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Measure for Measure: Act 1, Scene 3

Measure for Measure
Act 1, Scene 3

Vienna. A monastery.

  1. Enter Duke and Friar Peter.

Duke

2 - 7
  1. No; holy father, throw away that thought;
  2. Believe not that the dribbling dart of love
  3. Can pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire thee
  4. To give me secret harbor, hath a purpose
  5. More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends
  6. Of burning youth.

Friar Peter

8
  1.                   May your Grace speak of it?

Duke

9 - 19
  1. My holy sir, none better knows than you
  2. How I have ever lov’d the life removed,
  3. And held in idle price to haunt assemblies
  4. Where youth, and cost, witless bravery keeps.
  5. I have deliver’d to Lord Angelo
  6. (A man of stricture and firm abstinence)
  7. My absolute power and place here in Vienna,
  8. And he supposes me travel’d to Poland
  9. (For so I have strew’d it in the common ear,
  10. And so it is receiv’d). Now, pious sir,
  11. You will demand of me why I do this.

Friar Peter

20
  1. Gladly, my lord.

Duke

21 - 33
  1. We have strict statutes and most biting laws
  2. (The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds),
  3. Which for this fourteen years we have let slip,
  4. Even like an o’ergrown lion in a cave,
  5. That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers,
  6. Having bound up the threat’ning twigs of birch,
  7. Only to stick it in their children’s sight
  8. For terror, not to use, in time the rod
  9. Becomes more mock’d than fear’d; so our decrees,
  10. Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,
  11. And liberty plucks justice by the nose;
  12. The baby beats the nurse, and quite athwart
  13. Goes all decorum.

Friar Peter

34 - 37
  1.                   It rested in your Grace
  2. To unloose this tied-up justice when you pleas’d:
  3. And it in you more dreadful would have seem’d
  4. Than in Lord Angelo.

Duke

38 - 58
  1.                      I do feartoo dreadful;
  2. Sith ’twas my fault to give the people scope,
  3. ’Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall them
  4. For what I bid them do; for we bid this be done,
  5. When evil deeds have their permissive pass,
  6. And not the punishment. Therefore indeed, my father,
  7. I have on Angelo impos’d the office,
  8. Who may, in th’ ambush of my name, strike home,
  9. And yet my nature never in the fight
  10. To do in slander. And to behold his sway,
  11. I will, as ’twere a brother of your order,
  12. Visit both prince and people; therefore I prithee
  13. Supply me with the habit, and instruct me
  14. How I may formally in person bear
  15. Like a true friar. More reasons for this action
  16. At our more leisure shall I render you;
  17. Only, this one: Lord Angelo is precise;
  18. Stands at a guard with envy; scarce confesses
  19. That his blood flows; or that his appetite
  20. Is more to bread than stone: hence shall we see
  21. If power change purpose: what our seemers be.
  1. Exeunt.
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