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DUKE. It is no other: shew your wisdom, Daughter,

In your close patience.

ISAB. O, I will to him, and pluck out his eyes!
DUKE. You shall not be admitted to his sight.
ISAB. Unhappy Claudio! Wretched Isabel!
Injurious world! Most damned Angelo!
DUKE. This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot:
Forbear it therefore; give your cause to Heaven.
Mark what I say, which you shall find

By every syllable a faithful verity.


The Duke comes home to-morrow-nay, dry your eyes!

One of our Convent, and his Confessor,

Gives me this instance.1 Already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo,

Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,


There to give up their power. If you can, pace your wisdom

In that good path that I would wish it go,

And you shall have your bosom2 on this wretch,

Grace of the Duke, revenges to your heart,

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DUKE. This letter then to Friar Peter give:
"Tis that he sent me of the Duke's return.
Say, by this token, I desire his company

At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause and your's
I'll perfect him withal; and he shall bring you
Before the Duke; and to the head of Angelo
Accuse him home and home. For my poor self,
I am combined3 by a sacred vow,

And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter;
Command these fretting waters from your eyes
With a light heart. Trust not my holy Order,
If I pervert your course.-Who's here?




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LUCIO. O, pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see

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thine eyes so red: thou must be patient. I am fain to dine and sup with water and bran; I dare not for my head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set me to 't. But they say the Duke will be here to-morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I lov'd thy brother: if the old fantastical Duke of dark corners had been at home, he had liv'd. [Exit ISABELLA. DUKE. Sir, the Duke is marvellous little beholding to your reports; but the best is, he lives not in them. LUCIO. Friar, thou knowest not the Duke so well as I do: he's a better woodman1 than thou takest him for. DUKE. Well, you'll answer this one day. Fare ye well. LUCIO. Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee; I can tell thee pretty tales of the Duke.


DUKE. You have told me too many of him already, Sir,
if they be true; if not true, none were enough.
LUCIO. I was once before him for getting a wench with

DUKE. Did you such a thing?


LUCIO. Yes, marry, did I; but I was fain to forswear it:

they would else have married me to the rotten medlar.2 DUKE. Sir, your company is fairer than honest.


you well. LUCIO. By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's end: if bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little of it. Nay, Friar, I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. [exeunt.

SCENE IV. A Room in ANGELO's House.


ESCAL. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouch'd' other. ANG. In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions shew much like to madness: pray Heaven his wisdom be not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and re-deliver our authorities there?

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ANG. And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his entering that, if any crave redress of injustice, they should exhibit their petitions in the street?

ESCAL. He shews his reason for that: to have a dispatch

1 (slang) expert in venery, 'striker of does.'


name of the fruit.

2 harlot. Cf. the old slang 3 contradicted.

Sc. IV

of complaints, and to deliver us from devices hereafter, ACT IV which shall then have no power to stand against us. ANG. Well; I beseech you, let it be proclaim'd betimes i' the morn; I'll call you at your house. Give notice to such men of sort and suit1 as are to meet him. ESCAL. I shall, Sir: fare you well.

ANG. Good night.—


This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant2
And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid!
And by an eminent body that enforc'd

The law against it!-But that her tender shame
Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,

How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares her no:
For my authority bears a so credent bulk

That no particular* scandal once can touch

But it confounds the breather. He should have liv'd,
Save that his riotous youth, with dangerous sense,
Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge,
By so receiving a dishonour'd life


With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had liv'd!
Alack! when once our Grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not. [exit.

SCENE V. Fields without the Town.

Enter DUKE, in his own habit, and FRIAR PETER.

DUKE. These letters at fit time deliver me.
The Provost knows our purpose and our plot.
The matter being afoot, keep your instruction,

And hold you ever to our special drift;

Though sometimes you do blench from this to that,
As cause doth minister. Go, call at Flavius' house,
And tell him where I stay: give the like notice
To Valentinus, Rowland, and to Crassus,
And bid them bring the trumpets to the Gate;
But send me Flavius first.


It shall be speeded well.




[Exit Friar.

DUKE. I thank thee, Varrius: thou hast made good haste!

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Sc. V

Come, we will walk there's other of our friends
Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius.

SCENE VI. Street near the City Gate.


ISAB. To speak so indirectly1 I am loth :

I would say the truth; but to accuse him so,
That is your part: yet I'm advis'd to do it;
He says, to veil full purpose.


Be rul'd by him.

ISAB. Besides, he tells me that, if peradventure

He speak against me on the adverse side,

I should not think it strange; for 'tis a physic

That's bitter to sweet end.

MARI. I would, Friar Peter



O, peace! the Friar is come.


FRI. P. Come, I have found you out a stand most fit,
Where you may have such vantage on the Duke

He shall not pass you.



Twice have the trumpets

The generous and gravest citizens

Have hentR the Gates, and very near upon

The Duke is ent'ring; therefore, hence, away! [exeunt.


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

DUKE. My very worthy Cousin, fairly met!

Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you.

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Happy return be to your royal Grace!

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


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.

FRI. P. Now is your time: speak loud, and kneel
before him.

ISAB. Justice, O royal Duke! Vail your regard
Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have said, a maid!

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.

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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, O, 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.—

1 fortified.

2 stoop.


Sc. I

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