ISABELLA & ANGELO

Measure for Measure, Act 2, Scene 1, 30-170
Arden 3 | A.R. Braunmuller and Robert Watson | London: Bloomsbury, 2020 | 238-253

Scene
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

Words and Pronunciation +
Arden 3 | 2020

Words

O God: one of several apostrophes to the Deity by Juliet. (Weis)

honey: sweet, used here adjectivally; honey was the standard sweetener in Shakespeare’s day, and Juliet is humouring Nurse. (Weis)

aweary: tired (Leung); weary, tired (SW)

jaunt: fatiguing journey (cited in OED) (Weis)

have I: have I had (Weis)

would: 3. a. Denoting expression (usually authoritative) of a wish or intention: Determine, decree, ordain, enjoin, give order (that something be done). Obs. (OED)

Jesu: not yet banned at this date and, outside RJ, used exclusively in the history plays, particularly in the Henry IVs (Weis)

stay the circumstance: wait for the detail (see without circumstance, 5.3.181) (Weis)

circumstance: special argument, detailed explanation (SW); circumlocution, verbiage, unnecessary detail (SW): pageantry, ceremony, spectacle (SW)

simple: foolish; Nurse picks up Juliet’s formal dichotomy of good and bad while ignoring the substance of her question. (Weis); foolish, silly, stupid (SW)

flower of courtesy: effectively a non sequitur after flower of courtesy since gentleness could be thought to be part of courtesy; ‘as gentle as a lamb’ is proverbial (Dent, L34). (Weis)

go thy ways: ‘Lucky you!’ ways: well done (SW), carry on, go ahead (SW); get along, be off (SW)

wench:  a term of endearment for a young woman (OED sb. c) (Weis)

serve God: ‘Be good.’ (Weis)

dined: had your midday meal (Weis)

as: as if (Weis, re: line 49)

beshrew your heart: a mild and humorous imprecation on Juliet’s romantic heart for sending Nurse on this ‘back-breaking’ trip (cf. MA 5.1.55) (Weis)

beshrew: blame, censure, take to task, wish mischief on (SW); curse, devil take, evil befall (SW)

jauncing: prancing about (cited under OED jaunce v.)(Weis); jaunce: jaunt, trudge about, run around (SW); jaunt, fatiguing journey (SW)

honest: honourable (Weis); honourable, respectable, upright (SW); genuine, real, true (SW); innocent, well-intentioned, innocuous (SW)

warrant: assure, promise, guarantee, confirm (SW)

oddly: unequally, unevenly; or unusually, in a peculiar way (SW)

O God’s Lady: ‘by the Virgin Mary’ (Weis)

hot: eager, with a teasing intimation of unbecoming sexual passion (Weis); active, vigourous (SW); hot-tempered, angry, passionate (SW); fast, hasty (SW); lecherous, lustful, hot-blooded (SW); amorous, sexually eager, ardent, appetent (Partridge)

marry come up: a proverbial expression of indignant or amused surprise (Dent, M699.2) (Weis); expression of (real or playful) impatience (SW)

marry: [exclamation] by Mary (SW)

I trow: here meaning ‘surely’ (OED v. 4b glosses ‘I suppose’) (Weis); trow: (I) wonder, (I) ask you (SW); think, expect, believe (SW); believe, give credence to, accept as true (SW); hope, trust, suppose (SW); think, be sure (SW); know, guess, imagine (SW)

poultice: soothing dressing (Shakespeare’s only usage of the word) (Weis);1. A moist, usually heated mass of a substance with a soft, pasty consistency, applied to the skin, usually by means of a bandage or dressing, in order to promote healing, reduce swelling, relieve pain, etc.; a fomentation, a cataplasm. Also figurative. (OED)

coil: ado, fuss; cf. ‘I am not worth this coil that’s made for me’ (KJ 2.1.165).(Weis); turmoil, disturbance, fuss (SW); 1. Noisy disturbance, ‘row’; ‘tumult, turmoil, bustle, stir, hurry, confusion’ (Johnson).2. Confused noise of inanimate things; clutter, rattle, confused din. 3. Fuss, ado; a ‘business’.  4.a. to keep a coil: to keep up a disturbance; make a fuss, bustle, much ado.

shrift:  confession (Leung, SW); absolution (SW); confessional, place for hearing confession (SW)

hie: hasten, go quickly (also at 72, 77, 78) (Weis); hasten, hurry, speed (SW)

cell: small, humble dwelling (SW)

stays: waits (Leung); stay: stay in hiding, remain hidden (SW); staying, remaining, continued presence (SW); remain, continue, endure (SW); wait (for), await (SW)

wanton blood: Juliet is starting to blush (Weis)

blood: spirit, vigour, mettle (SW); anger, temper, passion (SW); colouring, healthy complexion, blushing (SW); hot blood, the blood as affected by sexual passion (Partridge, 67)

wanton: feminine; or: childlike (SW); lascivious, lewd, obscene (SW); carefree, lighthearted, frolicsome, playful (SW)

climb: to climb a woman’s legs (as though they were the limb of a tree) and then enjoy her (Partridge, 80)

bird’s nest: i.e. Juliet’s bedroom; the idiom ‘to climb a bird’s nest’ may have been proverbial (Dent, N124.1). (Weis) pudend and pubic hair (Partridge, 66)

at any: hasten, go quickly (also at 72, 77, 78) (Weis)

drudge and toil in your delight: ‘I am a mean labourer and hack, and I labour for your pleasure.’ (Weis)

drudge: slave, serf, lackey (SW)

bear the burden: assume responsibility for what will ensue; but also suggesting that Juliet will experience the weight of Romeo’s body during love-making (cf. AC 1.5.22).(Weis); bear: to bear children; to bear, support, a superincumbent man (Partridge, 63)

soon at night: tonight (proverbial; Dent, S639.1) (Weis); quickly, in a short time (SW)

hie to high fortune: Wish me luck. (No Fear Shakespeare Translation)

Pronunciation +

lookest: possibly “look’st” (Leung, also: Arden CWRE, 1998)

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

+prose: (lines 38-45) The nurse switches to prose for this speech.

Translation
No Fear Shakespeare

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

Assonance
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

Pronunciation +

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

Alliteration
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

Consonance
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

Thoughts
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

ANGELO

Long:
Medium:
Short:
Complex:

End stopped:
Midline:

Period:
Exclamation:
Question:
Dash:

Total:

ISABELLA

Long:
Medium:
Short:
Complex:

End stopped:
Midline:

Period:
Exclamation:
Question:
Dash:

Total:

Rhythm
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

Pacing
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

Beats
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

Beat 1


——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

 

Beat 2


ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

 

Beat 3


ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

 

Beat 4


ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

 

Beat


ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.

 

Beat


ANGELO
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed.

 

Beat


ANGELO
——————————-But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

 

Beat


ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

 

Beat


ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

 

Beat 


ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

 

Beat


ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

 

Beat


ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

 

Beat


ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

 

Beat


(Exit.)

 

Top

Beats +

shamest: (line 23) Q2–3; sham’st Q4, F; not in Q1 (Weis)

Jesu: (line 29) jeez-yoo or jee-zoo; jayz-yoo or jay-zoo

you: (line 29) The more formal pronoun is used consistently by Nurse when addressing Juliet, while the 13-year-old uses the familiar thou, thee, thy to her servant, in conformity with the etiquette of the day in which social class overrides age. (Weis)

marry: (line 62) mah-ree (UK); meh-ree (US) (OED)

trow: (line 62) tr-ah-oo (UK); tr-oh (US) (OED)

hie: (line 68) hah-ee

wanton: (line 70) want-en or want-in

Scene
Arden 3 | 2020

2.4

Enter Angelo.

ANGELO
When I would pray and think, I think and pray
To several subjects. Heaven hath my empty words,
Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel. Heaven in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew his name,                                        5
And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
Of my conception. The state whereon I studied
Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown sere and tedious; yea, my gravity
Wherein, let no man hear me, I take pride,                          10
Could I with boot change for an idle plume
Which the air beats for vain. O place, O form,
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming? Blood, thou art blood,                      15
Let’s write good angel on the devil’s horn,
’Tis not the devil’s crest. – How now, who’s there?

Enter Servant.

SERVANT
One Isabel, a sister, desires access to you.

ANGELO
Teach her the way. [Exit Servant.]

O heavens,
Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,                    20
Making both it unable for itself
And dispossessing all my other parts
Of necessary fitness?
So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons,
Come all to help him, and so stop the air                            25
By which he should revive, and even so
The general subject to a well-wished king
Quit their own part and in obsequious fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
Must needs appear offence.

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

ISABELLA
To whom should I complain? Did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O perilous mouths
That bear in them one and the selfsame tongue
Either of condemnation or approof,
Bidding the law make curtsy to their will,                                175
Hooking both right and wrong to th’appetite,
To follow as it draws. I’ll to my brother;
Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour
That had he twenty heads to tender down                             180
On twenty bloody blocks, he’d yield them up
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorred pollution.
Then Isabel live chaste, and brother die:
More than our brother is our chastity.                                      185
I’ll tell him yet of Angelo’s request
And fit his mind to death for his soul’s rest.

(Exit.)

Rhetoric
Arden 3 | 2020

Enter Isabella.

——————————How now, fair maid?            30

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it would much better please me
Than to demand what ’tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while, and it may be                                 35
As long as you or I. Yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
————————Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you: that in his reprieve,
Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not?                                                       40

ANGELO
Ha? Fie, these filthy vices: it were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
A man already made, as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven’s image
In stamps that are forbid. ’Tis all as easy                            45
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
’Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.                            50
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother’s life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
—————————–Sir, believe this:
I had rather give my body than my soul.                                55

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul; our compelled sins
Stand more for number than for account.

ISABELLA
—————————————-How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I’ll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,                                    60
Pronounce a sentence on your brother’s life.
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother’s life?

ISABELLA
—————————Please you to do’t,
I’ll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.                                                  65

ANGELO
Pleased you to do’t at peril of your soul
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I’ll make it my morn prayer                            70
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
—————————–Nay, but hear me.
Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seem so, crafty; and that’s not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,                              75
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me,                        80
To be received plain, I’ll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.                                    85

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life,
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question, that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person                             90
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law, and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body                      95
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th’impression of keen whips I’d wear as rubies,                  100
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I’d yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And ’twere the cheaper way:                                                    105
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister by redeeming him
Should die forever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?                                                    110

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother                      115
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.                                      120

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
—————-Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,                125
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women? Help heaven, men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
——————————I think it well.                       130
And from this testimony of your own sex,
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you’re none.                  135
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one; gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.                 140

ANGELO
Plainly conceive I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for’t.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in’t,                                145
Which seems a little fouler than it is
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
——————–Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour, to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!            150
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for’t.
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I’ll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

ANGELO
——————–Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th’austereness of my life,                       155
My vouch against you and my place i’th’ state
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein;                              160
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for, redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,                                165
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
I’ll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o’erweighs your true.                170

(Exit.)

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