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as he spit in his face, so she defied him.
Clo. Sir, if it please your honor, this is not so. Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honorable man, prove it.
Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces?
To ANGELO. Clo. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing (saving your honors reverence) for stew'd prunes; sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very distant time stood as it were, in a fruitdish, a dish of some three-pence: your honors have seen such dishes; they are not china dishes, but very good dishes.
Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir. Clo. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therefore in the right; but, to the point: as I say, this mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great belly'd, and longing, as I said, for prunes; and having but two in the dish, as I said, master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly; -for, as you know, master Froth, I could not give you three-pence again.
Froth. No, indeed.
Clo. Very well: you being then, if you be remember'd, cracking the stones of the 'foresaid prunes.
Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.
Clo. Why, very well: I telling you then, if you be remember'd, 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.
Clo. Why, very well then.
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.
Clo. Sir, your honor cannot come to that yet.
Clo. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honor'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-hollond1 eve.
Clo. 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 good for winter.
Clo. 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; 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?
Clo. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her
Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife?
Clo. I beseech your honor, ask me.
Escal. Well, sir: what did this gentleman to her? Clo. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face:-Good master Froth, look upon his honor; 'tis for a good purpose: doth your honor mark his face?
Escal. Ay, sir, very well.
Clo. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Clo. Doth your honor see any harm in his face!
Clo. I'll be suppos'd3 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 wife any harm? I would know that of your honor.
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.
Eve of All Saints day.
Clo. 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.
Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.
Escal. Which is the wiser here? justice or inquity? Is this true?
Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked 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. Escal. If he took you a box o' the 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 should do with this wicked caitiff?
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 know'st what they are.
Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it :-thou seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee; thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.
Escal. Where were you born, friend?
Froth. Here, in Vienna, sir.
Clo. A tapster: a poor widow's tapster.
Clo. Mistress Over-done.
Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband?
Clo. Nine, sir; Over-done 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.
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? Clo. Pompey. Escal. What else?
Escal. No, Pompey.
Clo. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to 't then if your worship will take orders for the drabs and 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.
Clo. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten years together, you'll be glad to give out a commission for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna ten years, I'll rent the fairest house in it, after three-pence a day: 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 you before me again upon any comConstable or Clown. For cannibal.
plaint whatsoever, no, not for dwelling where you! do: If I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so for this time, Pompey, fare you well.
Clo. I thank your worship for your good counsel; but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.
Whip me! No, no; let carman whip his jade;
\Exit. Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come hither, master Constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?
Elb. Seven years and a half, sir.
Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time: You say, seven years together?
Elb. And a half, sir.
Ang. Stay a little while.-[TO ISAB.] You are welcome: What's your will? Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honor: Please but your honor 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 justico; 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? Isub. I have a brother is condemned to die. I do beseech you, let it be his fault, And not my brother. Prov. Heaven give thee moving graces. Ang. Condemn the fault and not the actor of it! Why, every fault's condemned, ere it be done: Mine were the very cipher of a function, To fine the faults, whose fine stands in record, And let go by the actor. Isab.
O just, but severe law!
I had a brother then.- Heaven keep your honor!
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. Ang. I will not do't.
If so, your heart were touch'd with that remorse
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Serv. He's hearing of a cause; he will come The marshall's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
I'll tell him of you.
Prov. Pray you do. [Exit. Servant.] I'll know
All sects, all ages, smack of this vice; and he
Become them with one half so good a grace,
Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency,
Lucio. Ay, touch him: there's the vein, [Aside. Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words.
why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once:
Go to; let that be mine. Like man new made.
Do your office, or give up your place,
Prov. I crave your honor's pardon.—
To some more fitter place; and that with speed.
See you, the fornicatress be remov'd;
Enter Lucio and ISABELLA.
Prov. Save your honor!
Ang. Be you content, fair maid; It is the law, not I, condemns your brother: Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him:- he must die to-mor
Those many had not dar'd to do that evil,
If the first man that did the edict infringe,
Had answer'd for his deed: now, 'tis awake;
[Offering to retire. (Either now, or by remissness new-conceived,
And so in progress to be hatch'd and born)
Isab. So you must be the first that gives this sentence;
And he, that suffers: 0, it is excellent
Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
Lucio. Thou'rt in the right, girl; more o' that. Isab. That in the captain's but a choleric word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
Lucio. Art advis'd 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,
That skins the vice o' the top: Go to your bosom;
She speaks, and 'tis
Such sense, that my sense breeds with it.- Fare
Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.
Ang. I will bethink me:- Come again to-mor
That modesty may more betray our sense
Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary,
And feast upon her eyes? What is 't I dream on?
To sin in loving virtue; never could the strumpet
When men were fond, I smil'd, and wonder'd how. [Exit.
SCENE III.- A Room in a Prison. Enter DUKE, habited like 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 bless'd order, Here in the prison: do me the common right I come to visit the afflicted spirits 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.
Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you? Jutiet. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him. Duke. So then, it seems, your most offenceful act Was mutually committed!
Of my conception: The state, whercon I studied,
When it doth tax itself: as these black masks Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder Than beauty could displayed. But mark me; To be received plain, I'll speak more gross: Your brother is to die.
Ang And his offence is so, as it appears 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, Finding yourself desir'd of such a person, Whose credit with the judge, or own great place, Could fetch your brother from the manacles Of the all-binding law; and that there were No earthly mean to save him, but that either You must lay down the treasures of your body To this supposed, or else 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,
The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies, And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing I have been sick for, ere I'd yield My body up to shame.
Then must your brother die. Istb. And 'twere the cheaper way: 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?
Isab. Ignomy in ransom, and free pardon,
Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant;
And rather prov'd the sliding of your brother
Isab. O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out,
Isab. When? I beseech you? that in his reprieve, I something do excuse the thing I hate, Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted,
That his soul sicken not.
Ang. Ha! fye, these filthy vices! It were as good
Their saucy sweetness, that do coin heaven's image,
Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.
Sir, believe this,
I, now the voice of the recorded law,
I'll take it as a peril to my soul, It is no sin at all, but charity.
For his advantage that I dearly love.
Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he,
Nay, women are frail too. Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves;
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Isab. have no tongue but one: gentle my lord, Let me entreat you, speak the former language. 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 licence in 't, Which seems a little fouler than it is,
Ang. Pleas'd you to do 't, at peril of your soul, To pluck on others. 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,
Nay, but hear me: Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, craftily; and that's not good.
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, ■ The people.
Believe me, on mine honor, My words express my purpose.
Isab. Ha! little honor to be much believ'd, And most pernicious purpose!-Seeming, seeming. 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, My vouch against you, and my place i' the state, Will so your accusation overweigh, That you shall stifle in your own report, ↑ Impressions
4 Covered. • Associate. • Own.
And smell of calumny. I have begun;
That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Then Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest. [Exit.
SCENE I-4 Room in the Prison. Enter Duke, CLAUDIO, and Provost. Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord Angelo!
Claud. The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope:
I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.
Duke. Be absolute for death: either death, or life, 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 skiey influences,)
That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
For ending thee no sooner: Thou hast nor youth,
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Isab. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!
Prov. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister.
Duke. Provost, a word with you.
As many as you please. Duke. Bring them to speak, where I may be
Yet hear them.
But is there any?
Isab. Yes, brother, you may live;
But in what nature? Isab. In such a one as (you consenting to 't) And leave you naked. Would bark your honor from that trunk you bear,
Let me know the point. Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain, And six or seven winters more respect Than a perpetual honor. Dar'st thou die? The sense of death is most in apprehension; And the poor beetle that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant dies.
Why give you me this shame? Think you I can a resolution fetch From flowery tenderness? If I must die, I will encounter darkness as a bride, And hug it in mine arms.
Isab. There spake my brother; there my father's
Did utter forth a voice! Yes, thou must die:
So I to offend him still: This night's the time,
Thou shalt not do't.
Isab. O, were it but my life, I'd throw it down for your deliverance As frankly as a pin.
Thanks, dear Isabel.