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MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
PERSONS OF THE DRAMA.
VINCENTIO, duke of Vienna.
Froth, a foolish gentleman.
BERNARDINE, a dissolute prisoner.
ISABELLA, sister to Claudio.
MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo. VARBIUS, & gentleman, servant to the duke. Juliet, beloved by Claudio. Provost,
FRANCISCA, a nun. ,
Mistress OVER-DONE, a bawd. two A Justice.
Lords, Gentlemen, Guards, Officers, and other ELBOW, a simple constable.
For common justice, you are as pregnant in, SCENE I.-An apartment in the Duke's palace. As art and practice hath enriched any,
That we remember: There is our commission, Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants. From which we would not have you warp. Duke. Escalus,
Call hither, Escal. My lord.
I say, bid come before us Angelo. Duke. Of government the properties to unfold,
[Erit an Attendant. Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse; What figure of us, think you, he will bear? Since I am put to know, that your own science For you must know, we have with special soul Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
Elected him our absence to supply; My strength can give you: Then no more re- Lent him our terror, drest him with our love ; mains
And given his deputation all the organs But that to your sufficiency, as your worth is of our own power : What think you of it? able,
Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth And let them work. The nature of our people, To undergo such ample grace and honour, Our city's institutions, and the terms
It is lord Angelo.
To have free speech with you; and it concerns me Enter ANGELO.
To look into the bottom of my place : book, where he comes.
A power I have; but of what strength and naways obedient to your grace's will,
ture I wome know your pleasure.
I am not yet instructed. Duke. Angelo,
Ang. 'i'is so with me:-Let us withdraw There is a kind of character in thy life,
together, That, to the observer, doth thy history
And we may soon our satisfaction have
Escal. I'll wait upon your honour. [Ereunt.
SCENE II.-A street. Not light them for themselves : for if our virtues
Enter Lucio and two Gentlemen. Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, touch'd,
come not to composition with the king of HunBut to fine issues : nor nature never lends gary, why, then all the dukes fall upon the king. The smallest scruple of her excellence,
i Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines the king of Hungary's ! Herself the glory of a creditor,
2 Gent. Amen. Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimoniTo one, that can my part in him advertise; ous pirate, that went to sea with the ten comHold therefore, Angelo;
mandments, but scraped one out of the table. In our remove, be thou at full ourself ;
2 Gent. Thou shalt not steal ? Mortality and mercy in Vienna
Lucio. Ay, that he razed. Live in thy tongue and heart: old Escalus, i Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to comThough first in question, is thy secondary: mand the captain and all the rest from their Take thy commission.
functions; they put forth to steal: There's not Ang. Now, good my lord,
a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving beLet there be some more test made of my metal, fore meat, doth relish the petition well, that Before so noble and so great a figure
prays for peace. Be stamp'd upon it..
2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it. Duke. No more evasion :
Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou neWe have with a leaven's and prepared choice ver wast where grace was said. Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours. 2 Gent. No? a dozen times at least. Our haste from hence is of so quick condition, 1 Gent. What? in metre? That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion’d Lucio. In any proportion, or in any language: Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion. As time and our concernings shall importune, Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite How it goes with us; and do look to know of all controversy : As for example; Thou thyWhat doth befal you here. So, fare you well : self art a wicked villain, despite of all grace. To the hopeful execution do I leave you
i Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers Of your commissions.
between us. Ang. Yet, give leave, my lord,
Lucio. I grant; as there may between the That we may bring you something on the way. lists and the velvet: Thou art the list. Duke. My haste may not admit it;
1 Gent. And thou the velvet: thou art good Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do velvet; thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant With any scruple: your scope is as mine own; thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kerSo to enforce, or qualify the laws,
sey, as be pil'd, as thou art pild, for a French As to your soul seems good. Give me your velvet. Do I speak feelingly now? hand;
Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with I'll privily away: I love the people,
most painful feeling of thy speech: will, out But do not like to stage me to their eyes : of thine own confession, learn to begin thy Though it do well, I do not relish well health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after Their loud applause, and aves vehement ; thee. Nor do I think the man of safe discretion, i Gent. I think, I have done myself wrong; That does affect it. Once more, fare you well. have I not? Ang. The heavens give safety to your pur 2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou poses !
art tainted or free. Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitihappiness.
gation comes ! I have purchased as many diseases Duke. I thank you ; Fare you well. [Erit. under her roof, as come to Escal. I shall désire you, sir, to give me leave 2 Gent. To what, I pray?
ru be your
1 Gent. Judge.
Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in 2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a-year. the suburbs be pull'd down? I Gent. Ay, and more.
Clo. To the ground, mistress. Lucio. A French crown more.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the 1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in commonwealth! What shall become of me? me: but thou art full of error; I am sound. Clo. Come ; fear not you : good counsellors
Lacio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy ; lack no clients : though you change your place, but so sound, as things that are hollow: thy you need not change your trade; bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of tapster still. Courage; there will be pity taken thee.
on you: you, that have worn your eyes almost
out in the service, you will be considered. Enter Bawd.
Bawd. What's to do here, Thomas Tapster? 1 Gent. How now? Which of your hips has Let's withdraw. the most profound sciatica ?
Clo. Here comes signior Claudio, led by the Bawd. Well
, well; there's one yonder arrest- | provost to prison; and there's madam Juliet. ed, and carried to prison, was worth five thou
[Exeunt. sand of you all. I Gent. Who's that, I pray thee?
SCENE III.--The same. Bawd. Marry, sir, that's Claudio, signior Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, Juliet, and Officers ; Claudio. I Gent. Claudio to prison! 'tis not so.
Lucio, and two Gentlemen. Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis so: I saw him Claud. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus arrested; saw him carried away; and, which is to the world? more, within these three days his head's to be Bear me to prison, where I am committed. chopped off.
Prov. I do it not in evil disposition, Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not But from lord Angelo by special charge. have it so: Art thou sure of this?
Claud. Thus can the demi-god, Authority, Baud. I am too sure of it: and it is for get Make us pay down for our offence by weight. ting madam Julietta with child.
The words of heaven ;-on whom it will, it will; Lucio. Believe me, this may þe: he promised On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just. to meet me two hours since, and he was ever Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio whence precise in promise-keeping.
comes this restraint 2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws some Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, thing near to the speech we had to such a pur liberty: pose.
As surfeit is the father of much fast, 1. Gent. But most of all, agreeing, with the So every scope by the immoderate use proclamation.
Turns to restraint: Qur natures do pursue, Lucio. Away; let's go learn the truth of it. (Like rats that ravin down their proper bane;)
[Ereynt Lucio and Gentlemen. A thirsty evil; and, when we drink, we die. Bawd. Thus, what with the war, what with Lucio. If I could speak so wisely under an the sweat, what with the gallows, and what with arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors : poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now? what's And yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the the news with you ?
føppery of freedom, as the morality of imprison
ment.-What's thy offence, Claudio ? Enfer, Clown.
Claud. What, but to speak of would offend Clo. Yonder man is carried to prison. again. Bawd. Well; what has he done?
Lucio, What is it? murder? Clo. A woman.
Claud. One word, good friend :-Lucio, a Clo. No; but there is a woman with maid by word with
you. [ Takes him aside. him: You have not heard of the proclamation, Lucio. A hundred, if they'll do you any good.
Is lechery so look'd after? Bawd. What proelamation, man?
Claud.' Thus stands it with me:-Upon a true Clo. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna contráct must be pluck'd down.
I got possession of Julietta's bed; Bawd. And what shall become of those in the You know the lady; she is fast my wife, city?
Save that we do the denunciation lack Clo. They shall stand for seed: they had Of outward order : this, we came not to, gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in Only for propagation of a dower fax them.
Remaining in the coffer of her friends;
From whom we thought it meet to hide our Duke. My holy sir, none better knows than love,
you Till time had made them for us. But it How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd ; chances,
And held in idle price to haunt assemblies
, The stealth of our most mutual entertainment, Where youth, and cost, and witless bravery keeps With character too gross, is writ on Juliet. I have deliver'd to lord Angelo Lucio. With child, perhaps ?
(A man of stricture, and firm abstinence,) Claud. Unhappily, even so.
My absolute power and place here in Vienna, And the new deputy now for the duke, And he supposes me travell’d to Poland; Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness; For so I have strew'd it in the common ear, Or whether that the body public be
And so it is receiv'd: Now, pious sir, A horse, whereon the governor doth ride, You will demand of me, why I do this? Who, newly in the seat, that it may know Fri. Gladly, my lord. He can command, lets it straight feel the spur: Duke. We have strict statutes, and most biting Whether the tyranny be in his place,
laws, Or in his eminence that fills it up,
(The needful bits and curbs for head-strong I stagger in :-But this new governor
steeds) Awakes me all the enrolled penalties,
Which for these fourteen years we have let sleep; Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave, the wall
That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond fathers So long, that nineteen zodiacks have gone round, Having bound up the threat’ning twigs of birch, And none of them been worn; and, for a name, Only to stick it in their children's sight, Now puts the drowsy and neglected act For terror, not to use; in time the rod Freshly on me:-'tis surely, for a name. Becomes more mock'd than fear'd : so our de Lucio. I warrant, it is: and thy head stands
crees, so tickle on thy shoulders, that a milk-maid, if Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead; she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the And liberty plucks justice by the nose ; duke, and appeal to him.
The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart Claud. I have done so, but he's not to be Goes all decorum. found.
Fri. It rested in your grace I pr’ythee, Lucio, do me this kind service: Tounloose this tied-up justice, when you pleas'd: This day my sister should the cloister enter, And it in you more dreadful would have seem'd, And there receive her approbation :
Than in lord Angelo. Acquaint her with the danger of my state ; Duke. I do fear, too dreadful : Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope, To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him; 'Twould be my tyranny to strike, and gall them I have great hope in that: for in her youth For what I bid them do: For we bid this be done, There is a prone and speechless dialect, When evil deeds have their perinissive pass, Such as moves men; beside, she hath prosper- And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, ous art,
my father, When she will play with reason and discourse, I have on Angelo impos’d the office ; And well she can persuade.
Who may, in the ambush of my name, strike Lucio. I pray, she may; as well for the en home, couragement of the like, which else would stand And yet my nature never in the sight, the under grievous imposition; as for the enjoying To do it slander : And to behold his sway, of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her. Visit both prince and people; therefore, I pr’s. Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio.
thee, Lucio. Within two hours,
Supply me with the habit, and instruct me Claud. Come, officer, away. [Ereunt. How I may formally in person bear me
Like a true friar. More reasons for this action, SCENE IV.-A monastery.
At our more leisure shall I render you ;
Only, this one :-Lord Angelo is precise ;
That his blood flows, or that his appetite Duke. No, holy father; throw away that is more to bread than stone: Hence shall we see, thought;
If power change purpose, what our seemers be. Believe not,
that the dribbling dart of love
SCENE V.-A nunnery.
Enter ISABELLA and FRANCISCA. Fri. May your grace speak of it?
Isab. And have you nuns no further privileges.
Fran. Are not these large enough?
Isab. Some one with child by him ?-My Isab. Yes, truly: I speak not as desiring cousin Juliet ? more;
Lucio. Is she your cousin ? But rather wishing a more strict restraint Isab. Adoptedly; as school-maids change their Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of saint Clare. names, Lucio. Ho! peace be in this place !
By vain, though apt affection.
[Within. Lucio. She it is. Isab. Who's that which calls ?
Isab. O, let him marry her! Fran. It is a man's voice : Gentle Isabella, Lucio. This is the point. Tum you the key, and know his business of him; The duke is very strangely gone from hence; You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn: Bore many gentlemen, myself being one, When you have vow'd, you must not speak with In hand, and hope of action : but we do learn men,
By those that know the very nerves of state, But in the presence of the prioress :
His givings out were of an infinite distance Then, if you speak, you must not show your face; From his true meant design. Upon his place, Or, if you show your face, you must not speak. And with full line of his authority, He calls again ; I pray you, answer him. Governs lord Angelo; a man whose blood
[Exit Francisca. Is very snow broth; one who never feels Isab. Peace and prosperity!Who is't that calls? The wanton stings and motions of the sense ;
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
With profits of the mind, study and fast.
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law, Proclaim you are no less ! Can you so stead me, As mice by lions,) hath pick'd out an act, As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
Under whose heavy sense your brother's life A novice of this place, and the fair sister
Falls into forfeit: he arrests him on it; To her unhappy brother Claudio ?
And follows close the rigour of the statute, Isab. Why her unhappy brother? let me ask; To make him an example: all hope is gone, The rather, for I now must make you know
have the grace by your fair prayer I am that Isabella, and his sister.
To soften Angelo : And that's my pith Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly Of business 'twixt you and your poor brother. greets you :
Isab. Doth he so seek his life? Not to be weary with you, he's in prison.
Lucio. Has censur'd him Isab. Woe me! For what?
Already; and, as I hear, the provost hath
Isab. Alas! what poor ability's in me
Lucio. Assay the power you have.
Isab. My power ! Alas ! 'I doubt,Lucio. It is true.
Lucio. Our doubts are traitors, I would not—though 'tis my familiar sin And make us lose the good we oft might win, With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest, By fearing to attempt : Go to lord Angelo, Tongue far from heart,-play with all virgins so: And let him learn to know, when maidens sue, I hold you as a thing ensky'd, and sainted; Men give like gods; but when they weep and By your renouncement, an immortal spirit;
kneel, And to be talk'd with in sincerity,
All their petitions are as freely theirs As with a saint.
As they themselves would owe them. Isab. You do blaspheme the good, in mock Isab. I'll see what I can do. ing me.
Lucio. But, speedily. Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, Isab. I will about it straight; 'tis thus :
No longer staying but to give the mother Your brother and his lover have embrac'd : Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you : As those that feed grow full; as blossoming time, Commend me to my brother : soon at night That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
I'll send him certain word of my success. To teeming foison ; even so her plenteous womb Lucio. I take my leave of you. Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.
Isab. Good sir, adieu.