Duk. Nor gentle daughter, feare you not at all: He is your husband on a pre-contract: To bring you thus together 'tis no sinne, Sith that the Iustice of your title to him Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let vs goe, Our Corne's to reape, for yet our Tithes to sow.


Scena Secunda.

Enter Prouost and Clowne.

Pro. Come hither sirha; can you cut off a mans head? Clo. If the man be a Bachelor Sir, I can: But if he be a married man, he's his wiues head, And I can neuer cut off a womans head

Pro. Come sir, leaue me your snatches, and yeeld mee a direct answere. To morrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: heere 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 redeeme you from your Gyues: if not, you shall haue your full time of imprisonment, and your deliuerance with an vnpittied whipping; for you haue beene a notorious bawd

Clo. Sir, I haue beene an vnlawfull bawd, time out of minde, but yet I will bee content to be a lawfull hangman: I would bee glad to receiue some instruction from my fellow partner

Pro. What hoa, Abhorson: where's Abhorson there?

Enter Abhorson.

Abh. Doe you call sir? Pro. Sirha, here's a fellow will helpe you to morrow in your execution: if you thinke it meet, compound with him by the yeere, and let him abide here with you, if not, vse him for the present, and dismisse him, hee cannot plead his estimation with you: he hath beene a Bawd

Abh. A Bawd Sir? fie vpon him, he will discredit our mysterie

Pro. Goe too Sir, you waigh equallie: a feather will turne the Scale.


Clo. Pray sir, by your good fauor: for surely sir, a good fauor you haue, but that you haue a hanging look: Doe you call sir, your occupation a Mysterie? Abh. I Sir, a Misterie

Clo. Painting Sir, I haue heard say, is a Misterie; and your Whores sir, being members of my occupation, vsing painting, do proue my Occupation, a Misterie: but what Misterie there should be in hanging, if I should be hang'd, I cannot imagine

Abh. Sir, it is a Misterie

Clo. Proofe

Abh. Euerie true mans apparrell fits your Theefe

Clo. If it be too little for your theefe, your true man thinkes it bigge enough. If it bee too bigge for your Theefe, your Theefe thinkes it little enough: So euerie true mans apparrell fits your Theefe. Enter Prouost.

Pro. Are you agreed? Clo. Sir, I will serue him: For I do finde your Hangman is a more penitent Trade then your Bawd: he doth oftner aske forgiuenesse

Pro. You sirrah, prouide your blocke and your Axe to morrow, foure a clocke

Abh. Come on (Bawd) I will instruct thee in my Trade: follow

Clo. I do desire to learne sir: and I hope, if you haue occasion to vse me for your owne turne, you shall finde me y'are. For truly sir, for your kindnesse, I owe you a good turne.


Pro. Call hether Barnardine and Claudio: Th' one has my pitie; not a iot the other, Being a Murtherer, though he were my brother.

Enter Claudio.

Looke, here's the Warrant Claudio, for thy death, 'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to morrow Thou must be made immortall. Where's Barnardine? Cla. As fast lock'd vp in sleepe, as guiltlesse labour, When it lies starkely in the Trauellers bones, He will not wake

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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