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Enter Clown. Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison. Bawd. Well: what has he done? Clo. A woman. Bawd. But what's his offence ? Clo. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. Bawd. What is there a maid with child by him ?
Clo. No; but there's a woman with maid by him: You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
Bawd. What proclamation, man?
Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck'd down.
Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city ?
Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down?
Clo. To the ground, mistress.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
Clo. Come, fear not you; good counsellors lack .no clients : though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster still. Courage; there will be pity taken on you: you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.
Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster ? Let's withdraw.
Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison : and there's madam Juliet..
Lucio and two Gentlemen.
the world ?
Prov. I do it not in evil disposition, But from lord Angelo by special charge.
Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Make us pay down for our offence by weight. The words of heaven; -on whom it will, it will; On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.
Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? whence comes this restraint ? Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, li
berty : As surfeit is the father of much fast, So every scope by the immoderate use Turns to restraint: Our natures do pursue, (Like rats that ravin5 down their proper bane,) A thirsty evil; and when we drink, we die.
Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of
yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom, as the morality of imprisonment. - What's thy offence, Claudio ? Claud. What, but to speak of would offend again. Lucio. What is it? murder ? Claud. No. Lucio. Lechery? Claud. Call it so.
5 Voraciously devour.
Prov. Away, sir; you must go.
[Takes him aside.
contract, I got possession of Julietta's bed; You know the lady; she is fast my wife, Save that we do the denunciation lack Of outward order : this we came not to, Only for propagation of a dower Remaining in the coffer of her friends ; From whom we thought it meet to hide our love, Till time had made them for us. But it chances, The stealth of our most mutual entertainment, With character too gross is writ on Juliet.
Lucio. With child, perhaps ?
Claud. Unhappily, even so. And the new deputy now for the duke, Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness ; 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 the enrolled penalties, Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the
wall So long, that nineteen zodiacs 6 have gone round, And none of them been worn; and, for a name, Now puts the drowsy and neglected act Freshly on me:-'tis surely, for a name.
6 Yearly circles,
Lucio. I warrant, it is: and thy head stands so tickle7 on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke, and appeal to him.
Claud. I have done so, 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 8 : Acquaint her with the danger of my state; 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 9 and speechless dialect, Such as moves men; beside, she hath prosperous 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 imposition; 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.
8 Enter on her probation.
Can pierce a complete bosom': why I desire thee
May your grace speak of it?
Fri. Gladly, my lord.
laws, (The needful bits and curbs for headstrong steeds) Which for these fourteen 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,
It rested in your grace