SCENE IThe moated grange at ST. LUKE'S.
Enter MARIANA and a BOY. BOY sings.
Take, O, take those lips away,
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again, bring again;
Seals of love, but seal'd in vain, seal'd in vain,
Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away:
Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.
Enter DUKE disguised as before.
I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
You had not found me here so musical:
Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.
'Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
I pray you, tell me, hath any body inquired
for me here to-day? much upon this time have
I promised here to meet. (19)
You have not been inquired after: I
have sat here all day.
I do constantly believe you. The
time is come even now. I shall crave your
forbearance a little: may be I will call upon
you anon, for some advantage to yourself.
I am always bound to you.
Very well met, and well come.
What is the news from this good deputy?
He hath a garden circummured with brick,
Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd; (30)
And to that vineyard is a planched gate,
That makes his opening with this bigger key:
This other doth command a little door
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads;
There have I made my promise
Upon the heavy middle of the night
To call upon him.
But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't:
With whispering and most guilty diligence, (40)
In action all of precept, he did show me
The way twice o'er.
Are there no other tokens
Between you 'greed concerning her observance?
No, none, but only a repair i' the dark;
And that I have possess'd him my most stay
Can be but brief; for I have made him know
I have a servant comes with me along,
That stays upon me, whose persuasion is
I come about my brother.
'Tis well borne up.
I have not yet made known to Mariana
A word of this. What, ho! within! come forth!
I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;
She comes to do you good.
I do desire the like.
Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?
Good friar, I know you do, and have found it.
Take, then, this your companion by the hand,
Who hath a story ready for your ear.
I shall attend your leisure: but make haste;
The vaporous night approaches.
Will 't please you walk aside?
[Exeunt Mariana and Isabella.
O place and greatness! millions of false eyes
Are stuck upon thee: volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dreams
And rack thee in their fancies.
Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA.
Welcome, how agreed?
She'll take the enterprise upon her, father,
If you advise it.
It is not my consent,
But my entreaty too.
Little have you to say
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
'Remember now my brother.' (70)
Fear me not.
Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.
He is your husband on a pre-contract:
To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin,
Sith that the justice of your title to him
Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go:
Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to sow.
SCENE IIA room in the prison.
Enter PROVOST and POMPEY.
Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off
a man's head?
If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can;
but if he be a married man, he's his wife's
head, and I can never cut of a woman's head.
Come, sir, leave me your snatches,
and yield me a direct answer. To-morrow
morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine.
Here is in our prison a common executioner,
who in his office lacks a helper: if you will
take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem
you from your gyves; if not, you shall have
your full time of imprisonment and your deliverance
with an unpitied whipping, for you
have been a notorious bawd.
Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd
time out of mind; but yet I will be content to
be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive
some instruction from my fellow partner. (20)
What, ho! Abhorson! Where's Abhorson,
Do you call, sir?
Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you
to-morrow in your execution. If you think it
meet, compound with him by the year, and let
him abide here with you; if not, use him for
the present and dismiss him. He cannot plead
his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd. (29)
A bawd, sir? fie upon him! he will
discredit our mystery.
Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a
feather will turn the scale.
Pray, sir, by your good favour,--for
surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that
you have a hanging look,--do you call, sir,
your occupation a mystery?
Ay, sir; a mystery.
Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a
mystery; and your whores, sir, being members
of my occupation, using painting, do prove my
occupation a mystery: but what mystery there
should be in hanging, if I should be hanged, I
Sir, it is a mystery.
Every true man's apparel fits your
thief: if it be too little for your thief, your
true man thinks it big enough; if it be too big
for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough: (50)
so every true man's apparel fits your thief. Re-enter PROVOST.
Are you agreed?
Sir, I will serve him; for I do find
your hangman is a more penitent trade than
your bawd; he doth oftener ask forgiveness.
You, sirrah, provide your block and
your axe to-morrow four o'clock.
Come on, bawd; I will instruct
thee in my trade; follow.
I do desire to learn, sir: and I hope,
if you have occasion to use me for your own
turn, you shall find me yare; for truly, sir, for
your kindness I owe you a good turn.
Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:
[Exeunt Pompey and Abhorson.
The one has my pity; not a jot the other,
Being a murderer, though he were my brother.
Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow
Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine?
As fast lock'd up in sleep as guiltless labour (70)
When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones:
He will not wake.
Who can do good on him?
Well, go, prepare yourself. [Knocking within.
But, hark, what noise?
Heaven give your spirits comfort! [Exit Claudio.
By and by.
I hope it is some pardon or reprieve
For the most gentle Claudio. Enter DUKE disguised as before.
The best and wholesomest spirits of the night
Envelope you, good Provost! Who call'd here of late?
None, since the curfew rung.
They will, then, ere't be long. (80)
What comfort is for Claudio?
There's some in hope.
It is a bitter deputy.
Not so, not so; his life is parallel'd
Even with the stroke and line of his great justice:
He doth with holy abstinence subdue
That in himself which he spurs on his power
To qualify in others: were he meal'd with that
Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous;
But this being so, he's just.
Now are they come.
This is a gentle provost: seldom when
The steeled gaoler is the friend of men.
How now! what noise? That spirit's possess'd with haste
That wounds the unsisting postern with these strokes.
There he must stay until the officer
Arise to let him in: he is call'd up.
Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
But he must die to-morrow?
None, sir, none.
As near the dawning, provost as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.
You something know; yet I believe there comes
No countermand; no such example have we:
Besides, upon the very siege of justice
Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
Profess'd the contrary.
Enter a MESSENGER.
This is his lordship's man.
And here comes Claudlo's pardon.
[Giving a paper.]
My lord hath sent
you this note; and by me this further charge,
that you swerve not from the smallest article
of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance.
Good morrow; for, as I take it, it is
I shall obey him.
This is his pardon, purchased by such sin
For which the pardoner himself is in.
Hence hath offence his quick celerity,
When it is borne in high authority:
When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended,
That for the fault's love is the offender friended.
Now, sir, what news?
I told you. Lord Angelo, belike
thinking me remiss in mine office, awakens me
with this unwonted putting on; methinks
strangely, for he hath not used it before.
Pray you, let's hear.
'Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary,
let Claudio be executed by four of the clock;
and in the afternoon Barnardine: for my better
satisfaction, let me have Claudio's head sent
me by five. Let this be duly performed; with
a thought that more depends on it than we
must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your
office, as you will answer it at your peril.' What say you to this, sir?
What is that Barnardine who is to
be executed in the afternoon?
A Bohemian born, but here nursed
up and bred; one that is a prisoner nine years
How came it that the absent duke
had not either delivered him to his liberty or
executed him? I have heard it was ever his
manner to do so. (140)
His friends still wrought reprieves
for him: and, indeed, his fact, till now in the
government of Lord Angelo, came not to an
It is now apparent?
Most manifest, and not denied by
Hath he borne himself penitently in
prison? how seems he to be touched?
A man that apprehends death no
more dreadfully but as a drunken sleep; careless,
reckless, and fearless of what's past,
present, or to come; insensible of mortality,
and desperately mortal.
He wants advice.
He will hear none: he hath evermore
had the liberty of the prison; give him leave to
escape hence, he would not: drunk many times
a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We
have very oft awaked him, as if to carry him to
execution, and showed him a seeming warrant
for it: it hath not moved him at all. (162)
More of him anon. There is written
in your brow, provost, honesty and constancy:
if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles
me; but, in the boldness of my cunning, I will
lay my self in hazard. Claudio, whom here you
have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit
to the law than Angelo who hath sentenced
him. To make you understand this in a manifested
effect, I crave but four days' respite;
for the which you are to do me both a present
and a dangerous courtesy.
Pray, sir, in what?
In the delaying death.
Alack, how may I do it, having the
hour limited, and an express command, under
penalty, to deliver his head in the view of
Angelo? I may make my case as Claudio's,
to cross this in the smallest. (180)
By the vow of mine order I warrant
you, if my instructions may be your
guide. Let this Barnardine be this morning
executed, and his head borne to Angelo.
Angelo hath seen them both, and will
discover the favour.
O, death's a great disguiser; and
you may add to it. Shave the head, and tie
the beard; and say it was the desire of the
penitent to be so bared before his death: you
know the course is common. If any thing fall
to you upon this more than thanks and good
fortune, by the saint whom I profess, I will
plead against it with my life.
Pardon me, good father; it is
against my oath.
Were you sworn to the duke, or to
To him, and to his substitutes.
You will think you have made no
offence, if the duke avouch the justice of your
But what likelihood is in that?
Not a resemblance, but a certainty.
Yet since I see you fearful, that neither my
coat, integrity, nor persuasion can with ease
attempt you, I will go further than I meant, to
pluck all fears out of you. Look you, sir, here
is the hand and seal of the duke: you know
the character, I doubt not; and the signet is
not strange to you. (210)
I know them both.
The contents of this is the return of
the duke: you shall anon over-read it at
your pleasure; where you shall find, within
these two days he will be here. This is a
thing that Angelo knows not; for he this very
day receives letters of strange tenour; perchance
of the duke's death; perchance entering
into some monastery; but, by chance,
nothing of what is writ. Look, the unfolding
star calls up the shepherd. Put not yourself
into amazement how these things should be: all
difficulties are but easy when they are known.
Call your executioner, and off with Barnardine's
head: I will give him a present shrift
and advise him for a better place. Yet you
are amazed; but this shall absolutely resolve
you. Come away; it is almost clear dawn.
SCENE IIIAnother room in the same.
I am as well acquainted here as I
was in our house of profession: one would
think it were Mistress Overdone's own house,
for here be many of her old customers. First
here's young Master Rash; he's in for a commodity
of brown paper and old ginger, ninescore
and seventeen pounds; of which he
made five marks, ready money: marry, then
ginger was not much in request, for the old
women were all dead. Then is there here one
Master Caper, at the suit of Master Threepile
the mercer, for some four suits of peach-coloured
satin, which now peaches him a
beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and
young Master Deep-vow, and Master Copperspur,
and Master Starve-lackey the rapier and
dagger man, and young Drop-heir that killed
lusty Pudding, and Master Forthlight the tilter,
and brave Master Shooty the great traveller,
and wild Half-can that stabbed Pots, and,
I think, forty more; all great doers in our
trade, and are now 'for the Lord's sake.'
Enter ABHORSON. (22)
Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.
Master Barnardine! you must rise
and be hanged, Master Barnardine!
What, ho, Barnardine!
A pox o' your throats!
Who makes that noise there? What are you?
Your friends, sir; the hangman.
You must be so good, sir, to rise and be put
Away, you rogue, away! I
am sleepy. (32)
Tell him he must awake, and that
Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till
you are executed, and sleep afterwards.
Go in to him, and fetch him out.
He is coming, sir, he is coming; I
hear his straw rustle.
Is the axe upon the block, sirrah? (40)
Very ready, sir.
How now, Abhorson? what's the
news with you?
Truly, sir, I would desire you to
clap into your prayers; for, look you, the
You rogue, I have been drinking all
night; I am not fitted for't.
O, the better, sir; for he that drinks
all night, and is hanged betimes in the morning,
may sleep the sounder all the next day.
Look, you, sir; here comes your
ghostly father: do we jest now, think you? Enter DUKE disguised as before.
Sir, induced by my charity, and
hearing how hasty you are to depart, I am
come to advise you, comfort you and pray
Friar, not I: I have been drinking
hard all night, and I will have more time to
prepare me, or they shall beat out my brains
with billets: I will not consent to die this day,
that's certain. (60)
O, sir, you must: and therefore I beseech you
Look forward on the journey you shall go.
I swear I will not die to-day for any
But hear you.
Not a word: if you have anything to
say to me, come to my ward; for thence will
not I to-day.
Unfit to live or die: O gravel heart!
After him, fellows; bring him to the block.
[Exeunt Abhorson and Pompey.
Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner?
A creature unprepared, unmeet for death;
And to transport him in the mind he is
Here in the prison, father,
There died this morning of a cruel fever
One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate,
A man of Claudio's years; his beard and head
Just of his colour. What if we do omit
This reprobate till he were well inclined;
And satisfy the deputy with the visage (80)
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?
O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides!
Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on
Prefix'd by Angelo: see this be done,
And sent according to command; whiles I
Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.
This shall be done, good father, presently.
But Barnardine must die this afternoon:
And how shall we continue Claudio,
To save me from the danger that might come
If he were known alive? (90)
Let this be done.
Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio:
Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting
To the under generation, you shall find
Your safety manifested.
I am your free dependant.
Quick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo.
Now will I write letters to Angelo,--
The provost, he shall bear them,--whose contents
Shall witness to him I am near at home,
And that, by great injunctions, I am bound
To enter publicly: him I'll desire
To meet me at the consecrated fount
A league below the city; and from thence,
By cold gradation and well-balanced form,
We shall proceed with Angelo.
Here is the head; I'll carry it myself.
Convenient is it. Make a swift return;
For I would commune with you of such things
That want no ear but yours.
I'll make all speed.
Peace, ho, be here!
The tongue of Isabel. She's come to know
If yet her brother's pardon be come hither:
But I will keep her ignorant of her good,
To make her heavenly comforts of despair,
When it is least expected.
Ho, by your leave!
Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.
The better, given me by so holy a man.
Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?
He hath released him, Isabel, from the world: (120)
His head is off and sent to Angelo.
Nay, but it is not so.
It is no other: show your wisdom, daughter,
In your close patience.
O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!
You shall not be admitted to his sight.
Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel!
Injurious world! most damned Angelo!
This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot;
Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven. (130)
Mark what I say, which you shall find
By every syllable a faithful verity:
The duke comes home to-morrow; nay, dry your eyes;
One of our convent, and his confessor,
Gives me this instance: already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
There to give up their power. If you can, pace your wisdom
In that good path that I would wish it go,
And you shall have your bosom on this wretch, (140)
Grace of the duke, revenge to your heart,
And general honour.
I am directed by you.
This letter, then, to Friar Peter give;
'Tis that he sent me of the duke's return:
Say, by this token, I desire his company
At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause and yours
I'll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you
Before the duke, and to the head of Angelo
Accuse him home and home. For my poor self,
I am combined by a sacred vow (150)
And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter:
Command these fretting waters from your eyes
With a light heart: trust not my holy order,
If I pervert your course. Who's here?
Good even. Friar, where's the provost?
Not within, sir.
O pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine
heart to see thine eyes so red: thou must be
patient. I am fain to dine and sup with water
and bran; I dare not for my head fill my
belly; one fruitful meal would set me to't.
But they say the duke will be here to-morrow.
By my troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother: if
the old fantastical duke of dark corners had
been at home, he had lived.
Sir, the duke is marvellous little
beholding to your reports; but the best is, he
lives not in them.
Friar, thou knowest not the duke so
well as I do: he's a better woodman than thou
takest him for. (172)
Well, you'll answer this one day.
Fare ye well.
Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee:
I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.
You have told me too many of him
already, sir, if they be true; if not true, none
I was once before him for getting a
wench with child. (181)
Did you such a thing?
Yes, marry, did I: but I was fain
to forswear it; they would else have married
me to the rotten medlar.
Sir, your company is fairer than
honest. Rest you well.
By my troth, I'll go with thee to the
lane's end: if bawdy talk offend you, we'll
have very little of it. Nay, friar, I am a kind
of burr; I shall stick.
SCENE IVA room in ANGELO'S house.
Enter ANGELO and ESCALUS.
Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched
In most uneven and distracted manner.
His actions show much like to madness:
pray heaven his wisdom be not tainted! And
why meet him at the gates, and redeliver our
I guess not.
And why should we proclaim it in an
hour before his entering, that if any crave
redress of injustice, they should exhibit their
petitions in the street?
He shows his reason for that: to
have a dispatch of complaints, and to deliver
us from devices hereafter, which shall then
have no power to stand against us.
Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaimed
betimes i' the morn; I'll call you at
your house: give notice to such men of sort
and suit as are to meet him. (21)
I shall, sir. Fare you well.
This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant
And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid!
And by an eminent body that enforced
The law against it! But that her tender shame
Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares her no;
For my authority bears of a credent bulk, (30)
That no particular scandal once can touch
But it confounds the breather. He should have lived,
Save that his riotous youth, with dangerous sense,
Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge,
By so receiving a dishonour'd life
With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had lived!
Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not.
SCENE VFields without the town.
Enter DUKE in his own habit, and FRIAR PETER.
These letters at fit time deliver me:
The provost knows our purpose and our plot.
The matter being afoot, keep your instruction,
And hold you ever to our special drift;
Though sometimes you do blench from this to that,
As cause doth minister. Go call at Flavius' house,
And tell him where I stay: give the like notice
To Valentinus, Rowland, and to Crassus,
And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate;
But send me Flavius first. (10)
It shall be speeded well.
I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made good haste:
Come, we will walk. There's other of our friends
Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius.
SCENE VIStreet near the city gate.
Enter ISABELLA and MARIANA.
To speak so indirectly I am loath:
I would say the truth; but to accuse him so,
That is your part: yet I am advised to do it;
He says, to veil full purpose.
Be ruled by him.
Besides, he tells me that, if peradventure
He speak against me on the adverse side,
I should not think it strange; for 'tis a physic
That's bitter to sweet end.
I would Friar Peter--
O, peace! the friar is come,
Enter FRIAR PETER.
Come, I have found you out a stand most fit,
Where you may have such vantage on the duke,
He shall not pass you. Twice have the trumpets sounded;
The generous and gravest citizens
Have hent the gates, and very near upon
The duke is entering: therefore, hence, away!