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Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

Ang. Say you so ? Then I shall pose you quickly. Which had you rather, that the most just law Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem him, Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness, As she that he hath stained ? Isab.

Sir, believe this, I had rather give my body than my soul.

Ang. I talk not of your soul : our compelled sins Stand more for number than account. Isab.

How say you?
Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that; for I can speak
Against the thing I say, Answer to this :-
I, now the voice of the recorded law,
Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life:
Might there not be a charity in sin,
To save this brother's life?
Isab.

Please you to do't,
I'll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.

Ang. Pleased you to do't, at peril of your soul,
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven, let me bear it! you granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
To have it added to the faults of mine, :
And nothing of your answer.

Nay, but hear me:
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, craftily; and that's not good.

Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good, But graciously to know I am no better.

Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright, When it doth tax itself! as these black masks Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder Than beauty could displayed. — But mark me; To be received plain, I'll speak more gross: Your brother is to die.

Isab. So.

Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears Accountant to the law upon that pain.

Isab. True.

Ang. Admit no other way to save his life,
(As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question,) that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person,

Ang.

would much for mye terms of ear as rubies

Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law; and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer;
What would you do

Isab. As much for my poor brother, as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies,
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing I have been sick for, ere I'd yield
My body up to shame.
Ang.

Then must your brother die.
Isab. And 'twere the cheaper way:
Better it were, a brother died at once,
Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
Should die forever.

Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?.

Isab. Ignominy in ransom, and free pardon,
Are of two houses: lawful mercy is
Nothing akin to foul redemption.

Ang. You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant;
And rather proved the sliding of your brother
A merriment than a vice.

Isab. O pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out,
To have what we'd have, we speak not what we mean :
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his advantage that I dearly love.

Ang. We are all frail.
Isab.

Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he,
Owe, and succeed by weakness.
Ang.

Nay, women are frail, too.
Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves ;
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women! - Help Heaven! men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail;
For we are soft as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.
Ang.

I think it well :
And from this testimony of your own sex,
(Since, I suppose, we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames,) let me be bold;
I do arrest your words : Be that you are,

them. men their be forms.

That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none:
If you be one, (as you are well expressed
By all external warrants,) show it now,
By putting on the destined livery.

Isab. I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.

Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.

Isab. My brother did love Juliet; and you tell me, That he shall die for it.

Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

Isab. I know, your virtue hath a license in't,
Which seems a little fouler than it is,
To pluck on others.
Ang.

Believe me, on mine honor,
My words express my purpose.

Isab. Ha! Little honor to be much believed, And most pernicious purpose ! - Seeming, seeming ! I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t: Sign me a present pardon for my brother, Or, with an outstretch'd throat, I'll tell the world, Aloud, what man thou art. . Ang.

Who will belive thee, Isabel ? My unsoiled name, the austereness of my life, My vouch against you, and my place i' the state, Will so your accusation overweigh, That you shall stifle in your own report, And smell of calumny. I have begun; And now I give my sensual race the rein : Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite; Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blushes, That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother By yielding up thy body to my will; Or else he must not only die the death, But thy unkindness shall his death draw out To lingering sufferance: answer me to-morrow, Or, by the affection that now guides me most, I'll prove a tyrant to him: as for you, Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true. [Exit.

Isab. To whom shall I complain? Did I tell this, Who would believe me? O perilous mouths, That bear in them one and the self-same tongue, Either of condemnation or approof! Bidding the law make courtesy to their will; Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite, To follow as it draws! I'll to my brother: Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,

Who Wear in them. tion or approdo their willite

Yet hath he in him such a mind of honor,
That had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorred pollution.
Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
More than our brother is our chastity.
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest. [Erit.

ACT III.

SCENE I. A Room in the Prison.

Enter Duke, CLAUDIO, and Provost.
Duke. So, then you hope for pardon from lord Angelo ?

Claud. The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope:
I have hope to live, and am prepared to die.

Duke. 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,
That dost this habitation, where thou keep’st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labor'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'st,
Are nursed by baseness. Thou art by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok'st; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, 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 striv'st to get;
And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain ;
For thy complexion shifts to strange affects,
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou art poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear’st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death 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
Becomes 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 more thousand deaths; yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.
Claud.

I humbly thank you..
To sue to live, I find, I seek to die:
And seeking death, find life: let it come on.

Enter ISABELLA. Isab. What ho! Peace here; grace and good company! Prov. Who's there? Come in; the wish deserves a

welcome. Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again. Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you. . Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome. Look, seignior, here's your

sister. Duke. Provost, a word with you. Prov.

As many as you please. Duke. Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be

concealed, Yet hear them.

[Exeunt Duke and Provost. Claud. Now, sister, what's the comfort ?

Isab. Why, as all comforts are, most good indeed :
Lord Angelo, having affairs to Heaven,
Intends you for his swift ambassador,
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
To-morrow you set on.
Claud.

Is there no remedy?
Isab. None, but such remedy, as to save a head,
To cleave a heart in twain.
Claud.

But is there any?
Isab. Yes, brother, you may live;
There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
But fetter you till death,

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