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From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
Governs lord Angelo; a man, whose blood
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law,
Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother.
Has censur'd him
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
Assay the power you have.
Isab. My power! alas! I doubt,—
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,
As they themselves would owes them.
Isub. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother||
• Extent. Sentenced.
+ Power of gaining favour.
Commend me to my brother: soon at night
Good sir, adieu.
SCENE I. 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
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 knowt
(Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue), That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time coher'dį with place, or place with wishing,
Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,
Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
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
That justice seizes. What know the laws,
That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very preg
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
You may not so extenuate his offence,
Fort I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
Where is the provost ?
Prov. Here, if it like your honour.
See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning:
[Exit Provost. Escal. Well, heaven forgive him; and forgive us
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none;
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
Pass judgement. + Plain.
Thickest, thorny paths of vice.
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?
Elb. If it please your honour, I know not well what they are: but precise villains they are, that I am sure of; and void of all profanation in the world, that good Christiaus 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; parcelt-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.
Escal. How know you that?
Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detestý before heaven 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: but as she spit in his face, so she defied him..
Clo. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.
* Well told.
Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou 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.
Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir. Clo. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in the right: but, to the point: as I say, this mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being 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 I 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: your being then, if you be remember'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 kept very good diet, as I told you.
Froth. All this is true.
Clo. Why, very well then.
Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to complain of? Come me to what was 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 honour's leave and I beseech you, look into master Froth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year;