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Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where:
Isab. Alas! alas!
Claud. Sweet sister, let me live.
Isab. O, you beast!
Claud. Hear me, Isabel.
Isab. O, fie, fie, fie!
'Tis best that thou dy'st quickly.
Claud. O hear me, Isabella.
S CE N E III.
To them, enter Duke, and Provost.
Duke. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would 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. 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 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 falsify 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.
[Exit. Claud. Duke. Hold you
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 such goodness; but grace, being the foul of your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever fair. 'The assault 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 substitute, and to save your brother?
Isab. I am now going to resolve him: I had rather my brother die by the law, than my son should 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 most uprightly do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit; redeem
brother from the angry law; do no stain to your own gracious person; and much please the absent duke, if, peradventure, he shall ever return to have hearing of this business.
Isab. Let me hear you speak, 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 speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick the great foldier 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 solemnity, her brother Frederick was wreck'd at sea, having in that perish'd vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark how heavily this befel to the poor gentlewoman; there she lost 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.
Isab. 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, bestow'd her on her own lamentation,
which she 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 she avail ?
Duke. It is a rupture that you may easily heal; and the cure of it not only faves your brother, but keeps you from dishonour in doing it.
Isab. Show me how, good father.
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 plausible obedience; agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage: first, that your stay with him may not be long; that the time may have all shadow and silence in it; and the place answer to convenience. This being granted, in course now follows all: we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go
your place;, if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompence; and here by this is your
brother saved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. 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?
Isab. The image of it gives me content already, and, I trust, it will grow to a most prosperous perfection. Duke. It lyes much in your holding up: haste
you speedily to Angelo; if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will presently to faint Luke's; there at the moated grange resides this dejected Mariana; at that place call upon me, and dispatch with Angelo, that it quickly.
Ifab. I thank you for this comfort: fare you well, good father.
[Exeunt severally. Vol. I.
Enter Duke, Elbow, Clown, and Oficers.
will needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.
Duke. O heav'ns! what stuff is here?
Clown. 'Twas never merry world since of two usurers the merriest was put down, and the worser allow'd, by order of law, a furr'd gown to keep him warm, and furr’d with fox and lambs-skins too, to signify, that craft being richer than innocency stands for the facing.
Elb. Come your way, fir: bless 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 strange pick-lock, which we have sent to the deputy.
Duke. Fie, firrah, a bawd, a wicked bawd!
Clown. Indeed, it doth stink in some sort, fir; but yet, fir, I would prove —
Duke. Nay, if the devil have giv’n thee proofs for sin,