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  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Measure for Measure. 81
    Of a strange Feauor: vpon his meere request
    Being come to knowledge, that there was complaint
    2525Intended 'gainst Lord Angelo, came I hether
    To speake as from his mouth, what he doth know
    Is true, and false: And what he with his oath
    And all probation will make vp full cleare
    Whensoeuer he's conuented: First for this woman,
    2530To iustifie this worthy Noble man
    So vulgarly and personally accus'd,
    Her shall you heare disproued to her eyes,
    Till she her selfe confesse it.
    Duk. Good Frier, let's heare it:
    2535Doe you not smile at this, Lord Angelo?
    Oh heauen, the vanity of wretched fooles.
    Giue vs some seates, Come cosen Angelo,
    In this I'll be impartiall: be you Iudge
    Of your owne Cause: Is this the Witnes Frier?

    2540Enter Mariana.

    First, let her shew your face, and after, speake.
    Mar. Pardon my Lord, I will not shew my face
    Vntill my husband bid me.
    Duke. What, are you married?
    2545Mar. No my Lord.
    Duke. Are you a Maid?
    Mar. No my Lord.
    Duk. A Widow then?
    Mar. Neither, my Lord.
    2550Duk. Why you are nothing then: neither Maid, Wi-
    dow, nor Wife?
    Luc. My Lord, she may be a Puncke: for many of
    them, are neither Maid, Widow, nor Wife.
    Duk. Silence that fellow: I would he had some cause
    2555to prattle for himselfe.
    Luc. Well my Lord.
    Mar. My Lord, I doe confesse I nere was married,
    And I confesse besides, I am no Maid,
    I haue known my husband, yet my husband
    2560Knowes not, that euer he knew me.
    Luc. He was drunk then, my Lord, it can be no better.
    Duk. For the benefit of silence, would thou wert so to.
    Luc. Well, my Lord.
    Duk. This is no witnesse for Lord Angelo.
    2565Mar. Now I come to't, my Lord.
    Shee that accuses him of Fornication,
    In selfe-same manner, doth accuse my husband,
    And charges him, my Lord, with such a time,
    When I'le depose I had him in mine Armes
    2570With all th' effect of Loue.
    Ang. Charges she moe then me?
    Mar. Not that I know.
    Duk. No? you say your husband.
    Mar. Why iust, my Lord, and that is Angelo,
    2575Who thinkes he knowes, that he nere knew my body,
    But knows, he thinkes, that he knowes Isabels.
    Ang. This is a strange abuse: Let's see thy face.
    Mar. My husband bids me, now I will vnmaske.
    This is that face, thou cruell Angelo
    2580Which once thou sworst, was worth the looking on:
    This is the hand, which with a vowd contract
    Was fast belockt in thine: This is the body
    That tooke away the match from Isabell,
    And did supply thee at thy garden-house
    2585In her Imagin'd person.
    Duke. Know you this woman?
    Luc. Carnallie she saies.
    Duk. Sirha, no more.
    Luc. Enoug my Lord.
    2590Ang. My Lord, I must confesse, I know this woman,
    And fiue yeres since there was some speech of marriage
    Betwixt my selfe, and her: which was broke off,
    Partly for that her promis'd proportions
    Came short of Composition: But in chiefe
    2595For that her reputation was dis-valued
    In leuitie: Since which time of fiue yeres
    I neuer spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her
    Vpon my faith, and honor.
    Mar. Noble Prince,
    2600As there comes light from heauen, and words frō breath,
    As there is sence in truth, and truth in vertue,
    I am affianced this mans wife, as strongly
    As words could make vp vowes: And my good Lord,
    But Tuesday night last gon, in's garden house,
    2605He knew me as a wife. As this is true,
    Let me in safety raise me from my knees,
    Or else for euer be confixed here
    A Marble Monument.
    Ang. I did but smile till now,
    2610Now, good my Lord, giue me the scope of Iustice,
    My patience here is touch'd: I doe perceiue
    These poore informall women, are no more
    But instruments of some more mightier member
    That sets them on. Let me haue way, my Lord
    2615To finde this practise out.
    Duke. I, with my heart,
    And punish them to your height of pleasure.
    Thou foolish Frier, and thou pernicious woman
    Compact with her that's gone: thinkst thou, thy oathes,
    2620Though they would swear downe each particular Saint,
    Were testimonies against his worth, and credit
    That's seald in approbation? you, Lord Escalus
    Sit with my Cozen, lend him your kinde paines
    To finde out this abuse, whence 'tis deriu'd.
    2625There is another Frier that set them on,
    Let him be sent for.
    Peter. Would he were here, my Lord, for he indeed
    Hath set the women on to this Complaint;
    Your Prouost knowes the place where he abides,
    2630And he may fetch him.
    Duke. Goe, doe it instantly:
    And you, my noble and well-warranted Cosen
    Whom it concernes to heare this matter forth,
    Doe with your iniuries as seemes you best
    2635In any chastisement; I for a while
    Will leaue you; but stir not you till you haue
    Well determin'd vpon these Slanderers. Exit.
    Esc. My Lord, wee'll doe it throughly: Signior Lu-
    cio, did not you say you knew that Frier Lodowick to be a
    2640dishonest person?
    Luc. Cucullus non facit Monachum, honest in nothing
    but in his Clothes, and one that hath spoke most villa-
    nous speeches of the Duke.
    Esc. We shall intreat you to abide heere till he come,
    2645and inforce them against him: we shall finde this Frier a
    notable fellow.
    Luc. As any in Vienna, on my word.
    Esc. Call that same Isabell here once againe, I would
    speake with her: pray you, my Lord, giue mee leaue to
    2650question, you shall see how Ile handle her.
    Luc. Not better then he, by her owne report.
    Esc. Say you?
    Luc. Marry sir, I thinke, if you handled her priuately