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Duke. What, pr’ythee, might be the cause ?

Lucio. No: pardon : 'tis a secret must be lockt within the teeth and the lips; but this I can let you understand, the greater file of the subject held the Duke to be wise.

Duke. Wise? why, no question, but he was.

Lucio. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fel. low.

Duke. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life, and the business he hath helmed, must, upon a warranted Need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings forth, and he shall appear to the envious, a scholar, a statesman, and a soldier. Therefore, you speak unskilfully; or if your knowledge be more, it is much darken'd in your malice.

Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him.

Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.

Lucio. Come, Sir, I know what I know.

Duke. I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak. But if ever the duke return, as our prayers are he may, let me desire you to make your answer before him: if it be honest you have spoke, you have courage to maintain it; I am bound to call upon you, and, I pray you, your name?

Lucio, Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the duke.

Duke. He shall know you better, Sir, if I may live to report you.

Lucio. I fear you nor,

Duke. O, you hope, the duke will return no more ; or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite; but, indeed, I can do you little harm: you'll forfwear this again?

Lucio. I'll be hang'd first: thou art deceivd in me, Friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell, if Claudio die to-morrow, or no?

Duke.

Duke. Why should he die, Sir?

Lucio. Why? for filling a bottle with a tun-dish : I would, the duke, we talk of, were return'd again ; this ungenitur'd agent will unpeople the province with continency. Sparrows must not build in his houseeaves, because they are leacherous. The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light; would he were return'd! Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing. Farewel, good Friar ; I pry’thee, pray for me: the duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's not past it yet; and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, tho' she smelt of brown bread and garlick : say, that I said so, farewel. [Exit.

Duke. No might nor greatness in mortality
Can censure scape: back-wounding calumny
The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong,
Can tie the gall up in the Nand'rous tongue?
But who comes here?

S CE NE VII.
Enter Escalus, Provost, Bawd, and Officers.
Efcal. Go, away with her to prison.

Bawd. Good my lord, be good to me; your Honour is accounted a merciful man: good my lord.

Escal, Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the same kind ? this would make 'mercy swerve, and play the tyrant.

Prov. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may it please your Honour.

Bawd. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me: mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the duke's time; he promis'd her marriage; his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself ; and see, how he goes about to abufe me.

i mercy sweAX.) We Tou'd read swERVE, i.e. deviate from her nature. The common reading gives us the idea of a canting whore.

Escal. This fellow is a fellow of much licence; let him be call'd before us, Away with her to prison : go to; no more words. [Exeunt with the Bawd.) Provolt, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd; Claudio must die to-morrow: let him be furnish'd with divines, and have all charitable preparation. If my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.

Pro. So please you, this Friar has been with him, and advis'd him for the entertainment of death.

Escal. Good even, good father.
Duke. Bliss and goodness on you !
Escal. Of whence are you?

Duke. Not of this country, tho' my chance is now
To use it for my time: I am a brother
Of gracious order, late come from the See
In special business from his holiness. .

Escal. What news abroad i'th' world?

Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it muft cure it. Novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be conftant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies fecure; but security enough, to make fellowships accurst. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world ; this news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray you, Sir, of what disposition was the duke?

Escal. One, that, above all other strifes, Contended specially to know himself.

Duke. What pleasure was he giv'n to?

Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which profest to make him rejoice. A gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous;

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and let me desire to know, how you find Claudio prepar'd? I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation.

Duke. He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice; yet had he fram'd to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I by my good leisure have discredited to him, and now is he resolv'd to die.

Escal. You have paid the heav'ns your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have labour'd for the poor gentleman, to the extremest shore of my modesty ; but my brother Justice have I found so severe, that he hath forc'd me to tell him, he is indeed justice.

Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenc'd himself.

Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner ; fare you well.

[Exit. S C E N E. VIII. Duke. Peace be with you! He, who the sword of heav'n will bear, Should be as holy as severe: Pattern in himself to know, Grace to stand, and virtue go; More nor less to others paying, Than by self-offences weighing. Shame to him, whose cruel striking Kills for faults of his own liking! Twice treble shame on Angelo, To weed my vice, and let his grow! Oh, what may man within him hide,

Tho' angel on the outward side! ? Vol. I.

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* Flow

: How may that likeness, made in crimes,
Making practice on the times,
Draw with idle spiders' strings
Most pond'rous and substantial things !
Craft against vice I must apply.
With Angelo to night shall lye
His old betrothed, but despis’d;
$o disguise shall by th' disguis'd
Pay with falfhood false exacting;
And perform an old contracting.

[Exić,

2 Hozu may likeness made in crimes,
Making practice on the times,
To draw with idle spiders' Arings

Most pondrous and subjlantial things.] Thus all the Edi. tions read corruptly: and so have made an obscure passage in itle', quite unintelligible. Shakespear wrote it thus,

How may That likeness, made in crimes,
Making practice of the times,

Draw The sense is this, How much wickedness may a man hide witbis, tho' he appear an angel without. How may that likeness wadi in crimes, i. e. by Hypocrisy ; [a pretty paradoxical expreffion, an angel made in crimes] by im posing upon the world [thus em. phatically expressed, making practice on the times] draw with its falle and feeble pretences (finely called spiders Arings the most pondrous and substantial matters of the world, as Riches, Honour, Power, Reputation, &c.

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