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    Not Peer Reviewed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)

    Measure for Measure. 83
    2785So happy is your Brother.
    Enter Angelo, Maria, Peter, Prouost.
    Isab. I doe my Lord.
    Duk. For this new-maried man, approaching here,
    Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd
    2790Your well defended honor: you must pardon
    For Mariana's sake: But as he adiudg'd your Brother,
    Being criminall, in double violation
    Of sacred Chastitie, and of promise-breach,
    Thereon dependant for your Brothers life,
    2795The very mercy of the Law cries out
    Most audible, euen from his proper tongue.
    An Angelo for Claudio, death for death :
    Haste still paies haste, and leasure, answers leasure;
    Like doth quit like, and Measure still for Measure:
    2800Then Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested;
    Which though thou would'st deny, denies thee vantage.
    We doe condemne thee to the very Blocke
    Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like haste.
    Away with him.
    2805Mar. Oh my most gracious Lord,
    I hope you will not mocke me with a husband?
    Duk. It is your husband mock't you with a husband,
    Consenting to the safe-guard of your honor,
    I thought your marriage fit: else Imputation,
    2810For that he knew you, might reproach your life,
    And choake your good to come: For his Possessions,
    Although by confutation they are ours;
    We doe en-state, and widow you with all,
    To buy you a better husband.
    2815Mar. Oh my deere Lord,
    I craue no other, nor no better man.
    Duke. Neuer craue him, we are definitiue.
    Mar. Gentle my Liege.
    Duke. You doe but loose your labour.
    2820Away with him to death: Now Sir, to you.
    Mar. Oh my good Lord, sweet Isabell, take my part,
    Lend me your knees, and all my life to come,
    I'll lend you all my life to doe you seruice.
    Duke. Against all sence you doe importune her,
    2825Should she kneele downe, in mercie of this fact,
    Her Brothers ghost, his paued bed would breake,
    And take her hence in horror.
    Mar. Isabell:
    Sweet Isabel, doe yet but kneele by me,
    2830Hold vp your hands, say nothing: I'll speake all.
    They say best men are moulded out of faults,
    And for the most, become much more the better
    For being a little bad: So may my husband.
    Oh Isabel: will you not lend a knee?
    2835Duke. He dies for Claudio's death.
    Isab. Most bounteous Sir.
    Looke if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
    As if my Brother liu'd: I partly thinke,
    A due sinceritie gouerned his deedes,
    2840Till he did looke on me: Since it is so,
    Let him not die: my Brother had but Iustice,
    In that he did the thing for which he dide.
    For Angelo, his Act did not ore-take his bad intent,
    And must be buried but as an intent
    2845That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subiects
    Intents, but meerely thoughts.
    Mar. Meerely my Lord.
    Duk. Your suite's vnprofitable: stand vp I say:
    I haue bethought me of another fault.
    2850Prouost, how came it Claudio was beheaded
    At an vnusuall howre?
    Pro. It was commanded so.
    Duke. Had you a speciall warrant for the deed?
    Pro. No my good Lord: it was by priuate message.
    2855Duk. For which I doe discharge you of your office,
    Giue vp your keyes.
    Pro. Pardon me, noble Lord,
    I thought it was a fault, but knew it not,
    Yet did repent me after more aduice,
    2860For testimony whereof, one in the prison
    That should by priuate order else haue dide,
    I haue reseru'd aliue.
    Duk. What's he?
    Pro. His name is Barnardine.
    2865Duke. I would thou hadst done so by Claudio:
    Goe fetch him hither, let me looke vpon him.
    Esc. I am sorry, one so learned, and so wise
    As you, Lord Angelo, haue stil appear'd,
    Should slip so grosselie, both in the heat of bloud
    2870And lacke of temper'd iudgement afterward.
    Ang. I am sorrie, that such sorrow I procure,
    And so deepe sticks it in my penitent heart,
    That I craue death more willingly then mercy,
    'Tis my deseruing, and I doe entreat it.
    2875Enter Barnardine and Prouost, Claudio, Iulietta.
    Duke. Which is that Barnardine?
    Pro. This my Lord.
    Duke. There was a Friar told me of this man.
    Sirha, thou art said to haue a stubborne soule
    2880That apprehends no further then this world,
    And squar'st thy life according: Thou'rt condemn'd,
    But for those earthly faults, I quit them all,
    And pray thee take this mercie to prouide
    For better times to come: Frier aduise him,
    2885I leaue him to your hand. What muffeld fellow's that?
    Pro. This is another prisoner that I sau'd,
    Who should haue di'd when Claudio lost his head,
    As like almost to Claudio, as himselfe.
    Duke. If he be like your brother, for his sake
    2890Is he pardon'd, and for your louelie sake
    Giue me your hand, and say you will be mine,
    He is my brother too: But fitter time for that:
    By this Lord Angelo perceiues he's safe,
    Methinkes I see a quickning in his eye:
    2895Well Angelo, your euill quits you well.
    Looke that you loue your wife: her worth, worth yours
    I finde an apt remission in my selfe:
    And yet heere's one in place I cannot pardon,
    You sirha, that knew me for a foole, a Coward,
    2900One all of Luxurie, an asse, a mad man:
    Wherein haue I so deseru'd of you
    That you extoll me thus?
    Luc. 'Faith my Lord, I spoke it but according to the
    trick: if you will hang me for it you may: but I had ra-
    2905ther it would please you, I might be whipt.
    Duke. Whipt first, sir, and hang'd after.
    Proclaime it Prouost round about the Citie,
    If any woman wrong'd by this lewd fellow
    (As I haue heard him sweare himselfe there's one
    2910whom he begot with childe) let her appeare,
    And he shall marry her: the nuptiall finish'd,
    Let him be whipt and hang'd.
    Luc. I beseech your Highnesse doe not marry me to
    a Whore: your Highnesse said euen now I made you a
    2915Duke, good my Lord do not recompence me, in making
    me a Cuckold.
    Duk. Vpon