Cla. Oh heare me Isabella

Duk. Vouchsafe a word, yong sister, but one word

Isa. What is your Will

Duk. Might you dispense with your leysure, I would by and by haue some speech with you: the satisfaction I would require, is likewise your owne benefit

Isa. I haue no superfluous leysure, my stay must be stolen out of other affaires: but I will attend you a while

Duke. Son, I haue ouer-heard what hath past between you & your sister. Angelo had neuer the purpose to corrupt her; onely he hath made an assay of her vertue, to practise his iudgement with the disposition of natures. She (hauing the truth of honour in her) hath made him that gracious deniall, which he is most glad to receiue: I am Confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true, therfore prepare your selfe to death: do not satisfie your resolution with hopes that are fallible, to morrow you must die, goe to your knees, and make ready

Cla. Let me ask my sister pardon, I am so out of loue with life, that I will sue to be rid of it

Duke. Hold you there: farewell: Prouost, a word with you

Pro. What's your will (father?) Duk. That now you are come, you wil be gone: leaue me a while with the Maid, my minde promises with my habit, no losse shall touch her by my company

Pro. In good time.

Enter.

Duk. The hand that hath made you faire, hath made you good: the goodnes that is cheape in beauty, makes beauty briefe in goodnes; but grace being the soule of your complexion, shall keepe the body of it euer faire: the assault that Angelo hath made to you, Fortune hath conuaid to my vnderstanding; and but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo: how will you doe to content this Substitute, and to saue your Brother? Isab. I am now going to resolue him: I had rather my brother die by the Law, then my sonne should be vnlawfullie borne. But (oh) how much is the good Duke deceiu'd in Angelo: if euer he returne, and I can speake to him, I will open my lips in vaine, or discouer his gouernment

Duke. That shall not be much amisse: yet, as the matter now stands, he will auoid your accusation: he made triall of you onelie. Therefore fasten your eare on my aduisings, to the loue I haue in doing good; a remedie presents it selfe. I doe make my selfe beleeue that you may most vprighteously do a poor wronged Lady a merited benefit; redeem your brother from the angry Law; doe no staine to your owne gracious person, and much please the absent Duke, if peraduenture he shall euer returne to haue hearing of this businesse

Isab. Let me heare you speake farther; I haue spirit to do any thing that appeares not fowle in the truth of my spirit

Duke. Vertue is bold, and goodnes neuer fearefull: Haue you not heard speake of Mariana the sister of Fredericke the great Souldier, who miscarried at Sea? Isa. I haue heard of the Lady, and good words went with her name

Duke. Shee should this Angelo haue married: was affianced to her oath, and the nuptiall appointed: between which time of the contract, and limit of the solemnitie, her brother Fredericke was wrackt at Sea, hauing in that perished vessell, the dowry of his sister: but marke how heauily this befell to the poore Gentlewoman, there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his loue toward her, euer most kinde and naturall: with him the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage dowry: with both, her combynate-husband, this well-seeming Angelo

Measvre, For Measure Page 19

William Shakespeare Plays

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