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Or whether that the body public be
A horse whereon the Governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
Whether the tyranny be in his Place,
Or in his eminence that fills it up,
I stagger in:) but this new Governor
Awakes me all th' enrolled penalties,
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by th'wall
So long, that nineteen Zodiacs have gone round,
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected Act
Freshly in me; 'tis surely, for a name.
Lucio. I warrant, it is; and thy head ftands fo tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may figh it off. Send after the Duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done fo, but he's not to be found. I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: This day my Sister should the Cloister enter, And there receive her Approbation. Acquaint her with the danger of my ftate, Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict Deputy; bid herself assay him; I have great hope in that; for in her youth There is a prone and speechless dialect, Such as moves men! beside, she hath profp'rous art When she will play with reason and discourse, And well she can persuade.
Lucio. I pray, she may; as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous impofition; as for the enjoying*of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack.
I'll to her.
Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
Lucio. Within two hours,-
Claud. Come, officer, away.
Enter Duke, and Friar Thomas.
Believe not, that the dribbling dart of love
Can pierce a complete bofom: why I desire thee
To give me secret harbour, hath a purpose
More grave, and wrinkled, than the aims and ends
Of burning youth.
Fri. May your Grace speak of it ?
Duke. My holy Sir, none better knows than you, How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd; And held in idle price to haunt Afsemblies, Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps. I have deliver'd to lord Angelo *(A man of strict ure and firm abstinence) My absolute Pow'r and Place here in Vienna; And he supposes me travell’d to Poland; For so I've strew'd it in the common ear, And so it is receiv'd: now, pious Sir, You will demand of me, why I do this?
Fri. Gladly, my lord. .
Duke. We have strict Statutes and most biting Laws, (The needful bits and curbs for head-strong Steeds,) Which for these nineteen years we have let sleep; Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave, That goes not out to prey: now, as fond fathers Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch, Only to stick it in their children's fight,
* A man of Stri&ture and firm abstinence] striflure makes no Sense in this Place. We should read,
A man of ftri& ure and firm abstinence. i. l. a Man of the exacteft conduct, and praaised in the subdual of liis Passions. Ure an old Word for Use, Practice, so enur'd, habituated to.
For terror, not to use; in time the rod
Becomes more mock'd, than fear'd: so our Decrees,
Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead;
And Liberty plucks Juftice by the nose;
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
Goes all decorum.
Fri. It rested in
T'unloose this ty'd up justice, when you pleas'd :
And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd,
Than in lord Angelo.
Duke. I do fear, too dreadful.
Sith ’twas my fault to give the people scope,
'Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them,
For what I bid them do. For we bid this be done,
When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my fa-
I have on Angelo impos'd the office:
Who may in th' ambush of my name strike home,
And yet, my nature never in the light
Todo in slander: And to behold his sway,
I will, as 'twere a Brother of your order,
Visit both prince and people; therefore, pr’ythec,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
How I may formally in person bear,
Like a true Friar. More reasons for this action
At our more leisure shall I render
Only, this one: -Lord Angelo is precise ;
Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
That his blood flows, or that his appetite
Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see,
If pow'r change purpose, what our seemers be.
Isab. A Nun. Are not these large
ND have you Nuns no further privileges ?
Isab. Yes, truly; I speak not as desiring more ;
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the fifter-hood, the votarists of Saint Clare
Lucio. [within.] Hoa! Peace be in this place!
Isab. Who's that, which calls ?
Nun. It is a man's voice: gentle Isabella,
Turn you the key, and know his business of him ;
may not; you are yet unsworn:
When you have vow'd, you must not speak with men,
But in the presence of the Prioress;
Then, if you speak, you must not fhew your face;
Or, if you fhew your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you, answer him. Exit Franc.
Isab. Peace and prosperity! who is't that calls ?
Lucio. Hail, virgin, (if you be) as those cheek-
Proclaim you are no less; can you fo stead me,
As bring me to the fight of Isabella,
A novice of this place, and the fair fifter
To her unhappy brother Claudio ?
Isab. Why her unhappy brother ? let me alk
The rather, for I now must make you know
I am that Ifabella, and his sister.
Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets
Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Ifab. Woe me ! for what?
Lucio. For that, which, if myself might be his
He should receive his punishment in thanks;
He hath got his friend with child.
Ifab. Sir, make me not your story.
Lucio. 'Tis true : I would not (tho' 'tis my fa-
With maids to feem the lapwing, and to jest,
Tongue far from heart) play with all virgins fo.
I hold you as a thing en-sky'd, and sainted ;
By your renouncement, an immortal Spirit;
And to be talk'd with in fincerity,
As with a Saint.
Isab. You do blaspheme the good, in mocking me.
Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, 'tis thus; Your brother and his lover having embrac'd, As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time That from the seedness the bare fallow brings To teeming foison; fo her plenteous womb Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry. isab. Some one with child by him? -my
Lucio. Is she your cousin ?
Isab.Adoptedly, asschool-maidschange their names,
By vain, tho
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 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 Angelor; a man whose blood,
Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
The wanton ftings and motions of the sense;