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Accountant to the law upon that pain.
Ang. Admit no other way to save his life,
brother from the manacles Of the all-binding 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 suffer, What would
Isab. And 'twere the cheaper way. Better it were, a brother died 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 slander'd so? Isab. Ignomy in ransom', and free pardon, .Are of two houses : lawful
is Nothing akin to foul redemption'.
* But in the FORCE of question)] i. e. In the compulsion of qnestion, or for the sake of argument. Such is the lection of the corr. fo. 1832, in opposition to " in the loss of question," out of which no sense has yet been extracted. All the folios have" in the loss of question."
* Of the all-BINDING law ;] This, in fact, is Theobald's emendation for “all. building" of the folios, and Johnson was in favour of "all-binding :" that they were right we have now the evidence of the corr. fo. 1632.
• That longing I've been sick for,] So the corr. fo. 1632: the folio, 1623, omits the pronoun, and prints " That longing have been sick for."
· IGNOMY in ransom,] The second folio reads ignominy for “ignomy:" the word “ignomy" occurs again in Vol. iii. p. 416, Vol. iv. p. 594, and Vol. v. p. 61.
* Nothing AKIN to foul redemption.] The folios bave kin for "akin ;” but then they regulate the passage differently :
" lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption."
Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant;
Isab. Oh, pardon me, my lord ! it oft falls out,
Ang. We are all frail.
Else let my brother die,
Nay, women are frail too.
I think it well;
may shake our frames,) let me be bold :
Isab. I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord,
Ang. Plainly, conceive I love you.
tell That he shall die for't.
Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
Isab. I know, your virtue hath a licence in't,
If not a feodary, but only be,
Owe, and succeed this weakness.] The word "this" (instead of thy, as it stands in the old copies) is from an old Ms. note in the margin of the Earl of Ellesmere's first folio: it is probably right, and the meaning of the whole passage seems to be, "If we are not all frail, let my brother die, if he alone offend, and have no feodary (companion or accomplice) in this weakness." To "owe is here, as in many other instances, to own. The two lines are erased in the corr. fo. 1632, as if not understood; yet there we find “this weakness" instead of “thy weakness :" " thy'weakness" could only apply to Angelo.
To pluck on others.
Believe me, on mine honour
Isab. Ha! little honour to be much believ'd,
Who will believe thee, Isabel ? My unsoil'd name, the anstereness of my
life, May vouch against you“; and my place i' the state, Will so your accusation overweigh, That you
shall stifle in your own report,
Isab. To whom should I complain op Did I tell this,
• May vouch against you ;] “May" for My is a slight change made in the corr. fo. 1632, and the sense seems to show tbat so the poet wrote.
First (says Angelo) my unsoil'd name and austerity of life“ may vouch against you ;" and, then, my place in the state will overbalance the weight of
your accusation. * To whom SHOULD I complain?] So the folio of 1623, and all the others. Wby Malone and Steevens altered “should " to shall is no where stated : they did precisely the reverse in a former scene of this play, A. Ü. sc. I, and perhaps it was only an oversight in both places.
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
ACT III. SCENE I.
A Room in the Prison.
Enter DUKE, as a Friar, CLAUDIO, and Provost.
Claud. The miserable have
Duke. Be absolute for death; either death, or life,
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
I humbly thank you.
company! Prov. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
Enter ISABELLA'. Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again. Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you. Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome.—Look, signior; here's your
sister. Duke. Provost, a word with you. Proo. As many as you please. Duke. Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be conceal'd'.
[Exeunt DUKE and Provost.
which do call thee SIRE,] The old folios of 1623, 1632, 1664, and 1685 have fire for "sire,” 8 misprint from taking the long : for f. The Earl of Ellesmere's folio of 1623 gives the true reading in old M8.
ISBRPIGO,) The first folio has sapego, the second sarpego: the “serpigo" is a kind of tetter or leprosy, which has sometimes been misprinted fetter.
for all thy BLESSED youth] " Boasted youth" in the corr. fo. 1632, but perbaps it only proves that some actor recited boasted, instead of "blessed."
• Enter Isabella.] According to modern editors, Isabella enters before the Provost asks, “ Who's there?" and tells her to “come in."
· Bring me to hear THEM speak, where I may be conceal'd,] The first folio bas the line, “ Bring them to hear me speak,” &c.,