Page images

A business for yourself, pray heaven, you then
Be perfect.

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.


Pardon it;

The phrase is to the matter.

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 reply'd;
(For this was of much length,) the vile conclusion
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 remorse2 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.


This is most likely!
Isab. O, that it were as like, as it is true!
Duke. By heaven, fond3 wretch, thou know'st
not what thou speak'st;

Or else thou art suborn'd against his honour,
In hateful practice :4-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,

(2) Pity. (3) Foolish.

(4) Conspiracy.

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.


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 race from


As I, thus wrong'd, hence 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 Lodowick?

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'd' him soundly.

Duke. Words against me? This' a good friar,


And to set on this wretched woman here
Against our substitute?-Let this friar be found.
Lucio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that

I saw them at the prison: a saucy friar,
A very scurvy fellow.

F. Peter. Blessed 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.


We did believe no less. Know you that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of?

(1) Beat.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

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 villanously; believe it.
F. Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear

But at this instant he is sick, my lord,
Of a strange fever: Upon his merel 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.2 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.

Good friar, let's hear it. [Isabella is carried off, guarded; and Mariana comes forward.

Do you not smile at this, lord Angelo?-
O heaven! the vanity of wretched fools!-
Give us some seats.-Come, cousin Angelo;
In this I'll be impartial; be you judge
Of your own cause.-Is this the witness, friar?
First, let her show her face; and, after, speak.
Mari. Pardon, my lord; I will not show
my face,
Until my husband bid me.

What, are you married?

Are you a maid?


Mari. No, my lord.


Duke. A widow then?



No, my lord.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

(1) Simple. (2) Convened. (3) Publicly.


Are nothing then :-Neither maid, widow, nor wife?
Lucio. My lord, she may be a punk; for many
of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.
Duke. Silence that fellow: I would, he had

some cause

To prattle for himself.

Lucio. Well, my lord.

Mari. My lord, I do confess I ne'er was married; And, I confess, besides, I am no maid:

I have known my husband; yet my husband knows


That ever he knew me.

Lucio. He was drunk then, my lord; it can be no better.

Duke. For the benefit of silence, 'would thou wert so too.

Lucio. Well, my lord.

Duke. This is no witness for lord Angelo.
Mari. Now I come to't, my lord:

She, that accuses him of fornication,

In self-same manner doth accuse my husband;
And charges him, my lord, with such a time,
When I'll depose I had him in mine arms,
With all the effect of love.

Charges she more than me?


Mari. Not that I know.

No? you say, your husband. Mari. Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo, Who thinks, he knows, that he ne'er knew my body, But knows, he thinks, that he knows Isabel's.

Ang. This is a strange abuse :-Let's see thy


Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask. [Unveiling.

This is that face, thou cruel Angelo,
Which, once thou swor'st, was worth the looking on:
This is the hand, which, with a vow'd contract,
Was fast belock'd in thine: this is the body

(1) Deception.

[ocr errors]

That took away the match from Isabel,
And did supply thee at thy garden-house,
In her imagin'd person.



Lucio. Carnally, she says.

Sirrah, no more.

Lucio. Enough, my lord.
Ang. My lord, I must confess, I know this


And, five years since, there was some speech of marriage

Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off,
Partly, for that her promised proportions
Came short of composition ; but, in chief,
For that her reputation was disvalued
In levity: since which time of five years,
I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her,
Upon my faith and honour.

this woman?


Noble prince,

As there comes light from heaven, and words from breath,

As there is sense in truth, and truth in virtue,
I am affianc'd this man's wife, as strongly
As words could make up vows: and, my good lord,
But Tuesday night last gone, in his garden-house,
He knew me as a wife: As this is true

Let me in safety raise me from my knees;
Or else for ever be confixed here,

A marble monument!


(1) Her fortune fell short.
(3) Conspiracy.

I did but smile till now; Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice; My patience here is touch'd: I do perceive, These poor informal2 women are no more But instruments of some more mightier member, That sets them on: Let me have way, my lord, To find this practice3 out. Duke.

Ay, with my heart;

(2) Crazy.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »