Page images

Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath

Those many had not dar'd to do that evil,
If the first man that did the edict infringe,
Had answer'd for his deed: now, 'tis awake;
Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils
(Either now, or by remissuess new-conceiv'd,
And so in progress to be hatch'd and born),
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, where they live, to end.

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 satisfied ;
Your brother dies to-morrow: be content.
Isab. So you must be the first, that gives this sen.

And he, that suffers : 0, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

Lucio. . That's well said.

Isab. Could great men thunder As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet, For every pelting* petty officer, Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but

thunder. Merciful heaven! Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt, Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarledt oak, Than the soft myrtle:-0, but man, proud man! Drest in a little brief authority; Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd, His glassy essence,-like an angry ape, Plays such fantastick tricks before high heaven,



As make the angels weep: who, with our spleens, Would all themselves laugh mortal. .

Lucio, 0, to him, to him, wench: be will relent: He's coming, I perceive't. Prod.

Pray heaven, she win bim! Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself: Great men may jest with saints: 'tis wit in them: But, in less, foul profanation.

Lucio, Thou'rt in the right, girl ; more o' that.

Isab. That in the captain's but a cholerick word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Lucio. Art advis'do that? more on't.
Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?

Isab. Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
That skins the vice o' the top: Go to your bosom;
Knock there; and ask your heart, what it doth know
That's like my brother's fault: if it confess
A natural guiltiness, such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.

She speaks, and 'tis Such sense, that my sense breeds with it. Fare

you well. Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back. Ang. I will bethink me:-Come again to.morrow, Isab. Hark, how I'll bribe you : Good niy lord,

turn back. Ang. How! bribe me? Isa. Ay, with such gifts, that heaven shall share

with you. Lucio. You had marr'd all else.

Isab. Not with fond shekels of the tested gold, Or stones, whose rates are either rich or poor, As fancy values them: but with true prayers, That shall be up in heaven, and enter there,

• Attested, stamped.
# Preserved from the corruption of the world.

Ere sun-rise; prayers from preservedt souls,
From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.

Well; come to me
Lucio. Go to; it is well; away.

(Aside to Isabel. Isab. Heaven keep your honour safe! Ang.

Amen : for I Am that way going to temptation,

[Aside. Where prayers cross. Isab.

At what hour to-morrow
Shall I attend your lordship?

At any time 'fore noon. Isab. Save your honour!

[Ereunt Lucio, Isabella, and Provost. Ang.

From thee; even from thy virtue! What's this? what's this? Is this her fault, or mine? The tempter, or the tempted, who sins most? Ha! Not she; nor doth she tempt: but it is I, That lying by the violet, in the sun, Do, as the carrion does not as the flower, Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be, That modesty may more betray our sense Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground

enough, Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary And pitch our evils there*? 0, fy, fy, fy, What dost thou? or what art thou, Angelo ? Dost thou desire her foully, for those things That make her good ? o, let her brother live: Thieves for their robbery have authority, Wben judges steal themselves. What? do I love her, That I desire to hear her speak again, And feast upon her eyes ? What is't I dream on? O cunning enemy, that, to catch a saint, With saints dost bait thy hook ! Most dangerous Is that temptation, that, doth goad us on

• See 2 Kings, X. 27.

To sin in loving virtue: never could the strumpet,
With all her double vigour, art, and nature,
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite ;-Ever, till now,
Wheu men were fond, I smil'd, and wouder'd how.



A room in a prison.

Enter Duke, habited like a Friar, and Provost.

Duke. Hail to you, provost; so, I think you are.
Prod. I am the provost: What's your will, good

Duke. Bound by my charity, and my bless'd

order, I come to visit the afflicted spirits Here in the prison : do me the common right To let me see them; and to make me know The nature of their crinies, that I may minister To them accordingly. - Proo. I would do more than that, if more were


Enter Juliet.

Look, here comes one; a gentlewoman of mine,
Who falling in the flames of her own youth,
Hath blister'd her report: She is with child;
And he that got it, sentenc'd : a young man
· More fit to do another such offence,
Than die for this.

Whep must he die?
Prov. As I do think, to-morrow.
I have provided for you; stay a while. (To Juliet.
And you shall be conducted.

Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?

Juliet. I do; and bear the shame most patiently.
Duke. I'll teach you how you shall arraign your

And try your penitence, if it be sound,
Or hollowly put on.

I'll gladly learn.
Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you?
Juliet. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him.

Duke. So then, it seems, your most offenceful act
Was mutually committed ? . 1

Mutually. . Duke. Then was your sin of heavier kind than his. Juliet. I do confess it, and repent it, father. ; Duke. 'Tis meet so, daughter': But lest you do

As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,
Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, not heaven;
Showing, we'd not spare* heaven, as we love it,
But as we stand in fear,

Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil;
And take the shame with joy.

There rest.
Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow,
And I am going with instruction to him.'
Grace go with you ! Benedicite!

[Erit. Juliet. Must die to-morrow! 0, injurious love, That respites me a life, whose very comfort Is still a dying horror! Prou.

'Tis pity of him. [Exeunt.

* Spare to offend heaven.


« PreviousContinue »