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Harp not on That; nor do not banish reason 9
For inequality; but let your reason serve
To make the truth appear, where it feems hid;
Not hide the falfe, feems true. 1

Duke. Many, they are not mad,
Have, fure, more lack of reason.
What would you say?

Ifab. I am the fifter of one Claudio,
Condemn'd upon the act of fornication
To loose his head; condemn'd by Angelo:
I, in probation of a fifterhood,

Was fent to by my brother. One Lucio
Was then the meffenger,

Lucio. That's I, an't like your Grace:

I came to her from Claudio, and defir'd her

To try her gracious fortune with lord Angelo,
For her poor brother's pardon.

Ifab. That's he, indeed.

Duke. You were not bid to speak.

[To Lucio.

Lucio. No, my good lord, nor wifh'd to hold my

Duke. I wish you now then;

Pray you, take note of it: and when


you have

A bufinefs for yourself, pray heav'n, you then

Be perfect.

Lucio. I warrant your Honour.

Duke. The warrant's for yourfelf; take heed to't. Ifab. This gentleman told fomewhat of my tale. Lucio. Right.

Duke. It may be right, but you are in the wrong To speak before your time. Proceed.

Ifab. I went

To this pernicious caitiff Deputy.

Duke. That's fomewhat madly fpoken.
Ifab. Pardon it:

The phrafe is to the matter.

-do not bani reafon For inequality; • } Let · not the high quality of my ad

verfary prejudice you against me.
And bide the falje, seems true]
We should read Nor hide. WARB.

Duke. Mended again: the matter;-proceed.
Ifab. In brief; (to set the needlefs Process by,
How I perfuaded, how I pray'd and kneel'd,
How he repell'd me, and how I reply'd;
For this was of much length) the vile conclufion
I now begin with grief and fhame to utter.
He would not, but by gift of my chaste body
To his concupifcent intemp❜rate luft,

Release my brother; and after much debatement,
My fifterly Remorse confutes mine Honour,
And I did yield to him: but the next morn betimes,
His purpose furfeiting, he fends a Warrant
For my poor brother's head.

Duke. This is most likely!

Ifab. Oh, that it were as like, as it is true! *
Duke. By heav'n, fond wretch, thou know'st not
what thou speak'st,

Or else thou art fuborn'd against his honour
In hateful practice. 3 Firft, his integrity
Stands without blemish. Next, it imports no reason,
That with fuch vehemence he should pursue
Faults proper to himself: if he had fo offended,
He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself,
And not have cut him off. Some one hath fet you on;
Confefs the truth, and fay, by whose advice
Thou cam'ft here to complain.

Ifab. And is this all?

Then, ch, you bleffed minifters above!

Oh, that it were as like, as it is true!] Like is not here ufed for probable, but for feemly. She catches at the Duke's word, and turns it to another fenfe; of which there are a great many examples in Shakespear, and the writers of that time.


I do not fee why like may not ftand here for probable, or why the Lady fhould not wish that fince her tale is true it may ob

tain belief. If Dr. Warburton's explication be right, we should read, O! that it were as likely as 'tis true. Like I have never found for jeemly.

3 In bateful practice.] Practice was used by the old writers for any unlawful or infiduous ftratagem. So again, this must needs be practice; and again, let me bave way to find this practice out.


Keep me in patience; and with ripen'd time,
Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up

4 In countenance. Heav'n fhield your Grace from woe, As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go.

Duke. I know, you'd fein be gone. An officer To prison with her.-Shall we thus permit A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall On him fo near us? this needs must be practice. Who knew of your intent, and coming hither? Ifab. One that I would were here, Friar Lodowick. Duke. A ghoftly father, belike: Who knows

that Lodowick?

Lucio. My lord, I know him; 'tis a medling
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 foundly.

Duke. Words against me? this is a good Friar, belike;

And to fet on this wretched woman here

Againft our Substitute!let this Friar be found.
Lucio. But yefternight, my lord, she and that

I faw them at the prifon :-a fawcy Friar,
A very fcurvy fellow.

Peter. Bleffed be your royal Grace!

I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard
Your royal ear abus'd. First, hath this woman
Moft wrongfully accus'd your Subftitute;
Who is as free from touch or foil with her,

As fhe from one ungot.

Duke. We did believe no less.

Know you that Friar Lodowick, which the speaks of?
Peter. I know him for a man divine and holy;
Not fcurvy, nor a temporary medler, 5


In countenance] i. e. in par

tial favour.


5 nor a temporary medler.] WARBURTON. It is hard to know what is meant


As he's reported by this gentleman;

And, on my Trust, a man that never yet
Did, as he vouches, mifreport your Grace.
Lucio. My lord, moft villainously; believe it.
Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear himself;
But at this inftant he is fick my lord,

Of a strange fever. On his meer requeft,
(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
It true, and falfe; and what he with his oath
By all Probation will make up full clear,

Whenever he's convented. 6 Firft, for this woman;
To juftify this worthy Nobleman,

So vulgarly and perfonally accus'd, Her fhall you hear difproved to her eyes, 'Till fhe herself confess it.

Duke. Good Friar, let's hear it,

by a temporary medler. In its ufual fente, as oppofed to perpetual, it cannot be used here. It may fland for temporal: the fenfe will then be, I know him for a holy man, one that meddles not with fecular affairs: It may mean temporizing: I know him to be a boly man, one who would not temporife, or take the opportunity of your abfence to defame you. Or we may read, Not fcurvy, nor a tamperer and medler; not one who would have tampered with this woman to make her a falfe evidence against your Deputy.

6 Whenever he's CONVEN'D.] The firft Folio reads CONVENTED, and this is right: for to convene fignifies to affemble; but convent, to cite,.or fummons. Yet, becaufe convented hurts the meafure, the Oxford Editor fticks to con

ven'd, tho' it be nonfense, and fignifies, Whenever he is affembled, together. But thus it will be, when the author is thinking of one thing and his critic of another.. The poet was attentive to his fenfe, and the Editor, quite throughout his performance, to nothing but the measure: which Shakespear having entirely neglected, like all the dramatic writers of that age, he has fpruced him up with all the exactness of a modern measurer of Syllables. This being here taken notice of once for all, fhall, for the future, be forgot, as if it had never been. WARBURTON.

7 So vulgarly.] Meaning either, fo grofy, with fuch indecency of invective, or by fo mean and inadequate witneffes.


Do you not fmile at this, lord Angelo?
O heav'n! the vanity of wretched fools!
Give us fome feats;-come, Coulin Angelo, &
In this I will be partial: be you judge


Of your own Caufe. Is this the witnefs, Friar?

[Ifabella is carried off, guarded.

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First let her fhew her face; and, after, speak.
Mari. Pardon, my lord, I will not fhew my face,
Until my husband bid me.

Duke. What, are you marry'd?

Mari. No, my lord.

Duke. Are you a maid?

Mari. No, my lord.

Duke. A widow then?

Mari. Neither, my lord.

Duke. Why, are you nothing then? neither maid, widow, or wife.

Lucio. My lord, fhe may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid, widow, or wife.

Duke. Silence that fellow: I would, he had fome cause to prattle for himself.

Lucio. Well, my lord.

Mari. My lord, I do confefs, I ne'er was marry'd ; And, I confefs, befides, I am no maid;

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