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Most strange! But yet most truly will I speak

Isabella, kneeling
Justice, O royal duke. Vail your regard
Upon a wronged—I would fain have said, a maid.
O worthy prince, dishonor not your eye
By throwing it on any other object
Till you have heard me in my true complaint
And given 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.

Nay, it is ten times true, for truth is truth
To th' end of reck'ning.

Isabella
O worthy duke,
You bid me seek redemption of the devil.
Hear me yourself, for that which I must speak
Must either punish me, not being believed,
Or wring redress from you. Hear me, O hear me, here.
Angelo
My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm.
She hath been a suitor to me for her brother
Cut off by course of justice.
Isabella, standing
By course of justice!
Angelo
And she will speak most bitterly and strange.
Isabella
Most strange! But yet most truly will I speak:
That Angelo's forsworn, is it not strange?
That Angelo's a murderer, is't not strange?
That Angelo is an adulterous thief,
An hypocrite, a virgin-violator,
Is it not strange? And strange?
Duke
Nay, it is ten times strange.
Isabella
It is not truer he is Angelo
Than this is all as true as it is strange;
Nay, it is ten times true, for truth is truth
To th' end of reck'ning.
Duke
Away with her. Poor soul,
She speaks this in th’ infirmity of sense.
Isabella
O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believest
There is another comfort than this world,
That thou neglect me not with that opinion
That I am touched with madness. Make not impossible
That which but seems unlike. ’Tis not impossible
But one, the wicked’st caitiff on the ground,
May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute
As Angelo. Even so may Angelo,
In all his dressings, caracts, titles, forms,
Be an archvillain. 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 oddest frame of sense,
Such a dependency of thing on thing,
As e’er I heard in madness.
Isabella
O 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,
And hide the false seems true.
Duke
Many that are not mad
Have, sure, more lack of reason.

Source:
Act 5
Scene 1
Line 22

Source Type:

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