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to meet me two hours since; and he was ever pre

cise 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. 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?

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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 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. 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

(1) The sweating sickness.

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. [Exe. SCENE III-The same. Enter Provost, Claudio, Juliet, and Officers; Lucio, and two Gentlemen.

Claud. 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.

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?

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 ravin2 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 Wef 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.

(1) Gaoler.

(2) Voraciously devour.

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 look'd 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,

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
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur:
Whether the tyranny be in his place,

Or in his eminence that fills it up,

stagger in -But this new governor Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,

Which have, like unscour'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 it is: and thy head stands so tickle2 on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.

(1) Yearly circles.

(2) Ticklish.

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 prone2 and speechless dialect,

:

Such as moves men; besides, 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.

SCENE IV.A monastery.

Friar Thomas.

[Exeunt.

Enter Duke and

Duke. No; holy father; throw away that thought; Believe not that the dribbling dart of love Can pierce a cómplete bosom :3 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 ;4

And held in idle price to haunt assemblies,
Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps.5
I have delivered to lord Angelo

(A man of stricture,6 and firm abstinence,)

(1) Enter on her probation. (2) Prompt.
(3) Completely armed. (4) Retired.
(5) Showy dress resides. (6) Strictness.

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 headstrong steeds,) Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep; Even like an over-grown 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 bid them do: for we bid this be done, When evil deeds have their permissive pass, And not the punishment.

father,

Therefore, indeed, my

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

(1) Since.

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