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But let my trial be mine own confession :
Immediate sentence then and sequent death
Is all the grace I beg.

Come hither, Mariana.
Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman?
Ang. I was, my lord.

Duke. Go take her hence, and marry her instantly.
Do you the office, friar; which consummate,
Return him here again. Go with him, provost.

Come hither, Isabel.
Your friar is now your prince: as I was then
Advertising and holy to your business,
Not changing heart with habit, I am still
Attorney'd at your service.

O, give me pardon,
That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd
Your unknown sovereignty!

[Exeunt Angelo, Mariana, Friar Peter, and Provost. Escal. My lord, I am more amazed at his dishonour Than at the strangeness of it.


You are pardon'd, Isabel
And now, dear maid, be you as free to us.
Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart;
And you may marvel why I obscured myself,
Labouring to save his life, and would not rather
Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power
Than let him so be lost. O most kind maid,
It was the swift celerity of his death,
Which I did think with slower foot came on,
That brain'd my purpose. But, peace be with him!
That life is better life, past fearing death,

Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort,
So happy is your brother.



Of sacred chastity and of promise-breach
Thereon dependent, for your brother's life,-
The very mercy of the law cries out

Most audible, even from his proper tongue,
"An Angelo for Claudio, death for death !"
Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure;



I do, my lord.

Duke. For this new-married man approaching here,
Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd
Your well defended honour, you must pardon

For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudged your brother,-
Being criminal, in double violation


Like doth quit like, and MEASURE Still FOR MEASURE.
Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested;
Which, though thou wouldst deny, denies thee vantage.
We do condemn thee to the very block

Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like haste. 420
Away with him!


O my most gracious lord,
I hope you will not mock me with a husband.

Duke. It is your husband mock'd you with a husband. Consenting to the safeguard of your honour, I thought your marriage fit; else imputation, For that he knew you, might reproach your life And choke your good to come for his possessions, Although by confiscation they are ours, We do instate and widow you withal, To buy you a better husband.


O my dear lord,
I crave no other, nor no better man.
Duke. Never crave him; we are definitive.
Mari. Gentle my liege,—

Duke. Against all sense you do importune her:
Should she kneel down in mercy of this fact,
Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break,
And take her hence in horror.


[Kneeling. You do but lose your labour. [To Lucio] Now, sir, to you. Mari. O my good lord! Sweet Isabel, take my part; Lend me your knees, and all my life to come I'll lend you all my life to do you service.

Away with him to death!


Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me;
Hold up your hands, say nothing; I'll speak all.
They say, best men are moulded out of faults;
And, for the most, become much more the better
For being a little bad: so may my husband.
O Isabel, will you not lend a knee?

Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
Most bounteous sir, [Kneeling.
Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother lived: I partly think
A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,
Till he did look on me: since it is so,
Let him not die. My brother had but justice,
In that he did the thing for which he died:
For Angelo,

His act did not o'ertake his bad intent,
And must be buried but as an intent


That perish'd by the way thoughts are no subjects;
Intents but merely thoughts.


Merely, my lord.
Duke. Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say.
I have bethought me of another fault.
Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded
At an unusual hour?


It was commanded so.
Duke. Had you a special warrant for the deed?
Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private message.
Duke. For which I do discharge you of your office:
Give up your keys.

Pardon me, noble lord:
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
Yet did repent me, after more advice:
For testimony whereof, one in the prison,
That should by private order else have died,
I have reserved alive.

What's he?




His name is Barnardine.
Duke. I would thou hadst done so by Claudio.
Go fetch him hither; let me look upon him. [Exit Provost.

Escal. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
As you, Lord Angelo, have still appear'd,
Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood,
And lack of temper'd judgement afterward.

Ang. I am sorry that such sorrow I procure :
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart
That I crave death more willingly than mercy;
'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.


Re-enter PROVOST, with BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO muffled,


Duke. Which is that Barnardine?

This, my lord.
Duke. There was a friar told me of this man.
Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul,
That apprehends no further than this world,
And squarest thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd:
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
And pray thee take this mercy to provide
For better times to come. Friar, advise him;


I leave him to your hand. What muffled fellow's that?
Prov. This is another prisoner that I saved,
Who should have died when Claudio lost his head;
As like almost to Claudio as himself. [Unmuffles Claudio.

Duke. [To Isabella] If he be like your brother, for his sake

Is he pardon'd; and, for your lovely sake,
Give me your hand and say you will be mine,
He is my brother too: but fitter time for that.
By this Lord Angelo perceives he's safe;
Methinks I see a quickening in his eye.
Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well:
Look that you love your wife; her worth worth yours.


I find an apt remission in myself;

And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon.

[To Lucio] You, sirraĥ, that knew me for a fool, a coward, One all of luxury, an ass, a madman;

Wherein have I so deserved of you,

That you extol me thus?

Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick. If you will hang me for it, you may; but I had rather it would please you I might be whipt.

Duke. Whipt first, sir, and hanged after.
Proclaim it, provost, round about the city,
Is any woman wrong'd by this lewd fellow,
As I have heard him swear himself there's one
Whom he begot with child, let her appear,
And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd,
Let him be whipt and hang'd.

Lucio. I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore. Your highness said even now, I made you a duke: good my lord, do not recompense me in making me a cuckold.

Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal

Remit thy other forfeits. Take him to prison;
And see our pleasure herein executed.

Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.

Duke. Slandering a prince deserves it.


[Exeunt Officers with Lucio. She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore. Joy to you, Mariana! Love her, Angelo:

I have confess'd her and I know her virtue.

Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness:
There's more behind that is more gratulate.
Thanks, provost, for thy care and secrecy :
We shall employ thee in a worthier place.
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
The head of Ragozine for Claudio's :
The offence pardons itself. Dear Isabel,


I have a motion much imports your good;
Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline,
What's mine is yours and what is yours is mine.
So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show
What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.


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