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SCENE IV.-A Room in ANGELO'S House.


Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and

To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words,
Whilst my intention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: heaven in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew his name,
And in my heart the strong and swelling evil

Of my conception. The state, whereon I studied,
Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown sear and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein (let no man hear me) I take pride,
Could I, with boot, change for an idle plume,
Which the air beats for vain. O place! O form!
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood:
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn,
'Tis not the devil's crest.

Enter Servant.

How now! who's there?


Desires access to you.

O heavens!

One Isabel, a sister,

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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.

Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that is 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

Teach her the way. [Exit Serv. Proclaim an inshell'd beauty ten times louder

Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,
Making it both unable for itself,

And dispossessing all my other parts

Of necessary fitness?

So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons;
Come all to help him, and so stop the air
By which he should revive: and even so
The general, subject to a well-wish'd king,
Quit their own path, and in obsequious fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
Must needs appear offence.


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 force 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 suppos'd, or else to let him suffer, Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live. What would Isab. Even so.-Heaven keep your honour!

How now, fair maid?


I am come to know your pleasure. Ang. That you might know it, would much better please me,

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Ang. Ha! Fie, these filthy vices! It were as good Better it were, a brother died at once, To pardon him, that hath from nature stolen

A man already made, as to remit

Their saucy 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 metal 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?

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Else let my brother die, If not a feodary, but only he, Owe, and succeed this 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,

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Who will believe thee, Isabel? My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life, May 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.

Isab. To whom should 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 th' 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.

Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die :
More than our brother is our chastity.
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.



SCENE I.-A Room in the Prison. Enter DUKE, as a Friar, CLAUDIO, and Provost. Duke. So then, you hope of pardon from lord Angelo? Claud. The miserable have

No other medicine, but only hope.

I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.

Duke. Be absolute 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,
Servile to all the skyey influences,
That do this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict. Merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet run'st toward him still: thou art not noble ;
For all th' accommodations that thou bear'st,
Are nurs'd by baseness: thou art by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm: thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok'st, yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
That issue out of dust: happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get,
And what thou hast forget'st. Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon: if thou art rich, thou'rt poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,

Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee: friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner: thou hast nor youth, nor age,
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy boasted youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld: and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this,
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand deaths, yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.


I humbly thank you.

To sue to live, I find, I seek to die,
And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.
Isab. [Without.] What, ho! Peace here; grace and
good company!

Prov. Who's there? come in the wish deserves a welcome.

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Isab. And shamed life a hateful.

Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot;

This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
Of those that lawless and incertain thoughts
Imagine howling!-'tis too horrible.
The weariest and most loathed worldly life,
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature, is a paradise

To what we fear of death.

Isab. Alas! alas!

Sweet sister, let me live.

What sin you do to save a brother's life,
Nature dispenses with the deed so far,
That it becomes a virtue.

O, you beast!
O, faithless coward! O, dishonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
Is't not a kind of incest to take life

From thine own sister's shame? What should I think?
Heaven shield, my mother play'd my father fair,
For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take my
Die; perish! might but my bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed.
I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,
No word to save thee.

Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel.

O, fie, fie, fie!

Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade.
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
"Tis best that thou diest quickly.

[Going. O hear me, Isabella!

Re-enter DUKE.

Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young sister; but one word. Isab. What is your will?

Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I would require, is likewise your own benefit.

Isab. I have no superfluous leisure: my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you a while.

Duke. [To CLAUDIO.] Son, I have overheard what hath past between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an essay of her virtue, to practise his judgment with the disposition of natures. She, having the truth of honour in her, hath made him that gracious denial which he is most glad to receive: I am confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore, prepare yourself to death. Do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible: to-morrow you must die. Go; to your knees, and make ready.

Claud. Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love with life, that I will sue to be rid of it. Duke. Hold you there: farewell. [Exit CLAUDIO.

Re-enter Provost. Provost, a word with you.

Prov. What's your will, father? Duke. That now you are come, you will be gone. Leave me awhile with the maid: my mind promises with my habit no loss shall touch her by my company. Prov. In good time. [Exit Provost. Duke. The hand that hath made you fair hath made you good the goodness that is chief in beauty makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever fair. The assault, that Angelo hath made to you, fortune hath convey'd to my understanding; and, but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How will you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother?

Isab. I am now going to resolve him. I had rather my brother die by the law, than my son should be unlawfully born. But O, how much is the good duke deceived in Angelo! If ever he return, and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government.

Duke. That shall not be much amiss; yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation: he made trial of you only.-Therefore, fasten your ear on my advisings: to the love I have in doing good a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe, that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit, redeem your brother from the angry law, do no stain to your own gracious person, and much please the absent duke, if, peradventure, he shall ever return to have hearing of this business.

Isab. Let me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to do any thing that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.

Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick, the great soldier who miscarried at sea? Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.

Duke. Her should this Angelo have married; he was affianced to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea, having in that perish'd vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark how heavily this befel to the poor gentlewoman there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most kind and natural; with him the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo.

Isab. Can this be so? Did Angelo so leave her? Duke. Left her in her tears, and dried not one of them with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonour: in few, bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet wears for his sake, and he, as marble to her tears, is washed with them, but relents not.

Isab. What a merit were it in death to take this poor maid from the world! What corruption in this life, that it will let this man live!-But how out of this can she avail?

Duke. It is a rupture that you may easily heal; and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps you from dishonour in doing it.

Isab. Show me how, good father.

Duke. This fore-named maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection: his unjust unkindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current, made it more

violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo: answer his requiring with a plausible obedience: agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage, first, that your stay with him may not be long, that the time may have all shadow and silence in it, and the place answer to convenience. This being granted in course, and now follows all: we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompense; and here by this is your brother saved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. The maid will I frame, and make fit for his attempt. If you think well to carry this, as you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof. What think you of it?

Isab. The image of it gives me content already, and, I trust, it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.

Duke. It lies much in your holding up. Haste you speedily to Angelo: if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will presently to St. Luke's; there, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana: at that place call upon me, and despatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly. Isab. I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.-The Street before the Prison. Enter DUKE, as a Friar; to him ELBOW, Clown, and Officers.

Elb. Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.

Duke. O, heavens! what stuff is here?

Clo. 'Twas never merry world, since, of two usances, the merriest was put down, and the worser allow'd by order of law a furr'd gown to keep him warm; and furr'd with fox and lamb-skins too, to signify that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.

Elb. Come your way, sir.-Bless you, good father friar.

Duke. And you, good brother father. What offence hath this man made you, sir?

Elb. Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found upon him, sir, a strange pick-lock, which we have sent to the deputy.

Duke. Fie, sirrah: a bawd, a wicked bawd! The evil that thou causest to be done, That is thy means to live. Do thou but think What 'tis to cram a maw, or clothe a back, From such a filthy vice: say to thyself, From their abominable and beastly touches I drink, I eat, array myself, and live. Canst thou believe thy living is a life, So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend. Clo. Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir, I would prove

Duke. Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin, Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer: Correction and instruction must both work, Ere this rude beast will profit.

Elb. He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him warning. The deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if he be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.

Duke. That we were all, as some would seem to be, From our faults, as faults from seeming, free!

Enter LUCIO. Elb. His neck will come to your waist, a cord, sir. Clo. I spy comfort: I cry, bail. Here's a gentleman, and a friend of mine.

Lucio. How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of Cæsar? Art thou led in triumph? What, is there none of Pygmalion's images, newly made woman, to be had now, for putting the hand in the pocket and extracting it clutch'd? What reply? Ha! What say'st thou to this tune, matter, and method? Is't not drown'd i' the last rain? Ha! What say'st thou, troth? Is the world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words, or how? The trick of it?

Duke. Still thus, and thus: still worse!

Lucio. How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she still? Ha!

Clo. Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in the tub.

Lucio. Why, 'tis good; it is the right of it; it must be so ever your fresh whore, and your powder'd bawd: an unshunn'd consequence; it must be so. Art going to prison, Pompey?

Clo. Yes, faith, sir.

Lucio. Why 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell. Go; say, I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey, or how? Elb. For being a bawd, for being a bawd.

Lucio. Well, then imprison him. If imprisonment be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right: bawd is he, doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-born. Farewell, good Pompey: commend me to the prison, Pompey. You will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house.

Clo. I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail. Lucio. No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage: if you take it not patiently, why, your mettle is the more. Adieu, trusty Pompey.-Bless you, friar. Duke. And you.

Lucio. Does Bridget paint still, Pompey? Ha!
Elb. Come your ways, sir; come.

Clo. You will not bail me then, sir?

that he was begot between two stock-fishes; but it is certain, that when he makes water, his urine is congeal'd ice: that I know to be true; and he is a motion ingenerative, that's infallible.

Duke. You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.

Lucio. Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a cod-piece to take away the life of a man? Would the duke that is absent have done this? Ere he would have hang'd a man for the getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a thousand. He had some feeling of the sport: he knew the service, and that instructed him to mercy. Duke. I never heard the absent duke much detected for women he was not inclined that way. Lucio. O, sir! you are deceived.

Duke. "Tis not possible.

Lucio. Who? not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and his use was, to put a ducat in her clack-dish. The duke bad crotchets in him: he would be drunk too; that let me inform you.

Duke. You do him wrong, surely.

Lucio. Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the duke; and, I believe, I know the cause of his withdrawing.

Duke. What, I pr'ythee, might be the cause?

Lucio. No,-pardon:-'tis a secret must be lock'd within the teeth and the lips; but this I can let you understand,—the greater file of the subject held the duke to be wise.

Duke. Wise? why, no question but he was. Lucio. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.

Duke. Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life, and the business he hath helmed, must, upon a warranted need, give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings forth, and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman, and a soldier. Therefore, you speak unskilfully; or, if your knowledge be more, it is much darken'd in your malice. Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him.

Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and know

Lucio. Then, Pompey, nor now.-What news abroad, ledge with dearer love. friar? What news?

Elb. Come your ways, sir; come.
Lucio. Go; to kennel, Pompey, go.

[Exeunt ELBOW, Clown, and Officers. What news, friar, of the duke?

Duke. I know none. Can you tell me of any? Lucio. Some say, he is with the emperor of Russia; other some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you? Duke. I know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well.

Lucio. It was a mad fantastical trick of him, to steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence: he puts transgression to't.

Duke. He does well in't.

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Lucio. Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred: it is well allied; but it is impossible to extirp it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put down. They say, this Angelo was not made by man and woman, after the downright way of creation: is it true, think you?

Lucio. Come, sir, I know what I know.

Duke. I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak. But, if ever the duke return, (as our prayers are he may) let me desire you to make your answer before him: if it be honest you have spoke, you have courage to maintain it. I am bound to call upon you; and, I pray you, your name?

Lucio. Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the duke.

Duke. He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you.

Lucio. I fear you not.

Duke. O! you hope the duke will return no more, or you imagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But, indeed, I can do you little harm: you'll forswear this again.

Lucio. I'll be hang'd first: thou art deceived in me, friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell, if Claudio die to-morrow, or no?

Duke. Why should he die, sir?

Lucio. Why? for filling a bottle with a tun-dish. I would, the duke, we talk of, were return'd again: this ungenitur'd agent will unpeople the province with continency; sparrows must not build in his house-eaves, because they are lecherous. The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answer'd; he would never bring Lucio. Some report, a sea-maid spawn'd him: some, them to light: would he were return'd! Marry, this

Duke. How should he be made then?

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