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Be an arch villain : believe it, royal prince,
If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more,
Had I more name for badness.

Duke. By mine honesty,
If she be mad, (as I believe no other)
Her madness hath the oddeft frame of sense ;
Such a dependency of thing on thing,
As e'er I heard in madness.

Isab. Gracious duke,
Harp not on that ; nor do not banish reason
For inequality: but let your reason serve
To make the truth appear, where it seems hid
Not hide the false, seems true.”

Duke. Many that are not mad,
Have, sure, more lack of reason.—What would you


Isab. I am the sister of one Claudio,
Condemn'd upon the act of fornication
To lose his head; condemn'd by Angelo :
I, in probation of a sisterhood,
Was sent to by my brother. One Lucio
Was then the messenger, -

Lucio. That's I, an't like your grace :
I came to her from Claudio, and desir'd her
To try her gracious fortune with lord Angelo,
For her poor brother's pardon.

Isab. That's he, indeed.
Duke. You were not bid to speak. (TO Lucio,
Lucio, No, my good lord, nor wish'd to hold my

Duke. I wish you now then;
Pray you, take note of it: and when you have

do not banish reason For inequality : :] Let not the high quality of my adversary prejudice you against me.

JOHNSON. 2 And hide the false, fiems true.) We should read, Not hide.. WARBURTON.



A business for yourself, pray heaven, you chen
Be perfect.

Lucio. I warrant your honour.
Duke. The warrant's for yourself; take heed to it.
Isab. 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.

Ifab. I went
To this pernicious caitiff deputy.

Duke. That's somewhat madly spoken.

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

Duke. Mended again: the matter ;--Proceed.

Isab. In brief ;-to set the needless process by, How I persuaded, how I pray'd and kneelid, How he refelld me, and how I reply'd ; (For this was of much length) the vile conclusion Ì now begin with grief and shame to utter : He would not, but by gift of my chaste body To his concupiscible* intemperate luft, Release my brother; and, after much debatement, My sisterly remorse confutes my 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!

3. How be refellid me, -] To refel is to refute.

Refellere et coarguere mendacium. Cicero pro Ligario. Ben Jonson uses the word :

“ Friends, not to refel you,

“ Or any way quell you.” The modern editors changed the word to repel. Again, in Tbe for cond part of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601.

“ Therefore go on, young Bruce, proceed, refell

« The allegation." STEEVENS. • Tobis concupiscible, &c.) Such is the old reading. The modern editors unauthoritatively subflitute concupifcent. STEEVENS.


Isab. Oh, that it were as like, as it is true !
Duke. By heaven, fond wretch, thou know'st not

what thou speak'it;
Or else thou art suborn'd against his honour
In hateful practice." First, his integrity
Stands without blemih :-Next, it imports no reason,
That with such vehemence 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.

Isab. And is this all ? Then, oh, you blessed ministers above, Keep me in patience ; and, with ripen'd time, Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up s 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 officerTo prison with her :-Shall we thus permit A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall

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

I do not see why like may not stand here for probable, or why the lady should not wish, that since her tale is true, it


obtain belief.' If Dr. Warburton's explication be right, we hould read,

0! that it were as likely, as 'tis true! Like I have never found for seemly. Johnson.

In bateful practice. Practice was used by the old writers for any unlawful or infidious ttratagem. So again,

This must needs be practice : and again,

Let me bave way to find this practice out. Johnson s In countenance !--] i. e. in partial favour. WARBURTON.



On him so near us? This must needs be a practice.
Who knew of your intent, and coming hither?

Isab. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick.
Duke. A ghostly father, belike:-who knows that

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' a good friar be-

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 fawcy friar,
A very scurvy fellow.

Peier. Bleired 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 foil with her,
As the from one ungot.

Duke. We did believe no less.
Know you that friar Lodowick, which she speaks of ?

Peter. I know him for a man divine and holy;
Not scurvy, nor a temporary medler,

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nor a temporary medler, ) It is hard to know what is meant by a temporary medler. In its usual sense, as opposed to perpetuel, it cannot be used here. It may stand for temporal: the sense will then be, I know him for a boly man, one thai moddles not with secular affairs. It may mean tempor ifing : I know him to be a holy man, one who would nor temporise, or take the opportunity of your absence 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
false evidence against your deputy. JOHNSON.


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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, moft 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
Întended ’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
By all probation, will make up full clear,
Whenever he's convented. First, for this woman;
To justify this worthy nobleman,
So vulgarly 8 and personally accus'd,
Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes,
Till she herself confess it.

Duke. Good friar, let's hear it.
Do you not smile at this, lord Angelo ?-
O heaven! the vanity of wretched fools!-
Give us some seats.- Come, cousin Angelo,

In Whenever he's conven'd.-) The first folio reads, convenied, and this is right; for to convene signifies to assemble ; but convent, to cite, or summons. Yet, because convented hurts the measure, the Oxford editor sticks to conven'd, tho’ it be nonsense, and fignifies, Whenever he is afsembled 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 sense, and the editor, quite throughout his performance, to nothing but the measure; which Shakespeare having entirely neglected, like all the dramatic writers of that age, he has

spruced him up with all the exactness of a modern measurer of syllables. This being here taken notice of once for all, shall, for the future, be forgot, as if it had never been.

WARBURTON. & So vulgarly - Meaning either fo grofly, with such indecency of inve&tive, or by so mean and inadequate witnesses. Johnson.

-Come, cousin Angelo,

In this I will be partial; &c.) In former editions,



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