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Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
Isab. Ignomy in ransom', and free pardon,
Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant ;
Isab. O, pardon me, my lord ; it oft falls out,
Ang. We are all frail.
Else let my brother die,
Nay, women are frail too.
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
7 Ignomy in ransom,] So ignominy was formerly written.
s If not a feodary, but only he, &c.] The meaning should seem to be this :-We are all frail, says Angelo. Yes, replies Isabella ; if he has not one associate in his crime, if no other person own and follow the same criminal courses which you are now pursuing, let my brother suffer death. Malone.
9 In profiling by them.] In taking advantage of them. 1- false prints.] i. e. take any impression.
By all external warrants,) show it now,
Isab. I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord,
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?,
Believe me, on mine honour,
Isub. 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,
? — 3 —
hath a licence in't, ] An appearance of licentiousness. seeming, seeming!] Hypocrisy, bypocrisy.
I'll prove a tyrant to him: As for you,
SCENE I.- A Room in the Prison.
Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost.
Duke. Be absolute for death ; either death, or life,
1 -- prompture - ] Suggestion, temptation, instigation.
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life,
s That none but fools would keep :) i. e. care for. 6 — Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok'st; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more.] I cannot without indignation find Shakspeare saying, that death is only sleep, lengthening out his exhortation by a sentence which in the Friar is impious, in the reasoner is foolish, and in the poet trite and vulgar. Johnson.
This was an oversight in Shakspeare; for, in the second scene of the fourth Act, the Provost speaks of the desperate Barnardine, as one who regards death only as a drunken sleep. STEEVENS.
I apprehend Shakspeare means to say no more, than that the passage from this life to another is as easy as sleep; a position in which there is surely neither folly nor impiety. Malone.
7- strange effects,] read affects or affections.
Do curse the gout, serpigo', and the rheum,
I humbly thank you.
Enter ISABELLA. Isab. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good com
pany! 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
8 — serpigo,] The serpigo is a kind of tetter.
9- palsied eld;] Eld is here put for old people. Shakspeare declares that man has neither youth nor age; for in youth, which is the happiest time, or which might be the happiest, he commonly wants means to obtain what he could enjoy; he is dependent on palsied eld; must beg alms from the coffers of hoary avarice; and being very niggardly supplied, becomes as aged, looks, like an old man, on happiness which is beyond his reach. And, when he is old and rich, when he has wealth enough for the purchase of all that formerly excited his desires, he has no longer the powers of enjoyment,
- has neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,