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Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted,
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 compellid sins Stand more for number than accompt. Isab.
.: How say you?
Please you to do't,
OTV. Angled law, is life:
9 that hath from nature stolen, fc.] i. e. that hath killed a man.
'I had rather give my body than my soul.] She means, I think, I had rather die, than forfeit my eternal happiness by the prostitution of my person. MALONE.
Ang. Pleas'd you to do't, at peril of you r 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 To have it added to the faults of mine, And nothing of your, answer.
Nay, but hear me: Your sense pursues not mine : either you are igno
rant, 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 beautys ten times louder Than beauty could displayed.-But mark me; To be received plain, I'll speak more gross : Your brother is to die.
Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears Accountant to the law upon that pain.
Ang. Admit no other way to save his life, (As I subscribe not that," nor any other, But in the loss of question, that you, his sister, Finding yourself desir'd of such a person,
* Pleas'd you to do't, at peril, &c.] The reasoning is thus : Angelo asks, whether there might not be a charity in sin to save this brother? Isabella answers, that if Angelo will save him, she will stake her soul that it were charity, not sin. Angelo replies, that if Isabella would save him at the hazard of her soul, it would be not indeed, no sin, but a sin to which the charity would be equivalent. Johnson. *3 Proclaim an enshield beauty-] i. e. shielded beauty. * Accountant to the law upon that pain.) Pain or penalty.
5 As I subscribe not that,] To subscribe means, to agree to. Milton uses the word in the same sense.
. But in the loss of question,] i. e. conversation.
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Isab. As much for by poor brother, as myself:
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. Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a
tyrant; And rather proy'd the sliding of your brother 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
Ang. We are all frail.'
Else let my brother die, If not a feodary, but only he, $ 7 Ignomy in ransom,] So ignominy was formerly written. 8 If not a feodary, but only he, &c.] The meaning should seem
Owe, and succeed by weakness.
Nay, women are frail too.
selves; Which are as easy broke as they make forms. Women !--Help heaven! men their creation mar In profiting by them.9 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 me, That he shall die for it.
Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
Isab. I know, your virtue hath a licence in't,
Ang. . Believe me, on mine honour, My words express my purpose.
Isab. Ha! little honour to be much believ'd, to be this:-We are all frail, says Angelo. Yes, replies Isabella; if he has not one associate in his crime, if no other person own and follow the same criminal courses which you are now pursuing, let my brother suffer death. Malone.
2 In profiting by them.] In taking advantage of them. i- false prints.] i. e. take any impression.
- hath a licence in't,) an appearance of licentiousness.
And most pernicious purpose !-Seeming, seem
ing !3— 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. Ang.
Who will believe thee, Isabel ? My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life, My 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 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
That had he tumm such a mind ofte of the blood.
Seeming, seeming!] Hypocrisy, hyposcrisy.