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Isab.

And not have cut him off. Some one hath set you on:
Confess the truth, and say by whose advice

Thou camest 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!-Heaven shield your Grace from woe,
As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go!

Duke. I know you'ld fain be gone.—An officer !
To prison with her!-Shall we thus permit
A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall

120

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,
For certain words he spake against your Grace

In your retirement, I had swinged him soundly. 130
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.

Fri. P. Blessed be your royal Grace!

I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard

Your royal ear abused. First, hath this woman
Most wrongfully accused your substitute,
Who is as free from touch or soil with her
As she from one ungot.

140

Duke.

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,
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.

Fri. P. Well, he in time may come to clear himself; 150 But at this instant he is sick, my lord,

Duke.

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,

So vulgarly and personally accused,

Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
Till she herself confess it.

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Good friar, let's hear it.
[Isabella is carried off 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.

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Duke. What, are you married?

Mari. No, my lord.

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.

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Duke. For the benefit of silence, would thou wert so 190

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-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 the effect of love.

Ang. Charges she moe than me?
Mari.

Not that I know.

200

Duke. 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. Let's see thy face.
Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask. [Unveiling.
This is that face, thou cruel Angelo,

Duke.

Which once thou sworest 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 imagined person.

Lucio. Carnally, she says.

Duke.

Lucio. Enough, my lord.

Know you this woman?

Sirrah, no more!

210

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 composition; but in chief,
For that her reputation was disvalued
In levity since which time of five years

Mari.

220

I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her,
Upon my faith and honour.

Noble prince,

As there comes light from heaven and words from breath,

As there is sense in truth and truth in virtue,

I am affianced this man's wife as strongly

As words could make up vows: and, my good lord,
But Tuesday night last gone in 's garden-house

Ang.

Duke.

He knew me as a wife. As this is true,
Let me in safety raise me from my knees;
Or else for ever be confixed here,

A marble monument!

I did but smile till now:

Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice;
My patience here is touch'd. I do perceive
These poor informal women are no more
But instruments of some more mightier member
That sets them on: let me have way, my lord,
To find this practice out.

230

240

Ay, with my heart;
And punish them to your height of pleasure.
Thou foolish friar; and thou pernicious woman,
Compact with her that's gone, think'st thou thy oaths,
Though they would swear down each particular saint,
Were testimonies against his worth and credit,
That's seal'd in approbation? You, Lord Escalus,
Sit with my cousin; lend him your kind pains
To find out this abuse, whence 'tis derived.
There is another friar that set them on;

Let him be sent for.

Fri. P. Would he were here, my lord! for he, indeed, 250 Hath set the women on to this complaint:

Duke.

Your provost knows the place where he abides,
And he may fetch him.

Go, do it instantly. [Exit Provost.
And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin,
Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth,
Do with your injuries as seems you best,
In any chastisement: I for a while will leave
But stir not you till you have well determined

you;

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