Clo. If the man be a bachelor, Sir, I can: but if he be a married man, he is his wife's lead, and I can never cutt off a woman's Ilead.

Prov. Come, Sir, leave me your snatches, and yiell me a direct answer. Tomorrow morning are to die Claudio and Barnardine: Ilere is in our prison a common executioner, who in his office lacks. a helper: if you will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you from your gyves ; if not, you shall have your full time of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an umpitied whipping; for you have been a notorious bawd.

Clo. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd, time out of mind, but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I would be glad to receive some , instruction from my fellow partner.

Prov. What ho, Abhorsou! Where's Abhorson there?

Abhor. Do you call, Sir ?

Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you. tớ• .morrow in your execution: If you think it meet, compound with him by the year, and let 'him abide here with you; if not, use him for the present, and dismiss him: He cannot plead his estima. tion with you; he hath been a bawd.

Abhor. A bawd, Sir? Fie upon him, he will. discredit our mystery,

Prov. Go to, Sir; you weigh equally: a feather will turn the scale.

(Exit. Çlo. Pray, Sir, by your good favour, (for, surely, șir, a good favour you have, but that you have a hanging look,) do you call, Sir, your : occupation a mystery?!

Abhor. Ay, Sir; a mystery.


Clo. Painting, Sir, I have heard say, is a my: stery; and your whores, Sir, being members of my occupation, using painting, do prove my occupa. țion.a mystery: but what mystery there should be in lianging, if I should be hang’d, I cannot imagine. Abhor. Sir, it is a mystery. Cio. Proof.

Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief: If it be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big enough; if it be, too big for your thief, your thief thinks' it little enough: so every true man's apparel fits your thief.

Re.enter Provost. Prov. Are you agreed ?

Clo. Sir, I will serve him; for. I do find, your hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth oftner ask forgiveness. Prov. You, sirrah, provide your block and your

to-morrow foạr o'clock. Abhor, Come on, bavyd; I will instruct thee in


my trade; follow.

Clo. I do desire to learn, Sir; and, I hope, if you have occasion to use me for your own turu, you shall find me yare ; for, truly Sir, for your kindness, I owe you a good turn. Prov. Call hither' Barnardine and Clandio :

(Exeune Clown and ABHORSON. One has my pity; not a jot the other, Being a murderer, though he were my biother.. '

Enter CLAUDIO. Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death: 'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to - morrow Tliou must be made immortal. Where's 'Barnardine?

Claud. As fast'lock'd up in sleey, as guiltless labour

When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones :
He will not wahe.

Prov. Who can do good on hin?
Well, go, prepare yourself. But hark, what noise ?

[Knocking within. Heaven give yonr, spirits comfort! [Exit CLAUDIO:]

By and by:
I hope it is some pardon, or reprieve
Tor the most gentle Claudio. Welcome, father.

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Enter Duke.
Duke. The best and wholsomest spirits of the

Envelop you, good Provost! Who call'd here of

late ?
Prov. None, since the curfew rung.
Duke. Not Isabel?
Prov, No.
Duke. They will then, ere't be long.
Prov. What comfort is for Claudio ?
Duke. There's some in hope.
Prov. It is a bitter deputy.

Duke. Not so, not so; his life is parallel'd :
Even with the stroke and line of his great justige;
He doth with holy abstinence suldue
That in himself, which he spurs on his power
To qualify in others: were he meal'd
Witli that which he corrects, then were he ty.

But this being so, he's just. Now are they

(Knocking within. Provost goes out.
This is a gentle provost : Seldom, when
The steeled goaler is the friend of men. :-
Hoy now? What noise ? That spirit's possess'd

with haste,


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That wounds the unsisting postern with these


Provost returns, speaking to one at the door.

Prov. There he must stay, until the officer Arise to let him in; he is called up. Duke. Have you not countermand for, Claudio

yet, But he must die to-morrow?

Prov. None, Sir, none.

Duke. As near the dawning, Provost, as it is, You shall hear more ere morning.

Prov. Happily,
You something know; yet, I believe, there comes
No countermand; no such example have we:
Besides, upon the very siege of justice,
Lord Angelo hath to the publick ear
Profess'd the contrary.

Enter a Messenger.
Duke. This is his Lordship's man.
Prov. And here comes Claudio's pardon.

Mess. My Lord hath sent you this note; and by me th

further charge, that you swerve not from the smallest article of it, neither in time, matter,

or other circumstance. Good morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day.

Prov. I shall obey him. [Exit Messenger. Duke. This is his pardon; purchas'd by such sin,

[Aside. For which the pardoner himself is in: Hence hath offence his quick celerity, When it is borne in high authority : When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended, That for the fault's love, is the offender friended. Now, Sir, what news.

Prov. I told yon: Lord Angelo, be-like; think. ing me remiss in mine office, . awakens me with this unwonted pitting on: methinks',, strangely; for he hath not used it before.

Duke. Pray you, let's hear.

Prov. [Reads.] Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let Claudiu be executed by four, of the clock; and, in the afternoon, Barnar dine: for my better satisfaction, let me hare Claudio's head sent me by five. Let this be duly perform'd; with a thought, that more depends:on it than we must yet deliver. . Thus fail not to do your office, as you will answer it at your peril. What say you to this, Sir?

Duke.. What is that Barnardine, who is to be executed in the afternoon?

Prov. A Bohemian boru; but here nursed up and bred: one that is a prisoner nine years old.

Duke. How came it that the absent Duke had not either deliver'd him to his liberty, or executed him; I have heard it was ever his manner to do so.

Prov. His friends still wrought reprieves for him; And, indeed, kis fact, till now in the go. vernment of Lord Angelo, came not to an, undoubtful proof.

Duke. Is it now apparent?
Prov. Most manifest, and not denied by himself.

Duke. Hath he borne himself penitently, in pri. son? How seems he to be touch'd ?

Prav. A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully, but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless of what's past, present, or to

insensible of mortality, and desperately mortal.


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