Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)


82
Measure for Measure.
She would sooner confesse, perchance publikely she'll be
2655asham'd.

Enter Duke, Prouost, Isabella..

Esc. I will goe darkely to worke with her.
Luc. That's the way: for women are light at mid-
night.
2660Esc. Come on Mistris, here's a Gentlewoman,
Denies all that you haue said.
Luc. My Lord, here comes the rascall I spoke of,
Here, with the Prouost.
Esc. In very good time: speake not you to him, till
2665we call vpon you.
Luc. Mum.
Esc. Come Sir, did you set these women on to slan-
der Lord Angelo? they haue confes'd you did.
Duk. 'Tis false.
2670Esc. How? Know you where you are?
Duk. Respect to your great place; and let the diuell
Be sometime honour'd, for his burning throne.
Where is the Duke? 'tis he should heare me speake.
Esc. The Duke's in vs: and we will heare you speake,
2675Looke you speake iustly.
Duk. Boldly, at least. But oh poore soules,
Come you to seeke the Lamb here of the Fox;
Good night to your redresse: Is the Duke gone?
Then is your cause gone too: The Duke's vniust,
2680Thus to retort your manifest Appeale,
And put your triall in the villaines mouth,
Which here you come to accuse.
Luc. This is the rascall: this is he I spoke of.
Esc. Why thou vnreuerend, and vnhallowed Fryer:
2685Is't not enough thou hast suborn'd these women,
To accuse this worthy man? but in foule mouth,
And in the witnesse of his proper eare,
To call him villaine; and then to glance from him,
To th' Duke himselfe, to taxe him with Iniustice?
2690Take him hence; to th' racke with him: we'll towze you
Ioynt by ioynt, but we will know his purpose:
What? vniust?
Duk. Be not so hot: the Duke dare
No more stretch this finger of mine, then he
2695Dare racke his owne : his Subiect am I not,
Nor here Prouinciall: My businesse in this State
Made me a looker on here in Vienna,
Where I haue seene corruption boyle and bubble,
Till it ore-run the Stew : Lawes, for all faults,
2700But faults so countenanc'd, that the strong Statutes
Stand like the forfeites in a Barbers shop,
As much in mocke, as marke.
Esc. Slander to th' State:
Away with him to prison.
2705Ang. What can you vouch against him Signior Lucio?
Is this the man you did tell vs of?
Luc. 'Tis he, my Lord: come hither goodman bald-pate,
doe you know me?
Duk. I remember you Sir, by the sound of your voice,
2710I met you at the Prison, in the absence of the Duke.
Luc. Oh, did you so? and do you remember what you
said of the Duke.
Duk. Most notedly Sir.
Luc. Do you so Sir: And was the Duke a flesh-mon-
2715ger, a foole, and a coward, as you then reported him
to be?
Duk. You must (Sir) change persons with me, ere you
make that my report: you indeede spoke so of him, and
much more, much worse.
2720Luc. Oh thou damnable fellow: did I not plucke thee
by the nose, for thy speeches?
Duk. I protest, I loue the Duke, as I loue my selfe.
Ang. Harke how the villaine would close now, after
his treasonable abuses.
2725Esc. Such a fellow is not to be talk'd withall: Away
with him to prison: Where is the Prouost? away with
him to prison: lay bolts enough vpon him: let him speak
no more: away with those Giglets too, and with the o-
ther confederate companion.
2730Duk. Stay Sir, stay a while.
Ang. What, resists he? helpe him Lucio.
Luc. Come sir, come sir, come sir: foh sir, why you
bald-pated lying rascall : you must be hooded must you?
show your knaues visage with a poxe to you: show your
2735sheepe-biting face, and be hang'd an houre: Will't
not off?
Duk. Thou art the first knaue, that ere mad'st a Duke.
First Prouost, let me bayle these gentle three:
Sneake not away Sir, for the Fryer, and you,
2740Must haue a word anon: lay hold on him.
Luc. This may proue worse then hanging.
Duk. What you haue spoke, I pardon: sit you downe,
We'll borrow place of him; Sir, by your leaue:
Ha'st thou or word, or wit, or impudence,
2745That yet can doe thee office? If thou ha'st
Rely vpon it, till my tale be heard,
And hold no longer out.
Ang. Oh, my dread Lord,
I should be guiltier then my guiltinesse,
2750To thinke I can be vndiscerneable,
When I perceiue your grace, like powre diuine,
Hath look'd vpon my passes. Then good Prince,
No longer Session hold vpon my shame,
But let my Triall, be mine owne Confession:
2755Immediate sentence then, and sequent death,
Is all the grace I beg.
Duk. Come hither Mariana,
Say: was't thou ere contracted to this woman?
Ang. I was my Lord.
2760Duk. Goe take her hence, and marry her instantly.
Doe you the office ( Fryer) which consummate,
Returne him here againe: goe with him Prouost.
Exit.
Esc. My Lord, I am more amaz'd at his dishonor,
Then at the strangenesse of it.
2765Duk. Come hither Isabell,
Your Frier is now your Prince: As I was then
Aduertysing, and holy to your businesse,
(Not changing heart with habit) I am still,
Atturnied at your seruice.
2770Isab. Oh giue me pardon
That I, your vassaile, haue imploid, and pain'd
Your vnknowne Soueraigntie.
Duk. You are pardon'd Isabell:
And now, deere Maide, be you as free to vs.
2775Your Brothers death I know sits at your heart:
And you may maruaile, why I obscur'd my selfe,
Labouring to saue his life: and would not rather
Make rash remonstrance of my hidden powre,
Then let him so be lost: oh most kinde Maid,
2780It was the swift celeritie of his death,
Which I did thinke, with slower foot came on,
That brain'd my purpose: but peace be with him,
That life is better life past fearing death,
Then that which liues to feare: make it your comfort,
So