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Duke. 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, which Angelo knows not, for he this very day receives letters of strange tenor; perchance, of the Duke's death; perchance, of his entering into some monastery; but, by chance, nothing of what is here 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 fhrift, and advise him for a better place. Yet you are amaz’d, but this shall absolutely resolve you. Come away, it is almost clear dawn.

[Exeunt.

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I

SC EN E VIII.

Enter Clown.
Clown. Am as well acquainted here, as I was in

our house of profession; one would think, it were mistress Over-done's own house ; for here be many of her old customers. First

, here's young Mr. Rash; he's for a commodity of brown pepper 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 Mr. Caper, at the suit of master Three-Pile the mercer; for some four suits of peach-colour'd sattin, which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here young Dizzy, and young Mr. Deep-vow, and Mr. Copper-Spur, and master Starve-lacky the rapier and dagger-man, and young Drop-heire that kill'd lusty Pudding, and Mr. Forth-right the tilter, and brave Mr. Shooter the great traveller, and wild Half-canne that stabb’d Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in our trade, and are now in for the Lord's sake.

Enter

Enter Abhorson.
Ahhor. Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.

Clown. Master Barnardine, you must rise and be hang'd, master Barnardine.

Abhor. What, hoa, Barnardine!

Barnar. [within.] A pox o'your throats; who makes that noise there? what are you?

Clown. Your friend, Sir, the hangman: you must be so good, Sir, to rise, and be put to death. Barnar. [within.] Away, you rogue, away;

I sleepy.

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

Clown. Pray, master Barnardine, awake 'till you are executed, and sleep afterwards.

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

Clown. He is coming, Sir, he is coming; I hear the straw ruftle.

am

too.

Enter Barnardine. Abhor. Is the ax upon the block, Sirrah? Clown. Very ready, Sir. Barnar. 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.

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

Clown. Oh, the better, Sir; for he that drinks all night, and is hang'd betimes in the morning, may sleep the founder all the next day.

Enter Duke. Abhor. Look you, Sir, here comes your ghostly father ; do we jest now, think you?

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

Barnar.

you, and

with you.

Barnar. 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.

Duke. Oh, Sir, you must; and therefore, I beseech you, look forward on the journey you shall go.

Barnar. I swear, I will not die to day for any man's persuasion. Duke. But hear

you, Barnar. Not a word: if you have any thing to say to me, come to my ward; for thence will not I to day.

[Exit. S CE N E IX.

UN

Enter Provost.
Duke. INFIT to live, or die: oh, gravel heart !

After him, fellows : bring him to the block.
Prov. Now, Sir, how do you find the prisoner?

Duke. A creature unprepar'd, unmeet for death;
And, to 'transport him in the mind he is,
Were damnable.

Prov. Here in the prison, father,
There dy'd 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 omit
This reprobate, 'till he were well inclin'd;
And satisfy the deputy with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio ?

Duke. O, 'tis an accident, that heav'n provides :
Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on
Prefixt by Angelo: see, this be done,
And sent according to command; while I
Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.

Prov. This shall be done, good father, presently :
But Barnardine muft die this afternoon:
And how shall we continue Claudio,

To

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To save me from the danger that might come,
If he were known alive?

Duke. Let this be done;
Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio:
Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting
To th' under generation, you shall find
Your fafety 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 delire
To meet me at the consecrated fount,
A league below the city; and from thence,
By cold gradation and weal-balanced form,
We shall proceed with Angelo.

Enter Provost.
Prov. Here is the head, I'll carry it myself.

Duke. Convenient is it: make a swift return;
For I will commune with you of such things,
That want no ears but yours.
Prov. I'll make all speed.

[Exit. Isab. [within.] Peace, hoa, be here !

Duke. The tongue of Isabel.–She comes to know, If yet her brother's pardon be come hither: But I will keep her ign'rant of her good, To make her heav'nly comforts of despair, When it is least expected.

S CE N E X.

Enter Isabel.
OA, by your

Duke,
gracious daughter.

. Isab. The better, giv'n me by so holy a man: Hath yet the deputy fent my brother's pardon?

Duke. He hath releas'd him, Ifabel, from the world; His head is off, and sent to Angelo.

Isab. Nay, but it is not so.

Duke. It is no other.
Shew your wisdom, daughter, in your closest patience.

Isab. Oh, I will to him, and pluck out his eyes.
Duke. You shall not be admitted to his fight.

Isab. Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel!
Injurious world! moft damned Angelo !

Duke. This nor hurts him, nor profits you a jot: Forbear it therefore, give your cause to heav'n: Mark, what I say; which you shall surely find By ev'ry syllable a faithful verity. The Duke comes home to-morrow; dry your eyes; One of our convent, and his confessor, Gives me this instance: already he hath carry'd Notice to Escalus and Angelo, Who do prepare to meet him at the gates, [wisdom There to give up their pow'r. If you can, pace your In that good path that I would wish it go, And

you shall have your bosom on this wretch, Grace of the Duke, revenges to your heart, And gen'ral honour.

Isab. I'm directed by you.

Duke. This letter then to Friar Peter give; ''Tis That he fent 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, 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?

SCENE

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