Isa. Oh, I do feare thee Claudio, and I quake, Least thou a feauorous life shouldst entertaine, And six or seuen winters more respect Then a perpetuall Honor. Dar'st thou die? The sence of death is most in apprehension, And the poore Beetle that we treade vpon In corporall sufferance, finds a pang as great, As when a Giant dies

Cla. Why giue you me this shame? Thinke you I can a resolution fetch From flowrie tendernesse? If I must die, I will encounter darknesse as a bride, And hugge it in mine armes

Isa. There spake my brother: there my fathers graue Did vtter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die: Thou art too noble, to conserue a life In base appliances. This outward sainted Deputie, Whose setled visage, and deliberate word Nips youth i'th head, and follies doth emmew As Falcon doth the Fowle, is yet a diuell: His filth within being cast, he would appeare A pond, as deepe as hell

Cla. The prenzie, Angelo? Isa. Oh 'tis the cunning Liuerie of hell, The damnest bodie to inuest, and couer In prenzie gardes; dost thou thinke Claudio, If I would yeeld him my virginitie Thou might'st be freed? Cla. Oh heauens, it cannot be

Isa. Yes, he would giu't thee; from this rank offence So to offend him still. This night's the time That I should do what I abhorre to name, Or else thou diest to morrow

Clau. Thou shalt not do't

Isa. O, were it but my life, I'de throw it downe for your deliuerance As frankely as a pin

Clau. Thankes deere Isabell

Isa. Be readie Claudio, for your death to morrow

Clau. Yes. Has he affections in him, That thus can make him bite the Law by th' nose, When he would force it? Sure it is no sinne, Or of the deadly seuen it is the least

Isa. Which is the least? Cla. If it were damnable, he being so wise, Why would he for the momentarie tricke Be perdurablie fin'de? Oh Isabell

Isa. What saies my brother? Cla. Death is a fearefull thing

Isa. And shamed life, a hatefull

Cla. I, but to die, and go we know not where, To lie in cold obstruction, and to rot, This sensible warme motion, to become A kneaded clod; And the delighted spirit To bath in fierie floods, or to recide In thrilling Region of thicke-ribbed Ice, To be imprison'd in the viewlesse windes And blowne with restlesse violence round about The pendant world: or to be worse then worst Of those, that lawlesse and incertaine thought, Imagine howling, 'tis too horrible. The weariest, and most loathed worldly life That Age, Ache, periury, and imprisonment Can lay on nature, is a Paradise To what we feare of death

Isa. Alas, alas

Cla. Sweet Sister, let me liue. What sinne you do, to saue a brothers life, Nature dispenses with the deede so farre, That it becomes a vertue

Isa. Oh you beast, Oh faithlesse Coward, oh dishonest wretch, Wilt thou be made a man, out of my vice? Is't not a kinde of Incest, to take life From thine owne sisters shame? What should I thinke, Heauen shield my Mother plaid my Father faire: For such a warped slip of wildernesse Nere issu'd from his blood. Take my defiance, Die, perish: Might but my bending downe Repreeue thee from thy fate, it should proceede. Ile pray a thousand praiers for thy death, No word to saue thee

Cla. Nay heare me Isabell

Isa. Oh fie, fie, fie: Thy sinn's not accidentall, but a Trade; Mercy to thee would proue it selfe a Bawd, 'Tis best that thou diest quickly

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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