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Claud. No.
Lucio. Lechery?

Claud. Call it fo.

Prov. Away, fir, you must go.

Claud. One word, good friend: Lucio, a word with you. Lucio. A hundred; if they'll do you any good:

Is lechery fo look'd after?

Claud. Thus ftands it with me: upon a true contract
I got poffeffion of Julietta's bed;

You know the lady; fhe is faft my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack

Of outward order. This we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower
Remaining in the coffer of her friends;
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love
"Till time had made them for us. But it chances,
The ftealth of our mutual entertainment,
With character too grofs, is writ in Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps?
Claud. Unhappily, even fo.

And the new deputy now for the duke,
(Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness;
Or whether that the body publick be

A horfe whereon the governor doth ride,
Who newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it ftraight feel the spur;
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I ftagger in: but) this new governor
Awakes me all th' enrolled penalties
Which have like unfcour'd armour hung by th' wall
So long, that nineteen zodiacks have
gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on me; 'tis, furely, for a name.

Lucio. I warrant, fo it is; and thy head ftands


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So tickle on thy fhoulders, that a milkmaid,
If the be but in love, may figh it off.
Send after the duke, and appeal to him.

Claud. I have done fo, but he's not to be found.
I pr'ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
This day my fifter should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation.
Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
Implore her, in my voice, that fhe make friends
To the ftrict deputy; bid herself assay him;
I have great hope in that; for in her youth
There is a prone and fpeechlefs dialect,
Such as moves men: befide, fhe hath profp'rous art
When she will play with reafon and discourse,
And well she can perfuade.

Lucio. I pray fhe may;

As well for the encouragement of the like,
Which elfe would ftand on grievous impofition;
As for thy life, which I'd be forry should be
Thus foolishly loft at a game of tick-tack.
I'll to her ftraight.

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours.

Claud. Come, officer, away.



A Monaftery.

Enter Duke, and Friar Thomas.


O; holy father, throw away that thought;
Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
Can pierce a compleat breast: why I defire thee
To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose
More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
Of burning youth.



Fri. May your grace speak of it?

Duke. My holy fir, none better knows than you
How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd;
And held in idle price to haunt assemblies,
Where youth and coft and witless bravery keep.
I have deliver'd to lord Angelo

(A man of ftricture, and firm abftinence)
My abfolute pow'r and place here in Vienna,
And he supposes me travell'd to Poland;
For fo I've ftrew'd it in the common ear,
And fo it is receiv'd: now, pious fir,
You will demand of me, why I do this?

Fri. Gladly, my lord.

Duke. We have strict ftatutes, and most biting laws,
(The needful bits and curbs for head-strong steeds)
Which for this nineteen years we have let sleep;
Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave,
That goes not out to prey: now, as fond fathers
Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch,
Only to stick it in their childrens fight,

For terror, not to use; in time the rod

Becomes more mock'd than fear'd: fo our decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,

And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.

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I have on Angelo impos'd the office:
Who may in th' ambush of my name strike home,
And yet, my nature never in the fight

your order,

To do it flander: to behold his fway,
I will, as 'twere a brother of
Vifit both prince and people; therefore, pr'ythee,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally my perfon bear

Like a true friar. More reafons for this action
At your more leisure shall I render you;
Only this one: lord Angelo is precise,
Stands at a guard with envy, fcarce confeffes
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than ftone: hence fhall we fee,
If power change purpose, what our seemers be.


A Nunnery.

Enter Ifabella, and Francifca.

Ijab. A

ND have you nuns no farther privileges?
Nun. Are not these large enough?

Ifab. Yes, truly; I fpeak not as defiring more,
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the fifter votarifts of faint Clare.

Lucio within.

Lucio. Hoa! peace be in this place!
Ifab. Who's that which calls?

Nun. It is a man's voice: gentle Ifabella,

Turn you the key, and know his business of him;

You may; I may not; you are yet unfworn:
When you have vow'd,
have vow'd, you must not speak with men
But in the presence of the priorefs;





Then if you speak, you must not show your face;
Or, if you fhow your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you, answer him.

Ifab. Peace and profperity! who is't that calls?

[Exit Franc.

Enter Lucio.

Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses
Proclaim you are no lefs; can you so stead me,
As bring me to the fight of Isabella,

A novice of this place, and the fair fifter
To her unhappy brother Claudio?

Ifab. Why her unhappy brother? let me afk
The rather, for I now must make you know
I am that Ifabella, and his fifter.

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you ;
Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.

Ifab. Wo me! for what?

Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be his judge,
He should receive his punishment in thanks;
He hath got his friend with child.

Ifab. Sir, make me not your story.

Lucio. I would not, though 'tis my familiar fin
With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jeft,
Tongue far from heart, play with all virgins so.
I hold you as a thing ensky'd and sainted,
By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
And to be talk'd with in fincerity,

As with a faint.

Ifab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me.
Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus ;
Your brother and his lover having embrac❜d,
As those that feed grow full, as bloffoming time
Doth from the feedness the bare fallow bring

To teeming foifon; fo her plenteous womb

* The lapwings fly with seeming fright and anxiety far from their nefts to deceive those who seek their



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