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A nunnery.
A nunnery.
Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA
ISABELLA and FRANCISCA enter.

ISABELLA
And have you nuns no farther privileges?
ISABELLA
And so you nuns have no other privileges?

FRANCISCA
Are not these large enough?
FRANCISCA
Aren’t these enough?



5
ISABELLA
Yes, truly; I speak not as desiring more;
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.
ISABELLA
Oh, yes. I didn’t mean I wanted more freedom. Actually, I wish there were even more restrictions on the Saint Claire sisterhood.

LUCIO
[Within] Ho! Peace be in this place!
LUCIO
(offstage) Hello! Peace to this place!

ISABELLA
Who’s that which calls?
ISABELLA
Who’s that?



10




15
FRANCISCA
It is a man’s voice. Gentle Isabella,
Turn you the key, and know his business of him;
You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn.
When you have vow’d, you must not speak with men
But in the presence of the priore
Then, if you speak, you must not show your face,
Or, if you show your face, you must not speak.
He calls again; I pray you, answer him.
FRANCISCA
It’s a man’s voice. Isabella, unlock the door and ask him what he wants. I can’t, but you can, since you haven’t taken your vows yet. Once you have, you’ll only be able to speak with men in the presence of the Mother Superior. Then, if you speak, you mustn’t show your face. Or if you show your face, you mustn’t speak. He’s calling again. Please answer him.
Exit
She exits.

ISABELLA
Peace and prosperity! Who is’t that calls
ISABELLA
Peace and prosperity! Who’s there?
Enter LUCIO
LUCIO enters.




20
LUCIO
Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses
Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me
As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
A novice of this place and the fair sister
To her unhappy brother Claudio?
LUCIO
Well, hello, virgin—if you are one, as your rosy cheeks proclaim you to be. Can you help me to find Isabella, a novice here and the pretty sister to Claudio, her unlucky brother?