Measure for Measure - The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition] [9 vols.]
by William Shakespeare
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[Transcriber's Note:

This text of Measure for Measure is from Volume I of the nine-volume 1863 Cambridge edition of Shakespeare. The Preface (e-text 23041) and the other plays from this volume are each available as separate e-texts.

General Notes are in their original location at the end of the play. Text-critical notes are grouped at the end of each Scene. All line numbers are from the original text; line breaks in dialogue—including prose passages—are unchanged. Brackets are also unchanged; to avoid ambiguity, footnotes and linenotes are given without added brackets. In the notes, numerals printed as subscripts are shown inline as F1, F2, Q1...

Texts cited in the Notes are listed at the end of the e-text.]




Edited by

WILLIAM GEORGE CLARK, M.A. Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, and Public Orator in the University of Cambridge;

and JOHN GLOVER, M.A. Librarian Of Trinity College, Cambridge.


Cambridge and London: MACMILLAN AND CO. 1863.



VINCENTIO, the Duke. ANGELO, Deputy. ESCALUS, an ancient Lord. CLAUDIO, a young gentleman. LUCIO, a fantastic. Two other gentlemen. PROVOST. THOMAS, } two friars. PETER, } A Justice[2]. VARRIUS[2]. ELBOW, a simple constable. FROTH, a foolish gentleman. POMPEY, servant to Mistress Overdone[3]. ABHORSON, an executioner. BARNARDINE, a dissolute prisoner.

ISABELLA, sister to Claudio. MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo. JULIET, beloved of Claudio. FRANCISCA, a nun. MISTRESS OVERDONE, a bawd.

Lords, Officers, Citizens, Boy, and Attendants[2].



1: DRAMATIS PERSONAE] THE NAMES OF ALL THE ACTORS Ff (added at the end of the play). 2: Omitted in Ff. 3: Clowne. Ff.



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 5 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, 10 Our city's institutions, and the terms For common justice, you're 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, 15 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, dress'd him with our love, 20 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.

Duke. Look where he comes. 25


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

Duke. Angelo, There is a kind of character in thy life, That to th' observer doth thy history Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings 30 Are not thine own so proper, as to waste Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike 35 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 creditor, 40 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 full ourself; Mortality and mercy in Vienna 45 Live in thy tongue and heart: old Escalus, Though first in question, is thy secondary. Take thy commission.

Ang. Now, good my lord, Let there be some more test made of my metal, Before so noble and so great a figure 50 Be stamp'd upon it.

Duke. No more evasion: We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours. Our haste from hence is of so quick condition, That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd 55 Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, As time and our concernings shall importune, How it goes with us; and do look to know What doth befall you here. So, fare you well: To the hopeful execution do I leave you 60 Of your commissions.

Ang. Yet, give 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, 65 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 70 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! 75

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 80 I am not yet instructed.

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

Escal. I'll wait upon your honour. [Exeunt.

NOTES: I, 1.

SCENE I. Lords and Attendants.] Singer. Lords. Ff. and Attendants. Capell. 5: put] not Pope. apt Collier MS. 7, 8: remains, But that] remains; Put that Rowe. 8, 9: But that to your sufficiency ...] But that to your sufficiency you add Due diligency ... Theobald conj. But that to your sufficiency you joyn A will to serve us ... Hanmer. But that to your sufficiency you put A zeal as willing ... Tyrwhitt conj. But that to your sufficiencies your worth is abled Johnson conj. But your sufficiency as worth is able Farmer conj. Your sufficiency ... able Steevens conj. But that your sufficiency be as your worth is stable Becket conj. But state to your sufficiency ... Jackson conj. But thereto your sufficiency ... Singer. But add to your sufficiency your worth Collier MS. But that [tendering his commission] to your sufficiency. And, as your worth is able, let them work Staunton conj. But that to your sufficiency I add Commission ample Spedding conj. See note (I). 11: city's] cities Ff. 16: [Exit an Attendant.] Capell. 18: soul] roll Warburton. seal Johnson conj. 22: what] say, what Pope. 25: SCENE II. Pope. 27: your pleasure] F1. your Graces pleasure F2 F3 F4. 28: life] look Johnson conj. 28, 29: character ... history] history ... character Monck Mason conj. 32: they] them Hanmer. 35, 36: all alike As if we] all as if We Hanmer. 37: nor] om. Pope. 42: my part in him] in my part me Hanmer. my part to him Johnson conj. in him, my part Becket conj. 43: Hold therefore, Angelo:—] Hold therefore, Angelo: [Giving him his commission] Hanmer. Hold therefore. Angelo, Tyrwhitt conj. Hold therefore, Angelo, our place and power: Grant White. 45: Mortality] Morality Pope. 51: upon it] upon 't Capell. No more] Come, no more Pope. 52: leaven'd and prepared] Ff. leven'd and prepar'd Rowe. prepar'd and leaven'd Pope. prepar'd and level'd Warburton. prepar'd unleaven'd Heath conj. 56: to you] om. Hanmer. 61: your commissions] F1. your commission F2 F3 F4. our commission Pope. 66: laws] law Pope. 76: [Exit.] F2. [Exit. (after line 75) F1. 84: your] you F2.

SCENE II. A street.

Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen.

Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come not to composition with the King of Hungary, why then all the dukes fall upon the king.

First Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary's! 5

Sec. Gent. Amen.

Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped one out of the table.

Sec. Gent. 'Thou shalt not steal'? 10

Lucio. Ay, that he razed.

First 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, do relish the petition well that 15 prays for peace.

Sec. Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it.

Lucio. I believe thee; for I think thou never wast where grace was said.

Sec. Gent. No? a dozen times at least. 20

First Gent. What, in metre?

Lucio. In any proportion or in any language.

First 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 25 villain, despite of all grace.

First 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. 30

First Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou'rt a three-piled piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?

Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful 35 feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.

First Gent. I think I have done myself wrong, have I not? 40

Sec. Gent. Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted or free.

Lucio. Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof as come to— 45

Sec. Gent. To what, I pray?

Lucio. Judge.

Sec. Gent. To three thousand dolours a year.

First Gent. Ay, and more.

Lucio. A French crown more. 50

First Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou art full of error; I am sound.

Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound as things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee. 55


First Gent. How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?

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

Sec. Gent. Who's that, I pray thee? 60

Mrs Ov. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior Claudio.

First Gent. Claudio to prison? 'tis not so.

Mrs Ov. Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head to be chopped off. 65

Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so. Art thou sure of this?

Mrs Ov. 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 70 me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.

Sec. Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.

First Gent. But, most of all, agreeing with the proclamation. 75

Lucio. Away! let's go learn the truth of it.

[Exeunt Lucio and Gentlemen.

Mrs Ov. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. 80


How now! what's the news with you?

Pom. Yonder man is carried to prison.

Mrs Ov. Well; what has he done?

Pom. A woman.

Mrs Ov. But what's his offence? 85

Pom. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

Mrs Ov. What, is there a maid with child by him?

Pom. No, but there's a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?

Mrs Ov. What proclamation, man? 90

Pom. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.

Mrs Ov. And what shall become of those in the city?

Pom. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them. 95

Mrs Ov. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?

Pom. To the ground, mistress.

Mrs Ov. Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth! What shall become of me? 100

Pom. 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. 105

Mrs Ov. What's to do here, Thomas tapster? let's withdraw.

Pom. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison; and there's Madam Juliet. [Exeunt.

Enter PROVOST, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers.

Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world? 110 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 demigod Authority Make us pay down for our offence by weight 115 The words of heaven;—on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.

Re-enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen.

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, 120 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 125 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't murder? 130

Claud. No.

Lucio. Lechery?

Claud. Call it so.

Prov. Away, sir! you must go.

Claud. One word, good friend. Lucio, a word with you. 135

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, 140 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 145 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,— 150 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; 155 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 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 tickle 165 on thy shoulders, that a milkmaid, 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 prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my sister should the cloister enter 170 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 175 There is a prone and speechless dialect, Such as move 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 180 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. 185

Lucio. Within two hours.

Claud. Come, officer, away!


NOTES: I, 2.

SCENE II.] SCENE III. Pope. 12: First Gent. Why, 'twas] 1. Gent. Why? 'twas Ff. First Gent. Why? Luc. 'Twas Singer. 15: before] after Hanmer. See note (II). do] doth Hanmer. does Warburton. 22-26: Lucio. In any proportion ... language. First Gent. I think ... religion. Lucio. Ay, why not?... all grace.] Lucio. Not in any profession ... language, I ... religion. 2. Gent. And why not?... controversy. Lucio. As for ... all grace. Hanmer. See note (III). 29: lists] list Anon. conj. 42: Here Ff have Enter Bawde, transferred by Theobald to line 56. 43: SCENE IV. Pope. Bawd coming at a distance. Hanmer. 44: I have] 1. Gent. I have Pope (ed. 2). He has Halliwell. 48: dolours] Rowe. dollours Ff. dollars Pope. 56: SCENE IV. Johnson. 65: head] head is Rowe. head's Capell. 81: SCENE V. Pope. 88: with maid] with-made Seymour conj. 91: houses] bawdy houses Tyrwhitt conj. 96: all] om. Pope. 110: SCAENA TERTIA. Ff. Juliet] Ff. Gaoler. Halliwell. om. Collier MS. See note (IV).

[Transcriber's Note: Pope's Scene I.VI is not mentioned, but presumably begins here.]

113: Lord] om. F2 F3 F4. 115: offence] offence' (for offences) S. Walker conj. 115, 116: by weight The words] Ff. by weight; I' th' words Hanmer. by weight. The words Warburton (after Davenant). by weight—The sword Roberts conj. by weight The word Halliwell. by weight.—The word's Becket conj. by weight—The works Jackson conj. See note (V). 117: yet still 'tis just] yet 'tis just still S. Walker conj. 121: every scope] liberty Wheeler MS. 124: A thirsty evil] An evil thirst Davenant's version. A thirsted evil Spedding conj. 128: morality] Rowe (after Davenant). mortality Ff. 141: denunciation] pronunciation Collier MS. 143: propagation] F2 F3 F4. propogation F1. prorogation Malone conj. procuration Jackson conj. preservation Grant White. 147: most] om. Hanmer. 148: on] F1. in F2 F3 F4. 151: fault and] flash and Johnson conj. foult or Id. conj. foil and Anon. conj. fault and] flash and Johnson conj. fault or Id. conj. foil and Anon. conj. glimpse] guise Anon. conj. 161: nineteen] fourteen Whalley conj. 165: it is] so it is Hanmer (who prints line 165-167 as four verses ending stands, milkmaid, off, him. 166: she be] she be but Hanmer. 173: voice] name Wheler MS. 175: youth] zenith Johnson conj. 176: prone] prompt Johnson conj. pow'r Id. conj. proue Becket conj. 177: move] Ff. moves Rowe. beside] besides Capell. 181: under] F1. upon F2 F3 F4. on Hanmer, who prints 179-185 as six verses ending may, like, imposition, be, tick-tack, Lucio. imposition] inquisition Johnson conj. (withdrawn). 182: the enjoying of] om. Hanmer. who I would] which I'd Hanmer. 184: her] her strait Hanmer.

SCENE III. 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 5 Of burning youth.

Fri. T. May your grace speak of it?

Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than you How I have ever loved the life removed, And held in idle price to haunt assemblies Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps. 10 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, 15 And so it is received. Now, pious sir, You will demand of me why I do this?

Fri. T. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict statutes and most biting laws, The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds, 20 Which for this fourteen years we have let slip; Even like an o'ergrown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers, Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch, Only to stick it in their children's sight 25 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 30 Goes all decorum.

Fri. T. It rested in your Grace To unloose this tied-up justice when you pleased: 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, 35 '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 imposed the office; 40 Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike home, And yet my nature never in the fight To do in slander. And to behold his sway, I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, Visit both prince and people: therefore, I prithee, 45 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; 50 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. [Exeunt.

NOTES: I, 3.

SCENE III.] SCENA QUARTA Ff. SCENE VII. Pope. 3: bosom] breast Pope. 10: and witless] F2 F3 F4. witless F1. with witless Edd. conj. keeps] keep Hammer. 12: stricture] strictness Davenant's version. strict ure Warburton. 15: For] Far F2. 20: to] F1. for F2 F3 F4. weeds] Ff. steeds Theobald. wills S. Walker conj. 21: this] these Theobald. fourteen] nineteen Theobald. slip] Ff. sleep Theobald (after Davenant). 25: to] do Dent. MS. 26: terror] F1. errour F2 F3 F4. 26, 27: the rod Becomes more ... decrees] Pope (after Davenant). the rod More ... decrees Ff. the rod's More ... most just decrees Collier MS. 27: mock'd] markt Davenant's version. 34: do] om. Pope. 37: be done] om. Pope. 39: the] their Dyce conj. indeed] om. Pope. 42, 43: fight To do in slander] sight To do in slander Pope. fight So do in slander Theobald. sight To do it slander Hanmer. sight, So doing slander'd Johnson conj. sight To draw on slander Collier MS. right To do him slander Singer conj. light To do it slander Dyce conj. fight To do me slander Halliwell. win the fight To die in slander Staunton conj. never ... slander] ever in the fight To dole in slander Jackson conj. 43: And] om. Pope. 45: I] om. Pope. 47: in person bear me] Capell. in person beare Ff. my person bear Pope. 49: our] F1. your F2 F3 F4.

SCENE IV. A nunnery.


Isab. And have you nuns no farther 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. 5

Lucio [within]. Ho! Peace be in this place!

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 10 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.

Isab. Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls? 15

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? 20

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. 25

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. 30 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; 35 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 thus:— Your brother and his lover have embraced: 40 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 Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

Isab. Some one with child by him?—My cousin Juliet? 45

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; 50 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, 55 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 60 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 65 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 70 'Twixt you and your poor brother.

Isab. Doth he so seek his life?

Lucio. Has censured him Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath A warrant for his execution.

Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me 75 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, 80 Men give like gods; but when they weep 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; 85 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. 90


NOTES: I, 4.

SCENE IV.] SCENA QUINTA Ff. SCENE VIII. Pope. 5: sisterhood, the votarists] sister votarists Pope. 27: For that which] That for which Malone conj. 30: make me not your story] mock me not:—your story Malone. make me not your scorn Collier MS. (after Davenant). make ... sport Singer. It is true] Steevens. 'Tis true Ff. om. Pope. Nay, tis true Capell. 31: I would not] Malone puts a full stop here. 40: have] having Rowe. 42: That ... brings] Doth ... bring Hanmer. seedness] seeding Collier MS. 44: his] its Hanmer. 49: O, let him] F1. Let him F2 F3 F4. Let him then Pope. 50: is] who's Collier MS. 52: and] with Johnson conj. do] om. Pope. 54: givings-out] Rowe. giving-out Ff. 60: his] it's Capell. 63: for long] long time Pope. 68: hope is] hope's Pope. 70: pith of business 'Twixt] pith Of business betwixt Hanmer. See note (VI). pith of] om. Pope. 72: so seek] so, Seeke Ff. so? seek Edd. conj. Has] H'as Theobald. 71-75: Ff end the lines thus:— so,—already—warrant—poor—good. Capell first gave the arrangement in the text. 73: as] om. Hanmer. 74: A warrant for his] a warrant For's Ff. 78: make] Pope. makes Ff. 82: freely] F1. truely F2 F3 F4. Enter Provost inserted by Capell.


SCENE I. A hall in ANGELO'S house.

Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, and a Justice, Provost, Officers, and other Attendants, behind.

Ang. We must not make a scarecrow 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, 5 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, 10 Had time cohered 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, 15 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 20 Guiltier than him they try. What's open made to justice, That justice seizes: what know the laws That theives do pass on thieves? 'Tis very pregnant, The jewel that we find, we stoop and take't, Because we see it; but what we do not see 25 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 him, do so offend, Let mine own judgement pattern out my death, 30 And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.

Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.

Ang. Where is the provost?

Prov. Here, if it like your honour.

Ang. See that Claudio Be executed by nine to-morrow morning: Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared; 35 For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage. [Exit Provost.

Escal. [Aside] Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all! Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall: Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none; And some condemned for a fault alone. 40

Enter ELBOW, and Officers with FROTH and POMPEY.

Elb. Come, bring them away: if these be good people in a commonweal 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? 45

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? 50 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. 55

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?

Pom. He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.

Ang. What are you, sir? 60

Elb. He, sir! a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that serves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was, as they say, plucked 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? 65

Elb. 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,— 70

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? 75

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 Overdone's means: but as she 80 spit in his face, so she defied him.

Pom. 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? 85

Pom. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing, saving your honour's reverence, for stewed 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 90 dishes, but very good dishes,—

Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.

Pom. 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-bellied, and 95 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. 100

Froth. No, indeed.

Pom. Very well;—you being then, if you be remembered, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes,—

Froth. Ay, so I did indeed.

Pom. Why, very well; I telling you then, if you be remembered, 105 that such a one and such a one were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good diet, as I told you,—

Froth. All this is true.

Pom. Why, very well, then,— 110

Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to complain of? Come me to what was done to her.

Pom. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.

Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not. 115

Pom. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honour's leave. And, I beseech you, look into Master Froth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year; whose father died at Hallowmas:—was't not at Hallowmas, Master Froth?—

Froth. All-hallond eve. 120

Pom. Why, very well; I hope here be truths. He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir; 'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to sit, have you not?

Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, and 125 good for winter.

Pom. Why, very well, then; I hope here be truths.

Ang. This will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave, And leave you to the hearing of the cause; 130 Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all.

Escal. I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship.

[Exit Angelo.

Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?

Pom. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once. 135

Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.

Pom. I beseech your honour, ask me.

Escal. Well, sir; what did this gentleman to her?

Pom. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face. 140 Good Master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a good purpose. Doth your honour mark his face?

Escal. Ay, sir, very well.

Pom. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.

Escal. Well, I do so. 145

Pom. Doth your honour see any harm in his face?

Escal. Why, no.

Pom. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the constable's 150 wife any harm? I would know that of your honour.

Escal. He's in the right. Constable, what say you to it?

Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected woman. 155

Pom. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.

Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet! the time is yet to come that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child. 160

Pom. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.

Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice or Iniquity? Is this true?

Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked 165 Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married to her! If ever I was respected with her, or she with me, let not your worship think me the poor duke's officer. Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee. 170

Escal. If he took you a box o' th' ear, you might have your action of slander too.

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it. What is't your worship's pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff? 175

Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses till thou knowest what they are.

Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou seest, thou wicked varlet, now, what's come upon thee: thou art 180 to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.

Escal. Where were you born, friend?

Froth. Here in Vienna, sir.

Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?

Froth. Yes, an't please you, sir. 185

Escal. So. What trade are you of, sir?

Pom. A tapster; a poor widow's tapster.

Escal. Your mistress' name?

Pom. Mistress Overdone.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband? 190

Pom. Nine, sir; Overdone by the last.

Escal. Nine! Come hither to me, Master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters: they will draw you, Master Froth, and you will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you. 195

Froth. I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in.

Escal. Well, no more of it, Master Froth: farewell. [Exit Froth.] Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What's your name, Master tapster? 200

Pom. Pompey.

Escal. What else?

Pom. Bum, sir.

Escal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you; so that, in the beastliest sense, you are Pompey the 205 Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapster, are you not? come, tell me true: it shall be the better for you.

Pom. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.

Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a 210 bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?

Pom. If the law would allow it, sir.

Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey; nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna. 215

Pom. Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the youth of the city?

Escal. No, Pompey.

Pom. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't, then. If your worship will take order for the drabs and 220 the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: it is but heading and hanging.

Pom. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give out a commission 225 for more heads: if this law hold in Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it after three-pence a bay: if you live to see this come to pass, say Pompey told you so.

Escal. Thank you, good Pompey; and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you: I advise you, let me not find 230 you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever; no, not for dwelling where you do: if I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Caesar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so, for this time, Pompey, fare you well. 235

Pom. I thank your worship for your good counsel: [Aside] but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.

Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade: The valiant heart is not whipt out of his trade. [Exit. 240

Escal. Come hither to me, Master Elbow; come hither, Master constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?

Elb. Seven year and a half, sir.

Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had 245 continued in it some time. You say, seven years together?

Elb. And a half, sir.

Escal. Alas, it hath been great pains to you. They do you wrong to put you so oft upon't: are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it? 250

Elb. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all.

Escal. Look you bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish. 255

Elb. To your worship's house, sir?

Escal. To my house. Fare you well. [Exit Elbow. What's o'clock, think you?

Just. Eleven, sir.

Escal. I pray you home to dinner with me. 260

Just. I humbly thank you.

Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio; But there's no remedy.

Just. Lord Angelo is severe.

Escal. It is but needful: Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so; 265 Pardon is still the nurse of second woe: But yet,—poor Claudio! There is no remedy. Come, sir. [Exeunt.


6: fall] fell Warburton conj. 8, 9, 10: Let ... That, in the] Let ... whom I believe To ... whether in The Hanmer. Let ... whom I believe To ... virtue, and consider This, in the Capell. 12: your] Rowe (after Davenant) our Ff. 15: which now you censure him] you censure now in him Hanmer. which now you censure him for Capell. where now you censure him Grant White. 19: the] a Collier MS. 22: justice seizes] justice ceizes Ff. justice seizes on Pope. it seizes on Hanmer. know] Pope. knowes F1 F2. knows F3 F4. 23: very] om. Hanmer, ending lines 21, 22, 23 at made— seizes on— pregnant. 31: Sir] om. Pope. 31: After this line Ff have 'Enter Provost.' 36: [Exit Provost] Rowe. om. Ff. 37: [Aside] S. Walker conj. 38: This line is printed by Ff in italics. 39: from brakes of ice, and] through brakes of vice and Rowe. from brakes of vice, and Malone. from brakes of justice, Capell. from breaks of ice, and Collier. from brakes, off ice and Knight conj. 41: SCENE II. Pope. 57: they] you Rowe. 78: uncleanliness] F1. uncleanness F2 F3 F4. 79: the] that Hanmer. 85: [To Ange. Capell. 87: sir] om. F4. 88: distant] F1. instant F2 F3 F4. 96: but two] F1. no more F2 F3 F4. 107: very] om. Pope. 113: me] om. Pope. we Grant White. 115: nor] om. Pope. 117: into] unto Collier MS. 120: All-hallond] All-holland Pope. 122: chair, sir] chamber, sir Capell conj. chamber Anon. conj. 126: winter] windows Collier MS. 132: SCENE III. Pope. 186: you] ye F4. 194: hang] hang on Heath conj. 198: SCENE IV. Pope. 207: in] F1. om. F2 F3 F4. 214: nor] and Pope. 216: splay] spay Steevens. 221: the knaves] F1. knaves F2 F3 F4. 222: are F2 F3 F4. is F1. 225: year] Ff. years Rowe. 226: year] F1 years F2 F3 F4. 227: bay] day Pope. 234: Pompey] om. F4. 237: [Aside] Staunton. 241: SCENE V. Pope. 245: your] Pope. the Ff. 260: home] F1. go home F2 F3 F4. 267: There is] There's Pope.

SCENE II. Another room in the same.

Enter PROVOST and a Servant.

Serv. He's hearing of a cause; he will come straight: I'll tell him of you.

Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.] I'll know His pleasure; may be he will relent. Alas, He hath but as offended in a dream! All sects, all ages smack of this vice; and he 5 To die for 't!


Ang. Now, what's the matter, provost?

Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow?

Ang. Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thou not order? Why dost thou ask again?

Prov. Lest I might be too rash: Under your good correction, I have seen, 10 When, after execution, Judgement hath Repented o'er his doom.

Ang. Go to; let that be mine: Do you your office, or give up your place, And you shall well be spared.

Prov. I crave your honour's pardon. What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet? 15 She's very near her hour.

Ang. Dispose of her To some more fitter place, and that with speed.

Re-enter Servant.

Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd Desires access to you.

Ang. Hath he a sister?

Prov. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid, 20 And to be shortly of a sisterhood, If not already.

Ang. Well, let her be admitted. [Exit Servant. See you the fornicatress be removed: Let her have needful, but not lavish, means; There shall be order for 't.


Prov. God save your honour! 25

Ang. Stay a little while. [To Isab.] You're welcome: what's your will?

Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honour, Please but your honour hear me.

Ang. Well; what's your suit?

Isab. There is a vice that most I do abhor, And most desire should meet the blow of justice; 30 For which I would not plead, but that I must; For which I must not plead, but that I am At war 'twixt will and will not.

Ang. Well; the matter?

Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die: I do beseech you, let it be his fault, 35 And not my brother.

Prov. [Aside] Heaven give thee moving graces!

Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it? Why, every fault's condemn'd ere it be done: Mine were the very cipher of a function, To fine the faults whose fine stands in record, 40 And let go by the actor.

Isab. O just but severe law! I had a brother, then.—Heaven keep your honour!

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] Give't not o'er so: to him again, entreat him; Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown: You are too cold; if you should need a pin, 45 You could not with more tame a tongue desire it: To him, I say!

Isab. Must he needs die?

Ang. Maiden, no remedy.

Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy. 50

Ang. I will not do't.

Isab. But can you, if you would?

Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.

Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no wrong, If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse As mine is to him.

Ang. He's sentenced; 'tis too late. 55

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] You are too cold.

Isab. Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a word, May call it back again. Well, believe this, No ceremony that to great ones 'longs, Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword, 60 The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe, Become them with one half so good a grace As mercy does. If he had been as you, and you as he, You would have slipt like him; but he, like you, 65 Would not have been so stern.

Ang. Pray you, be gone.

Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency, And you were Isabel! should it then be thus? No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge, And what a prisoner.

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] Ay, touch him; there's the vein. 70

Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words.

Isab. Alas, alas! Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once; And He that might the vantage best have took Found out the remedy. How would you be, 75 If He, which is the top of judgement, should But judge you as you are? O, think on that; And mercy then will breathe within your lips, Like man new made.

Ang. Be you content, fair maid; It is the law, not I condemn your brother: 80 Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him: he must die to-morrow.

Isab. To-morrow! O, that's sudden! Spare him, spare him! He's not prepared for death. Even for our kitchens We kill the fowl of season: shall we serve heaven 85 With less respect than we do minister To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you; Who is it that hath died for this offence? There's many have committed it.

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] Ay, well said.

Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept: 90 Those many had not dared to do that evil, If the first that did the edict infringe Had answer'd for his deed: now 'tis awake, Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils, 95 Either now, or by remissness new-conceived, And so in progress to be hatch'd and born, Are now to have no successive degrees, But, ere they live, to end.

Isab. Yet show some pity.

Ang. I show it most of all when I show justice; 100 For then I pity those I do not know, Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall; And do him right that, answering one foul wrong. Lives not to act another. Be satisfied; Your brother dies to-morrow; be content. 105

Isab. So you must be the first that gives this sentence. And he, that suffers. O, it is excellent To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous To use it like a giant.

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] That's well said.

Isab. Could great men thunder 110 As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet, For every pelting, petty officer Would use his heaven for thunder. Nothing but thunder! Merciful Heaven, Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt 115 Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak Than the soft myrtle: but man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he's most assured, His glassy essence, like an angry ape, 120 Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens, Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] O, to him, to him, wench! he will relent; He's coming; I perceive't.

Prov. [Aside] Pray heaven she win him! 125

Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself: Great men may jest with saints; 'tis wit in them. But in the less foul profanation.

Lucio. Thou'rt i' the right, girl; more o' that.

Isab. That in the captain's but a choleric word, 130 Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] Art avised o' that? more on't.

Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?

Isab. Because authority, though it err like others. Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself, 135 That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom; Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know That's like my brother's fault: if it confess A natural guiltiness such as is his, Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue 140 Against my brother's life.

Ang. [Aside] She speaks, and 'tis Such sense, that my sense breeds with it. Fare you well.

Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.

Ang. I will bethink me: come again to-morrow.

Isab. Hark how I'll bribe you: good my lord, turn back. 145

Ang. How? bribe me?

Isab. Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] Yon had marr'd all else.

Isab. Not with fond shekels of the tested gold, Or stones whose rates are either rich or poor 150 As fancy values them; but with true prayers That shall be up at heaven and enter there Ere sun-rise, prayers from preserved souls, From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate To nothing temporal.

Ang. Well; come to me to-morrow. 155

Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] Go to; 'tis well; away!

Isab. Heaven keep your honour safe!

Ang. [Aside] Amen: For I am that way going to temptation, Where prayers cross.

Isab. At what hour to-morrow Shall I attend your lordship?

Ang. At any time 'fore noon. 160

Isab. 'Save your honour!

[Exeunt Isabella, Lucio, and Provost.

Ang. From thee,—even from thy virtue! What's this, what's this? Is this her fault or mine? The tempter or the tempted, who sins most? Ha! Not she; nor doth she tempt: but it is I 165 That, lying by the violet in the sun, Do as the carrion does, not as the flower, Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be That modesty may more betray our sense Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground enough, 170 Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary, And pitch our evils there? O, fie, fie, fie! What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo? Dost thou desire her foully for those things That make her good? O, let her brother live: 175 Thieves for their robbery have authority When judges steal themselves. What, do I love her, That I desire to hear her speak again, And feast upon her eyes? What is't I dream on? O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint, 180 With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous Is that temptation that doth goad us on To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet, With all her double vigour, art and nature, Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid 185 Subdues me quite. Ever till now, When men were fond, I smiled, and wonder'd how. [Exit.



[Transcriber's Note: Pope's Scene VII is not identified. Scene VIII begins at line 161.]

1: he will] he'll Pope. 4: but as offended] offended but as Grant White. 5: sects] sorts S. Walker conj. of this] o' th' Hanmer. 9: dost thou] om. Hanmer. 12: Go to] om. Hanmer. 14: honour's] om. Pope. 17: fitter] fitting Pope. 22: Well] om. Pope. 25: for't] for it Pope. God save] 'Save Ff. 26: a little] yet a Pope. 28: Please] 'Please Ff. Well] om. Pope. 30: And most] And more Rowe. 32: must not plead, but that] must plead, albeit Hanmer. must now plead, but yet Johnson conj. 40: To fine] to find Theobald. faults] fault Dyce. 46: more tame a] a more tame Rowe. 53: might you] you might S. Walker conj. 55: him.] him? Ff. 56: You are] Yo art F2. Thou art Collier MS. 58: back] F2 F3 F4. om. F1. Well,] and Hanmer. Well, believe] Well believe Knight. 59: 'longs] Theobald, longs Ff. belongs Pope. 73: that were] that are Warburton. 76: top] God Collier MS. 80: condemn] condemns Rowe. 82: must die] dies Pope. 83: Printed as two lines in Ff, the first ending sudden. 85: shall we serve] serve we Pope. 92: the first] Ff. the first man Pope. he, the first Capell (Tyrwhitt conj.). the first one Collier MS. but the first Grant White. the first he Spedding conj. the first that] he who first Davenant's version. did the edict] the edict did Keightley conj. 95: that shows what] which shews that Hanmer. 96: Either now] Or new Pope. Either new Dyce. 99: ere] Hanmer. here Ff. where Malone. 104: Be] Then be Pope. 107: it is] 'tis Pope. 108: it is] om. Hanmer. 111: ne'er] never F1. 113: Would] Incessantly would Hanmer. 114: Heaven] sweet Heaven Hanmer. 116: Split'st] splits F1. 117: but] F1. O but F2 F3 F4. proud] weak, proud Malone conj. 120: glassy] grassy Lloyd conj. 126: We] You Collier MS. cannot] can but Anon. conj. ourself] yourself Theobald (Warburton). 127: saints] sins Anon. conj. 129: i' the right] i' th right F1 F2. i' right F3 F4. right Pope. in the right Steevens. 132: avised] avis'd F1 F2. advis'd F3 F4. thou advis'd Hanmer. more on't] more on't, yet more Hanmer. 140: your] you F2. 142: breeds] bleeds Pope. 149: shekels] Pope. sickles Ff. cycles Collier conj. circles Collier MS. See note (VII). 150: rates are] Johnson. rate are Ff. rate is Hanmer. 157: Amen] Amen! I say Hanmer. See note (VIII). 159: Where] Which your Johnson conj. 160: your lordship] you lordship F2. you Hanmer. 161: 'Save] God save Edd. conj. 161: SCENE VIII. Pope. 163: Ha!] om. Pope. 166: by] with Capell. 172: evils] offals Collier MS. 183: never] ne'er Pope. 186: Ever till now] F1. Even till now F2 F3 F4. Even till this very now Pope. Ever till this very now Theobald. Even from youth till now Collier MS.

SCENE III. A room in a prison.

Enter, severally, DUKE disguised as a friar, and PROVOST.

Duke. Hail to you, provost!—so I think you are.

Prov. I am the provost. What's your will, good friar?

Duke. Bound by my charity and my blest order, I come to visit the afflicted spirits Here in the prison. Do me the common right 5 To let me see them, and to make me know The nature of their crimes, that I may minister To them accordingly.

Prov. I would do more than that, if more were needful.


Look, here comes one: a gentlewoman of mine, 10 Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth, Hath blister'd her report: she is with child; And he that got it, sentenced; a young man More fit to do another such offence Than die for this. 15

Duke. When must he die?

Prov. As I do think, to-morrow. I have provided for you: stay awhile, [To Juliet. And you shall be conducted.

Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?

Jul. I do; and bear the shame most patiently. 20

Duke. I'll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience, And try your penitence, if it be sound, Or hollowly put on.

Jul. I'll gladly learn.

Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you?

Jul. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him. 25

Duke. So, then, it seems your most offenceful act Was mutually committed?

Jul. Mutually.

Duke. Then was your sin of heavier kind than his.

Jul. I do confess it, and repent it, father.

Duke. 'Tis meet so, daughter: but lest you do repent, 30 As that the sin hath brought you to this shame, Which sorrow is always towards ourselves, not heaven, Showing we would not spare heaven as we love it, But as we stand in fear,—

Jul. I do repent me, as it is an evil, 35 And take the shame with joy.

Duke. There rest. Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow, And I am going with instruction to him. Grace go with you, Benedicite! [Exit.

Jul. Must die to-morrow! O injurious love, 40 That respites me a life, whose very comfort Is still a dying horror!

Prov. 'Tis pity of him. [Exeunt.


SCENE III.] SCENE IX. Pope. Act III. SCENE I. Johnson conj. 7: crimes that I may] several crimes that I May Seymour conj. 9: Enter JULIET] Transferred by Dyce to line 15. 11: flaws] F3 F4. flawes F1 F2. flames Warburton (after Davenant). 26: offenceful] offence full F1. 30: lest you do repent] F4. least you do repent F1 F2 F3. repent you not Pope. 33: we would not spare] Ff. we'd not seek Pope. we'd not spare Malone. we would not serve Collier MS. we'd not appease Singer conj. 36: There rest] Tis well; there rest Hammer. 39: Grace] So grace Pope. May grace Steevens conj. All grace Seymour conj. Grace go with you is assigned to Juliet by Dyce (Ritson conj.). 40: love] law Hanmer.

SCENE IV. A room in ANGELO'S house.


Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and pray To several subjects. Heaven hath my empty words; Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue, Anchors on Isabel: Heaven in my mouth, As if I did but only chew his name; 5 And in my heart the strong and swelling evil Of my conception. The state, whereon I studied, Is like a good thing, being often read, Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity, Wherein—let no man hear me—I take pride, 10 Could I with boot change for an idle plume, Which the air beats for vain. O place, O form, How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit, Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood: 15 Let's write good angel on the devil's horn; 'Tis not the devil's crest.

Enter a Servant.

How now! who's there?

Serv. One Isabel, a sister, desires access to you.

Ang. Teach her the way. O heavens! Why does my blood thus muster to my heart, 20 Making both it unable for itself, And dispossessing all my other parts Of necessary fitness? So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons: Come all to help him, and so stop the air 25 By which he should revive: and even so The general, subject to a well-wish'd king, Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love Must needs appear offence.


How now, fair maid? 30

Isab. I am come to know your pleasure.

Ang. That you might know it, would much better please me Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live.

Isab. Even so.—Heaven keep your honour!

Ang. Yet may he live awhile; and, it may be, 35 As long as you or I: yet he must die.

Isab. Under your sentence?

Ang. Yea. Isab. When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve, Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted 40 That his soul sicken not.

Ang. Ha! fie, these filthy vices! It were as good To pardon him that hath from nature stolen A man already made, as to remit Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven's image 45 In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easy Falsely to take away a life true made, As to put metal in restrained means To make a false one.

Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth. 50

Ang. Say you so? then I shall pose you quickly. Which had you rather,—that the most just law Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem him, Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness As she that he hath stain'd?

Isab. Sir, believe this, 55 I had rather give my body than my soul.

Ang. I talk not of your soul: our compell'd sins Stand more for number than for accompt.

Isab. How say you?

Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that; for I can speak Against the thing I say. Answer to this:— 60 I, now the voice of the recorded law, Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life: Might there not be a charity in sin To save this brother's life?

Isab. Please you to do't, I'll take it as a peril to my soul, 65 It is no sin at all, but charity.

Ang. Pleased you to do't at peril of your soul, Were equal poise of sin and charity.

Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sin, Heaven let me bear it! you granting of my suit, 70 If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer To have it added to the faults of mine, And nothing of your answer.

Ang. Nay, but hear me. Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant, Or seem so, craftily; and that's not good. 75

Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good, But graciously to know I am no better.

Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright When it doth tax itself; as these black masks Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder 80 Than beauty could, display'd. But mark me; To be received plain, I'll speak more gross: Your brother is to die.

Isab. So.

Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears, 85 Accountant to the law upon that pain.

Isab. True.

Ang. Admit no other way to save his life,— As I subscribe not that, nor any other, But in the loss of question,—that you, his sister, 90 Finding yourself desired of such a person, Whose credit with the judge, or own great place, Could fetch your brother from the manacles Of the all-building law; and that there were No earthly mean to save him, but that either 95 You must lay down the treasures of your body To this supposed, or else to let him suffer; What would you do?

Isab. As much for my poor brother as myself: That is, were I under the terms of death, 100 The impression of keen whips I'ld wear as rubies, And strip myself to death, as to a bed That longing have been sick for, ere I'ld yield My body up to shame.

Ang. Then must your brother die.

Isab. And 'twere the cheaper way: 105 Better it were a brother died at once, Than that a sister, by redeeming him, Should die for ever.

Ang. Were not you, then, as cruel as the sentence That you have slander'd so? 110

Isab. Ignomy in ransom and free pardon Are of two houses: lawful mercy Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant; And rather proved the sliding of your brother 115 A merriment than a vice.

Isab. O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out, To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean: I something do excuse the thing I hate, For his advantage that I dearly love. 120

Ang. We are all frail.

Isab. Else let my brother die, If not a feodary, but only he Owe and succeed thy weakness.

Ang. Nay, women are frail too.

Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves; 125 Which are as easy broke as they make forms. Women!—Help Heaven! men their creation mar In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail; For we are soft as our complexions are, And credulous to false prints.

Ang. I think it well: 130 And from this testimony of your own sex,— Since, I suppose, we are made to be no stronger Than faults may shake our frames,—let me be bold;— I do arrest your words. Be that you are, That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none; 135 If you be one,—as you are well express'd By all external warrants,—show it now, By putting on the destined livery.

Isab. I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord, Let me entreat you speak the former language. 140

Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.

Isab. My brother did love Juliet, And you tell me that he shall die for it.

Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

Isab. I know your virtue hath a license in't, 145 Which seems a little fouler than it is, To pluck on others.

Ang. Believe me, on mine honour, My words express my purpose.

Isab. Ha! little honour to be much believed, And most pernicious purpose!—Seeming, seeming!— 150 I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for't: Sign me a present pardon for my brother, Or with an outstretch'd throat I'll tell the world aloud What man thou art.

Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel? My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life, 155 My vouch against you, and my place i' the state, Will so your accusation overweigh, That you shall stifle in your own report, And smell of calumny. I have begun; And now I give my sensual race the rein: 160 Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite; Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes, That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother By yielding up thy body to my will; Or else he must not only die the death, 165 But thy unkindness shall his death draw out To lingering sufferance. Answer me to-morrow. Or, by the affection that now guides me most, I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for you, Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true. [Exit. 170

Isab. To whom should I complain? Did I tell this, Who would believe me? O perilous mouths, That bear in them one and the self-same tongue, Either of condemnation or approof; Bidding the law make court'sy to their will; 175 Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite, To follow as it draws! I'll to my brother: Though he hath fall'n by prompture of the blood, Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour, That, had he twenty heads to tender down 180 On twenty bloody blocks, he'ld yield them up, Before his sister should her body stoop To such abhorr'd pollution. Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die: More than our brother is our chastity. 185 I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request, And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest. [Exit.


SCENE IV.] SCENE X. Pope. 2: empty] om. Seymour conj. 3: invention] intention Pope. 4: Heaven] Heaven's Rowe. Heaven is Capell. 5: his] its Pope. 9: fear'd] scar'd Hanmer. sear Heath conj. stale Anon. conj. See note (IX). 10: take] took Seymour conj. 12: for vain. O place,] F4. for vaine. O place, F1 F2 F3. for vane. O place, or for vane o' the place. Manlone conj. 15: thou art blood] thou art but blood Pope. thou still art blood Malone. 17: 'Tis not] Is't not Hanmer. 'Tis yet Johnson conj. 18: desires] asks Pope. 21: both it] both that Pope. it both Collier MS. 22: all] om. Hanmer, who makes lines 19-23 end at blood, both that, dispossessing, fitness. 27: subject] F1 F2 F3. subjects F4. 28: part] path Collier MS. 31: SCENE XI. Pope. 33: demand] declare Hanmer. Your brother] He Hanmer. 34: your honour] you Hanmer. 45: sweetness] lewdness Hanmer. 46: easy] just Hanmer. 48: metal] Theobald. mettle Ff. means] mints Steevens conj. moulds Malone conj. 50: 'Tis ... earth] 'Tis so set down in earth but not in heaven Johnson conj. 51: Say] And say Pope. Yea, say S. Walker conj. ending lines 50, 51 at heaven, then I. 53: or] Rowe (after Davenant), and Ff. 58: for accompt] accompt Pope. 68: Were ... charity.] Were't ... charity? Hanmer. 'Twere ... charity. Seymour conj. 70: of] om. Pope. 71: make it my morn prayer] make't my morning prayer Hanmer. 73: your] yours Johnson conj. 75: craftily] Rowe (after Davenant). crafty Ff. 76: me] om. F1. 80: enshield] in-shell'd Tyrwhitt conj. 81: mark me] mark me well Hanmer. 90: loss] loose Singer MS. toss Johnson conj. list Heath conj. force Collier MS. 94: all-building] Ff. all-holding Rowe. all-binding Johnson. See note (X). 97: to let] let Hanmer. 103: have] I've Rowe. I have Capell. had Knight. See note (XI). sick] seek Johnson (a misprint). 104, 105: Capell (conj.) and Collier end the first line at must. 106: at] for Johnson conj. 111: Ignomy in] Ignomie in F1. Ignominy in F2 F3 F4. An ignominious Pope. 112, 113: mercy Is nothing kin] Ff. mercy sure Is nothing kin Pope. mercy is Nothing akin Steevens. See note (XII). 117: oft] very oft Hanmer, who ends lines 116, 117 at me ... have. 118: we would] we'd Steevens. This line printed as two in Ff. 122: feodary] F2 F3 F4. fedarie F1. 123: thy weakness] by weakness Rowe. to weakness Capell. this weakness Harness (Malone conj.). 126: make] take Johnson conj. 127: their] thy Edd. conj. 135: you be] you're Pope. 140: former] formal Warburton. 143: for it] Pope. for't Ff. 153: Pope ends the line at world. 163: redeem] save Pope. 171: should] shall Steevens. 172: perilous] most perilous Theobald. these perilous Seymour conj. pernicious S. Walker conj. 175: court'sy] curtsie Ff. 179: mind] mine Jackson conj. 185: Inverted commas prefixed to this line in Ff.


SCENE I. A room in the prison.

Enter DUKE disguised as before, CLAUDIO, and PROVOST.

Duke. So, then, you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?

Claud. The miserable have no other medicine But only hope: I've hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.

Duke. Be absolute for death; either death or life 5 Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life: If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art, Servile to all the skyey influences. That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st, 10 Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool; For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun, And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble; For all the accommodations that thou bear'st Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant; 15 For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep, And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself; For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains 20 That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not; For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get. And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain; For thy complexion shifts to strange effects, After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor; 25 For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows, Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey, And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none; For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire, The mere effusion of thy proper loins, 30 Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum, For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age. But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep, Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms 35 Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich, Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty, To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this That bears the name of life? Yet in this life Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear, 40 That makes these odds all even.

Claud. I humbly thank you. To sue to live, I find I seek to die; And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.

Isab. [within] What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!

Prov. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome. 45

Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.

Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you.


Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio.

Prov. And very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister. 50

Duke. Provost, a word with you.

Prov. As many as you please.

Duke. Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be concealed. [Exeunt Duke and Provost.

Claud. Now, sister, what's the comfort? 55

Isab. Why, As all comforts are; most good, most good indeed. Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven, Intends you for his swift ambassador, Where you shall be an everlasting leiger: 60 Therefore your best appointment make with speed; To-morrow you set on.

Claud. Is there no remedy?

Isab. None, but such remedy as, to save a head, To cleave a heart in twain.

Claud. But is there any?

Isab. Yes, brother, you may live: 65 There is a devilish mercy in the judge, If you'll implore it, that will free your life, But fetter you till death.

Claud. Perpetual durance?

Isab. Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint, Though all the world's vastidity you had, 70 To a determined scope.

Claud. But in what nature?

Isab. In such a one as, you consenting to't, Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, And leave you naked.

Claud. Let me know the point.

Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, 75 Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain, And six or seven winters more respect Than a perpetual honour. Darest thou die? The sense of death is most in apprehension; 75 And the poor beetle, that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant dies.

Claud. Why give you me this shame? Think you I can a resolution fetch From flowery tenderness? If I must die, 80 I will encounter darkness as a bride, And hug it in mine arms.

Isab. There spake my brother; there my father's grave Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die: Thou art too noble to conserve a life 85 In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy, Whose settled visage and deliberate word Nips youth i' the head, and follies doth emmew As falcon doth the fowl, is yet a devil; His filth within being cast, he would appear 90 A pond as deep as hell.

Claud. The prenzie Angelo!

Isab. O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell, The damned'st body to invest and cover In prenzie guards! Dost thou think, Claudio?— If I would yield him my virginity, 95 Thou mightst be freed.

Claud. O heavens! it cannot be.

Isab. Yes, he would give't thee, from this rank offence, So to offend him still. This night's the time That I should do what I abhor to name, Or else thou diest to-morrow.

Claud. Thou shalt not do't. 100

Isab. O, were it but my life, I'ld throw it down for your deliverance As frankly as a pin.

Claud. Thanks, dear Isabel.

Isab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow.

Claud. Yes. Has he affections in him, 105 That thus can make him bite the law by the nose, When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin; Or of the deadly seven it is the least.

Isab. Which is the least?

Claud. If it were damnable, he being so wise, 110 Why would he for the momentary trick Be perdurably fined?—O Isabel!

Isab. What says my brother?

Claud. Death is a fearful thing.

Isab. And shamed life a hateful.

Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; 115 To lie in cold obstruction and to rot; This sensible warm motion to become A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice; 120 To be imprison'd in the viewless winds, And blown with restless violence round about The pendent world; or to be worse than worst Of those that lawless and incertain thought Imagine howling:—'tis too horrible! 125 The weariest and most loathed worldly life That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment Can lay on nature is a paradise To what we fear of death.

Isab. Alas, alas!

Claud. Sweet sister, let me live: 130 What sin you do to save a brother's life, Nature dispenses with the deed so far That it becomes a virtue.

Isab. O you beast! O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch! Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice? 135 Is't not a kind of incest, to take life From thine own sister's shame? What should I think? Heaven shield my mother play'd my father fair! For such a warped slip of wilderness Ne'er issued from his blood. Take my defiance! 140 Die, perish! Might but my bending down Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed: I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death, No word to save thee.

Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel.

Isab. O, fie, fie, fie! 145 Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade. Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd: 'Tis best that thou diest quickly.

Claud. O, hear me, Isabella!

Re-enter DUKE.

Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.

Isab. What is your will? 150

Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I would require is likewise your own benefit.

Isab. I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile. 155 [Walks apart.

Duke. Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an assay of her virtue to practise his judgement with the disposition of natures: she, having the truth of honour in her, hath made him that 160 gracious denial which he is most glad to receive. I am confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to death: do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible: to-morrow you must die; go to your knees, and make ready. 165

Claud. Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love with life, that I will sue to be rid of it.

Duke. Hold you there: farewell. [Exit Claudio.] Provost, a word with you!

Re-enter PROVOST.

Prov. What's your will, father? 170

Duke. That now you are come, you will be gone. Leave me awhile with the maid: my mind promises with my habit no loss shall touch her by my company.

Prov. In good time. [Exit Provost. Isabella comes forward.

Duke. The hand that hath made you fair hath made 175 you good: the goodness that is cheap in beauty makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo hath made to you, fortune hath conveyed to my understanding; and, but that frailty hath examples for 180 his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How will you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother?

Isab. I am now going to resolve him: I had rather my brother die by the law than my son should be unlawfully born. But, O, how much is the good Duke deceived in 185 Angelo! If ever he return and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government.

Duke. That shall not be much amiss: yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation; he made trial of you only. Therefore fasten your ear on my advisings: to 190 the love I have in doing good a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit; redeem your brother from the angry law; do no stain to your own gracious person; and much please the absent Duke, if peradventure 195 he shall ever return to have hearing of this business.

Isab. Let me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to do any thing that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.

Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick the 200 great soldier who miscarried at sea?

Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.

Duke. She should this Angelo have married; was affianced to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between 205 which time of the contract and limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea, having in that perished vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark how heavily this befell to the poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most 210 kind and natural; with him, the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo.

Isab. Can this be so? did Angelo so leave her?

Duke. Left her in her tears, and dried not one of them 215 with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonour: in few, bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet wears for his sake; and he, a marble to her tears, is washed with them, but relents not.

Isab. What a merit were it in death to take this poor 220 maid from the world! What corruption in this life, that it will let this man live! But how out of this can she avail?

Duke. It is a rupture that you may easily heal: and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps you from dishonour in doing it. 225

Isab. Show me how, good father.

Duke. This forenamed maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection: his unjust unkindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current, made it more violent and unruly. 230 Go you to Angelo; answer his requiring with a plausible obedience; agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage, first, that your stay with him may not be long; that the time may have all shadow and silence in it; and the place answer to convenience. This 235 being granted in course,—and now follows all,—we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompense: and here, by this, is your brother saved, your honour untainted, the poor 240 Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt Deputy scaled. The maid will I frame and make fit for his attempt. If you think well to carry this as you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof. What think you of it? 245

Isab. The image of it gives me content already; and I trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.

Duke. It lies much in your holding up. Haste you speedily to Angelo: if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will presently to 250 Saint Luke's: there, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana. At that place call upon me; and dispatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly.

Isab. I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father.

[Exeunt severally. 255


1: of] for Hanmer. 4: I've] I'have Ff. 5: either] or Pope. 8: keep] reck Warburton. thou art] om. Hanmer. 10: dost] Ff. do Hanmer. 20: exist'st] Theobald. exists Ff. 24: effects] affects Johnson conj. 25: If] Though Hanmer. 28: unloads] unloadeth Pope. 29: sire] F4. fire F1 F2 F3. See note (XIII). 31: serpigo] Rowe. sapego F1. sarpego F2 F3 F4. 34: all thy blessed] pall'd, thy blazed Warburton. all thy blasted Johnson conj. all thy boasted Collier MS. 35: as aged] an indigent Hanmer. assuaged Warburton. assieged Becket conj. engaged Staunton conj. enaged Grant White conj. abased Edd. conj. 37: beauty] bounty Warburton. 38: yet] om. Pope. 40: more] moe Ff. a Hanmer. 46: sir] son Mason conj. 49: Look] om. Pope. 53: Bring me to hear them speak] Malone (Steevens conj.). Bring them to hear me speak F1. Bring them to speak F2 F3 F4. Bring me to stand Capell. 54: concealed] conceal'd F1. conceal'd, yet hear them F2 F3 F4. conceal'd, yet hear them speak Capell. Bring me where I conceal'd May hear them speak Davenant's version. 55: SCENE II. Pope. sister] good sister Hanmer. 57: most good, most good indeed] most good indeed Pope. most good in speed Hanmer. most good. Indeed Blackstone conj. See note (XIV). 60: leiger] ledger Capell. lieger Staunton. 62: set on] set out Pope. 64: To] Must Hanmer. 70: Though] Pope. Through Ff. 79: can a resolution fetch] want a resolution fetch'd Hanmer. 80: tenderness?] tenderness. Dyce (Heath conj.). 86: appliances] appliance Hanmer. 88: head] bred Grey conj. 89: falcon] falconer Grey conj. 90, 91: filth ... pond] pond ... filth Upton conj. 91, 94: prenzie] F1. princely F2 F3 F4. priestly Hanmer. precise Knight (Tieck conj.). rev'rend Staunton. saintly Hickson conj. pensive Anon. (N. & Q.) conj. frenzy!—princely Knight conj. printsy Taylor conj. pious Delius conj. phrenzied Anon. (N. & Q.) conj. primsie Anon. (N. & Q.) conj. pensie Bullock conj. See note (XV). 93: damned'st] damnest F1. 94: guards] garb Collier MS. 97: give't] grant Hanmer. give Warburton. from] for Hanmer. 103: dear] dearest Pope. 105: he] he then Hanmer. 111: Why] Why, Hanmer. 118: delighted] dilated Hanmer. benighted (Anon. conj. ap. Johnson). delinquent Upton conj. alighted Anon. conj. delated Anon. conj. in Fras. Mag. See note (XVI). 119: reside] recide F1 (and 249). 120: region] regions Rowe. 124, 125: those that ... thought Imagine] those, that ... thought, Imagine Ff. ... thoughts ... Theobald. those—that ... thought—Imagine Hanmer. those whom ... thought Imagines Heath conj. (after Davenant). 127: penury] F2 F3 F4. periury F1. and] om. Pope. 138: shield] F1. shield: F2 F3 F4. grant Pope. 141: but my] my only Pope. 145: Nay] om. Pope. 148: [Going. Capell. 149: SCENE III. Pope. Re-enter Duke] Capell. Duke steps in. F2. om. F1. Enter Duke and Provost. Rowe. 155: [Walks apart] Capell. 163: satisfy] falsify Hanmer. 168: [Exit C.] Exit. F2, after line 167, om. F1. See note (XVII). 174: Exit ... forward] Edd. [Exit. F2 om. F1. 176: cheap] chief Collier MS. 177: in goodness] in such goodness Hanmer. 179: to you] on you Hanmer. 183: him:] him, Dyce. 190, 191: advisings: ... good] Pope. advisings,... good; Ff. 192: uprighteously] uprightly Pope. 197: farther] , father F4. 204: She] Her Pope. was] he was Hanmer. 205: by] om. F1. and] om. F4. 217: few] F1 F2. few words F3 F4. her on] on her Capell conj. 219: a marble] as marble Anon. conj. tears] F1. ears F2 F3 F4. 228: unkindness] kindness Pope. 236: granted in course,—and now] granted incourse, and now Ff. granted, in course now Pope. 241: scaled] foiled Grant White. 244: from] and Rowe. 255: [Exeunt severally] [Exit Ff.

SCENE II. The street before the prison.

Enter, on one side, DUKE disguised as before; on the other, ELBOW, and Officers with POMPEY.

Elb. Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.

Duke. O heavens! what stuff is here?

Pom. 'Twas never merry world since, of two usuries, 5 the merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by order of law a furred gown to keep him warm; and furred with fox and lamb-skins too, to signify, that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.

Elb. Come your way, sir. 'Bless you, good father friar. 10

Duke. And you, good brother father. What offence hath this man made you, sir?

Elb. Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have sent to the Deputy. 15

Duke. Fie, sirrah! a bawd, a wicked bawd! The evil that thou causest to be done, That is thy means to live. Do thou but think What 'tis to cram a maw or clothe a back From such a filthy vice: say to thyself, 20 From their abominable and beastly touches I drink, I eat, array myself, and live. Canst thou believe thy living is a life, So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.

Pom. Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, 25 sir, I would prove—

Duke. Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin, Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer: Correction and instruction must both work Ere this rude beast will profit. 30

Elb. He must before the Deputy, sir; he has given him warning: the Deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if he be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.

Duke. That we were all, as some would seem to be, 35 From our faults, as faults from seeming, free!

Elb. His neck will come to your waist,—a cord, sir.

Pom. I spy comfort; I cry bail. Here's a gentleman and a friend of mine.

Enter LUCIO.

Lucio. How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels 40 of Caesar? art thou led in triumph? What, is there none of Pygmalion's images, newly made woman, to be had now, for putting the hand in the pocket and extracting it clutched? What reply, ha? What sayest thou to this tune, matter and method? Is't not drowned i' the last rain, ha? 45 What sayest thou, Trot? Is the world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words? or how? The trick of it?

Duke. Still thus, and thus; still worse!

Lucio. How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures 50 she still, ha?

Pom. Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in the tub.

Lucio. Why, 'tis good; it is the right of it; it must be so: ever your fresh whore and your powdered bawd: an 55 unshunned consequence; it must be so. Art going to prison, Pompey?

Pom. Yes, faith, sir.

Lucio. Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell: go, say I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? or how? 60

Elb. For being a bawd, for being a bawd.

Lucio. Well, then, imprison him: if imprisonment be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right: bawd is he doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-born. Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison, Pompey: you will turn good 65 husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house.

Pom. I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.

Lucio. No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage: if you take it not patiently, why, your mettle is the more. 70 Adieu, trusty Pompey. 'Bless you, friar.

Duke. And you.

Lucio. Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha?

Elb. Come your ways, sir; come.

Pom. You will not bail me, then, sir? 75

Lucio. Then, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad, friar? what news?

Elb. Come your ways, sir; come.

Lucio. Go to kennel, Pompey; go. [Exeunt Elbow, Pompey and Officers.] What news, friar, of the Duke? 80

Duke. I know none. Can you tell me of any?

Lucio. Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you?

Duke. I know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well. 85

Lucio. It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence; he puts transgression to't.

Duke. He does well in't. 90

Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him: something too crabbed that way, friar.

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