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Measure for Measure: Act II, Scene 2

Measure for Measure
Act II, Scene 2

Another room in Angelo’s house.

  1. Enter Provost, Servant.

Servant

1 - 2
  1. He’s hearing of a cause; he will come straight.
  2. I’ll tell him of you.

Provost

3 - 8
  1.                       Pray you do.
  2. Exit Servant.
  3.              I’ll know
  4. His pleasure, may be he will relent. Alas,
  5. He hath but as offended in a dream!
  6. All sects, all ages smack of this vice, and he
  7. To die for’t!
  1. Enter Angelo.

Angelo

9
  1.               Now, what’s the matter, Provost?

Provost

10
  1. Is it your will Claudio shall die tomorrow?

Angelo

11 - 12
  1. Did not I tell thee yea? Hadst thou not order?
  2. Why dost thou ask again?

Provost

13 - 16
  1.                          Lest I might be too rash.
  2. Under your good correction, I have seen
  3. When, after execution, judgment hath
  4. Repented o’er his doom.

Angelo

17 - 19
  1.                         Go to; let that be mine.
  2. Do you your office, or give up your place,
  3. And you shall well be spar’d.

Provost

20 - 22
  1.                               I crave your honor’s pardon.
  2. What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
  3. She’s very near her hour.

Angelo

23 - 24
  1.                           Dispose of her
  2. To some more fitter place; and that with speed.
  1. Enter Servant.

Servant

25 - 26
  1. Here is the sister of the man condemn’d
  2. Desires access to you.

Angelo

27
  1.                        Hath he a sister?

Provost

28 - 30
  1. Ay, my good lord, a very virtuous maid,
  2. And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
  3. If not already.

Angelo

31 - 34
  1. Well; let her be admitted.
  2. Exit Servant.
  3. See you the fornicatress be remov’d.
  4. Let her have needful but not lavish means;
  5. There shall be order for’t.
  1. Enter Lucio and Isabella.

Provost

35
  1.                             ’Save your honor!

Angelo

36 - 37
  1. Stay a little while.
  2. To Isabella.
  3.                      Y’ are welcome; what’s your will?

Isabella

38 - 39
  1. I am a woeful suitor to your honor,
  2. Please but your honor hear me.

Angelo

40
  1.                                Well; what’s your suit?

Isabella

41 - 45
  1. There is a vice that most I do abhor,
  2. And most desire should meet the blow of justice;
  3. For which I would not plead, but that I must;
  4. For which I must not plead, but that I am
  5. At war ’twixt will and will not.

Angelo

46
  1.                                  Well; the matter?

Isabella

47 - 49
  1. I have a brother is condemn’d to die;
  2. I do beseech you let it be his fault,
  3. And not my brother.

Provost

50
  1. Aside.
  2. Heaven give thee moving graces!

Angelo

51 - 55
  1. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?
  2. Why, every fault’s condemn’d ere it be done.
  3. Mine were the very cipher of a function,
  4. To fine the faults whose fine stands in record,
  5. And let go by the actor.

Isabella

56 - 57
  1.                          O just but severe law!
  2. I had a brother then. Heaven keep your honor!

Lucio

58 - 62
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2. Give’t not o’er so. To him again, entreat him,
  3. Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
  4. You are too cold. If you should need a pin,
  5. You could not with more tame a tongue desire it;
  6. To him, I say!

Isabella

63
  1. Must he needs die?

Angelo

64
  1.                    Maiden, no remedy.

Isabella

65 - 66
  1. Yes; I do think that you might pardon him,
  2. And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.

Angelo

67
  1. I will not do’t.

Isabella

68
  1.                  But can you if you would?

Angelo

69
  1. Look what I will not, that I cannot do.

Isabella

70 - 72
  1. But might you do’t, and do the world no wrong,
  2. If so your heart were touch’d with that remorse
  3. As mine is to him?

Angelo

73
  1.                    He’s sentenc’d; ’tis too late.

Lucio

74
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2. You are too cold.

Isabella

75 - 84
  1. Too late? Why, no; I that do speak a word
  2. May call it again. Well, believe this,
  3. No ceremony that to great ones ’longs,
  4. Not the king’s crown, nor the deputed sword,
  5. The marshal’s truncheon, nor the judge’s robe,
  6. Become them with one half so good a grace
  7. As mercy does.
  8. If he had been as you, and you as he,
  9. You would have slipp’d like him, but he, like you,
  10. Would not have been so stern.

Angelo

85
  1.                               Pray you be gone.

Isabella

86 - 89
  1. I would to heaven I had your potency,
  2. And you were Isabel! Should it then be thus?
  3. No; I would tell what ’twere to be a judge,
  4. And what a prisoner.

Lucio

90
  1. Aside to Isabella.
  2.                      Ay, touch him; there’s the vein.

Angelo

91 - 92
  1. Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
  2. And you but waste your words.

Isabella

93 - 100
  1.                               Alas, alas!
  2. Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once,
  3. And He that might the vantage best have took
  4. Found out the remedy. How would you be
  5. If He, which is the top of judgment, should
  6. But judge you as you are? O, think on that,
  7. And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
  8. Like man new made.

Angelo

101 - 104
  1.                    Be you content, fair maid,
  2. It is the law, not I, condemn your brother.
  3. Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son,
  4. It should be thus with him: he must die tomorrow.

Isabella

105 - 111
  1. Tomorrow? O, that’s sudden! Spare him, spare him!
  2. He’s not prepar’d for death. Even for our kitchens
  3. We kill the fowl of season. Shall we serve heaven
  4. With less respect than we do minister
  5. To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you:
  6. Who is it that hath died for this offense?
  7. There’s many have committed it.

Lucio

112
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2.                                 Ay, well said.

Angelo

113 - 122
  1. The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.
  2. Those many had not dar’d to do that evil
  3. If the first that did th’ edict infringe
  4. Had answer’d for his deed. Now ’tis awake,
  5. Takes note of what is done, and like a prophet
  6. Looks in a glass that shows what future evils,
  7. Either now, or by remissness new conceiv’d,
  8. And so in progress to be hatch’d and born,
  9. Are now to have no successive degrees,
  10. But here they live, to end.

Isabella

123
  1.                             Yet show some pity.

Angelo

124 - 129
  1. I show it most of all when I show justice;
  2. For then I pity those I do not know,
  3. Which a dismiss’d offense would after gall,
  4. And do him right that, answering one foul wrong,
  5. Lives not to act another. Be satisfied;
  6. Your brother dies tomorrow; be content.

Isabella

130 - 133
  1. So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
  2. And he, that suffers. O, it is excellent
  3. To have a giant’s strength; but it is tyrannous
  4. To use it like a giant.

Lucio

134
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2.                         That’s well said.

Isabella

135 - 148
  1. Could great men thunder
  2. As Jove himself does, Jove would never be quiet,
  3. For every pelting, petty officer
  4. Would use his heaven for thunder,
  5. Nothing but thunder! Merciful heaven,
  6. Thou rather with thy sharp and sulfurous bolt
  7. Splits the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
  8. Than the soft myrtle; but man, proud man,
  9. Dress’d in a little brief authority,
  10. Most ignorant of what he’s most assur’d
  11. (His glassy essence), like an angry ape
  12. Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
  13. As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
  14. Would all themselves laugh mortal.

Lucio

149 - 150
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2. O, to him, to him, wench! He will relent.
  3. He’s coming; I perceive’t.

Provost

151
  1. Aside.
  2.                            Pray heaven she win him!

Isabella

152 - 154
  1. We cannot weigh our brother with ourself.
  2. Great men may jest with saints; ’tis wit in them,
  3. But in the less foul profanation.

Lucio

155
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2. Thou’rt i’ th’ right, girl, more o’ that.

Isabella

156 - 157
  1. That in the captain’s but a choleric word,
  2. Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

Lucio

158
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2. Art avis’d o’ that? More on’t.

Angelo

159
  1. Why do you put these sayings upon me?

Isabella

160 - 167
  1. Because authority, though it err like others,
  2. Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
  3. That skins the vice o’ th’ top. Go to your bosom,
  4. Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know
  5. That’s like my brother’s fault. If it confess
  6. A natural guiltiness such as is his,
  7. Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
  8. Against my brother’s life.

Angelo

168 - 169
  1. Aside.
  2.                            She speaks, and ’tis
  3. Such sense that my sense breeds with it.—Fare you well.

Isabella

170
  1. Gentle my lord, turn back.

Angelo

171
  1. I will bethink me. Come again tomorrow.

Isabella

172
  1. Hark how I’ll bribe you. Good my lord, turn back.

Angelo

173
  1. How? Bribe me?

Isabella

174
  1. Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.

Lucio

175
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2. You had marr’d all else.

Isabella

176 - 182
  1. Not with fond sicles of the tested gold,
  2. Or stones, whose rate are either rich or poor
  3. As fancy values them; but with true prayers,
  4. That shall be up at heaven, and enter there
  5. Ere sun-rise, prayers from preserved souls,
  6. From fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate
  7. To nothing temporal.

Angelo

183
  1.                      Well; come to me tomorrow.

Lucio

184
  1. Aside to Isabella
  2. Go to; ’tis well. Away!

Isabella

185
  1. Heaven keep your honor safe!

Angelo

186 - 188
  1. Aside.
  2.                              Amen!
  3. For I am that way going to temptation,
  4. Where prayers cross.

Isabella

189 - 190
  1.                      At what hour tomorrow
  2. Shall I attend your lordship?

Angelo

191
  1.                               At any time ’fore noon.

Isabella

192
  1. ’Save your honor!
  1. Exeunt Isabella, Lucio, and Provost.

Angelo

193 - 218
  1.                   From thee: even from thy virtue.
  2. What’s this? What’s this? Is this her fault, or mine?
  3. The tempter, or the tempted, who sins most, ha?
  4. Not she; nor doth she tempt; but it is I
  5. That, lying by the violet in the sun,
  6. Do as the carrion does, not as the flow’r,
  7. Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be
  8. That modesty may more betray our sense
  9. Than woman’s lightness? Having waste ground enough,
  10. Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary
  11. And pitch our evils there? O fie, fie, fie!
  12. What dost thou? Or what art thou, Angelo?
  13. Dost thou desire her foully for those things
  14. That make her good? O, let her brother live!
  15. Thieves for their robbery have authority
  16. When judges steal themselves. What, do I love her,
  17. That I desire to hear her speak again?
  18. And feast upon her eyes? What is’t I dream on?
  19. O cunning enemy, that to catch a saint,
  20. With saints dost bait thy hook! Most dangerous
  21. Is that temptation that doth goad us on
  22. To sin in loving virtue. Never could the strumpet,
  23. With all her double vigor, art and nature,
  24. Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
  25. Subdues me quite. Ever till now,
  26. When men were fond, I smil’d and wond’red how.
  1. Exit.
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