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Isab. 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.
Well; the matter?
Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die:
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.
Heaven give thee moving graces!
Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the ctor of it
Why, every fault's condemn’d, ere it be done:
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To find the faults, whose fine stands in record,
And let go by the actor.
O just, but severe law!
I had a brother then.—Heaven keep your honour!
[Retiring. Lucio. [To Isab.] Give't not o'er so: to him again,
Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
You are too cold: if you should need a pin,
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it :
To him, I say,
Isab. Must he needs die?
Maiden, no remedy.
Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him,
And neither heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy.
Ang. I will not do't.
But can you, if you would?
Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isub. 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?
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 : Well believe this,
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshall's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a graee,
As mercy does. If he had been as you,
And you as he, you would have slipt like him ;
But he, like you, would not have been so stern.
Ang. Pray you, begone.
Isab. 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.
Lucio. Ay, touch him: there's the vein. [Aside.
Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And you but waste your words.
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.
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.
Isab. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him,
He's not prepar'd for death! Even for our kitchens
We kill the fowl of season; shall we serve heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you:
Who is it that hath died for this offence?
There's many have comınitted it.
Ay, well said,
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 the edict infringe,
Had answer'd for his deed : now, 'tis awake;
Takes note of wbat is done; and, like a prophet,,
poks in a glass, that shows what future evils
(Either now, or by remissness 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 bim 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 sentence :
And he, that suffers : 0, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.
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 thun-
Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Split'st the unwedgable and gnarled 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 fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep: who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
Lucio. O, to him, to him, wench: he will relent;
He's coming, I perceive't.
Pray heaven, she win him!
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 choleric word,
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
Lucio. Art advis'd o'that? more on't.
Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?
Isab. Because authority, though 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, tliat my sense breeds with it.
Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.
[well. Ang. I will bethink me :-Come again to-morrow. Isab. Hark, how I'll bribe you: Good my lord, turn Ang. How! bribe me?
[back. Isab. Ay, with such gifts, that heaven shall share Lucio. You had marr'd all else. (with you.
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,
Ere sun-rise; prayers from preserved souls,
From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.
Well; come to me
Lucio. Go to; it is well; away. [Aside to Isabella.
Isab. Heaven keep your honour safe!
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!
[Exeunt 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: bu is I, That lying by the violet, in the sun,
Do, as the carrion does, not as the flower,
Corrupt with virtuons 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? O, fie, fie, fie,
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,
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 saint,
With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous
Is that temptation that, doth goad us on
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,
When men were fond, I smild, and wonder'd how.
[Exit. SCENE 111. A Room in a Prison. Enter Duke, habited like a Friar, and Provost. Duke. Hail to you, provost; so, I think .you are. Prov. I am the provost: What's your will, good friar?
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 crimes, that I may
minister To them accordingly.
[ful. Prov. I would do more than that, if more were need
Look, here comes one; a gentlewoman of mine,
Who falling in the flames of her own youth,
Hath blisterd her report: She is with child;
And he that got it, sentenc'd : a young man
More fit to do another such offence,