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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 80 : Art thou sure of this ? Bawd. I am too sure of it : and it is for getting madam

I
Julietta with child.
Lucio. Believe me, this

may be : he promised to meet me two hours since ; and he was ever precise in pro

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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. 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.
Clown. Yonder man is carried to prison,
Bawd. Well; what has he done ?
Clown. A woman.
Bawd. But what's his offence ?
Clown. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.
Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him ?

Clown. No; but there's a woman with maid by him : You have not heard of the proclamation, have you.? Bawd. What proclamation, man?

Clown. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.

Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city ?

Clown. 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?

Clown. To the ground, mistress.

Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth - What shall become of me?

Clown. Come ; fear not you : good counsellors lack

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[5] This may allude to the sweating sickness, of which the memory was very fresh in the time of Shakespeare: but more probably to the method of cure then used for the diseases contracted in brothels. JOHNSON

Ro 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.

Clown. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison : and there's madam Juliet.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.

Enter Provost, Claudio, Juliet, and Officers ; Lucio, and

two Gentlemen. Clau. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world? Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

Prov. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from lord Angelo by special charge.

· Clan. 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 l'estraint ?

Clau. 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 ?

Clau. What, but to speak of would offend again.
Lucio. What is it? murder ?
Clau. No.
Lucio. Lechery?

[6] Authority, being absolute in Angelo, is finely stiled by Claudio, the demi-god. To this uncontroulable power, the poet applies a passage from St. Paul to the Romans, ix. 15, 18, which he properly styles, the words of heaven : “ for he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,” &c. And again : “ Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy," &c. HENLEY. 17] To ravin was formerly used for eagerly or voraciously devouring any thing.

STEEVENS

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Clau. Call it so.
Prov. Away, sir ; you must go.
Clau. 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 look'd after ?

Clau. 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, Save that we do th' 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 ?

Clau. 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
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur:
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 th' enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by th' wall
So long, that nineteen zodiacks 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, 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.

Clay. 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
2

VOL. II.

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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,
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.

Clau. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours,
Clau. 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 deliver'd 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 curbs for head-strong steeds) Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep; Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey : Now, as fond fathers

[8] Think not that a breast completely armed can be pierced by the dart of love, that comes fluttering without force.

A dribber, in archery, was a term of contempt. STEEVENS.

JOHNSON

Who may,

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 bid 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 ;

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 prythee,
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. [Exe.

SCENE V.
A Nunnery. Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA.
Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges ?
Fran. Are not these large enough?

Isab. Yes, truly : I speak not as desiring more ;
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of saint Clare.
Lucio. [Within.] Ho! peace be in this place !
Isab. Who's that which calls ?

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