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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 Escalus. We'll borrow place of him :-Sir, by your leave:

[To Angelo.

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.


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 looked upon my passest: 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.


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.


Come hither, Isabel: Your friar is now your prince: As I was then Advertising §, and holy to your business, Not changing heart with habit, I am still Attorney'd at your service.


O, give me pardon,

That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd

Your unknown sovereignty.

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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 obscur'd 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.


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 adjudg'd 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.


O, my most gracious lord,
I hope you will not mock me with a husband!

* Angelo's own tongue.

Duke. It is your husband mock'd you with a hus


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 instate and widow you withal,
To buy you a better husband.


O, my dear lord,

I crave no other, nor no better man.
Duke. Never crave him; we are definitive.
Mari. Gentle, my liege,—


Duke. You do but lose your labour : Away with him to death -Now, sir, [To Lucio.] to


Mari. O, my good lord !-Sweet Isabel, take my


Lend me your knees, and all my life to come
I'll lend you, all my life to do you service.

Duke. Against all sense* you do impórtune 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.


Isabel, 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 bend a knee ?

Duke. He dies for Claudio's death!

Most bounteous sir, [Kneeling.

Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother liv'd: I partly think,
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,


* Reason and affection.

In that he did the thing for which he died:

For Angelo,

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.


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?


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 discharge you of your of


Give up your keys.

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 reserv'd alive.



What's he?

His name is Barnardine. Duke. I would thou had'st done so by Claudio.Go, fetch him hither; let me look upon him. [Exit Provost.

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 judgement 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 I do entreat it.

* Consideration.

Re-enter Provost, Barnardine, Claudio, and Juliet.

Duke. Which is that Barnardine ?


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 con-

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

Prov. This is another prisoner, that I sav'd,
That should have died when Claudio lost his head;
As like almost to Claudio, as himself.

[Unmuffles Claudio. Duke. If he be like your brother, [To Isabella.] for his sake

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

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 deserv'd 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,

* Requites.

Thoughtless practice.


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