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Lucio. Has censur'd him
Already; and, as I hear, the Provost hath
A warrant for his execution.

Isa. Alas! what poor ability's in me
To do him good?

Lucio. Assay the power you have.
Isa. My power! Alas! I doubt,

Lucio. Our doubts are traitors,
And make us lose the good we oft might win,
By fearing to attempt: Go to Lord Angelo,
And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,
Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
All their petitions are as freely theirs
As they themselves would .owe them.

Isa. I'll see what I can do.
Lucio. But, speedily.

Isa. I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
Commend me to my brother: soon at night
I'll send him certain word of my success,

Lucio. I take my leave of you,
Isa, Good șir, adieu.

[Exeunt ISABELLA and Lucio.

ACT THE SECOND,

SCENE I.

ANGELO's House.

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
Their perch, and not their terror.

Esca. Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,'
Than fall, and bruise to death : Alas! this gentle

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

you

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,
Another thing to fall.
You may not so extenuate his offence,
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partiał.--Sir, he must die.

Esca. Be it as your wisdom will.
Ang. Where is the Provost ?
Prov. Here, if it like your

honour.
Ang. See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning :
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepard ;
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.
Esca. Well, Heaven forgive him! and forgive us all !

[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:
Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spar'd.

Prov. I crave your honour's pardon.-
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.

Ang. Dispose of her
To some more fitting place; and that with speed.

Enter THOMAS.
Tho. Here is the sister of the man condemn’d,
Desires access to you.

Ang. Hath he a sister?

Prov. Ay, my good lord ; a very virtuous maid,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.
Ang. Well, let her be admitted.

[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.
Prov. Save

your
honour!

[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,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice;
For which I would not plead, but that I must;
For which I must not plead, but that I am
At war 'twixt will and will not.

Ang. Well; the matter?

Isa. I have a brother is condemn'd to die :
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

him;

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!

[Retiring.
Lucio. Give't not o'er so: to him again, entreat
Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
You are too cold.

Isa. Must he needs die ?
Ang. Maiden, no remedy.

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.
Isa. But can you, if you would?
Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isa. But might you do't, and do the world no

wrong,
If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse
As mine is to him?

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,
And what a prisoner.

Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And

you but waste your words.
Isa. Alas! alas!
Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once;
And He that might the vantage best have took,
Found out the remedy: How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you, as you are? O, think on that;
And
mercy

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

morrow.

Isa. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him,

spare him;

He's not prepard for death!
Good, good, my lord, bethink you :
Who is it that hath died for this offence?
There's
many

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

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