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The generous and gravest citizens
Have hent the gates, and very near upon
The duke is ent'ring: therefore hence, away.

[Exe.

ACT V. SCENE I.-A public Place near the City Gate. MARIANA

(veilld), 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.

Ang. 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 IŞABELLA come forward.
Pet. Now is your time; speak loud, and kneel before him.

Isab. Justice, O royal duke ! Vail your regard'
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,

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[8] i. e. the most noble, &c. Generous is bere used in its Latin sease. Virgo cl generosa et nobilis."-Cicero. STEEVENS. (9] Have seized or taken possession of the gates JOHNSON

Hij That is, withdraw your thoughts from bigher things, let your potice descend upon a wronged woman. To vail is to lower.

JOHNSON

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.

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, 0, 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.

Isab. 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 ?
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 ?

Duke. 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 th' end of reckoning."

Duke. Away with her :-Poor soul,
She speaks this in th' 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 impossible That which but seems unlike : 'tis not impossible, But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground, May seem aś shy, às 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,

[2] That is, truth has no gradations;

nothing which admits of increase can be &o much what it is, as truth is truth. There may be a strange thing, and a thing more strange, but if a proposition be true, there can be none more true. JOHN (3] As shy, -as reserved,

as abstracted: as just -as pice, as exact : as absolutt -as complete in all the round of duty. JOHNSON

If he be less, he's nothing ; but he's more,
Had I more name for badness.

Duke. 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.

Isab. 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.

Duke. 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;

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.

Isab. That's he, indeed.
Duke. You were not bid to speak.

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

Lucio. 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.

Isab. 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 kneelid,
How he refelld me, and how I reply'd;
(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,
And I did yield to him : But the next morn betimes,
His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant
For my poor brother's head.

Duke. 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,
He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself,
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.

Isab. 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 grace from woe,
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, (4) Fond wretch is foolish wretch. STEEVENS. 15) Practice was used by the old writers for any uplawful or insidious stratagem.

JOHNSON VOL. II.

D

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, belike!
And to set on this wretched woman here
Against our substitute !-Let this friar be found.

Lucio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar
I saw them at the prison : a sawcy friar,
A very scurvy

fellow.
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.

Duke. We did believe no less.
Know

you that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of?
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.

Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear himself;
But at this instant he is sick, my lord,
Of a strange fever: Upon his mere 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. First, for this woman ;
(To justify this worthy nobleman,
So vulgarly and personally accused,)
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
Till she herself confess it.
Duke. Good friar, let's hear it. [Isab. 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,

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