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At seventeen years many their fortunes seek;
But at fourscore, it is too late a week:
Yet fortune cannot recompense me better
Than to die well, and not my master's debtor.



Isabella. I Am a woful suitor to your honor, Please but your honor hear me.

A.ngelo. Well; what's your suit 1

hob. 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.

Ang. Well; the matter?

Isab. I have a brother is condemned to die:
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,"1
And not my brother.

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!
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.

Isab. But can you, if you would?

Ang. Look! what I will not, that I cannot do.

Isab. But might you do't, and do the world no wrong If so your heart were touched with that remorse As mine is to him 1

Ang. He's sentenced; 't is too late.

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,141
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
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.

Aug. Pray you, begone.

Isab. I would to Heaven I had your potency, And you were Isabel should it then be thus?

No! 1 would tell what't were to bo a judge,
And what a prisoner.

Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And you but waste your words.

Isat 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,
Like man new made.

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-morrow.

Isab. To-morrow 1 O, that's sudden! Spare him, spare him
He's not prepared for death! Even for our kitchens
We kill the fowl of season: shall we serve Heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves? Good, good, my lord, bethink you:
Who is it that hath died for this offence?
There's many have committed it.

Ang. The law hath not been dead, though it hath sleot: Those many had not dared to do that evil, If the first man that did the edict infringe Had answered for his deed: now, 't is awake; Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet, Looks in a glass ," that shows what future evils (Either now, or by remissness new-conceived, And so in progress to be hatched and born), Are now to have no successive" degrees, But, where they live, to end.

Isab. 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 dismissed 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! O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant. —Could great men thunder
As Jove" himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting," petty officer

Would use his heaven for thunder; nothing but thunder
Merciful Heaveu!

Thou rather, with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt,
Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak,
Than the soft myrfle: — But man, proud man!

Drest in a little brief authority,

Most ignorant of what he 's most assured, —

His glassy essence, — like an angry ape,

Plays such fantastic tricks before high Heaven

As make the angels weep.

We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:

Great men may jest with saints: 't is wit in them

But, in the less, foul profanation.

That in the captain's but a choleric word,

Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Ang. Why do you put these sayings upon me?

Isab. Because authority, though it err like others,
Uath yet a kind of medicine in itself.
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.

Ang. [Aside.]" She speaks, and't is
Such sense, my sense breeds with it. [To her.] Fare you well

Isob. Gentle, my lord, turn back.

Ang. I will bethink me. — Come again to-morrow.

Isab. Hark, how I '11 bribe you! Good, my lord, turn back

Ang. How ! bribe me?

Isab. Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.
Not with fond shekels of the tested gold,
Or stones, whose rates are either rich or poor,
As fancy values them: but with true prayers,
That shall be up at heaven, and enter there,
Ere sunrise; prayers from preserved souls,
From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.

Ang. Well; come to me

Isab. Heaven keep your honor safe!

Ang. Amen. Shakspearb.


1. Knowledge and virtue, or, in other words, intellectual and moral improvement, are mainly the mind's own work. The ordinary processes of direct instruction are, at best, but means, facilities, and aids, — of immense importance, it is true, but which presuppose in the mind to which they are applied an active, self moving cooperation. None can carry us up the hill of learning It must be done, if done, by the strain upon our own sinews by the wrenching of our »wn muscles, by the indoroitable resolution jf our own wills. Without this effort on our parte, all the means of instruction which this and all other ages have devised are vain, worse than vain.

2. There is a vague notion widely prevalent that schools and ampler seminaries are able, by a power inherent in themselves, to fill the mind with learning; or that it is to be received inertly, like the influences of the atmosphere, by a mere residence at the places of instruction. But this is a sad mistake. Something, in this way, doubtless, may be effected. Something may be thus

inspiration of the place. Intercourse, conversation, sympathy with his companions, will, without much voluntary effort on his part, convey some information, and mould, in some degree, the habits of his mind. But this, admitting it in its full extent, amounts to but very little. It is, moreover, too vague to be of any practical value.

3. The truth, after all, is, that the most elaborate and manifold apparatus of instruction can impart nothing of importance to the passive and inert mind. It is almost as unavailing as the warmth and light of the sun, and all the sweet influences of the heavens, shed upon the desert sands. "The schoolmaster," we are told by one, who, be it observed, is himself a prodigy of selfeducation, "the schoolmaster is abroad." The word has been caught up by the nations as prophetical of mighty changes. But the schoolmaster is abroad to little purpose, unless his pupils stand ready in their places to receive him with open and active minds, and to labor with him for their own benefit.

4. If all the means of education which are scattered over the world, and if all the philosophers and teachers of ancient and modern times, were to be collected together, and made to bring their combined efforts to bear upon an individual, all they could do would be to afford the opportunity of improvement. They could not give him .a single valuable thought independently of his own exertion. All that could be accomplished must still be done within the little compass of his own mind; and they could not approach this by a hair's breadth nearer than access was made for them by his own cooperation. Nothing short of a miracle can teach a man anything independently of this. All that he learns is effected by self-discipline, and self-discipline is the mind's own work. We all are, under God, intellectually, the makers of ourselves.

5. Virtue, religion, as well as knowledge, tnust also be mainlv the mind's own work. Here, too, external means arc useless, without the earnest cooperation of the individual. The usual means of religious improvement, public r^agious instruction, public worship, the solemn and tender rites of our religion, seasons of abstraction from ordinary cares for self-intercourse, and for communion of the soul with God, are valuable, most valuable, — valuable very far beyond the common estimate that is made of them, — so valuable, that they are the principal head-springs of public morals, and possess a preventive and san'ative" influence over public sentiment, which is more effective in preserving good order, good institutions, civil rights, and private welfare, than any other influences which are brought to bear upon the community.


6. But how and why are they thus valuable? Simply and only as means and aids of personal exertion; simply and only by being brought into contact with the minds and hearts of men. Unless this is done, religious meetings and services and rites are a mockery. Worse, even, than this; they are a perversion of those overtures of mercy, and those means of improvement, which a gracious God has vouchsafed, to raise us from a mere earthly life, and make us partakers of a divine nature. What is prayer to him who does not pray? What is religious instruction to the vain, the frivolous, the indifferent, the preoccupied and foreclosed mind? What is the keeping of holy time to him, who, while he is ostensibly present at places of social worship, has yet left his thoughts and affections behind, to hold companionship with his business or his pleasures? Alas ! nothing. It is but as the vain oblations, the pageantry, and sacrifices of a darker age, without the excuse of ignorance to be pleaded in palliation. Under God, and by those spiri tual aids which are ever vouchsafed in exact proportion to our endeavors to obtain them (how gracious and glorious is this truth !), we are morally and religiously, as well as intellectually, the makers of ourselves.



1. It was in reference to the astonishing impulse given to mechanical pursuits, that Dr. Darwin, more than forty years ago, broke out in strains equally remarkable for their poetical enthusiasm and prophetic truth, and predicted the future triumph of the steam-engine:

*' Soon shall thy arm, unconquered steam, atar
Brag the slow barge, or drive the rapid ear;

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