previous next

SCENE III

Another room in the same.
Enter POMPEY.

Pom.
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)

Abhor.
Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.

Pom.
Master Barnardine! you must rise
and be hanged, Master Barnardine!

Abhor.
What, ho, Barnardine!

Bar.
[Within]
A pox o' your throats!
Who makes that noise there? What are you?

Pom.
Your friends, sir; the hangman.
You must be so good, sir, to rise and be put
to death.

Bar.
[Within]
Away, you rogue, away! I
am sleepy. (32)

Abhor.
Tell him he must awake, and that
quickly too.

Pom.
Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till
you are executed, and sleep afterwards.

Abhor.
Go in to him, and fetch him out.

Pom.
He is coming, sir, he is coming; I
hear his straw rustle.

Abhor.
Is the axe upon the block, sirrah? (40)

Pom.
Very ready, sir.
Enter BARNARDINE.

Bar.
How now, Abhorson? what's the
news with you?

Abhor.
Truly, sir, I would desire you to
clap into your prayers; for, look you, the
warrant's come.

Bar.
You rogue, I have been drinking all
night; I am not fitted for't.

Pom.
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.

Abhor.
Look, you, sir; here comes your
ghostly father: do we jest now, think you? Enter DUKE disguised as before.

Duke.
Sir, induced by my charity, and
hearing how hasty you are to depart, I am
come to advise you, comfort you and pray
with you.

Bar.
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)

Duke.
O, sir, you must: and therefore I beseech you
Look forward on the journey you shall go.

Bar.
I swear I will not die to-day for any
man's persuasion.

Duke.
But hear you.

Bar.
Not a word: if you have anything to
say to me, come to my ward; for thence will
not I to-day.
[Exit.

Duke.
Unfit to live or die: O gravel heart!

After him, fellows; bring him to the block.
[Exeunt Abhorson and Pompey.

Enter PROVOST.
(70)

Prov.
Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner?

Duke.
A creature unprepared, unmeet for death;

And to transport him in the mind he is

Were damnable.

Prov.
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?

Duke.
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.

Prov.
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)

Duke.
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.

Prov.
I am your free dependant.

Duke.
Quick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo.
[Exit Provost.


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.
Re-enter PROVOST.


Prov.
Here is the head; I'll carry it myself.

Duke.
Convenient is it. Make a swift return;

For I would commune with you of such things

That want no ear but yours.

Prov.
I'll make all speed.
[Exit.


Isab.
[Within]
(110)
Peace, ho, be here!

Duke.
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.
Enter ISABELLA.


Isab.
Ho, by your leave!

Duke.
Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.

Isab.
The better, given me by so holy a man.

Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?

Duke.
He hath released him, Isabel, from the world: (120)

His head is off and sent to Angelo.

Isab.
Nay, but it is not so.

Duke.
It is no other: show your wisdom, daughter,

In your close patience.

Isab.
O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!

Duke.
You shall not be admitted to his sight.

Isab.
Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel!

Injurious world! most damned Angelo!

Duke.
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.

Isab.
I am directed by you.

Duke.
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?
Enter Lucio.


Lucio.
Good even. Friar, where's the provost?

Duke.
Not within, sir.

Lucio.
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.
[Exit Isabella.

Duke.
Sir, the duke is marvellous little
beholding to your reports; but the best is, he
lives not in them.

Lucio.
Friar, thou knowest not the duke so
well as I do: he's a better woodman than thou
takest him for. (172)

Duke.
Well, you'll answer this one day.

Fare ye well.

Lucio.
Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee:
I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.

Duke.
You have told me too many of him
already, sir, if they be true; if not true, none
were enough.

Lucio.
I was once before him for getting a
wench with child. (181)

Duke.
Did you such a thing?

Lucio.
Yes, marry, did I: but I was fain
to forswear it; they would else have married
me to the rotten medlar.

Duke.
Sir, your company is fairer than
honest. Rest you well.

Lucio.
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.
[Exeunt.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: