What! are you married?
No, my lord.
Are you a maid?
No, my lord.
A widow, then?
Neither, my lord.
Why, you are nothing then: — neither maid, widow, nor wife?
My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them are neither maid,
Silence that fellow: I would he had some cause
To prattle for himself.
Well, my lord.
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.
He was drunk, then, my lord; it can be no better.
For the benefit of silence, would thou wert so too!
Well, my lord.
This is no witness for Lord Angelo.
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
When I'll depose I had him in mine arms,
With all the effect of love.
Charges she more than me?
Not that I know.
No? you say your husband.
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.
This is a strange abuse. — Let's see thy face.
My husband bids me; now I will unmask. [Unveiling.]
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.
Know you this woman?
Carnally, she says.
Sirrah, no more.
Enough, my lord.
My lord, I must confess I know this woman;
And five years since there was some speech of marriage
Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off,
Partly for that her promis'd 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.
As there comes light from heaven and words from breath,
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 his 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
These poor 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, thinkst 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.
Would lie were here, my lord; for he indeed
Hath set the women on to this complaint:
Your provost knows the place where he abides,
And he may fetch him.
Go, do it instantly. —
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.