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Ijab. Must he needs die?
Ang. Maiden, no remedy.
Ijab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither heav'n nor man grieve at the mercy,
Ang. I will not do't.
Ifab. But can you if you would?
Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isab. 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.
Lucio. You are too cold.
Isab. Too late? why, no; I that do speak a word,
May call it back again: 4 /and believe this,
No ceremony that to great ones belongs,
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 Nipt like him ;
But he, like you, would not have been so ftern.
· Ang. Pray you, be gone.
ifab. I would to heav'n 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.
Lucio. Ay, touch him ; there's the vein.
Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And you but waste your words.
Ifab. 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? oh, 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 dies to-morrow.
oh! that's sudden. Spare him, spare him.
He's not prepar’d for death; even for our kitchins
We kill the fowl of season; serve we heav'n
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves? good, good my lord, bethink you:
Who is it that hath dy'd for this offence?
There's many have committed it.
Lucio. Ay, well said.
Ang. The law hath not been dead, tho' it hath Nept: Those many had not dar'd to do that evil, If the first man that did th’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 s'which shews that' future evils Or new, or by remifsness new conceiv'd, And so in progress to be hatch'd and born, Are now to have no successive degrees, Butlere' they live, to end.
Isab. Yet shew some pity.
Ang. I shew it most of all when I fhew 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. Then be satisfy'd;
Your brother dies to-morrow; be content,
Isab. So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
And he that suffers : oh, 'tis excellent
To have a giant's strength; ? 'but 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 that thews what
6 here but it is tyrannous
For every pelting, 'petty officer
Incessantly would use his heav'n for thunder;
Nothing but thunder: ''merciful, sweet heav'n!
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulph'rous bolt
Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak,
Than the soft myrtle : O, but man! proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
(Most ignorant of what he's most assur’d,
His glasly essence) like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastick tricks before high heav'n,
As makes the angels weep; who with our spleens
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
Lucio. Oh, to him, to him, wench; he will relent ; He's coming: I perceive't.
Prov. Pray heav'n she win him.
Ijab. We cannot weigh our brother with your self:\ Great men may jest with saints ; 'tis wit in them, But in the less foul prophanation.
Lucio. Thou’rt right, girl; more o' that.
Isab. That in the captain's but a cholerick word, Which in the soldier is flat blafphemy.
Lucio. 2/Art thou advis'do that? more on't, yet more.
Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?
Ijab. Because authority, tho' it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in it self,
That skins the vice o'th' 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 found a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.
Ang. She speaks, and 'tis
Such sense, that my sense bleeds with’t. Fare you well.
Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.
Ang. I will bethink me: come again to-morrow.
Ijab. 8 petty officer would 9 merciful heav'n! I our self: ... old edit. Warb. emend. 2 Art avis'd o' that? more on't,
Isab. Hark how I'll bribe you: good my lord, turn back,
Ang. How? bribe me?
Isab. Ay, with such gifts that heav'n shall share with you.
Lucio. You had marr'd all else.
Isab. Not with fond shekles of the tested gold,
Or stones, whose rate 3 'is' either rich or poor
As fancy values them; but with true prayers,
That shall be up at heav'n, and enter there,
Ere sun rise: prayers from preserved fouls,
From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.
Ang. Well; come to-morrow.
Ijab. Heav'n keep your honour safe!
Ang. 4 'Amen! I say: '
(Afide. For I am that way going to temptation, Where prayers crofs.
Isab. At what hour to-morrow
Shall I attend s'you?
Ang. At any time 'fore noon.
Isað. 'Save your honour ! [Exeunt Lucio and Isabella.
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? Not fhe; 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 sealon. Can it be, That modesty may more betray our sense, Than woman's lightness? having waste ground enough, Shall we desire to raise the fanctuary, And pitch our evils there? oh, fie, fie, fie! What doft thou? or what art thou, Angelo ? Dost thou desire her foully, for those things That make her good ? Oh, let her brother live:
Thieves 5 your Lord hip?
Thieves for their robbery have authority,
When 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 faint
With faints doit bait thy hook! most dangerous
Is that temptation that doth goad us on
To fin in loving virtue ; ne'er could the strumpet,
With all her double vigour, art and nature,
Once stir my temper ; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite: Ev’n 'till this very Now,
When men were fond, I smil'd, and wonder'd how. [Exit
Enter Duke habited like a Friar, and Provost.
Ail to you, Provost ? fo I think you are. [Friar?
Prov. I am the Provost; what's your will, good
Duke. Bound by my charity, and my blest order,
I come to visit the amicted spirits
Here in the prison; do me the common right,
To let me fee them, and to make me know
The nature of their crimes; that I may minister
To them accordingly.
Prov. I would do more than that, if more were needful.
Look, here comes one; a gentlewoman of mine,
Who falling in the flaws 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.
Duke. When must he die?
Prov. As I do think, to-morrow.