Measure for Measure By William Shakespeare Act V

DUKE.
The warrant's for yourself; take heed to it.

ISABELLA.
This gentleman told somewhat of my tale.

LUCIO.
Right.

DUKE.
It may be right; but you are in the wrong
To speak before your time. — Proceed.

ISABELLA.
I went
To this pernicious caitiff deputy.

DUKE.
That's somewhat madly spoken.

ISABELLA.
Pardon it;
The phrase is to the matter.

DUKE.
Mended again. The matter; — proceed.

ISABELLA.
In brief, — to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneel'd,
How he refell'd me, and how I replied, —
For this was of much length, — the vile conclusion
I now begin with grief and shame to utter:
He would not, but by gift of my chaste body
To his concupiscible intemperate lust,
Release my brother; and, after much debatement,
My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour,
And I did yield to him. But the next morn betimes,
His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant
For my poor brother's head.

DUKE.
This is most likely!

ISABELLA.
O, that it were as like as it is true!

DUKE.
By heaven, fond wretch, thou know'st not what thou speak'st,
Or else thou art suborn'd against his honour
In hateful practice. First, his integrity
Stands without blemish: — next, it imports no reason
That with such vehemency he should pursue
Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended,
He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself,
And not have cut him off. Some one hath set you on;
Confess the truth, and say by whose advice
Thou cam'st here to complain.

ISABELLA.
And is this all?
Then, O you blessed ministers above,
Keep me in patience; and, with ripen'd time,
Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up
In countenance! — Heaven shield your grace from woe,
As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go!

DUKE.
I know you'd fain be gone. — An officer!
To prison with her! — Shall we thus permit
A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall
On him so near us? This needs must be a practice.
Who knew of your intent and coming hither?

ISABELLA.
One that I would were here, Friar Lodowick.

DUKE.
A ghostly father, belike. Who knows that Lodowick?

LUCIO.
My lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling 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 soundly.

DUKE.
Words against me? This's a good friar, belike!
And to set on this wretched woman here
Against our substitute! — Let this friar be found.

LUCIO.
But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar,
I saw them at the prison: a saucy friar,
A very scurvy fellow.

PETER.
Bless'd 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.

DUKE.
We did believe no less.
Know you that Friar Lodowick that she speaks of?

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.

PETER.
Well, he in time may come to clear himself;
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.

DUKE.
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
Of your own cause. — Is this the witness, friar?
First let her show her face, and after speak.

MARIANA.
Pardon, my lord; I will not show my face
Until my husband bid me.

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