Imatges de pàgina

Men give like gods; but when they weep and



All their petitions are as freely their's
As they themselves would owe
Isab. I'll see what i can do.
Lucio. But speedily.
Isab. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother +
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. Good Sir, adieu.


SCENE L-A Hall in ANGELO's House,

Officers, and other Attendants.

the birds of prey,

Setting it up to fear
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch, and not their terror,

Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attain'd the effect of your own

Ang. Where is the provost ?

Prov. Here, if it like your honour.
Ang. See that Claudio


Be executed by nine to-morrow morning:
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared;
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.

[Exit PROVOST Escal. Well, heaven forgive him; and forgive us all!

Ang. We must not make a scare-crow of the or law,

W ar


Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes ‡‡ of vice, and answer


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 no thing but use their abuses in common houses, know no law; bring them away.

• Have.

↑ Scare.

1 Suited.

[ocr errors]


1 Thickest, thorny paths of vice.

[ocr errors]

Escal. Ay, but yet

Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death: Alas! this gen.

Whom I would save, had a most noble father,
Let but your honour know, §

(Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,)
That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time coher'd with place, or place with ho




[ocr errors]

+ Abbess.

6 Examine.

tt Sentence.





[ocr errors]


Whether you had not sometime in your life
Err'd in this point which now you censure him,ue
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
Guiltier than him they try: What's open made
to justice,

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

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 1, 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.



[ocr errors]



[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

be hath cause to complain of? Come me to | Thou seest, thon wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee; thou art to continue now, thou var. let; thou art to continue,

what was done to her.

Escal. Where were you born, friend?

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
honour's leave: And, I beseech you, look into
master Froth here, Sir; a man of fourscore
pound a year; whose father died at Hallowmas :
-Was't not at Hallowmas, master Froth ?

[blocks in formation]

Ang. This will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave,

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 ?

And leave you to the hearing of the cause;
Hoping, you'd find good cause to whip them all.
Escal. I think no less: Good morrow to your
Now, Sir, come on; What was done to Elbow's
wife, once more?

Clo. Once, Sir? there was nothing done to her


Elb. I beseech you, Sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.

Clo. Bum, Sir.

Escal. 'Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you; so that, in the beastliest sense,

Clo. I beseech your bonour, ask me. Escal. Well, Sir: What did this gentleman to you are Pompey the great. Pompey, you are her? partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it 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 beseech you, Sir, look in this gentle-in man's face-Good master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a good purpose: Doth your honour mark his face?

[blocks in formation]

Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice or
Iniquity? Is this true?

Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou
wicked Hannibal! I respected with her, before
I was married to her? If ever I was respected
with her, or she with me, let not your worship
think mie the poor duke's officer:-Prove this,
thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of
battery on thee.

Escal. If he took you a box o' ear, you might have your action of slauder too.

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it: What is't your worship's pleasure I should do with this wicked caititf?

[blocks in formation]


Froth. Here in Vienna, Sir.
Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?
Froth. Yes, an't please you, Sir.
Escal. So.-What trade are you of, Sir?
[To the CLOWN,
Clo. A tapster; a poor widow's tapster.
Escal. Your mistress's name?

Clo. Mistress Over-done.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one busband.

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.

Froth. I thank your worship: For mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in.

Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth; farewell. [Exit FROTH.-Come you hither to me, master tapster; what's your name, master tapster?

Clo. Pompey.

Escal. What else?

[blocks in formation]

Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: It is but beading 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 in it, after threepence a bay : If you live to see this come to pass, say, Pompey told you so.

Escal. Thank you, good Pompey: and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you,-1 advise you, let me not find you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever, no, not for dwelling where you do if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Clo. I thank your worship for your good counsel; but I shall follow it, as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.

Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade;
The valiant heart's not whipt out his trade.
Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow;
come hither, master Constable. How long have
you been in this place of constable {

Elb. Seven year and a balf, Sir.

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

• Measures.

[blocks in formation]

Ang. Well; the matter?

Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die:
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

Prov. Heaven give thee moving graces!
Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of

Why, every fault's condemn'd, ere it be done:
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To find the faults, whose fine stands in record.
And let go by the actor.

Isab. O just, but severe law !

I had a brother then.-Heaven keep your bonour!
Lucio. [To ISAB] Give't not o'er so; to him
again, entreat him;

Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
You are too cold: if you should need a pin,
| You could not with more tame a tongue desire

Enter LUCIO and ISABELLA. Prov. Save your honour ! [Offering to retire. Ang. Stay a little while.-To ISAB.] You are welcome: What's your will? Isab. I am a woeful snitor to your honour, Please but your honour hear me.

Ang. Well; what's your suit?

Isab. There is a vice, that most I do abhor,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice;
For which I would not plead, but that I must;
For which I must not plead, but that I am
At war 'twixt will and will not.


To him, 1 say.

Isab. Must be needs die?

Ang. Maiden, no remedy.

Isab. Yes; I do think that you might parka

And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.
Ang. I will not do't.

Isab. But can you, if you would ↑

Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isab. But might you do't, and do the world

no wrong,

If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse"
As mine is to him?

Ang. He's sentenc'd; 'tis too late,

Lucio. You are too cold. [To ISABELLA.
Isab. Too late t why, no; 1, that do speak a



May call it back again : Well believe
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace,
As mercy does. If he had been as you,
And you as he, you would have slipp'd like him;
But he, like you, would not have been so sters.
Ang. Pray you, begone.

Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency,
And you were Isabel! should it then be thus !
No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge,
And what a prisoner.

Lucio. Ay, touch bim: there's the vein.

Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spar'd.

Prov. I crave your honour's pardon.-
What shall be done, Sir, with the groaning Juliet ?
She's very near her hour.

Ang. Dispose of her

To some more fitter place; and that with speed. Found out the remedy: How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? Oh I think on that,
Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd, And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Desires access to you.
Like man new made.

Re-enter SERVANT.


Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And you but waste your words.
Isab. Alas! alas !

Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once,
And He that might the vantage best have took,

Ang. Hath he a sister?

Ang. Be you content, fair maid;

Prou. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous It is the law, not I, condemns your brother:
Were be my kinsman, brother, or my son,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.

It should be thus with him;-he must die to


Isab. To-morrow? Oh

Ang. Well let her be admitted. [Exit SERV.
See you, the fornicatress be remov'd;
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means;
There shall be order for it.

that's sudden! Spare
him, spare him :
He's not prepar'd for death! Even for our

We kill the fowl of season;t shall we serve

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Had answer'd for his deed: now, 'tis awake; Takes uote of what is done; and, like a prophet,

Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils,
(Either now, or by remissness new-conceiv'd,
And so in progress to be hatch'd and born,)
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, where they live, to end.


Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
Your brother dies to-morrow; be content.

Isab. So, you must be the first that gives this sentence;

And he, that suffers: Oh! it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

Lucio. That's well said.

Isab. Could great men thunder

As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer,
Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but
Merciful heaven!

Isab. Yet show some pity.

Ang. I show it most of all, when I show Where prayers cross.

For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall ;
And do him right, that answering one foul

Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,


Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled
Than the soft myrtle: Oh! but man, proud man!
Drest in a little brief authority;

Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd-
His glassy essence,-like an angry ape,

Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep: who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Lucio. Oh! to him, to him, wench: he will relent;

He's coming, I perceive't.

Prov. Pray heaven, she win him!

Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with


From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.

Ang. Well come to me

Great men may jest with saints: 'tis wit in them; But, in the less, foul profanation.

Lucio. Thou'rt in the right, girl; more o'that. Isab. That in the captain's but a choleric word,

Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Lucio. Art advis'd o' that? more on't.
Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?
Isab. Because authority, though it err like



Lucio. Go to; it is well; away.

Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself, That skins the vice o' the top: Go to your bosom; Knock there; and ask your heart, what it doth know

That's like my brother's fault: if it confess
A natural guiltiness, such as is his,

Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.

Ang. She speaks, and 'tis

Such sense, that my sense breeds with it.Fare you well.

Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.

Ang. I will bethink me :-Come again to

share with you.

Lucio. You had marr'd all, else.

Isab. Not with fond shekels of the tested


[Aside to ISABELLA. Isab. Heaven keep your honour safe! Ang. Amen for I

+ Knotted.

• Paltry. Attested, stamped. Preserved from the corruption of the world.

Am that way going to temptation,

Or stones, whose rates are either rich, or poor, As fancy values them but with true prayers, That shall be up at heaven, and enter there, Ere sunrise; prayers from preserved ý souls,

Isab. At what hour to-morrow Shall I attend your lordship? Ang. At any time 'fore noou. Isab. Save your honour!

pet, With all her double vigour, art, and nature, our-Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid Subdues me quite ;-Ever, till now,

When men were fond, I sinil'd, and wonder'd [Exit.


[ocr errors]

[Exeunt LUCIO, ISABELLA, and PROVOST. Ang. From thee; even from thy virtue !What's this? what's this? Is this her fault, or mine?

The tempter, or the tempted, who sins most?



Isab. Hark, how I'll bribe you: Good my
lord, turn back.
Ang. How! bribe me

Isub. Ay, with such gifts, that heaven shall Than die for this.


Not she; nor doth she tempt: but it is I,
That lying by the violet in the sun,
Do, as the carrion does, not as the flower,
Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be,
That modesty may more betray our sense
Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground

Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary,
And pitch our evils there? O fie, fie, fle!
What dost thou or what art thou, Angelo?
Dost thou desire her foully, for those things
That make her good! Oh! let her brother live:
Thieves for their robbery have authority.
When judges steal themselves. What? do I

love ber,
That I desire to hear her speak again,
And feast upon her eyes? What is't I dream on ?
O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint,
With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous
Is that temptation, that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue: never could the strum-

SCENE III.- A Room in a Prison. Enter DUKE habited like a Friar, and PROVOST. Duke. Hail to you, provost! so, I think you


Prov. I am the provost: What's your will, good friar ?

Duke. Bound by my charity, and my bless'd order,

I come to visit the afflicted spirits
Here in the prison: do me the common right
To let me see them; and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
To them accordingly.

Prov. I would do more than that, if more were needful.


Look, here comes one; a gentlewoman of mine, Who falling in the flames of her own youth, Hath blister'd her report: She is with child. And he that got it, sentenc'd: a young man More fit to do another such offence,

Duke. When must he die?

Prov. As I do think, to-morrow.I have provided for you; stay a while,

• See 2 Kings x.27.


And you shall be conducted. Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry ?

Juliet. I do; and bear the shame most pa


Duke. I'll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience,

And try your penitence, if it be sound,
Or hollowly put on.

Juliet. I'll gladly learn.

Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you? Juliet. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him.

Duke. So then, it seems, your most offenceful act Was mutually committed ? Juliet, Mutually.

Duke. Then was your sin of heavier kind

than his.

Juliet. I do confess it, and repent it, father. Duke. 'Tis meet so, daughter: But lest you do repent,

As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,-
Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, not
Showing, we'd not spare heaven, as we love it,
But as we staud in fear,-

Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil;
And take the shame with joy.

Duke. There rest.

Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow,
And I am going with instruction to him.-
Grace go with you! Benedicite!
Juliet. Must die to-morrow! O injurious
That respites me a life, whose very comfort
Is still a dying horror!

Pror. 'Tis pity of him.

[ocr errors]


SCENE IV A Room in ANGELO's House. Enter ANGEL

Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and pray

To several subjects: heaven hath my empty



Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: Heaven in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew his name;

And in my heart, the strong and swelling evil of my conception : The state, whereon studied,

Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein (iet no mau hear me) I take pride,
Could I, with boot, change for an idle plume,
Which the air beats for vain. O place! O form!
How often dost thon with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seening? Blood, thou still art

Let's write good angel on the devil's horn, 'Tis not the devil's crest.

Enter SERVANT. How now, who's there?

Serv. One Isabel, a sister, Desires access to you.

Ang. Teach her the way. O heavens!

[Exit SERV.

Why does my blood thus muster to my heart;
Making both it unable for itself,
And dispossessing all the other parts
Of necessary fitness?

So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons,
Come all to help him, and so stop the air
By which he should revive: and even so
The general, subject to a well-wish'd king,
Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught
Must needs appear offence.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Isub. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

Ang. Say you so then I shall pose you quickly.

Which had you rather, That the most just law.
Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem han,
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness,
As she that he bath stain'd?

Isab. Sir, believe this,

I had rather give my body than my soul.
Ang. I talk not of your soni: Our cumpel')
Stand more for number than accompt.
Isab. How say you?

Ang. Nay, Pil not warrant that; for I ar


Against the thing I say. Answer to this ;-
I, now the voice of the recorded law,
Pronounce a sentence ou your brother's life:
Might there not be charity in sin.

To save this brother's life?


Isab. Please you to do't,

I'll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.

Ang. Pleas'd you to do't, at peril of your soul, Were equal poise of sin and charity.

Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sim, Heaven, let me bear it! you granting of my suit,

If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
To have it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your answer.

Ang. Nay, but bear me:

Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,

Or seem so, craftily; and that's not good. Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,

But graciously to know I am no better. Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright,

When it doth tax itself: as these black masks Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times cuder Than beauty could displayed.-But mark me; To be received plain, I'll speak more gross : Your brother is to die.

Isab. So.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinua »