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.

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 him-

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.

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

5 In this I'll be IMPARTIAL :] Impartial was frequently used for most partial, as the commentators have shown by a variety of quotations, but they are not wanted' here : when the Duke says, “I'll be impartial,” he means that he will take no part, or stand neuter in the cause, leaving it to the decision of Angelo himself. The word has been hitherto mistaken.

Why, you


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.

What, are you married ?
Mari. No, my lord.

Are you a maid ? Mari.

No, my lord.
Duke. A widow then ?

Neither, my lord.
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,

6 First, let her show her face ;] The first folio has “your face," arising perhaps from you her" in the MS. having been abbreviated to you'r for the sake of the metre. The alteration was made by the editor of the second folio.

When, I'll depose, I had him in mine arms,
With all th' effect of love.

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

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.



this woman? Lucio. Carnally, she says. Duke.

Sirrah, no more. Lucio. Enough, my lord.

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

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
I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her,
Upon my faith and honour.

Noble prince,


* And did supply thee at thy garden-house) What we now call a summerhouse, erected in a garden, and often used for purposes of intrigue. They are noticed by many old writers, and especially by dramatists. See various instances in the last edit. of Dodsley's Old Plays, IV. 148, &c.


As there comes light from heaven, and words from

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's 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.

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,

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.

Ay, with my heart;
And punish them to your height of pleasure':
Thou foolish friar, and thou pernicious woman,
Compact with her that's gone, think'st 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.
F. Peter. Would he were here, my lord; for he,

indeed, Hath set the women on to this complaint.


8 These poor INFORMAL women -] Informal signifies out of their senses. In “The Comedy of Errors,” A. v. sc. 1, as Steevens pointed out, “a formal man " means a man in his senses. The same remark will apply to the same expression in “ Antony and Cleopatra,” A. ii. sc. 5, and in “Twelfth Night," A. ii. sc. 5. “ Informal" is therefore here used as the opposite of " formal.”

9 And punish them to your height of pleasure.) So the folios. To read unto would fill up the measure ; but we cannot be at all certain that Shakespeare did not mean to leave the line as it is found in the old copies.

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.—[Exit 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 a

Friar's habit, and Provost. Escal. I will go darkly to work with her.

Lucio. That's the way; for women are light at midnight.

Escal. Come on, mistress. [To ISABELLA.] Here's a gentlewoman denies all that you have said.



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