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Lucio. Has censur'd him
Isa. Alas! what poor ability's in me
Lucio. Assay the power you have.
Lucio. Our doubts are traitors,
Isa. I'll see what I can do.
Isa. I will about it straight;
Lucio. I take my leave of you,
[Exeunt ISABELLA and Lucio.
ACT THE SECOND,
Enter ESCALUS, ANGELO, and Provost, Ang. We must not make a scarecrow of the law, Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Esca. Ay, but yet
man, Whom I would save, had a most noble father. Let but your honour know, (Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,) Had time coher'd with place, or place with wishing, Whether
had not, sometime in your life, Err’d in this point, which now you censure him, And pull'd the law upon you?
Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
Esca. Be it as your wisdom will.
[Exit EscaLUS. Prov. Is it your will, Claudio shall die to-mor
row ? Ang. Did not I tell thee, yea? Hadst thou not
order? Why dost thou ask again?
Pro. Lest I might be too rash : Under
your good correction, I have seen, When, after execution, judgment hath Repented o'er his doom.
Ang. Go to ; let that be mine:
Prov. I crave your honour's pardon.-
Ang. Dispose of her
Ang. Hath he a sister?
Prov. Ay, my good lord ; a very virtuous maid,
[Exit Thomas. See you,
the fornicatress be remov'd; Let her have needful, but not lavish, means; There shall be order for it.
Enter ISABELLA, and Lucio.
[Exit Provost. Ang. You are welcome: What's your will?
Isa. I am a woeful suitor to your honour, Please but your honour hear me.
Ang. Well, what's your suit ?
Isa. There is a vice, that most I do abhor,
Ang. Well; the matter?
Isa. I have a brother is condemn'd to die :
Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it! Why, every fault's condemn'd, ere it be done : Mine were the very cypher of a function, To fine the faults, whose fine stands in record, And let go by the actor.
Isa. O just, but severe law! I had a brother then.--Heaven keep your honour!
Isa. Must he needs die ?
Isa. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither Heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy.
Ang. I will not do't.
Ang. He's sentenc'd; 'tis too late.
Isa. Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a word, May call it back again : Well, believe this, No ceremony that to great ones 'longs, Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword, The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe, Become them with one half so good a grace, As mercy does. If he had been as you, and you as he, You would have slipp'd, like him; but he like you, Would not have been so stern.
Ang. Pray you, be gone.
Isa. I would to Heaven I had your potency, And you were Isabel ! should it then be thus !
No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge,
Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
you but waste your words.
then will breathe within your lips, Like man new made.
Ang. Be you content, fair maid; It is the law, not I, condemns your
brother: Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him ;-he must die to
Isa. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him,
He's not prepard for death!
have committed it. Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath
slept: Those many
had not dar'd to do that evil, If the first man, that did infringe the edict, Had answer'd for his deed.
Isa. Yet show some pity.
Ang. I show it most of all, when I show justice; For then I pity those I do not know, Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall; And do him right, that, answering one foul wrong, Lives not to act another. Be satisfy'd; Your brother dies to-morrow; be content. Isa. So you must be the first, that gives this sen
tence; And he, that suffers : 0, it is excellent