Графични страници
PDF файл
[blocks in formation]


Now what's the matter, Provost ?
Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-mor-

Ang. Stay a little while.-[To ISAB.] You are welcome: What's your will?

Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honor:
Please but your honor hear me.

Well; what's your suit
Isab. There is a vice that most I do abhor,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice,
For which I would not plead, but that I must;
For which I must not piead, but that I am
At war, 'twixt will, and will not.
Well; the matter?
Isab. I have a brother is condemned to die:
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

Heaven give thee moving graces!
Ang. Condemn the fault and not the actor of it!
Why, every fault's condemned, ere it be done:
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To fine the faults, whose fine stands in record,
And let go by the actor.

Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not
Alas! alas!
Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once:
Why dost thou ask again?
And He that might the vantage best have took,
Lest I might be too rash: Found out the remedy: How would you be,
Under your good correction, I have seen,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
When, after execution, judgment hath
But judge you as you are! O, think on that;
Repented o'er his doom.
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,


Go to; let that be mine. Like man new made.


O just, but severe law!
I had a brother then.- Heaven keep your honor!
Lucio. [To ISAB] Give 't not o'er so: to im
again, intreat him;

Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
You are too cold; if you should need a pin
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it:
To him, I say.

Isab. Must he needs die?


Maiden, no remedy. Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy. Ang. I will not do t.

But you can, if you would!
Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no


If so, your heart were touch'd with that remorse
As mine is to him.

He's sentenced: 'tis too late.
Lucio. 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 marshall's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
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, begone.

Isub. I would to heaven I had your potency,
And you were Isabel! should it then be thus?
No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge,
And what a prisoner.

Lucio. Ay, touch him: there's the vein,
Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And you but waste your words.


Do your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spar'd.

Prov. I crave your honor's pardon.-
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.


Dispose of her

To some more fitter place; and that with speed.
Re-enter Servant.

Serv. Here is the sister of the man condemn'd
Desires access to you.


Hath he a sister?
Prov. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.


Well, let her be admitted.
Exit Servant.

See you, the fornicatress be remov'd;
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means;
There shall be order for it.

Enter Lucio and ISABELLA.
Prov. Save your honor!

Be you content, fair maid;
It is the law, not I, condemns your brother:
Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son,

It should be thus with him:- he must die to-mor


Isab. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him,
spare him:

He's not prepar'd 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


Who is it that hath died for this offence?
There's many have committed it.

Ay, well said.

Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hatr


Those many had not dar'd to do that evil,
If the first man that did the edict infringe,
Had answer'd for his deed: now, 'tis awake;

Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils

[Offering to retire. (Either now, or by remissness new-conceived,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

And so in progress to be hatch'd and born)
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, where they live, to end.


Yet show some pity. Ang. I show it most of all, when I show justice; For then I pity those I do not know, Which a disiniss'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 sen


And he, that suffers: 0, it is excellent

To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.


That's well said.

Tab. Could great men thunder 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 knarleds oak,
Than the soft myrtle;-0, but man, proud man!
Drest in a little brief authority,

Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
His glassy essence,- like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As inake the angels weep: who, with our spleens,

Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Lario. O, to him, to him, wench: he will relent; He's coming, I perceive t. Pror. Pray heaven, she win him! Ish. 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 in the right, girl; more o' that. Isb. That in the captain's but a choleric word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Lirio. Art advis'd o' that? more on't.

Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me!
Isub. 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;
Kurk 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,

Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.


She speaks, and 'tis

Such sense, that my sense breeds with it.- Fare
You well.

Iab. Gentle my lord, turn back.

Ang. I will bethink me:-Come again to-mor


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. You had marr'd all else.

Ib. Not with fond shekels of the tested gold
Or stones, whose rates are either rich or poor,
Asfancy values them: but with true prayers,
That shall be up at heaven, and enter there,
Ere sun-rise; prayers from preserved1 souls,
From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.

Well; come to me


Lucio. Go to: it is well; away. Aside to ISAB.
Isab. Heaven keep your honor safe!

A that way going to temptation,
Where prayers cross.


Amen: for I

At what hour to-morrow
Shall I attend your lordship?


At any time 'forenoon.

Ieb. Sare your honor!

[Exeunt LuCIO, ISABELLA, and Provost.
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 1,
That lying by the violet, in the sun,
Da, as the carrion does, not as the flower,
Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be,

· Paltry.
• Knotted.
• Stamped.
Preserved from the corruption of the world.

That modesty may more betray our sense
Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground

Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary,
And pitch our evils there! O, fye, iye, fye
What dost thou? or what art thou, Ange.o!
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 I love her,
That I desire to hear her speak again,

And feast upon her eyes! What is 't I dream on!
O cunning enemy, that to caten a saint,
With saints dost bait thy cok! Most dangerous
Is that temptation, that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue; never could the strumpet
With all her double vigor, art, and nature
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite;- Ever, till now,

When men were fond, I smil'd, and wonder'd how.

SCENE III.- A Room in a Prison.

Enter DUKE, habiled like a Friar, and Provost.
Duke. Hail to you, provost! so I think you are.
Prov. I am the provost: What's your will, good

Duke. Bound by my charity, and my bless'd order,
Here in the prison: do me the common right
I come to visit the afflicted spirits
To let me see them; and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
To the accordingly.

Pro I would do inore than that, if more were


Look, here comes one; a gentlewoman of mine,
Who, falag in the flames of her own youth,
Hath blister d her report: She is with chuid;
And he that got it, sentenced: a young man
More fit to do another such oilence,

Than die for this.


Prov. As I do think, to-morrow.

When must he die

I have provided for you; stay awhile, [To JULIET
And you shall be conducted.

Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry
Juliet. I do; and bear the shame most patiently
Duke. I'll teach you how you shall arraign your

And try your penitence, if it be sound,
Or hollowly put on.

I'll gladly learn.

Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you? Juliet. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him. Duke. So then, it seems, your most oflencetul act Was mutually committed?



Duke. Then was your sin of heavier kind than his.
Juliet. I do confess it, and repent it, father.
Duke. 'Tis meet so, daughter: But lest you do

As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,-
Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, no

Showing, we'd not spare heaven, as we love it,
But as we stand in fear.

Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil;
And take the shame with joy.


There rest. Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow, And I am going with instruction to him.Grace go with you! Benedicite!


Juliet. Must die to-morrow! O, injurious love,
That respites me a life, whose very comfort
Is still a dying horror!


'Tis pity of him. [Exeunt. SCENE IV.- A Room in Angelo's House. Enter ANGELO.

Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and

To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words
Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: Heaven in my inouth.
As if I did but only chew his name;
And in my heart, the strong and swelling evil

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 desir'd of such a person, 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 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.


Then must your brother die Isub. 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?

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

Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a ty-
And rather prov'd 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

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


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 mat 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, That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none; If you be one, (as you are well express'd By all external warrants,) show it now, By putting on the destin'd 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.

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,
Could I, with boot, change for an idie plume,
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 still art blood:
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn,
"Tis not the devil's crest.

Enter Servant.

How now, who's there?

Desires access to you.

One Isabel, a sister,
[Exit Serv.

Teach her the way.

O heavens!

Why does my blood thus muster to my heart;
Making both it unable for itself,

And dispossessing all the 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 fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
Must needs appear offence.


How now, fair maid?
I am come to know your pleasure.
Ang. That you might know it, would much bet-
ter please me,

Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot


Isab. Even so?-Heaven keep your honor!

[Retiring. Ang. Yet may he live a while; and, it may be As long as you or I: Yet he must die.

Isuh. Under your sentence?

Ang. Ha! fye, these filthy vices! It were 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 mettle in restrained means,
To make a false one.

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?

Sir, believe this,
I had rather give my body than my soul.
Ang. I talk not of your soul; our compell'd sins
Stand more for number than accompt.


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'

Please you to do 't,

Ang. Yea.


Isab. When? I beseech you? that in his reprieve, I something do excuse the thing I hate, Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted, For his advantage that I dearly love. Ang. We are all frail. Isab.

That his soul sicken not.


I'll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.

Nay, but hear me:
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are igno-


Or scem so, craftily; and that's not good.

Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
But graciously to know I amn no better.
Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright,
The people.

• Profit.

Ang. Pleas'd you to do 't. at peril of your soul, To pluck on others. 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.

Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love. Isab. I know your virtue hath a licence in 't, Which seems a little fouler than it is,

Believe me, on mine honor, My words express my purpose. Isab. Ha! little honor to be much believ'd. 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 believe thee, Isabel! My unsoil'd 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,


• Covered. • Associate. • Gwn.

Imp ssions

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 prolixiouss 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.


Isab. To whom shall I complain? Did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,

SCENE I-A Room in the Prison.
Enter Duke, CLAUDIO, and Provost.
Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord

Claud. The miserable have no other medicine,
But only hope:

I have hope to live, and am prepar'd 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 skiey 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 run'st toward him still: Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'st,
Are nurs'd by baseness: Thou art by no means

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

Leab. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good
Prov. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves
a welcome.

Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
C'aut. Most holy sir, I thank you.
Inh. My business is a word or two with Claudio.
Prue. And very welcome. Look, signior, here's
your sister.
Duke. Provost, a word with you.

Duke. Bring them to


• Reluctant.

As many as you please.
speak, where I may be

Affects, affections.
Leprous eruptions.

That bear in them one and the self-same tongue
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
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
Before his 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. [Exit

[Exeunt Duke and Provost

Yet hear them.

Now, sister, what's the comfort?
Isab. Why, as all comforts are; most good indeed⚫
Lord Angelo, having atlairs to heaven,
Intends you for his swift ambassador,
where you shall be an everlasting lieger:
Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
To-morrow you set on.


Is there no remedy? Isab. None, but such a remedy, as to save a heard, 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.


Perpetual durance?

Isab. Ay, just, perpetual durance: a restraint, Though all the world's vastidity you had, To a determined scope.


But in what nature? Isab. In such a one as (you consenting to 't) And leave you naked. Would bark your honor from that trunk you bear

Claud. Let me know the point. Isob. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain, And six or seven winters more respect Than a perpetual honor. Dar'st thou die? The sense of death is most in apprehension; And the poor beetle that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant dies.


Why give you me this shame? Think you I can a resolution fetch will encounter darkness as a bride, From flowery tenderness? If I must die,

And hug it in mine arms.

Isab. There spake my brother; there my father's


Did utter forth a voice! Yes, thou must die:
Thou art too noble to conserve a life

In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,-
Whose settled visage and deliberate word

Nips youth i' the head, and follies doth enmew,
As falcon doth the fowl,- is yet a devil;
His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.



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

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

So I to offend him still: 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 your deliverance As frankly as a pin.


S Resident.

Thanks, dear Isabel.

Isab. I am now going to resolve him: I had rather my brother die by the law, than my son should be unlawfully born. But O, 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 do ing 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.

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

Isab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow.
Cloud. Yes.-Has he affections in him,
That thus can make him bite the law by the nose,
When he would force it? Sure it is no sin;
fr 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 fin'd!-0 Isabel!

Isub. What says my brother?
Death is a fearful thing.
Isub. 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 spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside

In thrilling regions of thick ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
Of those, that lawless and uncertain thoughts
Imagine howling!-'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life,
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment,
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.

Jsab. 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.

O. you beast!
O, faithless coward! O, dishonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
Is 't not a kind of incest, to take life
From thine own sister's shame? What should I

Heaven shield, my mother play'd my father fair!
For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take my defiance:
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.

O, fye, fye, fye!
Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade:
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
'Tis best that thou diest quickly.
O hear me, Isabella.
Re-enter Duke.


Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.

Isab. What is your 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


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

Duke. [To CLAUDIO, aside.] Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an essay of her virtue, to practice his judgment with the disposition of natures; she, having the truth of honor in her, hath made him that gracious denial which he is most glad to receive: I am confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to death: Do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible: to-morrow you must die; go to your knees, and make ready.

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 his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How would you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother?

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 you there: Farewell.


Re-enter Provost.

Provost, a word with
Prov. What's your will, father?


Duke. That now you are come you will be gone. Leave me awhile with the maid; my mind promises with my habit, no loss shall touch her by my


Prov. In good time. [Exit Provost. Duke. The hand that hath made you fair, hath made you good: the goodness that is cheap in

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 nuptual appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea, having in that perished vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark, how heavily this befel to the poor gentlewoman; there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever me kind and natural; with him, the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo.

Isab. Can this be so? Did Angelo so leave her! Duke. Left her in her tears, and dry'd not one of them with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonor: in few, bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet wears for his sake; and he, a marble to her tears, is washed with them, but relents not.

Isab. What a merit were it in death, to take this poor maiden from the world! What corruption in but how this life, that it will let this man live! out of this can she avail?

Duke. It is a rupture that you may easily heal: and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps you from dishonor in doing it.

Isab. Show me how, good father.

Duke. This fore-named maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection; his unjust unkindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current made it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo; answer his requiring with a plausible obedience; agree with his demands to the point: only refer yourself to this advantage,-first, that your stay with him may not be long; that the time may have all shadow and silence in it; and the place answer to convenience: this being granted in course, now follows all. We shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompense: and here, by th s is your brother saved, your honor untainted. the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. The maid will I frame, and make fit for his attempt. If you think well to carry this as you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof. What think you of it!

Isab. The image of it gives me content already, and I trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.

Duke. It lies much in your holding up: Haste you speedily to Angelo; if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will presently to St. Luke's; there, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana: At that Betrothed. Over ceached.

« ПредишнаНапред »