Measure for Measure
Act III, Scene 2
The street before the prison.
- Enter Elbow, Clown Pompey, and Officers to the Duke.
Elbow1 - 3
- Nay, if there be no remedy for it but that you will needs
- buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall have all
- the world drink brown and white bastard.
- O heavens, what stuff is here?
Pompey5 - 9
- ’Twas never merry world since of two usuries the merriest
- was put down, and the worser allow’d by order of law; a
- furr’d gown to keep him warm; and furr’d with fox and
- lambskins too, to signify that craft, being richer than
- innocency, stands for the facing.
- Come your way, sir. Bless you, good father friar.
Duke11 - 12
- And you, good brother father. What offense hath this man
- made you, sir?
Elbow13 - 15
- Marry, sir, he hath offended the law; and, sir, we take him
- to be a thief too, sir, for we have found upon him, sir, a
- strange picklock, which we have sent to the deputy.
Duke16 - 24
- Fie, sirrah, a bawd, a wicked bawd!
- The evil that thou causest to be done,
- That is thy means to live. Do thou but think
- What ’tis to cram a maw or clothe a back
- From such a filthy vice; say to thyself,
- From their abominable and beastly touches
- I drink, I eat, array myself, and live.
- Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
- So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.
Pompey25 - 26
- Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir, I
- would prove—
Duke27 - 30
- Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin,
- Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer.
- Correction and instruction must both work
- Ere this rude beast will profit.
Elbow31 - 34
- He must before the deputy, sir, he has given him warning.
- The deputy cannot abide a whore-master. If he be a
- whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as good go a mile
- on his errand.
Duke35 - 36
- That we were all, as some would seem to be,
- From our faults, as faults from seeming, free!
- Enter Lucio.
- His neck will come to your waist—a cord, sir.
Pompey38 - 39
- I spy comfort, I cry bail. Here’s a gentleman, and a friend
- of mine.
Lucio40 - 47
- How now, noble Pompey? What, at the wheels of Caesar? Art
- thou led in triumph? What, is there none of Pygmalion’s
- images newly made woman to be had now, for putting the hand
- in the pocket and extracting it clutch’d? What reply? Ha?
- What say’st thou to this tune, matter, and method? Is’t not
- drown’d i’ th’ last rain? Ha? What say’st thou, Trot? Is the
- world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few
- words? Or how? The trick of it?
- Still thus, and thus; still worse!
Lucio49 - 50
- How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she still?
Pompey51 - 52
- Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is
- herself in the tub.
Lucio53 - 55
- Why, ’tis good; it is the right of it; it must be so. Ever
- your fresh whore and your powder’d bawd, an unshunn’d
- consequence; it must be so. Art going to prison, Pompey?
- Yes, faith, sir.
Lucio57 - 58
- Why, ’tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell. Go say I sent thee
- thither. For debt, Pompey? Or how?
- For being a bawd, for being a bawd.
Lucio60 - 64
- Well, then imprison him. If imprisonment be the due of a
- bawd, why, ’tis his right. Bawd is he doubtless, and of
- antiquity too; bawd-born. Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me
- to the prison, Pompey. You will turn good husband now,
- Pompey, you will keep the house.
- I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.
Lucio66 - 69
- No indeed will I not, Pompey, it is not the wear. I will
- pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage. If you take it not
- patiently, why, your mettle is the more. Adieu, trusty
- Pompey. Bless you, friar.
- And you.
- Does Bridget paint still, Pompey? Ha?
- Come your ways, sir, come.
- You will not bail me then, sir?
- Then, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad, friar? What news?
- Come your ways, sir, come.
Lucio76 - 77
- Go to kennel, Pompey, go.
- Exeunt Elbow, Pompey, and Officers.
- What news, friar, of the Duke?
- I know none. Can you tell me of any?
Lucio79 - 80
- Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other some, he is
- in Rome; but where is he, think you?
- I know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well.
Lucio82 - 85
- It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from the
- state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord
- Angelo dukes it well in his absence; he puts transgression
- He does well in’t.
Lucio87 - 88
- A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him.
- Something too crabbed that way, friar.
- It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.
Lucio90 - 94
- Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred; it is
- well allied; but it is impossible to extirp it quite, friar,
- till eating and drinking be put down. They say this Angelo
- was not made by man and woman after this downright way of
- creation. Is it true, think you?
- How should he be made then?
Lucio96 - 99
- Some report a sea-maid spawn’d him; some, that he was begot
- between two stock-fishes. But it is certain that when he
- makes water his urine is congeal’d ice, that I know to be
- true; and he is a motion generative, that’s infallible.
- You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.
Lucio101 - 107
- Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion
- of a codpiece to take away the life of a man! Would the Duke
- that is absent have done this? Ere he would have hang’d a
- man for the getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid
- for the nursing a thousand. He had some feeling of the
- sport; he knew the service, and that instructed him to
Duke108 - 109
- I never heard the absent Duke much detected for women, he
- was not inclin’d that way.
- O, sir, you are deceiv’d.
- ’Tis not possible.
Lucio112 - 114
- Who? Not the Duke? Yes, your beggar of fifty; and his use
- was to put a ducat in her clack-dish. The Duke had crotchets
- in him. He would be drunk too, that let me inform you.
- You do him wrong, surely.
Lucio116 - 117
- Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the Duke, and
- I believe I know the cause of his withdrawing.
- What, I prithee, might be the cause?
Lucio119 - 121
- No, pardon; ’tis a secret must be lock’d within the teeth
- and the lips. But this I can let you understand, the greater
- file of the subject held the Duke to be wise.
- Wise? Why, no question but he was.
- A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
Duke124 - 130
- Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking. The very
- stream of his life, and the business he hath helm’d, must,
- upon a warranted need, give him a better proclamation. Let
- him be but testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he
- shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman, and a
- soldier. Therefore you speak unskillfully; or, if your
- knowledge be more, it is much dark’ned in your malice.
- Sir, I know him, and I love him.
Duke132 - 133
- Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer
- Come, sir, I know what I know.
Duke135 - 139
- I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you
- speak. But if ever the Duke return (as our prayers are he
- may), let me desire you to make your answer before him. If
- it be honest you have spoke, you have courage to maintain
- it. I am bound to call upon you, and I pray you your name?
- Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the Duke.
- He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you.
- I fear you not.
Duke143 - 145
- O, you hope the Duke will return no more; or you imagine me
- too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed I can do you little
- harm; you’ll forswear this again.
Lucio146 - 148
- I’ll be hang’d first; thou art deceiv’d in me, friar. But no
- more of this. Canst thou tell if Claudio die tomorrow, or
- Why should he die, sir?
Lucio150 - 160
- Why? For filling a bottle with a tun-dish. I would the Duke
- we talk of were return’d again. This ungenitur’d agent will
- unpeople the province with continency. Sparrows must not
- build in his house-eaves, because they are lecherous. The
- Duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answer’d, he would
- never bring them to light. Would he were return’d! Marry,
- this Claudio is condemn’d for untrussing. Farewell, good
- friar, I prithee pray for me. The Duke (I say to thee again)
- would eat mutton on Fridays. He’s now past it, yet (and I
- say to thee) he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt
- brown bread and garlic. Say that I said so. Farewell.
Duke161 - 165
- No might nor greatness in mortality
- Can censure scape; back-wounding calumny
- The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
- Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
- But who comes here?
- Enter Escalus, Provost, and Officers with Bawd Mistress
- Go, away with her to prison.
Mistress Overdone167 - 168
- Good my lord, be good to me, your honor is accounted a
- merciful man. Good my lord.
Escalus169 - 170
- Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in the same
- kind! This would make mercy swear and play the tyrant.
Provost171 - 172
- A bawd of eleven years’ continuance, may it please your
Mistress Overdone173 - 177
- My lord, this is one Lucio’s information against me.
- Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the Duke’s
- time; he promis’d her marriage. His child is a year and a
- quarter old come Philip and Jacob. I have kept it myself;
- and see how he goes about to abuse me!
Escalus178 - 183
- That fellow is a fellow of much license; let him be call’d
- before us. Away with her to prison! Go to, no more words.
- Exeunt Officers with Mistress Overdone.
- Provost, my brother Angelo will not be alter’d, Claudio must
- die tomorrow. Let him be furnish’d with divines, and have
- all charitable preparation. If my brother wrought by my
- pity, it should not be so with him.
Provost184 - 185
- So please you, this friar hath been with him, and advis’d
- him for th’ entertainment of death.
- Good even, good father.
- Bliss and goodness on you!
- Of whence are you?
Duke189 - 192
- Not of this country, though my chance is now
- To use it for my time. I am a brother
- Of gracious order, late come from the See,
- In special business from his Holiness.
- What news abroad i’ th’ world?
Duke194 - 202
- None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that
- the dissolution of it must cure it. Novelty is only in
- request, and, as it is, as dangerous to be ag’d in any kind
- of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any
- undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive to make
- societies secure, but security enough to make fellowships
- accurs’d. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the
- world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day’s news.
- I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the Duke?
Escalus203 - 204
- One that, above all other strifes, contended especially to
- know himself.
- What pleasure was he given to?
Escalus206 - 211
- Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any
- thing which profess’d to make him rejoice; a gentleman of
- all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a
- prayer they may prove prosperous, and let me desire to know
- how you find Claudio prepar’d. I am made to understand that
- you have lent him visitation.
Duke212 - 217
- He professes to have receiv’d no sinister measure from his
- judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the
- determination of justice; yet had he fram’d to himself (by
- the instruction of his frailty) many deceiving promises of
- life, which I (by my good leisure) have discredited to him,
- and now is he resolv’d to die.
Escalus218 - 222
- You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner
- the very debt of your calling. I have labor’d for the poor
- gentleman to the extremest shore of my modesty, but my
- brother-justice have I found so severe, that he hath forc’d
- me to tell him he is indeed Justice.
Duke223 - 225
- If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it
- shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath
- sentenc’d himself.
- I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
Duke227 - 249
- Peace be with you!
- Exeunt Escalus and Provost.
- He who the sword of heaven will bear
- Should be as holy as severe;
- Pattern in himself to know,
- Grace to stand, and virtue go;
- More nor less to others paying
- Than by self-offenses weighing.
- Shame to him whose cruel striking
- Kills for faults of his own liking!
- Twice treble shame on Angelo,
- To weed my vice, and let his grow!
- O, what may man within him hide,
- Though angel on the outward side!
- How may likeness made in crimes,
- Making practice on the times,
- To draw with idle spiders’ strings
- Most ponderous and substantial things!
- Craft against vice I must apply.
- With Angelo tonight shall lie
- His old betrothed (but despised);
- So disguise shall by th’ disguised
- Pay with falsehood false exacting,
- And perform an old contracting.