Actus Quintus. Scoena Prima.

Enter Duke, Varrius, Lords, Angelo, Esculus, Lucio, Citizens at seuerall doores.

Duk. My very worthy Cosen, fairely met, Our old, and faithfull friend, we are glad to see you

Ang. Esc. Happy returne be to your royall grace

Duk. Many and harty thankings to you both: We haue made enquiry of you, and we heare Such goodnesse of your Iustice, that our soule Cannot but yeeld you forth to publique thankes Forerunning more requitall

Ang. You make my bonds still greater

Duk. Oh your desert speaks loud, & I should wrong it To locke it in the wards of couert bosome When it deserues with characters of brasse A forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time, And razure of obliuion: Giue we your hand And let the Subiect see, to make them know That outward curtesies would faine proclaime Fauours that keepe within: Come Escalus, You must walke by vs, on our other hand: And good supporters are you.

Enter Peter and Isabella.

Peter. Now is your time Speake loud, and kneele before him

Isab. Iustice, O royall Duke, vaile your regard Vpon a wrong'd (I would faine haue said a Maid) Oh worthy Prince, dishonor not your eye By throwing it on any other obiect, Till you haue heard me, in my true complaint, And giuen me Iustice, Iustice, Iustice, Iustice

Duk. Relate your wrongs; In what, by whom? be briefe: Here is Lord Angelo shall giue you Iustice, Reueale your selfe to him

Isab. Oh worthy Duke, You bid me seeke redemption of the diuell, Heare me your selfe: for that which I must speake Must either punish me, not being beleeu'd, Or wring redresse from you: Heare me: oh heare me, heere

Ang. My Lord, her wits I feare me are not firme: She hath bin a suitor to me, for her Brother Cut off by course of Iustice

Isab. By course of Iustice

Ang. And she will speake most bitterly, and strange

Isab. Most strange: but yet most truely wil I speake, That Angelo's forsworne, is it not strange? That Angelo's a murtherer, is't not strange? That Angelo is an adulterous thiefe, An hypocrite, a virgin violator, Is it not strange? and strange? Duke. Nay it is ten times strange? Isa. It is not truer he is Angelo, Then this is all as true, as it is strange; Nay, it is ten times true, for truth is truth To th' end of reckning

Duke. Away with her: poore soule She speakes this, in th' infirmity of sence

Isa. Oh Prince, I coniure thee, as thou beleeu'st There is another comfort, then this world, That thou neglect me not, with that opinion That I am touch'd with madnesse: make not impossible That which but seemes vnlike, 'tis not impossible But one, the wickedst caitiffe on the ground May seeme as shie, as graue, as iust, as absolute: As Angelo, euen so may Angelo In all his dressings, caracts, titles, formes, Be an arch-villaine: Beleeue it, royall Prince If he be lesse, he's nothing, but he's more, Had I more name for badnesse

Duke. By mine honesty If she be mad, as I beleeue no other, Her madnesse hath the oddest frame of sense, Such a dependancy of thing, on thing, As ere I heard in madnesse

Isab. Oh gracious Duke Harpe not on that; nor do not banish reason For inequality, but let your reason serue To make the truth appeare, where it seemes hid, And hide the false seemes true

Duk. Many that are not mad Haue sure more lacke of reason: What would you say? Isab. I am the Sister of one Claudio, Condemnd vpon the Act of Fornication To loose his head, condemn'd by Angelo, I, (in probation of a Sisterhood) Was sent to by my Brother; one Lucio As then the Messenger

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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