bliss and goodness on you!
Duke. Not of this country, though my chance is
Escal. What news abroad i' the world?
Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies secure; but security enough, to make fellowships accurs'd: much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke?
Escal. One, that, above all other strifes, contended especially to know himself.
Dake. What pleasure was he given to ? Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which profess'd to make him rejoice: a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous; and let me desire to know how you find Claudio prepared. I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation.
Duke. He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice: yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I, by my good leisure, have discredited to him, and now is he
resolved to die.
bring again. Seals of love, but seal'd in vain, seal'd in vain.
SCENE I.-A Room in Mariana's House. MARIANA discovered sitting; a Boy singing. SONG.
Take, oh take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
Escal. You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I Duke. I do constantly believe you :-The time is have labour'd for the poor gentleman, to the ex-come, even now, I shall crave your forbearance a tremest shore of my modesty; but my brother justice little; may be, I will call upon you anon, have I found so severe, that he hath forced me to tell advantage to yourself. him, he is indeed-justice.
Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein, if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.
Mari. I am always bound to you.
Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner: Fare you well.
Isab. He hath a garden circummur'd with brick,
Duke. Peace be with you!
[Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost. This other doth command a little door,
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads;
In action all of precept, he did shew me
I pray you be acquainted with this maid;
I do desire the like.
Will't please you walk aside?
Prov. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?
Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruction from my fellow partner.
Abhor. Do you call, sir?
Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you tomorrow 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: He cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.
Abhor. A bawd, sir? Fye upon him, he will discredit our mystery.
Prov. Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale. [Erit.
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.
and your whores, sir, being members of my occupa-
Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA.
Prov. Are you agreed?
Isab. She'll take the enterprise upon her, father, If you advise it.
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.
It is not my consent,
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.
Fear me not.
Clo. I do desire to learn, sir; and, I hope, if you have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall
owe you a good turn.
Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all: find me yare: for, truly sir, for your kindness, I
Prov. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:
If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief: 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.
Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:
Who can do good on him?
I hope it is some pardon, or reprieve,
Duke. The best and wholesomest spirits of the
They will then, ere't be long.
There's some in hope.
Prov. It is a bitter deputy.
None, sir, none. Duke. As near the dawning, provost, as it is, You shall hear more ere morning.
You something know; yet, I believe, there comes
Enter a Messenger.
Prov. I shall obey him.
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, or other circumstance. Good-morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day. [Erit Messenger. Duke. This is his pardon; purchas'd by such sin, For which the pardoner himself is in: [Aside. Hence hath offence his quick celerity, When it is borne in high authority: When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended, That for the fault's love, is the offender friended.Now, sir, what news?
Pree. I told you: Lord Angelo, belike, thinking me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted putting on: methinks, strangely; for he hath not used it before.
Duke. Pray you, let's hear.
Prov. [Reads.] Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let Claudio be executed by four of the clock; and, in the afternoon, Barnardine: for my better satisfaction, let me have Claudio's head sent 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 de your office, as you will answer it at your peril. What say you to this, sir?
Duke. What is that Barnardine, who is to be executed in the afternoon?
Pros. A Bohemian born; but here nursed 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.
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, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo who hath But he must die to-morrow?
sentenced 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 ? dangerous courtesy.
Prov. Pray, sir, in what?
Duke. In the delaying death.
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 smallest.
Duke. By the vow of mine order, I warrant you, if my instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine be this morning executed, and his head borne to Angelo.
Prov. Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour.
Prov. His friends still wrought reprieves for him: And, indeed, his fact, till now in the government of lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.
Duke. More of him anon. There is written in your brow, provost, honesty and constancy: if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but in the boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here you have a warrant to execute,
Duke. O, death's a great disguiser and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard; and say, it was the desire of the penitent to be so bared 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 against it with my life.
Prov. Pardon me, good father: it is against my
Duke. Were you sworn to the duke, or to the deputy?
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,
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, that Angelo knows not: for he this very day receives letters of strange tenor: perchance, of the duke's death; perchance, entering into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of what is writ. 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 | thrift, and advise him for a better place. Yet you are amazed but this shall absolutely resolve you. Come away; it is almost clear dawn. [Exeunt.
Clo. I am as well acquainted here, as I was in our house of profession: one would think, it were mistress Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old customers. First, here's young master Rash; he's in for a commodity of brown paper 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 master Caper, at the suit of master Three-pile the mercer, for some four suits of peach-colour'd satin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and young master Deep-vow, and master Copper-spur, and master Starve-lackey the rapier and dagger-man, Duke. O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides ! and young Drop-heir that kill'd lusty Pudding, and Despatch it presently; the hour draws on master Forthright the tilter, and brave master Shoe-Prefix'd by Angelo: See, this be done, tie the great traveller, and wild Half-can that stabb'd And sent according to command; whiles I Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in our Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die. trade, and are now for the Lord's sake.
Duke. Unfit to live, or die: O, gravel heart!—
Prov. This shall be done, good father, presently.
Abhor. Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.
Clo. Master Barnardine! you must rise and be To save me from the danger that might come, hang'd, master Barnardine!
If he were known alive?
SCENE III.-Another Room in the same.
Abhor. What, ho, Barnardine! Barnar. [Within] A pox o' your throats! Who makes that noise there? What are you?
Clo. Your friends, sir; the hangmen: You must be so good, sir, to rise and be put to death. Barnar. [Within.] Away, you rogue, away; I am sleepy.
Abhor. Tell him, he must awake, and that quickly
Clo. Pray, master Barnardine, awake till you are executed, and sleep afterwards.
Abhor. Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?
Duke. But hear you,
Barnar. Not a word; if you have any thing to say to me, come to my ward; for thence will not I to-day. [Exit.
Barnar. How now, Abhorson? what's the news with you?
Abhor. Truly, sir, I would desire 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 for 't.
Abhor. Go in to him, and fetch him out.
Clo. He is coming, sir, he is coming; I hear his To meet me at the consecrated fount, straw rustle.
A league below the city; and from thence,
Clo. O, the better, sir; for he that drinks all night, and is hang'd betimes in the morning, may sleep the sounder all the next day.
Abhor. Look you, sir, here comes your ghostly father; Do we jest 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, and pray with 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. Let this be done ;-Put them in secret holds,
The sun hath made his journal greeting to
Duke. O, sir, you must; and therefore, I beseech Look forward on the journey you shall go. [you, Barnar. I swear, I will not die to-day for any man's persuasion.
Prov. I am your free dependant.
Quick, despatch, [Exit Provost.
And send the head to Angelo.
Prov. Here is the head; I'll carry it myself. Duke. Convenient is it: Make a swift return; For I would commune with you of such things, That want no ear but yours.
I'll make all speed. [Exit.
Duke. The tongue of Isabel :-She's come to know,
Isab. Ho, by your leave.
Duke. Good morning to you, fair and gracious
Isab. The better, given me by so holy a man.