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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Scena Quarta.
    Enter Angelo & Escalus.
    Esc. Euery Letter he hath writ, hath disuouch'd other.
    An. In most vneuen and distracted manner, his actions
    2275show much like to madnesse, pray heauen his wisedome
    bee not tainted: and why meet him at the gates and de-
    liuer our authorities there?
    Esc. I ghesse not.
    Ang. And why should wee proclaime it in an howre
    2280before his entring, that if any craue redresse of iniustice,
    they should exhibit their petitions in the street?
    Esc. He showes his reason for that: to haue a dispatch
    of Complaints, and to deliuer vs from deuices heere-
    after, which shall then haue no power to stand against
    Ang. Well: I beseech you let it bee proclaim'd be-
    times i'th' morne, Ile call you at your house: giue notice
    to such men of sort and suite as are to meete him.
    Esc. I shall sir: fareyouwell.
    2290Ang. Good night.
    This deede vnshapes me quite, makes me vnpregnant
    And dull to all proceedings. A deflowred maid,
    And by an eminent body, that enforc'd
    The Law against it? But that her tender shame
    2295Will not proclaime against her maiden losse,
    How might she tongue me? yet reason dares her no,
    For my Authority beares of a credent bulke,
    That no particular scandall once can touch
    But it confounds the breather. He should haue liu'd,
    2300Saue that his riotous youth with dangerous sense
    Might in the times to come haue ta'ne reuenge
    By so receiuing a dishonor'd life
    With ransome of such shame: would yet he had liued.
    Alack, when once our grace we haue forgot,
    2305Nothing goes right, we would, and we would not.