Ang. I did but smile till now, Now, good my Lord, giue me the scope of Iustice, My patience here is touch'd: I doe perceiue These poore informall women, are no more But instruments of some more mightier member That sets them on. Let me haue way, my Lord To finde this practise out

Duke. I, with my heart, And punish them to your height of pleasure. Thou foolish Frier, and thou pernicious woman Compact with her that's gone: thinkst thou, thy oathes, Though they would swear downe each particular Saint, Were testimonies against his worth, and credit That's seald in approbation? you, Lord Escalus Sit with my Cozen, lend him your kinde paines To finde out this abuse, whence 'tis deriu'd. There is another Frier that set them on, Let him be sent for

Peter. Would he were here, my Lord, for he indeed Hath set the women on to this Complaint; Your Prouost knowes the place where he abides, And he may fetch him

Duke. Goe, doe it instantly: And you, my noble and well-warranted Cosen Whom it concernes to heare this matter forth, Doe with your iniuries as seemes you best In any chastisement; I for a while Will leaue you; but stir not you till you haue Well determin'd vpon these Slanderers.


Esc. My Lord, wee'll doe it throughly: Signior Lucio, did not you say you knew that Frier Lodowick to be a dishonest person? Luc. Cucullus non facit Monachum, honest in nothing but in his Clothes, and one that hath spoke most villanous speeches of the Duke

Esc. We shall intreat you to abide heere till he come, and inforce them against him: we shall finde this Frier a notable fellow

Luc. As any in Vienna, on my word

Esc. Call that same Isabell here once againe, I would speake with her: pray you, my Lord, giue mee leaue to question, you shall see how Ile handle her

Luc. Not better then he, by her owne report

Esc. Say you? Luc. Marry sir, I thinke, if you handled her priuately She would sooner confesse, perchance publikely she'll be asham'd.

Enter Duke, Prouost, Isabella

Esc. I will goe darkely to worke with her

Luc. That's the way: for women are light at midnight

Esc. Come on Mistris, here's a Gentlewoman, Denies all that you haue said

Luc. My Lord, here comes the rascall I spoke of, Here, with the Prouost

Esc. In very good time: speake not you to him, till we call vpon you

Luc. Mum

Esc. Come Sir, did you set these women on to slander Lord Angelo? they haue confes'd you did

Duk. 'Tis false

Esc. How? Know you where you are? Duk. Respect to your great place; and let the diuell Be sometime honour'd, for his burning throne. Where is the Duke? 'tis he should heare me speake

Esc. The Duke's in vs: and we will heare you speake, Looke you speake iustly

Duk. Boldly, at least. But oh poore soules, Come you to seeke the Lamb here of the Fox; Good night to your redresse: Is the Duke gone? Then is your cause gone too: The Duke's vniust, Thus to retort your manifest Appeale, And put your triall in the villaines mouth, Which here you come to accuse

Luc. This is the rascall: this is he I spoke of

Esc. Why thou vnreuerend, and vnhallowed Fryer: Is't not enough thou hast suborn'd these women, To accuse this worthy man? but in foule mouth, And in the witnesse of his proper eare, To call him villaine; and then to glance from him, To th'Duke himselfe, to taxe him with Iniustice? Take him hence; to th' racke with him: we'll towze you Ioynt by ioynt, but we will know his purpose: What? vniust? Duk. Be not so hot: the Duke dare No more stretch this finger of mine, then he Dare racke his owne: his Subiect am I not, Nor here Prouinciall: My businesse in this State Made me a looker on here in Vienna, Where I haue seene corruption boyle and bubble, Till it ore-run the Stew: Lawes, for all faults, But faults so countenanc'd, that the strong Statutes Stand like the forfeites in a Barbers shop, As much in mocke, as marke

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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