ePub 版
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.

The princely Angelo?
Isab. 0, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
The damned'st body to invest and cover
In princely guards 18! Dost thou think, Claudio,
If I would yield him my virginity,
Thou might'st be freed?

0, heavens! it cannot be. Isab. Yes, he would give it thee, from this rank

So to offend him still 19: This night's the time
That I should do what I abhor to name,
Or else thou diest to-morrow.

Thou shalt not do't.
Isab. O, were it but my life,
I'd throw it down for


deliverance As frankly 20 as a pin. Claud.

Thanks, dear Isabel. Isab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow.

Claud. Yes.—Has he affections in him, That thus can make him bite the law by the nose, When he would force it21 ? Sure it is no sin; Or of the deadly seven it is the least.

Isab. Which is the least ?

Claud. If it were damnable, he, being so wise, Why, would he for the momentary trick, Be perdurably find ?-0 Isabel !

18 Guards were trimmings, facings, or other ornaments applied upon a dress. It here stands, by synecdoche, for dress.

19 i. e. “From the time of my committing this offence, you might persist in sinning with safety.'

20 Frankly, freely.

21 · Has he passions that impel him to transgress the law at the very moment that he is enforcing it against others ? Surely then it cannot be a sin so very heinous, since Angelo, who is so wise, will venture it? Shakspeare shows his knowledge of human nature in the conduct of Claudio.


Isab. What says my

brother? Claud.

Death is a fearful thing. Isab. And shamed life a hateful.

Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot:
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted 22 spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
'In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice 23;
To be imprison'd in the viewless 4 winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
Of those, that lawless and incertain thoughts
Imagine howling !—'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life,
That age, ach, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.

Isab. Alas! alas !

Sweet sister, let me live: What sin

you do to save a brother's life,
Nature dispenses with the deed so far,
That it becomes a virtue.

beast! O, faithless coward! O, dishonest wretch !


[ocr errors]

0, you

22 Delighted, is occasionally used by Shakspeare for delightful, or causing delight; delighted in. So, in Othello, Act ii. Sc. 3 :

• If virtue no delighted beauty lack.' And Cymbeline, Act v. Sc. 4:

• Whom best I love, I cross, to make my gift

The more delayed, delighted. 23 Jonson, in his Cataline, Act ii. Sc. 4, has a similar expression :- We're spirits bound in ribs of ice. Shakspeare returns to the various destinations of the disembodied Spirit, in that pathetic speech of Othello in the fifth Act. Milton seems to have had Shakspeare before him when he wrote the second book of Paradise Lost, v. 595–603.

24 Viewless, invisible, unseen.


o hear me,

Wilt thou be made a man out of my

Is't not a kind of incest, to take life
From thine own sister's shame? What should I think?
Heaven shield, my mother play'd my father fair!
For such a warped slip of wilderness 25
Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take my defiance 26 :
Die; perish! might but my bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed:
I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,
No word to save thee.

Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel.

0, fye, fye, fye!
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade 27 :
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
”Tis best that thou diest quickly.

[Going. Claud.

Isabella. Re-enter Duke. Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word. Isab. What is


will ? Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I would require, is likewise your own benefit.

Isab. I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you a while.

Duke. [T. CLAUDIO, aside.] Son, I have overheard what hath past between you

and Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an essay of her virtue, to practise his judgment with the disposition of natures: she, having the truth of honour in her, hath made him that gracious denial which he is most glad to receive: I

25 Wilderness, for wildness. 26 i. e. 'my refusal.
27 Trade, an established habit, a custom, a practice.


your sister.

[ocr errors]

will be gone:

am confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to death: Do not satisfy your resolution 28 with hopes that are fallible: tomorrow you must die; go to your knees, and make ready.

Claud. Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love with life, that I will sue to be rid of it. Duke. Hold 29 you there : Farewell.

[Erit CLAUDIO. Re-enter Provost. Provost, a word with you.

Prou. What's your will, father?

Duke. That now you are come, you Leave me awhile with the maid; my mind promises with my

habit, no loss shall touch her by my company. Prov. In good time 30.

[Exit Provost. Duke. The hand that hath made you fair, hath made you good: the goodness, that is cheap in beauty, makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, should keep the body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo hath made to you, fortune hath convey'd to my understanding; and, but that frailty hath examples for bis falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How would you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother?

Isab. I am now going to resolve him: I had ra28 Do not satisfy your resolution, appears to signify do not quench or extinguish your resolution with fallible hopes. Satisfy was used by old writers in the sense of to stay, stop, quench, or stint: as in the phrase - Sorrow is satisfied with tears : Dolor expletur lachrymis.- To satisfy or stint hunger: Famem explere. To quench or satisfy thirst: Sitim explere ! A conjecture of the Hon. Charles Yorke's on this passage will be found in Warburton's Letters, p. 500, 8vo. ed.

29 Hold you there: continue in that resolution. 30 i. e, à la bonne heure, so be it, very well.

my son should

ther my brother die by the law, than be unlawfully born. But 0, how much is the good duke deceived in Angelo! If ever he return, and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government.

Duke. That shall not be much amiss : Yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation; he made trial of you only. Therefore, fasten your ear on my advisings; to the love I have in doing good, a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe, that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit; redeem your brother from the angry law; do no stain to your own gracious person; and much please the absent duke, if, peradventure, he shall ever return to have hearing of this business.

Isab. Let me hear you speak further; I have spirit to do any thing that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.

Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have

you not heard speak of Mariana the sister of Frederick, the great soldier, who miscarried at sea ?

Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.

Duke. Her should this Angelo have married; was affianced to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit 31 of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea, having in that perish'd vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark, how heavily this befell to the poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most kind and natural; with him the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage dowry; with both, her combinate 32 husband, this well-seeming Angelo. 31 i. e. appointed time.

32 i. e, betrothed.


« 上一頁繼續 »