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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'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 feems unlike ; 'tis not impoflible,
But one, 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 dreslings, caracts, titles, forms,
Be an arch-villain. Believe it, Royal Prince,
If he be lefs, he's nothing ; but he's more,
Had I more name for badness.

Duke. By mine honelty,
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.

Ifab. 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;
Not hide the false, feems 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 fisterhood,
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.

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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 bufiness for yourself, pray heav'n you then
Be perfect.

Lucio. I warrant your Honour.
Duke. The warrant's for yourself; take heed to’t.
Ijab. 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.

Ifab. In brief; (to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, bow 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 debalement,
My fisterly remorse confutes mine honour,
And I did yield to him: But the next morn betimes,
His purpose furfeiting, he fends a warrant
For my poor brother's head.

Duke. This is most likely !
Isab. Oh, that it were as like as it is true!
Duke. By heav'n, fond wretch, thou know'st not what

thou speak it,
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 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 you on;
Confefs the truth, and say by whose advice


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Thou cam'ft 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 : Heav'n fhield 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 fo 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,
For certain words he fpake against your Grace
In your retirement, I had swinge'd him foundly.

Duke. Words against me? this is a good Friar, belike;
And to fet 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 faucy Friar,
A very fcurvy 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 foil 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 medler,
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 fick, my Lord,
Of a strange fever. On his mere request,


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(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
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 ?
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:
SCENE III. Enter Mariana veil'd.
First let her shew her face; and, after, speak.

Mari. Pardon, my Lord, I will not shew my face, Until


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 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 marry'd;
And I confess befides, 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


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Duke. For the benefit of filence, 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-fame manner doth accuse


And charges him, my Lord, with such a time,
When I'll depofe I had him in mine arms,
With all th' effect of love.

Ang. Charges the more than me?
Mari. Not that I know.
Duke. No? you say your husband. [To Mariana,
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,
Which once thou swor'st, was worth the looking on :
This is the hand which, with a vow'd contract,
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.

Duke. Know you this woman ?
Lucio. Carnally, the says.
Duke. 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 compofition; but, in chief,
For that her reputation was disvalu'd
In levity: since which time of five years
I never fpake with her, saw her, nor heard from her,
Upon my faith and honour.
Mari. Noble Prince,

[breath, As there comes light from heav'n, and words from As there is sense in truth, and truth in virtue,


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SI 2

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