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Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him: something too crabbed that way, friar.
Duke. It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.
Lucio. 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
Duke. How should he be made then ?
Lucio. 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 congeald ice : that I know to be true; and he is a motion' generative, that's infallible.
Duke. You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.
Lucio. Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a cod-piece 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.
Duke. I never heard the absent duke much detected for women?: he was not inclined that way.
Lucio. O, sir! you are deceived.
Lucio. Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and his use was, to put a ducat in her clack-dish ®. The duke had crotchets in him : he would be drunk too; that let me inform you.
He is a MOTION] i.e. a puppet-made of wood. ? – much DETECTED for women ;] “Detected” was of old not unfrequently synonymous with suspected. Capell read detracted.
3 – CLACK-DISH.] The beggars used to proclaim their want by a wooden dish, called a clack-dish, or clap.dish, with a moveable cover, which they clacked, or clapped, to attract attention.
Duke. You do him wrong, surely.
Lucio. Sir, I was an inward of his *. A shy fellow was the duke; and, I believe, I know the cause of his withdrawing
Duke. What, I pr’ythee, might be the cause?
Lucio. No,-pardon :—'tis a secret must be lock'd within the teeth and the lips; but this I can let you understand, the greater file of the subject 5 held the duke to be wise.
Duke. Wise? why, no question but he was.
Lucio. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
Duke. 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 darken’d in your malice.
Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him.
Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love 6.
Lucio. Come, sir, I know what I know.
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?
Lucio. Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the duke.
Duke. He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you.
an Inward of his :) Inward is intimate : here it is used substantively. 5 The greater file of the SUBJECT] i. e. The larger number of subjects.
6 – and knowledge with DEARER love.) The old copies have it “ deare love," the letter r having doubtless dropped out.
Lucio. I fear you not.
Duke. O! you hope the duke will return no more, or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite?. But, indeed, I can do you little harm : you'll forswear this again.
Lucio. I'll be hang’d first : thou art deceived in me, friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell, if Claudio die to-morrow, or no?
Duke. Why should he die, sir?
Lucio. 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 answer’d; he would never bring them to light : would he were return’d! Marry, this Claudio is condemnd for untrussing. Farewell, good friar; I pr’ythee, pray for me. The duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays 8. He's now 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. Farewell.
[Exit. Duke. No might nor greatness in mortality Can censure 'scape: back-wounding calumny The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong, Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue ? But who comes here?
Enter ESCALUS, Provost, Bawd, and Officer's. Escal. Go: away with her to prison !
too unhurtful an OPPOSITE.) i. e. Adversary or opponent.
eat MUTTON on Fridays.] This figure is taken from the fasting required on Fridays, and from the word mutton being applied to flesh, both human and bestial. Mutton and laced mutton were the commonest terms applied to prostitutes in Shakespeare's time.
. He's now past it ;] Monck Mason could not understand this passage as restored from the old copies. Lucio says, in reference to the Duke's years, that “ he's now past it,” yet that, notwithstanding, he would“ mouth with a beggar.” Sir Thos. Hanmer read, “ He's not past it,” which is the very reverse of what was intended.
Bawd. Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted a merciful man : good my lord.
Escal. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the same kind? This would make mercy swear, and play the tyrant.
Prov. A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it please your honour.
Bawd. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me. Mistress Kate Keep-down was with child by him in the duke's time: he promised 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!
Escal. That fellow is a fellow of much licence:let him be called before us.-Away with her to prison ! Go to; no more words. [Exeunt Bawd and Officers.] Provost, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd; Claudio must die to-morrow. Let him be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation : if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.
Prov. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advised him for the entertainment of death.
Escal. Good even, good father.
Duke. Not of this country, though my chance is now
Escal. What news abroad i' the world?
Duke. 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
and as it is as dangerous,&c.] Hitherto “as” has been omitted in all the modern editions, the commentators having been misled by the period, mistakenly inserted by the old printer after the word " undertaking," although the sense clearly runs on, and is not concluded until the word “accurs'd.” Thus has a decided error been repeated for two centuries.
in kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking, there is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure, but security enough to make fellowships accurs'd ? 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?
Escal. One that, above all other strifes, contended especially to know himself.
Duke. What pleasure was he given to?
Escal. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing 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 prepared. I am made to understand, that you have lent him visitation.
Duke. 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 is he resolved to die.
Escal. 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 forced me to tell him, he is indeed—justice.
Duke. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself. Escal. I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you
well. ? – to make fellowships accurs’d.) “ The sense is (says Holt White) there scarcely exists sufficient honesty in the world to make social life secure ; but there are occasions enough where a man may be drawn in to become surety, which will make him pay dearly for his friendships." VOL. II.