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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.


I shall, sir: fare you well. `[Exit.

Ang. Good night.—

This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpreg. nant,

And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid!
And by an eminent body, that enforc'd

The law against it!-But that her tender shame
Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
How might she tongue me? Yet reason dares?

For my authority bears a credent3 bulk,
That no particular scandal once can touch,
But it confounds the breather.4 He should have liv'd,
Save that his riotous youth, with dangerous sense,
Might, in the times to come, have ta'en revenge,
By so receiving a dishonour'd life,

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. [Exit. 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.

(1) Figure and rank.

(2) Calls, challenges her to do it.

(3) Credit unquestionable.

(4) Utterer.

The matter being afoot, keep your instruction,
And hold you ever to our special drift;

Though sometimes you do blench1 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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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. [Exe. SCENE VI-Street near the city gate. Enter Isabella and Mariana.

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 advis'd to do it; He says, to veil full2 purpose.


Be rul'd 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 vantages on the duke, He shall not pass you: Twice have the trumpets sounded;

The generous and gravest citizens

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Have hent! the gates, and very near upon
The duke is ent'ring; therefore hence, away. [Exe.


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. & 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,
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! Vail2 your regard (2) Lower.


Upon a wrong'd, I'd 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 give 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 believ'd, 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


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,

A 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 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 im possible

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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, Have, sure, more lack of reason.-What would you say?

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;-

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 I, an't like your grace:


That's he indeed.

Duke. You were not bid to speak.

No, my good lord;

I wish you now then;

Nor wish'd to hold my peace.


Pray you, take note of it: and when you have

(1) Habits and characters of office.

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