An. When I would pray, & think, I thinke, and pray To seuerall subiects: heauen hath my empty words, Whilst my Inuention, hearing not my Tongue, Anchors on Isabell: heauen in my mouth, As if I did but onely chew his name, And in my heart the strong and swelling euill Of my conception: the state whereon I studied Is like a good thing, being often read Growne feard, and tedious: yea, my Grauitie Wherein (let no man heare me) I take pride, Could I, with boote, change for an idle plume Which the ayre beats for vaine: oh place, oh forme, How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit Wrench awe from fooles, and tye the wiser soules To thy false seeming? Blood, thou art blood, Let's write good Angell on the Deuills horne 'Tis not the Deuills Crest: how now? who's there?

Enter Seruant.

Ser. One Isabell, a Sister, desires accesse to you

Ang. Teach her the way: oh, heauens Why doe's my bloud thus muster to my heart, Making both it vnable for it selfe, And dispossessing all my other parts Of necessary fitnesse? So play the foolish throngs with one that swounds, Come all to help him, and so stop the ayre By which hee should reuiue: and euen so The generall subiect to a wel-wisht King Quit their owne part, and in obsequious fondnesse Crowd to his presence, where their vn-taught loue Must needs appear offence: how now faire Maid.

Enter Isabella.

Isab. I am come to know your pleasure

An. That you might know it, wold much better please me, Then to demand what 'tis: your Brother cannot liue

Isab. Euen so: heauen keepe your Honor

Ang. Yet may he liue a while: and it may be As long as you, or I: yet he must die

Isab. Vnder your Sentence? Ang. Yea

Isab. When, I beseech you: that in his Reprieue (Longer, or shorter) he may be so fitted That his soule sicken not

Ang. Ha? fie, these filthy vices: It were as good To pardon him, that hath from nature stolne A man already made, as to remit Their sawcie sweetnes, that do coyne heauens Image In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easie, Falsely to take away a life true made, As to put mettle in restrained meanes To make a false one

Isab. 'Tis set downe so in heauen, but not in earth

Ang. Say you so: then I shall poze you quickly. Which had you rather, that the most iust Law Now tooke your brothers life, and to redeeme him Giue vp your body to such sweet vncleannesse As she that he hath staind? Isab. Sir, beleeue this. I had rather giue my body, then my soule

Ang. I talke not of your soule: our compel'd sins Stand more for number, then for accompt

Isab. How say you? Ang. Nay Ile not warrant that: for I can speake Against the thing I say: Answere to this, I (now the voyce of the recorded Law) Pronounce a sentence on your Brothers life, Might there not be a charitie in sinne, To saue this Brothers life? Isab. Please you to doo't, Ile take it as a perill to my soule, It is no sinne at all, but charitie

Ang. Pleas'd you to doo't, at perill of your soule Were equall poize of sinne, and charitie

Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sinne Heauen let me beare it: you granting of my suit, If that be sin, Ile make it my Morne-praier, To haue it added to the faults of mine, And nothing of your answere

Ang. Nay, but heare me, Your sence pursues not mine: either you are ignorant, Or seeme so crafty; and that's not good

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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