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Isab. Most strange, but yet most truly, will I speak; That Angelo's forsworn, is it not strange ? That Angelo's a murth'rer, is't not strange? That Angelo is an adult'rous thief, An hypocrite, a virgin-violater; Is it not ftrange, and strange?
Duke. Nay, it is ten times strange.
Ifab. It is not truer he is Angelo,
Than this is all as true, as it is strange:
Nay, it is ten times truer; 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 conjure thee, as thou believ'ft There is another comfort than this world, That thou neglect me not; with that opinion That I am touch'd with madness. Make not im
That, which but seems unlike; 'tis not impossible,
But one, the wicked'ft caitiff on the ground,
May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute,
As Angelo; even so may Angelo,
In all his dressings, caracts, 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. Bý mine honesty,
If she be mad, as I believe no other,
Her madness hath the oddeft frame of sense;
Such a dependency of thing on thing,
As e'er I heard in madness.
Isab. Gracious Duke,
Harp not on That; nor do not banish reason
For inequality; but let your reason ferve
To make the truth appear, where it seems hid;
Not 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 :
I, in probation of a sisterhood,
Was sent to by my brother; one Lucio,
As then the messenger,
Lucio. That's I, 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. [To Lucio.
Lucio. No, my good lord, nor wish'd to hold my
Duke. I wish you now then;
Pray, you, take note of it: and when you have
A business for yourself; pray heav'n, you then
Honour. Duke. The warrant's for yourself; take heed to't. 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 fomewhat madly spoken.
Ifab. 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 repelld me, and how I reply'd ; 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 concupiscent intemp'rate lust, Release my brother; and after much debatement,
My fifterly Remorse confutes mine Honour,
And I did yield to him: But the next morn betimes,
His purpose surfeiting, he sends a Warrant
Duke. This is most likely!
Isab. Oh, that it were as like, as it is true!
Duke. By heav'n, fond wretch, thou know'ft not
what thou speak'st,
Or else thou art fuborn'd against his honour
In hateful practice. First, his integrity
Stands without blemish; next, it imports no reason,
That with such vehemence 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 youon ;
Confess the truth, and say, by whose advice.
Thou cam'st here to complain.
Ifab. 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: Heay'n shield
Grace from woe,
As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go.
Duke. I know, you'd fain be gone.
To prison with her. Shall we thus permit
A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall
On him so near us? this needs muft 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,
For certain words he spake against your Grace
In your retirement, I had swing'd him foundly.
Þuke. Words against me? this is a good Friar, belike;
And to set on this wretched woman here
Againft 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.
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, which 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 villanoully; 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. On his mere request,
(Being come to knowledge that there was Complaint
Intended 'gainst lord Angelo) camc I hither
To speak as from his mouth, what he doth know
Is true, and false; and what he with his oath
By all Probation will make up full clear,
Whenever he's convented. First, for this woman;
To justify this worthy Nobleman,
So vulgarly and personally accus'd,
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
'Till she herself confess it.
Duke. Good Friar, let's hear it.
Do you not smile at this, lord Angelo?
O heav'n! 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?
[Isabella is carried off, guarded.
S CE N E III.
Enter Mariana veild.
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 marry'd ?
Mari. No, my lord.
Duke. Are you a maid ?
Mari. No, my lord.
Duke. A widow then ?
Mari. Neither, my lord.
Duke. Why, are you nothing tħen? 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 marry'd; And, I confefs, besides, I am no maid; I've 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 felf-fame manner doth accuse
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.