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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

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 believ'd,
Or wring redress from you : hear me, 0, hear me, here.

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 speak :
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 th' end of reckoning. "

Duke. Away with her:-Poor soul,
She speaks this in th' infirmity of sense.

Isab. O prince, I cónjure thee, as thou believ'st
There is another comfort than this world,
That thou neglect me not, with that opinion
That I am touch'd with madness : make not impossible
That which but seems unlike : 'tis not impossible,

the wicked'st 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,

But one,

[2] That is, truth has no gradations; nothing which admits of increase can be 60°much what it is, as truth is truth. There may be a strange thing, and a thing more strange, but if a proposition be true, there can be none more true. JOHN

[3] As shy,--as reserved, as abstracted as just -as nice, as exact: as absolute, as complete in all the round of duty. JOHNSON

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 e'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 you say?

Isab. I am the sister of one Claudio,
Condemn’d upon the act of fornication
To lose his head; condemn’d by Angelo :
1, in probation of a sisterhood,
Was sent to by my brother: One Lucio
As then the messenger ;

Lucio. That's 1, an't like your grace :
I came to her from Claudio, and desir'd 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 wish'd 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

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.

Isab. In brief,—to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneelid,
How he refelld me, and how I reply'd;
(For this was of much length,) the vile conclusion

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 suborn'd against his honour,
In hateful practice : First, his integrity
Stands without blemish :-next, it imports no reason,
That with such vehemency he should pursue
Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended,
He would have weigh'd 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 blessed ministers above,
Keep me in patience; and, with ripen’d time,
Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up
In countenance !-Heaven shield your grace from woe,
As I, thus wrong'd, 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

Lodowick ?
Lucio. My lord, I know him ; 'tis a meddling friar;
I do not like the man : had he been lay, my lord,

Fond wretch is foolish wretch.
Practice was used by the old writers for any uplawful or insidious stratagem



For certain words he spake against your grace
In your retirement, I had swing'd 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 sawcy friar, A very scurvy fellow.

Peter. Blessed be your royal grace !
I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard
Your royal ear abus'd: First, hath this woman
Most wrongfully accus'd your substitute ;
Who is as free from touch or soil with her,
As she from one ungot.

Duke. We did believe no less.
Know you that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of?

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.

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, Whepsoever 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. [Isab. is carried of

[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

Duke. Are you a maid ?
Mari. No, my lord.
Duke. A widow then ?
Mari. Neither, my lord.

Duke. Why, you 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

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 th' effect of love.

Ang. Charges she more than me?
Mari. Not that I know.
Dukė. No ? you say, your

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. This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, [Unveiling Which, once thou swor’st, was worth the looking on: This is the hand, which, with a vow'd contráct, Was fast belock'd in thine : this is the body That took away the match from Isabel, And did supply thee at thy garden-house, In her imagin'd person. Vol. I,


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