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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.


Fri. P. 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


The generous and gravest citizens

Have hent the gates, and very near upon

The Duke is entering: therefore, hence, away!



Scene I.

The city-gate.

Mariana veiled, Isabella, and Friar Peter, at their stand.
Enter Duke, Varrius, Lords, Angelo, Escalus,
Lucio, Provost, Officers, and Citizens, at several

Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met!

Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see 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.

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.

Friar Peter and Isabella come forward.

Fri. P. Now is your time: speak loud, and kneel before


Isab. Justice, O royal Duke! Vail your regard

Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have said, a maid!
O 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.


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,


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 fors worn; 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, 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 the end of reckoning.

Away with her !-Poor soul,

She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.

Isab. O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believest
There is another comfort than this world,
That thou neglect me not, with that opinion
That I am touch'd with madness!




Make not im

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 false seems true.


Many that are not mad
What would you

Have, sure, more lack of reason.


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,-


That's I, an 't like your Grace :
I came to her from Claudio, and desired her
To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo
For her poor brother's pardon.

Duke. You were not bid to speak.



Nor wish'd to hold my peace.

That's he indeed.

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.

A warrant your honour.
Duke. The warrant's for yourself; take heed to 't.


Isab. This gentleman told somewhat of my tale,-
Lucio. Right.

Duke. It may be right; but you are i' the wrong
To speak before your time. Proceed.


To this pernicious caitiff Deputy,Duke. That's somewhat madly spoken. Isab.

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 pray'd, and kneel'd,
How he refell'd 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 honour,

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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 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, 110
He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself,

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