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But can you,
would ? Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do. Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no wrong, yoyr
heart were touch'd with that remorse 6
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,
touch'd with that remorse -] Remorse, for pity. 7 And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made.] As amiable as a man come fresh out of the hands of his Creator ; or, as tender-hearted and merciful as the first man was in his days of innocence, immediately after his creation.
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.
Isabel. To-morrow? O, that's sudden! Spare him,
spare him :
He's not prepar'd for death! Even for our kitchens
Ay, well said.
had not dar'd to do that evil,
Yet show some pity.
like a prophet, Looks in a glass,] This alludes to the fopperies of the beril, a kind of crystal which hath a weak tincture of red in it. Among other tricks of astrologers, the discovery of past or future events was supposed to be the consequence of looking into it.
9 But, where they live, to end.) i.e. they should end WHERE they began, i. e. with the criminal.
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. Lucio.
That's well said.
Lucio. O, to him, to him, wench: he will relent;
Pray heaven, she win him!
Lucio. Thou’rt in the right, girl; more o' that.
Isab. That in the captain's but a cholerick word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.
- pelting,] i. e. paltry.
gnarled oak,] Gnarre is the old English word for a knot in wood. + · “ But man, proud man!”
who, with our spleens, Would all themselves laugh mortal.] By spleens, Shakspeare means that peculiar turn of the human mind, that always inclines it to a spiteful, unseasonable mirth. Had the angels that, says Shakspeare, they would laugh themselves out of their immortality, by indulging a passion which does not deserve that prerogative.
Lucio. Art advis'd o' that? more on't.
Isab. Because authority, though it err like others,
She speaks, and 'tis Such sense,
my sense breeds with it. well. Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back. Ang. I will bethink me:- Come again to-morrow. Isab. Hark, how I'll bribe you : Good my lord, turn
back. Ang. How! bribe me? Isab. Ay, with such gifts, that heaven shall share with
Isab. Not with fond shekels4 of the tested gold',
: come to me To-morrow.
Lucio. Go to; it is well; away. [Aside to ISABEL. Isab. Heaven keep your honour safe!
fond shekels -] Fond means very frequently in our author, foolish. It signifies in this place valued or prized by folly.
tested gold,] i. e. brought to the test, or cupelled.
preserved souls,] i. e. preserved from the corruption of the world.