Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

That most ungrateful boy there, by your side,
From the rude sea's enrag'd and foamy mouth
Did I redeem; a wreck past hope he was:
His life I gave him, and did thereto add
My love, without retention, or restraint,
All his in dedication: for his sake,
Did I expose myself, pure for his love,
Into the danger of this adverse town;
Drew to defend him, when he was beset;
Where being apprehended, his false cunning
(Not meaning to partake with me in danger),
Taught him to face me out of his acquaintance,
And grew a twenty-years-removed thing,
While one would wink; denied me mine own purse,
Which I had recommended to his use,
Not half an hour before.

How can this be?

Vio.
Duke. When came he to this town?
Ant. To-day, my lord; and for three months before
(No interim, not a minute's vacancy),
Both day and night did we keep company.

Enter Olivia and Attendants.

Duke. Here comes the countess; now heaven walks

on earth.

But for thee, fellow, fellow, thy words are madness:
Three months this youth hath tended upon me;
But more of that anon.Take him aside.

Oli. What would my lord, but that he may not have,
Wherein Olivia may seem serviceable ?-
Cesario, you do not keep promise with me.

Vio. Madam?

Duke. Gracious Olivia,——

[lord,

Oli. What do you say, Cesario?-Good my
Vio. My lord would speak, my duty hushes me.
Oli. If it be aught to the old tune, my lord,
It is as fat and fulsome so mine ear,

As howling after music.

Duke.

Still so cruel ?

Oli. Still so constant, lord.
Duke. What! to perverseness? you uncivil lady,
To whose ingrate and unauspicious altars
My soul the faithful'st offerings hath breath'd out,
That e'er devotion tender'd! What shall I do?
Oli. Even what it please my lord, that shall be-
come him.

Duke. Why should I not, had I the heart to do it,
Like to the Egyptian thief, at point of death,
Kill what I love; a savage jealousy,
That sometime savours nobly?-But hear me this:
Since you to non-regardance cast my faith,
And that I partly know the instrument

[ocr errors]

That screws me from my true place in your favour,
Live you, the marble-breasted tyrant, still;
But this your minion, whom, I know, you love,
And whom, by heaven I swear, I tender dearly,
Him will I tear out of that cruel eye,
Where he sits crowned in his master's spite.-
Come boy, with me; my thoughts are ripe in mis-
I'll sacrifice the lamb that I do love,
[chief:
To spite a raven's heart within a dove. [Going.
Vio. And I, most jocund, apt, and willingly,
To do you rest, a thousand deaths would die.

Oli. Where goes Cesario?

Vio.

[Following.
After him I love,
More than I love these eyes, more than my life,
More by all mores, than e'er I shall love wife:
If I do feign, you witnesses above,

Punish my life, for tainting of my love!

Oli. Ah me, detested! how am I beguil'd!

Priest. A contract of eternal bond of love,
Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands,
Attested by the holy close of lips,

Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings;
And all the ceremony of this compact

Seal'd in my function, by my testimony:

Since when, my watch hath told me, toward my grave,

I have travelled but two hours.

Duke. O, thou dissembling cub! what wilt thou be,
When time hath sow'd a grizzle on thy case?
Or will not else thy craft so quickly grow,
That thine own trip shall be thine overthrow?
Farewell, and take her; but direct thy feet,
Where thou and I henceforth may never meet.
Vio. My lord, I do protest,-
Oli.
O, do not swear:
Hold little faith, though thou hast too much fear.
Enter Sir Andrew Ague-cheek, with his Head broke.
Sir And. For the love of God, a surgeon; send one
presently to sir Toby.

Oli. What's the matter?

Sir And. He has broke my head across, and has given sir Toby a bloody coxcomb too: for the love of God, your help: I had rather than forty pound, 1 were at home.

Oli. Who has done this, sir Andrew?

Sir And. The count's gentleman, one Cesario: we took him for a coward, but he's the very devil incardinate.

Duke. My gentleman, Cesario?

Sir And. Od's lifelings, here he is:-You broke my head for nothing; and that that I did, I was set on to do't by sir Toby.

Vio. Why do you speak to me? I never hurt you:
You drew your sword upon me, without cause;
But I bespake you fair, and hurt you not.

Sir And. If a bloody coxcomb be a hurt, you have hurt me; I think, you set nothing by a bloody coxcomb.

Enter Sir Toby Belch, drunk, led by the Clown. Here comes sir Toby halting, you shall hear more: but if he had not been in drink, he would have tickledyou othergates than he did.

Duke. How now, gentleman? how is't with you! Sir To. That's all one; he has hurt me, and there's the end on't.-Sot, didst see Dick surgeon, sot!" Clo. O, he's drunk, sir Toby, an hour agone; bis eyes were set at eight i'the morning.

Sir To. Then he's a rogue. After a passy-measure, or a pavin, I hate a drunken rogue.

Oli. Away with him: Who hath made this havock with them?

Sir And. I'll help you, sir Toby, because we'll be dressed together.

Sir To. Will you help an ass-head, and a coxcomb, and a knave? a thin-faced knave, a gull ?

Oli. Get him to bed, and let his hurt be look'd to.
[Exeunt Clown, Sir Toby, and Sir Andrew.
Enter Sebastian.

Seb. I am sorry, madam, I have hurt your kinsman;
But, had it been the brother of my blood,
I must have done no less, with wit, and safety.
You throw a strange regard upon me, and
By that I do perceive it hath offended you;
Pardon me, sweet one, even for the vows
We made each other but so late ago.

Duke. One face,one voice,one habit,and two persons;
A natural perspective, that is, and is not.
Seb. Antonio, O my dear Antonio !

How have the hours rack'd and tortur'd me,

Ant. Sebastian are you?
Seb.
Fear'st thou that, Antonio?
Ant. How have you made division of yourself?
An apple, cleft in two, is not more twin'
Than these two creatures. Which is Sebastian?
Oli. Most wonderful!

Vio. Who does beguile you? who does do you wrong? Since I have lost thee.
Oli. Hast thou forgot thyself? Is it so long?-
Call forth the holy father." [Exit an Attendant.
Duke.
Come away. [To Viola.
Oli, Whither, my lord?-Cesario, husband, stay.
Duke. Husband f
Oli.
Ay, husband; Can he that deny ?
Duke. Her husband, sirrah?
Vio.
No, my lord, not I.
Oli. Alas, it is the baseness of thy fear,
That makes thee strangle thy propriety:
Fear not, Cesario, take thy fortunes up;
Be that thou know'st thou art, and then thou art
As great as that thou fear'st.-0, welcome, father!
Re-enter Attendant and Priest.
Father, I charge thee, by thy reverence,
Here to unfold (though lately we intended
To keep in darkness, what occasion now
Reveals before 'tis ripe), what thou dost know,
Hath newly past between this youth and me.

Seb. Do I stand there? I never had a brother:
Nor can there be that deity in my nature,
Of here and every where. I had a sister,
Whom the blind waves and surges have devour'd:-
Of charity, what kin are you to me? [To Viola.
What countryman? what name? what parentage?
Vio. Of Messaline: Sebastian was my father;
Such a Sebastian was my brother too,
So went he suited to his watery tomb :
If spirits can assume both form and suit
You come to fright us.

Seb.

A spirit I am, indeed; But am in that dimension grossly clad,

Which from the womb I did participate.
Were you a woman, as the rest goes even,
I should my tears let fall upon your cheek,
And say-Thrice welcome, drowned Viola!
Vio. My father had a mole upon his brow.
Seb. And so had mine.

[blocks in formation]

Ay, my lord, this same : Madam, you have done me wrong,

How now, Malvolio?
Mal.

Vio. And died that day when Viola from her birth Notorious wrong. Had number'd thirteen years.

Seb. O, that record is lively in my soul!

He finish'd, indeed, his mortal act,
That day that made my sister thirteen years.

Vio. If nothing lets to make us happy both,
But this my masculine usurp'd attire,

Do not embrace me, till each circumstance
Of place, time, fortune, do cohere, and jump,
That I am Viola: which to confirm,

I'll bring you to a captain in this town,

Oli.

Have I, Malvolio? no.

Mal. Lady, you have. Pray you, peruse that letter:
You must not now deny it is your hand,
Write from it, if you can, in hand, or phrase;
Or say, 'tis not your seal, nor your invention:
You can say none of this: Well, grant it then,
And tell me, in the modesty of honour,

Why you have given me such clear lights of favour;
Bade me come smiling, and cross-garter'd to you,
To put on yellow stockings, and to frown

Where fie my maiden weeds; by whose gentle help, Upon sir Toby, and the lighter people:

I was preserv'd, to serve this noble count:
All the occurrence of my fortune since
Hath been between this lady, and this lord.

[To Olivia.

Seb. So comes it, lady, you have been mistook :
But nature to her bias drew in that.
You would have been contracted to a maid;
Nor are you, therein, by my life, deceiv'd:
You are betroth'd both to a maid and man.
Duke. Be not amaz'd; right nobie is his blood.-
If this be so, as yet the glass seems true,
I shall have share in this most happy wreck :
Boy, thou hast said to me a thousand times, [To Vio.

Thou never shouldst love woman like to me.

Vio. And all those sayings will I over-swear;
And all those swearings keep as true in soul,
As doth that orbed continent the fire
That severs day from night.

Duke.
Give me thy hand;
And let me see thee in thy woman's weeds.
Vio. The captain, that did bring me first on shore,
Hath my maid's garments: he, upon some action,
Is now in durance: at Malvolio's suit,
A gentleman, and follower of my lady's.

Oli. He shall enlarge him.-FetchMalvolio hither:
And yet, alas, now I remember me,
They say, poor gentleman, he's much distract.
Re-enter Clown, with a Letter.

A most extracting phrensy of mine own
From my remembranee clearly banish'd his.
How does he, sirrah?

Clo. Truly, madam, he holds Belzebub at the stave's end, as well as a man in his case may do: he has here writ a letter to you, I should have given it you to-day morning; but as a madman's epistles are no gospels, so it skills not much, when they are delivered.

Oli. Open it, and read it.

And, acting this in an obedient hope,
Why have you suffer'd me to be imprison'd,
Kept in a dark house, visited by the priest,
And made the most notorious geck, and guil,
That e'er invention play'd on? tell me why.

Oli. Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing,
Though I confess, much like the character:
But, out of question, 'tis Maria's hand.
And now I do bethink me, it was she
First told me, thou wast mad; then cam'st in smiling,
And in such forms which here were presuppos'd
Upon thee in the letter. Pr'ythee, be content:
This practice hath most shrewdly pass'd upon thee;
But, when we know the grounds and authors of it,
Thou shalt be both the plaintiff and the judge
Of thine own cause.

Fab.

Good madam, hear me speak;
And let no quarrel, nor no brawl to come,
Taint the condition of this present hour,
Which I have wonder'd at. In hope it shall not,
Most freely I confess, myself, and Toby,
Set this device against Malvoto here,
Upon some stubborn and uncourteous parts
We had conceiv'd against him: Maria writ
The letter, at sir Toby's great importance:
In recompense whereof, he hath married her.
How with a sportful malice it was follow'd,
May rather pluck on laughter than revenge;
If that the injuries be justly weigh'd,
That have on both sides past.

Clo. Look then to be well edified, when the foola delivers the madman:-By the Lord, madam,—— Oli. How now? art thou mad?

Clo. No, madam, I do but read madness: an your ladyship will have it as it ought to be, you must allow

vox.

Oli. Pr'ythee, read i'thy right wits.

Clo. So I do, madonna; but to read his right wits, is to read thus therefore, perpend, my princess, and give ear.

Oli. Read it you, sirrah.

[To Fabian.
Fab. [Reals] By the Lord, madam, you wrong me,
and the world shall know it: though you have put me
into darkness, and given your drunken cousin rule over
me, yet have I the benefit of my senses as well as your
ladyship. I have your own letter that induced me to
the semblance I put on; with the which I doubt not but
to do myself much right, or you much shame. Think
of me as you please. I leave my duty a little unthought
of, and speak out of my injury.
The madly-used Malvolio.
Oli. Did he write this?
Clo. Ay, madam.

Duke. This savours not much of distraction.
Oli. See him deliver'd, Fabian; bring him hither.
[Exit Fabian.
My lord, so please you, these things furtherthought on,
To think me as well a sister as a wife,
One day shall crown the alliance on't, so please you,
Here at my house, and at my proper cost.

Duke. Madam, I am most apt to embrace your offer.-
Your master quitsyou; [To Vio.] and, for your service
So much against the mettle of your sex, [done him,
So far beneath your soft and tender breeding,
And since you call'd me master for so long,
Here is my hand; you shall from this time be
Your master's mistress.

Oli. Alas, poor fool! how have they baffled thee! Clo. Why, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrown upon them. I was one, sir, in this interlude; one sir Topas, sir; but that's all one :-By the Lord, fool, I am not mad ;barren rascal? an you smile not, he's gagg'd: And But do you remember? Madam, why laugh you at such thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges. Mal. I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you.

(Exit.

Oli. He hath been most notoriously abus'd.
Duke. Pursue him, and entreat him to a peace:-
He hath not told us of the captain yet;
When that is known, and golden time convents,
A solemn combination shall be made
Of our dear souls-Meantime, sweet sister,
We will not part from hence.-Cesario, come;
For so you shall be, while you are a man;
But, when in other habits you are seen,
Orsino's mistress, and his fancy's queen.

SONG.

[Exeunt.

Clo. When that I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
toy,
A foolish thing was but

For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
'Gainst knave and thief men shut their gate,
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came, alas! to wive,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.
But when I came unto my bed,

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken head,
For the rain it raineth every day.
A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.
[Exit

Vincentio, Duke of Vienna.

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

Angelo, Lord Deputy in the Duke's absence.

Froth, a foolish Gentleman.
Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over-done.

Escalus, an ancient Lord, joined with Angelo in the Abhorson, an Executioner.

Deputation.

Claudio, a young Gentleman.

Lucio, a Fantastic.

Two other like Gentlemen.

Varrius, a Gentleman, Servant to the Duke.

Provost.

Thomas,

Peter,

A Justice.

two Friars.

Elbow, a simple Constable.

ACT 1.

Barnardine, a dissolute Prisoner.

Isabella, Sister to Claudio.
Mariana, betrothed to Angelo.
Juliet, beloved by Claudio.
Francisca, a Nun.

Mis. Over-done, a Bawd.

Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other
Attendants.

SCENE, Vienna.

SCENE I. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.

Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants. Duke. ESCALUS,—

Escal. My lord.

Duke. Of government the properties to unfold, Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse; Since I am put to know that your own science, Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice

My strength can give you: then no more remains
But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms

For common justice, you are as pregnant in,
As art and practice hath enriched any
That we remember: there is our commission,
From which we would not have you warp.-Call hither,
I say, bid come before us Angelo.-

[Exit an Attendant.
What figure of us think you he will bear?
For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply;
Lent him our terror, drest him with our love;
And given his deputation all the organs

Of our own power: what think you of it?
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth

To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is lord Angelo.

Enter Angelo.

Duke. Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will, I come to know your pleasure.

Look, where he comes.

Duke.

Angelo,

There is a kind of character in thy life,
That, to the observer, doth thy history
Fully unfold: thyself and thy belongings
Are not thine own so proper, as to waste
Thyself upon thy virtues, them on thee.
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do;
Not light them for ourselves for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd,
But to fine issues: nor nature never lends
The smallest scruple of her excellence,
But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines
Herself the glory of a a creditor,

Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
To one that can my part in him advertise;
Hold, therefore, Angelo;

In our remove, be thou at fall ourself;

Mortality and mercy in Vienna

Live in thy tongue and heart: Old Escalus,
Though first in question, is thy secondary:
Take thy commission.

[blocks in formation]

What doth befall you here. So, fare you weli :
To the hopeful execution do I leave you
Of your commissions.
Ang.
Yet, give me leave, my lord,
That we may bring you something on the way.
Duke. My haste may not admit it;

Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do
With any scruple: your scope is as mine own;
So to enforce or qualify the laws,

As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand;
I'll privily away: I love the people,

But do not like to stage me to their eyes:
Though it do well, I do not relish well
Their loud applause, and aves vehement;
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
That does affect it. Once more, fare you well.
Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes !
Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happiness.
Duke, I thank you: fare you well.
[Exit.
Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
To have free speech with you; and it concerns me
To look into the bottom of my place:

A power I have; but of what strength and nature
I am not yet instructed.

Ang. "Tis so with me :-Let us withdraw together, And we may soon our satisfaction have Touching that point.

[blocks in formation]

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 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-pil'd piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be 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

[blocks in formation]

Enter Bawd.

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

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

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 ravin 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 morality 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.

Claud. One word, good friend-Lucio, a word [Takes him aside. Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.

with you.

Is lechery so look'd after?

[tract,

Claud. Thus stands it with me :-Upon a true con-
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

1 Gent. But most of all, agreeing with the procla-He can command, lets it straight feel the spur:

mation.

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 be pluck'd down.

Bawd. And what shall beoome of those in the city? Cio. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. Bawd. 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 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.

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.

SCENE III. The same.

[Exeunt.

Enter Provost, Claudio, Juliet, and Officers; Lucio, and two Gentlemen.

[world?

Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the 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?

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 enroll'd penalties,
Which have, like anscour'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.

Lucio. I warrant itis: 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,
And there receive her approbation :
Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
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 prone and speechless dialect,
Such as moves men; beside, she hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourse.

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,---
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 Can pierce a complete bosom: why I desire thee To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose 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; And held in idle price to haunt assemblies, Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.. I have delivered to lord Angelo (A man of stricture, and firm abstinence), My absolute power and place here in Vienna, 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 eurbs for head-strong steeds), Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep; Even like an overgrown 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 hid them do: for we bid this be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my father,
I have on Angelo impos'd the office;

Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home,
And yet my nature never in the sight,
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.

SCENE V. A Nunnery.

Enter Isabella and Francisca.

[Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

Isab. 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 men, But in the presence of the prioress:

[Exit.

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.
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

[blocks in formation]

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.

Isab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me. Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis Your brother and his lover have embrac'd: [thus: As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time,

[blocks in formation]

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
From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority,
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't:
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 sweep 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 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.

ACT II.

Good sir, adieu. [Exeunt.

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 Their perch, and not their terror. Escal.

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 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 wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,
Whether you had not sometime in your life
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,
Guiltier than him they try: what's open made to jus-
That justice seizes. What know the laws,
[tice,
That thieves do pass on thieves? "Tis very pregnant,
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.

« ZurückWeiter »