More of him anon: There is written in your
brow Prouost, honesty and constancie; if I reade it not
truly, my ancient skill beguiles me: but in the boldnes
of my cunning, I will lay my selfe in hazard:
whom heere you haue warrant to execute, is no greater
forfeit to the Law, then
Angelo who hath sentenc'd him.
To make you vnderstand this in a manifested effect, I
craue but foure daies respit: for the which, you are to
do me both a present, and a dangerous courtesie.
Pray Sir, in what?
In the delaying death.
Alacke, how may I do it? Hauing the houre li
mited, and an expresse command, vnder penaltie, to de
liuer his head in the view of
Angelo? I may make my
Claudio's, to crosse this in the smallest.
Barnardinebe this morning executed, Angelo. Angelohath seene them both,
Oh, death's a great disguiser, and you may
adde to it; Shaue the head, and tie the beard, and say it
was the desire of the penitent to be so bar'de before his
death: you know the course is common. If any thing
fall to you vpon this, more then thankes and good for
tune, by the Saint whom I professe, I will plead against
it with my life.
Pardon me, good Father, it is against my oath.
Were you sworne to the Duke, or to the De
To him, and to his Substitutes.
You will thinke you haue made no offence, if
the Duke auouch the iustice of your dealing?
But what likelihood is in that?
Not a resemblance, but a certainty; yet since
I see you fearfull, that neither my coate, integrity, nor
perswasion, can with ease attempt you, I wil go further
then I meant, to plucke all feares out of you. Looke
you Sir, heere is the hand and Seale of the Duke: you
know the Charracter I doubt not, and the Signet is not
strange to you?
I know them both.
The Contents of this, is the returne of the
Duke; you shall anon ouer‑reade it at your pleasure:
where you shall finde within these two daies, he wil be
is a thing that
Angelo knowes not, for
this very day receiues letters of strange tenor, perchance
of the Dukes death, perchance entering into some Monasterie,
but by chance nothing of what is writ. Looke,
th' vnfolding Starre calles vp the Shepheard; put not
your selfe into amazement, how these things should be;
all difficulties are but easie when they are knowne. Call
your executioner, and off with
Barnardines head: I will
giue him a present shrift, and aduise him for a better
place. Yet you are amaz'd, but this shall absolutely re
solue you: Come away, it is almost cleere dawne.
I am as well acquainted heere, as I was in our
house of profession: one would thinke it vvere Mistris