Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

Measure for Measure.
After him (Fellowes) bring him to the blocke.
Pro. Now Sir, how do you finde the prisoner?
Duke. A creature vnpre-par'd, vnmeet for death,
And to transport him in the minde he is,
2150Were damnable.
Pro. Heere in the prison, Father,
There died this morning of a cruell Feauor,
One Ragozine, a most notorious Pirate,
A man of Claudio's yeares: his beard, and head
2155Iust of his colour. What if we do omit
This Reprobate, til he were wel enclin'd,
And satisfie the Deputie with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?
Duke. Oh, 'tis an accident that heauen prouides:
2160Dispatch it presently, the houre drawes on
Prefixt by Angelo: See this be done,
And sent according to command, whiles I
Perswade this rude wretch willingly to die.
Pro. This shall be done (good Father) presently:
2165But Barnardine must die this afternoone,
And how shall we continue Claudio,
To saue me from the danger that might come,
If he were knowne aliue?
Duke. Let this be done,
2170Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio,
Ere twice the Sun hath made his iournall greeting
To yond generation, you shal finde
Your safetie manifested.
Pro. I am your free dependant.
2175Duke. Quicke, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo
Now wil I write Letters to Angelo,
(The Prouost he shal beare them) whose contents
Shal witnesse to him I am neere at home:
And that by great Iniunctions I am bound
2180To enter publikely : him Ile desire
To meet me at the consecrated Fount,
A League below the Citie: and from thence,
By cold gradation, and weale-ballanc'd forme.
We shal proceed with Angelo.
Enter Prouost.
Pro. Heere is the head, Ile carrie it my selfe.
Duke. Conuenient is it: Make a swift returne,
For I would commune with you of such things,
That want no eare but yours.
2190Pro. Ile make all speede.
Isabell within.
Isa. Peace hoa, be heere.
Duke. The tongue of Isabell. She's come to know,
If yet her brothers pardon be come hither:
2195But I will keepe her ignorant of her good,
To make her heauenly comforts of dispaire,
When it is least expected.
Enter Isabella.
Isa. Hoa, by your leaue.
2200Duke. Good morning to you, faire, and gracious
Isa. The better giuen me by so holy a man,
Hath yet the Deputie sent my brothers pardon?
Duke. He hath releasd him, Isabell, from the world,
2205His head is off, and sent to Angelo.
Isa. Nay, but it is not so.
Duke. It is no other,
Shew your wisedome daughter in your close patience.
Isa. Oh, I wil to him, and plucke out his eies.
2210Duk. You shal not be admitted to his sight.
Isa. Vnhappie Claudio, wretched Isabell,
Iniurious world, most damned Angelo.
Duke. This nor hurts him, nor profits you a iot,
Forbeare it therefore, giue your cause to heauen,
2215Marke what I say, which you shal finde
By euery sillable a faithful veritie.
The Duke comes home to morrow: nay drie your eyes,
One of our Couent, and his Confessor
Giues me this instance: Already he hath carried
2220Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
Who do prepare to meete him at the gates,
There to giue vp their powre: If you can pace your wis-
In that good path that I would wish it go,
And you shal haue your bosome on this wretch,
2225Grace of the Duke, reuenges to your heart,
And general Honor.
Isa. I am directed by you.
Duk. This Letter then to Friar Peter giue,
'Tis that he sent me of the Dukes returne:
2230Say, by this token, I desire his companie
At Mariana's house to night. Her cause, and yours
Ile perfect him withall, and he shal bring you
Before the Duke; and to the head of Angelo
Accuse him home and home. For my poore selfe,
2235I am combined by a sacred Vow,
And shall be absent. Wend you with this Letter :
Command these fretting waters from your eies
With a light heart; trust not my holie Order
If I peruert your course: whose heere?
Enter Lucio.
Luc. Good' euen;
Frier, where's the Prouost?
Duke. Not within Sir.
Luc. Oh prettie Isabella, I am pale at mine heart, to
2245see thine eyes so red: thou must be patient; I am faine
to dine and sup with water and bran: I dare not for my
head fill my belly. One fruitful Meale would set mee
too't: but they say the Duke will be heere to Morrow.
By my troth Isabell I lou'd thy brother, if the olde fan-
2250tastical Duke of darke corners had bene at home, he had
Duke. Sir, the Duke is marueilous little beholding
to your reports, but the best is, he liues not in them.
Luc. Friar, thou knowest not the Duke so wel as I
2255do: he's a better woodman then thou tak'st him for.
Duke. Well: you'l answer this one day. Fare ye well.
Luc. Nay tarrie, Ile go along with thee,
I can tel thee pretty tales of the Duke.
Duke. You haue told me too many of him already sir
2260if they be true: if not true, none were enough.
Lucio. I was once before him for getting a Wench
with childe.
Duke. Did you such a thing?
Luc. Yes marrie did I; but I was faine to forswear it,
2265They would else haue married me to the rotten Medler.
Duke. Sir your company is fairer then honest, rest you
Lucio. By my troth Ile go with thee to the lanes end:
if baudy talke offend you, wee'l haue very litle of it: nay
2270Friar, I am a kind of Burre, I shal sticke.

Scena Quarta.

Enter Angelo & Escalus.
Esc. Euery Letter he hath writ, hath disuouch'd other.