صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

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.

Friar PETER and ISABELLA come forward'.
F. Peter. Now is your time. Speak loud, and kneel before

him.
Isab. Justice, oh royal duke! Vail your regard'

[Kneeling.
Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have said, a maid.
Oh worthy prince! dishonour 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

brief.
Here is lord Angelo shall give you justice:
Reveal yourself to him.
Isab.

Oh, worthy duke ! [Rising.
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, oh, hear me, here !

[Kneeling again.
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.
Isab.

By course of justice! [Rising'.
Ang. And she will speak most bitterly, and strange'.
Isab. Most strange, but yet most truly, will I speak.

• Friar Peter and Isabella come forward.) The old copies say,

« Enter Peter and Isabella;" but they bave been standing behind with Mariana, whose time for coming forward has not yet arrived.

• Vail your regard] To "vail " is to lower, to abase. See Vol. ii. pp. 268. 525; Vol. iv. p. 591, &c.

· Rising.) All the stage-directions in this part of the scene are from the margin of the corr. fo. 1632: they are valuable as they show the manner in which the scene was conducted of old. Isabella first knelt to prefer her suit; then rose to accuse Angelo; again knelt to procure audience, and subsequently rose again to protest indignantly against Angelo's "course of justice."

most bitterly, and strange.] Both here and in the next line the old corrector of the folio, 1632, alters the adjective to the adverb. As we may doubt whether Shakespeare so wrote, we decline to insert the change.

[ocr errors]

That Angelo's forsworn, is it not strange ?
That Angelo's a murderer, is't not strange ?
That Angelo is an adulterous thief,
A hypocrite, a virgin-violator,
Is it not strange, and strange ?
Duke.

Nay, it is 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 th' end of reckoning.
Duke.

Away with her.—Poor soul!
She speaks this in th' infirmity of sense.

Isab. Oh 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,
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 e'er I heard in madness.
Isab.

Oh, gracious duke!
Harp not on that; nor do not banish reason
For incredulity'; but let your reason serve
To make the truth appear, where it seems hid,
And hide the false seems true.
Duke.

Many that are not mad,
Have, sure, more lack of reason.—What would you say?

• Nay, it 18 ten times strange.] So the folios. Malone and Steevens omit “it is" without warrant, and without notice.

- CHARACTS,] i.e. Characters, marks, or inscriptions. * For INCREDULITY;] i. e. Because it appears incredible: this emendation is from the corr. fo. 1632, the text baving always hitherto been inequality, doubtless a word misread by the old compositor.

6 And hide the false seems true.] Theobald and Monck Mason would read Not hide the false seems true," but no change is really required.

[ocr errors]

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.
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.
Isab.

That's he, indeed.
Duke. You were not bid to speak.

[To Lucro. Luicio.

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

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.
Isab.

I went
To this pernicious, caitiff deputy.

Duke. That's somewhat madly spoken.
Isab.

Pardon it:
The phrase is to the matter.

Duke. Mended again: the matter -Now proceed'.

Isab. In brief,—to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneelid,
How he refelld 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,

? Now proceed.] “Now," wbich we may feel assured bad dropped out in the press, and which is absolutely necessary to complete the line, is from the corr. fo. 1632. In the next line the important word "process" having dropped out in the folio, 1632, it was inserted by the old annotator : the same authority, whatever it might be, that furnished him with a process," most likely also gave him “Now."

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! Isab. 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
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.
Isab.

And is this all ?
Then, oh! 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, bence 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 Lo-

dowick?
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'a him soundly.

Duke. Words against me? This a good friar, belike !
And to set on this wretched woman here
Against our substitute !—Let this friar be found.

. Oh, that it were as like, as it is true l] The Duke says in derision, “ This is most likely!" and Isabel, finding the Duke's incredulity, insists upon the truth of her story; however improbable.

- FOND wretch!) i. e. Foolish wrotch. Soe Vol. ii. pp. 228. 316. 373, and many other instances in subsequent volumes.

9

Lucio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar
I saw them at the prison : a saucy friar,
A
very scurvy

fellow.
F. Peter.

Blest be your royal grace !
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.
Duke.

We did believe no less.
Know

you

that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of ?
F. Peter. 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 villainously: believe it.

F. Peter. 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,
So vulgarly and personally accus'd,
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
Till she herself confess it.
Duke.

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

forward, veiled.
Do you not smile at this, lord Angelo ?-
Oh heaven, the vanity of wretched fools !-
Give us some seats.- Come, cousin Angelo:
In this I'll be impartial'; be you judge

* And, on my TRUST,] Truth is substituted for “trust” in the corr. fo. 1632, but although the change is plausible, we do not adopt it, because the original word is not inappropriate in the place where it is found. * In this ill be IMPARTIAL;]

Impartial ” was frequently used for most partial, as the commentators have shown by a variety of quotations, but they are not wanted here : when the Duke says, “I'll be impartial,” he means that he will

« السابقةمتابعة »