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Measure for Measure: Act I, Scene 2

Measure for Measure
Act I, Scene 2

Vienna. A street.

  1. Enter Lucio and two other Gentlemen.

Lucio

1 - 3
  1. If the Duke with the other dukes come not to composition
  2. with the King of Hungary, why then all the dukes fall upon
  3. the King.

First Gentleman

4
  1. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary’s!

Second Gentleman

5
  1. Amen.

Lucio

6 - 8
  1. Thou conclud’st like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to
  2. sea with the Ten Commandments, but scrap’d one out of the
  3. table.

Second Gentleman

9
  1. Thou shalt not steal”?

Lucio

10
  1. Ay, that he raz’d.

First Gentleman

11 - 14
  1. Why, ’twas a commandment to command the captain and all the
  2. rest from their functions; they put forth to steal. There’s
  3. not a soldier of us all, that in the thanksgiving before
  4. meat, do relish the petition well that prays for peace.

Second Gentleman

15
  1. I never heard any soldier dislike it.

Lucio

16 - 17
  1. I believe thee; for I think thou never wast where grace was
  2. said.

Second Gentleman

18
  1. No? A dozen times at least.

First Gentleman

19
  1. What? In meter?

Lucio

20
  1. In any proportion, or in any language.

First Gentleman

21
  1. I think, or in any religion.

Lucio

22 - 24
  1. Ay, why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy; as
  2. for example, thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of
  3. all grace.

First Gentleman

25
  1. Well; there went but a pair of shears between us.

Lucio

26 - 27
  1. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet. Thou
  2. art the list.

First Gentleman

28 - 31
  1. And thou the velvetthou art good velvet; thou’rt a
  2. three-pil’d piece, I warrant thee. I had as lief be a list
  3. of an English kersey as be pil’d, as thou art pil’d, for a
  4. French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?

Lucio

32 - 35
  1. I think thou dost; and indeed with most painful feeling of
  2. thy speech. I will, out of thine own confession, learn to
  3. begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after
  4. thee.

First Gentleman

36
  1. I think I have done myself wrong, have I not?

Second Gentleman

37
  1. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art tainted or free.
  1. Enter Bawd Mistress Overdone.

Lucio

38
  1. Behold, behold, where Madam Mitigation comes!

First Gentleman

39
  1. I have purchas’d as many diseases under her roof as come to

Second Gentleman

40
  1. To what, I pray?

Lucio

41
  1. Judge.

Second Gentleman

42
  1. To three thousand dolors a year.

First Gentleman

43
  1. Ay, and more.

Lucio

44
  1. A French crown more.

First Gentleman

45 - 46
  1. Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou art full
  2. of error, I am sound.

Lucio

47 - 49
  1. Nay, not (as one would say) healthy; but so sound as things
  2. that are hollow.
  3. Thy bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee.

First Gentleman

50
  1. How now, which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?

Mistress Overdone

51 - 52
  1. Well, well; there’s one yonder arrested and carried to
  2. prison was worth five thousand of you all.

Second Gentleman

53
  1. Who’s that, I pray thee?

Mistress Overdone

54
  1. Marry, sir, that’s Claudio, Signior Claudio.

First Gentleman

55
  1. Claudio to prison? ’Tis not so.

Mistress Overdone

56 - 58
  1. Nay, but I know ’tis so. I saw him arrested; saw him carried
  2. away; and which is more, within these three days his head to
  3. be chopp’d off.

Lucio

59 - 60
  1. But after all this fooling, I would not have it so. Art thou
  2. sure of this?

Mistress Overdone

61 - 62
  1. I am too sure of it; and it is for getting Madam Julietta
  2. with child.

Lucio

63 - 64
  1. Believe me, this may be. He promis’d to meet me two hours
  2. since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.

Second Gentleman

65 - 66
  1. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we
  2. had to such a purpose.

First Gentleman

67
  1. But most of all agreeing with the proclamation.

Lucio

68
  1. Away! Let’s go learn the truth of it.
  1. Exit with Gentlemen.

Mistress Overdone

69 - 71
  1. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the
  2. gallows, and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk.
  3. Enter Clown Pompey.
  4. How now? What’s the news with you?

Pompey

72
  1. Yonder man is carried to prison.

Mistress Overdone

73
  1. Well; what has he done?

Pompey

74
  1. A woman.

Mistress Overdone

75
  1. But what’s his offense?

Pompey

76
  1. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

Mistress Overdone

77
  1. What? Is there a maid with child by him?

Pompey

78 - 79
  1. No; but there’s a woman with maid by him. You have not heard
  2. of the proclamation, have you?

Mistress Overdone

80
  1. What proclamation, man?

Pompey

81
  1. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be pluck’d down.

Mistress Overdone

82
  1. And what shall become of those in the city?

Pompey

83 - 84
  1. They shall stand for seed. They had gone down too, but that
  2. a wise burgher put in for them.

Mistress Overdone

85 - 86
  1. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull’d
  2. down?

Pompey

87
  1. To the ground, mistress.

Mistress Overdone

88 - 89
  1. Why, here’s a change indeed in the commonwealth! What shall
  2. become of me?

Pompey

90 - 94
  1. Come; fear not you; good counsellors lack no clients. Though
  2. you change your place, you need not change your trade; I’ll
  3. be your tapster still. Courage! There will be pity taken on
  4. you. You that have worn your eyes almost out in the service,
  5. you will be consider’d.

Mistress Overdone

95
  1. What’s to do here, Thomas tapster? Let’s withdraw.

Pompey

96 - 97
  1. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the Provost to prison;
  2. and there’s Madam Juliet.
  1. Exeunt.
  1. Enter Provost, Claudio, Juliet, Officers.

Claudio

98 - 99
  1. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to th’ world?
  2. Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

Provost

100 - 101
  1. I do it not in evil disposition,
  2. But from Lord Angelo by special charge.

Claudio

102 - 105
  1. Thus can the demigod, Authority,
  2. Make us pay down for our offense by weight
  3. The words of heaven: on whom it will, it will;
  4. On whom it will not, so; yet still ’tis just.
  1. Enter Lucio and two Gentlemen.

Lucio

106
  1. Why, how now, Claudio? Whence comes this restraint?

Claudio

107 - 112
  1. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty:
  2. As surfeit is the father of much fast,
  3. So every scope by the immoderate use
  4. Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue,
  5. Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,
  6. A thirsty evil, and when we drink we die.

Lucio

113 - 116
  1. If I could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for
  2. certain of my creditors; and yet, to say the truth, I had as
  3. lief have the foppery of freedom as the mortality of
  4. imprisonment. What’s thy offense, Claudio?

Claudio

117
  1. What but to speak of would offend again.

Lucio

118
  1. What, is’t murder?

Claudio

119
  1. No.

Lucio

120
  1. Lechery?

Claudio

121
  1. Call it so.

Provost

122
  1. Away, sir, you must go.

Claudio

123
  1. One word, good friend. Lucio, a word with you.

Lucio

124 - 125
  1. A hundred! If they’ll do you any good.
  2. Is lechery so look’d after?

Claudio

126 - 136
  1. Thus stands it with me: upon a true contract
  2. I got possession of Julietta’s bed.
  3. You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
  4. Save that we do the denunciation lack
  5. Of outward order. This we came not to,
  6. Only for propagation of a dow’r
  7. Remaining in the coffer of her friends,
  8. From whom we thought it meet to hide our love
  9. Till time had made them for us. But it chances
  10. The stealth of our most mutual entertainment
  11. With character too gross is writ on Juliet.

Lucio

137
  1. With child, perhaps?

Claudio

138 - 153
  1.                      Unhappily, even so.
  2. And the new deputy now for the Duke
  3. Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness,
  4. Or whether that the body public be
  5. A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
  6. Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
  7. He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
  8. Whether the tyranny be in his place,
  9. Or in his eminence that fills it up,
  10. I stagger inbut this new governor
  11. Awakes me all the enrolled penalties
  12. Which have, like unscour’d armor, hung by th’ wall
  13. So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round
  14. And none of them been worn; and for a name
  15. Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
  16. Freshly on me’tis surely for a name.

Lucio

154 - 156
  1. I warrant it is; and thy head stands so tickle on thy
  2. shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love, may sigh it
  3. off. Send after the Duke, and appeal to him.

Claudio

157 - 168
  1. I have done so, but he’s not to be found.
  2. I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
  3. This day my sister should the cloister enter,
  4. And there receive her approbation.
  5. Acquaint her with the danger of my state;
  6. Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
  7. To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him.
  8. I have great hope in that; for in her youth
  9. There is a prone and speechless dialect,
  10. Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous art
  11. When she will play with reason and discourse,
  12. And well she can persuade.

Lucio

169 - 172
  1. I pray she may; as well for the encouragement of the like,
  2. which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the
  3. enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus
  4. foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I’ll to her.

Claudio

173
  1. I thank you, good friend Lucio.

Lucio

174
  1. Within two hours.

Claudio

175
  1.                   Come, officer, away!
  1. Exeunt.
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