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Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade;
The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade.

[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?
Escal. To my house. Fare

[Exit Elbow. What's o'clock, think you?

Just. Eleven, sir.
Escal. I pray you home to dinner with me.
Just. I humbly thank you.

Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio ;
But there's no remedy.

Just. Lord Angelo is severe.

It is but needful:
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so;
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe.
But yet, poor Claudio !—There is no remedy.
Come, sir.


you well.

? 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.

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Enter Provost, and a Servant.
Serv. He's hearing of a cause: he will come straight.
I'll tell him of you.

Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.] I'll know
His pleasure; may be, he will relent. Alas!
He hath but as offended in a dream :
All sects, all ages smack of this vice, and he
To die for it!

Enter ANGELO. Ang.

Now, what's the matter, provost?
Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow?

Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not order?
Why dost thou ask again?

Lest I might be too rash.
Under your good correction, I have seen,
When, after execution, judgment hath
Repented o'er his doom.

Go to; let that be mine:
Do you your office, or give up your place,

shall well be spar'd. Prov.

I crave your honour's pardon.
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.

Dispose of her
To some more fitter place, and that with speed.

Re-enter Servant.

Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd
Desires access to you.

Hath he a sister?
Prov. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid,

And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already
Well, let her be admitted.

[Exit Servant.
See you the fornicatress be remov’d:
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means;
There shall be order for it.

Enter Lucio and ISABELLA. Prov. Save your honour ! [Offering to retire. Ang. Stay a little while.—[To IsaB.] Y’ are welcome: what's


will ?
Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honour,
Please but your honour hear me.

Well; what's your suit?
Isab. There is a vice, that most I do abhor,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice,
For which I would not plead, but that I must;
For which I must not plead, but that I am
At war 'twixt will, and will not.

Well; the matter?
Isab. I have a brother is condemn’d to die:
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

Prov. [Aside.] Heaven give thee moving graces !
Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?
Why, every fault's condemn'd ere it be done.
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To fine the faults, whose fine stands in record,
And let go by the actor.

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.
To him, I say.

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 ?
Ang. Look; what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no

If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse
As mine is to him?

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,
And you but waste your words.

Alas! alas!
Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once;

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,
Found out the remedy. How would you be,
If he, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? O, think on that,
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made!


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,

spare him!

He's not prepar’d for death. Even for our kitchens
We kill the fowl of season: shall we serve heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you :
Who is it that hath died for this offence?
There's many have committed it.

[Aside.] Ay, well said. Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath

slept :
Those many had not dar'd to do that evil,
If the first, that did th' edict infringe »,
Had answer'd for his deed : now, 'tis awake;
Takes note of what is done, and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils
(Either now, or by remissness new-conceiv’d,
And so in progress to be hatch'd and born,)
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But here they live to end *.

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

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