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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 fin, 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 here me:
Your sense pursues not mine: either, you're 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 bright,
When it doth tax itself:' as these black masks,
Proclaim an en-fhield beauty ten times louder,
Than beauty could display'd. But mark me,
To be received plain, I'll speak more grofs ;
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 defir'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 myself : That is, were I under the terms of death, Th’ impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies, And strip myself 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.

Isab. And 'twere the cheaper way; Better it were, a brother dy'd at once; Than that a fifter, by redeeming him, Should die for ever.

Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentence, That you have slander'd fo?

Isab. As 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, (mean: For his advantage that I dearly love.

Ang. We are all frail.

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

Ang. 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 heav'n; men their creation mar, In profiting by them: nay, call us ten times frail ; 1 Else let my brother die.

If not a feodary, but only he, &c.] This is so obscure, but the Allusion so fine, that it deferves to be explain'd. A Feodary was one, that in the Times of Vassalage held Lands of the chief Lord, under the Tenure of paying Rent and Service : Which Tenures were çall'd Feuda amongit the Goths. Now, says Angelo, - we are all frail;. yes, re

plies tjübella ; if all Mankind were not Feodaries, who owe what “ they are to this Tenure of Imbecillity, and who succeed each other

by the same Tenure, as well as my Brother, I would give him up." The comparing Mankind, lying under the Weight of original Sin, to a Feodary, who owes Suit and Service to his Lord, is, I think, not ill imagined.


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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 stronger,
Than faults may shake our frames) let me be bold;
I do arrest your words: be That you are,
That is, a women; 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.

Isab. I have no tongue but one; gentle, my lord,
Let me intreat you, + speak the formal language.

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.

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,
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 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 fo your accusation over-weigh,

shall stifle in your own report, And smell of calumny. I have begun ; And now I give my sensual the rein.

* And credulous to falje prints.] i. e. take any Impression.

+ --speak the former language.] We should read formal which he here uses for plain, direct.

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Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blushes,
That banish what they fue 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 ling’ring sufferance. Answer me to-morrow;
Or by th' affection that now guides me moft,
I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can; my false o'erweighs your true. [Ex.

Ísab. To whom should I complain? did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O most perilous mouths,
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof;
Bidding the law make curtsy to their will;
Hooking both right and wrong to th' appetite,
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, 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.


Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost.

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 prepar'd

to die. Duke. Be absolute for death: or 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 reck; a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skiey influences,
That do this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly affiat; merely thou art Death's Fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to fhun,
And yet runn'st tow'rd him ftill. Thou art not noble;
For all th' accommodations, that thou bear'ft,
Are nurs’d by baseness: thou'rt by no means valiant;
For thou doit fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm. Thy best of Rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok'st; yet groily fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou'rt not thyself;
For thou exist'it on many a 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'rt poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloadeth thee. Friend thou hast none;
For thy own bowels, which do call thee Sire,
The mere esfusion 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,

{age ; Dreaming on both; for pall’d, thy blazed youth Becomes assuaged, and doth beg the alms Of pallied Eld; and when thou’rt old and rich, Thou hast neither *heat, affection, limb, nor bounty

*--hect, affection, limb, nor beauty] But how does Beauty make Riches pleasant? We should read Bounty, which completes the Sense, and is this ; Thou hast neither the Pleasure of enjoying Riches thyself, for thou wanteft Vigour: Nor of seeing it enjoyed by others, for thou wanteft Bounty. Where the making the Want of Bounty as inseparable from old Age as the Want of Health, is extremely satirical tho!! not aliogether just.


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