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First, Provost, let me bail these gentle three :-
Sneak not away, Sir [to LUCIO]; for the friar and you
Must have a word anon :-lay hold on him.
Lucio. This may prove worse than hanging.
Duke. What you have spoke, I pardon; sit you down.-[To Esc.
We'll borrow place of him :-Sir, by your leave:
Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence,
That yet can do thee office ?* If thou hast,
Rely upon it till my tale be heard,
And hold no longer out.
Ang. O my dread lord,
I should be guiltier than my guiltiness,
To think I can be undiscernible,
When I perceive your grace, like power divine,
Hath look'd upon my passes:† Then, good prince,
No longer session hold upon my shame,
But let my trial be mine own confession;
Immediate sentence then, and sequent‡ death,
Is all the grace I beg.
Duke. Come hither, Mariana :-
Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman?
Ang. I was, my lord.
Duke. Go take her hence, and marry her instantly.
Do you the office, friar; which consummate,
Return him here again:-Go with him, Provost.
[Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and PROVOST Escal. My lord, I am more amazed at his dishonour, Than at the strangeness of it.
Duke. Come hither, Isabel:
Your friar is now your prince: As I was then
Advértising,§ and holy to your business,
Not changing heart with habit, I am still
Attorney'd at your service.
Isab. O, give me pardon,
That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd
Your unknown sovereignty.
Duke. You are pardon'd, Isabel:
And now, dear maid, be you as free to us.
Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart;
And you may marvel, why I obscured myself,
Labouring to save his life; and would not rather
Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power,
Than let him so be lost: O, most kind maid,
It was the swift celerity of his death,
Which I did think with slower foot came on,
That brain'd my purpose: But, peace be with him!
That life is better life, past fearing death,
Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort,
So happy is your brother.
Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and PROVOst.
Isah. I do, my lord.
Duke. For this new-married man, approaching here,
Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd
Your well-defended honour, you must pardon,
For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudged your brother
(Being criminal, in double violation
Of sacred chastity, and of promise-breach,
Thereon dependent for your brother's life),
The very mercy of the law cries out
Most audible, even from his proper* tongue,
An Angelo for Claudio, death for death.
Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure:
Like doth quit like, and Measure still for Measure.
Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested;
Which though thou wouldst deny, denies thee vantage:
We do condemn thee to the very block
Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like haste;-
Away with him.
Mari. O, my most gracious Lord,
I hope you will not mock me with a husband!
Duke. It is your husband mock'd you with a husband:
Consenting to the safeguard of your honour,
I thought your marriage fit; else imputation,
For that he knew you, might reproach your life,
And choke your good to come: for his possessions,
Although by confiscation they are ours,
We do enstate and widow you withal,
To buy you a better husband.
Mari. O, my dear lord,
I crave no other, nor no better man.
Duke. Never crave him; we are definitivo.
Mari. Gentle, my liege,-
Duke. You do but lose your labour;
Away with him to death.--Now, Sir, to you.
Mari. O, my good lord!-Sweet Isabel, take my part:
Lend me your knees, and all my life to come
I'll lend you, all my life to do you service.
Duke. Against all senset you do importune her.
Should she kneel down, in mercy of this fact,
Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break,
And take her hence in horror.
Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me;
Hold up your hands, say nothing, I'll speak all.
They say, best men are moulded out of faults;
And, for the most, become much more the better
For being a little bad: so may my husband.
O, Isabel! will you not lend a knee?
Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
Isab. Most bounteous Sir,
Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother lived: I partly think,
* Angelo's own tongue.
A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,
Till he did look on me; since it is so,
Let him not die: My brother had but justice,
In that he did the thing for which he died:
His act did not o'ertake his bad intent;
And must be buried but as an intent
That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subjects;
Intents but merely thoughts.
Mari. Merely, my lord.
Duke. Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say
I have bethought me of another fault:-
Provost, how came it, Claudio was beheaded
At an unusual hour?
Prov. It was commanded so.
Duke. Had you a special warrant for the deed? Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private message. Duke. For which I do díscharge you of your office: Give up your keys.
Prov. Pardon me, noble lord:
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
Yet did repent me, after more advice:*
For testimony whereof, one in the prison
That should by private order else have died,
I have reserved alive.
Duke. What's he?
Prov. His name is Barnardine.
Duke. I would thou hadst done so by Claudio.
Go fetch him hither; let me look upon him.
Escal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
As you, lord Angelo, have still appear'd,
Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood,
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.
Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure:
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart,
That I crave death more willingly than mercy :
"Tis my deserving, and do entreat it.
Re-enter PROVOST, BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO, and JULIET. Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
Prov. This, my lord.
Duke. There was a friar told me of this man :-
Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul,
That apprehends no further than this world,
And squar'st thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
And pray thee, take this mercy to provide
For better times to come :- Friar, advise him;
I leave him to your hand.-What muffled fellow's that?
Prov. This is another prisoner, that I saved,
That should have died when Claudio lost his head;
As like almost to Claudio, as himself.
Duke. If he be like your brother, for his sake, [To ISABELLA.
Is he pardon'd; And, for your lovely sake,
Give me your hand, and say you will be mine,
He is my brother too: But fitter time for that.
By this, lord Angelo perceives he's safe;
Methinks, I see a quick'ning in his eye-
Well, Angelo, your evil quits* you well:
Look that you love your wife; her worth, worth yours.—
I find an apt remission in myself:
And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon ;
You, sirrah [to Lucio], that knew me for a fool, a coward,
One all of luxury,† an ass, a madman;
Wherein have I so deserved of you,
That you extol me thus?
Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick: If you will hang me for it, you may; but I had rather it would lease you, I might be whipp'd.
Duke. Whipp'd first, Sir, and hang'd after.-
Proclaim it, Provost, round about the city;
If any woman's wrong'd by this lewd fellow
(As I have heard him swear himself, there's one
Whom he begot with child), let her appear,
And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd,
Let him be whipp'd and hang'd.
Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said, even now, I made you a duke; good my lord, do not recompense me, in making me a cuckold.
Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
Remit thy other forfeits :§-Take him to prison;
And see our pleasure herein executed.
Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.
Duke. Sland'ring a prince deserves it.
She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore.-—
Joy to you, Mariana!-love her, Angelo;
I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue.-
Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness:
There's more behind that is more gratulate.||
Thanks, Provost, for thy care and secrecy;
We shall employ thee in a worthier place:-
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
The head of Ragozine for Claudio's;
The offence pardons itself.-Dear Isabel,
I have a motion much imports your good;
Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline,
What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine:-
So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show
What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.
† Incontinence. Punishments.
SCENE I-Before LEONATO's House.
Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others, with a
Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of Arragon comes this night to Messina.
Mess. He is very near by this; he was not three leagues off when I left him.
Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in this action ?
Mess. But few of any sort,* and none of name.
Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever brings homo full numbers. I find here, that Don Pedro has bestow'd much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.
Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.