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Duke. I 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.
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 full purpose.
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 vantage on the duke,
He shall not pass you. Twice have the trumpets sounded;
The generous and gravest citizens
Have hent the gates, and very near upon
The duke is ent'ring: therefore hence, away.
Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met :-
SCENE I-A public Place near the City Gate.
MARIANA, veiled, ISABELLA, and Friar PETER, at a distance.
Enter from one
side, Duke, in his own habit, VARRIUS, Lords; from the other, ANGELO, ESCALUS, LUCIO, Provost, Officers, and Citizens.
Ang. and 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
Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks,
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 d;— And good supporters are you.
Friar PETER and ISABELLA come forward.
F. Peter. Now is your time: speak loud, and kneel before
Isab. Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard
Till you have heard me in my true complaint,
Duke. Relate your wrongs: in what? by whom? Be brief. Here is lord Angelo shall give you justice:
Reveal yourself to him.
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 :
By course of justice!
That Angelo's a murderer; is 't not strange?
Nay, it is ten times strange.
Than this is all as true as it is strange :
Away with her!-poor soul,
She speaks this in th' infirmity of sense.
Isab. O prince, I cònjure 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,
In all his dressings, characts, titles, forms,
By mine honesty,
As e'er I heard in madness.
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,—
That's I, an 't like your grace :
I came to her from Claudio, and desir'd her
Duke. You were not bid to speak.
Nor wish'd to hold my peace.
That's he indeed.
No, my good lord,
I wish you now, then;
Pray you, take note of it: and when you have
Lucio. I warrant your honour.
Duke. The warrant's for yourself; take heed to it.
Duke. It may be right; but you are in the wrong
To this pernicious caitiff deputy,—
The phrase is to the matter.
Duke. Mended again. The matter;-proceed.
Release my brother; and, after much debatement,
My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour,
And I did yield to him: but the next morn betimes,
For my poor brother's head.
Duke. By heaven, fond wretch! thou know'st not what thou speak'st,
Or else thou art suborn'd against his honour
Stands without blemish : next, it imports no reason
Thou cam'st here to complain.
In countenance !-Heaven shield your grace from woe,
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
Isab. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick.
Duke. Words against me! This' a good friar, belike!
Lucio. But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar
A very scurvy fellow.
Lucio. My lord, most villainously; believe it.
F. 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,—
And all probation, will make up full clear,
So vulgarly and personally accus'd,—