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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! Fye, these filthy vices! It were as good To pardon him, that hath from nature stolen A man already made, as to remit Their sawcy sweetness, that do coin heaven's image, In stamps that are forbid : ’tis all as easy Falsely to take away a life true made, As to put mettle in restrained means, 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.

Isab. 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: Might there not be a charity in sin, To save this brother's life?

Isab. 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
To have it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your, answer.

Ang. Nay, but hear me :
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 Than beauty could displayed.—But mark me; To be received plain, I'll speak more gross : Your brother is to die.

Isab. So.

Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears 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 loss 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 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.

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. Ignominy 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
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 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 by 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 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,
Which seems a little fouler than it is,
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 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 unsoild 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
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
Before his sister should her body stoop

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