Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Kristin Lucas, Herbert Weil
Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

Measure for Measure.
Luc. Sir, I know him, and I loue him.
Duke. Loue talkes with better knowledge, & know-
ledge with deare loue.
Luc. Come Sir, I know what I know.
1640Duke. I can hardly beleeue that, since you know not
what you speake. But if euer the Duke returne (as our
praiers are he may) let mee desire you to make your an-
swer before him: if it bee honest you haue spoke, you
haue courage to maintaine it; I am bound to call vppon
1645you, and I pray you your name?
Luc. Sir my name is Lucio, wel known to the Duke.
Duke. He shall know you better Sir, if I may liue to
report you.
Luc. I feare you not.
1650Duke. O, you hope the Duke will returne no more:
or you imagine me to vnhurtfull an opposite: but indeed
I can doe you little harme: You'll for-sweare this a-
Luc. Ile be hang'd first: Thou art deceiu'd in mee
1655Friar. But no more of this: Canst thou tell if Claudio
die to morrow, or no?
Duke. Why should he die Sir?
Luc. Why? For filling a bottle with a Tunne-dish:
I would the Duke we talke of were return'd againe: this
1660vngenitur'd Agent will vn-people the Prouince with
Continencie. Sparrowes must not build in his house-
eeues, because they are lecherous: The Duke yet would
haue darke deeds darkelie answered, hee would neuer
bring them to light: would hee were return'd. Marrie
1665this Claudio is condemned for vntrussing. Farwell good
Friar, I prethee pray for me: The Duke (I say to thee
againe) would eate Mutton on Fridaies. He's now past
it, yet (and I say to thee) hee would mouth with a beg-
gar, though she smelt browne-bread and Garlicke: say
1670that I said so: Farewell.
Duke. No might, nor greatnesse in mortality
Can censure scape: Back-wounding calumnie
The whitest vertue strikes. What King so strong,
Can tie the gall vp in the slanderous tong?
1675But who comes heere?
Enter Escalus, Prouost, and Bawd.
Esc. Go, away with her to prison.
Bawd. Good my Lord be good to mee, your Honor
is accounted a mercifull man: good my Lord.
1680Esc. Double, and trebble admonition, and still for-
feite in the same kinde? This would make mercy sweare
and play the Tirant.
Pro. A Bawd of eleuen yeares continuance, may it
please your Honor.
1685Bawd. My Lord, this is one Lucio's information a-
gainst me, Mistris Kate Keepe-downe was with childe by
him in the Dukes time, he promis'd her marriage: his
Childe is a yeere and a quarter olde come Philip and Ia-
cob: I haue kept it my selfe; and see how hee goes about
1690to abuse me.
Esc. That fellow is a fellow of much License: Let
him be call'd before vs, Away with her to prison: Goe
too, no more words. Prouost, my Brother Angelo will
not be alter'd, Claudio must die to morrow: Let him be
1695furnish'd with Diuines, and haue all charitable prepara-
tion. If my brother wrought by my pitie, it should not
be so with him.
Pro. So please you, this Friar hath beene with him,
and aduis'd him for th' entertainment of death.
1700Esc. Good' euen, good Father.
Duke. Blisse, and goodnesse on you.
Esc. Of whence are you?
Duke. Not of this Countrie, though my chance is now
To vse it for my time: I am a brother
1705Of gracious Order, late come from the Sea,
In speciall businesse from his Holinesse.
Esc. What newes abroad i'th World?
Duke. None, but that there is so great a Feauor on
goodnesse, that the dissolution of it must cure it. No-
1710ueltie is onely in request, and as it is as dangerous to be
aged in any kinde of course, as it is vertuous to be con-
stant in any vndertaking. There is scarse truth enough
aliue to make Societies secure, but Securitie enough to
make Fellowships accurst: Much vpon this riddle runs
1715the wisedome of the world: This newes is old enough,
yet it is euerie daies newes. I pray you Sir, of what dis-
position was the Duke?
Esc. One, that aboue all other strifes,
Contended especially to know himselfe.
1720Duke. What pleasure was he giuen to?
Esc. Rather reioycing to see another merry, then
merrie at anie thing which profest to make him reioice.
A Gentleman of all temperance. But leaue wee him to
his euents, with a praier they may proue prosperous, &
1725let me desire to know, how you finde Claudio prepar'd?
I am made to vnderstand, that you haue lent him visita-
Duke. He professes to haue receiued no sinister mea-
sure from his Iudge, but most willingly humbles him-
1730selfe to the determination of Iustice: yet had he framed
to himselfe (by the instruction of his frailty) manie de-
ceyuing promises of life, which I (by my good leisure)
haue discredited to him, and now is he resolu'd to die.
Esc. You haue paid the heauens your Function, and
1735the prisoner the verie debt of your Calling. I haue la-
bour'd for the poore Gentleman, to the extremest shore
of my modestie, but my brother-Iustice haue I found so
seuere, that he hath forc'd me to tell him, hee is indeede
1740Duke. If his owne life,
Answere the straitnesse of his proceeding,
It shall become him well: wherein if he chance to faile
he hath sentenc'd himselfe.
Esc I am going to visit the prisoner, Fare you well.
1745Duke. Peace be with you.
He who the sword of Heauen will beare,
Should be as holy, as seueare:
Patterne in himselfe to know,
Grace to stand, and Vertue go:
1750More, nor lesse to others paying,
Then by selfe-offences weighing.
Shame to him, whose cruell striking,
Kils for faults of his owne liking:
Twice trebble shame on Angelo,
1755To vveede my vice, and let his grow.
Oh, what may Man within him hide,
Though Angel on the outward side?
How may likenesse made in crimes,
Making practise on the Times,
1760To draw with ydle Spiders strings
Most ponderous and substantiall things?
Craft against vice, I must applie.
With Angelo to night shall lye
His old betroathed (but despised:)
1765So disguise shall by th' disguised
Pay with falshood, false exacting,
And performe an olde contracting.