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Sc. II

put forth to steal. There's not a soldier of us all
that, in the thanksgiving before meat, do relish the
petition well that prays for

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.

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 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 list and the velvet. Thou art the list.


FIRST GENT. And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou'rt a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey1 as be pil'd,2 as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet.3 Do I speak feelingly now? LUCIO. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful

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?


SEC. GENT. Yes, that thou hast: whether thou art tainted or free.

Enter Bawd.

LUCIO. Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation comes!
FIRST GENT. I have purchas'd as many diseases under her

roof, as come to

SEC. GENT. To what, I pray?


SEC. GENT. To three thousand dolours a year.

FIRST GENT. Ay, and more.

LUCIO. A French crown more.


FIRST GENT. Thou art always figuring diseases in me.

But thou art full of error: I am sound.

1 good plain honest stuff.

2 depilated.

3 morbus Gallicus.

LUCIO. Nay, not (as one would say) healthy; but so sound

as things that are hollow; thy bones are hollow: Im-
piety has made a feast of thee.

FIRST GENT. [to MRS. OVERDONE.] How now! Which
of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
BAWD. 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?

BAWD. Marry, Sir, that's Claudio; Signior Claudio.
FIRST GENT. Claudio to prison? 'Tis not so!


BAWD. Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested;
saw him carried away; and which is more, within these
three days his head's to be chopp'd off.

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

BAWD. I am too sure of it: and it is for getting Madam
Julietta with child.


LUCIO. Believe me, this may be: he promis'd to meet me two hours since; and he was ever precise in promisekeeping.

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.

LUCIO. Away; let's go learn the truth of it.

[Exeunt LUCIO and Gentlemen. BAWD. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat,1 what with the gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's the news with


Enter Clown.

CLO. Yonder man is carried to prison.

BAWD. Well; what has he done?

CLO. A woman.

BAWD. But what's his offence?


Sc. II

CLO. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

BAWD. What, is there a maid with child by him?
CLO. No, but there's a woman with maid by him.
have not heard of the Proclamation, have you
BAWD. What Proclamation, man?




1 sweating-sickness.


Sc. II

CLO. All houses in the Suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.

BAWD. And what shall become of those in the City?

CLO. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too,

but that a wise burgher put in for them.

BAWD. But shall all our houses of resort in the Suburbs be pull'd down?

CLO. To the ground, Mistress.

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BAWD. Why, here's a change indeed in the Common-
wealth! What shall become of me?
CLO. 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 con-

BAWD. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? Let's

CLO. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the Provost to prison and there's Madam Juliet.


SCENE III. The Same.

Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, Officers, LUCIO,
and two Gentlemen.

CLAUD. Fellow, why dost thou shew me thus to the world?
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 demi-god, Authority,

Make us pay down for our offence by weight!
The sword of Heaven: on whom it will, it will;
On whom it will not, so-yet still 'tis just.
LUCIO. Why, how now, Claudio? Whence comes this


CLAUD. From too much liberty, my Lucio-liberty!

As surfeit is the father of much fast,

So every scope1 by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue

1 indulgence.


(Like rats that ravin1 down their proper bane)
A thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.
LUCIO. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I
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,

CLAUD. What but to speak of would offend again!
LUCIO. What is it? murder?




LUCIO. Lechery?

CLAUD. Call it so.

PROV. Away, Sir: you must go.

CLAUD. One word, good friend.

Lucio, a word with you.

[takes him aside.

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,

Save that we do the denunciation2 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
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?


Unhappily, even so.

And the new Deputy now for the Duke:
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;
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,

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Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall
So long that fourteen 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
Stads so tickle1
on thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love,
may sigh it off. Send after the Duke, and appeal to
CLAUD. I have done so, but he's not to be found.
I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
This day my sister should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation.2



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Acquaint her with the danger of my state;40, CD
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends

To the strict Deputy. Bid herself assay him: Jornal
I have great hope in that, for in her youth

There is a prone3 and speechless dialect,

Such as moves men.

Besides, 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 of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, which 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. to dinate ofT

LUCIO. Within two hours--

Come, Officer, away. [exeunt.

SCENE IV. A Monastery.


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
Of burning youth.

1 gingerly.

2 enter on her novitiate.

3 apt.

4 (archery) short-shot.

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