Abridged Measure for Measure/#7/Persuasion/Act 2, Scene 2.2

Angelo has told Isabella to “begone.” Isabella steps it up, saying “I would to heaven I had your potency, and you were Isabel. Should it then be thus? No.” Aside, Lucio says “Ay, touch him; that’s the way to speak.” Angelo says “Your brother has breached the law, and you but waste your words. Be you content, fair maid. It is the law, not I. He must die tomorrow.” She says “Tomorrow? O, that’s sudden! Spare him. He’s not prepared for death. Good my lord, bethink you. Who is it that hath died for this offense? There’s many have committed it.” Aside, Lucio says “Ay, well said.” Angelo says “The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept. Now ‘tis awake.” Isabella says “Yet show some pity.” Angelo says “I show it most of all when I show justice. Be content.” She goes on to say in general that ignorant man, with brief authority, making such foolish decisions would cause “angels, if mortal, to laugh themselves to death.” Aside, Lucio says “He will relent. I perceive it.” Aside, Provost says “Pray heaven she win him.” Angelo says ‘Why do you put these sayings upon me?” She says “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.” Aside, Angelo says “She speaks, and ‘tis such sense.” He begins to exit. She says “Gentle my lord, turn back.” He says “Come again tomorrow.” She asks “At what hour tomorrow shall I attend your Lordship?” He says “At any time ‘fore noon.” She exits with Lucio and Provost. Alone on the stage, now believing that he is in love, Angelo says to himself “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 themselves are thieves. Never could the strumpet with all her seductive skills and allure shake my composure, but this virtuous maid subdues me quite. Ever till now when men were foolishly infatuated, I smiled and wondered how.”

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