Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

Scena Tertia.
Enter Prouost, Claudio, Iuliet, Officers, Lucio, & 2. Gent.
Cla. Fellow, why do'st thou show me thus to th' world?
Beare me to prison, where I am committed.
Pro. I do it not in euill disposition,
210But from Lord Angelo by speciall charge.
Clau. Thus can the demy-god (Authority)
Make vs pay downe, for our offence, by waight
The words of heauen; on whom it will, it will,
On whom it will not (soe) yet still 'tis iust.
215Luc. Why how now Claudio? whence comes this re-
Cla. From too much liberty, (my Lucio) Liberty
As surfet is the father of much fast,
So euery Scope by the immoderate vse
Turnes to restraint: Our Natures doe pursue
220Like Rats that rauyn downe their proper Bane,
A thirsty euill, and when we drinke, we die.
Luc. If I could speake so wisely vnder an arrest, I
would send for certaine of my Creditors: and yet, to say
the truth, I had as lief haue the foppery of freedome, as
225the mortality of imprisonment: what's thy offence,
Cla. What (but to speake of) would offend againe.
Luc. What, is't murder?
Cla. No.
230Luc. Lecherie?
Cla. Call it so.
Pro. Away, Sir, you must goe.
Cla. One word, good friend:
Lucio, a word with you.
235Luc. A hundred:
If they'll doe you any good: Is Lechery so look'd after?
Cla. Thus stands it with me: vpon a true contract
I got possession of Iulietas bed,
You know the Lady, she is fast my wife,
240Saue that we doe the denunciation lacke
Of outward Order. This we came not to,
Onely for propogation of a Dowre
Remaining in the Coffer of her friends,
From whom we thought it meet to hide our Loue
245Till Time had made them for vs. But it chances
The stealth of our most mutuall entertainment
With Character too grosse, is writ on Iuliet.
Luc. With childe, perhaps?
Cla. Vnhappely, euen so.
250And the new Deputie, now for the Duke,
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newnes,
Or whether that the body publique, be
A horse whereon the Gouernor doth ride,
Who newly in the Seate, that it may know
255He can command; lets it strait feele the spur:
Whether the Tirranny be in his place,
Or in his Eminence that fills it vp
I stagger in: But this new Gouernor
Awakes me all the inrolled penalties
260Which haue (like vn-scowr'd Armor) hung by th' wall
So long, that ninteene Zodiacks haue gone round,
And none of them beene worne; and for a name
Now puts the drowsie and neglected Act
Freshly on me: 'tis surely for a name.
265Luc. I warrant it is: And thy head stands so tickle on
thy shoulders, that a milke-maid, if she be in loue, may
sigh it off: Send after the Duke, and appeale to him.
Cla. I haue done so, but hee's not to be found.
I pre'thee ( Lucio) doe me this kinde seruice :
270This day, my sister should the Cloyster enter,
And there receiue her approbation.
Acquaint her with the danger of my state,
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputie: bid her selfe assay him,
275I haue great hope in that: for in her youth
There is a prone and speechlesse dialect,
Such as moue men: beside, she hath prosperous Art
When she will play with reason, and discourse,
And well she can perswade.
280Luc. I pray shee may; aswell for the encouragement
of the like, which else would stand vnder greeuous im-
position: as for the enioying of thy life, who I would be
sorry should bee thus foolishly lost, at a game of ticke-
tacke: Ile to her.
285Cla. I thanke you good friend Lucio.
Luc. Within two houres.
Cla. Come Officer, away.