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Isab. 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
the act of fornication To lose his head; condemn'd by Angelo : 1, in probation of a sisterhood, Was sent to by my brother; one Lucio, As then the messenger, Lucio. That's I, an't like
I came to her from Claudio, and defir'd her
To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo,
For her poor brother's pardon.
Ifab. That's he, indeed.
Duke. You were not bid to speak. [T. 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
Lucio. I warrant your honour.
Duke. The warrant's for yourself; take heed to't.
Jab. This gentleman told somewhat of my tale.
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.
I/ab. Pardon it :
The phrase is to the matter.
Duke. Mended again : the matter ;-proceed.
Ijab, In brief; (to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, how I pray'd and kneeld,
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 concupifcent intemp'rate luft,
Release my brocher; and after much debatement,
My fifterly remorse confutes mine honour,
And I did yieid to him : But the next morn betimes,
His purpose surfeiting, he fends a warrant
For my poor .brother's head.
Duke. This is moft 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'st;
Or else thou art luborn'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;
Confess the truth, and say, by whose advice
Thou cam'ft here to complain.
Ijab. And is this all ?
Then, oh, you blessed ministers above !
Keep me in patience ; and with ripend 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 ihus permit
A blafting 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 ; 'cis a medling 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 is a good Friar, belike;
And to set on this wretched woman here
Against cur fubftitete! Ict this Friar be found.
Lucio. But yefernight, mLord, he and that Friar,
I saw them at the prison : a sawcy Friar,
A very feurvv 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
Moft wrongfully accus'd your substitute ;
Who is as free from touch or soil with her,
As the 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 fcurvy, nor a temporary medier,
As he's reported by this gentleman';
And, on my truít, 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 inftant 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) 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 conven'd. First, for this woman;
To jaftify this worthy nobleman,
So vulgarly and personally accus'd,
Her shall you here disproved to her eyes.
'Till she herself confefs 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, (29)
In this I will be partial : be you judge
Of your own caule.
Is this the witness, Friar??
[Isabella is carried off, guarded.
Enter Mariana veiled.
First, let her shew her face ; and after, speak.
Mari. Pardon, my Lord, I will not she
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 then ? peither 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 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 filence, would thou wert fo: 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 my husband ;
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 the more than me?
Mari. Not that I know.
Duke. No ? you say, your husband. [To Mariana
Mari. Why, jít, 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'ft, 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, she says.
Duke. Sirrah, no more.
Lucio. Enough, my Lord.
Ang. My Lord, I must confess, I know this womati;
And five years since there was fome speech of
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 dif-valu'd
In levity : since which time of five years