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SCENE IV. A Room in Angelo's House.

Enter ANGELO and ESCAlus.

Escal. 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 redeliver our authorities there?

Escal. I guess not.

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

Escal. 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 proclaimed: Betimes i' the morn, I'll call you at your house: Give notice to such men of sort and suit,

As are to meet him.


I shall, sir: fare you well. [Exit.
Ang. Good night.-
This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant,
And dull to all proceeding. A deflowered maid!
And by an eminent body, that enforced

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?
For my authority bears a credent bulk,

That no particular scandal once can touch,


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

With ransom of such shame. 'Would yet he had lived!
Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right; we would and we would not.

SCENE V. Fields without the Town.


Enter Duke in his own habit, and Friar Peter. Duke. These letters at fit time deliver me.

[Giving letters.

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.

F. Peter.

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Duke. I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made good haste: 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 indirectly, I am loath;
I would say the truth; but to accuse him so,
That is your part: yet I'm advised to do it;
He says, to 'vailful purpose.



Be ruled 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.

Enter Friar PETER.

F. Peter. 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 sounded; The generous and the gravest citizens

Have hent the gates, and very near upon

The duke is entering; 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 Citizens.

Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met:Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you. Ang. and Escal. 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 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.

F. Peter. Now is your time; speak loud, and kneel before him.

Isab. Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard,
Upon a wronged, I'd fain have said, a maid!
O worthy prince, dishonor 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


Here is lord Angelo shall give you justice!

Reveal yourself to him.


O, 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 believed,

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.


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?

Nay, ten times strange.

Isab. 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.


Away with her :-poor soul

She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.

Isab. O prince, I cónjure thee, as thou believest There is another comfort than this world,

That thou neglect me not, with that opinion

That I am touched with madness: make not impossible
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.


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 e'er I heard in madness.

O, 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,
And hide the faults, seems true.


Many that are not mad,

Have, sure, more lack of reason.-What would you say?
Isab. I am the sister of one Claudio,
Condemned upon the act of fornication

To lose his head; condemned by Angelo:
I, in probation of a sisterhood,

That's I, an't like your grace:

Was sent to by my brother: one Lucio
As then the messenger;


I came to her from Claudio, and desired her
To try her gracious fortune with lord Angelo,
For her poor brother's pardon.


That's he, indeed.

Duke. You were not bid to speak.

Nor wished to hold my peace.


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 honor.

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.

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 prayed, and kneeled,
How he refelled 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 remorse confutes mine honor,

And I did yield to him. But the next morn betimes,
His 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 suborned against his honor,

In hateful practice. First, his integrity

Stands without blemish: next, it imports no reason
That with such vehemency he should pursue

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