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Enter ESCALUS and ANGELO, with letters. Esca. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched other.
Ang. In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions show much like to madness-—'Pray Heaven, his wisdom be not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and deliver our authorities there?
Esca. I guess not.
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?
Esca. He shows his reason for that: to have a despatch of complaints; and to deliver us from devices hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand against us.
Ang: Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaim'd :I'll call
Give notice to such men of sort and suit,
As are to meet him.
Esca. I shall, sir: fare you well. [Exit EscaLUS.
Ang. This deed unshapes me quite, makes me un-
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?-
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 ransome 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.
Before the Gates of Vienna.
Flourish of Trumpets and Drums. Enter, from the City, GUARDS, ANGELO, ESCALUS,
Lucio, two APPARITORS, and GENTLEMEN :-towards the City, GUARDS, the DUKE, FREDERICK,
LEOPOLD, Provost, and GENTLEMEN. ANGELO and ESCALUS kneel, and deliver their Com
missions to the DUKE. Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met :Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to sce you.
Ang. 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.
Ang. You make my bonds still greater.
Duke. O, your desert speaks aloud : Give me your
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.
Enter Friar Peter and ISABELLA from the City.
Isa. Justice, O royal Duke !-Vail your regard
Upon a wrong’d, I'd fain have said, a maid !
O, worthy prince, dishonour not your eye
By throwing it on any other object,
have heard me in my true complaint, And given me justice, justice, justice, justice! Duke. Relate your wrongs : In what? By whom?
Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice
Reveal yourself to him.
Isa. 0, worthy Duke,
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, 0, hear me!
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,
Isa. By course of justice!
Ang. And she will
speak most bitterly, and strange.
Isa. 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
A hypocrite, a virgin violator;
Is it not strange, and strange?
Duke. Nay, it is ten times strange.
Isa. It is not truer he is Angelo,
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.
Duke. Away with her:—Poor soul! She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.
Isa. O, I conjure thee, prince, 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 impos-
That which but seems unlike: 'tis not impossible,
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 dressings, characts, titles, forms,
Be an arch villain: believe it, royal prince,
If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more,
Had I more name for badness.
Duke. By mine honesty,
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 ne'er I heard in madness.
Isa. O, gracious Duke,
Harp not on that; nor do not banish reason
For inequality: but let your reason serve
To make the truth appear.
Duke. Many, that are not mad,
Have, sure, more lack of reason. -What would you
Isa. 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
Was 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,
Isa. That's he, indeed.
Duke. You were not bid to speak.
Lucio. No, my good lord ; Nor wish'd to hold my peace.
Duke. I wish you now then; 'Pray you, take note of it: and when
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.
Isa. This gentleman told somewhat of
tale. Lucio. Right.
Duke. It may be right; but you are in the wrong To speak before
time.-Proceed. Isa. I went To this pernicious caitiff deputy;
Duke. That's somewhat madly spoken.
Isa. Pardon it;
The phrase is to the matter.
Duke. Mended again: The matter?—Proceed.
Isa. In brief,—to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneeld,
How he refelld 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 my unchaste surrender,
Release my brother; and, after much debatement,
My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour,
And I did yield to him: But the next morn betimes,
His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant
For my poor brother's head.
Duke. This is most likely!
Isa. Oh, 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 imports no reason,
That with such vehemency he should pursue