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My words express my purpose.
Isab. 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.
That you shall stifle in your own report,
Or else he must not only die the death,
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
Bidding the law make court'sy, to their will;
(2) Attestation. (3) Reluctant.
Then Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die :
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest. [Exit.
SCENE I.-A room in the prison. Enter Duke, Claudio, and Provost.
Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord Angelo?
Claud. The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope:
I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.
Duke. Be absolutel for death; either death, or life, Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life,
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep a breath thou art (Servile to all the skiey influences,)
That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm: Thy best of rest is sleep,
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,1 After the moon: If thou art rich, thou art poor; For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows, Thou bear'st thy heavy riches but a journey, And death unloads thee: Friend hast thou none; For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire, The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo,2 and the rheum,
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Of palsied eld;3 and when thou art old, and rich,
Isab. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!
Prov. Who's there? come in the wish deserves
Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio.
Duke. Provost, a word with you.
As many as you please. Duke. Bring them to speak, where I may be
(1) Affects, affections. (2) Leprous eruptions. (3) Old age.
Yet hear them.
[Exeunt Duke and Provost Claud. Now, sister, what's the comfort? Isab. Why, as all comforts are; most good indeed;
Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:!
Is there no remedy?
Isab. None, but such remedy, as, to save a head, To cleave a heart in twain.
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,
Isab. Ay, just, perpetual durance; a restraint, Though all the world's vastidity3 you had,
To a determin'd scope.
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.
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.
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:
In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,
The princely Angelo?
Thou might'st be freed?
Isab. Yes, he would give it thee, from this rank
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.
Thou shalt not do't.
Isab. O, were it but my life,
I'd throw it down for your
As frankly3 as a pin.
Thanks, dear Isabel.
Isab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-mor
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
(1) Shut up. (2) Laced robes. (3) Freely.