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Happy return be to your royal grace!
Scene I.-A public Place near the City Gate. O worthy prince, dishonour not your eye
By throwing it on any other object, Mariana (veiled), ISABELLA, and Peter, at a
Till have heard me in my true complaint, distance. Enter at opposite doors, DUKE,
And given me justice; justice, justice, justice! Varrius, Lords ; Angelo, Escalus, Lucio,
Duke. Relate your wrongs: In what? by whom? Provost, Officers, and Citizens.
Be brief: Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met :- Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice; Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you. Reveal yourself to him, Ang.
Isab. O, worthy Duke, Escal.
You bid me seek redemption of the devil. Duke. Many and hearty thankings to you both. Hear me yourself; for that which I must speak We have made enquiry of you; and we hear Must either punish me, not being believed, Such goodness of your justice, that our soul Or wring redress from you. Hear me, 0, hear Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks, Forerunning more requital.
Ang. My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm: Ang. You make my bonds still greater. She hath been a suitor to me for her brother, Duke. O, your desert speaks loud; and I should Cut off by course of justice.
Isab. By course of justice! To lock it in the wards of covert bosom,
Ang. And she will speak most bitterly and strange. When it deserves with characters of brass
Isab. Most strange, but yet most truly, will I A forted residence, 'gainst the tooth of time
speak: And razure of oblivion. Give me your hand, That Angelo's forsworn ; is it not strange? And let the subject see, to make them know That Angelo's a murderer; is 't not strange? That outward courtesies would fain proclaim That Angelo is an adulterous thief, Favours that keep within.—Come, Escalus; An hypocrite, a virgin-violator; You must walk by us on our other hand; Is it not strange, and strange? And good supporters are you.
Duke. Nay, ten times strange.
Isab. It is not truer he is Angelo,
To the end of reckoning.
Isab. In brief—to set the needless process by,
Duke. This is most likely!
not what thou speak’st;
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
Duke. By mine honesty,
O, gracious Duke,
Duke. Many that are not mad
Lucio. That's I, an 't like your grace:
That's he, indeed.
Lucio. No, my good lord;
Duke. I wish you now, then:
then Be perfect.
Lucio. I warrant your honour.
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
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
F. Peter. Blesséd be your royal grace!
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
Duke. That's somewhat madly spoken.
Duke. Mended again: the matter.—Proceed.
Your royal ear abused. First, hath this woman
Duke. 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 com
plaint 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 Whenever 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. Duke. Good friar, let's hear it. [Isabella is carried off, guarded; and
Mariana comes forward. Do you not smile at this, Lord Angelo? () heaven! the vanity of wretched fools ! Give us soine 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 shew her face; and after, speak.
Mari. Pardon, my lord; I will not shew my face Until my husband bid me.
Duke. What, are you married ?
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
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.
Mari. Now come I to't, my lord:
Ang. Charges she more than me? :
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 knows Isabel's. Ang. This is a strange abuse :-Let's see thy
face. Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask.
Duke. Know you this woman?
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 honour.
Mari. Noble prince, 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 for ever be confixéd here, A marble monument!
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. 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.
Escal. Come sir: did you set these women on to slander Lord Angelo? They have confessed
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, till you have well Determined upon these slanderers. Escal. My lord, we 'll do it thoroughly.
[Erit 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.
you speak: Look you speak justly.
Duke. Boldly, at least.-But, O, 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
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.
sir. Why, you baldpated, lying rascal! 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.