Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition
Editor’s NoteEnter Angelo1
angelo When I would pray and think, I think and pray
Editor’s Note2To several subjects: God hath my empty words,
Editor’s Note3Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
4Anchors on Isabel; God in my mouth,
Editor’s Note5As if I did but only chew his name,
6And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
Editor’s Note7Of my conception. The state whereon I studied
8Is like a good thing, being often read,
9Grown seared and tedious. Yea, my gravity,
10Wherein—let no man hear me—I take pride,
Editor’s Note11Could I with boot change for an idle plume
Editor’s Note12Which the air beats for vain. O place, O form,
Editor’s Note13How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
14Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
Editor’s Note15To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood.
Editor’s Note16Let's write 'good angel' on the devil's horn—
Editor’s Note17'Tis now the devil's crest.Enter Servant
How now? Who's there?Editor’s Note18
servant One Isabel, a sister, desires accèss to you.19
angelo Teach her the way.[Exit Servant]
20Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,
Editor’s Note21Making both it unable for itself,
22And dispossessing all my other parts
23Of necessary fitness?
Editor’s Note24So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons—
26By which he should revive—and even so
Editor’s Note27The general subject to a well-wished king
Editor’s Note28Quit their own part and, in obsequious fondness,
Editor’s Note29Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
30Must needs appear offence.Enter Isabella
How now, fair maid?Editor’s Note31
isabella I am come to know your pleasure.Editor’s Note32
angelo That you might know it would much better please me
Editor’s Note33Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live.Editor’s Note34
isabella Even so. God keep your honour.35
angelo Yet may he live a while, and it may be
Editor’s Note36As long as you or I. Yet he must die.37
isabella Under your sentence?38
isabella When, I beseech you?—that in his reprieve,
Editor’s Note40Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted
41That his soul sicken not.42
angelo Ha, fie, these filthy vices! It were as good
Editor’s Note43To pardon him that hath from nature stolen
44A man already made, as to remit
Editor’s Note45Their saucy sweetness that do coin God's image
46In stamps that are forbid. 'Tis all as easy
Editor’s Note47Falsely to take away a life true made
Editor’s Note48As to put metal in restrainèd moulds
Editor’s Note49To make a false one.50
isabella 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.Editor’s Note51
angelo Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.
52Which had you rather: that the most just law
53Now took your brother's life, or, to redeem him,
54Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
55As she that he hath stained?
isabella Sir, believe this.
Editor’s Note56I had rather give my body than my soul.Editor’s Note57
angelo I talk not of your soul. Our còmpelled sins
Editor’s Note58Stand more for number than account.
isabella How say you?pg 2226 Editor’s Note59
angelo Nay, I'll not warrant that, for I can speak
60Against the thing I say. Answer to this.
61I now, the voice of the recorded law,
62Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life.
63Might there not be a charity in sin
Editor’s Note64To save this brother's life?
isabella Please you to do't,
65I'll take it as a peril to my soul
66It is no sin at all, but charity.Editor’s Note67
angelo Pleased you to do't at peril of your soul
Editor’s Note68Were equal poise of sin and charity.69
isabella That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Editor’s Note70Heaven let me bear it. You granting of my suit,
71If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
72To have it added to the faults of mine,
73And nothing of your answer.
angelo Nay, but hear me.
Editor’s Note74Your sense pursues not mine. Either you are ignorant,
Editor’s Note75Or seem so craftily, and that's not good.Editor’s Note76
isabella Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good
Editor’s Note77But graciously to know I am no better.78
angelo Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
Editor’s Note79When it doth tax itself: as these black masks
Editor’s Note80Proclaim an énshield beauty ten times louder
81Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me.
Editor’s Note82To be receivèd plain, I'll speak more gross.
83Your brother is to die.Editor’s Note84
isabella So.Editor’s Note85
angelo And his offence is so, as it appears,
Editor’s Note86Accountant to the law upon that pain.87
isabella True.Editor’s Note88
angelo Admit no other way to save his life—
Editor’s Note89As I subscribe not that nor any other—
Editor’s Note90But, in the loss of question, that you his sister,
Editor’s Note91Finding yourself desired of such a person
Editor’s Note92Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
93Could fetch your brother from the manacles
94Of the all-binding law, and that there were
Editor’s Note95No earthly mean to save him, but that either
pg 2227Editor’s Note96You must lay down the treasures of your body
Editor’s Note97To this supposed, or else to let him suffer—
98What would you do?99
isabella As much for my poor brother as myself.
Editor’s Note100That is, were I under the terms of death,
Editor’s Note101Th'impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies,
102And strip myself to death as to a bed
Editor’s Note103That longing have been sick for, ere I'd yield
104My body up to shame.Link 105
angelo Then must your brother die.106
isabella And 'twere the cheaper way.
107Better it were a brother died at once
108Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
Editor’s Note109Should die for ever.110
angelo Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
111That you have slandered so?112
isabella Ignominy in ransom and free pardon
Editor’s Note113Are of two houses; lawful mercy
114Is nothing kin to foul redemption.115
angelo You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
Editor’s Note116And rather proved the sliding of your brother
117A merriment than a vice.118
isabella O pardon me, my lord. It oft falls out
Editor’s Note119To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
Editor’s Note120I something do excuse the thing I hate
121For his advantage that I dearly love.Editor’s Note122
angelo We are all frail.
isabella Else let my brother die—
Editor’s Note123If not a federy, but only he,
Editor’s Note124Own and succeed thy weakness.
angelo Nay, women are frail too.Editor’s Note125
isabella Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,
Editor’s Note126Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Editor’s Note127Women? Help, heaven! Men their creation mar
128In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
129For we are soft as our complexions are,
Editor’s Note130And credulous to false prints.
angelo I think it well,
Editor’s Note131And from this testimony of your own sex,
pg 2228Editor’s Note132Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Editor’s Note133Than faults may shake our frames, let me be bold.
Editor’s Note134I do arrest your words. Be that you are;
Editor’s Note135That is, a woman. If you be more, you're none.
Editor’s Note136If you be one, as you are well expressed
Editor’s Note137By all external warrants, show it now,
Editor’s Note138By putting on the destined livery.Editor’s Note139
isabella I have no tongue but one. Gentle my lord,
Editor’s Note140Let me entreat you speak the former language.Editor’s Note141
angelo Plainly conceive, I love you.142
isabella My brother did love Juliet,
143And you tell me that he shall die for it.144
angelo He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.Editor’s Note145
isabella I know your virtue hath a licence in't,
146Which seems a little fouler than it is,
Editor’s Note147To pluck on others.
angelo Believe me, on mine honour,
148My words express my purpose.149
isabella Ha, little honour to be much believed,
150And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seeming!
Editor’s Note151I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for't.
Editor’s Note152Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Editor’s Note153Or with an outstretched throat I'll tell the world aloud
Editor’s Note154What man thou art.
angelo Who will believe thee, Isabel?
155My unsoiled name, th'austereness of my life,
Editor’s Note156My vouch against you, and my place i'th' state,
157Will so your accusation overweigh
Editor’s Note158That you shall stifle in your own report,
159And smell of calumny. I have begun,
Editor’s Note160And now I give my sensual race the rein.
161Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite.
Editor’s Note162Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes
Editor’s Note163That banish what they sue for. Redeem thy brother
Editor’s Note164By yielding up thy body to my will,
Editor’s Note165Or else he must not only die the death,
Editor’s Note166But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
Editor’s Note167To ling'ring sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Editor’s Note168Or by the affection that now guides me most,
170Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true.Exit171
isabella To whom should I complain? Did I tell this,
Editor’s Note172Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,
173That bear in them one and the selfsame tongue
Editor’s Note174Either of condemnation or approof,
Editor’s Note175Bidding the law make curtsy to their will,
176Hooking both right and wrong to th'appetite,
177To follow as it draws! I'll to my brother.
Editor’s Note178Though he hath fall'n by prompture of the blood,
179Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour
Editor’s Note180That had he twenty heads to tender down
181On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up
182Before his sister should her body stoop
183To such abhorred pollution.
184Then Isabel live chaste, and brother die:
185More than our brother is our chastity.
186I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
187And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.Exit