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not for my head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set me to’t: But they say the duke will be here tomorrow. By my troth, Isabel, I lov'd thy brother : if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been at home, he had lived.
[Exit ISABELLA. Duke. Sir, the duke is marvellous little beholden to your reports; but the best is, he lives not in them.
Lucio. Friar, thou knowest not the duke so well as I do: he's a better woodman 10 than thou takest him for.
Duke. Well, you'll answer this one day. Fare
Lucio. Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee; I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.
Duke. You have told me too many of him already, sir, if they be true; if not true, none were enough.
Lucio. I was once before him for getting a wench with child.
Duke. Did you such a thing?
Lucio. Yes, marry, did I; but was fain to forswear it; they would else have married me to the rotten medlar.
Duke. Sir, your company is fairer than honest : Rest you
well. Lucio. By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's end: If bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little of it: Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr, I shall stick.
[Exeunt. 9 i. e. he depends not on them.
10 A woodman was an attendant on the Forester; his great employment was hunting. It is here used in a wanton sense for a hunter of a different sort of game. So, Falstaff asks his mistresses in the Merry Wives of Windsor :-
Am I a woodman ? Ha!'
SCENE IV. A Room in Angelo's House.
Enter ANGELO and ESCALUS. Escal. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouch'd other.
Ang. In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions show much like to madness: pray heaven, his wisdom be not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and re-deliver our authorities there?
Escal. I guess not.
Ang. And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his entering, that, if any crave redress of injustice, they should exhibit their petitions in the street ?
Escal. He shows his reason for that: to have a despatch of complaints; and to deliver us from devices hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand against us.
Ang. Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaim'd: Betimes i’ the morn, I'll call you at your house: Give notice to such men of sort and suit”, As are to meet him. Escal. I shall, sir: fare you well. .
[Exit. Ang. Good night.-This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnants, And dull to all proceeding. A deflower'd maid ! And by an eminent body, that enforc'd The law against it!—But that her tender shame Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
1 Disvouched is contradicted. 2 Figure and rank. 3. Unready, unprepared; the contrary to pregnant in its of ready, apprehensive.
How might she tongue me? Yet reason dares 4
her?-no: For my authority bears a credent5 bulk, That no particular6 scandal once can touch, But it confounds the breather. He should have liy'd, Save that his riotous youth, with dangerous sense, Might, in the times to come, have ta’en revenge, By so receiving a dishonour'd life, With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had
liv'd! Alack, when once our grace we have forgot, Nothing goes right; we would, and we would not.
4 To dare bas two significations; to terrify, as in The Maid's Tragedy :
those mad mischiefs
Would dare a woman.'
Unless a brother should a brother dare
To gentle exercise,' &c. This passage will therefore bear two interpretations, between which the reader must choose. In the old copy it stands :
Yet reason dares her no, which may be explained, “Yet reason dares or overawes her from doing it, and cries no to her whenever she finds herself prompted to tongue Angelo.' Dare is often used in this sense by Shakspeare; and the word no is used in a similar way in the Chances :
• I wear a sword to satisfy the world no.' And in A Wife for a Month :
• I'm sure he did not, for I charged him no.' The interpretation of the passage as pointed in the text is ‘Yet does not reason challenge or incite her to accuse me?—no, (answers the speaker), for my authority bears off,' &c.
5 Credent, creditable, not questionable.
8 Dr. Johnson thought the fourth Act should end here, 'for here is properly a cessation of action, a night intervenes, and the place is changed between the passages of this scene and those of the next. The fifth Act, beginning with the following scene, would proceed without any interruption of time or place.'
SCENE V. Fields without the Town.
Enter Duke in his own habit, and Friar PETER. Duke. These letters at fit time deliver me.
Giving letters. The provost knows our purpose, and our plot. The matter being afoot, keep your instruction, And hold you ever to our special drift; Though sometimes you do blench1 from this to that, As cause doth minister, Go, call at Flavius' house, And tell him where I stay: give the like notice To Valentinus, Rowland, and to Crassus, And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate; But send me Flavius first. F. Peter.
It shall be speeded well.
[Exit Friar. Enter VARRIUS. Duke. I thank thee, Varrius; thou hast made
good haste: Come, we will walk : There's other of our friends Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius.
SCENE VI. Street near the City Gate.
Enter ISABELLA and MARIANA. Isab. To speak so indirectly, I am loath; I would
the truth; but to accuse him so, That is your part: Yet I'm advis’d to do it; He says, to 'vailfull?
Be rul'd by him. Isab. Besides, he tells me, that, if peradventure He speak against me on the adverse side, 1 To blench, to start off, to fly off.
I should not think it strange; for 'tis a physick,
Mari. I would, friar Peter-
0, Peace; the friar is come.
Enter Friar PETER3. F. Peter. Come, I have found you out a stand
most fit, Where you may
have such vantage on the duke, He shall not pass you; Twice have the trumpets
SCENE I. A publick Place near the City Gate. MARIANA (veild), ISABELLA, and Peter, at a
distance. Enter at opposite doors, Duke, VARRIUS, Lords; ANGELO, ESCALUS, Lucio, Provost, Officers, and Citizens.
Duke. My very worthy cousin, fairly met:Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you. Ang. and Escal. Happy return be to your royal
grace! Duke. Many and hearty thankings to you both. We have made inquiry of you; and we hear Such goodness of your justice, that our soul
3 He is called friar Thomas in the first Act. 4 Generous, for most noble, or those of rank. Generosi, Lat. 5 i.e. seized, laid hold on, from the Saxon hentan.