Ang. Well: let her be admitted, See you the Fornicatresse be remou'd, Let her haue needfull, but not lauish meanes, There shall be order for't.

Enter Lucio and Isabella.

Pro. 'Saue your Honour

Ang. Stay a little while: y'are welcome: what's your will? Isab. I am a wofull Sutor to your Honour, 'Please but your Honor heare me

Ang. Well: what's your suite

Isab. There is a vice that most I doe abhorre, And most desire should meet the blow of Iustice; For which I would not plead, but that I must, For which I must not plead, but that I am At warre, twixt will, and will not

Ang. Well: the matter? Isab. I haue a brother is condemn'd to die, I doe beseech you let it be his fault, And not my brother

Pro. Heauen giue thee mouing graces

Ang. Condemne the fault, and not the actor of it, Why euery fault's condemnd ere it be done: Mine were the verie Cipher of a Function To fine the faults, whose fine stands in record, And let goe by the Actor

Isab. Oh iust, but seuere Law: I had a brother then; heauen keepe your honour

Luc. Giue't not ore so: to him againe, entreat him, Kneele downe before him, hang vpon his gowne, You are too cold: if you should need a pin, You could not with more tame a tongue desire it: To him, I say

Isab. Must he needs die? Ang. Maiden, no remedie

Isab. Yes: I doe thinke that you might pardon him, And neither heauen, nor man grieue at the mercy

Ang. I will not doe't

Isab. But can you if you would? Ang. Looke what I will not, that I cannot doe

Isab. But might you doe't & do the world no wrong If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse, As mine is to him? Ang. Hee's sentenc'd, tis too late

Luc. You are too cold

Isab. Too late? why no: I that doe speak a word May call it againe: well, beleeue this No ceremony that to great ones longs, Not the Kings Crowne; nor the deputed sword, The Marshalls Truncheon, nor the Iudges Robe Become them with one halfe so good a grace As mercie does: If he had bin as you, and you as he, You would haue slipt like him, but he like you Would not haue beene so sterne

Ang. Pray you be gone

Isab. I would to heauen I had your potencie, And you were Isabell: should it then be thus? No: I would tell what 'twere to be a Iudge, And what a prisoner

Luc. I, touch him: there's the veine

Ang. Your Brother is a forfeit of the Law, And you but waste your words

Isab. Alas, alas: Why all the soules that were, were forfeit once, And he that might the vantage best haue tooke, Found out the remedie: how would you be, If he, which is the top of Iudgement, should But iudge you, as you are? Oh, thinke on that, And mercie then will breathe within your lips Like man new made

Ang. Be you content, (faire Maid) It is the Law, not I, condemne your brother, Were he my kinsman, brother, or my sonne, It should be thus with him: he must die to morrow

Isab. To morrow? oh, that's sodaine, Spare him, spare him: Hee's not prepar'd for death; euen for our kitchins We kill the fowle of season: shall we serue heauen With lesse respect then we doe minister To our grosse-selues? good, good my Lord, bethink you; Who is it that hath di'd for this offence? There's many haue committed it

Luc. I, well said

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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