Measure for Measure

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Original text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Angelo, Escalus, and seruants, Iustice.

Ang.
We must not make a scar-crow of the Law,
Setting it vp to feare the Birds of prey,
And let it keepe one shape, till custome make it
Their pearch, and not their terror.

Esc.
I, but yet
Let vs be keene, and rather cut a little
Then fall, and bruise to death: alas, this gentleman
Whom I would saue, had a most noble father,
Let but your honour know
(Whom I beleeue to be most strait in vertue)
That in the working of your owne affections,
Had time coheard with Place, or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of our blood
Could haue attaind th' effect of your owne purpose,
Whether you had not sometime in your life
Er'd in this point, which now you censure him,
And puld the Law vpon you.

Ang.
'Tis one thing to be tempted (Escalus)
Another thing to fall: I not deny
The Iury passing on the Prisoners life
May in the sworne-twelue haue a thiefe, or two
Guiltier then him they try; what's open made to Iustice,
That Iustice ceizes; What knowes the Lawes
That theeues do passe on theeues? 'Tis very pregnant,
The Iewell that we finde, we stoope, and take't,
Because we see it; but what we doe not see,
We tread vpon, and neuer thinke of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence,
For I haue had such faults; but rather tell me
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine owne Iudgement patterne out my death,
And nothing come in partiall. Sir, he must dye.
Enter Prouost.

Esc.
Be it as your wisedome will.

Ang.
Where is the Prouost?

Pro.
Here if it like your honour.

Ang.
See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to morrow morning,
Bring him his Confessor, let him be prepar'd,
For that's the vtmost of his pilgrimage.

Esc.
Well: heauen forgiue him; and forgiue vs all:
Some rise by sinne, and some by vertue fall:
Some run from brakes of Ice, and answere none,
And some condemned for a fault alone.
Enter Elbow, Froth, Clowne, Officers.

Elb.
Come, bring them away: if these be good people
in a Common-weale, that doe nothing but vse their abuses
in common houses, I know no law: bring them away.

Ang.
How now Sir, what's your name? And what's
the matter?

Elb.
If it please your honour, I am the poore Dukes
Constable, and my name is Elbow; I doe leane vpon
Iustice Sir, and doe bring in here before your good
honor, two notorious Benefactors.

Ang.
Benefactors? Well: What Benefactors are they?
Are they not Malefactors?

Elb.
If it please your honour, I know not well what they
are: But precise villaines they are, that I am sure of, and
void of all prophanation in the world, that good Christians
ought to haue.

Esc.
This comes off well: here's a wise Officer.

Ang.
Goe to: What quality are they of? Elbow is your
name? Why do'st thou not speake Elbow?

Clo.
He cannot Sir: he's out at Elbow.

Ang.
What are you Sir?

Elb.
He Sir: a Tapster Sir: parcell Baud: one that
serues a bad woman: whose house Sir was (as they say)
pluckt downe in the Suborbs: and now shee professes a
hot-house; which, I thinke is a very ill house too.

Esc.
How know you that?

Elb.
My wife Sir? whom I detest before heauen, and
your honour.

Esc.
How? thy wife?

Elb.
I Sir: whom I thanke heauen is an honest
woman.

Esc.
Do'st thou detest her therefore?

Elb.
I say sir, I will detest my selfe also, as well as she,
that this house, if it be not a Bauds house, it is pitty
of her life, for it is a naughty house.

Esc.
How do'st thou know that, Constable?

Elb.
Marry sir, by my wife, who, if she had bin a
woman Cardinally giuen, might haue bin accus'd in
fornication, adultery, and all vncleanlinesse there.

Esc.
By the womans meanes?

Elb.
I sir, by Mistris Ouer-dons meanes: but as
she spit in his face, so she defide him.

Clo.
Sir, if it please your honor, this is not so.

Elb.
Proue it before these varlets here, thou honorable
man, proue it.

Esc.
Doe you heare how he misplaces?

Clo.
Sir, she came in great with childe: and longing
(sauing your honors reuerence) for stewd prewyns;
sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very
distant time stood, as it were in a fruit dish (a dish of
some three pence; your honours haue seene such dishes)
they are not China-dishes, but very good dishes.

Esc.
Go too: go too: no matter for the dish sir.

Clo.
No indeede sir not of a pin; you are therein in
the right: but, to the point: As I say, this Mistris
Elbow, being (as I say) with childe, and being great bellied,
and longing (as I said) for prewyns: and hauing
but two in the dish (as I said) Master Froth here, this
very man, hauing eaten the rest (as I said) & (as I
say) paying for them very honestly: for, as you know
Master Froth, I could not giue you three pence againe.

Fro.
No indeede.

Clo.
Very well: you being then (if you be remembred)
cracking the stones of the foresaid prewyns.

Fro.
I, so I did indeede.

Clo.
Why, very well: I telling you then (if you be
remembred) that such a one, and such a one, were past
cure of the thing you wot of, vnlesse they kept very good
diet, as I told you.

Fro.
All this is true.

Clo.
Why very well then.

Esc.
Come: you are a tedious foole: to the purpose:
what was done to Elbowes wife, that hee hath cause to
complaine of? Come me to what was done to her.

Clo.
Sir, your honor cannot come to that yet.

Esc.
No sir, nor I meane it not.

Clo.
Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honours
leaue: And I beseech you, looke into Master Froth here
sir, a man of foure-score pound a yeare; whose father died
at Hallowmas: Was't not at Hallowmas Master Froth?

Fro.
Allhallond-Eue.

Clo.
Why very well: I hope here be truthes: he Sir,
sitting (as I say) in a lower chaire, Sir, 'twas in the
bunch of Grapes, where indeede you haue a delight to sit,
haue you not?

Fro.
I haue so, because it is an open roome, and good for
winter.

Clo.
Why very well then: I hope here be truthes.

Ang.
This will last out a night in Russia
When nights are longest there: Ile take my leaue,
And leaue you to the hearing of the cause;
Hoping youle finde good cause to whip them all.

Esc.
I thinke no lesse: good morrow to your Lordship.
Exit.
Now Sir, come on: What was done to Elbowes wife,
once more?

Clo.
Once Sir? there was nothing done to her once.

Elb.
I beseech you Sir, aske him what this man did to
my wife.

Clo.
I beseech your honor, aske me.

Esc.
Well sir, what did this Gentleman to her?

Clo.
I beseech you sir, looke in this Gentlemans face:
good Master Froth looke vpon his honor; 'tis for a
good purpose: doth your honor marke his face?

Esc.
I sir, very well.

Clo.
Nay, I beseech you marke it well.

Esc.
Well, I doe so.

Clo.
Doth your honor see any harme in his face?

Esc.
Why no.

Clo.
Ile be supposd vpon a booke, his face is the
worst thing about him: good then: if his face be the
worst thing about him, how could Master Froth doe the
Constables wife any harme? I would know that of your
honour.

Esc.
He's in the right (Constable) what say you to it?

Elb.
First, and it like you, the house is a respected
house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his Mistris
is a respected woman.

Clo.
By this hand Sir, his wife is a more respected
person then any of vs all.

Elb.
Varlet, thou lyest; thou lyest wicked varlet: the
time is yet to come that shee was euer respected with man,
woman, or childe.

Clo.
Sir, she was respected with him, before he
married with her.

Esc.
Which is the wiser here; Iustice or Iniquitie? Is
this true?

Elb.
O thou caytiffe: O thou varlet: O thou wicked
Hanniball; I respected with her, before I was married
to her? If euer I was respected with her, or she with
me, let not your worship thinke mee the poore Dukes
Officer: proue this, thou wicked Hanniball, or ile haue
mine action of battry on thee.

Esc.
If he tooke you a box o'th' eare, you might haue
your action of slander too.

Elb.
Marry I thanke your good worship for it: what
is't your Worships pleasure I shall doe with this wicked
Caitiffe?

Esc.
Truly Officer, because he hath some offences in
him, that thou wouldst discouer, if thou couldst, let him
continue in his courses, till thou knowst what they are.

Elb.
Marry I thanke your worship for it: Thou seest
thou wicked varlet now, what's come vpon thee. Thou
art to continue now thou Varlet, thou art to continue.

Esc.
Where were you borne, friend?

Froth.
Here in Vienna, Sir.

Esc.
Are you of fourescore pounds a yeere?

Froth.
Yes, and't please you sir.

Esc.
So: what trade are you of, sir?

Clo.
A Tapster, a poore widdowes Tapster.

Esc.
Your Mistris name?

Clo.
Mistris Ouer-don.

Esc.
Hath she had any more then one husband?

Clo.
Nine, sir: Ouer-don by the last.

Esc.
Nine? come hether to me, Master Froth;
Master Froth, I would not haue you acquainted with
Tapsters; they will draw you Master Froth, and you wil
hang them: get you gon, and let me heare no more of
you.

Fro.
I thanke your worship: for mine owne part, I
neuer come into any roome in a Tap-house, but I am drawne
in.

Esc.
Well: no more of it Master Froth: farewell:
Come you hether to me, M. Tapster: what's your name
Mr. Tapster?

Clo.
Pompey.

Esc.
What else?

Clo.
Bum, Sir.

Esc.
Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about
you, so that in the beastliest sence, you are Pompey the
great; Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey; howsoeuer
you colour it in being a Tapster, are you not?
come, tell me true, it shall be the better for you.

Clo.
Truly sir, I am a poore fellow that would liue.

Esc.
How would you liue Pompey? by being a
bawd? what doe you thinke of the trade Pompey? is it a
lawfull trade?

Clo.
If the Law would allow it, sir.

Esc.
But the Law will not allow it Pompey; nor it
shall not be allowed in Vienna.

Clo.
Do's your Worship meane to geld and splay all
the youth of the City?

Esc.
No, Pompey.

Clo.
Truely Sir, in my poore opinion they will too't
then: if your worship will take order for the drabs and
the knaues, you need not to feare the bawds.

Esc.
There is pretty orders beginning I can tell you:
It is but heading, and hanging.

Clo.
If you head, and hang all that offend that way
but for ten yeare together; you'll be glad to giue out a
Commission for more heads: if this law hold in Vienna
ten yeare, ile rent the fairest house in it after three pence
a Bay: if you liue to see this come to passe, say Pompey
told you so.

Esc.
Thanke you good Pompey; and in requitall of
your prophesie, harke you: I aduise you let me not finde
you before me againe vpon any complaint whatsoeuer;
no, not for dwelling where you doe: if I doe Pompey, I
shall beat you to your Tent, and proue a shrewd Casar
to you: in plaine dealing Pompey, I shall haue you
whipt; so for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Clo.
I thanke your Worship for your good counsell;
but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better
determine.
Whip me? no, no, let Carman whip his Iade,
The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade.
Exit.

Esc.
Come hether to me, Master Elbow: come
hither Master Constable: how long haue you bin in
this place of Constable?

Elb.
Seuen yeere, and a halfe sir.

Esc.
I thought by the readinesse in the office, you
had continued in it some time: you say seauen yeares
together.

Elb.
And a halfe sir.

Esc.
Alas, it hath beene great paines to you: they do
you wrong to put you so oft vpon't. Are there not men in
your Ward sufficient to serue it?

Elb.
'Faith sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they
are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I do it
for some peece of money, and goe through with all.

Esc.
Looke you bring mee in the names of some sixe or
seuen, the most sufficient of your parish.

Elb.
To your Worships house sir?

Esc.
To my house: fare you well:
what's a clocke, thinke you?

Iust.
Eleuen, Sir.

Esc.
I pray you home to dinner with me.

Iust.
I humbly thanke you.

Esc.
It grieues me for the death of Claudio
But there's no remedie:

Iust.
Lord Angelo is seuere.

Esc.
It is but needfull.
Mercy is not it selfe, that oft lookes so,
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe:
But yet, poore Claudio; there is no remedie.
Come Sir.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Prouost, Seruant.

Ser.
Hee's hearing of a Cause; he will come straight,
I'le tell him of you.

Pro.
'Pray you doe;
Ile know
His pleasure, may be he will relent; alas
He hath but as offended in a dreame,
All Sects, all Ages smack of this vice, and he
To die for't?
Enter Angelo.

Ang.
Now, what's the matter Prouost?

Pro.
Is it your will Claudio shall die to morrow?

Ang.
Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thou not order?
Why do'st thou aske againe?

Pro.
Lest I might be too rash:
Vnder your good correction I haue seene
When after execution, Iudgement hath
Repented ore his doome.

Ang.
Goe to; let that be mine,
Doe you your office, or giue vp your Place,
And you shall well be spar'd.

Pro.
I craue your Honours pardon:
What shall be done Sir, with the groaning Iuliet?
Shee's very neere her howre.

Ang.
Dispose of her
To some more fitter place; and that with speed.

Ser.
Here is the sister of the man condemn'd,
Desires accesse to you.

Ang.
Hath he a Sister?

Pro.
I my good Lord, a very vertuous maid,
And to be shortlie of a Sister-hood,
If not alreadie.

Ang.
Well: let her be admitted,
See you the Fornicatresse be remou'd,
Let her haue needfull, but not lauish meanes,
There shall be order for't.
Enter Lucio and Isabella.

Pro.
'Saue your Honour.

Ang.
Stay a little while: y'are welcome: what's your will?

Isab.
I am a wofull Sutor to your Honour,
'Please but your Honor heare me.

Ang.
Well: what's your suite.

Isab.
There is a vice that most I doe abhorre,
And most desire should meet the blow of Iustice;
For which I would not plead, but that I must,
For which I must not plead, but that I am
At warre, twixt will, and will not.

Ang.
Well: the matter?

Isab.
I haue a brother is condemn'd to die,
I doe beseech you let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

Pro.
Heauen giue thee mouing graces.

Ang.
Condemne the fault, and not the actor of it,
Why euery fault's condemnd ere it be done:
Mine were the verie Cipher of a Function
To fine the faults, whose fine stands in record,
And let goe by the Actor:

Isab.
Oh iust, but seuere Law:
I had a brother then; heauen keepe your honour.

Luc.
Giue't not ore so: to him againe, entreat him,
Kneele downe before him, hang vpon his gowne,
You are too cold: if you should need a pin,
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it:
To him, I say.

Isab.
Must he needs die?

Ang.
Maiden, no remedie.

Isab.
Yes: I doe thinke that you might pardon him,
And neither heauen, nor man grieue at the mercy.

Ang.
I will not doe't.

Isab.
But can you if you would?

Ang.
Looke what I will not, that I cannot doe.

Isab.
But might you doe't & do the world no wrong
If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse,
As mine is to him?

Ang.
Hee's sentenc'd, tis too late.

Luc.
You are too cold.

Isab.
Too late? why no: I that doe speak a word
May call it againe: well, beleeue this
No ceremony that to great ones longs,
Not the Kings Crowne; nor the deputed sword,
The Marshalls Truncheon, nor the Iudges Robe
Become them with one halfe so good a grace
As mercie does:
If he had bin as you, and you as he,
You would haue slipt like him, but he like you
Would not haue beene so sterne.

Ang.
Pray you be gone.

Isab.
I would to heauen I had your potencie,
And you were Isabell: should it then be thus?
No: I would tell what 'twere to be a Iudge,
And what a prisoner.

Luc.
I, touch him: there's the veine.

Ang.
Your Brother is a forfeit of the Law,
And you but waste your words.

Isab.
Alas, alas:
Why all the soules that were, were forfeit once,
And he that might the vantage best haue tooke,
Found out the remedie: how would you be,
If he, which is the top of Iudgement, should
But iudge you, as you are? Oh, thinke on that,
And mercie then will breathe within your lips
Like man new made.

Ang.
Be you content, (faire Maid)
It is the Law, not I, condemne your brother,
Were he my kinsman, brother, or my sonne,
It should be thus with him: he must die to morrow.

Isab.
To morrow? oh, that's sodaine, / Spare him, spare him:
Hee's not prepar'd for death; euen for our kitchins
We kill the fowle of season: shall we serue heauen
With lesse respect then we doe minister
To our grosse-selues? good, good my Lord, bethink you;
Who is it that hath di'd for this offence?
There's many haue committed it.

Luc.
I, well said.

Ang.
The Law hath not bin dead, thogh it hath slept
Those many had not dar'd to doe that euill
If the first, that did th' Edict infringe
Had answer'd for his deed. Now 'tis awake,
Takes note of what is done, and like a Prophet
Lookes in a glasse that shewes what future euils
Either now, or by remissenesse, new conceiu'd,
And so in progresse to be hatch'd, and borne,
Are now to haue no successiue degrees,
But here they liue to end.

Isab.
Yet shew some pittie.

Ang.
I shew it most of all, when I show Iustice;
For then I pittie those I doe not know,
Which a dismis'd offence, would after gaule
And doe him right, that answering one foule wrong
Liues not to act another. Be satisfied;
Your Brother dies to morrow; be content.

Isab.
So you must be ye first that giues this sentence,
And hee, that suffers: Oh, it is excellent
To haue a Giants strength: but it is tyrannous
To vse it like a Giant.

Luc.
That's well said.

Isab.
Could great men thunder
As Ioue himselfe do's, Ioue would neuer be quiet,
For euery pelting petty Officer
Would vse his heauen for thunder;
Nothing but thunder: Mercifull heauen,
Thou rather with thy sharpe and sulpherous bolt
Splits the vn-wedgable and gnarled Oke,
Then the soft Mertill: But man, proud man,
Drest in a little briefe authoritie,
Most ignorant of what he's most assur'd,
(His glassie Essence) like an angry Ape
Plaies such phantastique tricks before high heauen,
As makes the Angels weepe: who with our spleenes,
Would all themselues laugh mortall.

Luc.

Oh, to him, to him wench: he will relent,
Hee's comming: I perceiue't.

Pro.
Pray heauen she win him.

Isab.
We cannot weigh our brother with our selfe,
Great men may iest with Saints: tis wit in them,
But in the lesse fowle prophanation.

Luc.
Thou'rt i'th right (Girle) more o'that.

Isab.
That in the Captaine's but a chollericke word,
Which in the Souldier is flat blasphemie.

Luc.

Art auis'd o'that? more on't.

Ang.
Why doe you put these sayings vpon me?

Isab.
Because Authoritie, though it erre like others,
Hath yet a kinde of medicine in it selfe
That skins the vice o'th top; goe to your bosome,
Knock there, and aske your heart what it doth know
That's like my brothers fault: if it confesse
A naturall guiltinesse, such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought vpon your tongue
Against my brothers life.

Ang.
Shee speakes, and 'tis such sence
That my Sence breeds with it; fare you well.

Isab.
Gentle my Lord, turne backe.

Ang.
I will bethinke me: come againe to morrow.

Isa.
Hark, how Ile bribe you: good my Lord turn back.

Ang.
How? bribe me?

Is.
I, with such gifts that heauen shall share with you.

Luc.
You had mar'd all else.

Isab.
Not with fond Sickles of the tested-gold,
Or Stones, whose rate are either rich, or poore
As fancie values them: but with true prayers,
That shall be vp at heauen, and enter there
Ere Sunne rise: prayers from preserued soules,
From fasting Maides, whose mindes are dedicate
To nothing temporall.

Ang.
Well: come to me to morrow.

Luc.
Goe to: 'tis well; away.

Isab.
Heauen keepe your honour safe.

Ang.
Amen.
For I am that way going to temptation,
Where prayers crosse.

Isab.
At what hower to morrow,
Shall I attend your Lordship?

Ang.
At any time 'fore-noone.

Isab.
'Saue your Honour.

Ang.
From thee: euen from thy vertue.
What's this? what's this? is this her fault, or mine?
The Tempter, or the Tempted, who sins most?
ha?
Not she: nor doth she tempt: but it is I,
That, lying by the Violet in the Sunne,
Doe as the Carrion do's, not as the flowre,
Corrupt with vertuous season: Can it be,
That Modesty may more betray our Sence
Then womans lightnesse? hauing waste ground enough,
Shall we desire to raze the Sanctuary
And pitch our euils there? oh fie, fie, fie:
What dost thou? or what art thou Angelo?
Dost thou desire her fowly, for those things
That make her good? oh, let her brother liue:
Theeues for their robbery haue authority,
When Iudges steale themselues: what, doe I loue her,
That I desire to heare her speake againe?
And feast vpon her eyes? what is't I dreame on?
Oh cunning enemy, that to catch a Saint,
With Saints dost bait thy hooke: most dangerous
Is that temptation, that doth goad vs on
To sinne, in louing vertue: neuer could the Strumpet
With all her double vigor, Art, and Nature
Once stir my temper: but this vertuous Maid
Subdues me quite: Euer till now
When men were fond, I smild, and wondred how.
Exit.
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Duke and Prouost.

Duke.
Haile to you, Prouost, so I thinke you are.

Pro.
I am the Prouost: whats your will, good Frier?

Duke.
Bound by my charity, and my blest order,
I come to visite the afflicted spirits
Here in the prison: doe me the common right
To let me see them: and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
To them accordingly.

Pro.
I would do more then that, if more were needfull
Enter Iuliet.
Looke here comes one: a Gentlewoman of mine,
Who falling in the flawes of her owne youth,
Hath blisterd her report: She is with childe,
And he that got it, sentenc'd: a yong man,
More fit to doe another such offence,
Then dye for this.

Duk.
When must he dye?

Pro.
As I do thinke to morrow.
I haue prouided for you, stay a while
And you shall be conducted.

Duk.
Repent you (faire one) of the sin you carry?

Iul.
I doe; and beare the shame most patiently.

Du.
Ile teach you how you shal araign your consciẽce
And try your penitence, if it be sound,
Or hollowly put on.

Iul.
Ile gladly learne.

Duk.
Loue you the man that wrong'd you?

Iul.
Yes, as I loue the woman that wrong'd him.

Duk.
So then it seemes your most offence full act
Was mutually committed.

Iul.
Mutually.

Duk.
Then was your sin of heauier kinde then his.

Iul.
I doe confesse it, and repent it (Father.)

Duk.
'Tis meet so (daughter) but least you do repent
As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,
Which sorrow is alwaies toward our selues, not heauen,
Showing we would not spare heauen, as we loue it,
But as we stand in feare.

Iul.
I doe repent me, as it is an euill,
And take the shame with ioy.

Duke.
There rest:
Your partner (as I heare) must die to morrow,
And I am going with instruction to him:
Grace goe with you, Benedicite.
Exit.

Iul.
Must die to morrow? oh iniurious Loue
That respits me a life, whose very comfort
Is still a dying horror.

Pro.
'Tis pitty of him.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Angelo.

An.
When I would pray, & think, I thinke, and pray
To seuerall subiects: heauen hath my empty words,
Whilst my Inuention, hearing not my Tongue,
Anchors on Isabell: heauen in my mouth,
As if I did but onely chew his name,
And in my heart the strong and swelling euill
Of my conception: the state whereon I studied
Is like a good thing, being often read
Growne feard, and tedious: yea, my Grauitie
Wherein (let no man heare me) I take pride,
Could I, with boote, change for an idle plume
Which the ayre beats for vaine: oh place, oh forme,
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit
Wrench awe from fooles, and tye the wiser soules
To thy false seeming? Blood, thou art blood,
Let's write good Angell on the Deuills horne
'Tis not the Deuills Crest: how now? who's there?
Enter Seruant.

Ser.
One Isabell, a Sister, desires accesse to you.

Ang.
Teach her the way:
oh, heauens
Why doe's my bloud thus muster to my heart,
Making both it vnable for it selfe,
And dispossessing all my other parts
Of necessary fitnesse?
So play the foolish throngs with one that swounds,
Come all to help him, and so stop the ayre
By which hee should reuiue: and euen so
The generall subiect to a wel-wisht King
Quit their owne part, and in obsequious fondnesse
Crowd to his presence, where their vn-taught loue
Must needs appear offence:
Enter Isabella.
how now faire Maid.

Isab.
I am come to know your pleasure.

An.
That you might know it, wold much better please me,
Then to demand what 'tis: your Brother cannot liue.

Isab.
Euen so: heauen keepe your Honor.

Ang.
Yet may he liue a while: and it may be
As long as you, or I: yet he must die.

Isab.
Vnder your Sentence?

Ang.
Yea.

Isab.
When, I beseech you: that in his Reprieue
(Longer, or shorter) he may be so fitted
That his soule sicken not.

Ang.
Ha? fie, these filthy vices: It were as good
To pardon him, that hath from nature stolne
A man already made, as to remit
Their sawcie sweetnes, that do coyne heauens Image
In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easie,
Falsely to take away a life true made,
As to put mettle in restrained meanes
To make a false one.

Isab.
'Tis set downe so in heauen, but not in earth.

Ang.
Say you so: then I shall poze you quickly.
Which had you rather, that the most iust Law
Now tooke your brothers life, and to redeeme him
Giue vp your body to such sweet vncleannesse
As she that he hath staind?

Isab.
Sir, beleeue this.
I had rather giue my body, then my soule.

Ang.
I talke not of your soule: our compel'd sins
Stand more for number, then for accompt.

Isab.
How say you?

Ang.
Nay Ile not warrant that: for I can speake
Against the thing I say: Answere to this,
I (now the voyce of the recorded Law)
Pronounce a sentence on your Brothers life,
Might there not be a charitie in sinne,
To saue this Brothers life?

Isab.
Please you to doo't,
Ile take it as a perill to my soule,
It is no sinne at all, but charitie.

Ang.
Pleas'd you to doo't, at perill of your soule
Were equall poize of sinne, and charitie.

Isab.
That I do beg his life, if it be sinne
Heauen let me beare it: you granting of my suit,
If that be sin, Ile make it my Morne-praier,
To haue it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your answere.

Ang.
Nay, but heare me,
Your sence pursues not mine: either you are ignorant,
Or seeme so crafty; and that's not good.

Isab.
Let be ignorant, and in nothing good,
But graciously to know I am no better.

Ang.
Thus wisdome wishes to appeare most bright,
When it doth taxe it selfe: As these blacke Masques
Proclaime an en-shield beauty ten times louder
Then beauty could displaied: But marke me,
To be receiued plaine, Ile speake more grosse:
Your Brother is to dye.

Isab.
So.

Ang.
And his offence is so, as it appeares,
Accountant to the Law, vpon that paine.

Isab.
True.

Ang.
Admit no other way to saue his life
(As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the losse of question) that you, his Sister,
Finding your selfe desir'd of such a person,
Whose creadit with the Iudge, or owne great place,
Could fetch your Brother from the Manacles
Of the all-building-Law: and that there were
No earthly meane to saue him, but that either
You must lay downe the treasures of your body,
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer:
What would you doe?

Isab.
As much for my poore Brother, as my selfe;
That is: were I vnder the tearmes of death,
Th' impression of keene whips, I'ld weare as Rubies,
And strip my selfe to death, as to a bed,
That longing haue bin sicke for, ere I'ld yeeld
My body vp to shame.

Ang.
Then must your brother die.

Isa.
And 'twer the cheaper way:
Better it were a brother dide at once,
Then that a sister, by redeeming him
Should die for euer.

Ang.
Were not you then as cruell as the Sentence,
That you haue slander'd so?

Isa.
Ignomie in ransome, and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawfull mercie,
Is nothing kin to fowle redemption.

Ang.
You seem'd of late to make the Law a tirant,
And rather prou'd the sliding of your brother
A merriment, then a vice.

Isa.
Oh pardon me my Lord, it oft fals out
To haue, what we would haue, / We speake not what vve meane;
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his aduantage that I dearely loue.

Ang.
We are all fraile.

Isa.
Else let my brother die,
If not a fedarie but onely he
Owe, and succeed thy weaknesse.

Ang.
Nay, women are fraile too.

Isa.
I, as the glasses where they view themselues,
Which are as easie broke as they make formes:
Women? Helpe heauen; men their creation marre
In profiting by them: Nay, call vs ten times fraile,
For we are soft, as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.

Ang.
I thinke it well:
And from this testimonie of your owne sex
(Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Then faults may shake our frames) let me be bold;
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is a woman; if you be more, you'r none.
If you be one (as you are well exprest
By all externall warrants) shew it now,
By putting on the destin'd Liuerie.

Isa.
I haue no tongue but one; gentle my Lord,
Let me entreate you speake the former language.

Ang.
Plainlie conceiue I loue you.

Isa.
My brother did loue Iuliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for't.

Ang.
He shall not Isabell if you giue me loue.

Isa.
I know your vertue hath a licence in't,
Which seemes a little fouler then it is,
To plucke on others.

Ang.
Beleeue me on mine Honor,
My words expresse my purpose.

Isa.
Ha? Little honor, to be much beleeu'd,
And most pernitious purpose: Seeming, seeming.
I will proclaime thee Angelo, looke for't.
Signe me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an out-stretcht throate Ile tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

Ang.
Who will beleeue thee Isabell?
My vnsoild name, th' austeerenesse of my life,
My vouch against you, and my place i'th State,
Will so your accusation ouer-weigh,
That you shall stifle in your owne reporr,
And smell of calumnie. I haue begun,
And now I giue my sensuall race, the reine,
Fit thy consent to my sharpe appetite,
Lay by all nicetie, and prolixious blushes
That banish what they sue for: Redeeme thy brother,
By yeelding vp thy bodie to my will,
Or else he must not onelie die the death,
But thy vnkindnesse shall his death draw out
To lingring sufferance: Answer me to morrow,
Or by the affection that now guides me most,
Ile proue a Tirant to him. As for you,
Say what you can; my false, ore-weighs your true.
Exit

Isa.
To whom should I complaine? Did I tell this,
Who would beleeue me? O perilous mouthes
That beare in them, one and the selfesame tongue,
Either of condemnation, or approofe,
Bidding the Law make curtsie to their will,
Hooking both right and wrong to th' appetite,
To follow as it drawes. Ile to my brother,
Though he hath falne by prompture of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a minde of Honor,
That had he twentie heads to tender downe
On twentie bloodie blockes, hee'ld yeeld them vp,
Before his sister should her bodie stoope
To such abhord pollution.
Then Isabell liue chaste, and brother die;
"More then our Brother, is our Chastitie.
Ile tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his minde to death, for his soules rest.
Exit.
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter Angelo, Escalus, and Servants, Justice

ANGELO
We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch and not their terror.

ESCALUS
Ay, but yet
Let us be keen and rather cut a little
Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas, this gentleman,
Whom I would save, had a most noble father.
Let but your honour know,
Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,
That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time cohered with place or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attained th' effect of your own purpose,
Whether you had not sometime in your life
Erred in this point which now you censure him,
And pulled the law upon you.

ANGELO
'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
Another thing to fall. I not deny,
The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two
Guiltier than him they try; what's open made to justice,
That justice seizes; what knows the laws
That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very pregnant,
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take't
Because we see it; but what we do not see
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgement pattern out my death
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.
Enter Provost

ESCALUS
Be it as your wisdom will.

ANGELO
Where is the provost?

PROVOST
Here, if it like your honour.

ANGELO
See that Claudio
Be executed by tomorrow morning:
Bring his confessor, let him be prepared;
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.
Exit Provost

ESCALUS
Well, heaven forgive him, and forgive us all.
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes of office, and answer none,
And some condemned for a fault alone.
Enter Elbow, Froth, Pompey, Officers

ELBOW
Come, bring them away. If these be good people
in a commonweal that do nothing but use their abuses
in common houses, I know no law. Bring them away.

ANGELO
How now, sir, what's your name? And what's
the matter?

ELBOW
If it please your honour, I am the poor Duke's
constable, and my name is Elbow. I do lean upon
justice, sir, and do bring in here before your good
honour two notorious benefactors.

ANGELO
Benefactors? Well, what benefactors are they?
Are they not malefactors?

ELBOW
If it please your honour, I know not well what they
are; but precise villains they are, that I am sure of, and
void of all profanation in the world that good Christians
ought to have.

ESCALUS
This comes off well. Here's a wise officer.

ANGELO
Go to. What quality are they of? Elbow is your
name? Why dost thou not speak, Elbow?

POMPEY
He cannot, sir. He's out at elbow.

ANGELO
What are you, sir?

ELBOW
He, sir? A tapster, sir, parcel-bawd; one that
serves a bad woman, whose house, sir, was, as they say,
plucked down in the suburbs, and now she professes a
hot-house, which I think is a very ill house too.

ESCALUS
How know you that?

ELBOW
My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and
your honour –

ESCALUS
How? Thy wife?

ELBOW
Ay, sir, whom I thank heaven is an honest
woman –

ESCALUS
Dost thou detest her therefore?

ELBOW
I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as she,
that this house, if it be not a bawd's house, it is pity
of her life, for it is a naughty house.

ESCALUS
How dost thou know that, constable?

ELBOW
Marry, sir, by my wife, who, if she had been a
woman cardinally given, might have been accused in
fornication, adultery, and all uncleanliness there.

ESCALUS
By the woman's means?

ELBOW
Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone's means; but as
she spit in his face, so she defied him.

POMPEY
Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.

ELBOW
Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable
man, prove it.

ESCALUS
Do you hear how he misplaces?

POMPEY
Sir, she came in great with child, and longing –
saving your honour's reverence – for stewed prunes.
Sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very
distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit dish, a dish of
some threepence; your honours have seen such dishes;
they are not china dishes, but very good dishes.

ESCALUS
Go to, go to; no matter for the dish, sir.

POMPEY
No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in
the right: but to the point. As I say, this Mistress
Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great-bellied,
and longing, as I said, for prunes, and having
but two in the dish, as I said, Master Froth here, this
very man, having eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I
say, paying for them very honestly, for, as you know,
Master Froth, I could not give you threepence again.

FROTH
No, indeed.

POMPEY
Very well: you being then, if you be remembered,
cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes –

FROTH
Ay, so I did, indeed.

POMPEY
Why, very well: I telling you then, if you be
remembered, that such a one and such a one were past
cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good
diet, as I told you –

FROTH
All this is true.

POMPEY
Why, very well then –

ESCALUS
Come, you are a tedious fool. To the purpose.
What was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to
complain of? Come me to what was done to her.

POMPEY
Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.

ESCALUS
No, sir, nor I mean it not.

POMPEY
Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honour's
leave. And, I beseech you look into Master Froth here,
sir; a man of fourscore pound a year, whose father died
at Hallowmas. Was't not at Hallowmas, Master Froth?

FROTH
Allhallond Eve.

POMPEY
Why, very well. I hope here be truths. He, sir,
sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir – 'twas in the
Bunch of Grapes, where indeed you have a delight to sit,
have you not?

FROTH
I have so, because it is an open room and good for
winter.

POMPEY
Why, very well then. I hope here be truths.

ANGELO
This will last out a night in Russia
When nights are longest there. I'll take my leave,
And leave you to the hearing of the cause,
Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all.

ESCALUS
I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship.
Exit Angelo
Now, sir, come on. What was done to Elbow's wife,
once more?

POMPEY
Once, sir? There was nothing done to her once.

ELBOW
I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to
my wife.

POMPEY
I beseech your honour, ask me.

ESCALUS
Well, sir, what did this gentleman to her?

POMPEY
I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face.
Good Master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a
good purpose. Doth your honour mark his face?

ESCALUS
Ay, sir, very well.

POMPEY
Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.

ESCALUS
Well, I do so.

POMPEY
Doth your honour see any harm in his face?

ESCALUS
Why, no.

POMPEY
I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the
worst thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the
worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the
constable's wife any harm? I would know that of your
honour.

ESCALUS
He's in the right. Constable, what say you to it?

ELBOW
First, an it like you, the house is a respected
house; next, this is a respected fellow, and his mistress
is a respected woman.

POMPEY
By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected
person than any of us all.

ELBOW
Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet. The
time is yet to come that she was ever respected with man,
woman, or child.

POMPEY
Sir, she was respected with him before he
married with her.

ESCALUS
Which is the wiser here, Justice or Iniquity? Is
this true?

ELBOW
O thou caitiff, O thou varlet, O thou wicked
Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married
to her? If ever I was respected with her, or she with
me, let not your worship think me the poor Duke's
officer. Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have
mine action of battery on thee.

ESCALUS
If he took you a box o'th' ear, you might have
your action of slander, too.

ELBOW
Marry, I thank your good worship for it. What
is't your worship's pleasure I shall do with this wicked
caitiff?

ESCALUS
Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in
him that thou wouldst discover, if thou couldst, let him
continue in his courses till thou know'st what they are.

ELBOW
Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou seest,
thou wicked varlet, now, what's come upon thee. Thou
art to continue now, thou varlet, thou art to continue.

ESCALUS
Where were you born, friend?

FROTH
Here in Vienna, sir.

ESCALUS
Are you of fourscore pounds a year?

FROTH
Yes, an't please you, sir.

ESCALUS
So. What trade are you of, sir?

POMPHEY
A tapster, a poor widow's tapster.

ESCALUS
Your mistress' name?

POMPHEY
Mistress Overdone.

ESCALUS
Hath she had any more than one husband?

POMPEY
Nine, sir. Overdone by the last.

ESCALUS
Nine? Come hither to me, Master Froth.
Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with
tapsters; they will draw you, Master Froth, and you will
hang then. Get you gone, and let me hear no more of
you.

FROTH
I thank your worship. For mine own part, I
never come into any room in a taphouse but I am drawn
in.

ESCALUS
Well, no more of it, Master Froth. Farewell.
Exit Froth
Come you hither to me, Master Tapster. What's your
name, Master Tapster?

POMPEY
Pompey.

ESCALUS
What else?

POMPEY
Bum, sir.

ESCALUS
Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about
you, so that, in the beastliest sense, you are Pompey the
Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever
you colour it in being a tapster, are you not?
Come, tell me true. It shall be the better for you.

POMPEY
Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.

ESCALUS
How would you live, Pompey? By being a
bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? Is it a
lawful trade?

POMPEY
If the law would allow it, sir.

ESCALUS
But the law will not allow it, Pompey; nor it
shall not be allowed in Vienna.

POMPEY
Does your worship mean to geld and splay all
the youth of the city?

ESCALUS
No, Pompey.

POMPEY
Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't
then. If your worship will take order for the drabs and
the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

ESCALUS
There is pretty orders beginning, I can tell you.
It is but heading and hanging.

POMPEY
If you head and hang all that offend that way
but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give out a
commission for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna
ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it after threepence
a bay. If you live to see this come to pass, say Pompey
told you so.

ESCALUS
Thank you, good Pompey, and, in requital of
your prophecy, hark you: I advise you, let me not find
you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever;
no, not for dwelling where you do. If I do, Pompey, I
shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd Caesar
to you. In plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you
whipped. So, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

POMPEY
I thank your worship for your good counsel;
but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better
determine.
Whip me? No, no, let carman whip his jade.
The valiant heart's not whipped out of his trade.
Exit

ESCALUS
Come hither to me, Master Elbow. Come
hither, master constable. How long have you been in
this place of constable?

ELBOW
Seven year and a half, sir.

ESCALUS
I thought, by your readiness in the office, you
had continued in it some time. You say, seven years
together?

ELBOW
And a half, sir.

ESCALUS
Alas, it hath been great pains to you; they do
you wrong to put you so oft upon't. Are there not men in
your ward sufficient to serve it?

ELBOW
Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters. As they
are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them. I do it
for some piece of money, and go through with all.

ESCALUS
Look you bring me in the names of some six or
seven, the most sufficient of your parish.

ELBOW
To your worship's house, sir?

ESCALUS
To my house. Fare you well.
Exit Elbow
What's o'clock, think you?

JUSTICE
Eleven, sir.

ESCALUS
I pray you home to dinner with me.

JUSTICE
I humbly thank you.

ESCALUS
It grieves me for the death of Claudio,
But there's no remedy.

JUSTICE
Lord Angelo is severe.

ESCALUS
It is but needful.
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so;
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe.
But yet poor Claudio; there is no remedy.
Come, sir.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Provost, and a Servant

SERVANT
He's hearing of a cause; he will come straight;
I'll tell him of you.

PROVOST
Pray you, do.
Exit Servant
I'll know
His pleasure; maybe he'll relent. Alas,
He hath but as offended in a dream.
All sects, all ages smack of this vice, and he
To die for it!
Enter Angelo

ANGELO
Now, what's the matter, provost?

PROVOST
Is it your will Claudio shall die tomorrow?

ANGELO
Did not I tell thee, yea? Hadst thou not order?
Why dost thou ask again?

PROVOST
Lest I might be too rash.
Under your good correction, I have seen
When, after execution, judgement hath
Repented o'er his doom.

ANGELO
Go to; let that be mine.
Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spared.

PROVOST
I crave your honour's pardon.
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.

ANGELO
Dispose of her
To some more fitter place, and that with speed.
Enter Servant

SERVANT
Here is the sister of the man condemned
Desires access to you.

ANGELO
Hath he a sister?

PROVOST
Ay, my good lord, a very virtuous maid,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.

ANGELO
Well, let her be admitted.
Exit Servant
See you the fornicatress be removed;
Let have needful, but not lavish, means.
There shall be order for't.
Enter Lucio and Isabella

PROVOST
God save your honour.

ANGELO
Stay a little while. (To Isabella) Y'are welcome. What's your will?

ISABELLA
I am a woeful suitor to your honour,
Please but your honour hear me.

ANGELO
Well, what's your suit?

ISABELLA
There is a vice that most I do abhor,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice,
For which I would not plead, but that I must,
For which I must not plead, but that I am
At war 'twixt will and will not.

ANGELO
Well: the matter?

ISABELLA
I have a brother is condemned to die.
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

PROVOST
(aside)
Heaven give thee moving graces.

ANGELO
Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it?
Why, every fault's condemned ere it be done.
Mine were the very cipher of a function,
To fine the faults whose fine stands in record,
And let go by the actor.

ISABELLA
O just, but severe law!
I had a brother then; heaven keep your honour.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
Give't not o'er so. To him again, entreat him,
Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown;
You are too cold. If you should need a pin,
You could not with more tame a tongue desire it.
To him, I say.

ISABELLA
Must he needs die?

ANGELO
Maiden, no remedy.

ISABELLA
Yes, I do think that you might pardon him,
And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.

ANGELO
I will not do't.

ISABELLA
But can you if you would?

ANGELO
Look what I will not, that I cannot do.

ISABELLA
But might you do't, and do the world no wrong,
If so your heart were touched with that remorse
As mine is to him?

ANGELO
He's sentenced; 'tis too late.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
You are too cold.

ISABELLA
Too late? Why, no. I that do speak a word
May call it back again. Well, believe this,
No ceremony that to great ones longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does.
If he had been as you, and you as he,
You would have slipped like him; but he, like you,
Would not have been so stern.

ANGELO
Pray you, be gone.

ISABELLA
I would to heaven I had your potency,
And you were Isabel; should it then be thus?
No, I would tell what 'twere to be a judge,
And what a prisoner.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
Ay, touch him; there's the vein.

ANGELO
Your brother is a forfeit of the law,
And you but waste your words.

ISABELLA
Alas, alas;
Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once,
And He that might the vantage best have took
Found out the remedy. How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgement, should
But judge you as you are? O think on that,
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made.

ANGELO
Be you content, fair maid,
It is the law, not I, condemns your brother;
Were he my kinsman, brother, or my son,
It should be thus with him. He must die tomorrow.

ISABELLA
Tomorrow? O, that's sudden; spare him, spare him.
He's not prepared for death. Even for our kitchens
We kill the fowl of season. Shall we serve heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you:
Who is it that hath died for this offence?
There's many have committed it.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
Ay, well said.

ANGELO
The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept.
Those many had not dared to do that evil
If that the first that did th' edict infringe
Had answered for his deed. Now 'tis awake,
Takes note of what is done, and like a prophet
Looks in a glass that shows what future evils,
Either now, or by remissness new, conceived,
And so in progress to be hatched and born,
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, ere they live, to end.

ISABELLA
Yet show some pity.

ANGELO
I show it most of all when I show justice,
For then I pity those I do not know,
Which a dismissed offence would after gall,
And do him right that, answering one foul wrong,
Lives not to act another. Be satisfied
Your brother dies tomorrow. Be content.

ISABELLA
So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
And he, that suffers. O, 'tis excellent
To have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
That's well said.

ISABELLA
Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder,
Nothing but thunder. Merciful heaven,
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Splits the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle; but man, proud man,
Dressed in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As makes the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
O, to him, to him, wench; he will relent.
He's coming, I perceive't.

PROVOST
(aside)
Pray heaven she win him.

ISABELLA
We cannot weigh our brother with ourself.
Great men may jest with saints: 'tis wit in them,
But in the less, foul profanation.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
Thou'rt i'th' right, girl, more o' that.

ISABELLA
That in the captain's but a choleric word
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
Art avised o' that? More on't.

ANGELO
Why do you put these sayings upon me?

ISABELLA
Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself
That skins the vice o'th' top. Go to your bosom,
Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know
That's like my brother's fault; if it confess
A natural guiltiness such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.

ANGELO
(aside)
She speaks, and 'tis
Such sense that my sense breeds with it. Fare you well.

ISABELLA
Gentle my lord, turn back.

ANGELO
I will bethink me. Come again tomorrow.

ISABELLA
Hark how I'll bribe you. Good my lord, turn back.

ANGELO
How? Bribe me?

ISABELLA
Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
You had marred all else.

ISABELLA
Not with fond sicles of the tested gold,
Or stones whose rates are either rich or poor
As fancy values them; but with true prayers
That shall be up at heaven and enter there
Ere sunrise: prayers from preserved souls,
From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.

ANGELO
Well, come to me tomorrow.

LUCIO
(aside to Isabella)
Go to, 'tis well; away.

ISABELLA
Heaven keep your honour safe.

ANGELO
(aside)
Amen.
For I am that way going to temptation,
Where prayers cross.

ISABELLA
At what hour tomorrow
Shall I attend your lordship?

ANGELO
At any time 'forenoon.

ISABELLA
God save your honour.
Exeunt Isabella, Lucio, and Provost

ANGELO
From thee: even from thy virtue.
What's this? What's this? Is this her fault or mine?
The tempter, or the tempted, who sins most?
Ha?
Not she, nor doth she tempt; but it is I
That, lying by the violet in the sun,
Do as the carrion does, not as the flower,
Corrupt with virtuous season. Can it be
That modesty may more betray our sense
Than woman's lightness? Having waste ground enough,
Shall we desire to raze the sanctuary
And pitch our evils there? O, fie, fie, fie!
What dost thou? Or what art thou, Angelo?
Dost thou desire her foully for those things
That make her good? O, let her brother live:
Thieves for their robbery have authority
When judges steal themselves. What, do I love her,
That I desire to hear her speak again,
And feast upon her eyes? What is't I dream on?
O cunning enemy that, to catch a saint,
With saints dost bait thy hook. Most dangerous
Is that temptation that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue. Never could the strumpet
With all her double vigour, art and nature,
Once stir my temper; but this virtuous maid
Subdues me quite. Ever till now,
When men were fond, I smiled and wondered how.
Exit
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Duke, disguised as a friar, and Provost

DUKE
Hail to you, provost – so I think you are.

PROVOST
I am the provost. What's your will, good friar?

DUKE
Bound by my charity and my blessed order,
I come to visit the afflicted spirits
Here in the prison. Do me the common right
To let me see them and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
To them accordingly.

PROVOST
I would do more than that, if more were needful.
Enter Juliet
Look, here comes one: a gentlewoman of mine,
Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth,
Hath blistered her report. She is with child,
And he that got it, sentenced: a young man
More fit to do another such offence
Than die for this.

DUKE
When must he die?

PROVOST
As I do think, tomorrow.
(To Juliet) I have provided for you; stay a while
And you shall be conducted.

DUKE
Repent you, fair one, of the sin you carry?

JULIET
I do, and bear the shame most patiently.

DUKE
I'll teach you how you shall arraign your conscience
And try your penitence, if it be sound,
Or hollowly put on.

JULIET
I'll gladly learn.

DUKE
Love you the man that wronged you?

JULIET
Yes, as I love the woman that wronged him.

DUKE
So then it seems your most offenceful act
Was mutually committed?

JULIET
Mutually.

DUKE
Then was your sin of heavier kind than his.

JULIET
I do confess it, and repent it, father.

DUKE
'Tis meet so, daughter, but lest you do repent
As that the sin hath brought you to this shame,
Which sorrow is always towards ourselves, not heaven,
Showing we would not spare heaven as we love it,
But as we stand in fear –

JULIET
I do repent me as it is an evil,
And take the shame with joy.

DUKE
There rest.
Your partner, as I hear, must die tomorrow,
And I am going with instruction to him.
Grace go with you. Benedicite.
Exit

JULIET
Must die tomorrow? O injurious love,
That respites me a life whose very comfort
Is still a dying horror.

PROVOST
'Tis pity of him.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Angelo

ANGELO
When I would pray and think, I think and pray
To several subjects: heaven hath my empty words,
Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: God in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew His name,
And in my heart the strong and swelling evil
Of my conception. The state, whereon I studied,
Is like a good thing, being often read,
Grown seared and tedious; yea, my gravity,
Wherein, let no man hear me, I take pride,
Could I, with boot, change for an idle plume
Which the air beats for vain. O place, O form,
How often dost thou with thy case, thy habit,
Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wiser souls
To thy false seeming! Blood, thou art blood;
Let's write ‘ good Angel ’ on the devil's horn,
'Tis not the devil's crest – How now? Who's there?
Enter Servant

SERVANT
One Isabel, a sister, desires access to you.

ANGELO
Teach her the way.
Exit Servant
O heavens,
Why does my blood thus muster to my heart,
Making both it unable for itself,
And dispossessing all my other parts
Of necessary fitness?
So play the foolish throngs with one that swoons,
Come all to help him, and so stop the air
By which he should revive; and even so
The general, subject to a well-wished king,
Quit their own part, and in obsequious fondness
Crowd to his presence, where their untaught love
Must needs appear offence.
Enter Isabella
How now, fair maid?

ISABELLA
I am come to know your pleasure.

ANGELO
That you might know it, would much better please me
Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot live.

ISABELLA
Even so. Heaven keep your honour.

ANGELO
Yet may he live a while; and it may be
As long as you or I, yet he must die.

ISABELLA
Under your sentence?

ANGELO
Yea.

ISABELLA
When, I beseech you? That in his reprieve,
Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not.

ANGELO
Ha! fie, these filthy vices! It were as good
To pardon him that hath from nature stol'n
A man already made as to remit
Their saucy sweetness that do coin God's image
In stamps that are forbid: 'tis all as easy
Falsely to take away a life true made
As to put metal in restrained means
To make a false one.

ISABELLA
'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

ANGELO
Say you so? Then I shall pose you quickly.
Which had you rather, that the most just law
Now took your brother's life, or to redeem him
Give up your body to such sweet uncleanness
As she that he hath stained?

ISABELLA
Sir, believe this,
I had rather give my body than my soul.

ANGELO
I talk not of your soul. Our compelled sins
Stand more for number than accompt.

ISABELLA
How say you?

ANGELO
Nay, I'll not warrant that, for I can speak
Against the thing I say. Answer to this:
I, now the voice of the recorded law,
Pronounce a sentence on your brother's life;
Might there not be a charity in sin
To save this brother's life?

ISABELLA
Please you to do't,
I'll take it as a peril to my soul;
It is no sin at all, but charity.

ANGELO
Pleased you to do't, at peril of your soul,
Were equal poise of sin and charity.

ISABELLA
That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it; you granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
To have it added to the faults of mine
And nothing of your answer.

ANGELO
Nay, but hear me;
Your sense pursues not mine. Either you are ignorant,
Or seem so craftily; and that's not good.

ISABELLA
Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good
But graciously to know I am no better.

ANGELO
Thus wisdom wishes to appear most bright
When it doth tax itself, as these black masks
Proclaim an enshield beauty ten times louder
Than beauty could, displayed. But mark me;
To be received plain, I'll speak more gross:
Your brother is to die.

ISABELLA
So.

ANGELO
And his offence is so, as it appears,
Accountant to the law upon that pain.

ISABELLA
True.

ANGELO
Admit no other way to save his life –
As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question – that you, his sister,
Finding yourself desired of such a person
Whose credit with the judge, or own great place,
Could fetch your brother from the manacles
Of the all-binding law; and that there were
No earthly mean to save him, but that either
You must lay down the treasures of your body
To this supposed, or else to let him suffer,
What would you do?

ISABELLA
As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
Th' impression of keen whips I'd wear as rubies,
And strip myself to death as to a bed
That long I have been sick for, ere I'd yield
My body up to shame.

ANGELO
Then must your brother die.

ISABELLA
And 'twere the cheaper way.
Better it were a brother died at once
Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
Should die for ever.

ANGELO
Were not you then as cruel as the sentence
That you have slandered so?

ISABELLA
Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy is
Nothing kin to foul redemption.

ANGELO
You seemed of late to make the law a tyrant,
And rather proved the sliding of your brother
A merriment than a vice.

ISABELLA
O pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean.
I something do excuse the thing I hate
For his advantage that I dearly love.

ANGELO
We are all frail.

ISABELLA
Else let my brother die,
If not a fedary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

ANGELO
Nay, women are frail too.

ISABELLA
Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves,
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women, help heaven! Men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail,
For we are soft as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.

ANGELO
I think it well.
And from this testimony of your own sex –
Since I suppose we are made to be no stronger
Than faults may shake our frames – let me be bold.
I do arrest your words. Be that you are,
That is, a woman; if you be more, you're none.
If you be one, as you are well expressed
By all external warrants, show it now,
By putting on the destined livery.

ISABELLA
I have no tongue but one. Gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.

ANGELO
Plainly conceive, I love you.

ISABELLA
My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for't.

ANGELO
He shall not, Isabel, if you give me love.

ISABELLA
I know your virtue hath a licence in't,
Which seems a little fouler than it is,
To pluck on others.

ANGELO
Believe me, on mine honour,
My words express my purpose.

ISABELLA
Ha! Little honour to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose. Seeming, seeming!
I will proclaim thee, Angelo, look for't!
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretched throat I'll tell the world
What man thou art.

ANGELO
Who will believe thee, Isabel?
My unsoiled name, th' austereness of my life,
My vouch against you, and my place i'th' state,
Will so your accusation overweigh
That you shall stifle in your own report
And smell of calumny. I have begun,
And now I give my sensual race the rein.
Fit thy consent to my sharp appetite,
Lay by all nicety and prolixious blushes,
That banish what they sue for. Redeem thy brother
By yielding up thy body to my will,
Or else he must not only die the death,
But thy unkindness shall his death draw out
To lingering sufferance. Answer me tomorrow,
Or, by the affection that now guides me most,
I'll prove a tyrant to him. As for you,
Say what you can, my false o'erweighs your true.
Exit

ISABELLA
To whom should I complain? Did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,
That bear in them one and the selfsame tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof,
Bidding the law make curtsy to their will,
Hooking both right and wrong to th' appetite,
To follow as it draws. I'll to my brother.
Though he hath fall'n by prompture of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour
That, had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up,
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorred pollution.
Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die.
More than our brother is our chastity.
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.
Exit
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL