תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Pyab. As much for my poor brother, as myself;
Thac is, were I under the terms of death,
Th'impresion of keen whips I'd wear as rubies,
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing I've been fick for, ere I'd yield
My body up to shame.

Ang. Then must your brother die..

Ijab. And ’owere the cheaper way ; Better it were, a brother dy'd at once ;. "Than that a fifter, by redeeming him, Should die for ever.

Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentences That you

have flander'd for Ijab. An ignominious ransom, and free pardon, Are of two houses; lawful mercy, sure, is nothing kin to foul redemption.

Ang. You seem'd of la:e to make the law a tyranta! And rather prov'd the sliding of your brother A merriment, than a vice.

Isab. Oh pardon me, my Lord; it ofr falls out,
To have what we would have, we ipeak not what we means:
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his advantage that I dearly love.

Ang. We are all frail.
Ifàb. Elle let my brother die, (13);
If not a feodary, but only he,
Owe, and succeed by weakness !
(13) Elfe lie brother d'e,

If not a feodarv, but only se, &c.] This is so obsoure a paso Fage, but fo fisse in its application, that it deserves to be explain'd. A feculary was.cne, that, in the times of vafalage, held lands of the shief Lord, under the Genure of paying rent and service : which Tenures were called forda amongst the Görßi. This being premiseri, let us come to a paraphrafe of our Author's words. • We are all " frail, says Argélo; 'yes, replies Isabella; if all mankind were not feoduries, who owe what they have to this enure of imbecility's

and who succeed each o: her by the same tenure, as well as my « brother, I would give him up." And the comparing mankindge Ewho, according to come Divines, lie under the weight of origin il tin,) to a feodary,

' who owes fuit and Jeravice to his Lord, is, I think, one of the most beautiful aliufions imaginable.

Mr, Il’arkurtos.

[ocr errors]

Ang. Nay, women are frail too,

1fab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves; Which are as easy broke, as they make forms. Women ! help heav'n; 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 fex, (Since, I suppose, we're made to be no ftronger, , 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're more, you're none. If you be

one, as you are well express’d By all external warrants, shew 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.

Ijab. My brother did love Juliet ;
And you tell me, that he mall die for it,

Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.
Isab. I know, your virtae 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 expreís my purpose.

Ijab. 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 out-ftrech'd throat, 'l'll tell the world Aloud, what man thou art.

Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel ? My unsoild name, th’austereness of

my

life,
My vouch against you, and my place i'th' State,
Will fo your accufation over-weigh,
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

Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blushes,

That banish what they fue 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 ling'ring sufférance. Answer me to-morrow;
Or by th'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
Ifab. To whom should I complain? did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O molt perilous mouths,
That bear in them one and the self-fame tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof ;
Bidding the law make curtsy to their will;
Hooking both right and wrong to th' appetite,
To follow, as it draws. I'll to my brother.
Tho' he hath fall’n 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 fifter should her body ftoop
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 reft. (Exit:

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

ACT III.
SCENE, the Prison,
Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost.

DUKE,
O, then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?
But only hope: I've hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.

Duke. Be absolute for death : or death, or life, Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life; (14) If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing, That none but fools would reck; a breath shou art, Servile to all the liey influences ; That doft this habitation, where thou keep'st, Hourly afflict; merely thou are death's fool; For him thou labour'it by thy flight to hun, And yet runn'ıt cow'rd him ftill. Thou art not noble ;. For all th'accommodations, that thou bear'it, Are nurs'd by baseness: thou’rt by no means valianti, For thou doit fear the soft and tender fork

(14)

Rrafor thus w'ib life;
If I do loje thee, I do lose a thirg

Ikat none but fols would keep.) But this reading is not only enntrary to all sense and reafon ; but to chę drift of this moral D.C. wurse. The Duke, in his alium'd character of a Friar, is endeavouring to inftill inio the condem. d. iiioner. a refignation of mind. to his sentence; but the sepse of the lines, in this reading, is a direct persuasive to juicide! I make no doubt, but the Poet wrote,

I bet nene but foois would reck. i. e. care for, be anxious about, regret the loss of.

Mr. Warburton. And the word is very frequent with our Author. Two Gent. of Verona :

Recking as litile what betide h me,

As much I wish all gocd befortune you.
And Hanler :

Himseif the primrose path of dalliance treads,
Andrceks not his own road

Et alibi pafimo

or a poor worm. Thy best of rest is deep,
And that thou oft provok'it; yet grofly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou're not thyself ;;
For thou exist's on many a thoufand grains,
That issue out of duft. Happy. thou art not;:
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get ;
And what thou hast, forgett'i.. Thou art not certain 3;
For thy complexion-fhifts to strange effects,
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou’rt poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear'ít thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death untoadeth chee. Friend thou hast none;
Fop-chy own bowels, which to call thee fire;
The mere effufion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the Gout, Serpigo, and the Rheum,
For eading thee no sooner. Thou hait: nor youth, nort

age; (15)
Bat as it were an after-dinner's fieep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the aims
(15), Thou bait nor youth,.

..nor age ; &c.] Mr. Warburian, has given me a correction of, and paraphrafe on, this and the fuble. quent.lines; which thews so fine a spirit, that, tho' I have not vent:r'd to disturb the text, I must not deprive my Readers of it.com w The dritt of this period, you fee, is to prove, that neither yosutis,

nor age, is realiy enjoyed: which, in poetical language is, We. " have neither youth, nox age." But how is this prov'd? That age is not enjoy’d," he makes appear by recapitulating the infir“ mities of it, which deprive old age of the sense of pleti.re. « To prove youth is not enjoy'd, he uses these words; for all ihy u b'efed youth, becomes as aged, and dorb beg be alms "of'pa'hied Eid. « Out of which, he that can deduce the procf, erie miki nagus “ Apolie."

Undoubtedly, if we would know how the Authorr wrote, we must read.

for, falld, thy blazód' youth Becoines allunged; and doth bez the alms

Of pallied Eld. “ i. e. When thy youthfal appetise becomes pallid; as it will be, in? 6 the enjoyineot; ihe blaze of youth becomes afluaged, and thou :

immediately contra&'rt the infirmities of age; as, particularly,. ti tha palli, and other nervous infirmities; the consequence of the 4 enjoyment of sensual pleasure. This is to the purpose; and proves", tów youth is not enjay'd, by dewing the fieet ng curation of it."

Q5.

« הקודםהמשך »