Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem him,
Give up your body to such sweet ancleanness,
As she that he hath stain'd ?

Ifab. Sir, believe this,
I had rather give my body than my soul.

Ang. I talk not of your soul; our compelld fins Stand more for number than account.

Ijab. How fay you?

Ang. Nay, l'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?

Ifab. 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 fin 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 hear 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 thefe black masks 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.

Ifa. 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 filter,


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-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 fuffer;
What would


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 sister, by redeeming him, Should die for ever.

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

Ifab. 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.

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

Ang. Nay, women are fail 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 foft 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 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 formal * language.

Ang. Plainly conceive I love you.

Isab. My brother did love Juliet; And you

tell me that she 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.

Ifa. Ha ! little honour to be much believ'd,
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 unfoil'd name, th' austereness of my life,
My vouch against you ; and my place i'th' state,
Will fo your accusation overweigh,

shall stifle in your own report, And finell of calumny. I have begun; And now I give my fenfual


the rein. Fit thy consent to my tharp 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 elie be must not only die the death, But thy unkindness ihall his death draw out To lig'ring fufferance.

Answer me to-morrow; Or by ih' ailection that now guides me moft, Joi, for fluix, dire,


I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can; my false o’erweighs you true.

Ifab. To whom should I complain? did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O molt perilous mouths,
That bear in them one and the self fame 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 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.


The prison. Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost. Duke. then you hope of pardon from Lord An

gelo? Claud. The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope : l’ve hop'd 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; i 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'ít,

Hourly amict; merely thou art death's foolt;


. For

* Approof here is to be taken in the sense of approbation.

+ In the fimplicity of the ancien: thews up; ( ur tage, it was pommon to bring in two figures, one representing a fool, ihe other dealle


· 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'accoinmodations, that thou bear'st, • Are nurs’d by bafeness: 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'it; yet grossly fear'it

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’ft. 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’it thy heavy riches but a journey, • And death unloadeth thee. Friend thou hast none;

For thy own bowels, which do call thee fire, • The mere 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,

[age; Dreaming on both; for pall'd, thy blazed youth • Becomes assuaged, and doth beg the alms • Of palsied Eld; and when thou’rt old and rich, • Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor bounty, • 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 there odds all even.

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

Enter Isabella.
Isab. What, ho? peace here, grace and good com-

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Prov. Who's there? come in the wilh deserves a

welcome. er fate. The turn and contrivance of the piece was to make the fool jay many stratageins to avoid death, which yet brought him more immedia ely into the jüri's of it.



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