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Do you your office, or give up your place,
I crave your honor's pardon. What shall be done, sir, with the groaning
Dispose of her
Re-enter Servant. Serv. Here is the sister of the man con
demn'd Desires access to you. Ang.
Hath he a sister ? Pror. Ay, my good lord ; a very virtuous maid,
20 And to be shortly of a sisterhood, If not already. Ang. Well, let her be admitted.
[Exit Servant. See you the fornicatress be removed : Let her have needful, but not lavish, means ; There shall be order fort:
Enter ISABELLA and Lucio. Prou.
God save your honor ! Ang. Stay a little while. [To Isab.] You're
welcome : what's your will ? Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honor, Please but your honor hear me. Ang.
Well; what's your suit ? Isub. There is a vice that most I do abhor, And most desire should meet the blow of jus
tice ; For which I would not plead, but that I must; For which I must not plead, but that I am At war 'twixt will and will not. Ang.
Will ; the matter ? Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die: I do beseech you, let it be his fault, And not my brother. Prov. [Aside] Heaven give thee moving
graces ! Ang. Condemn the fault and not the actor
of it? Why, every fault's condemn’d ere it be done : Mine were the very ciplier of a function, To fine the faults whose fine stands in record, And let go by the actor.
O just but severe law ! I had a brother, then. Heaven keep your
honor ! Lucio. [.Aside to Isab.] Give't not o'er so :
to him again, entreat him ; Kueel down before him, hang upon his gown: You are too cold ; if you should need a pin, You could not with more tame a tongne desire
Isab. But can you if you would ? 51
no wrong, If so your heart were tonch'd with that re
morse As mine is to him ? Ang.
He's sentenced ; 'tis too late. Lucio. [Aside to Isab.) You are too cold. Isab. Too late ? why, no ; I, that do speak
a word, May call it back again. Well, believe this, No ceremony that to great ones ’longs, Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword, The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
61 Become them with one half so good a grace As mercy does. If he had been as you and you as he, You would have slipt like him ; but he, like
you, Would not have been so stern. Ang.
Pray you, be gone. Isab. I would to heaven I had your po
tency, And you were Isabel ! should it then be thus ? No; I would tell what 'twere to be a jndge, And what a prisoner. Lucio. [Aside to Isab.) Ay, touch him ; there's the vein.
70 Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words. Isab.
Alas, alas! Why, all the souls that were were forfeit
once ; And He that might the vantage best have
took Found ont the remedy. How would you be, If He, which is the top of judgment, should But judge you as you are? O, think on
that ; And mercy then will breathe within your lips, Like man new made. Ang.
Be you content, fair maid ; It is the law, not I condemn your brother: 80 Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him: he must die to
morrow. Isab. To-morrow! O, that's sudden ! Spare
him, spare him ! He's not prepared for death. Even for our
kitchens We kill the fowl of season : shall we serve
heaven With less respect than we do minister To our gross selves ? Good, good my lord,
bethink you ; Who is it that hath' died for this offence ? There's many have committed it.
Lucio. [.Aside to Isab.] Ay, well saia. Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept :
90 Those many had not dared to do that eril, If the first that did the edict infringe Had answer'd for his deed : now 'tis awake
To him, I say !
Isab. Must he needs die ?
Maiden, no remedy. Isab. Yes ; I do think that you might par
don him, And neither heaven nor man grieve at the
mercy. Ang. I will not do't.
Takes note of what is done ; and, like a
prophet, Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils, Either new, or by remissness new-conceived, And so in progress to be hatch'd and born, Are now to have no successive degrees, But, ere they live, to end. Isab.
Yet show some pity. Ang. I show it most of all when I show justice;
100 For then I pity those I do not know, Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall; And do him right that, answering one foul
wrong, Lives not to act another. Be satisfied ; Your brother dies to-morrow; be content. Isab. So you must be the first that gives
this sentence, And he, that suffers. 0, it is excellent To have a giant's strength ; but it is tyranTo use it like a giant.
Lucio. [ Aside to Isab.] That's well said.
Isab. Could great men thunder 110 As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be
quiet, For every pelting, petty officer Would use his heaven for thunder ; Nothing but thunder! Merciful Heaven, Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous
bolt Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak Than the soft myrtle : but man, proud man, Drest in a little brief authority, Most ignorant of what he's most assured, His glassy essence, like an angry ape, 120 Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven As make the angels weep; who, with our
spleens, Would all themselves laugh mortal. Lucio. [Aside to Isab.) 0, to him, to him,
wench ! he will relent ; He's coming ; I perceive 't.
Prov. (Aside] Pray heaven she win him ! Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with
ourself : Great men may jest with saints ; 'tis wit in
them, But in the less foul profanation. Lucio. Thou'rt i the right, girl ; more o'
that. Isab. That in the captain's but a choleric word,
130 Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy. Lucio. (Aside to Isab.] Art avised o' that?
more on 't. Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon Isab. Because authority, though it err like
others, Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself, That skins the vice o' the top Go to your
bosom ; Knock there, and ask your heart what it
doth know That's like my brother's fault : if it confess
A natural guiltiness such as is his,
[Aside.] She speaks, and ’tis Such sense, that my sense breeds with it. Fars
Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.
morrow. Isab. Hark how I'll bribe you : good my
lord, turn back. Ang. How ! bribe me ? Isab. Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall
share with you. Lucio. (Aside to Isab.] You had marr'd all
else. Isab. Not with fond shekels of the tested
gold, Or stones whose rates are either rich or poor As fancy values them ; but with true prayers That shall be up at heaven and enter there Ere sim-rise, prayers from preserved souls, From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate To nothing temporal.
Ang. Well ; come to me to-morrow. Lucio. [Aside to Isab.] Go to ; 'tis well ;
; away! Isab. Heaven keep your honor safe! Ang.
[Asicle] Amen : For I am that way going to temptation, Where prayers cross. Isab.
At what hour to-morrow Shall I attend your lordship ? Ang.
At any time 'fore noon. 160 Isab. 'Save your honor !
[Exeunt Isabella, Lucio, and Procost. Ang.
From thee, even from thy virtue : What's this, what's this ? Is this her fault or
mine? The tempter or the tempted, who sins most? Ha ! Not she : nor doth she tempt: but it is I That, lying by the violet in the sun, Do as the carrion does, not as the flower, Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be That modesty may more betray our sense Than woman's lightness ? Having waste ground enough,
170 Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary And pitch our evils there? O, fie, fie, fie ! What dost thou, or what art thou, Angelo ? Dost thou desire her foully for those things That make her good ? 0, let her brother
live! Thieves for their robbery have authority When judges steal themselves. What, do 1
love her, That I desire to hear her speak again, And feast upon her eyes ? What is't I dream O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint, 180 With saints dost bait thy hook ! Most daz.
gerous that temptation that doth goad us on To sin in loving virtue ; never could the
With all hier double vigor, art and nature,
[Exit. SCENE III. A room in a prison, Enter, severally, DUKE disguised as a friar,
and PROVOST. Duke. Hail to you, provost ! so I think you Prov. I am the provost. What's your will,
good friar ? Duke. Bound by my charity and my blest
order, I come to visit the afflicted spirits Here in the prison. Do me the common right To let me see them and to make me know The nature of their crimes, that I may minister To them accordingly. Prov. I would do more than that, if more were needful.
Enter JULIET. Look, here comes one: a gentlewoman of mine,
Duke. When must he die ?
As I do think, to-morrow. I have provided for you : stay awhile,
[To Juliet. And you shall be conducted. Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the sin you
carry ? Jul. I do ; and bear the shame most patiently.
20 Duke. I'll teach you how you shall arraign
I'll gladly learn.
him. Duke. So then it seems your most offence
ful act Was mutually committed ? Jul.
Mutually. Duke. Then was your sin of heavier kind
than his. Jul. I do confess it, and repent it, father. Duke. "Tis meet so, daughter : but lest you do repent,
30 As that the sin hath brought you to this
shame, Which sorrow is always towards ourselves,
not heaven, Showing we would not spare heaven as we
love it, But as we stand in fear,
Jul. I do repent me, as it is an evil,
Jul. Must die to-morrow ! O injurious love, That respites me a life, whose very comfort Is still a dying horror ! Proυ.
'Tis pity of him. [Exeunt. SCENE IV. A room in ANGELO's house.
Enter ANGELO. Ang. When I would pray and think, I think To several subjects. Heaven hath my empty
words ; Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue, Anchors on Isabel : Heaven in my mouth, As if I did but only chew his name ; And in iny heart the strong and swelling evil Of my conception. The state, whereon I
studied, Is like a good thing, being often read, Grown fear'd and tedious ; yea, my gravity, Wherein--let no man hear me-I take pride, Coud I with boot change for an idle plume, 11 Which the air beats for vain. O place, O form, How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit, Wrench awe from fools and tie the wiser souls To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood: Let's write good angel on the devil's horn : 'Tis not the devil's crest.
Enter a Servant.
How now ! who's there? Serv. One Isabel, a sister, desires access to you, Ang. Teach her the way. (Exit Serv.] 0
heavens ! Why does my blood thus muster to my heart, Making both it unable for itself,
21 And dispossessing all my other parts Of necessary fitness ? So play the foolish throngs with one that
Swoons: Come all to help him, and so stop the air By which he should revive : and even so The general, subject to a well-wish'd king, Quit their own part, and in obsequious fond
ness Crowd to his presence, where their untaught
love Must needs appear offence.
How now, fair maid? 30 Isab. I am come to know your pleasure. Ang. That you might know it, would much
better please me Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother can
not live. Isab. Even so. Heaven keep your honor! Ang. Yet may he live awhile ; and, it may
be, As long as you or I : yet he must die
Isab. Under your sentence ?
as good To pardon him that hath from nature stolen A man already made, as to remit Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven's
image In stamps that are forbid : 'tis all as easy Falsely to take away a life true made As to put metal in restrained means To make a false one. Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.
50 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 stain'd ? Isab.
Sir, believe this, I had rather give my body than my soul. Ang. I talk not of your soul : our compellid
sins Stand more for number than for accompt. Isab.
How say you ? Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that ; for I can
speak Against the thing I say. Answer to this : 60 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 71 To have it added to the faults of mine And nothing of your answer, Ang.
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
Accountant to the law upon that pain.
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 sis. ter,
90 Finding yourself desired of such a person, Whose credit with the judge, or own great
place, Could fetch your brother from the manacles Of the all-building 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 my. self :
100 That is, were I under the terms of death, The impression of keen whips I'ld wear as
rubies, And strip myself to death, as to a bed That longing have been sick for, ere l’ld yield My body up to shame. Ang.
Then must your brother die. Isay. And 'twere the cheaper way : Better it were a brother died at once, Than that a sister, by redeeming him, Should die for ever. Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the
sentence 'That you have slander'd so ?
110 Isab. Ignomy in ransom and free pardon Are of two houses : lawful mercy Is nothing kin to fonl redemption. Ang. You seemd of late to make the law
a tryant ; 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 would have, we speak not
what we mean : I something do excuse the thing I hate, For his advantage that I dearly love. 120
Ang. We are all frail.
Else let my brother die,
themselves ; Which are as easy broke as they make forms. Women ! Help Heaven ! men their creation In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times
frail ; For we are soft as our complexions are, îles And credulous to false prints Ang.
I think it well : 130 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, That is, a woman; if you be more, you're
If you be one, as you are well express'd
Isab. I lave no tongue but one : gentle my Let me entreat you speak the former language.
140 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. [lieved,
Isab. Ha! little honor to be much beAnd most pernicious purpose ! Seeming, seeming!
150 I will proclain 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 believe thee, Isabel ? My unsoild name, the austereness of my life, My vouch against you, and my place i' the
state, Will so your accusation overweigh, That you shall stitle in your own report And smell of calumny. I have begu, And now I give my sensual race the rein : 160 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 suferance. Answer me to-mor
row, 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.
[E.cit. 170 Isab. To whom should I complain ? Did I
tell this, Who would believe me? O perilous mouths, That bear in them one and the self-same
tongnie, Either of condemnation or approof; Bidding the law make court'sy 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, Yet hath he in him such a mind of honor, That, had he twenty heads to tender down 180 On twenty bloody blocks, he'ld yield them up, Before liis sister should her body stoop To such abhorr'd 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.
SCENE I. A room in the prison.
Lord Angelo ?
Duke. Be absolute for death ; either death 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,
9 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
19 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 !
youth nor age.
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.