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Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge;
For fo receiving a dishonour'd life,

With ransom of fuch fhame. 'Would yet, he had


Alack, when once our grace we have forgot, Nothing goes right; we would, and we would not. 2

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Changes to the Fields without the Town.

Enter Duke in his own Habit, and Friar Peter. Duke.HESE letters at fit time deliver me.



The Provost knows our purpose and our plot.
[Giving letters.
The matter being afoot, keep your inftruction,
And hold you ever to our special drift

Tho' fometimes you do blench from this to that,
As caufe doth minifter. Go, call at Flavius' house,
And tell him, where I ftay; give the like notice
Unto Valentius, Rowland, and to Craffus,

And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate:
But fend me Flavius firft.

Peter. It fhall be speeded well.

Enter Varrius.

[Exit Friar.

Duke. I thank thee, Varrius; thou haft made good

hafte :

Come, we will walk.
Will greet us here anon,

There's other of our friends my gentle Varrius. [Exeunt,

2 we would, and we would not.] Here undoubtedly the act should end, and was ended by the poet; for here is properly a ceffation of action, and a night intervenes, and the place is changed, between the paffages of this fcene and thofe of the next. The

next act beginning with the following scene, proceeds without any interruption of time or change of place.

*Peter never delivers the letters, but tells his story without any credentials. The poet forgot the plot which he had formed.


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Ifab. To speak fo indirectly, I am loth: (I'd say the truth; but to accufe him so, That is your part;) yet I'm advis'd to do it, He fays, to vail full purpose. 3

Mari. Be rul'd by him.

Ifab. Befides, he tells me, that if peradventure
He speak against me on the adverse side,

I fhould not think it strange; for 'tis a phyfick,
That's bitter to fweet end.

Mari. I would, Friar Peter

Ifab. Oh, peace; the Friar is come.

Enter Peter. 4

Peter. Come, I have found you out at a stand most


3 He fays to vail full purpose.) Thus the old Copies, I don't know, what Idea our Editors form'd to themselves, of vailing full purpofe; but, I'm perfuaded, the Poet meant, as I have reftor'd; viz. to a Purpose that will stand us in ftead, that will profit us.

THEOBALD. He fays, to vail full purpose.] Mr. Theobald alters it to, He Jays, i' availful purpoje; because he has no idea of the common reading. A good reason! Yet the common reading is right. Full is ufed for beneficial; and the meaning is, He fays, it is to hide a beneficial purpose, that must not yet be revealed.


very little force on the words, mean to hide the whole extent of our defign, and therefore the reading may ftand; yet I cannot but think Mr. Theobald's alteration either lucky on ingenious. To interpret words with fuch laxity as to make full the fame with beneficial, is to put an end, at once, to all neceflity of emendation, for any word may then ftand in the place of another.

4 Enter Peter.] This play has two Friars, either of whom might fingly have ferved. I fhould therefore imagine that Friar Thomas, in the firt act, might be changed, without any harm, to Friar Peter; for why fhould the Duke unnecefiarily A a 4


To vail full purpose, may, with


Where you may have fuch vantage on the Duke,
He shall not pafs you. Twice have the trumpets


The generous and graveft citizens

Have hent the gates, 5 and very near upon

The Duke is entring: therefore hence, away. [Exeunt.



A publick Place near the City.

Enter Duke, Varrius, Lords, Angelo, Efcalus,
Lucio, and Citizens at feveral Doors.



Y very worthy coufin, fairly met;

Our old and faithful friend, we're glad to fee


Ang. and Efcal. Happy return be to your royal


Duke. Many and hearty thanks be to you both:
We've made enquiry of you, and we hear
Such goodness of your juftice, that our foul
Cannot but yield you forth to publick thanks,
Forerunning more requital.

Ang. You make my bonds ftill greater.

Duke. Oh, your defert fpeaks loud; and I fhould wrong it,

To lock it in the wards of covert bofom,
When it deferves with characters of brafs
A forted refidence, 'gainst the tooth of time
And razure of oblivion. Give me your hand,
And let the fubjects fee, to make them know

truf two in an affair which required only one. The name of Friar Thomas is never mentioned in the dialogue, and therefore

feems arbitrarily placed at the
head of the scene.

taken poffeffion of the gates.
5 Have bent the gates.] Have.


That outward courtefies would fain proclaim
Favours that keep within. Come, Escalus;
You must walk by us on our other hand:
And good fupporters are you. [As the Duke is going out.

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Enter Peter and Ifabella.

Peter. Now is your time: fpeak loud, and kneel before him.

Ifab. Juftice, O royal Duke! * vail your regard Upon a wrong'd, I'd fain have faid, a maid. Oh, worthy Prince, difhonour not your eye By throwing it on any other object,

'Till you have heard me in my true complaint,
And giv'n me justice, justice, justice, justice.
Duke. Relate your wrongs; in what, by whom?
be brief.

Here is lord Angelo shall give you justice;
Reveal yourself to him.

Ifab. Oh, worthy Duke,

You bid me feek redemption of the devil.
Hear me your self, for that which I must speak
Muft either punish me, not being believ'd,

Or wring redress from you: hear me, oh, hear me, here.

Ang. My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm; She hath been a fuitor to me for her brother,

Cut off by course of justice.

Ifab. By Courfe of justice!

Ang. And fhe will fpeak moft bitterly, and strange. Ifab. Moft ftrange, but yet moft truly, will I fpeak. That Angelo's forfworn, is it not strange?

That Angelo's a murth'rer, is't not strange?

Vail your regard.] That is, withdraw your thoughts from higher things; let your notice de

fcend upon a wronged woman. To vail, is to lower.


That Angelo is an adult'rous thief,
An hypocrite, a virgin-violater;
Is it not strange, and ftrange?

Duke. Nay, it is ten times ftrange.
Ifab. It is not truer he is Angelo,
Than this is all as true, as it is ftrange:
Nay, it is ten times truer; fot truth is truth
To th' end of reck'ning.

Duke. Away with her, poor foul,

She speaks this in th' infirmity of fense.

Ifab. O Prince, I conjure thee, as thou believ❜ft There is another comfort than this world,

That thou neglect me not; with that opinion
That I am touch'd with madness. Make not impof-


That, which but feems unlike; 'tis not impoffible,
But one, the wicked'ft caitiff on the ground,
May feem 7 as fhy, as grave, as juft, as abfolute,
As Angelo; even fo may Angelo,

8 In all his dreffings, caracts, titles, forms,
Be an arch-villain: believe it, royal Prince,
If he be lefs, he's nothing; but he's more,
Had I more name for badness.

Duke. By mine honesty,

If the be mad, as I believe no other,
Her madness hath the oddeft frame of fenfe;
Such a dependency of thing on thing,
As ne'er I heard in madness.


Ifab. Gracious Duke,

-truth is truth

7 —as shy, as grave, as juft, as abfolute.] As fhy; as re. served, as abstracted as juft; as nice, as exact: as abjoiute as complete in all the round of duty.

To th' end of reckning] That is, Truth has no gradations; nothing which admits of encreafe can be fo much what it is, as truth is truth. There may be a a ftrange thing, and a thing more 8 In all bis dreings, &c.] In frange, but if a propofition be all his femblance of virtue, in true there can be none more true. all his habiliments of office.


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