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Enter ISABELLA.

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Isab. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good

company!
Prov. Who's there? Come in; the wish deserves a

welcome,
Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you.
Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio.
Prov. And very welcome. Look, signior, here's

your sister.
Duke. Provost, a word with you.
Prov. As many as you please.
Duke. Bring them to speak where I may be con-

ceal'd, Yet hear thein.

[Exeunt Duke and Provost. Claud. Now, sister what's the comfort? Isab. Why, as all comforts are ; most good in

deed : Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven, Intends

you

for his swift embassador,
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
Tó-morrow you set on.

61
Claud. Is there no remedy?
Isab. None, but such remedy, as, to save a head,
To cleave a heart in twain.

Claud. But is there any?

Isab. Yes, brother, you may live; There is a devilish mercy in the judge,

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If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
But fetter you till death.
Claud. Perpetual durance ?

70 " Isab. Ay; just, perpetual durance;, a restraint, -« Though all the world's vastidity you had, «To a determinin'd scope."

Claud. But in what nature ?

Isab. In such a one as (you consenting to't) Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, And leave you

naked. Claud. Let me know the point.

Isab. Oh, I do fear thee, Claudio :, and I quake, Lest thou a feverous life shoul'dst entertain, 80 And six or seven winters, inore respect Than a perpetual honour. Dar'st thou die? The sense of death is most in apprehension; And the poor beetle, that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant dies,

Claud. Why give you me this shame?
Think

you I can a resolution fetch
From flowery tenderness; If I inųzt die,
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.

91 Isab. There spake my brother ? there my father's

grave Did utter forth a voice ! Yes, thou must die : ... Thou art too noble to conserve a life In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy, " Whose settled visage and deliberate word

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6 Nips

.1 110

“ Nips youth'i' the head, and follies doth emmew, “ As faulcon doth the fowl,"is yet a devil ; “ His filth within being cast, he would appear A pond as deep as hell."

100 Claud. The princely Angelo ?

Isab. Oh, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
“ The damned'st body to invest and cover
“ In princely guards!”. Dost thou think, Claudio,
If I would yield him my virginity,
Thou might'st be freed?

Claud. Oh, heavens! it cannot be.
Isab. Yes, he would give it thee, for this rank of.

fence,
So to offend him still: This night's the time
That I should do what I abhor to name,
Or else thou dy'st to-morrow,

Claud. Thou shall not do't.

Isab. Oh,' were it but my life,
I'd throw it down for your deliverance
As frankly as a pin,

Claud. Thanks, dear Isabel.
Isab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow,

Claud. Yes.--Has he affections in him,
That thus can make him bite the lawby the nose ?
When he would force it, sure it is no sin;
Or of the deadly seven it is the least.

Isab. Which is the least?

Claud. If it were damnable, he, being so wise,
Why would he for the momentary trick
Be perdurably find? Oh Isabel!

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Isab. What says my brother?
Claud. Death is a fearful thing.
Isab. And shamed life a hateful.

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

130 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; lupt To be imprison'd in the viewless winds, And blown with restless violence round about The pendant 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, 140 That age, ach, penury, and imprisonment Cap lay on nature, is a paradise To what we fear of death, Isab. Alas! alas!

Claud, 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.

Isab. Oh, you beast!" Oh, faithless coward : Oh, dishonest wretch! 150 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! Fiij

For

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For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne'er issu'd from his blood. Take

iny

defiance :
Die; perishl 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.

160 Claud. Nay, hear me, Isabel... i

Isab. Oh, fie, fie, fie!
Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade :
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
?Tis best that thou dy'st quickly.
Claud. Oh, hear me, Isabella,

Re-enger Duke.
Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one
word.
Isab. What is

your
will ?

169 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 ; iny stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you a while.

Duke.'[TO CLAUDIO aside.] Son, I have over-heard what hath past between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an assay 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,

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