Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

Measure for Measure.
Another thing to fall: I not deny
470The Iury passing on the Prisoners life
May in the sworne-twelue haue a thiefe, or two
Guiltier then him they try; what's open made to Iustice,
That Iustice ceizes; What knowes the Lawes
That theeues do passe on theeues? 'Tis very pregnant,
475The Iewell that we finde, we stoope, and take't,
Because we see it; but what we doe not see,
We tread vpon, and neuer thinke of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence,
For I haue had such faults; but rather tell me
480When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine owne Iudgement patterne out my death,
And nothing come in partiall. Sir, he must dye.
Enter Prouost.
Esc. Be it as your wisedome will.
485Ang. Where is the Prouost?
Pro. Here if it like your honour.
Ang. See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to morrow morning,
Bring him his Confessor, let him be prepar'd,
490For that's the vtmost of his pilgrimage.
Esc. Well: heauen forgiue him; and forgiue vs all :
Some rise by sinne, and some by vertue fall:
Some run from brakes of Ice, and answere none,
And some condemned for a fault alone.
Enter Elbow, Froth, Clowne, Officers.
Elb. Come, bring them away: if these be good peo-
ple in a Common-weale, that doe nothing but vse their
abuses in common houses, I know no law : bring them
500Ang. How now Sir, what's your name? And what's
the matter?
Elb. If it please your honour, I am the poore Dukes
Constable, and my name is Elbow; I doe leane vpon Iu-
stice Sir, and doe bring in here before your good honor,
505two notorious Benefactors.
Ang. Benefactors? Well: What Benefactors are they?
Are they not Malefactors?
Elb. If it please your honour, I know not well what
they are: But precise villaines they are, that I am sure of,
510and void of all prophanation in the world, that good
Christians ought to haue.
Esc. This comes off well: here's a wise Officer.
Ang. Goe to: What quality are they of? Elbow is
your name?
515Why do'st thou not speake Elbow?
Clo. He cannot Sir: he's out at Elbow.
Ang. What are you Sir?
Elb. He Sir: a Tapster Sir: parcell Baud: one that
serues a bad woman: whose house Sir was (as they say)
520pluckt downe in the Suborbs: and now shee professes a
hot-house; which, I thinke is a very ill house too.
Esc. How know you that?
Elb. My wife Sir? whom I detest before heauen, and
your honour.
525Esc. How? thy wife?
Elb. I Sir: whom I thanke heauen is an honest wo-
Esc. Do'st thou detest her therefore?
Elb. I say sir, I will detest my selfe also, as well as she,
530that this house, if it be not a Bauds house, it is pitty of her
life, for it is a naughty house.
Esc. How do'st thou know that, Constable?
Elb. Marry sir, by my wife, who, if she had bin a wo-
man Cardinally giuen, might haue bin accus'd in forni-
535cation, adultery, and all vncleanlinesse there.
Esc. By the womans meanes?
Elb. I sir, by Mistris Ouer-dons meanes: but as she spit
in his face, so she defide him.
Clo. Sir, if it please your honor, this is not so.
540Elb. Proue it before these varlets here, thou honora-
ble man, proue it.
Esc. Doe you heare how he misplaces?
Clo. Sir, she came in great with childe: and longing
(sauing your honors reuerence) for stewd prewyns; sir,
545we had but two in the house, which at that very distant
time stood, as it were in a fruit dish (a dish of some three
pence; your honours haue seene such dishes) they are not
China-dishes, but very good dishes.
Esc. Go too: go too: no matter for the dish sir.
550Clo. No indeede sir not of a pin; you are therein in
the right: but, to the point: As I say, this Mistris Elbow,
being (as I say) with childe, and being great bellied, and
longing (as I said) for prewyns: and hauing but two in
the dish (as I said) Master Froth here, this very man, ha-
555uing eaten the rest (as I said) & (as I say) paying for them
very honestly: for, as you know Master Froth, I could not
giue you three pence againe.
Fro. No indeede.
Clo. Very well: you being then (if you be remem-
560bred) cracking the stones of the foresaid prewyns.
Fro. I, so I did indeede.
Clo. Why, very well: I telling you then (if you be
remembred) that such a one, and such a one, were past
cure of the thing you wot of, vnlesse they kept very good
565diet, as I told you.
Fro. All this is true.
Clo. Why very well then.
Esc. Come: you are a tedious foole: to the purpose:
what was done to Elbowes wife, that hee hath cause to
570complaine of? Come me to what was done to her.
Clo. Sir, your honor cannot come to that yet.
Esc. No sir, nor I meane it not.
Clo. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honours
leaue: And I beseech you, looke into Master Froth here
575sir, a man of foure-score pound a yeare; whose father
died at Hallowmas: Was't not at Hallowmas Master
Fro. Allhallond-Eue.
Clo. Why very well: I hope here be truthes: he Sir,
580sitting (as I say) in a lower chaire, Sir, 'twas in the bunch
of Grapes, where indeede you haue a delight to sit, haue
you not?
Fro. I haue so, because it is an open roome, and good
for winter.
585Clo. Why very well then: I hope here be truthes.
Ang. This will last out a night in Russia
When nights are longest there: Ile take my leaue,
And leaue you to the hearing of the cause;
Hoping youle finde good cause to whip them all.
590Esc. I thinke no lesse: good morrow to your Lord-
ship. Now Sir, come on: What was done to Elbowes
wife, once more?
Clo. Once Sir? there was nothing done to her once.
Elb. I beseech you Sir, aske him what this man did to
595my wife.
Clo. I beseech your honor, aske me.
Esc. Well sir, what did this Gentleman to her?
Clo. I beseech you sir, looke in this Gentlemans face:
good Master Froth looke vpon his honor; 'tis for a good
600purpose: doth your honor marke his face?
Esc. I