Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

2 Gent. Amen.

Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scraped one out of the table. 2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.

1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions; they put forth to steal: there's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well that prays for peace. 2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never wast where grace was said.

2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least. 1 Gent. What? in metre?

Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language.

1 Gent. I think, or in any religion.

Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as for example; thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace.

1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers between us.2

Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet: thou art the list.

|

[blocks in formation]

1 Gent. How now? Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica ?

Band. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.

1 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee? Bawd. Marry,sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio. 1 Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so.

Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so: I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head's to be chopped off.

Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so: art thou sure of this?

Bawd. I am too sure of it: and it is for getting madam Julietta with child.

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

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 am custom-shrunk. How now? what's the news with you?

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

1 Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good be pluck'd down. velvet; thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee:

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the

I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be city?
pil'd, as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet. Do
I speak feelingly now?

Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.

1 Gent. I think I have done myself wrong; have I not?

2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art tainted, or free.

Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to

2 Gent. To what, I pray?

1 Gent. Judge.

2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a year. 1 Gent. Ay, and more.

(1) Measure. (2) A cut of the same cloth. (3) A jest on the loss of hair by the French disease.

Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. Buwd. 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 shail 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? let's withdraw.

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

(4) Corona Veneris. (5) The sweating sickness.

SCENE III.-The same.-Enter Provost,' Clau- Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. dio, Juliet, and Officers; Lucio, and two Gen- I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: tlemen. This day my sister should the cloister enter, And there receive her approbation:

Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to Acquaint her with the danger of my state;

the 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
(Like rats that ravin2 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 inorality 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.

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 prones and speechless dialect,
Such as moves men; besides, she hath prosperous

art

When she will play with reason and discourse.

Lucio. I pray she may: as well for the encourage ment of the like, which else would stand unde grievous imposition; as for the enjoying of thy life who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly los at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her.

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

[Exeunt.

SCENE IV.-A monastery. Enter Duke and
Friar Thomas.

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

Claud. One word, good friend:-Lucio, a word And held in idle price to haunt assemblies, [Takes him aside. Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps."

with you.

Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.-I have delivered to lord Angelo

Is lechery so look'd after?

(A man of stricture, 10 and firm abstinence,)

Claud. Thus stands it with me:-Upon a true My absolute power and place here in Vienna,

contract,

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,
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 zodiacs 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.

And he supposes me travell'd to Poland;
For so I have strew'd it in the common ear,
And so it is receiv'd: now, pious sir,
You will demand of me, why I do this?
Fri. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting

laws

(The needful bits and curbs for headstrong steeds,)
Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep;
Even like an over-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 children's sight,

For terror, not to use; in time the rod

Becomes more mock'd, than fear'd: so our decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;
And liberty plucks justice by the nose;

The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.

Fri.

It rested in your grace
To unloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd:
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd,
Than in lord Angelo.

Duke.
I do 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 be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive past,
And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my
father,

Lucio. I warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she I have on Angelo impos'd the office; be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home and appeal to him. And yet my nature never in the sight,

(1) Gaoler. (2) Voraciously devour.
(3) Yearly circles. (4) Ticklish.
(5) Enter on her probation. (6) Prompt.

(7) Completely armed.
(9) Showy dress resides.
(11) Since.

(8) Retired.
(10) Strictness.

To do it slander: and to behold his sway,
I will, as 'twere a brother of your order,
Visit both prince and people: therefore, I pr'ythee,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear me
Like a true friar. More reasons for this action,
At our more leisure shall I render you;
Only, this one:-Lord Angelo is precise;
Stands at a guard' with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see,
If power change purpose, what our seemers be.
[Exeunt.
SCENE V.-A nunnery. Enter Isabella and

Francisca.

Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges?
Fran. Are not these large enough?
Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring more;
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of saint Clare.
Lucio. Ho! peace be in this place! [Within.
Who's that which calls?
Fran. It is a man's voice: gentle Isabella,
Turn you the key, and know his business of him;
You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn:
When you have vow'd, you must not speak with

Isab.

men,

But in the presence of the prioress:
Then, if you speak, you must not show your face;
Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you answer him.
[Exit Francisca.
Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls?
Enter Lucio.

Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be; as those cheek

roses

Proclaim you are no less! can you so stead me,
As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
A novice of this place, and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother Claudio?

Isab. Why her unhappy brother? let me ask;
The rather, for I now must make you know
I am that Isabella, and his sister.

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly
greets you:

Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Isab. 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.

Isab. Sir, make me not your story.'
Lucio.

It is true.

I would not-though 'tis my familiar sin
With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest,
Tongue far from heart,-play with all virgins so:
I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted;
By your renouncement, an immortal spirit';
And to be talk'd with in sincerity,

As with a saint.

[blocks in formation]

To teeming foison; even so her plenteous womb
Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

Isab. Some one with child by him ?—My cousin
Juliet ?

Lucio. Is she your cousin?

Isab. Adoptedly: as school-maids change their

names,

By vain though apt affection.
Lucio.

Isab. O, let him marry her!
Lucio.

She it is.

This is the point.
The duke is very strangely gone from hence;
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
In hand, and hope of action: but we do learn
By those that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
And with full line of his authority,
From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
Governs lord Angelo; a man, whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense;
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law,
As mice by lions,) hath pick'd out an act,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigour of the statute,
To make him an example: all hope is gone,
Unless you have the grace" by your fair prayer
To soften Angelo: and that's my pith
Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother.
Isab. Doth he so seek his life?
Lucio.
Has censur'd' him
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
A warrant for his execution.

Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
To do him good?
Lucio.
Assay the power you have.
Isab. My power! Alas! I doubt,-
Lucio.
Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt: go to lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,
Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would owe them.
Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio.
But speedily.
Isab. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother1
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you :
Commend me to my brother: soon at night
I'll send him certain word of my success.
Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Isab.

ACT II.

Good sir, adien. [Exeunt.

SCENE 1-A hall in Angelo's house. Enter Angelo, Escalus, a Justice, Provost, Officers, and attendants.

Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the law
Setting it up to fear" the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch, and not their terror.

(7) Power of gaining favour. (8) Sentenced.
(9) Have. (10) Abbess.
(11) Scare.
N

98

Escal.

MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

Ay, but yet

Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death: alas! this gentleman,
Whom I would save, had a most noble father.
Let but your honour know1

(Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,)
That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time coher'de with place, or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,
your life
Whether you had not sometime

Err'd in this point which now you censure him,
And pull'd the law upon you.

Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
Another thing to fall. I not deny,

The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two

Escal. How know you that?

Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest12 before hea ven and your honour,

Escal. How! thy wife?

Elb. Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,

Escal. Dost thou detest her therefore?

Elb. I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as she, that this house, if it be not a bawd's house, it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house.

Escal. How dost thou know that, constable? Elb. Marry, sir, by my wife; who, if she had been a woman cardinally given, might have been accused in fornication, adultery, and all uncleanliness there.

Escal. By the woman's means?

Elb. Ay, sir, by mistress Over-done's means:

Guiltier than him they try: what's open made to but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.

justice,

That justice seizes. What know the laws,
That thieves do pass on thieves? "Tis very

nant,4

Clo. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so. Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou preg-honourable man, prove it. Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces? [To Angelo. Clo. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing (saving your honour's reverence) for stew'd prunes: sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very distant time stood, as it were, in a fruitdish, a dish of some three-pence: your honours have seen such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very good dishes."

The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
Because we see it; but what we do not see,
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence,
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.
Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Ang.

Where is the provost?
Prov. Here, if it like your honour.
See that Claudio
Ang.
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning:
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepar'd;
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage. [Er. Prov.
Escal. Well, heaven forgive him; and forgive

us all!

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes' of vice, and answer none;
And some condemned for a fault alone.

Enter Elbow, Froth, Clown, Officers, &c.
Elb. Come, bring them away: if these be good
people in a common weal, that do nothing but use
their abuses in common houses, I know no law;
bring them away.

Ang. How now, sir! what's your name? and what's the matter?'

Elb. If it please your honour, I am the poor duke's constable, and my name is Elbow; I do lean upon justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good honour two notorious benefactors.

Ang. Benefactors? Well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors?

I

Elb. If it please your honour, I know not well what they are: but precise villains they are, that am sure of; and void of all profanation in the world, that good Christians ought to have.

Escal. This comes off well; here's a wise officer.
Ang. Go to: what quality are they of? Elbow
is your name? Why dost thou not speak, Elbow
Clo. He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.
Ang. What are you, sir?

?

Elb. He, sir? a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one
that serves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was,
as they say, pluck'd down in the suburbs; and now
she professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a
very ill house too.

(1) Fxamine. (2) Suited. (3) Pass judgment.
(4) Plain. (5) Because. (6) Sentence.
(7) Thickest, thorny paths of vice. (8) Wealth.

I

Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir. Clo. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therefore in the right: but, to the point: as I say, this say, with child, and bemistress Elbow, being, as ing great belly'd, and longing, as I said, for prunes; and having but two in the dish, as I said, master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly; -for, as you know, master Froth, I could not give you three-pence again.

Froth. No, indeed.

Clo. Very well: you being then, if you be re member'd, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes.

Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

Clo. Why, very well: I telling you then, if you be remember'd, that such a one, and such a one, were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they Froth. All this is true. kept very good diet, as I told you. Clo. Why, very well then.

pur

Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the
hath cause to complain of? Come me to what was
pose.-What was done to Elbow's wife, that he
done to her.

Clo. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.
Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.

Clo. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your hoFroth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year; nour's leave and I beseech you, look into master whose father died at Hallowmas :-Was't not a Hallowmas, master Froth?

Froth. All-hollond's eve.

Clo. Why, very well; I hope here be truths: he, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower14 chair, sir; 'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to sit : have you not?

Froth. I have so; because it is an open room.

and good for winter.

(9) Well told. (10) Partly. (11) Keeps a bagnio,
(12) For protest. (13) Eve of All Saints day.
(14) Easy.

Clo. Why, very well then;-I hope here be truths.

Ang. This will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave, And leave you to the hearing of the cause; Hoping, you'll find good cause to whip them all. Escal. I think no less: good morrow to your lordship. [Exit Angelo.

Clo. Mistress Over-done.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband?
Clo. Nine, sir; Over-done by the last.

Escal. Nine!-Come hither to me, master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters; they will draw you, master Froth, and you will hang them: get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.

Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's Froth. I thank your worship: for mine own wife, once more? part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, Clo. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her but I am drawn in.

once.

Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: fare

Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man well. [Exit Froth.]-Come you hither to me, did to my wife?

[blocks in formation]

Escal. Ay, sir, very well.

Clo. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Escal. Well, I do so.

Clo. Doth your honour see any harm in his face?
Escal. Why, no.

master tapster; what's your naine, master tapster? Clo. Pompey.

Escal. What else?

Clo. Bum, sir.

Escal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you; so that, in the beastliest sense, you are Pompey the great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapster. Are you not? come, tell me true; it shall be the better for you.

Clo. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow, that would live.

Clo. I'll be suppos'd' upon a book, his face is Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being the worst thing about him: good then; if his face a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pombe the worst thing about him, how could master Froth do the constable's wife any harm? I would know that of your honour.

pey? is it a lawful trade?

Clo. If the law would allow it, sir.
Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey;

Escal. He's in the right: constable, what say nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna. you to it?

Clo. Does your worship mean to geld and spay

Escal. No, Pompey.

Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a re-all the youth in the city? spected house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected woman.

Clo. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.

Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet: the time is yet to come, that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.

Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.

Escal. Which is the wiser here? justice, or iniquity? Is this true?

Clo. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't then if your worship will take order for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: it is but heading and hanging.

Clo. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give out a commission for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house. Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wick-in it, after three-pence a bay: if you live to see ed Hannibal! I respected with her, before I was this come to pass, say Pompey told you so. married to her? If ever I was respected with her, Es al. Thank you, good Pompey and, in reor she with me, let not your worship think me the quital of your prophecy, hark you,-I advise you, poor duke's officer:-Prove this, thou wicked Han- let me not find you before me again upon any comnibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee. plaint whatsoever, no, not for dwelling where you Escal. If he took you a box o' the ear, you do if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, might have your action of slander too. and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you; in plain dealElb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it:ing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so for this what is't your worship's pleasure I should do with time Pompey, fare you well. this wicked caitiff? Clo. I thank your worship for your good counEscal. Truly, officer, because he hath some of-sel; but I shall follow it, as the flesh and fortune fences in him, that thou wouldst discover if thou shall better determine. couldst, let him continue in his courses, till thou Whip me! No, no; let carman whip his jade; know'st what they are. The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade. [Ex. Eb. Marry, I thank your worship for it:-thou Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon hither, master Constable. How long have you thee; thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou been in this place of constable? art to continue.

Escal. Where were you born, friend? [To Froth.
Froth. Here, in Vienna, sir.

Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?
Froth. Yes, and't please you, sir.
Escal. So.-What trade are you of, sir?
[To the Clown.

Clo. A tapster: a poor widow's fapster.
Escal. Your mistress s name?

(1, Deposed, sworn (2) Constable or Clown.)

Elb. Seven years and a half, sir.

Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time: You say, seven years together?

Elb. And a half, sir.

Escal. Alas! it hath been great pains to you! They do you wrong to put you so oft upon't: Are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it? Elb. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters:

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinua »