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For thou doft fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm. Thy best of Reft is fleep,
And that thou oft provok'st; yet grofly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou’rt not thy self ;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains,
That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not ;
For what thou haft not, ftill thou striv'st to get;
And what thou hast, forgett'st. Thou art not certain ;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou’rt poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloadeth chee. Friend thou hast none;
For thy own bowels, which do call thee Sire,
The meer effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the Gout, Serpigo, and the Rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth, nor
But as it were an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doch beg the alms
Of palfied Eld; and when thou're old and rich,
(15) Thou hast nor Youth, nor Age ; &c.] Mr. Warburton has given me a Correction of, and Paraphrale on, this and the subsequent Lines ; which shews so fine a Spirit, that, tho' I have not ventur'd tb disturb the Text, I must not deprive my Readers of it.“ Drift of this period, you see, is to prove, that neither Youth, nor Age, " is really enjoy'd : which, in poetical Language is, We have neither “ Youth, nor Age.
But how is This prov'd ? That Age is not enjoy'd, " he makes appear by recapitulating the Infirmities of it, which deprive “ old Age of the Senie of Pleasure. To prove Youth is not enjoy'd, he “ uses these Words; for all thy blessed Youth becomes as aged, and dorb
beg the Alms of palfed Eld. Out of which, he that can deduce the
Proof, erit mihi magnus Apollo. ". Undoubtedly, if we would know how the Author wrote, we must read.
for, pall'd, thy blazed Youth Becomes aliuaged; and doth beg the Alms
Of palfied Eld. " i.e. When thy youthful Appetite becomes palld, as it will be, in the “ Enjoyment; the Blaze of Youth becomes assuaged, and thou immedi
ately contraet'st the Infirmities of Age; as, particularly, the Palfie, " and other nervous Infirmities; the Confequence of the Enjoyment of « sensual Pleasure. This is to the Purposc; and proves Youth is not enjoy'd, by thewing the deeping Daration of it."
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
Lye bid more thousand deaths; yet death we fear,
That makes thefe odds all even.
Claud. I humbly thank you.
To fue to live, I find, I seek to die;
And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.
Isab. What, ho? peace here: grace and good com-
pany! Prov. 'Who's there? come in: the with deserves a
welcome. Duke. Dear Sir, ere long I'll visit you again. Claud. Moft holy Sir, I thank you. Isab. My Business is a word, or two, with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome. Look, Signior, here's
Dúke. Provost, a word with you.
Prov. As many as you please.
Duke. Bring them to speak where I may be con-
ceal'd, Yet hear them.
[Exeunt Duke and Provoft. Claud. Now, fifter, what's the comfort?
Isab. Why, as all comforts are ; most good in Deed: Lord Angelo, having affairs to heav'n, 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.
Glaud. 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.
Claud. Perpetual durance?
Isab. Ay, juft; perpetual durance; a restraint,
Tho all the world's vaftidity you had,
To a determin'd scope.
Claud. But in what nature?
Isab. In such a one, as you, consenting to't, Would bark your honour from thac trunk you beat, And leave you naked.
Claud. Let me know the point.
· Isab. Oh, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Leit thou a fev'rous life should'st entertain,
And fix or feven Winters more refpect
Than a perpetual Honour. Dar'ft thou die?
The lenie of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor Beetle, that we tread upon,
In corp'ral sufferance finds a pang as great,
As when a Giant dies.
Claud. Why give you me this shame?
Think you, I can a resolution fetch
From flow'ry tenderness ? if I must die,
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.
Isab. There fpake my brother; there my father's
Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou muft die:
Thou art too noble to conferve a life
In base appliances. This outward-lainted Deputy,
Whose settled visage and delib'rate word
Nips youth i'th' head; and follies doth emmew,
As faulcon doth the fowl; is yet a devil:
His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.
Claud. The Princely Angelo?
Isab. Oh, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
The damned'ft body to invest and cover
In Princely guards. Dost thou think, Claudio,
If I would yield him my virginity,
Thou might'st be freed?
Claud. Oh, heavens! it cannot be.
Isab. Yes, he would give't thee; from this rank
So to offend him still. This night's the time
That I should do what I abhor to name,
Or else thou dy'st to morrow.
Claud. Thou shalt not do't.
Isab. Oh, were it but my life,
I'd throw it down for your deliverance
As frankly as a pin.
Claud. Thanks, dearest 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 th' nose,
When he would force it? sure, it is no lin;
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 fin'd? oh Isabel!
Ijab. What says my brother?
Claud. Death's a fearful thing.
Isab. And Thamed life a hateful.
Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where:
To lye 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-ribb’d ice,
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendant 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, (16)
That (16) The weariest, and most loathed worldly Life,] This natural Fear of Claudio, from the Antipathy we have to Death, seems very little varied from that infamous With of Mæcenas recorded in the 101st Epilik of Seneca.
Debilem facito manu,
Debilem pede, coxa ;
Tuber adftrue gibberum,
Lubricos quate dentes :
That age, ach, penury, imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
Isab. Alas! alas!
Claud. Sweet sister, let me live ;
What fin you do to save a brother's life,
Nature dispenses with the deed so far,
That it becomes a virtue.
Isab. Oh you beast!
Oh' faithless coward! oh dishonest wretch
this Wilt thou be made a man, out of my vice?
Is't not a kind of incest, to take life
From thine own lifter's shame? what should I think?
Heav'n grant, my mother plaid my father fair :
O For such a warped Nip of wilderness
Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take my defiance,
Die, perish! might my only 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, ifabel.
Isab. Oh, fie, fie, fie!
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade;
Mercy to thee would prove it self a bawdz
'Tis best, that thou dy'st quickly.
Claud. Oh hear me, Isabella.
To them, Enter Duke and Provost.
Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young fifter ; but one
Isab. What is your will?
Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would
by and by have some speech with you: the satisfacti-
on I would require, is likewise your own benefit.
Isab. I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be
Vita, dum fupereft, bene eft.
Hanc mihi, vel acuta
Si sedeam cruce, fuftine.