Enter Escalus, Prouost, and Bawd.

Esc. Go, away with her to prison

Bawd. Good my Lord be good to mee, your Honor is accounted a mercifull man: good my Lord

Esc. Double, and trebble admonition, and still forfeite in the same kinde? This would make mercy sweare and play the Tirant

Pro. A Bawd of eleuen yeares continuance, may it please your Honor

Bawd. My Lord, this is one Lucio's information against me, Mistris Kate Keepe-downe was with childe by him in the Dukes time, he promis'd her marriage: his Childe is a yeere and a quarter olde come Philip and Iacob: I haue kept it my selfe; and see how hee goes about to abuse me

Esc. That fellow is a fellow of much License: Let him be call'd before vs, Away with her to prison: Goe too, no more words. Prouost, my Brother Angelo will not be alter'd, Claudio must die to morrow: Let him be furnish'd with Diuines, and haue all charitable preparation. If my brother wrought by my pitie, it should not be so with him

Pro. So please you, this Friar hath beene with him, and aduis'd him for th' entertainment of death

Esc. Good' euen, good Father

Duke. Blisse, and goodnesse on you

Esc. Of whence are you? Duke. Not of this Countrie, though my chance is now To vse it for my time: I am a brother Of gracious Order, late come from the Sea, In speciall businesse from his Holinesse

Esc. What newes abroad i'th World? Duke. None, but that there is so great a Feauor on goodnesse, that the dissolution of it must cure it. Noueltie is onely in request, and as it is as dangerous to be aged in any kinde of course, as it is vertuous to be constant in any vndertaking. There is scarse truth enough aliue to make Societies secure, but Securitie enough to make Fellowships accurst: Much vpon this riddle runs the wisedome of the world: This newes is old enough, yet it is euerie daies newes. I pray you Sir, of what disposition was the Duke? Esc. One, that aboue all other strifes, Contended especially to know himselfe

Duke. What pleasure was he giuen to? Esc. Rather reioycing to see another merry, then merrie at anie thing which profest to make him reioice. A Gentleman of all temperance. But leaue wee him to his euents, with a praier they may proue prosperous, & let me desire to know, how you finde Claudio prepar'd? I am made to vnderstand, that you haue lent him visitation

Duke. He professes to haue receiued no sinister measure from his Iudge, but most willingly humbles himselfe to the determination of Iustice: yet had he framed to himselfe (by the instruction of his frailty) manie deceyuing promises of life, which I (by my good leisure) haue discredited to him, and now is he resolu'd to die

Esc. You haue paid the heauens your Function, and the prisoner the verie debt of your Calling. I haue labour'd for the poore Gentleman, to the extremest shore of my modestie, but my brother-Iustice haue I found so seuere, that he hath forc'd me to tell him, hee is indeede Iustice

Duke. If his owne life, Answere the straitnesse of his proceeding, It shall become him well: wherein if he chance to faile he hath sentenc'd himselfe

Esc I am going to visit the prisoner, Fare you well

Duke. Peace be with you. He who the sword of Heauen will beare, Should be as holy, as seueare: Patterne in himselfe to know, Grace to stand, and Vertue go: More, nor lesse to others paying, Then by selfe-offences weighing. Shame to him, whose cruell striking, Kils for faults of his owne liking: Twice trebble shame on Angelo, To weede my vice, and let his grow. Oh, what may Man within him hide, Though Angel on the outward side? How may likenesse made in crimes, Making practise on the Times, To draw with ydle Spiders strings Most ponderous and substantiall things? Craft against vice, I must applie. With Angelo to night shall lye His old betroathed (but despised:) So disguise shall by th' disguised Pay with falshood, false exacting, And performe an olde contracting.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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