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Duke. Wise? why, no question, but he was. Lucio. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
Duke. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life, and the business he hath helmed, muft, upon a warranted Need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings forth, and he shall appear to the envious, a scholar, a statesman, and a soldier. Therefore, you speak unskilfully; or if your knowledge be more, it is much darken'd in your malice.
Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him.
Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.
Lucio. Come, Sir, I know what I know.
Duke. I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak. But if ever the duke return, as our prayers
may, let me desire you to make your answer before him: if it be honest
have spoke, you have courage to maintain it; I am bound to call upon you, and, I pray you, your name?
Lucio. Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the duke.
Duke. He shall know you better, Sir, if I may live to report you. Lucio. I fear
not. Duke. O, you hope, the duke will return no more; or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite; but, indeed, I can do you little harm: you'll forswear this again? Lucio. I'll be hang'd first: thou art deceiv'd in
But no more of this. Canft thou tell, if Claudio die to-morrow, or no?
Duke. Why should he die, Sir?
Lucio. Why? for filling a bottle with a tun-dish: I would, the duke, we talk of, were return'd again; this ungenitur'd agent will unpeople the province with continency. Sparrows must not build in his
house-eaves, because they are leacherous. The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light; would he were return’d! Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing. Farewel, good Friar; I pry’thee, pray for me: the duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's not past it yet; and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, tho' she smelt of brown bread and garlic: say, that I said so, farewel Exit.
Duke. No might nor greatness in mortality
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to Honour is accounted a merciful man: good my lord.
Escal. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the same kind ? this would make
mercy fwerve, and play the tyrant.
Prov. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may it please your Honour.
Bawd. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me : mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the duke's time, he promis'd her marriage; his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself; and see, how he goes about to abuse me.
Escal. This fellow is a fellow of much licence; let him be callid before us. Away with her to prison : go to; no more words. [Excunt with the Bawd. Provost, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd; Claudio must die to-morrow : let him be furnish'd with divines,
* Mercy swear.] We should read swerve, i. c. deviate from her Nature. The common Reading gives us the Idea of a ranting Whore.
and have all charitable preparation. If my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.
Pro. So please you, this Friar has been with him, and advis' d him for the entertainment of death.
Escal. Good even, good father.
Duke. Not of this country, tho' my chance is now
Escal. What news abroad i'th' world?
Duke. None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it. Novelty is only in requeft; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive, to make societies secure; but security enough, to make fellowships accurst. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world; this news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. you, Sir, of what disposition was the duke?
Escal. One, that, above all other strifes, Contended specially to know himself.
Duke. What pleasure was he giv'n to?
Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which profest to make him rejoice. A gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous; and let me desire to know, how you find Claudio prepar?d? I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation.
Duke. He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice; yet had he fram'd to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I by my good leisure have difcredited to him, and now is he resoly'd to die.
Escal. You have paid the heav'ns your fundion, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have labour'd for the poor gentleman, to the extremest shore of my modesty; but my brother Justice have I found so severe, that he hath forc'd me to tell him, he is indeed justice.
Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenc'd himself. Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner; fare
Pe, who the front of heav'n will bear,
S CE N E VIII.
He, who the fword of heav'n will bear,
AC T IV.
S CE N E I.
Enter Mariana, and Boy singing,
S ON G.
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
away : Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice Hath often still'd my brawling discontent. I cry you mercy, Sir, and well could with, You had not found me here so musical :s Let me excuse me, and believe me so, My mirth is much displeas’d, but pleas'd my woe.
Duke. 'Tis good; tho' mufic oft hath such a charm To make bad, good; and good provoke to harm. I pray you, tell me, hath any body enquir’d for me here to day? much upon this time, have I promis'd here to meet.
Mari. You have not been enquir'd after: I have fate here all day.
Enter Isabel. Duke. I do constantly believe you: the time is come, even now. I shall
forbearance a litmay be, I will call upon you anon for some advantage to yourself. Mari. I am always bound to you.