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Measure for Measure: Act I, Scene 4

Measure for Measure
Act I, Scene 4

Vienna. A nunnery.

  1. Enter Isabel and Francisca, a nun.

Isabella

1
  1. And have you nuns no farther privileges?

Francisca

2
  1. Are not these large enough?

Isabella

3 - 5
  1. Yes, truly; I speak not as desiring more,
  2. But rather wishing a more strict restraint
  3. Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.

Lucio

6
  1. Within.
  2. Ho! Peace be in this place!

Isabella

7
  1.                             Who’s that which calls?

Francisca

8 - 15
  1. It is a man’s voice. Gentle Isabella,
  2. Turn you the key, and know his business of him;
  3. You may, I may not; you are yet unsworn.
  4. When you have vow’d, you must not speak with men
  5. But in the presence of the prioress;
  6. Then if you speak, you must not show your face,
  7. Or if you show your face, you must not speak.
  8. He calls again; I pray you answer him.
  1. Exit.

Isabella

16
  1. Peace and prosperity! Who is’t that calls?
  1. Enter Lucio.

Lucio

17 - 21
  1. Hail, virgin, if you be, as those cheek-roses
  2. Proclaim you are no less! Can you so stead me
  3. As bring me to the sight of Isabella,
  4. A novice of this place, and the fair sister
  5. To her unhappy brother Claudio?

Isabella

22 - 24
  1. Why her unhappy brother”? Let me ask,
  2. The rather for I now must make you know
  3. I am that Isabella, and his sister.

Lucio

25 - 26
  1. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets you.
  2. Not to be weary with you, he’s in prison.

Isabella

27
  1. Woe me! For what?

Lucio

28 - 30
  1. For that which, if myself might be his judge,
  2. He should receive his punishment in thanks:
  3. He hath got his friend with child.

Isabella

31
  1. Sir, make me not your story.

Lucio

32 - 39
  1.                              ’Tis true.
  2. I would notthough ’tis my familiar sin
  3. With maids to seem the lapwing, and to jest,
  4. Tongue far from heartplay with all virgins so.
  5. I hold you as a thing enskied, and sainted,
  6. By your renouncement an immortal spirit,
  7. And to be talk’d with in sincerity,
  8. As with a saint.

Isabella

40
  1. You do blaspheme the good in mocking me.

Lucio

41 - 46
  1. Do not believe it. Fewness and truth, ’tis thus:
  2. Your brother and his lover have embrac’d.
  3. As those that feed grow full, as blossoming time
  4. That from the seedness the bare fallow brings
  5. To teeming foison, even so her plenteous womb
  6. Expresseth his full tilth and husbandry.

Isabella

47
  1. Some one with child by him? My cousin Juliet?

Lucio

48
  1. Is she your cousin?

Isabella

49 - 50
  1. Adoptedly, as school-maids change their names
  2. By vain though apt affection.

Lucio

51
  1.                               She it is.

Isabella

52
  1. O, let him marry her.

Lucio

53 - 75
  1.                       This is the point.
  2. The Duke is very strangely gone from hence;
  3. Bore many gentlemen (myself being one)
  4. In hand, and hope of action; but we do learn
  5. By those that know the very nerves of state,
  6. His givings-out were of an infinite distance
  7. From his true-meant design. Upon his place,
  8. And with full line of his authority,
  9. Governs Lord Angelo, a man whose blood
  10. Is very snow-broth; one who never feels
  11. The wanton stings and motions of the sense;
  12. But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge
  13. With profits of the mind: study and fast.
  14. He (to give fear to use and liberty,
  15. Which have for long run by the hideous law,
  16. As mice by lions) hath pick’d out an act,
  17. Under whose heavy sense your brother’s life
  18. Falls into forfeit; he arrests him on it,
  19. And follows close the rigor of the statute,
  20. To make him an example. All hope is gone,
  21. Unless you have the grace by your fair prayer
  22. To soften Angelo. And that’s my pith
  23. Of business ’twixt you and your poor brother.

Isabella

76
  1. Doth he so seek his life?

Lucio

77 - 79
  1.                           H’as censur’d him
  2. Already, and as I hear, the Provost hath
  3. A warrant for ’s execution.

Isabella

80 - 81
  1. Alas, what poor ability’s in me
  2. To do him good!

Lucio

82
  1.                 Assay the pow’r you have.

Isabella

83
  1. My power? Alas, I doubt

Lucio

84 - 90
  1.                          Our doubts are traitors,
  2. And makes us lose the good we oft might win,
  3. By fearing to attempt. Go to Lord Angelo,
  4. And let him learn to know, when maidens sue,
  5. Men give like gods; but when they weep and kneel,
  6. All their petitions are as freely theirs
  7. As they themselves would owe them.

Isabella

91
  1. I’ll see what I can do.

Lucio

92
  1.                         But speedily.

Isabella

93 - 97
  1. I will about it straight;
  2. No longer staying but to give the Mother
  3. Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you.
  4. Commend me to my brother. Soon at night
  5. I’ll send him certain word of my success.

Lucio

98
  1. I take my leave of you.

Isabella

99
  1.                         Good sir, adieu.
  1. Exeunt severally.
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