Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

Measure for Measure.
And doe him right, that answering one foule wrong
860Liues not to act another. Be satisfied;
Your Brother dies to morrow; be content.
Isab. So you must be y first that giues this sentence,
And hee, that suffers: Oh, it is excellent
To haue a Giants strength: but it is tyrannous
865To vse it like a Giant.
Luc. That's well said.
Isab. Could great men thunder
As Ioue himselfe do's, Ioue would neuer be quiet,
For euery pelting petty Officer
870Would vse his heauen for thunder;
Nothing but thunder: Mercifull heauen,
Thou rather with thy sharpe and sulpherous bolt
Splits the vn-wedgable and gnarled Oke,
Then the soft Mertill: But man, proud man,
875Drest in a little briefe authoritie,
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
(His glassie Essence) like an angry Ape
Plaies such phantastique tricks before high heauen,
As makes the Angels weepe: who with our spleenes,
880Would all themselues laugh mortall.
Luc. Oh, to him, to him wench: he will relent,
Hee's comming: I perceiue't.
Pro. Pray heauen she win him.
Isab. We cannot weigh our brother with our selfe,
885Great men may iest with Saints: tis wit in them,
But in the lesse fowle prophanation.
Luc. Thou'rt i'th right (Girle) more o'that.
Isab. That in the Captaine's but a chollericke word,
Which in the Souldier is flat blasphemie.
890Luc. Art auis'd o'that? more on't.
Ang. Why doe you put these sayings vpon me?
Isab. Because Authoritie, though it erre like others,
Hath yet a kinde of medicine in it selfe
That skins the vice o'th top; goe to your bosome,
895Knock there, and aske your heart what it doth know
That's like my brothers fault: if it confesse
A naturall guiltinesse, such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought vpon your tongue
Against my brothers life.
900Ang. Shee speakes, and 'tis such sence
That my Sence breeds with it; fare you well.
Isab. Gentle my Lord, turne backe.
Ang. I will bethinke me: come againe to morrow.
Isa. Hark, how Ile bribe you: good my Lord turn back.
905Ang. How? bribe me?
Is. I, with such gifts that heauen shall share with you.
Luc. You had mar'd all else.
Isab. Not with fond Sickles of the tested-gold,
Or Stones, whose rate are either rich, or poore
910As fancie values them: but with true prayers,
That shall be vp at heauen, and enter there
Ere Sunne rise: prayers from preserued soules,
From fasting Maides, whose mindes are dedicate
To nothing temporall.
915Ang. Well: come to me to morrow.
Luc. Goe to: 'tis well; away.
Isab. Heauen keepe your honour safe.
Ang. Amen.
For I am that way going to temptation,
920Where prayers crosse.
Isab. At what hower to morrow,
Shall I attend your Lordship?
Ang. At any time 'fore-noone.
Isab. 'Saue your Honour.
925Ang. From thee: euen from thy vertue.
What's this? what's this? is this her fault, or mine?
The Tempter, or the Tempted, who sins most? ha?
Not she: nor doth she tempt: but it is I,
That, lying by the Violet in the Sunne,
930Doe as the Carrion do's, not as the flowre,
Corrupt with vertuous season: Can it be,
That Modesty may more betray our Sence
Then womans lightnesse? hauing waste ground enough,
Shall we desire to raze the Sanctuary
935And pitch our euils there? oh fie, fie, fie:
What dost thou? or what art thou Angelo?
Dost thou desire her fowly, for those things
That make her good? oh, let her brother liue :
Theeues for their robbery haue authority,
940When Iudges steale themselues: what, doe I loue her,
That I desire to heare her speake againe?
And feast vpon her eyes? what is't I dreame on?
Oh cunning enemy, that to catch a Saint,
With Saints dost bait thy hooke: most dangerous
945Is that temptation, that doth goad vs on
To sinne, in louing vertue: neuer could the Strumpet
With all her double vigor, Art, and Nature
Once stir my temper: but this vertuous Maid
Subdues me quite: Euer till now
950When men were fond, I smild, and wondred how.

Scena Tertia.

Enter Duke and Prouost.
Duke. Haile to you, Prouost, so I thinke you are.
Pro. I am the Prouost: whats your will, good Frier?
955Duke. Bound by my charity, and my blest order,
I come to visite the afflicted spirits
Here in the prison: doe me the common right
To let me see them: and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
960To them accordingly.
Pro. I would do more then that, if more were needfull
Enter Iuliet.
Looke here comes one: a Gentlewoman of mine,
Who falling in the flawes of her owne youth,
965Hath blisterd her report: She is with childe,
And he that got it, sentenc'd: a yong man,
More fit to doe another such offence,
Then dye for this.
Duk. When must he dye?
970Pro. As I do thinke to morrow.
I haue prouided for you, stay a while
And you shall be conducted.
Duk. Repent you (faire one) of the sin you carry?
Iul. I doe; and beare the shame most patiently.
975Du. Ile teach you how you shal araign your conscieñce
And try your penitence, if it be sound,
Or hollowly put on.
Iul. Ile gladly learne.
Duk. Loue you the man that wrong'd you?
980Iul. Yes, as I loue the woman that wrong'd him.
Duk. So then it seemes your most offence full act
Was mutually committed.
Iul. Mutually.
Duk. Then was your sin of heauier kinde then his.
985Iul. I doe confesse it, and repent it (Father.)
Du. 'Tis