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Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended,
He would have weighed thy brother by himself,
And not have cut him off: some one hath set you on;
Confess the truth, and say by whose advice
Thou cam'st here to complain.
And is this all ?
Then, oh, you blessed ministers above,
Keep me in patience; and, with ripened time,
Unfold the evil which is here wrapped up
In countenance !— Heaven shield your grace from
woe, As I, thus wronged, hence unbelieved go!
Duke. I know, you'd fain be gone. — An officer !
To prison with her :- shall we thus permit
A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall
On him so near us? This needs must be a practice.
- Who knew of your intent, and coming hither?
Isab. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick.
Duke. A ghostly father, belike: who knows that Lodo-
Lucio. My lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling friar;
I do not like the man: had he been lay, my lord,
For certain words he spake against your grace
In your retirement, I had swinged him soundly.
Duke. Words against me? this a good friar belike!
And to set on this wretched woman here
Against our substitute! - Let this friar be found.
Lucio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar,
I saw them at the prison; a saucy friar,
A very scurvy fellow.
Blessed be your royal grace!
I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard
Your royal ear abused: first, hath this woman
Most wrongfully accused your substitute;
Who is as free from touch or soil with her,
As she from one ungot.
We did believe no less.
Know you that friar Lodowick that she speaks of!
F. Peter. I know him for a man divine and holy;
Not scurvy, nor a temporary meddler,
As he's reported by this gentleman;
And, on my trust, a man that never yet
Did, as he vouches, misreport your grace.
Lucio. My lord, most villanously; believe it.
F. Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear himself; But at this instant he is sick, my lord, Of a strange fever: upon his mere request
(Being come to knowledge that there was complaint
Intended 'gainst lord Angelo) came I hither,
To speak as from his mouth, what he doth know
Is true, and false; and what he with his oath,
And all probation, will make up full clear,
Whensoe'er he's convented. First, for this woman,
(To justify this worthy nobleman,
So vulgarly and personally accused,)
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
Till she herself confess it.
Good friar, let's hear it.
[ISABELLA is carried off, guarded ; and
MARIANA comes forward.
Do you not smile at this lord Angelo?
O Heaven! The vanity of wretched fools !
Give us some seats. Come, cousin Angelo;
In this I'll be impartial; be you judge
Of your own cause. Is this the witness, friar?
First, let her show her face; and, after, speak.
Mari. Pardon, my lord; I will not show my face
Until my husband bid me.
Duke. What, are you married ?
Mari. No, my lord.
Are you a maid ?
No, my lord.
Duke. A widow then ?
Neither, my lord.
Are nothing then :- neither maid, widow, nor wife ?
Lucio. My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.
Duke. Silence that fellow; I would he had some cause To prattle for himself.
Lucio. Well, my lord.
Mari. My lord, I do confess I ne'er was married ;
And I confess, besides, I am no maid :
I have known my husband; yet my husband knows not
That ever he knew me.
Lucio. He was drunk then, my lord; it can be no better.
Duke. For the benefit of silence, 'would thou wert so too.
Lucio. Well, my lord :
Duke. This is no witness for lord Angelo.
Mari. Now I come to’t, my lord :
She, that accuses him of fornication,
In self-same manner doth accuse my husband;
And charges him, my lord, with such a time,
When I'll depose I had him in mine arms,
With all the effect of love.
Charges she more than me?
Mari. Not that I know.
No? you say, your husband. Mari. Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo, Who thinks, he knows, that he ne'er knew my body, But knows, he thinks, that he knew Isabel's.
Ang. This is a strange abuse :— let's see thy face. Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask.
This is that face, thou cruel Angelo,
Which, once thou swor’st, was worth the looking on:
This is the hand, which, with a vowed contract,
Was fast belocked in thine: this is the body
That took away the match from Isabel,
And did supply thee at thy garden-house,
In her imagined person.
Know you this woman?
Lucio. Carnally, she says.
Sirrah, no more.
Lucio. Enough, my lord.
Ang. My lord, I must confess, I know this woman: And, five years since, there was some speech of marriage Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off, Partly, for that her promised proportions Came short of composition; but, in chief, For that her reputation was disvalued In levity; since which time of five years, I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her, Upon my faith and honor. Mari.
As there comes light from heaven, and words from breath,
As there is sense in truth, and truth in virtue,
I am affianced this man's wife, as strongly
As words could make up vows; and, my good lord,
But Tuesday night last gone, in his garden-house,
He knew me as a wife. As this is true,
Let me in safety raise me from my knees;
Or else forever be confixed here,
A marble monument !
I did but smile till now;
Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice;
My patience here is touched : I do perceive,
These poor informal women are no more
But instruments of some more mightier member,
That sets them on: let me have way, my lord,
To find this practice out.
Ay, with my heart;
And punish them unto your height of pleasure.—
Thou foolish friar, and thou pernicious woman,
Compáct with her that's gone! Think'st thou thy oaths,
Though they would swear down each particular saint,
Were testimonies against his worth and credit,
That's sealed in approbation ?-You, lord Escalus,
Sit with my cousin : lend him your kind pains
To find out this abuse, whence 'tis derived. -
There is another friar that set them on;
Let him be sent for.
F. Peter. Would he were here, my lord; for he, indeed, Hath set the women on to this complaint: Your provost knows the place where he abides, And he may fetch him. Duke. Go, do it instantly.
[Exit Provost. And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin, Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth, Do with your injuries as seems you best, In any chastisement: I for a while Will leave you; but stir not you, till you have well Determined upon these slanderers.
Escal. My lord, we'll do it thoroughly.- [Exit Duke. Seignior Lucio, did you not say, you knew that friar Lodo wick to be a dishonest person
? Lucio. Cucullus non facit monachum : honest in nothing, but in his clothes; and one that has spoke most villanous speeches of the duke.
Escal. We shall entreat you to abide here till he come, and enforce them against him: we shall find this friar a notable fellow.
Lucio. As any in Vienna, on my word.
Escal. Call that same Isabel here once again; [To an Attendant.] I would speak with her; pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; you shall see how I'll handle her.
Lucio. Not better than he, by her own report.
Escal. Say you?
Lucio. Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately, she would sooner confess; perchance, publicly, she'll be ashamed. Re-enter Officers, with ISABELLA, the Duke, in the friar's
habit, and Provost. Escal. I will go darkly to work with her.
· Lucio. That's the way, for women are light at midnight.
Escal. Come on, mistress ; [T. ISABELLA.] Here's a gentlewoman denies all that you have said.
Lucio. My lord, here comes the rascal I spoke of; here with the provost.
Escal. In very good time:— speak not you to him, till we call upon you.
Escal. Come, sir : did you set these women on to slander lord Angelo? They have confessed you did.
Duke. 'Tis false.
Escal. How! know you where you are ?
Duke. Respect to your great place! and let the devil
Be sometimes honored for his burning throne :-
Where is the duke? 'Tis he should hear me speak.
Escal. The duke's in us; and he will hear you speak ;
Look, you speak justly.
Duke. Boldly, at least : — but, 0, poor souls,
Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox ?
Good night to your redress. Is the duke gone?
Then is your cause gone too.
The duke's unjust,
Thus to retort your manifest appeal,
And put your trial in the villain's mouth,
Which here you come to accuse.
Lucio. This is the rascal: this is he I spoke of.
Escal. Why, thou unreverend and unhallowed friar !
Is't not enough, thou hast suborned these women
To accuse this worthy man; but, in foul mouth,
And in the witness of his proper ear,
To call him villain ?
And then to glance from him to the duke himself;
To tax him with injustice ? — Take him hence;
To the rack with him:— we'll touze you joint by joint,
But we will know this purpose: — what! unjust!
Duke. Be not so hot; the duke
Dare no more stretch this finger of mine, than he
Dare rack his own; his subject am I not,
Nor here provincial: My business in this state
Made me a looker-on here in Vienna,
Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble,
Till it o'errun the stew; laws, for all faults;
But faults so countenanced, that the strong statutes
Stand like the forfeits in a barber's shop,
As much in mock as mark.
Escal. Slander to the state! Away with him to prison.