My master hath forbidden me to look in...

The Spanish Tragedy

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My master hath forbidden me to look in this box; and, by my troth, 'tis likely, if he had not warned me, I should not have had so much idle time; for we men's-kind, in our minority, are like women in their uncertainty: that they are most forbidden, they will soonest attempt: so I now.——By my bare honesty, here's nothing but the bare empty box: were it not sin against secrecy, I would say it were a piece of gentlemanlike knavery. I must go to Pedringano, and tell him his pardon is in this box; nay, I would have sworn it, had I not seen the contrary.—I cannot choose but smile to think how the villain will flout the gallows, scorn the audience, and descant on the hangman,and all presuming of his pardon from hence. Will't not be an odd jest for me to stand and grace every jest he makes, pointing my finger at this box, as who would say: 'Mock on, here's thy warrant' Is't not a scurvy jest that a man should jest himself to death? Alas! poor Pedringano, I am in a sort sorry for thee ; but if I should be hanged with thee, I cannot weep.

Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy. http://www.luminarium.org/renascence-editions/kyd1.html.

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