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Enter Angelo. Ang. Now, what's the matter, Provost ? Prov. Is it your will, Claudio shall die to morrow?

Ang. Did not I tell thee, yea ? hadst thou not order? Why dost thou ask again?

Prov. Left I might be too rash.
Under your good correction, I have seen,
When, after execution, judgment hath
Repented o`er his doom.

Ang. Go to; let that be mine,
Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spar'd.

Prov. I crave your pardon.
What shall be done, Sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.

Ang. Dispose of her
To some more fitting place, and that with speed.

Serv. Here is the filter of the man condemn'd,
Defires access to you.

Ang. Hath he a fifter?

Prov. Ay, my good lord, a very virtuous maid, And to be shortly of a sister-hood, If not already. Ang. Well; let her be admitted.

[Exit Servant. See you, the fornicatress be remov'd; Let her have needful, but not lavish, means ; There shall be order for it.



Enter Lucio and Isabella. Prov. 'SAVE your honour.

Ang. Stay yet a while. Y'are welcome; what's your will? Isab. I am a woful suitor to your Honour, Please but your Honour hear me.


At war,

And not my

Ang. Well; what's your fuit?

Isab. There is a vice that most I do abhor, And most desire should meet the blow of justice; For which I would not plead, but that I must; For which I must not plead, but that I am

'twixt will, and will not. Ang. Well; the matter?

Isab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die; I do beseech you, let it be his fault,

brother. Prov. Heav'n give thee moving graces !

Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it? Why, every fault's condemn'd, ere it be done; Mine were the very cipher of a function, To find the faults, whose fine stands in record, And let go by the ador.

Isab. O just, but severe law! I had a brother then; — heav'n keep your Honour!

Lucio. Give not o'er so : to him again, intreat him,
Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown ;
You are too cold; if you should need a pin,
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it,
To him, I say.

Isab. Must he needs die ?
Ang. Maiden, no remedy.
Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon

him; And neither heav'n, nor man, grieve at the mercy.

Ang. I will not do't.
Isab. But can you, if you would?
Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no

If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse,
As mine is to him ?

Ang. He's sentenc'd; 'tis too late.
Lucio. You are too cold.


Ifab. Isab. Too late ? why, no; I, that do speak a word, May call it back again : Well believe this, No ceremony that to Great ones 'longs, Not the King's crown, nor the deputed sword, The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe, Become them with one half so good a grace, As mercy does: if he had been as you, And you as he, you would have slipt like him ; But he, like


would not have been so ftern. Ang. Pray you, be gone.

Ifab. I wou'd to heav'n 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.

Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste


Ifab. Alas! alas!
Why, all the souls that are, were forfeit once:
And he, that might the 'vantage best have took,
Found out the remedy. How would you be,
If he, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you, as you are? oh, think on that;
* And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made.

Ang. 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 dies to-morrow.
Isab. To-morrow, Oh! that's sudden. Spare him,

spare him. He's not prepar'd for death: Even for our kitchins We kill the fowl, of season; shall we serve heav'n

* And mercy then will breathe within your lips,

Like man new made.] This is a fine Thought, and finely expressed : The Meaning is, that Mercy will add such Grace to your Per

will appear as amiable as Man come fresh out of the Hands of his Creator.

Jon, that


With less respect, than we do minister [you :
To our gross selves? good, good my lord, bethink
Who is it, that hath dy'd for this offence?
There's many hath committed it.

Lucio. Ay, well said.

Ang. The law hath not been dead, tho' it hath Those many

had not dar'd to do that evil, [flept: If the first man that did th' edict infringe, Had answered for his deed. Now, 'tis awake; Takes note of what is done ; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass that shews what future evils, Or new, or by remissness new-conceiv'd, And so in progress to be hatch'd and born, Are now to have no successive degrees ; But ere they live, to end.

Ifab. Yet shew some pity.

Ang. I shew it most of all, when I lhew justice ;
For then I pity those, I do not know;
Which a dismiss'd offence would after gaul;
And do him right, that, answering one foul wrong,
Lives not to act another. Be satisfy'd;
Your brother dies to-morrow; be content.
Ifab. So you must be the first, that gives this fen-

And he, that suffers : oh, 'tis excellent
To have a giant's strength ; but it is tyrannous,
To use it like a giant.

Lucio.. That's well said.

fab. Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet;
For every pelting, petty, officer
Would use his heav'n for thunder;
Nothing but thunder: merciful heav'n!
Thou rather with thy sharp, and sulph'rous, bolt
Split's the unwedgeable and gnarled oak,
Than the soft myrtle : O, but man! proud man,
Dreft in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most affur'd,


C 3

His glasly essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heav'n,
As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Lucio. Oh, to him, to him, Wench: he will relent; He's coming: I perceive't.

Prov. Pray heav'n, she win him!

Ijab. We cannot weigh our brother with yourself : Great men may jest with Saints; 'tis wit in them ; But, in the less, foul prophanation.

Lucio. 'Thou'rt right, girl; more o' that.

Ijab. That in the captain's but a choleric word,
Which in the soldier is flat blafphemy.

Lucio. Art avis'd o'that? more on't.
Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?

Isab. Because authority, tho'it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
That skins the vice o'th'top: go to your bosom ;
Knock there, and ask your heart, what it doóth know
That's like my brother's fault; if it confefs
A natural guiltiness, such as is his,
Let it not found a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.

Ang. She speaks, and 'tis such fense, That my senle bleeds with it. Fare you well. Ifab. 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 heav'n fhall share

with you.

Lucio. You had marr'd all else.

Isab. Not with fond fhekles of the tested gold,
Or stones, whose rate are either rich, or poor,
As fancy values them; but with true prayers,
That shall be up at heav'n, and enter there,
Ere sun-rise: prayers from preserved fouls,


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