페이지 이미지

Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where: To lye in cold obftruction, and to rot; This fenfible warm motion to become A kneaded clod; and the dilated spirit To bathe in fiery floods, or to refide In thrilling regions of thick-ribbed ice; To be imprison'd in the viewless winds, And blown with restlefs violence round about The pendant world; or to be worse than worst Of thofe that lawless and uncertain thoughtImagine howling; 'tis too horrible! The weariest and most loathed worldly life, That age, ach, penury, imprisonment, Can lay on nature, is a paradife

To what we fear of death.

Ifab. Alas! alas!

Claud. Sweet fifter, let me live. What fin you do to fave a brother's life, Nature dispenses with the deed so far, That it becomes a virtue.

Ifab. O, you beast !

O faithlefs coward! o difhonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?

Is't not a kind of inceft, to take life

From thine own fifter's fhame? what should I think?
Heav'n grant my mother play'd my father fair!
For fuch a warped flip of wilderness

Ne'er iffu'd from his blood. Take my defiance;
Die, perifh! might my only bending down.
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed.
I'll pay a thousand prayers for thy death;
No word to fave thee.

Claud. Hear me, Ifabel.

Ifab. O, fie, fie, fie!

Thy fin's not accidental, but a trade;
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd;

[blocks in formation]

To them, enter Duke, and Provost.

Duke. Vouchsafe a word, young fifter, but one word.
Ifab. What is your will?

Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you: the fatisfaction I would require is likewise your own benefit.

Ifab. I have no fuperfluous leisure; my stay must be stolen out of other affairs: but I will attend you a while.

Duke. Son, I have over-heard what hath pass'd between you and your fifter. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an effay of her virtue, to practise his judgment with the difpofition of natures. She, having the truth of honour in her, hath made him that gracious denial, which he is moft glad to receive: I am confeffor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to death. Do not falfify 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 fue to be rid of it. [Exit. Claud.

Duke. Hold you there; farewel. 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 Prov.

Duke. The hand that hath made you fair, hath made you good; the goodness that is cheap in beauty, makes beauty brief in fuch goodness; but grace, being the foul of your complexion, fhall keep the body of it ever fair. The affault that Angelo hath made on you, fortune hath convey'd to my understanding; and but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo:


how will you do to content this fubftitute, and to fave your brother?

Ifab. I am now going to refolve him: I had rather my brother die by the law, than my fon fhould be unlawfully born. But o, how much is the good duke deceiv'd in Angelo! if ever he return, and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government.

Duke. That shall not be much amiss; yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation; he made trial of you only. Therefore fasten your ear on my advisings: to the love I have in doing good, a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe that you may moft uprightly do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit; redeem your brother from the angry law; do no stain to your own gracious perfon; and much please the abfent duke, if, peradventure, he shall ever return to have hearing of this bufinefs.

Ifab. Let me hear you fpeak, father: I have spirit to do any thing that appears not foul in the truth of

my spirit. Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful: have you not heard fpeak of Mariana, the fifter of Frederick the great soldier who miscarry'd at sea ?

Isab. I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her


Duke. Her should this Angelo have marry'd; he was affianc'd to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit of the folemnity, her brother Frederick was wreck'd at sea, having in that perish'd veffel the dowry of his fifter. But mark how heavily this befel to the poor gentlewoman; there fhe loft a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most kind and natural; with him the portion and finew of her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her combinatehusband, this well-feeming Angelo.

Ifab. Can this be fo? did Angelo so leave her?

Duke. Left her in her tears, and dry'd not one of them with his comfort; swallow'd his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonour: in few words, beftow'd her on her own lamentation,

which the yet wears for his fake; and he, a marble to her tears, is washed with them, but relents not.

Ifab. What a merit were it in death to take this poor maid from the world! what corruption in this life, that it will let this man live! but how out of this can fhe avail?

Duke. It is a rupture that you may eafily heal; and the cure of it not only faves your brother, but keeps you from dishonour in doing it.

Ifab. Show me how, good father.

Duke. This fore-nam'd maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection; his unjust kindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current, made it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo; answer his requiring with a plaufible obedience; agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage: first, that your ftay with him may not be long; that the time may have all shadow and filence in it; and the place anfwer to convenience. This being granted, in course now follows all: we shall advise this wronged maid to ftead up your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompence; and here by this is your brother faved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy fcaled. The maid will I frame, and make fit for his attempt: if you think well to carry this as you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the deceit and reproof. What think you of it?

Ifab. The image of it gives me content already, and, I trust, it will grow to a most profperous perfection.

Duke. It lyes much in your holding up: hafte you speedily to Angelo; if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promife of fatisfaction. I will presently to faint Luke's; there at the moated grange refides this dejected Mariana; at that place call upon me, and dispatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly. Ifab. I thank you for this comfort: fare you well, good father.

[Exeunt feverally.


U u





The Street.

Enter Duke, Elbow, Clown, and Officers.

AY, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will needs buy and fell men and women like beafts, we fhall have all the world drink brown and white baftard.

Duke. O heav'ns! what ftuff is here?

Clown. 'Twas never merry world fince of two ufurers the merriest was put down, and the worfer allow'd, by order of law, a furr'd gown to keep him warm, and furr'd with fox and lambs-skins too, to fignify, that craft being richer than innocency stands for the facing.

Elb. Come your way, fir: blefs you, good father friar. Duke. And you, good brother father; what offence hath this man made you, fir?

Elb. Marry, fir, he hath offended the law; and, fir, we take him to be a thief too, fir; for we have found upon him, fir, a ftrange pick-lock, which we have fent to the deputy.

Duke. Fie, firrah, a bawd, a wicked bawd!

The evil that thou causeft to be done,

That is thy means to live. Do thou but think
What 'tis to cram a maw, or clothe a back
From such a filthy vice: say to thyself,
From their abominable and beaftly touches
I drink, I eat, array myself, and live. ̧
Canft thou believe thy living is a life,

So ftinkingly depending? go, mend, mend.

Clown. Indeed, it doth ftink in fome fort, fir; but yet, fir, I would prove

Duke. Nay, if the devil have giv'n thee proofs for fin, Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer;

Correction and inftruction must both work,

Ere this rude beast will profit.


« 이전계속 »