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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 the, 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 compell’d lins Stand more for number than accompt.

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 fin,
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. Pleas’d you to do’t at peril of your soul,
Were equal poize of sin and charity.

Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be fin,
Heav'n, let me bear it! you, granting my suit,
If that be sin, I'll make it my morn-pray'r
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're ignorant ;
Or. feem 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 withes to appear most bright, When it doch tax it felf: as these black masques Proclaim an en-shield beauty ten times louder, Than beauty could display'd. But mark me, To be received plain, I'll speak more gross; Your brother is to die.

fab. So.

Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.
Ijab. 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 your self 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-holding 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 suppos’d, or else to let him suffer;
What would you do?

Isab. As much for my poor brother, as my self;
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th'impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies,
And strip my self to death, as to a bed
That longing I've been fick for, ere I'd yield
My body up to shame.

Ang. Then must your brother die.

Ifab. And ’twere the cheaper way; Better it were, a brother dy'd 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 flander'd so?

Isab. An ignominious ransom, and free pardon,
Are of two houses; lawful mercy, sure,
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather prov'd the sliding of your brother
A merriment, than a vice.

Isab. Oh pardon me, my lord ; it oft falls out, To have what we would have, we speak not what we

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, (13)

If (13) Else let my Brother dye,

If not a Feodary, but only He, &c.] This is so obscure a Pasage, but fo fine in its Application, that it deserves to be explain'd. A Feo.


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If not a feodary, but only he,
Owe, and succeed by weakness!

Ang. Nay, women are frail too.

Ifab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves;
Which are as easy broke, as they make forms.
Women! help heav'n; 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're made to be no Itronger,
Chan faults may shake our frames) let me be bold:
I do arrest your words: be That you are,
That is, a woman; if you're more, you're none.
If you be one, as you are well express'd
By all external warrants, shew it now,
By putting on the destin'd livery.

Ijab. I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me intreat you, speak the former language.

Ang. Plainly conceive, I love yoų.

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.

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

Ang. Believe me, on mine Honour,
My words express my purpose.

Isab. Ha! little Honour to be much believ'd, dary was One, that, in the Times of Vaffalage, held Lands of the chief Lord, under the Tenure of paying Rent and Service: which Tenures were call's Feuda amongst the Goths. This being premised, let us come to a Paraphrafe of our Author's Words: “ We are all frail, says An

gelo; yes, replies Isabella; if all Mankind were not Feodaries, who

owe what they have to this Tenure of Imbecillity, and who fucceed “ each other by the same Tenure, as well as my Brother, I would give " him up.” And the comparing Mankind, (who, according to some Divines, lye under the weight of Original Sin,) to a Feodary, who owes Suit and Service to his Lord, is, I think, one of the most beautiful Allusions imaginable.

Mr. Warburton.


And most pernicious purpose! seeming, seeming !
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look fort:
Sign me a present Pardon for my brother,
Or, with an out-stretch'd throat, I'll tell the world
Aloud, what man thou art.

Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoild Name, th’ Auftereness of my Life,
My Vouch against you, and my Place i’th’ State,
Will so your accusation over-weigh,
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 Tharp 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 muit not only die the death,
Bụt thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To ling’ring sufferance. Answer ine to morrow;
Or by th'affection that now guides me most,
I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for
Say what you can; my false o'erweighs your true,

[Exit. Isab. To whom should I complain? did I tell this, Who would believe me? O most perilous mouchs, That bear in them one and the self-fame tongue, Either of condemnation or approof; Bidding the Law make curtsie to their Will ; Hooking both right and wrong to th' apperite, To follow, as it draws. I'll to my brother. Tho' he hath fall'n by prompture of the blood, Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour, That had he twenty heads to tender down On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up; Before his fifter should her body stoop To fuch abhorr'd pollution. Then, Isabel, live, chaste; and, brother, dieg 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.


SCENE, the Prison.

Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost.


O, then you hope of pardon from lord Angelo?

Claud. The miserable have no other medicine,
But only Hope: I've hope to live, and am pre-

par'd to die.
Duke. Be absolute for death : or death, or life,
Shallthereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life; (14)
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing,
That none but fools would reck; a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skiey influences ;
That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict; meerly thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet runn'st tow'rd him itill. Thou art not noble;
For all th' accommodations, that thou bear'ft,
Are nurs’d by baseness: thou’rt by no means valiant;

Reason thus with Life;
If I do lose thee, I do lose a Thing

That none but Fools would keep.) But this. Reading is not only contrary to all Sense and Reason; but to the Drift of this moral Dif course.' The Duke, in his assum'd Character of a Friar, is endeavour. ing to instill into the condemn'd Prisoner a Relignation of Mind to his Sentence; but the Sense of the Lines, in this Reading, is a direct Per. swafive to Suicide! I make no Doubt, but the Poet wrote,

That none but Fools would reck. i. e. care for, be anxious about, regret the Loss of.

Mr. Warburton. And the Word is very frequent with our Author. 2 Gent. of Verona ;

Recking as little what betideth me,

As much I wish all Good befortune you. And Hanlet;

Himself the primrose Path of Dalliance treads,

And recks not his own Reed. Et alibi paflim.


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