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Fran. It is a man's voice : Gentle Isabella, Tum you the key, and know his business of him ; You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn : When

you

have vowd, you must not speak with men, But in the presence of the prioress : 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. [Exit FRAN. 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 you : Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.

Isab. Woe me! For what?

Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be his judge, He should receive his punishment in thanks : He hath got his friend with child.

Isab. Sir, make me not your story.

Lucio.. It is true.
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 talked 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 thus : Your brother and his lover have embrac'd: As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time, That from the seedness the bare fallow brings To teeming foison ; even so her plenteous womb

(9) It is a quality of the lapwing, that is here alluded to, perpetually to fly so low and so near the passenger, that he thinks he has it, and then is suddenly gone again. This made it a proverbial expression to signify a lover's falsehood; and it seems to be a very old one. WARBURTON.

(1) i. é. Be assured, I would not mock you. So afterwards : « Do not believe it :" i. e. Do not suppose that I would mock you. MALONE.

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Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

Isab. Some one with child by him ?-My cousin Juliet?
Lucio. Is she your cousin ?

Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their names,
By vain though apt affection.
Lucio. She it is.
Isab. O, let him marry

her!
*Lucio. 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 it ;
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 weep and kneek
All their petitions are as freely theirs

:

As they themselves would owe them.

Isab. l'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. Good sir, adieu.

[Exeunt

ACT II. SCENE I.-A Hall in Angelo's House. Enter ANGELO,

ESCALUS, a Justice, Provost, Officers, and other Attendants.

Angelo.
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 attained th' 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 hira they try : What's open made to justice, That justice seizes. What know the laws, That thieves do pass on thieves ? 'Tis very pregnant, The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,

(2] The abbess, or prioress.

JOHNSON

Because we see it;but what we do not see,
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence,
For I have had such faults ;- but rather tell me,
When I, that censure bim, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.

Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Ang. Where is the provost ?
Pro. Here, if it like your honour.

Ang. See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning :
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepar'd;
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.

[Exit Prov
Escal. Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all !
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall :
Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none ;
And some condemned for a fault alonę.

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 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 christians 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 ?

Clown. He cannot, sir ; he's out at elbow. Ang. What are you, sir ? Elb. He, sir ? a tapster, sir ; parcel-bawd ; one that (3) 'Tis plain that we must act with bad, as with good; we punish the faults, as we take the advantages that lie in our way, and what we do not see we cannot note:

[4] i e. because, by reason that I have bad such faults. JOHNSON

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JOHNSON

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?

El. My wife, sir, whom I detest 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.

Clown. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.

Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable man, prove it.

Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces ? [TO ANG

Clown. 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 fruit-dish, 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.

Clown. 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.

Clown. Very well : you being then, if you be remember'd, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes. Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

[5] A not-house, is an Englisb name for a dagnio.

JOHNSON,

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