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SCENE IV. A Room in Angelo's House. Enter ANGELO. Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and pray To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words; Whilst my intention, hearing not my tongue, Anchors on Isabel : Heaven in my mouth, As if I did but only chew his name ; 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 feard 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.
Serv. One Isabel, a sister,
 Here Shakespeare judiciously distinguishes the different operations of high place upon different minds. Fools are frighted, and wise men are allured. who cannot judge but by the eye, are easily awed by splendour; those who consider men as well as conditions, are easily persuaded to love the appearance of virtue digo Dified with power.
JOHNSON  So the Duke had before (act i. sc. 2.) expressed his dislike to popular ap: plause. I cannot help thinking that Shakespeare, in these two passages, intended to flatter that unkingly weakness of James I. which made him so impatient of the crowds that flocked to see him, especially upon his first coming, that, as some of our historians he restrained them by proclamation.
Isab. I am come to know your pleasure.
Isab. Even so ?-Heaven keep your honour! [Retiring.
Ang. Yet may he live a while; and, it may be,
Isab. Under your sentence ?
Isab. When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve,
Ang. Ha! Fye, these filthy vices ! It were as good
Isab. 'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.
Ang. Say you so ? then I shall poze you quickly.
Isab. Sir, believe this,
Ang. I talk not of your soul ; Our compellid sins
Isab. How say you?
Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that; for I can speak
Isab. Please you to do't,
Ang. Pleas'd you to do't, at peril of your soul,
Were equal poize of sin and charity.
Isab. That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Ang. Nay, but hear me :
Isab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
Ang. Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright,
Ang. And his offence is so, as it appears
Ang. Then must your brother die.
Better it were, a brother died at once,
Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
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;
Isab. O, pardon me, my lord ; it oft falls out,
Ang. We are all frail.
Isab. Else let my brother die, If not a feodary, but only he, Owe, and succeed by weakness.
Ang. Nay, women are frail too.
Ang. I think it well :
Ignomy-So the word ignominy was formerly written. REED.
This is so obscure, but the allusion so fine, that it deserves to be explained. A feodary was one that in the times of vassalage held lands of the chief lord, under the tenure of paying rent and service: which tenures were called feuda amongst the Goths.
• Now,' says Angelo, we are all frail;' · Yes,' replies Isabella, if all mankind were not feodaries, who owe what they are to this tenure of imbecility, and who succeed each other by the same tenure, as well as my brother, I would give him up. The comparing mankind, lying under the weight of original sin, to a feodary, who owes suit and service to his lord, is, I think, not ill imagined.
JOHNSON  To owe is, in this place, to own, to hold, to have possession.
JOHNSON Her meaning is, that “men debase their nature by taking advantage of such weak pitiful creatures."-Edin. Mag. Nov. 1806. STEVENS
By putting on the destin'd livery.
Isab. I 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 license in't,..
Ang. Believe me, on mine honour,
Isab. Ha ! little honour to be much believ'd,
Ang. Who will believe thee, Isabel ;
shall stifle in your own report,
Isab. To whom shall I complain ? Did I tell this,
 Alluding to the licences given by ministers to their spies, to go into all sus. pected companies, and join in the language of malcontents.
I suspect Warburton's interpretation to be more ingenious than just. The obvious meaning is--" I know your virtue assumes an air of licentiousness which is not natural to you, on purpose to try me."--Ed. Mag. 1806. STEEVENS.
 Seeming, seeming--Hypocrisy, hypocrisy; counterfeit virtue.