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That stays upon me; whose persuasion is,
I come about my brother.



'Tis well borne up.

I have not yet made known to Mariana

Abhor. Do you call, sir?

Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you tomorrow in your execution: If you think it meet,

A word of this: - What, ho! within! come forth! compound with him by the year, and let him

Re-enter MARIANA.

I pray you be acquainted with this maid;

She comes to do you good.

I do desire the like.

Duke. Do you persuade yourself, that I respect

abide here with you; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him: He cannot plead his estimation. with you; he hath been a bawd.

Abhor. A bawd, sir? Fye upon him, he will discredit our mystery.

Prov. Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale. [Exit. Clo. Pray, sir, by your good favour, (for, surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that you have a Duke. Take then this your companion by the hanging look,) do you call, sir, your occupation a

Mari. Good friar, I know you do; and have found it.


Who hath a story ready for your ear:

I shall attend your leisure; but make haste;
The vaporous night approaches.

Will't please you walk aside? [Exeunt MARIANA and ISABELLA. Duke. O place and greatness, millions of false


Are stuck upon thee! volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Upon thy doings! thousand 'scapes of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
And rack thee in their fancies! - Welcome!



Abhor. Ay, sir; a mystery.

Clo. Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery; and your whores, sir, being members of my occupation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hang'd, I cannot imagine. Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery. Clo. Proof.

Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief : If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough; if it be too big for your thief, How your thief thinks it little enough: so every true man's apparel fits your thief.

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Enter Provost and Clown.

Prov. Come hither, sirrah: Can you cut off a man's head?

Clo. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can: but if he be a married man, he is his wife's head, and I can never cut off a woman's head.

Prov. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: Here is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves; ᎥᏝ . not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping; for you have been a notorious bawd.

Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time out of mind; but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some instruction from my fellow partner. Prov. What ho, Abnorson!


Where's Abhorson,

Re-enter Provost.

Prov. Are you agreed?

Clo. Sir, I will serve him; for I do find, your hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth oftener ask forgiveness.

Prov. You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe, to-morrow four o'clock.

Abhor. Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.

Cio. I do desire to learn, sir; and, I hope, if you have occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me yare: for, truly sir, for your kindness, I owe you a good turn.

Prov. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:

[Exeunt Clown and ABHORSON. One has my pity; not a jot the other, Being a murderer, though he were my brother.

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[Knocking within.

With that which he corrects, then were he tyrannous;
But this being so, he's just. - Now are they come. -
Provost goes out.
This is a gentle provost : Seldom, when
The steeled gaoler is the friend of men. ---
How now? What noise? That spirit's possess'd
with haste,

That wounds the unsisting postern with these strokes.

Provost returns, speaking to one at the door. Prov. There he must stay, until the officer Arise to let him in; he is call'd up.

not either deliver'd him to his liberty, or executed him? I have heard, it was ever his manner to do so. Prov. His friends still wrought reprieves for him: And, indeed, his fact, till now in the government of lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtf::l proof. Duke. Is it now apparent?

Prov. Most manifest, and not denied by himself. Duke. Hath he borne himself penitently in prison? How seems he to be touch'd?

Frov. A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully, but as a drunken sleep; careless, reck| less, and fearless of what's past, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal.

Duke. He wants advice.

Prov. He will hear none; he hath evermore had the liberty of the prison; give him leave to escape hence, he would not: drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very often awaked him, as if to carry him to execution, and show'd him a seeming warrant for it: it hath not moved him at all.

Duke. More of him anon. There is written in your brow, Provost, honesty and constancy: if I

Duke. Have you no countermand for Claudio yet, read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but But he must die to-morrow?

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in the boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here you have a warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo who hath sentenced him: To make you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four days respite; for the which you are to do me both a present and a dangerous courtesy.

Prov. Pray, sir, in what?

Duke. In the delaying death.

Prov. Alack! how may I do it? having the hour limited; and an express command, under penalty, to deliver his head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.

Duke. By the vow of mine order, I warrant you, if my instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine be this morning executed, and his head borne to Angelo.

Prov. Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour.

Duke. O, death's a great disguiser: and you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie the beard; and say, it was the desire of the penitent to be so bared before his death: You know, the course is common. If any thing fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good fortune, by the saint whom I I will plead against it with my life. Prov. Pardon me, good father: it is against my

When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended,
That for the fault's love, is the offender friended.-profess,
Now, sir, what news?

Prov. I told you: Lord Angelo, belike, thinking me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted putting on: methinks, strangely; for he hath not used it before.

Duke. Pray you, let's hear.

Prov. [Reads] Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let Claudio be executed by four of the clock; and, in the afternoon, Barnardine: for my better satisfaction, let me have Claudio's head sent me by five. Let this be duly perform'd; with a thought, that more depends on it than we must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your office, as you will answer it at your peril. What say you to this, sir?

Duke. What is that Barnardine, who is to be executed in the afternoon?

Prov. A Bohemian born; but here nursed up and bred: one that is a prisoner nine years old.


Duke. Were you sworn to the duke, or to the deputy?


Prov. To him, and to his substitutes. Duke You will think you have made no offence, if the duke avouch the justice of your dealing? Prov. But what likelihood is in that? Duke. Not a resemblance, but a certainty. since I see you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor my persuasion, can with ease attempt you, I will go further than I meant, to pluck all fee out of you. Look you, sir, here is the hand and seal of the duke. You know the character, I doubt not; and the signet is not strange to you. Prov. I know them both.

Duke. The contents of this is the return of the duke; you shall anon over-read it at your pleasure:

Duke. How came it, that the absent duke had | where you shall find, within these two days he will

be here. This is a thing, that Angelo knows not:
for he this very day receives letters of strange tecor:
perchance, of the duke's death; perchance, enter-
ing into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing
of what is writ. Look, the unfolding star calls up
the shepherd: Put not yourself into amazement,
how these things should be: all difficulties are but

easy when they are known. Call your executioner,
and off with Barnardine's head: I will give him a
present shrift, and advise him for a better place.
Yet you are amazed: but this shall absolutely
resolve you.
Come away; it is almost clear


- Another Room in the same. Enter Clown.

Clo. I am as well acquainted here, as 1 was in our house of profession: one would think, it were mistress Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old customers. First, here's young master Rash; he's in for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger, ninescore 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-colour'd satin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and young master Deep-vow, and master Copper-spur, and master Starve-lackey the rapier and dagger-man, and young Drop-heir that kill'd lusty Pudding, and master Forthright the tilter, and brave master Shoe-tie the great traveller, and wild Half-can that stabb'd Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in our trade, and are now for the Lord's sake.


Abhor. Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.

Clo. Master Barnardine! you must rise and be

hang'd, master Barnardine!

Abhor. What, ho, Barnardine!

Enter DUKE.

Abhor. Look you, sir, here comes your ghostly father; Do we jest now, think you?

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.

Barnar. 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.

Barnar. I swear, I will not die to-day for any man's persuasion.

Duke. But hear you,

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Here in the prison, father,
There died this morning of a cruel fever
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 inclined;
And satisfy the deputy with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?

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

Prov. This shall be done, good father, presently.
But Barnardine must die this afternoon :

Barnar. [Within.] A pox o' your throats! Who And how shall we continue Claudio,

makes that noise there? What are you?

Clo. Your friends, sir; the hangman: You must be so good, sir, to rise and be put to drath. Barnar. [Within.] Away, you rogue, away; I am sleepy.

Abhor. Tell him, he must awake, and that quickly too.

Clo. Pray, master Barnardine, awake till you are executed, and sleep afterwards.

Abhor. Go in to him, and fetch him out. Clo. He is coming, sir, he is coming; I hear his straw rustle.


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

Barnar. 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 come. Barnar. You rogue, I have been drinking all night, I am not fitted for't.

Clo. O, the better, sir; for he that drinks all night, and is hang'd betimes in the morning, may sleep the sounder all the next day.

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I'll make all speed.

Isab. [Wuhin.] Peace, ho, be bere!
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.


Isab. 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

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It is no other :

Isab. Nay, but it is not so.
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
By every syllable, a faithful verity:
The duke comes home to-morrow;


Lucio. Friar, thou knowest not the duke so well as I do he's a better woodman than thou takes? him for.

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?

Lucio. Yes, marry, did I: but 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.

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.

SCENE IV. — A Room in Angelo's House.
Escal. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouch'd

Ang. In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions show much like to madness: pray heaven, his wisdom be not tainted! And why meet him - nay, dry your at the gates, and re-deliver our authorities there? Escal. I guess not.

One of our convent, and his confessor,
Gives me this instance: Already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo;

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 If you can, pace despatch of complaints; and to deliver us from devices hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand against us.

Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
There to give up their power.

your wisdom

In that good path that I would wish it go;
And you shall have your bosom on this wretc
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,
If I pervert your course. — Who's here.


Enter LUCIO.

Friar, where is the provost ?


Good even!

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 lov'd thy brother: if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been at home, he had lived.

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Though sometimes you do blench from this to that, | That is your part: yet I'm advis'd to do it ;

As cause doth minister. Go, call at Flavius' house,
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.

F. Peter.

It shall be speeded well. [Exit Friar.

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He says, to veil full purpose.


Be rul'd by him. Isab. Besides, he tells me, that, if peradventure He speak against me on the adverse side,

I should not think it strange; for 'tis a physick,
That's bitter to sweet end.

Mari. I would, friar Peter -

O, peace; the friar is come.

Enter Friar PETER.

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SCENE I. A publick Place near the City Gate. MARIANA (veiled), ISABELLA, and PETER, at a distance. Enter at opposite doors, DUKE, VARRIUS, Lords; ANGELO, ESCALUS, Lucio, Provost, Officers, and Citizens,

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

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.

PETER and ISABELLA come forward.

F. Peter. Now is your time; speak loud, and kneel before him.

Isab. Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard
Upon a wrong'd, I'd fain have said, a maid!
Cworthy prince, dishonour not your eye
By throwing it on any other object,

Till you have heard me in my true complaint,
And given me, justice, justice, justice, justice!
Duke. Relate your wrongs: In what? By whom?
Be brief:

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,

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

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, 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.

Poor soul,

Duke. Away with her ;-She speaks this in the infirmity of sense. Isab. O prince, I cónjure thee, as thou believ'st There is another comfort than this world, That thou neglect me not, with that opinion, That I am touch'd with madness; make not impos

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