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Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade;
[Exit. Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come hither, master constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?
Elb. Seven year and a half, sir.
Escal. I thought, by the readiness ? in the office, you had continued in it some time. You say, seven years together?
Elb. And a half, sir.
Escal. Alas! it hath been great pains to you. They do you wrong to put you so oft upon't. Are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it?
Elb. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters. As they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them : I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all.
Escal. Look you bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish.
Elb. To your worship’s house, sir?
[Exit Elbow. What's o'clock, think you?
Just. Eleven, sir.
Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio ;
Just. Lord Angelo is severe.
It is but needful:
? The readiness] So the old copies, which modern editors have changed to your : thy would be nearer the original, but no alteration is in fact necessary. Escalus means “ by the readiness you showed in the office,” &c.
Enter Provost, and a Servant.
Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.] I'll know
Enter ANGELO. Ang.
Now, what's the matter, provost?
Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not order?
Lest I might be too rash.
Go to; let that be mine:
shall well be spar'd. Prov.
I crave your honour's pardon.
Dispose of her
Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd
Hath he a sister?
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
Enter Lucio and ISABELLA. Prov. Save your honour ! [Offering to retire. Ang. Stay a little while.—[To IsaB.] Y’ are welcome: what's
Well; what's your suit?
Well; the matter?
Prov. [Aside.] Heaven give thee moving graces !
O just, but severe law! I had a brother then.--Heaven keep your honour !
[Retiring. Lucio. [To IsaB.] Give't not o'er so: to him again,
intreat him ; Kneel down before him, hang upon
gown You are too cold: if you should need a pin,
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it.
Isab. Must he needs die?
Maiden, no remedy. Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy.
Ang. I will not do't.
But can you, if you would ?
He's sentenc'd : 'tis too late. Lucio. [To ISAB.] You are too cold.
Isab. Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a word, May call it back again : Well believe this, No ceremony that to great ones ’longs, Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword, The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe, Become them with one half so good a grace As mercy does.
does. If he had been as you, and you as he, You would have slipt like him ; but he, like you, Would not have been so stern. Ang.
Pray you, begone. Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency, And you were Isabel ! should it then be thus? No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge, And what a prisoner.
Lucio. [Aside.] Ay, touch him; there's the vein.
Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
2 May call it back again :] The word back was inserted by the editor of the folio of 1632 ; and, perhaps, as the measure shows, it had accidentally dropped out in the original impression of 1623.
And he that might the vantage best have took,
you content, fair maid. It is the law, not I, condemns
brother : Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him: he must die to-morrow.
Isab. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him,
He's not prepar’d for death. Even for our kitchens
[Aside.] Ay, well said. Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath
3 If the first, that did th' edict infringe,] The sense is here complete without man, which Pope inserted after “first." Malone, Steevens, &c., adopted this reading, in opposition to Capell and Tyrwhitt, who recommended that the line should run, “If he, the first that did the edict infringe.” The second folio makes no change, and were the sense incomplete, there might be some reason for an attempt to amend the measure of Shakespeare.
* But here they live to end.] This is the reading of all the folios : Sir Thomas Hanmer altered the text to “ere they live, to end ;” and Malone to “where they live, to end." There is no need of alteration. Angelo is referring to the