« PreviousContinue »
tice, 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 proclaim'd: Betimes i' the morn, I'll call you at your house: Give notice to such men of sort and suit,1
As are to meet him.
Escal. I shall, sir: fare you well. [Exit. Ang. Good night.This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpreg
And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid!
How might she tongue me? Yet reason dares? her?-no:
For my authority bears a credent3 bulk,
With ransom 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.
SCENE V-Fields without the town.
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.
(1) Figure and rank.
(2) Calls, challenges her to do it. (3) Credit unquestionable.
The matter being afoot, keep your instruction,
And hold you ever to our special drift;
des Though sometimes you do blench! from this to that,
It shall be speeded well. [Exit Friar.
Duke. I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made good haste:
Come; we will walk There's other of our friends
Isab. To speak so indirectly, I am loath;
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,
(1) Start off.
Where you may have such vantage3 on the duke,
Have hent1 the gates, and very near upon
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, Offcers, and Citizens.
Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met :— Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you. Ang. & 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.
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,
Peter and Isabella come forward.
F. Peter. Now is your time; speak loud, and kneel before him.
Isab. Justice, O royal duke! Vail2 your regard
Upon a wrong'd, I'd fain have said, a maid!
Here is lord Angelo shall give you justice;
Isab. 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 believ'd, 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 forsworn; is it not strange?
Nay, ten times strange.
Isab. O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believ'st
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,
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, Have, sure, more lack of reason.-What would you say?
Isab. I am the sister of one Claudio,
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.
That's he indeed.
Duke. You were not bid to speak.
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
(1) Habits and characters of office.