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and let him abide here with you ; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him. He cannot plead his estimation with you;
he hath been a bawd.
Abhor. A bawd, fir; fie upon him, he will discredit our mystery.
Prov. Go to, fir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn the scale.
[Exit. Clown. Pray, fır, by your good favour, (for, surely, sir, a good favour you have, but that
have, but that you have a hanging look) do you call, fir, your occupation a mystery?
Abhor. Ay, fir, a mystery.
Clown. Painting, sir, Í have heard say, is a mystery; and your whores, sir, being members of my occupation, using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery: but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be hang’d, I cannot imagine.
* Abbor. *
Clown. Every true man's apparel fits your thief: if it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough. If it be too big for your thief, your thief thinks it little enough: so every true man's apparel fits your
Clown. Sir, I will serve him: for I do find, your hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth oftner ask forgiveness.
Prov. You, firrah, provide your block and your axe to-morrow, four o'clock.
Abhor. Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.
have * The text here is plainly maimed and deficient; the words by which Abhorson pould prove the bangman's trade a mystery are lof. But from what follows the argument may be conjectured to have been this, that every man's apparel fitted the hangman : to which we may suppose the Clown reply'd, that for the same reason the same thing might be said of the thief's trade. --- Yes, fir, It is a mystery. &c. and this connects the rest that follows.
occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me yare:
Prov. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio :
Yo NO Be
Claud. As fast lock’d up in sleep, as guiltless labour
Prov. Who can do good on him?
Prov. None since the curfew rung.
Duke. Not so, not fo; his life is paralleld
To qualify in others. Were he meal'd
[Provost returns. Prov. There he must stay until the officer Arise to let him in; he is call'd up.
Duke. Have you no countermand for Claudio yet, But he must die to-morrow ?
Prov. None, sir, none.
Duke. As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
very fiege of justice, Lord Angelo hath to the publick ear Profess’d the contrary.
Enter a Messenger.
Mel. My lord hath sent you this note; and by me this further charge, that you swerve not from the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance. Good-morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day. Prov. I shall obey him.
[Exit Messen. Duke. This is his pardon, purchas'd by such fin For which the pardoner himself is in : Hence hath offence his quick celerity,
When it is born in high authority ;
Prov. I told you: lord Angelo, belike, thinking me remiss in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted putting on, methinks, strangely, for he hath not us'd it before.
Duke. Pray you, let's hear.
Provost reads the letter.
by four of the clock, and, in the afternoon, Barnardine: for my
Duke. What is that Barnardine, who is to be executed in the afternoon?
Prov. A Bohemian born, but here nurs’d up and bred; one that is a prisoner nine years old.
Duke. How came it, that the absent duke had not either deliver’d him to his liberty, or executed him? I have heard, it was ever his manner to do so.
Prov. His friends still wrought reprieves for him; and, indeed, his fact, 'till now in the government of lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.
Duke. Is it now apparent ?
Duke. Hath he born himself penitently in prison ? how seems he to be touch'd ?
Prov. A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully, but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless of what's pass’d, present, or to come; insensible of mortality, and mortally desperate.
Duke. He wants advice.
Prov. He will hear none: he hath evermore had the liberty of the prison; give him leave to escape hence, he would not: drunk many times a day, if not many days entirely drunk. We have very oft awak'd him, as if to carry him to execution, and show'd him a seeming warrant for it; it hath not mov'd him at all.
Duke. More of him anon. There is written in your brow, provost, honesty and constancy; if I read it not truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but, in the boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom here
have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo, who hath sentenc'd him. To make you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but four days respite, for the which you are to do me both a present and a dangerous courtesy.
Prov. Pray, sir, in what?
Prov. Alack ! how may I do it, having the hour limited, and an express command under penalty to deliver his head in the view of gelo? I may make my case as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.
Duke. By the vow of mine order, I warrant you, if my instructions may be your guide: let this Barnardine be this morning executed, and his head born to Angelo.
Prov. Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour.
Duke. O, death's a great disguiser, and you may add to it; shave the head, and tie the beard; and say, it was the desire of the penitent to be barb'd before his death; you know, the course is common. If any thing fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good fortune; by the faint whom I profess, I will plead against it with my life.
Prov. Pardon me, good father ; it is against my oath.
Duke. You will think you have made no offence, if the duke