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Duke. Provost, a word with you.
Prov.

As many as you please. Duke. Bring them to speak t; where I may be con

ceal'd, Yet hear them.

[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;
To-morrow you set on.
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,
If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
But fetter you till death.
Claud.

Perpetual durance ?
Isab. Ay, just, perpetual durance; a restraint,
Though all the world's vastidity you had,
To a determin’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.

+ " Bring me to hear them speak.” Malone.
1- most good in deed :] i.e. truly.
; — an everlasting leiger :

Therefore your best appointment -] Leiger is the same with resident. Appointment; preparation; act of fitting, or state of being fitted for any thing. 3- a restraint,

To a determin'd scope.] A confinement of your mind to one painful idea : to ignominy, of which the remembrance can neither be suppressed nor escaped. JOHNSON.

Claud.

Let me know the point.
Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Lest thou a feverous life should’st entertain,
And six or seven winters more 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 must die,
I will encounter darkness as a bride,
And hug it in mine arms.

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
Nips youth i'the head, and follies doth enmew“,
As falcon doth the fowl'-is yet a devil;
His filth within being casto, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.
Claud.

The princely Angelo ?
Isab. O, '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.

O, heavens! it cannot be.

+-- follies doth enmew,] Forces follies to lie in cover, without daring to show themselves.

A8 falcon doth the fowl -] As the fowl is afraid to flutter while the falcon hovers over it.

His filth within being cast,] To cast a pond is to empty it of mud.

i- princely guards !] i. e. badges of royalty, or outward appearances. Some would read priestly guards, or sanctity.

Isab. Yes, he would give it thee, from 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 diest to-morrow.
Claud.

Thou shalt not do't.
Isab. O, 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 law by 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 fin’d' - Isabel !

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 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 regions of thick-ribbed ice ; To be imprison' 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

8 — from this rank offence,] from the time of my committing this offence, you might persist in sinning with safety. 9 Be perdurably fin'd?] Perdurably is lastingly.

- delighted spirit - ] i. e. the spirit accustomed here to ease and delights.

i_ viewless winds,] i. e. unseen, invisible.

Imagine howling !-'tis too horrible !
The weariest and most loathed worldly life,
That age, ach, penury, and imprisonment
Can 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.

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 defiance :
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.
Isab.

O, fye, fye, fye!
Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade 5 :
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd :
'Tis best that thou diest quickly.

[Going. Claud.

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

8 — a warped slip of wilderness -] i. e. wildness.
* Take my defiance:] Defiance is refusal.
5- but a trade :) A custom; an established habit.

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, aside.] 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 a while 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 cheap in beauty, makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, should 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 An

6 Do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible : ] i. e. do not rest with satisfaction on hopes that are fallible.

7 In good time.] i. e. à la bonne heure, so be it, very well.

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