Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus: Your brother and his lover have embraced : As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time, That from the seedness the bare fallow bring To teeming foison ; even so her plenteous womb Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

Īsab. Some one with child by him? - My cousin Juliet ? Lucio. Is she your cousin ?

Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their names,
By vain though apt affection.
Lucio.

She it is.
Isab. O let him marry her!
Lucio.

This is the point.
The duke is very strangely gone from hence;
Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,
In hand, and hope of action : but we do learn
By those that know the very nerves of state,
His givings out were of an infinite distance
From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
And with full line of his authority,
Governs lord Angelo; a man whose blood
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton stings and motions of the sense;
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
He (to give fear to use and liberty,
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law,
As mice by lions) hath picked out an act,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it;
And follows close the rigor of the statute, .
To make him an example : all hope is gone,
Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
To soften Angelo: and that's my pith
Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother.

Isab. Doth he so seek his life?
Lucio.

Has censured him
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
A warrant for his execution.

Isab. Alas! What poor ability's in me
To do him good ?
Lucio.

Assay the power you have.
Isab. My power! Alas! I doubt, -
Lucio.

Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt: go to lord Angelo,

And let him learn to know when maidens sue,
Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would owe them.

Isab. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio.

But speedily.
Isab. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
Commend me to my brother : soon at night
I'll send him certain word of my success.

Lucio. I take my leave of you.
Isab.

Good sir, adieu.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.
SCENE I. A Hall in Angelo's House.
Enter ANGELO, ESCALUS, a Justice, Provost, Officers,

and other Attendants.
Ang. We must not make a scarcecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch, and not their terror.
Escal.

Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death : alas ! this gentleman,
Whom I would save, had a most noble father.
Let but your honor know,
(Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,)
That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time cohered with place, or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attained the effect of your own purpose,
Whether you had not some time in your life
Erred in this point which now you censure him,
And pulled the law upon you.

Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus, Another thing to fall. I not deny, The jury, passing on the prisoner's life, May, in the sworn twelve, have a thief or two Guiltier than him they try; what's open made to justice, That justice seizes. What know the laws,

n, and nevate his offenheer tell me,

Ang.

That thieves do pass on thieves ? 'Tis very pregnant,
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it,
Because we see it; but what we do not see,
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence,
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.

Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.
Ang.

Where is the provost ? Prov. Here, if it like your honor.

See that Claudio Be executed by nine to-morrow morning : Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared; For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage. [Exit Provost.

Escal. Well, Heaven forgive him; and forgive us all! Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall: Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none; And some condemned for a fault alone.

Enter ELBOW, FROTH, Clown, Officers, &c. Elb. Come, bring them away; if these be good people in a commonweal, that do nothing but use their abuses in common houses, I know no law; bring them away.

Ang. How now, sir! What's your name? And what's the matter?

Elb. If it please your honor, I am the poor duke's constable, and my name is Elbow; I do lean upon justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good honor two notorious benefactors.

Ang. Benefactors ! Well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors ?

Elb. If it please your honor, I know not well what they are: but precise villains they are, that I am sure of; and void of all profanation in the world, that good Christians ought to have.

Escal. This comes off well; here's a wise officer.

Ang. Go to: what quality are they of ? Elbow is your name? Why dost thou not speak, Elbow ?

Clo. He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.
Ang. What are you, sir ?

Elb. He, sir? A tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that serves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was, as they say, plucked down in the suburbs; and now she professes a hothouse, which, I think, is a very ill house too.

En. What art, sir; hot speakthey of "ise offic

Escal. How know you that?

Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honor,

Escal. How! thy wife?

Elb. Ay, sir ; whom, I thank Heaven, is an honest woman,

Escal. Dost thou detest her therefore ?

Elb. I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as she, that this house, if it be not a bawd's house, it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house.

Escal. How dost thou know that, constable ?

Elb. Marry, sir, by my wife; who, if she had been a woman cardinally given, might have been accused in fornication, adultery, and all uncleanliness there.

Escal. By the woman's means ?

Elb. Ay, sir, by mistress Over-done's means : but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.

Clo. Sir, if it please your honor, this is not so.

Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honorable man; prove it.

Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces ? [T. ANGELO.

Clo. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing (saving your honor's reverence) for stewed prunes : sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit-dish, a dish of some three pence; your honors have seen such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very good dishes.

Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.

Clo. No indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in the right; but to the point. As I say, this mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great bellied, and longing, as I said, for prunes; and having but two in a dish, as I said, master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly; — for, as you know, master Froth, I could not give you three pence again.

Froth. No, indeed.

C'lo. Very well : you being then, if you be remembered, cracking the stones of the aforesaid prunes.

Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

Clo. Why, very well: I telling you then, if you be remembered, that such a one, and such a one, were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good diet, as I told you.

Froth. All this is true.
Clo. Why, very well then.

Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to com. plain of ? Come we to what was done to her.

C'lo. Sir, your honor cannot come to that yet.
Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.

Clo. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honor's leave: and, I beseech you, look into master Froth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year; whose father died at Hallowmas: -was't not at Hallowmas, master Froth ?

Froth. All-hallond eve.

Clo. Why, very well; I hope here be truths. He, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir;-'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to sit: have you not?

Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, and good for winter.

Clo. Why, very well then :-I hope here be truths.

Ang. This will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there : I'll take my leave, And leave you to the hearing of the cause; Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all. Escal. I think no less ; good morrow to your lordship.

[Ěxit ANGELO. Now, sir, come on: What was done to Elbow's wife, once more?

Clo. Once, sir ? There was nothing done to her once.

Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.

Clo. I beseech your honor, ask me.
Escal. Well, sir: what did this gentleman to her?

Clo. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face :good master Froth, look upon his honor; 'tis for a good purpose: doth your honor mark his face ?

Escal. Ay, sir, very well.
Clo. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Escal. Well, I do so.
Clo. Doth your honor see any harm in his face?
Escal. Why, no.

Clo. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him: good then; if his face be the worst thing about him, how could master Froth do the constable's wife any harm ? I would know that of your honor.

Escal. He's in the right : constable, what say you to it?

Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected woman.

« ZurückWeiter »