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Accountant to the law upon that pain.

Isab. True.

Ang. Admit no other way to save his life,
(As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the force of question') that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desir'd of such a person,
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch

your

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

you

do ?
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 sick for', ere I'd yield
My body up to shame.
Ang.

Then must
Your brother die.

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

mercy

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;
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 speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his advantage that I dearly love.

Ang. We are all frail.
Isab.

Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he,
Owe, and succeed this weakness'.
Ang.

Nay, women are frail too.
Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women !-Help heaven! men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For 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 are 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 be more, you're none;
If you be one, (as you are well express'd
By all external warrants,) show 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.
Isab. My brother did love Juliet; and

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,
Which seems a little fouler than it is,

me,

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.
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 fort:
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretch'd throat I'll tell the world
Aloud what man thou art.
Ang.

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,
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein:
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite;
Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blushes,
That banish what they sue for; redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me to-morrow,
Or, by the affection that now guides me most,
I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true. [Exit.

Isab. To whom should I complain op Did I tell this,
Who would believe me? Oh perilous mouths !
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof,
Bidding the law make court'sy to their will,
Hooking both right and wrong to th' appetite,
To follow as it draws. I'll to my brother:
Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour,
That had he twenty heads to tender down

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,
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorr'd pollution.
Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die :
More than our brother is our chastity.
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.

[Exit.

ACT III. SCENE I.

A Room in the Prison.

.

Enter DUKE, as a Friar, CLAUDIO, and Provost.
Duke. So then, you hope of pardon from lord Angelo?

Claud. The miserable have
No other medicine, but only hope.
I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.

Duke. Be absolute for death; either death, or life,
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skyey influences,
That dost this habitation, where thou keep’st,
Hourly afflict. Merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet run'st toward him still: thou art not noble ;
For all th' accommodations that thou bear'st,
Are nurs'd by baseness: thou art by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm: thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok’st, yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself ;
For thou exist’st on many a thousand grains
That issue out of dust: happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get,
And what thou hast forget’st. Thou art not certain ;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon : if thou art rich, thou'rt poor;

For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee: friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire",
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo', and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner: thou hast nor youth, nor age,
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth'
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld: and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this,
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand deaths, yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.
Claud.

I humbly thank you.
To sue to live, I find, I seek to die,
And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.
Isab. [Without.] What, ho! Peace here; grace and good

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.,

[which

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