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Scene I.- A public Place near the City Gate.

MARIANA (veiled), Isabella, and Peter, at a

distance. Enter at opposite doors, Duke, VaRrius, Lords; Angelo, Escalus, Lucio, Provost, Officers, and Citizens.

Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met:Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you.


O worthy prince, dishonour not your eye
By throwing it on any other object,
Till you have heard me in my true complaint,
And given me justice; justice, justice, justice!
Duke. Relate your wrongs: In what? by whom?

Be brief:
Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice;
Reveal yourself to him.

Isab. O, worthy Duke,
You bid me seek redemption of the devil.
Hear me yourself ; for that which I must speak
Must either punish me, not being believed,
Or wring redress from you. Hear me, o, hear

Escar.} Happy return be to your royal grace!

me, here.

Duke. Many and hearty thankings to you both. We have made enquiry of you; and we hear Such goodness of your justice, that our soul Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks, Forerunning more requital.

Ang. You make my bonds still greater.
Duke. O, your desert speaks loud; and I should

wrong it
To lock it in the wards of covert bosom,
When it deserves with characters of brass
A forted residence, 'gainst the tooth of time
And razure of oblivion. Give me your hand,
And let the subject see, to make them know
That outward courtesies would fain proclaim
Favours that keep within.—Come, Escalus;
You must walk by us on our other hand;
And good supporters are you.

Peter and Isabella come forward. F. Peter. Now is your time; speak loud, and

kneel before him. Isab. Justice, O royal Duke! Vail your regard Upon a wronged—I'd fain have said, a maid !

Ang. My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm: She hath been a suitor to me for her brother, Cut off by course of justice.

Isab. By course of justice !
Ang. And she will speak most bitterly and strange.
Isab. Most strange, but yet most truly, will I

That Angelo 's forsworn; is it not strange?
That Angelo's a murderer ; is 't not strange?
That Angelo is an adulterous thief,
An hypocrite, a virgin-violator;
Is it not strange, and strange ?

Duke. Nay, ten times strange.

Isab. It is not truer he is Angelo,
Than this is all as true as it is strange:
Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth
To the end of reckoning.

Duke. Away with her.—Poor soul,
She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.

Isab. O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believest There is another comfort than this world, That thou neglect me not, with that opinion That I am touched with madness: make not im

That which but seems unlike. 'Tis not impossible
But one, the wickedest caitiff on the ground,
May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute,
As Angelo: even so may Angelo,
In all his dressings, characts, titles, forms,
Be an arch-villain. Believe it, royal prince,
If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more,
Had I more name for badness.

Duke. By mine honesty,
If she be mad (as I believe no other),
Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense,
Such a dependency of thing on thing,
As ne'er I heard in madness.

Isab. O, gracious Duke,
Harp not on that; nor do not banish reason
For inequality : but let your reason serve
To make the truth appear where it seems hid;
And hide the false seems true.

Duke. Many that are not mad Have, sure, more lack of reason. What would

Isab. In brief—to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, how I prayed and kneeled,
How he refelled me, and how I replied
(For this was of much length)—the vile conclusion
I now begin with grief and shame to utter :
He would not, but by gift of my chaste body
To his concupiscible intemperate lust,
Release my brother; and, after much debatement,
My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour,
And I did yield to him: but the next morn betimes,
His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant
For my poor brother's head.

Duke. This is most likely!
Isab. O that it were as like as it is true!
Duke. By heaven, fond wretch, thou know'st

not what thou speak’st;
Or else thou art suborned against his honour,
In hateful practice. First, his integrity
Stands without blemish :--next, it imports no


you say?

Isab. I am the sister of one Claudio,
Condemned upon the act of fornication
To lose his head; condemned by Angelo :
I, in probation of a sisterhood,
Was sent to by my brother: One Lucio
Was then the messenger ;-

Lucio, That's I, an't like your grace:
I came to her from Claudio, and desired her
To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo,
For her poor brother's pardon.

Isab. That's he, indeed.
Duke. You were not bid to speak.

Lucio. No, my good lord;
Nor wished to hold my peace.
Duke. I wish you now,

then :
Pray you take note of it: and when you have
A business for yourself, pray heaven you then
Be perfect.

Lucio. I warrant your honour.
Duke. The warrant 's for yourself ; take heed

to it.
Isab. This gentleman told somewhat of my tale.
Lucio. Right.

Duke. It may be right; but you are in the wrong To speak before your time.—Proceed.

Isab. I went
To this pernicious caitiff deputy.

Duke. That's somewhat madly spoken.

Isab. Pardon it; The phrase is to the matter.

Duke. Mended again: the matter.—Proceed.

That with such vehemency he should pursue 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.

Isab. And is this all ? Then, oh, you blesséd ministers above, Keep me in patience; and, with ripened time, Unfold the evil which is here wrapt 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 Lodo

wick. Duke. A ghostly father, belike. Who knows

that Lodowick? Lucio. My lord, I know him; 't is a meddling


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. Butyesternight, my lord, she and that friar
I saw them at the prison : a saucy friar,
A very scurvy fellow.

F. Peter. Blesséd be your royal grace!
I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard

Your royal ear abused. First, hath this woman Lucio. He was drunk then, my lord; it can Most wrongfully accused your substitute ;

be no better. Who is as free from touch or soil with her,

Duke. For the benefit of silence, 'would thou As she from one ungot.

wert so too. Duke. We did believe no less.

Lucio. Well, my lord. Know


that Friar Lodowick that she speaks of ? Duke. This is no witness for Lord Angelo. F. Peter. I know him for a man divine and holy. Mari. Now come I to't, my lord : Not scurvy, nor a temporary meddler,

She that accuses him of fornication, As he's reported by this gentleman;

In self-same manner doth accuse my husband; And, on my trust, a man that never yet

And charges him, my lord, with such a time, Did, as he vouches, misreport your grace. When I 'll depose I had him in mine arms

Lucio. My lord, most villanously; believe it. With all the effect of love.
F. Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear Ang. Charges she more than me? :

Mari. Not that I know.
But at this instant he is sick, my lord,

Duke. No? you say, your husband. Of a strange fever. Upon his mere request Mari. Why just, my lord, and that is Angelo, (Being come to knowledge that there was com- Who thinks he knows that he ne'er knew my body, plaint

But knows, he thinks, that he knows Isabel's. Intended 'gainst Lord Angelo) came I hither, Ang. This is a strange abuse :-Let's see thy To speak as from his mouth, what he doth know

face. Is true, and false; and what he with his oath Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unAnd all probation will make up full clear


[Unveiling. Whenever he's convented. First, for this woman This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, (To justify this worthy nobleman,

Which once thou swor’st was worth the looking on: So vulgarly and personally accused),

This is the hand which, with a vowed contract, Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes, Was fast belocked in thine: this is the body Till she herself confess it.

That took


the match from Isabel, Duke. Good friar, let's hear it.

And did supply thee at thy garden-house, (ISABELLA is carried off, guarded ; and In her imagined person. Mariana comes forward.

Duke. Know you this woman? you not smile at this, Lord Angelo?

Lucio. Carnally, she says. () heaven! the vanity of wretched fools!

Duke. Sirrah, no more. Give us some seats.—Come, cousin Angelo; Lucio. Enough, my lord. In this I'll be impartial; be you judge

Ang. My lord, I must confess I know this Of your own cause.—Is this the witness, friar?

woman; First, let her shew her face; and after, speak. And five years since there was some speech of Mari. Pardon, my lord; I will not shew my face

marriage Until my husband bid me.

Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off, Duke. What, are you married ?

Partly for that her promised proportions Mari. No, my lord.

Came short of composition; but in chief, Duke. Are you a maid ?

For that her reputation was disvalued Mari. No, my lord.

In levity: since which time of five years Duke. A widow, then ?

I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from Mari. Neither, my lord.

her, Duke. Why you are nothing then :

Upon my faith and honour. Neither maid, widow, nor wife?

Mari. Noble prince, Lucio. My lord, she may be a punk; for many As there comes light from heaven, and words of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.

from breath, Duke. Silence that fellow : I would he had As there is sense in truth, and truth in virtue, some cause

I am affianced this man's wife, as strongly To prattle for himself.

As words could make up vows: and, my good Lucio. Well, my lord.

lord, Mari. My lord, I do confess I ne'er was married; But Tuesday night last gone, in his garden-house, And I confess besides, I am no maid:

He knew me as a wife. As this is true, I have known my husband; yet my husband | Let me in safety raise me from my knees; knows not

Or else for ever be confixéd here, That ever he knew me.

A marble monument!


Lucio. That's the way; for women are light at midnight.

Escal. Come on, mistress : [To 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.

Lucio. Mum.

Escal. Come sir: did you set these women on to slander Lord Angelo? They have confessed

you did.


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.

Duke. 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 't is 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,


have well Determined


these slanderers. Escal. My lord, we'll do it thoroughly.

[Exit Duke. Signior Lucio, did not you say you knew that Friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person ?

Lucio. Cucullus non facit monachum : honest in nothing but in his clothes; and one that hath 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.

Duke. 'Tis false.
Escal. How! know you where you are?
Duke. Respect to your great place! and let the

Be sometime honoured for his burning throne.-
Where is the Duke? 't is he should hear me speak.
Escal. The Duke's in us; and we 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 sta

tutes 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. Ang. What can you vouch against him, Signior

Lucio ?
Is this the man that you did tell us of?

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Duke. I protest I love the Duke as I love myself.

Ang. Hark! how the villain would close now, after his treasonable abuses.

Escal. Such a fellow is not to be talked withal: away with him to prison. Where is the Provost? Away with him to prison : lay bolts enough upon him: let him speak no more. Away with those giglots too, and with the other confederate companion. [The Provost lays hands on the Duke.

Duke. Stay, sir; stay awhile.
Ang. What! resists he? Help him, Lucio.
Lucio. Come, sir; come, sir; come, sir; foh,

sir. Why, you baldpated, lying rascall you must be hooded, must you? Shew your knave's visage, with a pox to you! shew your sheep-biting face, and be hanged an hour! Will 't not off ?

[Pulls off the Friar's hood, and discovers

the Duke. Duke. Thou art the first knave that e'er made

a duke. First, Provost, let me bail these gentle three:Sneak not away, sir; [ To Lucio.] for the friar and

you Must have a word anon. Lay hold on him.

Lucio. This may prove worse than hanging.

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