Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)
  • Editor: Kristin Lucas

  • Copyright Kristin Lucas. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Kristin Lucas
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

    Actus Quartus. Scoena Prima.
    Enter Mariana, and Boy singing.
    1770 Song. Take, oh take those lips away,
    that so sweetly were forsworne,
    And those eyes: the breake of day
    lights that doe mislead the Morne;
    But my kisses bring againe, bring againe,
    1775Seales of loue, but seal'd in vaine, seal'd in vaine.
    Enter Duke.
    Mar. Breake off thy song, and haste thee quick away,
    Here comes a man of comfort, whose aduice
    Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.
    1780I cry you mercie, Sir, and well could wish
    You had not found me here so musicall.
    Let me excuse me, and beleeue me so,
    My mirth it much displeas'd, but pleas'd my woe.
    Duk. 'Tis good; though Musick oft hath such a charme
    1785To make bad, good; and good prouoake to harme.
    I pray you tell me, hath any body enquir'd for mee here
    to day; much vpon this time haue I promis'd here to
    Mar. You haue not bin enquir'd after: I haue sat
    1790here all day.
    Enter Isabell.
    Duk. I doe constantly beleeue you: the time is come
    euen now. I shall craue your forbearance a little, may be
    I will call vpon you anone for some aduantage to your
    Mar. I am alwayes bound to you.
    Duk. Very well met, and well come:
    What is the newes from this good Deputie?
    Isab. He hath a Garden circummur'd with Bricke,
    1800Whose westerne side is with a Vineyard back't;
    And to that Vineyard is a planched gate,
    That makes his opening with this bigger Key:
    This other doth command a little doore,
    Which from the Vineyard to the Garden leades,
    1805There haue I made my promise, vpon the
    Heauy midle of the night, to call vpon him.
    Duk. But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
    Isab. I haue t'ane a due, and wary note vpon't,
    With whispering, and most guiltie diligence,
    1810In action all of precept, he did show me
    The way twice ore.
    Duk. Are there no other tokens
    Betweene you 'greed, concerning her obseruance?
    Isab. No: none but onely a repaire ith' darke,
    1815And that I haue possest him, my most stay
    Can be but briefe: for I haue made him know,
    I haue a Seruant comes with me along
    That staies vpon me; whose perswasion is,
    I come about my Brother.
    1820Duk. 'Tis well borne vp.
    I haue not yet made knowne to Mariana
    Enter Mariana.
    A word of this: what hoa, within; come forth,
    I pray you be acquainted with this Maid,
    1825She comes to doe you good.
    Isab. I doe desire the like.
    Duk. Do you perswade your selfe that I respect you?
    Mar. Good Frier, I know you do, and haue found it.
    Duke. Take then this your companion by the hand
    1830Who hath a storie readie for your eare:
    I shall attend your leisure, but make haste
    The vaporous night approaches.
    Mar. Wilt please you walke aside.
    Duke. Oh Place, and greatnes: millions of false eies
    1835Are stucke vpon thee: volumes of report
    Run with these false, and most contrarious Quest
    Vpon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit
    Make thee the father of their idle dreame,
    And racke thee in their fancies. Welcome, how agreed?
    Enter Mariana and Isabella.
    Isab. Shee'll take the enterprize vpon her father,
    If you aduise it.
    Duke. It is not my consent,
    But my entreaty too.
    1845Isa. Little haue you to say
    When you depart from him, but soft and low,
    Remember now my brother.
    Mar. Feare me not.
    Duk. Nor gentle daughter, feare you not at all:
    1850He is your husband on a pre-contract:
    To bring you thus together 'tis no sinne,
    Sith that the Iustice of your title to him
    Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let vs goe,
    Our Corne's to reape, for yet our Tithes to sow.