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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 kneel'd,
How he refell'd 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, 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 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.

Duke. We did believe no less.

Know you that friar Lodowick, that she speaks of?
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 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,
(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 accus'd,)
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
Till she herself confess it.

Duke. 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.

Duke. What, are you married?
Mari. No, my lord.
Duke. Are you a maid?
Mari. No, my lord.
Duke. A widow then?
Mari. Neither, my lord.
Duke. Why, you

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 not, 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.

Ang. Charges she more than me?
Mari. Not that I know.

Duke. 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 face!
Mari. My husband bids me; now I will unmask.

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

Duke. Know you this woman?
Lucio. Carnally, she says.
Duke. Sirrah, no more!
Lucio. Enough, my lord.



Lucio. That's the

Ang. My lord, I must confess, I know this woman;
And, five years since, there was some speech of mar-night.

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,

Inever spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her,
Upon my faith and honour.

Mari. Noble prince,

for women are light at mid

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: speak not you to him, till we
call upon you.
Lucio. Mum.

Escal. Come, sir: Did you set these women on to
slander Lord Angelo? they have confess'd, you did.
Duke. "Tis false.

As there comes light from heaven, and words from Escal. How! know 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!

Ang. 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 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 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! thinkst 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.


where you are?

Duke. Respect to your great place! and let the devil
Be sometime honour'd for his burning throne:-
Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak.
Escal. The duke's in us ; and we will hear you speak:
Look, you speak justly.

Duke. Boldly, at least.-But, O, poor souls,
Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox?
Good night to your redress! Is the duke gone?
Then is your cause gone too. The duke's unjust,
Thus to retort your manifest appeal,
And put your trial in the villain's mouth,
Which here you come to accuse.

Lucio. This is the rascal; this is he I spoke of.
Escal. Why, thou unreverend and unhallow'd friar!
Is't not enough, thou hast suborn'd these women
To accuse this worthy man; but, in foul mouth,
And in the witness of his proper ear,

To call him villain?

And then to glance from him to the duke himself;
To tax him with injustice?-Take him hence;
To the rack with him!- We'll touze you joint by joint,
But we will know this purpose :—what! unjust?
Duke. Be not so hot! the duke

Dare no more stretch this finger of mine, than he
Dare rack his own; his subject am I not,
Nor here provincial: my business in this state
Made me a looker-on here in Vienna,

F. Peter. Would he were here, my lord; for he, in- Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble,


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,
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. Duke.] Signior Lucio, did not you say, you knew that friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person? Lucio. Cucullus non facit monachum: honest in 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, publicly 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.

Till it o'er-run the stew: laws for all faults;
But faults so countenanc'd, that the strong statutes
Stand like the forfeits in a barber's shop,

As much in mock as mark.

Escal. Slander to the state! Away with him to prison!
Ang. What can you vouch against him, siguior

Is this the man that you did tell us of?

Lucio. 'Tis he, my lord. - Come hither, good-man bald-pate! Do you know me?

Duke. I remember you, sir, by the sound of your voice: I met you at the prison, in the absence of the duke.

Lucio. O, did you so? And do
you said of the duke?
Duke. Most notedly, sir.

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Lucio. Do you so, sir? And was the duke a fleshmonger, a fool, and a coward, as you then reported him to be?

Duke. You must, sir, change persons with me, ere you make that my report: you, indeed, spoke so of him; and much more, much worse.

Lucio. O thou damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by the nose, for thy speeches?

Duke. I protest I love the duke, as I love myself. Ang. Hark! how the villain would close now, after his treasonable abuses.

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Duke. Stay, sir; stay a while! Ang. What! resists he?-Help him, Lucio! Lucio.Come,sir! come,sir!come sir! foh, sir! Why,you bald-pated, lying rascal! you must be hooded, must you? Show your knave's visage, with a pox to you! show your sheep-biting face, and be hang'd an hour! Will't not off? [Pulls off the Friar's hood, and discovers the Duke.

Duke. Thou art the first knave, that e'er made a duke.

First, provost, let me bail these gentle three:-
Sneak not away, sir; [To Lucio.] for the friar and you
Must have a word anon:- - lay hold on him!

Lucio. This may prove worse than hanging.
Duke. What you have spoke, I pardon; sit you
[To Escalus.

We'll borrow place of him:-Sir, by your leave!

[To Angelo.

Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence, That yet can do thee office? If thou hast, Rely upon it till my tale be heard,

And hold no longer out.

Ang. O my dread lord,

I should be guiltier, than my guiltiness,
To think I can be undiscernible,

When I perceive, your grace, like power divine,
Hath look'd upon my passes. Then, good prince,
No longer session hold upon my shame,
But let my trial be mine own confession;
Immediate sentence then, and sequent death,
Is all the grace I beg.

Duke. Come hither, Mariana!—

Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman?
Ang. I was, my lord.

Duke. Go,take her hence, and marry her instantly! Do you the office, friar; which consummate, Return him here again. Go with him, Provost.

[Exeunt Angelo, Mariana, Peter, and Provost. Escal. My lord, I am more amaz'd at his dishonour, Than at the strangeness of it.

Duke. Come hither, Isabel!

Your friar is now your prince. As I was then
Advertising, and holy to your business,
Not changing heart with habit, I am still
Attorney'd at your service.

Isab. O, give me pardon,

That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'd
Your unknown sovereignty.

Duke. You are pardon'd, Isabel:
And now, dear maid, be you as free to ns!
Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart;
And you may marvel, why I obscur'd myself,
Labouring to save his life, and would not rather
Make rask remonstrance of my hidden power,
Than let him so be lost. O, most kind maid,
It was the swift celerity of his death,
Which I did think with slower foot came on,
That brain'd my purpose! But, peace be with him!
That life is better life, past fearing death,

Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort, So happy is your brother.

Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, PETER, and Provost. Isab. Ido, my lord.

Duke. For this new-married man, approaching here,
Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd
Your well-defended honour, you must pardon
For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudg'd your brother,
(Being criminal in double violation

Of sacred chastity, and of promise-breach,
Thereon dependent, for your brother's life,)
The very mercy of the law cries out
Most audible, even from his proper tongue,
An Angelo for Claudio, death for death.

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Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
Isab. Most bounteous sir,
Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother liv'd: I partly think,
A due sincerity govern'd his deeds,
Till he did look on me; since it is so,

Let him not die! My brother had but justice,
In that he did the thing for which he died:
For Angelo,

His act did not o'ertake his bad intent,
And must be buried but as an intent,

That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subjects;
Intents but merely thoughts.

Mari. Merely, my lord.

Duke. Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say!— I have bethought me of another fault:Provost, how came it, Claudio was beheaded

At an unusual hour?

Prov. It was commanded so.

Duke. Had you a special warrant for the deed? Prov. No, my good lord; it was by private message. Duke. For which I do discharge you of your office: Give up your keys!

Prov. Pardon me, noble lord!

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As you, lord Angelo, have still appear'd,
Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood,
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.
Ang. I am sorry, that such sorrow I procure:
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart,
That I crave death more willingly, than mercy :
'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.

Re-enter Provost, Barnardine, CLAUDIO, and JULIET.
Duke. Which is that Barnardine?

Prov. This, my lord.

Duke. There was a friar told me of this man:-
Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul,
That apprehends no further than this world,
And squar'st thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd;
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all;
And pray thee, take this mercy to provide
For better times to come! -Friar, advise him;

I leave him to your hand.-What muffled fellow's that?
Prov. This is another prisoner, that I sav'd,
That should have died, when Claudio lost his head,
As like almost to Claudio, as himself.

[Unmuffles Claudio. Duke. If he be like your brother, [To Isabella.] for his sake

Is he pardon'd; and, for your lovely sake,
Give me your hand, and say you will be mine,
He is my brother too. But fitter time for that.
By this, lord Angelo perceives he's safe;
Methinks, I see a quick'ning in his eye:-
Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well:
Look,that you love your wife;her worth, worth
I find an apt remission in myself:

And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon ;

Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick. If you will hang me for it, you may, but I had rather it would please you, I might be whipp'd. Duke. Whipp'd first, sir, and hang'd after!— Proclaim it, provost, round about the city: If any woman's wrong'd by this lewd fellow, (As I have heard him swear himself, there's one Whom he begot with child, ) let her appear, And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd, Let him be whipp'd and hang'd!

Lucio.I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your highness said even now, I made you a duke; good my lord, do not recompense me in making me a cuckold.

Duke. Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
Remit thy other forfeits. -Take him to prison;
And see our pleasure herein executed.

Lucio.Marrying a punk,my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and hanging.

Duke. Sland'ring a prince deserves it.-
She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore.-
Joy to you, Mariana!-love her, Angelo;

I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue.-
Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness!
There's more behind, that is more gratulate.-
Thanks, provost, for thy care, and secrecy;
We shall employ thee in a worthier place :-
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
The head of Ragozine for Claudio's!

yours.-The offence pardons itself.-Dear Isabel,
I have a motion much imports your good;
Whereto, if you'll a willing ear incline,

You, sirrah, [To Lucio. ] that knew me for a fool, a What's mine, is yours, and what is yours, is mine :

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dro hath bestowed much honour on a young Florentine, called Claudio.

Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally remembered by Don Pedro: he hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age; doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion: he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you how.

Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina, will be very much glad of it.

Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and there appears much joy in him; even so much,that joy could not show itself modest enough without a badge of bitterness.

Leon. Did he break out into tears?
Mess. In great measure.

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness! There are no faces truer than those that are so washed. How much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping! Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned from the wars, or or no?

Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady. Beat. Do, good friend.

Leon. You will never run mad, niece.
Beat. No, not till a hot January.
Mess Don Pedro is approached.
Enter Don PEDRO, attended by BALTHAZAR and others,
D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come to
meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to avoid
cost, and you encounter it.

Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but, when you depart from me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.

D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly.— I think, this is your daugther.

Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so. Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her? Leon.Signior Benedick,no; for then were you a child. D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this what you are, being a man. Truly, the lady

Mess. I know none of that name, lady; there was fathers herself: be happy, lady! for you are like none such in the army of any sort.

Leon. What is he that you ask for, niece? Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of Padua. Mess. O, he is returned; and as pleasant as ever he was. Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged Cupid at the flight and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt.-I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing. Leon.Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.

Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these wars. Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an excellent stomach.

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady.

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady. — But what is he to a lord?

Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all honourable virtues.

Beat. It is so indeed; he is no less than a stuffed man: but for the stuffing!-Well, we are all mortal.

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece: there is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and her: they never meet, but there is a skirmish of wit between them.

Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one; so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother.

Mess. Is it possible?

Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.

Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books. Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil?

Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.

Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! it he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound, ere he be cured.

an honourable father.

Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, as like him as she is.

Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; no body marks you. Bene.What,my dear lady Disdain !are you yet living? Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in her presence.

Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat. - But it is certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted: and I would I could find in my heart, that I had not a hard heart; for truly, I love none.

Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that; had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me.


Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.

Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 'twere such a face as your's were.

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Beat. A bird of my tongue is better, than a beast of yours.

Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue; and so good a continuer. But keep your way o' God's name; I have done.

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.

D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato, signior Claudio, and signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him, we shall stay here at the least a month; and he heartily prays, some occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.

Leon.If you swear,my lord, you shall not be forsworn. -Let me bid you welcome, my lord; being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty. D. John. I thank you: I am not of many words, but thank you.


Leon. Please it your grace lead on?

D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato! we will go together. [Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daugther of signior Leonato?

Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her.
Claud. Is she not a modest young lady?

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