Is it a Christian virtue, then

From Theodora, HWV 68, Part III, Scene IV

George Frideric Handel
d minor → D major
6 measures

Original English text

Modernized English text



Is it a Chriſtian Virtue then,
Is it a Christian virtue then,
To reſcue from the Hands of Juſtice, One
To rescue from the hands of justice, one
Condemn’d by my Authority? —
Condemn’d by my authority?



Such my Religion it condemns all Crimes,
Such my religion: it condemns all crimes,
None more than Diſobedience to juſt Pow’r.
None more than disobedience to just Pow’r.
And had your Sentence doom’d her but to Death,
And had your sentence doomed her but to death,
I then might have deplor’d your Cruelty,
I then might have deplored your cruelty,
And not attempted to defeat it. — Yet
And not attempted to defeat it. Yet
I own no Crime, unleſs it be a Crime
I own no crime, unless it be a crime
To’ve hindered you from perpetrating that,
To’ve hindered you from perpetrating that,
Which wou’d have made you odious to Mankind;
Which wou’d have made you odious to mankind;
At leaſt the faireſt Half. —
At least the fairest half.



Ay, ay, fond man!
— Ay, ay, fond Man!
It was the charms of beauty, not of virtue,
It was the Charms of Beauty, not of Virtue,
That prompted you to save her. Take him hence,
That prompted you to ſave her. — Take him hence,
And lead him to repentance, or to death.
And lead him to Repentance, or — to Death.

About the text

  • Author: Thomas Morell


  • Didymus (Alto)
  • Valens (Basso)
  • Continuo



May Robertson

Similar instrumentation

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