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With any scruple: your scope is as mine own,
Give me your hand :
So to enforce or qualify the laws
Escal. I shall desire you, Sir, to give me leave
To have free speech with you; and it concerns me
A power I have, but of what strength and nature
Ang. 'Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,
Touching that point.
I'll wait upon your honour.
SCENE II.-A Street.
Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen.
Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come not to composition with the king of Hungary, why then, all the dukes fall upon the king.
1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the king of Hungary's! 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.
I 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 shears between us.
Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet: thou art the list.
1 Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou art a three-piled piece, I warrant thee. I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be piled, as thou art piled, 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.
I 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! purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to—
2 Gent. To what, I pray?
I Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou art full of error: I am sound.
Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound as things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee.
Enter Mistress OVERDONE.
I Gent. How now! Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica ?
Mrs Ov. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested and carried to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.
2 Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?
Mrs Ov. Marry, Sir, that's Claudio, signior Claudio.
I Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so.
Mrs Ov. Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head is to be chopped off.
Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so. Art thou sure of this?
Mrs Ov. I am too sure of it: and it is for getting madam Julietta with child.
Lucio. Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.
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. Mrs Ov. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk.
Enter Clown. How now! what's the news with you? Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison. Mrs Ov. Well; what has he done? Clo. A woman.
Mrs Ov. But what's his offence?
Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.
Mrs Ov. 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?
Mrs Ov. What proclamation, man?
Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down. Mrs Ov. And what shall become of those in the city?
Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
Mrs Ov. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?
Clo. To the ground, mistress.
Mrs Ov. Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth ! What shall 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.
Mrs Ov. 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.
SCENE III.-The Same.
Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers.
Claud. Fellow, why dost thou shew me thus to the world?
Prov. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from lord Angelo by special charge.
Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen.
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
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 morality of imprisonment.— What's thy offence, Claudio?
Claud. What but to speak of would offend again.
Lucio. What is it? murder?
Claud. Call it so.
Prov. Away, Sir! you must go.
Claud. One word, good friend.—Lucio, a word with you.
[Takes him aside.
Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.-Is lechery so looked after?
Claud. Thus stands it with me :-Upon a true contract,
I got possession of Julietta's bed:
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Claud. Unhappily, even so.
And the new deputy now for the duke,-
Or whether that the body public be
1 stagger in :—but this new governor
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall
Freshly on me :-'tis surely, for a name.
Lucio. I warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found.
I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service.
This day my sister should the cloister enter,
I have great hope in that; for in her youth
Such as moves men: beside, she hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade.
Lucio. I pray she may; as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours.
Come, officer, away!
SCENE IV.-A Monastery.
Enter Duke and Friar THOMAS.
Duke. No, holy father; throw away that thought: