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Re-enter Angelo, Mariana, Peter, and Provost.
I do, my lord.
Duke. For this new-married man, approaching

Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd
Your well-defended honour, you must pardon
For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudg'd your

(Being criminal, in double violation
Of sacred chastity, and of promise-breach,
Thereon dependant, for your brother's life,)
The very mercy of the law cries out
Most audible, even from his proper1 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 manisfested:
Which though thou would'st deny, denies thee


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

Consenting to the safeguard of your honour,
I thought your marriage fit; ele 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.

(1) Angelo's own tongue.

Mari. Gentle my liege,

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

Duke. Against all sensel 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.

Most bounteous sir,


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,
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?

(1) Reason and affection.


It was commanded so.

Duke. Had you a special warrant for the deed? Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private mes


Duke. For which I do discharge you of your office: 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:1
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 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 I 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 early 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 that?

(1) Consideration.
2 D

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 quickening 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

One all of luxury,2 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:3 If you will hang me for it, you may, but I had rather it would please 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, made you a duke: good my lord, do not recompense me, in making me a cuckold.

Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.

(1) Requites.
Thoughtless practice.

(2) Incontinence.

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Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
Remit thy other forfeits:1-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.2
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,
1 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.

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The novel of Giraldi Cinthio, from which Shakspeare is supposed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in Shakspeare Illustrated, elegantly translated, with remarks which will assist the inquirer to discover how much absurdity Shakspeare has admitted or avoided.

I cannot but suspect that some other had newmodelled the novel of Cinthio, or written a story which in some particulars resembled it, and that Cinthio was not the author whom Shakspeare immediately followed. The emperor in Cinthio is named Maximine: the duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of the persons of the drama, is called Vin

(1) Punishments.

(2) To reward.

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