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And try your penitence, if it be sound,
I'll gladly learn.
Duke. So then, it seems, your most offenceful act Was mutually committed ? Juliet.
Mutually. Duke. Then was your sin of heavier kind than his. Juliet. I do confess it, and repent it, father. Duke. Tis meet so, daughter: but lest you do
Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil;
[Exit. Juliet. Must die to-morrow! O, injurious love, That respites me a life, whose very comfort Is still a dying horror ! Prov.
'Tis pity of him. [Exeunt.
SCENE IV. A Room in Angelo's House.
Enter ANGELO. Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and
pray To several subjects: Heaven hath my empty words ; Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
1 i. e. not spare to offend heaven.
2 “O injurious love." Sir Thomas Hanmer proposed to read law instead of love.
3 Invention for imagination.
Anchors on Isabel : Heaven in my mouth,
O place! O form!
One Isabel, a sister,
Teach her the way. [Exit Serv.
Enter ISABELLA. How now, fair maid?
Isab. I am come to know your pleasure.
i Boot is profit. 2 « Though we should write good angel on the devil's horn, it will not change his nature, so as to give him a right to wear that crest.”
3 i. e. the people or multitude.
Ang. That you might know it, would much better
please me, Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live. Isab. Even so ?-Heaven keep your honor!
[Retiring. Ang. Yet may he live awhile; and it may be, As long as you, or I: yet he must die.
Isab. Under your sentence?
Isab. When, I beseech you? That in his reprieve,
Ang. Ha! Fie, these filthy vices! It were as good
that are forbid : 'tis all as easy
Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.
Ang. Say you so? Then I shall pose 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 stained ? Isab.
Sir, believe this, I had rather give my body than my soul.
Ang. I talk not of your soul: our compelled sins Stand more for number than account.? Isab.
How say you? Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that; for I can speak Against the thing I
Answer to this :-
ii. e. that hath killed a man.
2 i. e. actions that we are compelled to, however numerous, are not imputed to us by Heaven as crimes.
Please you to do't,
Ang. Pleased you to do't, at peril of
Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Nay, but hear me:
Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright,
Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears Accountant to the law upon that pain.
Ang. Admit no other way to save his life,
Isab. As much for my poor brother, as myself:
1 The masks worn by female spectators of the play are here probably meant.
2 i. e. enshielded, covered.
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Then must your brother die.
fag. Were not you then as cruel as the seatence That you have slandered so?
Isab. Ignomy in ransom, and free pardon,
Ang. You seemed 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.
1 Ignomy, ignominy.
? This is obscure; but the allusion is so fine, that it deserves to be erplained. A feodary was one that, in times of vassalage, held lands of the chief lord under the tenure of peying rent and service, which tenure was called feuda, among the Goths Now," says Angelo, - we are all frail” "Yes,* says Isabella - if all mankind were not feodaries, who owe what they are to this tenure of imbecility, and who succeed each other by the same tenure as well as my brother, I would give him up." The comparing mankind lying under the weight of original sin, to a feodary who owes suit and service to his lord, is not ill imagined.
3 The meaning appears to be, that men debase their natures by taking advantage of women's weakness." She therefore calls on Heaven to assist them.