Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

Measure for Measure.
Abh. I Sir, a Misterie.
Clo. Painting Sir, I haue heard say, is a Misterie; and
1890your Whores sir, being members of my occupation, v-
sing painting, do proue my Occupation, a Misterie: but
what Misterie there should be in hanging, if I should
be hang'd, I cannot imagine.
Abh. Sir, it is a Misterie.
1895Clo. Proofe.
Abh. Euerie true mans apparrell fits your Theefe.
Clo. If it be too little for your theefe, your true man
thinkes it bigge enough. If it bee too bigge for your
Theefe, your Theefe thinkes it little enough: So euerie
1900true mans apparrell fits your Theefe.
Enter Prouost.
Pro. Are you agreed?
Clo. Sir, I will serue him: For I do finde your Hang-
man is a more penitent Trade then your Bawd: he doth
1905oftner aske forgiuenesse.
Pro. You sirrah, prouide your blocke and your Axe
to morrow, foure a clocke.
Abh. Come on (Bawd) I will instruct thee in my
Trade: follow.
1910Clo. I do desire to learne sir: and I hope, if you haue
occasion to vse me for your owne turne, you shall finde
me y'are. For truly sir, for your kindnesse, I owe you a
good turne.
Pro. Call hether Barnardine and Claudio:
1915Th' one has my pitie; not a iot the other,
Being a Murtherer, though he were my brother.
Enter Claudio.
Looke, here's the Warrant Claudio, for thy death,
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to morrow
1920Thou must be made immortall. Where's Barnardine?
Cla. As fast lock'd vp in sleepe, as guiltlesse labour,
When it lies starkely in the Trauellers bones,
He will not wake.
Pro. Who can do good on him?
1925Well, go, prepare your selfe. But harke, what noise?
Heauen giue your spirits comfort: by, and by,
I hope it is some pardon, or repreeue
For the most gentle Claudio. Welcome Father.

Enter Duke.
1930Duke. The best, and wholsomst spirits of the night,
Inuellop you, good Prouost: who call'd heere of late?
Pro. None since the Curphew rung.
Duke. Not Isabell?
Pro. No.
1935Duke. They will then er't be long.
Pro. What comfort is for Claudio?
Duke. There's some in hope.
Pro. It is a bitter Deputie.
Duke. Not so, not so: his life is paralel'd
1940Euen with the stroke and line of his great Iustice:
He doth with holie abstinence subdue
That in himselfe, which he spurres on his powre
To qualifie in others: were he meal'd with that
Which he corrects, then were he tirrannous,
1945But this being so, he's iust. Now are they come.
This is a gentle Prouost, sildome when
The steeled Gaoler is the friend of men:
How now? what noise? That spirit's possest with hast,
That wounds th' vnsisting Posterne with these strokes.
1950Pro. There he must stay vntil the Officer
Arise to let him in: he is call'd vp.
Duke. Haue you no countermand for Claudio yet?
But he must die to morrow?
Pro. None Sir, none.
1955Duke. As neere the dawning Prouost, as it is,
You shall heare more ere Morning.
Pro. Happely
You something know: yet I beleeue there comes
No countermand: no such example haue we:
1960Besides, vpon the verie siege of Iustice,
Lord Angelo hath to the publike eare
Profest the contrarie.
Enter a Messenger.
Duke. This is his Lords man.
1965Pro. And heere comes Claudio's pardon.
Mess. My Lord hath sent you this note,
And by mee this further charge;
That you swerue not from the smallest Article of it,
Neither in time, matter, or other circumstance.
1970Good morrow: for as I take it, it is almost day.
Pro. I shall obey him.
Duke. This is his Pardon purchas'd by such sin,
For which the Pardoner himselfe is in:
Hence hath offence his quicke celeritie,
1975When it is borne in high Authority.
When Vice makes Mercie; Mercie's so extended,
That for the faults loue, is th' offender friended.
Now Sir, what newes?
Pro. I told you:
1980Lord Angelo (be-like) thinking me remisse
In mine Office, awakens mee
With this vnwonted putting on, methinks strangely:
For he hath not vs'd it before.
Duk. Pray you let's heare.
The Letter.
Whatsoeuer you may heare to the contrary, let Claudio be ex-
ecuted by foure of the clocke, and in the afternoone Bernar-
dine: For my better satisfaction, let mee haue Claudios
head sent me by fiue. Let this be duely performed with a
1990 thought that more depends on it, then we must yet deliuer.
Thus faile not to doe your Office, as you will answere it at
your perill.
What say you to this Sir?
Duke. What is that Barnardine, who is to be execu-
1995ted in th' afternoone?
Pro. A Bohemian borne: But here nurst vp & bred,
One that is a prisoner nine yeeres old.
Duke. How came it, that the absent Duke had not
either deliuer'd him to his libertie, or executed him? I
2000haue heard it was euer his manner to do so.
Pro. His friends still wrought Repreeues for him:
And indeed his fact till now in the gouernment of Lord
Angelo, came not to an vndoubtfull proofe.
Duke. It is now apparant?
2005Pro. Most manifest, and not denied by himselfe.
Duke. Hath he borne himselfe penitently in prison?
How seemes he to be touch'd?
Pro. A man that apprehends death no more dread-
fully, but as a drunken sleepe, carelesse, wreaklesse, and
2010fearelesse of what's past, present, or to come: insensible
of mortality, and desperately mortall.
Duke. He wants aduice.
Pro. He wil heare none: he hath euermore had the li-
berty of the prison: giue him leaue to escape hence, hee
2015would not. Drunke many times a day, if not many daies
entirely drunke. We haue verie oft awak'd him, as if to
carrie him to execution, and shew'd him a seeming war-
rant for it, it hath not moued him at all.