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Fear me not. 71 Prov. You, sirrahı, provide your block and Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all. your axe to-morrow four o'clock. He is your husband on a pre-contract:
Abhor. Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin,
in my trade : follow. Sith that the jnstice of your title to him
Pompey. I do desire to learn, sir ; and I hope, Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go: if you have occasion to use me for your own turn, Our corn 's to reap, for yet our tithe 's to sow. you shall find me yare ; for, truly, sir, for your
Exeunt. kindness I owe you a good turn.
Prov, Call bither Barnardine and Claudio : SCENE II.--A Room in the Prison.
Eceunt POMPEY and ABHORSON. Enter Prorost and POMPEY.
The one has my pity; not a jot the other,
Being a murderer, though he were my brother, Pror. ('ome hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's head ?
Enter CLAUDIO. Pompey. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can ; but if he be a married man, he's his wife's head; Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for tby death : and I can never cut off a woman's head.
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow Pror. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and Thou must be made immortal. Where's Baryield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning
nardine? are to die Claudio and Barnardine. Here is in
Claud. As fast lock'd up in sleep as guiltless
labour our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if you will take it on you When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones : to assist him, it shall redeem you from your
He will not wake.
Pror, gyres; if not, you shall have your full time of
Who can do good on him ? imprisonment, and your deliverance with an un- Well, go; prepare yourself. K’nocking within.
But hark, what noise ? pitied whipping, for you have been a notorious bawd.
Heaven give your spirits comfort !
Exit CLAUDIO. Pompey. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind; but yet I will be content to
By and by. be a lawful bangman. I would be glad to receive I hope it is some pardon or reprieve some instruction from my fellow partner.
For the most gentle Claudio. Pror. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson,
Enter Duke, disguised as before. there? Enter ABHORSON.
Welcome, father: Abhor. Do you call, sir?
Duke. The best and wholesom'st spirits of the Pror. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to Envelop you, good provost! Who call'd here
night morrow in your execution. If you think it meet,
of late? compound with him by the year, and let him
Prov. None, since the curfew rung. abide here with you ; if not, use him for the
Duke. Not Isabel ? present and dismiss him. He cannot plead his
No. estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.
They will, then, ere't be long. Abhor. A bawd, sir ? Fie upon him! he will
Prov. What comfort is for Claudio ? discredit our mystery.
Duke. There 's some in hope. Pror. Go to, sir ; you weigh equally; a feather
It is a bitter deputy. will turn the scale.
Exit. Pompey. Pray, sir, by your good favour--for, Even with thestroke and line of his great justice :
Duke. Not so, not so : his life is parallel'd surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that you He doth with holy abstinence subdue have a hanging look-do you call, sir, your occu
That in himself which he spurs on his power pation a mystery ? Abhor. Ay, sir ; a mystery.
To qualify in others : were he meal'd with that
Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous ; Pompey. Painting, sir, I have heard say is a
But this being so, he's just. Knocking within. mystery ; and your whores, sir, being members
Now are they come, 90 of my occupation, using painting, do prove my
Exit Provost. occupation a mystery ; but what mystery there This is a gentle provost : seldom when should be in hanging, if I should be hanged, I The steeled gaoler is the friend of men. cannot imagine.
Knocking. Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery.
How now! What noise ? That spirit 's possess'd Poinpey. Proof? Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your That wounds the unsisting postern with these
with haste thief.
strokes, Pompey. If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough ; if it be too big
Re-enter Provost. for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough : Prov. There he must stay until the officer so every true man's apparel fits your thief. Arise to let him in; he is call’d up.
Duke. Have you no countermand for Claudio Re-enter Provost.
yet, Pror. Are you agreed ?
But he must die to-morrow ? Pompey. Sir, I will serve him ; for I do find Prov.
None, sir, none. Four hangman is a more penitent trade than Duke. As near the dawning, provost, as it is, your bawd; he doth oftener ask forgiveness. You shall hear more ere morning.
Happily 100 | lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here you You something know; yet I believe there comes have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to No countermand : no such example have we. the law than Angelo who hath sentenced him. Besides, upon the very siege of justice,
To make you understand this in a manifested Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
effect, I crave but four days' respite, for the Profess'd the coutrary.
which you are to do me both a present and a
dangerous courtesy. Enter a Messenger.
Pror. Pray, sir, in what ? This is his lordship's man. Duke. In the delaying death. Duke. And here comes Claudio's pardon, Prov. Alack! how may I do it, having the hour
Mess. My lord hath sent you this note; and limited, and an express command, under penalty, by me this further charge, that you swerve not to deliver his head in the view of Angelo? I from the smallest article of it, neither in time, may make my case as Claudio's, to cross this in matter, or other circumstance. Good morrow; the smallest. for, as I take it, it is almost day,
Duke. By the vow of mine order I warrant you, Prov. I shall obey him. Exit Messenger. if my instructions may be your guide. Let this Duke. Aside. This is his pardon, purchas'd by Barnardine be this morning executed, and his such sin
head borne to Angelo. For which the pardoner himself is in;
Prov. Angelo hath seen them both, and will Hence hath offence his quick celerity,
discover the favour. When it is borne in high authority.
Duke. O! death's a great disguiser, and you may When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended, add to it. Shave the head and tie the beard; That for the fault's love is the offender friended. and say it was the desire of the penitent to be Now, sir, what news?
so bared before his death: you know the course Prov. I told you: Lord Angelo, belike thinking is common. If anything fall to you upon this, me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this more than thanks and good fortune, by the unwonted putting-on; methinks strangely, for saint whom I profess, I will plead against it he hath not used it before.
with my life. Duke. Pray you, let's hear.
Prov. Pardon me, good father : it is against Prov. Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, my oath. Vet Claudio be executed by four of the clock; and in Duke. Were you sworn to the duke, or to the the afternoon Barnardine. For my better satis. deputy ? jaction, let me have Claudio's head sent me by five. Prov. To him, and to his substitutes. Let this be duly performed; with a thought that Duke. You will think you have made no offence, more depends on it than we must yet deliver. Thus if the duke avouch the justice of your dealing ? fail not to do your office, as you will answer it at Prov. But what likelihood is in that? your peril. What say you to this, sir ?
Duke. Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet Duke. What is that Barnardine who is to be since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, executed in the afternoon ?
integrity, nor persuasion can with ease attempt Prov. A Bohemian born, but here nursed up you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all and bred; one that is a prisoner nine years old. fears out of you. Look you, sir; here is the
Duke. How came it that the absent duke had hand and seal of the duke: you know the charnot either delivered him to his libertyor executed acter, I doubt not, and the signet is not strange him? I have heard it was ever his manner to to you.
Pror, I know them both. Prov. His friends still wrought reprieves for Duke. The contents of this is the return of him: and, indeed, his fact, till now in the the duke: you shall anon over-read it at your government of Lord Angelo, came not to an pleasure, where you shall find within these two undoubtful proof.
days he will be here. This is a thing that Angelo Duke. It is now apparent ?
knows not, for he this very day receives letters Prov. Most manifest, and not denied by himself. of strange tenour; perchance of the duke's death ;
Duke. Hath he borne himself penitently in perchance entering into some monastery ; but, prison ? how seems he to be touched ?
by chance, nothing of what is writ. Look, the Prov. A man that apprehends death no more unfolding star calls up the shepherd. Put dreadfully but as a drunken sleep; careless, reck- not yourself into amazement how these things less, and fearless of what's past, present, or to should be: all difficulties are but easy when they come; insensible of mortality, and desperately are known. Call your executioner, and off with mortal.
153 Barnardine's head: I will give him a present Duke. He wants advice.
shrift and advise him for a better place. Yet you Prov. He will hear none. He hath evermore are amazed, but this shall absolutely resolve you. had the liberty of the prison: give him leave to Come away; it is almost clear dawn. Ereunt. escape hence, he would not: drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very oft awaked him, as if to carry him to
SCENE III. -Another Room in the Same. execution, and showed him a seeming warrant
Enter POMPEY. for it: it hath not moved him at all.
Duke. More of him anon. There is written Pompcy. I am as well acquainted here as I was in your brow, provost, honesty and constancy: in our house of profession: one would think it if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles were Mistress Overdone's own house, for here be me; but in the boldness of my cunning I will many of her old customers. First, bere 's young
Master Rash; he's in for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger, nine score 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-coloured satin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and Young Master Deep-yow, and Master Copper-spur, and Master Starve-lackey the rapier-and-dagger man, and young Drop-heir that killed lusty Pudding, and Master Forthright the tilter, and brave Master Shoe-tie the great traveller, and wild Half-can that stabbed Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in our trade, and are How for the Lord's sake.'
Abhor. What, ho, Barnardine!
Bar. Within. A pox o' your throats! makes that noise there? What are you? Pompey. Your friends, sir; the hangman. must be so good, sir, to rise and be put to death. Bar. Within. Away, you rogue, away! I am sleepy.
Abhor. Tell him he must awake, and that quickly too.
Pompey. Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till you are executed, and sleep afterwards.
There died this morning of a cruel fever
Duke. O! 'tis an accident that heaven provides.
Abhor. Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.
Pompey. Master Barnardine! you must rise Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die. and be hanged, Master Bardardine!
Prov. This shall be done, good father, presently.
Abhor. Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?
Bar. 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
Abhor. Go in to him, and fetch him out.
hear his straw rustle.
Duke. Unfit to live or die. O gravel heart! After him, fellows: bring him to the block. Excunt ABHORSON and POMPEY. Prov. Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner? Duke. A creature unprepar 'd, unmeet for death; And to transport him in the mind he is
Enter DUKE disguised as before.
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.
Bar. 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. O,sir, you must; and therefore I beseech you look forward on the journey you shall go. 61 Bar. I swear I will not die to-day for any man's persuasion.
Duke. But hear you.
To save me from the danger that might come
Bar. Not a word: if you have any thing to say to me, come to my ward; for thence will not I to-day.
Now will I write letters to Angelo,The provost, he shall bear them,-whose contents 40 Shall witness to him I am near at home,
Let this be done: 90 Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio:
Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting
Proc. I am your free dependant.
And that, by great injunctions, I am bound 100
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.
If yet her brother's pardon be come hither;
Isab. The better, given me by so holy a man.
His head is off and sent to Angelo
Duke. It is no other: show your wisdom, daughter,
In your close patience.
Isab. O! I will to him and pluck out his eyes. Duke. You shall not be admitted to his sight. Isab. Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel! Injurious world! most damned Angelo!
Duke. This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot; Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven. Mark what I say, which you shall find 130 By every syllable a faithful verity.
Ang. In most uneven and distracted manner.
The duke comes home to-morrow; nay, dry His actions show much like to madness: pray heaven his wisdom be not tainted! and why meet him at the gates, and redeliver our authorities there?
One of our covent, and his confessor,
Gives me this instance: already he hath carried
Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
In that good path that I would wish it go,
I am directed by you.
Lucio. Good even. Friar, where is the provost?
Lucio. O pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see thine eyes so red: thou must be patient. I am fain to dine and sup with water and bran; I dare not for my head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set me to't. But they say the duke will be here to-morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother: if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been at home, he had lived. Exit ISABELLA. Duke. Sir, the duke is marvellous little beholding to your reports; but the best is, he lives not in them.
Lucio. By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's end. If bawdy talk offend you, we 'll have very little of it. Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr; I shall stick. Exeunt.
SCENE IV. A Room in ANGELO's House.
Escal. Every letter he hath writ hath dis-
Escal. I guess not.
Ang. And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his entering, that if any crave redress of injustice, they should exhibit their petitions in the street?
Escal. He shows his reason for that: to have
Ang. Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaim'd:
And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid,
SCENE V.-Fields without the Town.
Duke. Well, you 'll answer this one day. Fare ye well.
Lucio. Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee: I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.
Duke. You have told me too many of him already, sir, if they be true; if not true, none were enough.
Lucio. I was once before him for getting a wench with child.
Duke. Did you such a thing?
180 Lucio. Yes, marry, did I; but I was fain to forswear it they would else have married me to the rotten medlar.
Duke. Sir, your company is fairer than honest. Rest you well,
Go call at Flavius'
And tell him where I stay: give the like notice
It shall be speeded well. 10
By throwing it on any other object,
Duke. I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made Till you have heard me in my true complaint,
Come, we will walk there's other of our friends
Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met!
Duke. Many and hearty thankings to you both.
To lock it in the wards of covert bosom,
Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice:
Ang. My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm:
Isab. Most strange, but yet most truly, will
That Angelo's forsworn, is it not strange?
That which but seems unlike. 'Tis not impossible
O gracious duke!
1sab. I am the sister of one Claudio,
Friar PETER and ISABELLA come forward. Fri. Pet. Now is your time: speak loud and kneel before him.
Isab. Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have said, a maid! O worthy prince! dishonour not your eye
That's I, an 't like your grace:
That's he indeed.