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Measure for Measure

Act I, Scene 2

A Street.
 
[Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen]
 
LUCIO
If the duke with the other dukes come not to composition with the King of Hungary, why then all the dukes fall upon the king.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of Hungary's!
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
Amen.
 
LUCIO
Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped one out of the table.
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
Thou shalt not steal?
 
LUCIO
Aye, that he razed.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions: they put forth to steal. There's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, do relish the petition well that prays for peace.
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
I never heard any soldier dislike it.
 
LUCIO
I believe thee; for I think thou never wast where grace was said.
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
No? a dozen times at least.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
What, in meter?
 
LUCIO
In any proportion or in any language.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
I think, or in any religion.
 
LUCIO
Aye, why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy: as, for example, thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.
 
LUCIO
I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet. Thou art the list.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou'rt a three-piled piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey as be piled, as thou art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak feelingly now?
 
LUCIO
I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
I think I have done myself wrong, have I not?
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted or free.
 
LUCIO
Behold, behold. where Madam Mitigation comes! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof as come to--
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
To what, I pray?
 
LUCIO
Judge.
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
To three thousand dolours a year.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
Aye, and more.
 
LUCIO
A French crown more.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou art full of error; I am sound.
 
LUCIO
Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound as things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee.
 
[Enter MISTRESS OVERDONE]
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
Well, well; there's one yonder arrested and carried to prison was worth five thousand of you all.
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
Who's that, I pray thee?
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
Marry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior Claudio.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
Claudio to prison? 'tis not so.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested, saw him carried away; and, which is more, within these three days his head to be chopped off.
 
LUCIO
But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so. Art thou sure of this?
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
I am too sure of it: and it is for getting Madam Julietta with child.
 
LUCIO
Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two hours since, and he was ever precise in promise-keeping.
 
SECOND GENTLEMAN
Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
 
FIRST GENTLEMAN
But, most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.
 
LUCIO
Away! let's go learn the truth of it.
 
[Exeunt LUCIO and Gentlemen]
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what with the gallows and what with poverty, I am custom-shrunk. How now! what's the news with you?
 
[Enter POMPEY]
 
POMPEY
Yonder man is carried to prison.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
Well; what has he done?
 
POMPEY
A woman.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
But what's his offense?
 
POMPEY
Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
What, is there a maid with child by him?
 
POMPEY
No, but there's a woman with maid by him. You have not heard of the proclamation, have you?
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
What proclamation, man?
 
POMPEY
All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
And what shall become of those in the city?
 
POMPEY
They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down?
 
POMPEY
To the ground, mistress.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
 
POMPEY
Come; fear you not: good counsellors lack no clients: though you change your place, you need not change your trade; I'll be your tapster still. Courage! there will be pity taken on you: you that have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you will be considered.
 
MISTRESS OVERDONE
What's to do here, Thomas tapster? let's withdraw.
 
POMPEY
Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost to prison; and there's Madam Juliet.
 
[Exeunt. Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers]
 
CLAUDIO
       ,             ,           ,         ,      2      ,
      Fellow,| why dost | thou show | me thus | to the world?
        ,    2      ,         ,        ,      ,
      Bear me to | prison,| where I | am com|mitted.
 
PROVOST
          x      ,       ,       ,     ,
      I do it | not in | evil | dispo|sition,
            ,          ,    ,       ,          ,
      But from | Lord^An|gelo | by spe|cial charge.
 
CLAUDIO
        ,             ,    ,       ,     ,
5     Thus can | the de|migod |(Autho|rity)
        ,        ,    ,                  ,           ,
      Make us | pay down,/ for our | offense,| by weight
            ,           x          ,         ,         ,
      The words | of heaven;| on whom | it will,| it will,
           ,               ,    ,         ,           ,
      On whom | it will / not (so)| yet still |'tis just.
 
[Re-enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen]
 
LUCIO
           ,     ,    ,                 ,         2     ,
      Why how | now Clau/dio?| whence^comes | this restraint?
 
CLAUDIO
            ,          ,     ,       ,  2    ,     3 3->
10    From too | much^li|berty |(my Lu|cio) li||berty
          ,        ,        ,             ,    ,
      As sur|feit is | the fa|ther of / much fast,
          ,       ,      ,    2    ,         ,
      So ev|ery scope | by the im|moder|ate use
        ,             ,           ,        ,       ,
      Turns to | restraint:| our na|tures do | pursue
             ,          ,       ,           ,        ,
      Like rats | that ra|vin down | their pro|per bane,
          ,      ,       ,        2     ,         ,
15    A thir|sty e|vil, and | when we drink,| we die.
 
LUCIO
If could speak so wisely under an arrest, I would send for certain of my creditors: and yet, to say the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy offense, Claudio?
 
CLAUDIO
What (but to speak of) would offend again.
 
LUCIO
What, is it murder?
 
CLAUDIO
No.
 
LUCIO
Lechery?
 
CLAUDIO
Call it so.
 
PROVOST
Away, sir, you must go.
 
CLAUDIO
One word, good friend:
Lucio, a word with you.
 
LUCIO
A hundred:
If they'll do you any good: is lechery so looked after?
 
CLAUDIO
              ,       2      ,     ,    .   T   T   T
      Thus stands | it with me:| upon | a true contract
         ,        ,      2    ,   ,        ,
      I got | posses|sion of Ju|liet|ta's bed:
            ,         ,      ,         ,         ,
      You know | the la|dy, she | is fast | my wife,
        ,             ,      2   ,    ,        ,
      Save that | we do | the denun|cia|tion lack
          ,        ,        ,         ,         ,
20    Of out|ward or|der. This | we came | not to,
       ,          ,     ,       ,       x
      Only | for pro|paga|tion of | a dower
         ,        ,        ,       ,          ,
      Remai|ning in | the cof|fer of | her friends,
             ,          ,           ,         ,          ,
      From whom | we thought | it meet | to hide | our love
             ,          ,            x      ,         ,
      Till time | had made | them for us.| But it | chances
             ,        2      ,     ,  2     ,      ,
25    The stealth | of our most | mutual | enter|tainment
            ,            ,    ,          ,      2    x
      With cha|racter / too gross,| is writ | on Juliet.
 
LUCIO
             ,         ,
      With child, perhaps?
 
CLAUDIO
                             ,    2   ,      ,
                          Unhap|pily, e|ven so.
                 ,   ,    ,    ,              ,
      And the / new dep|uty,| now for | the duke,
       ,     2      ,         ,            ,          ,
30    Whether it | be the | fault and | glimpse of | newness,
          ,         ,         ,     ,        ,
      Or whe|ther that | the bo|dy pub|lic, be
          ,           ,        ,     ,           ,
      A horse | whereon | the go|vernor | doth^ride,
           ,      ,         ,          ,         ,
      Who new|ly in | the seat,| that it | may know
          ,         ,      ,          ,                  ,
      He can | command,| lets it | straight feel*| the spur:
       ,             ,     ,       ,         ,
35    Whether | the ty|ranny | be in | his place,
          ,        ,    ,            ,         ,
      Or in | his em|inence | that fills | it up
          ,       ,         ,         ,     ,
      I stag|ger in:| but this | new go|vernor
         ,         ,              ,    ,      ,
      Awakes | me all | the en/rolled pe|nalties
              ,      T   T   T       ,         ,             ,
      Which have |(like unscoured | armour)| hung by | the wall
           ,           ,        ,    ,      T    T    T
40    So long,| that nine|teen zo|diacs | have gone round, (hex with prev)
            ,                ,    ,     ,            ,
      And none | of them / been worn;| and for | a name
            ,          ,      ,        ,       ,
      Now puts | the drow|sy and | neglec|ted act
        ,           ,          ,      ,        ,
      Freshly | on me:| 'tis sure|ly for | a name.
 
LUCIO
I warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle on thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love, may sigh it off. Send after the duke and appeal to him.
 
CLAUDIO
                 ,   ,    ,          ,            ,
      I have / done so,| but he's | not to | be found.
         ,         ,  2    ,     2       ,     ,
45    I pri|thee (Lu|cio) do | me this kind | service:
            ,     ,  ,            2        ,         ,
      This^day,| my sis/ter should the | cloister | enter,
            ,         ,          ,     ,      o
      And there | receive | her ap|proba|tion.
           ,           ,         ,       ,        ,
      Acquaint | her with | the dan|ger of | my state,
          ,           ,        ,                  ,     ,
      Implore | her, in | my voice,| that she / make friends
        2       ,      ,  2     ,        ,      ,
50    To the strict | deputy;| bid her|self as|say him,
                 ,     ,         ,         ,         ,
      I have / great hope | in that:| for in | her youth
             ,       ,            ,         ,    ,
      There is | a prone | and speech|less di|alect,
        T   .   T   T        ,       2       ,    2     ,
      Such as move men:| beside,| she hath pros|perous art
            ,           ,          ,        ,         ,
      When she | will play | with rea|son, and | discourse,
            ,         ,         ,
55    And well | she can | persuade.  \\
 
LUCIO
I pray she may; as well for the encouragement of the like, which else would stand under grievous imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a game of tick-tack. I'll to her.
 
CLAUDIO
I thank you good friend Lucio.
 
LUCIO
Within two hours.
 
CLAUDIO
Come officer, away.
 
[Exeunt]

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