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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

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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
Here in the prison, father,
One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate,
A man of Claudio's years; his beard and head
Just of his colour. What if we do omit
This reprobate till he were well inclin'd,
And satisfy the deputy with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?


Duke. O! 'tis an accident that heaven provides.
Dispatch it presently: the hour draws on
Prefix'd by Angelo. See this be done,
And sent according to command, whiles I

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.
But Barnardine must die this afternoon;
And how shall we continue Claudio,

Abhor. Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?
Pompey. Very ready, sir.


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.
Pompey. He is coming, sir, he is coming; I And send the head to Angelo.

hear his straw rustle.

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Enter Provost.

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

Were damnable,

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
If he were known alive?


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
To yonder generation, you shall find
Your safety manifested.

Proc. I am your free dependant.

Quick, dispatch,
Exit Provost.

And that, by great injunctions, I am bound 100
To enter publicly him I'll desire
To meet me at the consecrated fount
A league below the city; and from thence,
By cold gradation and well balanc'd form,
We shall proceed with Angelo.

Re-enter Provost.

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.
Isab. Within. Peace, ho, be here!
Duke. The tongue of Isabel. She's come to

If yet her brother's pardon be come hither;
But I will keep her ignorant of her good,
To make her heavenly comforts of despair,
When it is least expected.


Ho! by your leave.
Duke. Good morning to you, fair and gracious

Isab. The better, given me by so holy a man.
Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?
Duke. He hath releas'd him, Isabel, from the

His head is off and sent to Angelo
Isab. Nay, but it is not so.


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?

your eyes:

One of our covent, and his confessor,

Gives me this instance: already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo,

Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
There to give up their power. If you can, pace
your wisdom

In that good path that I would wish it go,
And you shall have your bosom on this wretch,
Grace of the duke, revenges to your heart,
And general honour.



I am directed by you.
Duke. This letter then to Friar Peter give;
'Tis that he sent me of the duke's return:
Say, by this token, I desire his company
At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause and yours
I'll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you
Before the duke; and to the head of Angelo
Accuse him home, and home. For my poor self,
I am combined by a sacred vow,
And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter:
Command these fretting waters from your eyes
With a light heart: trust not my holy order, 152
If I pervert your course. Who's here?

Enter LUCIO.

Lucio. Good even. Friar, where is the provost?
Duke. Not within, sir.

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.

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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-
vouched other.

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
a dispatch of complaints, and to deliver us from
devices hereafter, which shall then have no
power to stand against us.

Ang. Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaim'd:
Betimes i' the morn I'll call you at your house.
Give notice to such men of sort and suit
As are to meet him.
I shall, sir fare you well.
Ang. Good night.
This deed unshapes me quite, makes me un-

And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid,
And by an eminent body that enforc'd
The law against it! But that her tender shame
Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares
her no:

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SCENE V.-Fields without the Town.
Enter DUKE in his own habit, and Friar PETER.
Duke. These letters at fit time deliver me.
Giving letters.
The provost knows our purpose and our plot.
The matter being afoot, keep your instruction,
And hold you ever to our special drift,
Though sometimes you do blench from this to
As cause doth minister.

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
To Valentinus, Rowland, and to Crassus,
And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate;
But send me Flavius first.
Fri. Pet.

It shall be speeded well. 10

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By throwing it on any other object,

Duke. I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made Till you have heard me in my true complaint,
And given me justice, justice, justice, justice!
good haste.
Duke. Relate your wrongs: in what? by whom?
Be brief.

Come, we will walk there's other of our friends
Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius.


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Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met!
Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you.
Ang., Escal. Happy return be to your royal

Duke. Many and hearty thankings to you both.
We have made inquiry of you; and we hear
Such goodness of your justice, that our soul
Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks,
Forerunning more requital.

You make my bonds still greater.
Duke. O your desert speaks loud; and I
should wrong it

To lock it in the wards of covert bosom,
When it deserves, with characters of brass,
A forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time
And razure of oblivion. Give me your hand,
And let the subject see, to make them know
That outward courtesies would fain proclaim
Favours that keep within. Come, Escalus,
You must walk by us on our other hand;
And good supporters are you.

Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice:
Reveal yourself to him.

O worthy duke!
You bid me seek redemption of the devil.
Hear me yourself; for that which I must speak
Must either punish me, not being believ'd,
Or wring redress from you. Hear me, O hear


me, here!

Ang. My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm:
She hath been a suitor to me for her brother
Cut off by course of justice,-

By course of justice!
Ang. And she will speak most bitterly and

Isab. Most strange, but yet most truly, will
I speak.

That Angelo's forsworn, is it not strange?
That Angelo's a murderer, is 't not strange?
That Angelo is an adulterous thief,
An hypocrite, a virgin-violator;
Is it not strange and strange ?
Nay, it is ten times strange.
Isab. It is not truer he is Angelo
Than this is all as true as it is strange;
Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth
To the end of reckoning.

Away with her! poor soul,
She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.
Isab. O prince! I conjure thee, as thou believ'st
There is another comfort than this world,
That thou neglect me not, with that opinion 50
That I am touch'd with madness. Make not


That which but seems unlike. 'Tis not impossible
But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground,
May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute
As Angelo; even so may Angelo,
In all his dressings, characts, titles, forms,
Be an arch-villain. Believe it, royal prince:
If he be less, he's nothing; but he 's more,
Had I more name for badness.

By mine honesty,
If she be mad, as I believe no other,
Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense,
Such a dependency of thing on thing,
As e'er I heard in madness.


O gracious duke!
Harp not on that; nor do not banish reason
For inequality; but let your reason serve
To make the truth appear where it seems hid,
And hide the false seems true.


Many that are not mad
Have, sure, more lack of reason. What would
you say?

1sab. I am the sister of one Claudio,
Condemn'd upon the act of fornication
To lose his head; condemn'd by Angelo.
I, in probation of a sisterhood,
Was sent to by my brother; one Lucio
As then the messenger-

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

22 |


That's I, an 't like your grace:
I came to her from Claudio, and desir'd her
To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo
For her poor brother's pardon.

That's he indeed.



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