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Marr. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away ;
Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often stilld my brawling discontent. [Erit Boy

Enter Duke.
I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
You had not found me here so musical :
Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
My mirth it much displeas'd, but pleas'd my woe.

Duke. 'Tis good : though music oft hath such a charm, To make bad, good, and good provoke to harm. I pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired for me here to-day? much upon this time have I promis’d here to meet.

Mari. You have not been inquired after : I have sat here all day. Duke. I do constantly believe you :

Enter ISABELLA. The time is come, even now. I shall crave your forbearance a little ; may be, I will call upon you anon for some advantage to yourself. Mari. I am always bound to you.

[Eicit. Duke. Very well met, and welcome. What is the news from this good deputy ?

Isab. He bath a garden circummurd with brick,'
Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd ;
And to that yineyard is a planched gate,
That makes his opening with this bigger key:
This other doth command a little door,
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads ;
There have I made my promise to call on him,
Upon the heavy middle of the night.
Duke. But shall you on your knowledge find this way?

Isab. I have ta’en a due and wary note upon't;
With whispering and most guilty diligence,
In action all of precept, he did show me
The way twice o'er.

Duke. Are there no other tokens
Between you 'greed, concerning her observance ?

On whose tops the pinks that grow,

Are of those that April wears.
But first set my poor heart free,

Bound in those icy chains by thee. WARBURTON.
Circummured, walled round. JOHNSON
i. e. A gate made of boards; planshe. Fr. A plancher is a plank. STEEV

Isab. No, none, but only a repair i' th' dark;
And that I have possessed him, my most stay
Can be but brief: for I have made him know,
I have a servant comes with me along,
That stays upon me; whose persuasion is,
I come about my brother,

Duke. 'Tis well borne up.
I have not yet made known to Mariana
A word of this :—What, ho! within ! come forth!

Re-enter MARIANA.
I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;
She comes to do you good.

Isab. I do desire the like.
Duke. Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?
Mari. Good friar, I know you do; and have found it.

Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand,
Who hath a story ready for your ear:
I shall attend your leisure ; but make haste;
The vaporous night approaches.
Mari. Wilt please you walk aside ?

[Exe. MARI. and ISAB.
Duke. O place and greatness, millions of false eyes
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! how agreed ?

Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA.
Isab. She'll take the enterprize upon her, father,
If
you

advise it.
Duke. It is not my consent,
But my entreaty too.

Isab. Little have you to say
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
Remember now my brother.

Mari. Fear me not.

Duke. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all : He is your

husband on a pre-contráct: To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin ; Sith that the justice of your title to him Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go ; Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to sow. [Exeunt

1

SCENE II.
A room in the Prison. Enter Provost and Clown.
Prov. Come hither, sirrah: Can you cut off a man's head?

Clown. 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 ; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an unpitied whipping ; for you

have been a notorious bawd. Clown. 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, Abhorson ! where's Abhorson, there?

Enter ABHORSON. Abhor. Do you call, sir ?

Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow in your execution: If you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let him 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. Clown. Pray, sir, by your good favour, (for, surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that you have a hanging look,) do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery ?

Abhor. Ay, sir, a mystery.

Clown. 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.
Clown. 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 thics, your thief thinks it little enough : so every true man's apparel fits your thief.

Re-enter Provost. Prov. Are you agreed ?

Clown. 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.

Clown. 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 :
One has my pity ; not a jot the other,
Being a murderer, though he were my brother.

[Exeunt Clown and ABHORSON.

Enter CLAUDIO.
Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death :
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow
Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine ?

Clau. As fast lock'd up in sleep, as guiltless labour
When it lies starkly* in the traveller's bones:
He will not wake.

Prov. Who can do good on him ?
Well, go, prepare yourself. But hark, what noise ?

[Knocking within.
Heaven give your spirits comfort !-By and by :
I hope it is some pardon, or reprieve, [Exit CLAU.
For the most gentle Claudio.-Welcome, father.

Enter Duke.
Duke. The best and wholesomest spirits of the night
Envelop you, good provost! Who called here of late ?

Prov. None, since the curfew rung.
Duke. Not Isabel?
Prov. No.
Duke. They will then, ere't be long.
Prov. What comfort is for Claudio ?

[4] Starkly--Stiffy. These two lines afford a very pleasing image. JOAN,

Duke. There's some in hope.
Prod. It is a bitter deputy.

Duke. Not so, not so; his life is paralleld
Even with the stroke and line of his great justice ;
He doth with holy abstinence subdue
That in bimself, which he spurs on bis power
To qualify in others : Where he meal’ds
With that which he corrects, then were he tyrannous ;
But this being so, he's just.-[Knocking within.] 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.

Duke. Have you no countermand for Claudio yet, But he must die to-morrow ?

Prov. None, sir, none.

Duke. As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.

Prov. Happily,
You something know; yet, I believe, there comes
No countermand; no such example have we :
Besides, upon the very siege of justice,
Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
Profess'd the contrary.

Enter a Messenger.
Duke. This is his lordship’s man.
Prov. And here comes Claudio's pardon.

Mess. My lord hath sent you this note ; and by me, this further charge, that you swerve not from the smallest ar. ticle of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance. Good-morrow ; for, as I take it, it is almost day. Prov. I shall obey him.

[Exit Messenger. Duke. [.Asi.] This is his pardon; purchas'd by such sin, For which the pardoner himself is in : Hence hath offence his quick celerity, When it is borne in high authority:

(5) Where he sprinkled, where he defiled. A figure of the same kind our author uses in Macbeth :-. The blood-boller'd Banquo." JOHNSON.

(6) i. e. seat of justice. Siege, French STEEVENS.

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