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Measure for Measure

Act III, Scene 1

A room in the prison.
 
[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before, CLAUDIO, and Provost]
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
           ,          ,        ,               ,   ,     , ->
      So then | you hope | of par|don from / Lord An||gelo?
 
CLAUDIO
           ,    ,       ,       ,        ,     , ->
      The mis|era|ble have | no o||ther me|dicine
           ,      ,    oo
      But on|ly hope:|
             ,         ,         ,        ,         ,
      I've hope | to live,| and am | prepared | to die.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
          ,     ,          ,      ,         ,         __
5     Be ab|solute | for death:| either | death or | life
              ,       ,         ,        ,        ,           ,
      Shall there|by be | the swee|ter. Rea|son thus | with life:  (hex with prev)
         ,        ,          ,        ,        ,
      If I | do lose | thee, I | do lose | a thing
             ,          ,             ,         ,           ,
      That none | but fools | would keep:| a breath | thou art,
       ,     2      ,         ,       ,     ,
      Servile to | all the | skyey | influ|ences,
             ,          ,    ,        ,             ,
10    That dost | this ha|bita|tion where | thou keepst
        ,          ,       ,            ,              ,
      Hourly | afflict:| merely,| thou art | death's^fool,
           ,          ,        ,         ,           ,
      For him | thou la|borst by | thy flight | to shun,
           ,             ,           ,           ,         ,     o
      And yet | runst^toward | him still.| Thou art | not no|ble,
           ,       2   ,     ,         ,            ,
      For all | the accom|moda|tions that | thou bearst,
             ,          ,            ,         ,          ,   2   o
15    Are nursed | by base|ness: thou'rt | by no | means^va|liant,   (hex with above)
            ,           ,          ,         ,        ,
      For thou | dost fear | the soft | and ten|der fork
               ,    ,          ,         ,         ,
      Of a / poor worm.| Thy best | of rest | is sleep,
            ,          ,         ,           ,         ,
      And that | thou oft | provokst,| yet gross|ly fearst
            ,            ,        ,        2     ,         ,
      Thy death,| which is | no more.| Thou art not | thyself,
            ,        ,       ,    2    ,          ,
20    For thou | exists | on m|any a thou|sand grains
            ,      ,         ,     ,          2     ,
      That is|sue out | of dust.| Happy | thou art not,
            ,           ,           ,             ,          ,
      For what | thou hast | not, still | thou strivst | to get,
            ,           ,         ,           ,           x
      And what | thou hast | forgetst.| Thou art | not certain,
           ,         ,         ,           ,          ,
      For thy | complex|ion shifts | to strange | effects,
       ,            ,         ,          ,              ,
25    After | the moon:| if thou | art rich,| thou'rt poor,
            ,        ,            ,          ,        ,
      For like | an ass,| whose back | with in|gots bows;
              ,          ,      ,       ,        ,      2->
      Thou bearst | thy hea|vy ri|ches but | a jour||ney,
            ,         ,              ,       T    T    T
      And death | unloads | thee; friend | hast thou none.
                   ,   ,        ,          ,            ,
      For thine / own bow|els which | do call | thee, sire
            ,       ,       ,        ,        ,
30    The mere | effu|sion of | thy pro|per loins
           ,           ,        ,  ,     2        ,
      Do curse | the gout,| serpi|go, and the | rheum
      <-        ,           2    ,         ,        2      ,          ,
        For || ending | thee no soo|ner. Thou | hast nor youth,| nor age
           ,        ,        ,      ,          ,
      But as | it were | an af|ter-din|ner's sleep
        ,             ,         ,          ,        ,
      Dreaming | on both,| for all | thy bles|sed youth
          ,        ,       ,          ,          ,
35    Becomes | as a|ged, and | doth beg | the alms
          ,        ,         ,        2     ,          ,
      Of pal|sied el:| and when | thou art old,| and rich
        ,          ,          ,       ,          ,           ,
      Thou hast | neither | heat, af|fection,| limb, nor | beauty
           ,          ,       ,        o           ,         ,
      To make | thy rich|es plea|sant:   | what's yet | in this   (hex with prev)
             ,           ,         ,         ,          ,
      That bears | the name | of life?| Yet in | this life
            ,          ,          ,           ,          ,
40    Lie* hid | moe thou|sand deaths;| yet death | we fear
             ,             ,        ,     2
      That makes | these odds,| all e|ven.
 
CLAUDIO
                                              ,        ,         2->
                                           I hum|bly thank || you.
          ,         ,        ,        ,        ,
      To sue | to live,| I find | I seek | to die,
           ,         ,       T    T    T      2      ,
      And see|king death,| find life: let | it come^on.
 
ISABELLA [Within]
What ho? Peace here; grace, and good company.
 
PROVOST
Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
 
CLAUDIO
Most holy sir, I thank you.
 
[Enter ISABELLA]
 
ISABELLA
My business is a word or two with Claudio.
 
PROVOST
And very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Provost, a word with you.
 
PROVOST
As many as you please.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be concealed.
 
[Exeunt DUKE VINCENTIO and Provost]
 
CLAUDIO
           ,          ,          ,
45    Now sis|ter, what's | the com|fort?
 
ISABELLA
                                            ,
                                           Why,
      <-    ,      ,          T     T    T           ,        ,
        As all || comforts | are: most good,| most good | indeed,
            ,    ,    ,           ,           x
      Lord^An|gelo | having | affairs | to heaven
          ,          ,          ,        ,     ,
      Intends | you for | his swift | ambas|sador,
             ,           ,      ,     ,        ,      ->
      Where you | shall be | an e|verlas|ting lei||ger;
        ,       2       ,        ,          ,           ,
50    There|fore your best | appoint|ment make | with speed,
         ,       ,         ,
      Tomor|row you | set^on.
 
CLAUDIO
           ,         ,    ,
      Is there | no re|medy?  (tri with prev)
 
ISABELLA
        ,               ,    ,     2     ,        ,
      None, but | such^re|medy,| as to save | a head
            ,         ,          ,
      To cleave | a heart | in twain.
 
CLAUDIO
                                          ,         ,     ->
55                                   But is | there a||ny?
 
ISABELLA
       ,     ,         ,         __
      Yes | brother,| you may | live;
             ,      ,    2    ,      ,         ,
      There is | a de|vilish mer|cy in | the judge,
            ,         ,           ,           ,           ,
      If you'll | implore | it, that | will free | your life,
           ,       ,           ,
      But fet|ter you | till death.
 
CLAUDIO
                                       ,   2   ,        ->
60                                 Perpe|tual du||rance?
 
ISABELLA
       ,      ,        ,  2     ,         2     ,
      Aye | just; per|petual | durance,| a restraint
              ,           ,         ,     ,        ,
      Though all | the world's | vasti|dity | you had
       ,        ,          ,
      To a | deter|mined scope.
 
CLAUDIO
                                  2     ,     ,
                               But in what | nature?
 
ISABELLA
           ,       ,        ,        ,         x
65    In such | a one,| as you | consen|ting to it,
              ,          ,       ,           ,           ,
      Would bark | your ho|nor from | that trunk | you bear,
            ,          ,
      And leave | you na|ked.
 
CLAUDIO
                              ,         ,          ,
                             Let | me know | the point.
 
ISABELLA
       ,           ,           ,   2    ,        ,
      Oh, I | do fear | thee Clau|dio, and | I quake,
        ,            ,   2      ,              ,      ,
70    Lest thou | a fe|verous life | shouldst^en|tertain,
           ,        ,      ,         ,        ,
      And six | or se|ven win|ters more | respect
        ,          ,   2   ,         ,           ,
      Than a | perpe|tual ho|nor. Darest | thou die?
            ,          ,          ,        ,     ,        ->
      The sense | of death | is most | in ap|prehen||sion;
       ,          ,     ,           2     ,       ,
      And | the poor | beetle | that we tread | upon
          ,    2    ,     2       ,         ,         ,
75    In cor|poral suf|ferance, finds | a pang | as great,
           ,       ,       ,
      As when | a gi|ant dies.
 
CLAUDIO
            ,         ,          ,
      Why give | you me | this shame?  (tri with prev)
             ,       ,       ,    ,        ,
      Think^you | I can | a re|solu|tion fetch
            ,    2   ,       ,       ,         ,
      From flo|wery ten|derness?| If I | must die,
          ,        ,        ,        ,       ,
80    I will | encoun|ter dark|ness as | a bride,
           ,        ,          ,  ->
      And hug | it in | mine arms.
 
ISABELLA
              ,         ,           ,         ,          ,  ->
      There spake | my bro||ther: there | my fa|ther's grave
           ,       ,          ,      ,                ,  ->
      Did ut|ter forth || a voice.| Yes, thou | must^die:
            ,         ,        ,        ,         , ->
      Thou art | too no||ble, to | conserve | a life
           ,       ,      ,          ,         ,       ,    ,
85    In base | appli||ances.| This out|ward-sain|ted de|puty,
             ,        ,        ,       ,   2      ,
      Whose set|tled vis|age, and | deli|berate word
             ,       2      ,         ,         ,       ,
      Nips^youth | in the head,| and fol|lies doth | emmew
          ,        ,          ,        ,        x
      As fal|con doth | the fowl,| is yet | a devil
            ,         ,      2     ,         ,         ,
      His filth | within | being cast,| he would | appear
          ,         ,         ,
90    A pond,| as deep | as hell.
 
CLAUDIO
                                       ,        ,    2  ->
                                 The pren|zie, An||gelo?
 
ISABELLA
       ,      2     ,        ,    ,        ,
      Oh |'tis the cun|ning li|very | of hell,
             ,        ,     ,       ,         ,     2->
      The damned|est bo|dy to | invest,| and co||ver
           ,         ,       ,           ,     ,
      In pren|zie guards:| Dost thou | think Clau/dio,
         ,           ,          ,       ,    ,
95    If I | would yield | him my | virgi|nity,
              ,           ,
      Thou mightst | be freed?
 
CLAUDIO
                                    x          ,       ,
                               O heavens,| it can|not be.
 
ISABELLA
       ,                  x             ,           ,        ,
      Yes, he | would give it | thee; from | this rank | offense
       ,          ,          ,            ,             ,
      So to | offend | him still.| This^night's | the time
           ,           ,        ,      ,         ,
100   That I | should do | what I | abhor | to name,
           ,           ,        ,      o   oo
      Or else | thou diest | tomor|row.  |
 
CLAUDIO
             ,           x
      Thou shalt | not do it.
 
ISABELLA
                                   ,        ,         ,
                              O, were | it but | my life,
            ,          ,          ,       ,     ,
      I'd throw | it down | for your | deli|verance
           ,       ,      ,
105   As frank|ly as | a pin.
 
CLAUDIO
                                ,          , 2
                             Thanks dear^|Isabel.
 
ISABELLA
          ,        ,    ,    ,           ,        ,      ->
      Be rea|dy, Clau|dio,| for your | death to||morrow.
 
CLAUDIO
       ,     ,    2    ,          ,
      Yes.| Has he af|fections | in him,
             ,          ,          ,         ,      2      ,
      That thus | can make | him bite | the law | by the nose,
        ,               ,           ,        ,       ,
110   When he | would force | it? Sure | it is | no sin,
       ,   2        ,       ,       ,            ,
      Or of the | deadly | seven | it is | the least.
 
ISABELLA
        ,              ,
      Which is | the least? (pickup later?)
 
CLAUDIO
          ,         ,     ,     ,   2          ,
      If it | were dam|nable,| he being | so wise,
            ,         ,         ,     ,      ,
      Why would | he for | the mo|menta|ry trick
          ,        ,    ,        ,    ,
115   Be per|dura/bly fined?| Oh I|sabel.
 
ISABELLA
             ,        ,
      What says | my bro|ther?
 
CLAUDIO
                                 ,       2    ,        ,
                               Death | is a fear|ful thing.
 
ISABELLA
             ,       ,         ,
      And shamed | life, a | hateful. (pickup from before?)
 
CLAUDIO
       ,             ,         ,        ,          ,
      Aye, but | to die,| and go | we know | not where,
          ,         ,         ,         ,        ,
120   To lie | in cold | obstruc|tion, and | to rot,
            ,            ,   ,        ,       ,
      This sen|sible / warm mo|tion, to | become
          ,        ,     ,            ,         x
      A knea|ded clod;| and the | deligh|ted spirit
           ,         ,        ,      ,          ,
      To bathe | in fie|ry floods,| or to | reside
           ,         ,             ,      ,     ___
      In thril|ling re|gion of / thick-ribbed | ice,
          ,      ,         ,         ,         ,
125   To be | impri|soned in | the view|less winds
            ,            ,        ,  2       ,        ,
      And blown | with rest|less vi|olence round | about
           ,         ,      ,           ,            ,
      The pen|dant world:| or to | be worse | than worst
           ,           ,        ,       ,          ,
      Of those,| that law|less and | incer|tain thought,
        ,       ,    ,           ,   ,
      Ima|gine how|ling, 'tis | too hor/rible.
           ,    2     ,          ,         ,        ,
130   The wea|riest, and | most^loa|thed world|ly life
            ,      ,     ,  2       2   ,       ,
      That age,| ache,| penury,| and impri|sonment
           ,        ,        ,      ,     ,
      Can lay | on na|ture, is | a pa|radise
           ,         ,         ,
      To what | we fear | of death.
 
ISABELLA
                                     ,      ,
                                   Alas,| alas.
 
CLAUDIO
       ___     ,        T   T   T    oo
135   Sweet | sister,| let me live.|
            ,         ,        ,       ,           ,
      What sin | you do,| to save | a bro|ther's life,
       ,           ,        ,          ,        ,
      Nature | dispen|ses with | the deed | so far,
            ,       ,        ,
      That it | becomes | a vir|tue.
 
ISABELLA
                                      ,         ,
                                     Oh | you beast,
           ,         ,        ,       ,         ,
140   Oh faith|less cow|ard, oh | disho|nest wretch,
             ,         ,       ,     ,            ,
      Wilt thou | be made | a man,| out of | my vice?
        2    ,        ,        ,   ,               ,
      Is it not | a kind | of in|cest, to | take^life
                   ,   ,          ,       ,               ,
      From thine^/own sis|ter's shame?| What should | I think,
       ,          ,         ,          ,         ,
      Heaven | shield my | mother | played my | father fair:
            ,       ,        ,        ,       ,
145   For such | a war|ped slip | of wil|derness
            ,        ,          ,       ,    2    ,
      Nere^is|sued from | his blood.| Take my de|fiance,
       T    T  T           ,        ,         ,
      Die, perish:| might but | my ben|ding down
           ,            ,          ,          ,          ,
      Reprieve | thee from | thy fate,| it should | proceed.
             ,        ,         ,       ,          ,
      I'll pray | a thou|sand pray|ers for | thy death,
           ,         ,
150   No word | to save | thee.
 
CLAUDIO
                                ,      ,       ,     , ->
                               Nay | hear me | Isa||bel.
 
ISABELLA
            T    T    T    oo
      Oh | fie, fie, fie:|
            ,          ,    ,        ,        ,
      Thy sin's | not ac|ciden|tal, but | a trade;
       ,           ,            ,         ,        ,
      Mercy | to thee | would prove | itself | a bawd,
             ,          ,       ,       o
155   'Tis best | thou die|st quick|ly.
 
CLAUDIO
          ,        ,   ,     o
      O hear | me Is|abel|la.   (tetra with prev)
 
[Re-enter DUKE VINCENTIO]
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.
 
ISABELLA
What is your will?
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I would require is likewise your own benefit.
 
ISABELLA
I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile.
 
[Walks apart]
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to corrupt her; only he hath made an essay of her virtue to practise his judgment with the disposition of natures: she, having the truth of honor in her, hath made him that gracious denial which he is most glad to receive. I am confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to death: do not satisfy your resolution with hopes that are fallible: tomorrow you must die; go to your knees and make ready.
 
CLAUDIO
Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love with life that I will sue to be rid of it.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Hold you there: farewell. Provost, a word with you!
 
[Exit CLAUDIO. Re-enter Provost]
 
PROVOST
What's your will, father?
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
That now you are come, you will be gone. Leave me awhile with the maid: my mind promises with my habit no loss shall touch her by my company.
 
PROVOST
In good time.
 
[Exit Provost. ISABELLA comes forward]
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
The hand that hath made you fair hath made you good: the goodness that is cheap in beauty makes beauty brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever fair. The assault that Angelo hath made to you, fortune hath conveyed to my understanding; and, but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo. How will you do to content this substitute, and to save your brother?
 
ISABELLA
I am now going to resolve him: I had rather my brother die by the law than my son should be unlawfully born. But, O, how much is the good duke deceived in Angelo! If ever he return and I can speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or discover his government.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
That shall not be much amiss: Yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation; he made trial of you only. Therefore fasten your ear on my advisings: to the love I have in doing good a remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged lady a merited benefit; redeem your brother from the angry law; do no stain to your own gracious person; and much please the absent duke, if peradventure he shall ever return to have hearing of this business.
 
ISABELLA
Let me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to do anything that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of Frederick the great soldier who miscarried at sea?
 
ISABELLA
I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
She should this Angelo have married; was affianced to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between which time of the contract and limit of the solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea, having in that perished vessel the dowry of his sister. But mark how heavily this befell to the poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most kind and natural; with him, the portion and sinew of her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo.
 
ISABELLA
Can this be so? did Angelo so leave her?
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
Left her in her tears, and dried not one of them with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole, pretending in her discoveries of dishonor: in few, bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet wears for his sake; and he, a marble to her tears, is washed with them, but relents not.
 
ISABELLA
What a merit were it in death to take this poor maid from the world! What corruption in this life, that it will let this man live! But how out of this can she avail?
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
It is a rupture that you may easily heal: and the cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps you from dishonor in doing it.
 
ISABELLA
Show me how, good father.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
This forenamed maid hath yet in her the continuance of her first affection: his unjust unkindness, that in all reason should have quenched her love, hath, like an impediment in the current, made it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo; answer his requiring with a plausible obedience; agree with his demands to the point; only refer yourself to this advantage, first, that your stay with him may not be long; that the time may have all shadow and silence in it; and the place answer to convenience. This being granted in course,--and now follows all,--we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to her recompense: and here, by this, is your brother saved, your honor untainted, the poor Mariana advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. The maid will I frame and make fit for his attempt. If you think well to carry this as you may, the doubleness of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof. What think you of it?
 
ISABELLA
The image of it gives me content already; and I trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.
 
DUKE VINCENTIO
It lies much in your holding up. Haste you speedily to Angelo: if for this night he entreat you to his bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will presently to Saint Luke's: there, at the moated grange, resides this dejected Mariana. At that place call upon me; and dispatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly.
 
ISABELLA
I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father.
 
[Exeunt severally]

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