'Twas never merry world since, of two usuries, the merriest
was put down, and the worser allow'd by order of law a furr'd
gown to keep him warm; and furr'd with fox on lamb-skins too, to
signify that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the
Come your way, sir. Bless you, good father friar.
And you, good brother father. What offence hath this man made
Marry, sir, he hath offended the law; and, sir, we take him
to be a thief too, sir, for we have found upon him, sir, a
strange picklock, which we have sent to the deputy.
Fie, sirrah, a bawd, a wicked bawd!
The evil that thou causest to be done,
That is thy means to live. Do thou but think
What 'tis to cram a maw or clothe a back
From such a filthy vice; say to thyself
'From their abominable and beastly touches
I drink, I eat, array myself, and live.'
Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.
Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir,
I would prove-
Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin,
Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer;
Correction and instruction must both work
Ere this rude beast will profit.
He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him warning.
The deputy cannot abide a whoremaster; if he be a whoremonger,
and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.
That we were all, as some would seem to be,
From our faults, as his faults from seeming, free.
His neck will come to your waist- a cord, sir.
I spy comfort; I cry bail. Here's a gentleman, and a friend
How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of Caesar? Art
thou led in triumph? What, is there none of Pygmalion's images,
newly made woman, to be had now for putting the hand in the
pocket and extracting it clutch'd? What reply, ha? What say'st
thou to this tune, matter, and method? Is't not drown'd i' th'
last rain, ha? What say'st thou, trot? Is the world as it was,
man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words? or how? The
trick of it?
Well, then, imprison him. If imprisonment be the due of a
bawd, why, 'tis his right. Bawd is he doubtless, and of
antiquity, too; bawd-born. Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to
the prison, Pompey. You will turn good husband now, Pompey; you
will keep the house.
I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.
No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I will
pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage. If you take it not
patiently, why, your mettle is the more. Adieu trusty Pompey.
Bless you, friar.
A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him;
something too crabbed that way, friar.
It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.
Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred; it is
well allied; but it is impossible to extirp it quite, friar, till
eating and drinking be put down. They say this Angelo was not
made by man and woman after this downright way of creation. Is it
true, think you?
Some report a sea-maid spawn'd him; some, that he was begot
between two stock-fishes. But it is certain that when he makes
water his urine is congeal'd ice; that I know to be true. And he
is a motion generative; that's infallible.
Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion
of a codpiece to take away the life of a man! Would the Duke that
is absent have done this? Ere he would have hang'd a man for the
getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a
thousand. He had some feeling of the sport; he knew the service,
and that instructed him to mercy.
I never heard the absent Duke much detected for women; he was
not inclin'd that way.
A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking; the very
stream of his life, and the business he hath helmed, must, upon a
warranted need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but
testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he shall appear to
the envious a scholar, a statesman, and a soldier. Therefore you
speak unskilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much
dark'ned in your malice.
I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak.
But, if ever the Duke return, as our prayers are he may, let me
desire you to make your answer before him. If it be honest you
have spoke, you have courage to maintain it; I am bound to call
upon you; and I pray you your name?
Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the Duke.
He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you.
Why? For filling a bottle with a tun-dish. I would the Duke
we talk of were return'd again. This ungenitur'd agent will
unpeople the province with continency; sparrows must not build in
his house-eaves because they are lecherous. The Duke yet would
have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to
light. Would he were return'd! Marry, this Claudio is condemned
for untrussing. Farewell, good friar; I prithee pray for me. The
Duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's not
past it yet; and, I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar
though she smelt brown bread and garlic. Say that I said so.
Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is
accounted a merciful man; good my lord.
Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the
same kind! This would make mercy swear and play the tyrant.
A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it please your
My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me.
Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the Duke's time;
he promis'd her marriage. His child is a year and a quarter old
come Philip and Jacob; I have kept it myself; and see how he goes
about to abuse me.
That fellow is a fellow of much license. Let him be call'd
before us. Away with her to prison. Go to; no more words. [Exeunt
OFFICERS with MISTRESS OVERDONE] Provost, my brother Angelo will
not be alter'd: Claudio must die to-morrow. Let him be furnish'd
with divines, and have all charitable preparation. If my brother
wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.
So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advis'd
him for th' entertainment of death.
None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness that the
dissolution of it must cure it. Novelty is only in request; and,
as it is, as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course as it is
virtuous to be constant in any undertakeing. There is scarce
truth enough alive to make societies secure; but security enough
to make fellowships accurst. Much upon this riddle runs the
wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every
day's news. I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the Duke?
One that, above all other strifes, contended especially to
Rather rejoicing to see another merry than merry at
anything which profess'd to make him rejoice; a gentleman of all
temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they
may prove prosperous; and let me desire to know how you find
Claudio prepar'd. I am made to understand that you have lent him
He professes to have received no sinister measure from his
judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of
justice. Yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his
frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I, by my good
leisure, have discredited to him, and now he is resolv'd to die.
You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner
the very debt of your calling. I have labour'd for the poor
gentleman to the extremest shore of my modesty; but my brother
justice have I found so severe that he hath forc'd me to tell him
he is indeed Justice.
If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it
shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath
I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
He who the sword of heaven will bear
Should be as holy as severe;
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go;
More nor less to others paying
Than by self-offences weighing.
Shame to him whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking!
Twice treble shame on Angelo,
To weed my vice and let his grow!
O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
How may likeness, made in crimes,
Make a practice on the times,
To draw with idle spiders' strings
Most ponderous and substantial things!
Craft against vice I must apply.
With Angelo to-night shall lie
His old betrothed but despised;
So disguise shall, by th' disguised,
Pay with falsehood false exacting,
And perform an old contracting.