A room in the prison.
Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before, CLAUDIO, and Provost
So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?
The miserable have no other medicine
But only hope:
I've hope to live, and am prepared to die.
Be absolute for death; either death or life
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
If I do lose
thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skyey influences,
dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st
by thy flight to shun
And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that
Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender
Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st
which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
That issue out of
dust. Happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get,
And what thou hast, forget'st.
Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt
For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear's thy heavy riches but a journey,
unloads thee. Friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion
of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor
youth nor age,
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat,
affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this
That bears the name of life?
Yet in this life
Lie hid moe thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.
I humbly thank you.
To sue to live, I find I seek to die;
And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.
[Within] What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!
Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Most holy sir, I thank you.
My business is a word or two with Claudio.
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