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as he spit in his face, so she defied him.

Clo. Sir, if it please your honor, this is not so. Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honorable man, prove it.

Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces?

To ANGELO. Clo. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing (saving your honors reverence) for stew'd prunes; sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very distant time stood as it were, in a fruitdish, a dish of some three-pence: your honors have seen such dishes; they are not china dishes, but very good dishes.

Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir. Clo. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therefore in the right; but, to the point: as I say, this mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great belly'd, and longing, as I said, for prunes; and having but two in the dish, as I said, master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly; -for, as you know, master Froth, I could not give you three-pence again.

Froth. No, indeed.

Clo. Very well: you being then, if you be remember'd, cracking the stones of the 'foresaid prunes.

Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

Clo. Why, very well: I telling you then, if you be remember'd, that such a one, and such a one, were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good diet, as I told you.

Froth. All this is true.

Clo. Why, very well then.

Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to complain of! Come me to what was done to her.

Clo. Sir, your honor cannot come to that yet.
Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.

Clo. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honor's leave and I beseech you, look into master Froth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year; whose father died at Hallowmas: Was't not at Hallowmas, master Froth?

Froth. All-hollond1 eve.

Clo. Why, very well: I hope here be truths: he, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir;'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to sit: have you not?

Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, and good for winter.

Clo. Why, very well then;-I hope here be truths.

Ang. This will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave, And leave you to the hearing of the cause; Hoping, you'll find good cause to whip them all. Escal. I think no less: good morrow to your lordship. [Exit ANGELO. Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?

Clo. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her


Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife?

Clo. I beseech your honor, ask me.

Escal. Well, sir: what did this gentleman to her? Clo. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face:-Good master Froth, look upon his honor; 'tis for a good purpose: doth your honor mark his face?

Escal. Ay, sir, very well.

Clo. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Escal Well, I do so.

Clo. Doth your honor see any harm in his face!
Escal. Why, no.

Clo. I'll be suppos'd3 upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him: good then; if his face be the worst thing about him, how could master Froth do the constable's wife any harm? I would know that of your honor.

Escal. He's in the right: constable, what say you to it?

Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected woman.

Eve of All Saints day.
Deposed, sworn.

• Easy.

Clo. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.

Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet: the time is yet to come, that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.

Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.

Escal. Which is the wiser here? justice or inquity? Is this true?

Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! I respected with her, before I was married to her? If ever I was respected with her, or she with me, let not your worship think me the poor duke's officer:- Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee. Escal. If he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your action of slander too.

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it: what is't your worship's pleasure I should do with this wicked caitiff?

Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him, that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses, till thou know'st what they are.

Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it :-thou seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee; thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.

Escal. Where were you born, friend?


Froth. Here, in Vienna, sir.
Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?
Froth. Yes, and 't please you, sir.
Escal. So.-What trade are you of, sir?
[To the Clown.

Clo. A tapster: a poor widow's tapster.
Escal. Your mistress's name?

Clo. Mistress Over-done.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband?

Clo. Nine, sir; Over-done by the last.

Escal. Nine!-Come hither to me, master Froth, Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters; they will draw you, master Froth, and you will hang them: get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.

Froth. I thank your worship: for mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in.

Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: farewell. [Exit FROTH.] Come you hither to me master tapster; what's your name, master tapster? Clo. Pompey. Escal. What else?

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Escal. No, Pompey.

Clo. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to 't then if your worship will take orders for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: it is but heading and hanging.

Clo. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten years together, you'll be glad to give out a commission for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna ten years, I'll rent the fairest house in it, after three-pence a day: if you live to see this come to pass, say Pompey told you so.

Escal. Thank you, good Pompey: and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you,- I advise you, let me not find you before me again upon any comConstable or Clown. For cannibal.

• Measures.

plaint whatsoever, no, not for dwelling where you! do: If I do, Pompey, I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Cæsar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Clo. I thank your worship for your good counsel; but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.

Whip me! No, no; let carman whip his jade;
The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade.

\Exit. Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come hither, master Constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?

Elb. Seven years and a half, sir.

Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time: You say, seven years together?

Elb. And a half, sir.

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Ang. Stay a little while.-[TO ISAB.] You are welcome: What's your will? Isab. I am a woeful suitor to your honor: Please but your honor hear me. Ang. Well; what's your suit? Isab. There is a vice that most I do abhor, And most desire should meet the blow of justico; For which I would not plead, but that I must; For which I must not plead, but that I am At war, 'twixt will, and will not. Ang. Well; the matter? Isub. I have a brother is condemned to die. I do beseech you, let it be his fault, And not my brother. Prov. Heaven give thee moving graces. Ang. Condemn the fault and not the actor of it! Why, every fault's condemned, ere it be done: Mine were the very cipher of a function, To fine the faults, whose fine stands in record, And let go by the actor. Isab.

O just, but severe law!

I had a brother then.- Heaven keep your honor!
Lucio. [To ISAB.] Give 't not o'er so: to him
Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
again, intreat him;
You are too cold; if you should need a pin
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it:
To him, I say.

Isab. Must he needs die? Ang.

Maiden, no remedy. Isab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him, And neither heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy. Ang. I will not do't.

But you can, if you would?
Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.
Isab. But might you do 't, and do the world no

If so, your heart were touch'd with that remorse
As mine is to him.

He's sentenced: 'tis too late.
Lucio. You are too cold.
Isab. Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a word,
May call it back again: Well believe this,

No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,

Serv. He's hearing of a cause; he will come The marshall's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,


I'll tell him of you.

Prov. Pray you do. [Exit. Servant.] I'll know
His pleasure; may be, he will relent: Alas,
He hath but as offended in a dream!

All sects, all ages, smack of this vice; and he
To die for it!

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Become them with one half so good a grace,
As mercy does. If he had been as you,
And you as he, you would have slipt like him;
But he, like you, would not have been so stern.
Ang. Pray you, begone.

Isab. I would to heaven I had your potency,
And you were Isabel! should it then be thus!
No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge,
And what a prisoner.

Lucio. Ay, touch him: there's the vein, [Aside. Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, And you but waste your words.


Alas! alas!

why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once:
And He that might the vantage best have took,
Found out the remedy: How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are! O, think on that;
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,

Go to; let that be mine. Like man new made.

Do your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spar'd.

Prov. I crave your honor's pardon.—
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.
Dispose of her


To some more fitter place; and that with speed.

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See you, the fornicatress be remov'd;
Let her have needful, but not lavish, means;
There shall be order for it.

Enter Lucio and ISABELLA.

Prov. Save your honor!

Ang. Be you content, fair maid; It is the law, not I, condemns your brother: Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son, It should be thus with him:- he must die to-mor

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Those many had not dar'd to do that evil,

If the first man that did the edict infringe,

Had answer'd for his deed: now, 'tis awake;
Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils

[Offering to retire. (Either now, or by remissness new-conceived,


And so in progress to be hatch'd and born)
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, where they live, to end.
Yet show some pity.
Ang. I show it most of all, when I show justice;
For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismiss'd offence would after gall;
And do him right, that answering one foul wrong,
Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
Your brother dies to-morrow: be content.

Isab. So you must be the first that gives this sentence;

And he, that suffers: 0, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

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Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Split'st the unwedgeable and knarled oak,
Than the soft myrtle;-0, but man, proud man!
Drest in a little brief authority,

Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
His glassy essence,-like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven,
As make the angels weep: who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.
Lucio. O, to him, to him, wench: he will relent;
He's coming, I perceive 't.

Pray heaven, she win him!
Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:
Great men may jest with saints: 'tis wit in them;
But, in the less, foul profanation.

Lucio. Thou'rt in the right, girl; more o' that. Isab. That in the captain's but a choleric word, Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Lucio. Art advis'd o' that? more on't.

Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me? Isab. Because authority, though it err like others, Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,

That skins the vice o' the top: Go to your bosom;
Knock there; and ask your heart, what it doth know
That's like my brother's fault: if it confess
A natural guiltiness, such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.


She speaks, and 'tis

Such sense, that my sense breeds with it.- Fare

you well.

Isab. Gentle my lord, turn back.

Ang. I will bethink me:- Come again to-mor

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That modesty may more betray our sense
Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground

Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary,
And pitch our evils there! O, fye, fye, fye!
What dost thou? or what art thou, Angelo!
Dost thou desire her foully, for those things
That make her good? O, let her brother live:
Thieves for their robbery have authority,
When judges steal themselves. What do I love her,
That I desire to hear her speak again,

And feast upon her eyes? What is 't I dream on?
O cunning enemy, that to catch a saint,
With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous
Is that temptation, that doth goad us on

To sin in loving virtue; never could the strumpet
With all her double vigor, art, and nature,
Once stir iny temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite; Ever, till now,

When men were fond, I smil'd, and wonder'd how. [Exit.

SCENE III.- A Room in a Prison. Enter DUKE, habited like a Friar, and Provost. Duke. Hail to you, provost! so I think you are. Prov. I am the provost: What's your will, good friar?

Duke. Bound by my charity, and my bless'd order, Here in the prison: do me the common right I come to visit the afflicted spirits To let me see them; and to make me know The nature of their crimes, that I may minister To them accordingly. Prov. I would do more than that, if more were needful.

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Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you? Jutiet. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd him. Duke. So then, it seems, your most offenceful act Was mutually committed!



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Of my conception: The state, whercon I studied,
Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown fear'd and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein (let no man hear me) I take pride,
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 still art blood:
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn
"Tis not the devil's crest.

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Ang. Yea.

When it doth tax itself: as these black masks Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder Than beauty could displayed. But mark me; To be received plain, I'll speak more gross: Your brother is to die.

Isab. So.

Ang And his offence is so, as it appears Accountant to the law upon that pain. Isab. True.

Ang. 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 desir'd of such a person, 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 To this supposed, or else let him suffer; What would you do?

Isab. As much for my poor brother as myself; That is, were I under the terms of death,

The impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies, And strip myself to death, as to a bed

That longing I have been sick for, ere I'd yield My body up to shame.


Then must your brother die. Istb. And 'twere the cheaper way: Better it were, a brother died at once, Than that a sister, by redeeming him, Should die for ever.

Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentence That you have slander'd so?

Isab. Ignomy in ransom, and free pardon,
Are of two houses: lawful mercy is
Nothing akin to foul redemption.

Ang. You seem'd of late to make the law a tyrant;

And rather prov'd the sliding of your brother
A merriment than a vice.

Isab. O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out,
To have what we'd have, we speak not what we


Isab. When? I beseech you? that in his reprieve, I something do excuse the thing I hate, Longer, or shorter, he may be so fitted,

That his soul sicken not.

Ang. Ha! fye, 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
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put mettle in restrained means,
To make a false one.

Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.
Ang. Say you so then I shall pose you quickly.
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?

Sir, believe this,

I had rather give my body than my soul.
Ang. I talk not of your soul; our compell'd sins
Stand more for number than accompt.
How say you?
Ang. 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,
Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life:
Might there not be a charity in sin,
To save this brother's life'

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I'll take it as a peril to my soul, It is no sin at all, but charity.

For his advantage that I dearly love.
Ang. We are all frail.

Else let my brother die,

If not a feodary, but only he,
Owe, and succeed by weakness.

Nay, women are frail too. Isab. Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves;

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."

I think it well:
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;
If you be one, (as you are well express'd
By all external warrants,) show it now,
By putting on the destin'd livery.

Isab. have no tongue but one: gentle my lord, Let me entreat you, speak the former language. Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you.

Isab. My brother did love Juliet; and you tell me That he shall die for it.

Ang. He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love. Isab. I know your virtue hath a licence in 't, Which seems a little fouler than it is,

Ang. Pleas'd you to do 't, at peril of your soul, To pluck on others. Were equal poise of sin and charity.

Isab. 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
To have it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your answer.


Nay, but hear me: Your sense pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,

Or seem so, craftily; and that's not good.

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

Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright, ■ The people.

2 Profit.


Believe me, on mine honor, My words express my purpose.

Isab. Ha! little honor to be much believ'd, And most pernicious purpose!-Seeming, seeming. I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for 't: Sign me a present pardon for my brother. Or, with an outstretch'd throat, I'll tell the world Aloud, what man thou art.

Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel? My unsoil'd name, the austereness of my life, My vouch against you, and my place i' the state, Will so your accusation overweigh, That you shall stifle in your own report, ↑ Impressions

4 Covered. • Associate. • Own.

And smell of calumny. I have begun;
And now I give my sensual race the rein:
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,

But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance: answer me to-morrow,
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.
Isab. To whom shall I complain? Did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,

That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof!
Bidding the law make court'sy to their will;
Hooking both right and wrong to the 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 honor,
That had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorr'd pollution.

Then Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
More than our brother is our chastity.
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,

And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest. [Exit.


SCENE I-4 Room in the Prison. Enter Duke, CLAUDIO, and Provost. Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord Angelo!

Claud. The miserable have no other medicine, But only hope:

I have hope to live, and am prepar'd to die.

Duke. Be absolute for death: either death, or life, Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life,— If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing

That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art, (Servile to all the skiey influences,)

That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labor'st by thy flight to shun,
And yet run'st toward him still: Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'st,
Are nurs'd by baseness: Thou art by no means

For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm: Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provok'st; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many thousand grains
That issue out of dust: Happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou striv'st to get;
And what thou hast, forget'st: Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon: If thou art rich, thou art poor;
For, like an ass, whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee: Friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheun,

For ending thee no sooner: Thou hast nor youth,

nor age;

But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both: for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection. limb, nor beauty,
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this,
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.
I humbly thank you.
To sue to live, I find. I seek to die;
And seeking death, find life: Let it come on.

Isab. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!

Prov. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.

Duke. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
Claud. Most holy sir, I thank you.

Isab. My business is a word or two with Claudio. Prov. And very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister.

Duke. Provost, a word with you.

As many as you please. Duke. Bring them to speak, where I may be


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Yet hear them.
[Exeunt Duke and Provost.
Now, sister, what's the comfort?
Isab. Why, as all comforts are; most good indeed:
Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
Intends you for his swift ambassador,
Where you shall be an everlasting lieger:
Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
To-morrow you set on.
Is there no remedy?
Isab. None, but such a remedy, as to save a head,
To cleave a heart in twain.


But is there any?

Isab. Yes, brother, you may live;
There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
If you'll implore it, that will free your life
But fetter you till death.

Perpetual durance?
Isab. Ay, just, perpetual durance: a restraint,
Though all the world's vastidity you had,
To a determined scope.


But in what nature? Isab. In such a one as (you consenting to 't) And leave you naked. Would bark your honor from that trunk you bear,


Let me know the point. Isab. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake, Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain, And six or seven winters more respect Than a perpetual honor. Dar'st thou die? The sense of death is most in apprehension; And the poor beetle that we tread upon, In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great As when a giant dies.


Why give you me this shame? Think you I can a resolution fetch From flowery tenderness? If I must die, I will encounter darkness as a bride, And hug it in mine arms.

Isab. There spake my brother; there my father's


Did utter forth a voice! Yes, thou must die:
Thou art too noble to conserve a life
In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,--
Whose settled visage and deliberate word
Nips youth i' the head, and follies doth enmew,
As falcon doth the fowl,- is yet a devil;
His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.
The princely Angelo?
Isab. O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
The vilest body to invest and cover
In princely guards! Dost thou think, Claudio,
If I would yield him my virginity,
Thou might'st be freed!


O, heavens! It cannot be.
Isab. Yes, he would give it thee, from this rank

So I to offend him still: This night's the time,
That I should do what I abhor to name,
Or else thou diest to-morrow.


Thou shalt not do't.

Isab. O, were it but my life, I'd throw it down for your deliverance As frankly as a pin.


Thanks, dear Isabel.

$ Resident.

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