Duke. Dear Sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Claud. Most holy Sir, I thank you.
Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio.
Prov. And very welcome. Look, Signior, here's
Duke. Provost, a word with you.

[your sister. Prov. As many as you please.

Duke. Bring them to speak where I may be conceald, Yet hear them.

[Exeunt Duke and Provost, S CE N E II. Claud. Now, filter, what's the comfort ?

Ifab. Why, as all comforts are; most good in deed: Lord Angelo, having affairs to heav'n, Intends


for his swift ambaslador; Where you shall be an everlasting leiger. Therefore your best appointment make with speed, To-morrow you set on.

Claud. 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 ?

Ifab. Ay, just ; perpetual durance; a restraint,
Though 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 that trunk you bear, And leave


naked. Claud. Let me know the point.

Ifab.“ Oh, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, “ Left thou a fev'rous life should's entertain, “ And six or seven winters more respect “ Than a perpetual honour. Dar'st thou die? • The sense of death is most in apprehension ; " And the poor beetle that we tread upon, In corp'ral sufferance finds a pang as great, :56 As when a giant dies. VOL.I.


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Claud. Why give you me this shame? Think


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 must die :
Thou art too noble to conserve a life
In base appliances. This outward-fainted 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 priestly Angelo?

Isab. Oh, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
The damned'it body to invest and cover
In priestly guards.. Dost thou think, Claudio,
If I would yield him my virginity,
Thou might'st be freed?

Claud. Oh, heavens! it cannot be.

Tab. Yes, he would give thee for this rank offence, 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.

Ifab. 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 fin;
Ór 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 find? Oh Isabel !

Isab. What says my brother?
Claud. Death's a fearful thing.


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Ifad. 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 fenfible warm motion to become
• A kneaded clod; and the delighted fpirit
• To bathe in fiery floods, or to refide
• In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
• And blown with restlets 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 lothed worldly life,

That age, ach, penury, imprisonment
• Can lay on nature, is a paradise
• To what we fear of death.

Ifab. Alas! alas !

Claud. 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.

Ifa. Oh, you beast !
Oh, faithless coward ! oh, 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 fifter's shame? What should I think?
Heav'n grant, my mother play'd my father fair !
For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take


Die, perish ! might my only bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed.
I'll pray a thoufand prayers for thy death ;
No word to save thee.

Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel.

Isab. Oh, fie, fie, fie !
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade;
Mercy to thee, would prove itself a bawd ;
'Tis beft that thou dy'it quickly.

Claud. Oh hear me, Isabella.

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III. To them, Enter Duke and Provost. Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young sister ; but one word. Ifab. What is your will?

Duke. Might you difpenfe with your leisure, I would by and hy have some speech with you; the fatisfaction I would require, is likewise your own benefit,

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

Duke. Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you

and your fifter. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an assay of her virtue, to practise his judgment with the disposition of natures. She, having the truth of honour in her, hath made him that gracious denial, which he is most glad to receive. I am confeffor to Angelo, and I know this to be true ; therefore prepare yourself to death. Do not falsify your resolution with hopes that are fallible; to-morrow you must die; go to your knees, and make ready.

Claud. Let me ask my sister pardon; I am so out of love with life, that I will sue to be rid of it.

[Exit Claud. Duke. Hold you there; farewel. Provost, a word

with you.

Prov. What's your will, father !

Duke. That now you are come, you will be gone ; leave me a while with the maid: my mind promises.' with my habit, no loss ihall touch her by my company. Prov. In good time.

[Exit Prov. Duke. The hand that hath made you fair, hath made you good, the goodness that is cheap in beauty, makes beauty brief in goodness: but grace, being the soul of your complexion, thall keep the body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo hath made on you, fortune hath convey'd to my understanding; and but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How will you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother? Isab. I am now going to resolve him: I had rathers


cover his

my brother die by the law, than my fon should be únlawfully born. But, oh, how much is the good Duke deceiv'd in Angelo? If ever he return, and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or dis

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 doing good, a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe, that you may most uprightly do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit ; redeem your brother from the angry law; do no ítain to your own gracious person; and much please the abfent Duke, if peradventure he fhall ever return to have hearing of this business.

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

Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful : have you not heard speak of Mariana, the filter of Frederick, the grelt foldier who miscarried at sea ?

Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.

Duke. Her should this Angelo have marry'd; was affiance'd to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wreck'd at sea, having in that perish'd veffel the dowry of his fifter. But mark, how heavily this befel to the poor gentle

There she lost a noble and renowned bro. ther, in his love toward her ever most kind and natural; with him the portion and finew of her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her combinate hufband, this well-seeming Angelo.

Isab. Can this be so? did Angelo fo leave her?

Duke. Left her in tears, and dry'd not one of them with his comfort ; swallow'd his vows whole, pretending, in her, discoveries of dishonour: in few, below'd her on her own lamentation, which she yet wears for his fake; and he, a marble to her tears, is waflied with them, but relents not. Isab. What a merit were it in death to take this poor



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