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i Gent. Claudio to prison ? 'tis not so.
Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so; I saw him arrefted; saw him carry'd away; and, which is more, within these three days his head is to be chopt off.
Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so : art thou sure of this ?
Bawd. I am too fure of it; and it is for getting madam Julietta with child.
Lucio. Believe me, this may be ; he promised to meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.
2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
i Gent. But most of all agreeing with the Proclamation.
Lucio. Away, let's go learn the truth of it. [Exit.
S CE N E V.
Bawd. Well; what has he done ?
Clown. No; but there's a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the Proclamation, have you?
Bawd. What Proclamation, man ?
Clown. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.
Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city?
Clown. They shall stand for seed; they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down?
Clown.To the ground, mistress.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the common-wealth ; what shall become of me?
Clown. Come, fear not you; good counsellors lack no clients ; though you change your place, you need not change your trade: I'll be your tapster still. Courage, there will be pity taken on you ; you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.
Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? let's withdraw.
Clown. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the Provost to prison; and there's madam Juliet.
[Exeunt Bawd and Clown.
Enter. Provost, Claudio, Juliet, and Officers. Lucio
and two Gentlemen. Claud. FELLOW, why dost thou show me thus to
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
Pro. I do it not in evil disposition, But from lord Angelo by special charge.
Claud. Thus can the Demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down, for our offence, by weight. The words of heav'n; on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still’tis just.
Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio? whence comes this restraint?
Claud. From 100 much liberty, my Lucio, liberty ; As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So ev'ry scope by the immod'rate use
Lucio. If I could speak fo wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my
creditors ; and say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment: what's thy offence, Claudio?
Claud. What, but to speak of, would offend again.
Lucio. A hundred; if they'll do you any good: is letchery so look'd after? Claud. Thus stands it with me; upon a true con
tract I got possession of Julietta's bed, (You know the lady.) she is fast 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 stealth of our * most mutual entertainment, With character too gross, is writ on Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps ?
Claud. Unhappily, even fo. And the new deputy now for the Duke, (Whether it be the fault, and glimpfe, of newness ;
*-most mutual-] i.e. most intimate. The Phrase is extremely elegant on this OccaGon; yet disliked by the Oxford Editor, who strikes out most.
Or whether that the body public be
Lucio. I warrant, it is; and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the Duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be found. I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my Sister should the Cloister enter, And there receive her Approbation. Acquaint her with the danger of my state, Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strid Deputy; bid herself affay him ; I have great hope in that; for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect, Such as moves men! beside, she hath prosp'rous art When she will play with reason and discourse, And well the can persuade. Lucio. I
may; as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition; as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack.
I'll to her.
Enter Duke, and Friar Thomas.
Believe not, that the dribbling dart of love
Fri. May your Grace speak of it ?
Duke. My holy Sir, none better knows than you,
Fri. Gladly, my lord.
Duke. We have strict Statutes and most biting Laws,
* A man of Suridure and firm abstinence] stricture makes no Sense in this Place. We should read,
A man of ftri& ure and firm abstinence. i. c. a Man of the exa&teft conduct, and pra&ised in the subdual of his Passions. Ure an old Word for Use, Pradice, so cnur’d, habituated to.