« PreviousContinue »
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 under the terms of death,
The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies,
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 tyrant,
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.
That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none;
Isab. I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord, Let me entreat you speak the former language.
Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.
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.
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 for't: Sign me a present pardon for my brother, Or, with an outstretch'd throat, I'll tell the world Aloud, what man thou art.
Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life,
Isab. To whom shall I complain? Did I tell this, Who would believe me? O 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 the 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 On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up, Before his sister should her body stoop To such abhorr'd pollution.
(2) Attestation. (3) Reluctant.
Then Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die :
SCENE I.—A room in the prison. Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost.
Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord
Claud. The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope:
I have hope to live, and am prepar❜d to die. Duke. Be absolutel 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
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,1
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
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. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!
Prov. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio.
Duke. Provost, a word with you.
As many as you please. Duke. Bring them to speak, where I may be conceal'd,
(1) Affects, affections. (2) Leprous eruptions. (3) Old age.