« PreviousContinue »
As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,Which sorrow is always toward ourselves, not heaven;
Showing, we'd not sparel heaven, as we love it,
Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil;
Your partner, as I hear, must die to-morrow,
[Exit. Juliet. Must die to-morrow! O, injurious love, That respites me a life, whose very comfort
Is still a dying horror!
'Tis pity of him. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV-A room in Angelo's house. Enter
Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and
To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words;
Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity,
(1) Spare to offend heaven.
Why does my blood thus muster to my heart;
And dispossessing all the other parts
Of necessary fitness?
So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons;
How now, fair maid?
I am come to know your pleasure. Ang. That you might know it, would much better please me,
Than to demand what'tis. Your brother cannot live. Isab. Even so?-Heaven keep your honour!
[Retiring. Ang. Yet may he live a while; and, it may be, As long as you, or I: Yet he must die. Isab. Under your sentence? Ang. Yea.
Isab. When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve, Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted,
That his soul sicken not.
Ang. Ha! Fie, these filthy vices! It were as good To pardon him, that hath from nature stolen A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness, that do coin heaven's image, In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easy
Falsely to take away a life true made,
To make a false one.
Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth. Ang. Say you so? then I shall poze you quickly. Which had you rather, That the most just law Now took your brother's life; or, to redeem him, Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness, As she that he hath stain'd?
Isab. Sir, believe this, I had rather give my body than my soul. Ang. I talk not of your soul: Our compell'd sins Stand more for number than accompt.
How say you? Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that; for I can speak Against the thing I say. Answer to this;—
I, now the voice of the recorded law,
Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life:
To save this brother's life?
Please you to do't,
I'll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.
Ang. Pleas'd you to do't, at peril of your soul, Were equal poize of sin and charity.
Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven, let me bear it!
you granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
Nav, but hear me :
Ang. Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant, Or seem so, craftily; and that's not good.
Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good, But graciously to know I am no better.
Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright, When it doth tax itself: as these black masks Proclaim an enshield' beauty ten times louder
(1) Enshielded, covered.
Than beauty could displayed.-But mark me;
Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears Accountant to the law upon that pain.1 Isab. True.
Ang. Admit no other way to save his life (As I subscribe2 not that, nor any other, But in the loss of question,3) 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 supposed, or else 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,
The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies, And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing I have been sick for, ere I'd yield My body up to shame.
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. Ignomy4 in ransom, and free pardon, Are of two houses: lawful mercy is
Nothing akin to foul redemption.
Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a ty
And rather prov'd the sliding of your brother
(1) Penalty. (2) Agree to. (3) Conversation. (4) Ignominy.
A merriment than a vice.
Isab. O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out, To have what we'd have, we speak not what we
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he,
Nay, women are frail too. Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves;
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
And credulous to false prints.3
By putting on the destin❜d livery.
Isab. My brother did love Juliet; and you tell me,
That he shall die for it.
Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love. Isab. I know, your virtue hath a license in't, Which seems a little fouler than it is,
To pluck on others.
Believe me, on mine honour,
(1) Associate. (2) Own.