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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?

ISAB. It is not truer he is Angelo


Nay, ten times strange.

Than this is all as true as it is strange:
Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth
To the end of reckoning.


Away with her!-Poor soul,

She speaks this in the 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 seems unlike! 'Tis not impossible

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Sc. I

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—


That's I, an't like your
I came to her from Claudio, and desir'd her

To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo
For her poor brother's pardon.


DUKE. You were not bid to speak.

Nor wish'd to hold my peace.


That's he, indeed.

No, my good Lord,

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 Honour.

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.


To this pernicious, caitiff Deputy. DUKE. That's somewhat madly spoken. ISAB.

The phrase is to the matter.

I went

Pardon it:


DUKE. Mended again. The matter: proceed.
ISAB. In brief to set the needless process by,

How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneel'd,
How he refell'd1 me, and how I replied
(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 concupiscible, intemperate lust,

Release my brother; and, after much debatement,
My sisterly remorse2 confutes mine honour,
And I did yield to him. But the next morn betimes,

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Sc. I


purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant For my poor brother's head.

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 imports1 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.


And is this all?

Then, O you blessed Ministers above,

Keep me in patience; and, with ripen'd time,

Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up

In countenance !2 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


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 soundly.
DUKE. Words against me? This 's 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 saucy Friar,

A very scurvy fellow.


Bless'd be your Grace!

1 bears.

2 authority.

3 conspiracy.

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.


We did believe no less.

Know you that Friar Lodowick that she speaks of?
FRI. P. I know him for a man divine and holy;
Not scurvy nor a temporary meddler,1
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 villainously; believe it.
FRI. P. 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,


Whensoever he's convented. First, for this woman (To justify this worthy nobleman,

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Good Friar, let's hear it.
[ISABELLA is carried off, guarded; and

ybod yn won
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

MARIANA Comes forward.


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?

MARI. No, my Lord.



Are you a maid?

1 in things temporal.

2 formally cited.

3 openly.


Sc. I

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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,180
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.
of sumo pristh)

DUKE. This is no witness for Lord Angelo.

MARI. NOW I come to 't, my Lord:

She, that accuses him of fornication,

In selfsame 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 the effect of love.ql.


MARI. Not that I know.



Charges she more than me?

No? you say your husband?

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.1 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.

1 imposture.

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