Page images

(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 wo-


(To justify this worthy nobleman,

So vulgarly7 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 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 husband bid me. my


What, are you


Mari. No, my lord.


Are you a maid?


No, my


Duke, A widow then?


Neither, my



Why, you

Are nothing then :-Neither maid, widow, nor


Lucio. My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, nor wife.

[blocks in formation]

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


But knows, he thinks, that he knew Isabel's.

Ang. This is a strange abuse:8



Let's see thy

Mari. My husband bids me; now I will un


This is that face, thou cruel Angelo,


Which once thou swor'st was worth the looking on:

8 Deception.

This is the hand, which, with a vow'd contract,
Was fast belock'd in thine: this is the body
That took away the match from Isabel,
And did supply thee at thy garden-house,
In her imagin'd person.


Know you

this woman?

Sirrah, no more,

Lucio. Carnally, she says.


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.


Noble prince,

As there comes light from heaven, and words from


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 !


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,

9 Her fortune fell short.

These poor informal women are no more
But instruments of some more mightier member,
That sets them on: Let me have way, my lord,

To find this practice 2 out.

Duke. Ay, with my heart; And punish them unto your height of pleasure. Thou foolish friar: and thou pernicious woman, Compact with her that's gone! think'st thou, thy oaths,

Though they would swear down each particular saint,

Were testimonies against his worth and credit,
That's seal'd in approbation ?-You, lord Escalus,
Sit with my cousin; lend him your kind pains
To find out this abuse, whence 'tis deriv'd.
There is another friar that set them on:
Let him be sent for.

F. Peter. Would he were here, my lord; for he, indeed,

Hath set the women on to this complaint:
Your provost knows the place where he abides,
And he may fetch him.

Duke. Go, do it instantly.

[Exit Provost.

And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin,
Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth, 3
Do with your injuries as seems you best,
In any chastisement: I for a while

Will leave you; but stir not you, till you have well
Determined upon these slanderers.

Escal. My lord, we'll do it thoroughly.—[Exit.. Duke.] Signior Lucio, did not you say, you knew that friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person? Lucio. Cucullus non facit monachum: honest in 3 To the end.

1 Crazy.

2 Conspiracy.

nothing, but in his clothes; and one that hath spoke most villainous speeches of the duke.

Escal. We shall entreat you to abide here till he come, and enforce them against him: we shall find this friar a notable fellow.

Lucio. As any in Vienna, on my word.

Escal. Call that same Isabel here once again; [To an Attendant.] I would speak with her: Pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; you shall see how I'll handle her.

Lucio. Not better than he, by her own report. Escal. Say you?

Lucio. Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately, she would sooner confess; perchance, publickly she'll be ashamed.

Re-enter Officers, with ISABELLA; the Duke, in the Friar's habit, and Provost.

Escal. I will go darkly to work with her. Lucio. That's the way; for women are light at midnight.

Escal. Come on, mistress: [To ISABELLA] here's a gentlewoman denies all that you have said. Lucio. My lord, here comes the rascal I spoke of; here with the provost.

Escal. In very good time: him, till we call upon you. Lucio. Mum.

speak not you to

Escal. Come, sir: Did you set these women on to slander lord Angelo? they have confess'd you did.

Duke. 'Tis false.

Escal. How! know you where you are?

Duke. Respect to your great place! and let the devil

« PreviousContinue »