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So grace go with you; benedicite.
[Exit. Juliet. Muft die to-morrow! oh, injurious love, That respites me a life, whose very comfort Is still a dying horror! Prov. 'Tis pity of him.
[Exeunt. SCENE changes to the Palace.
Enter Angelo. Ang.
Hen I would pray and think, I think and pray
To sev'ral subjects: heav'n hath my empty
Whilft my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: Heav'n's in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew its name;
And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
Of my conception: the ftate, whereon I studied,
Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein (let no man hear me) I take pride,
Could I with boot change for an idle plume
Which the air beats for vain. Oh place! oh form!
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wifer fouls
To thy false seeming? blood, thou art but blood :
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn;
'Tis not the devil's creit.
How now, who's there?
Serv. One Isabel, a fifter, desires access to you.
Ang. Teach her the way. Oh heay’ns !
Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,
Making both that unable for itself,
And dispossessing all my other parts
Of necessary fitness!
So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons;
Come all to help him, and so stop the air
By which he should revive : and even so
The gen’ral subjects to a well-wilt King
Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
Must needs appear offence. How now, fair maid ?
Isab. I am come to know your pleasure.
Ang. That you might know it, would much better
please me, Than to demand, what 'tis. Your brother cannot live.
Ijab. Ev'n so ? - Heav'n keep your Honour! (Going.
Ang. Yet may he live awhile; and, it may be, As long as you or I; yet he must die.
Isab. Under your sentence ?
Ijab. When, I beseech you? that in this reprieve,
Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted,
That his soul ficken not.
Ang. Ha? fy, these filthy vices ! 'twere as good
To pardon him, that hath from nature stol’n
A man already made, as to remit
Their fawcy sweetness, that do coin heav'ns image
In ftamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easy,
Falsely to take away a life true made;
As to put metal in restrained means,
To make a false one.
Ifab. 'Tis set down fo in heav'n, but not in earth.
Ang. And say you so? then I shall poze you quickly.
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem him,
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she, that he hath stain'd ?
Isab. 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 accompt.
Isab. How say you?
Ang. Nay, I'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 fin,
To save this brother's life?
Ifab. Please you to do't,
I'll take it as a peril to my foul,
It is no fin at all, but charity.
Ang. Pleas'd you to do't at peril of your soul,
Were equal poize of fin and charity.
Ifab. That I do beg his life, if it be fin,
Heav'n, let me bear it! you granting my fuit,
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.
Ifab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
But graciously to know I am no better.
Ang: Thus wifdom wishes to appear moft bright,
When it doth tax itself: as these black masques
Proclaim an en-fhield 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.
Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears Accountant to the law upon that pain.
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 fifter
Finding yourself desir'd of such a person,
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
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 you
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, ére I'd yield
My body up to shame.
Ang. Then must your brother die.
Ifab. 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?
Ijab. An igrominious ransom, and free pardon,
Are of two houses; lawíul mercy, sure,
Is nothing kin to foui 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 fpeak not what we mean:
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his advantage that I dearly love.
Ang. We are all frail.
Ijab. Else let my brother die, (13)
If not a feodary, but only he,
Owe, and succeed by weakness !
(13) Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only be, &c.] This is so obscure a paso sage, but so fine in its application, that it deserves to be explain d.. A feodary was one, that, in the times of vafsalage, held lands of the chief Lord, under the tenure of paying rent and service : which tenures were callid feuda amongst the Goths.' This being premised, let us come as a paraphrase of our Author's words. « We are all “ frail, says Angelo, yes, replies Isabella; if all mankind were not “ feodaries, who owe what they have to this tenure of imbecillity, « and who succeed each other by the same tenure, as well as my « brother, would give him up." And the comparing mankind, (who, according to come Divines, lie under the weight of original ling) to a feodary, who owes fuit and service to his Lord, is, I think, one of the most beautiful allusions iinaginable.
Mr. Warburton. 2.3
Ang. Nay, women are frail too.
Ifab. Ay, as the glaffes 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;
Fir 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 woman; if you're more, you're none.
If you be one, as you are well expressid
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 former language.
Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.
Tab. 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-strech'd throat, I'll tell the world
Aloud, what man thou art.
Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel ?
My unsoil'd name, th' austereness of my life,
My vouch against you, and my place i' th' State,
Will fo your accufation over-weigh,
shall stifle in you“ own report, And smell of calumny. I have begun; And now I give my sensual race the rein.