Measure for Measure By William Shakespeare Act II

SCENE II. Another room in the same.

[Enter PROVOST and a SERVANT.]

SERVANT.
He's hearing of a cause; he will come straight.
I'll tell him of you.

PROVOST.
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!

[Enter ANGELO.]

ANGELO.
Now, what's the matter, provost?

PROVOST.
Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow?

ANGELO.
Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thou not order?
Why dost thou ask again?

PROVOST.
Lest I might be too rash:
Under your good correction, I have seen
When, after execution, judgment hath
Repented o'er his doom.

ANGELO.
Go to; let that be mine:
Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spared.

PROVOST.
I crave your honour's pardon:
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.

ANGELO.
Dispose of her
To some more fitter place; and that with speed.

[Re-enter Servant.]

SERVANT.
Here is the sister of the man condemned
Desires access to you.

ANGELO.
Hath he a sister?

PROVOST.
Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.

ANGELO.
Well, let her be admitted.

[Exit Servant.]

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.]

PROVOST.
[Offering to retire.] Save your honour!

ANGELO.
Stay a little while. — [To ISABELLA.] You are welcome. What's
your will?

ISABELLA.
I am a woeful suitor to your honour,
Please but your honour hear me.

ANGELO.
Well; what's your suit?

ISABELLA.
There is a vice that most I do abhor,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice;
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.

ANGELO.
Well; the matter?

ISABELLA.
I have a brother is condemn'd to die;
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

PROVOST.
Heaven give thee moving graces.

ANGELO.
Condemn the fault and not the actor of it!
Why, every fault's condemn'd ere it be done;
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To find the faults whose fine stands in record,
And let go by the actor.

ISABELLA.
O just but severe law!
I had a brother, then. — Heaven keep your honour!

[Retiring.]

LUCIO.
[To ISABELLA.] Give't not o'er so: to him again, entreat him;
Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
You are too cold: if you should need a pin,
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it:
To him, I say.

ISABELLA.
Must he needs die?

ANGELO.
Maiden, no remedy.

ISABELLA.
Yes; I do think that you might pardon him,
And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.

ANGELO.
I will not do't.

ISABELLA.
But can you, if you would?

ANGELO.
Look, what I will not, that I cannot do.

ISABELLA.
But might you do't, and do the world no wrong,
If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse
As mine is to him?

ANGELO.
He's sentenc'd; 'tis too late.

LUCIO.
[To ISABELLA.] You are too cold.

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