Measure for Measure

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Original text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Mariana, and Boy singing.

Song.
Take, oh take those lips away,
that so sweetly were forsworne,
And those eyes: the breake of day
lights that doe mislead the Morne;
But my kisses bring againe, bring againe,
Seales of loue, but seal'd in vaine, seal'd in vaine.
Enter Duke.

Mar.
Breake off thy song, and haste thee quick away,
Here comes a man of comfort, whose aduice
Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.
I cry you mercie, Sir, and well could wish
You had not found me here so musicall.
Let me excuse me, and beleeue me so,
My mirth it much displeas'd, but pleas'd my woe.

Duk.
'Tis good; though Musick oft hath such a charme
To make bad, good; and good prouoake to harme.
I pray you tell me, hath any body enquir'd for mee here
to day; much vpon this time haue I promis'd here to
meete.

Mar.
You haue not bin enquir'd after: I haue sat
here all day.
Enter Isabell.

Duk.
I doe constantly beleeue you: the time is come euen
now. I shall craue your forbearance a little, may be I
will call vpon you anone for some aduantage to your selfe.

Mar.
I am alwayes bound to you.
Exit.

Duk.
Very well met, and well come:
What is the newes from this good Deputie?

Isab.
He hath a Garden circummur'd with Bricke,
Whose westerne side is with a Vineyard back't;
And to that Vineyard is a planched gate,
That makes his opening with this bigger Key:
This other doth command a little doore,
Which from the Vineyard to the Garden leades,
There haue I made my promise,
vpon the / Heauy midle of the night,
to call vpon him.

Duk.
But shall you on your knowledge find this way?

Isab.
I haue t'ane a due, and wary note vpon't,
With whispering, and most guiltie diligence,
In action all of precept, he did show me
The way twice ore.

Duk.
Are there no other tokens
Betweene you 'greed, concerning her obseruance?

Isab.
No: none but onely a repaire ith' darke,
And that I haue possest him, my most stay
Can be but briefe: for I haue made him know,
I haue a Seruant comes with me along
That staies vpon me; whose perswasion is,
I come about my Brother.

Duk.
'Tis well borne vp.
I haue not yet made knowne to Mariana
A word of this: what hoa, within; come forth,
I pray you be acquainted with this Maid,
She comes to doe you good.

Isab.
I doe desire the like.

Duk.
Do you perswade your selfe that I respect you?

Mar.
Good Frier, I know you do, and haue found it.

Duke.
Take then this your companion by the hand
Who hath a storie readie for your eare:
I shall attend your leisure, but make haste
The vaporous night approaches.

Mar.
Wilt please you walke aside.
Exit.

Duke.
Oh Place, and greatnes: millions of false eies
Are stucke vpon thee: volumes of report
Run with these false, and most contrarious Quest
Vpon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dreame,
And racke thee in their fancies.
Enter Mariana and Isabella.
Welcome, how agreed?

Isab.
Shee'll take the enterprize vpon her father,
If you aduise it.

Duke.
It is not my consent,
But my entreaty too.

Isa.
Little haue you to say
When you depart from him, but soft and low,
Remember now my brother.

Mar.
Feare me not.

Duk.
Nor gentle daughter, feare you not at all:
He is your husband on a pre-contract:
To bring you thus together 'tis no sinne,
Sith that the Iustice of your title to him
Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let vs goe,
Our Corne's to reape, for yet our Tithes to sow.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Prouost and Clowne.

Pro.
Come hither sirha; can you cut off a mans
head?

Clo.
If the man be a Bachelor Sir, I can: / But if he be a
married man, he's his wiues head, / And I can neuer cut
off a womans head.

Pro.
Come sir, leaue me your snatches, and yeeld
mee a direct answere. To morrow morning are to die
Claudio and Barnardine: heere is in our prison a common
executioner, who in his office lacks a helper, if you
will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeeme you
from your Gyues: if not, you shall haue your full time
of imprisonment, and your deliuerance with an
vnpittied whipping; for you haue beene a notorious bawd.

Clo.
Sir, I haue beene an vnlawfull bawd, time out of
minde, but yet I will bee content to be a lawfull hangman:
I would bee glad to receiue some instruction from my
fellow partner.

Pro.
What hoa, Abhorson: where's Abhorson there?
Enter Abhorson.

Abh.
Doe you call sir?

Pro.
Sirha, here's a fellow will helpe you to morrow
in your execution: if you thinke it meet, compound with
him by the yeere, and let him abide here with you, if
not, vse him for the present, and dismisse him, hee cannot
plead his estimation with you: he hath beene a Bawd.

Abh.
A Bawd Sir? fie vpon him, he will discredit
our mysterie.

Pro.
Goe too Sir, you waigh equallie: a feather will
turne the Scale.
Exit.

Clo.
Pray sir, by your good fauor: for surely sir, a
good fauor you haue, but that you haue a hanging
look: Doe you call sir, your occupation a Mysterie?

Abh.
I Sir, a Misterie.

Clo.
Painting Sir, I haue heard say, is a Misterie; and
your Whores sir, being members of my occupation,
vsing painting, do proue my Occupation, a Misterie: but
what Misterie there should be in hanging, if I should be
hang'd, I cannot imagine.

Abh.
Sir, it is a Misterie.

Clo.
Proofe.

Abh.
Euerie true mans apparrell fits your Theefe. If it
be too little for your theefe, your true man thinkes it bigge
enough. If it bee too bigge for your Theefe, your Theefe
thinkes it little enough: So euerie true mans apparrell
fits your Theefe.
Enter Prouost.

Pro.
Are you agreed?

Clo.
Sir, I will serue him: For I do finde your Hangman
is a more penitent Trade then your Bawd: he doth
oftner aske forgiuenesse.

Pro.
You sirrah, prouide your blocke and your Axe
to morrow, foure a clocke.

Abh.
Come on (Bawd) I will instruct thee in my
Trade: follow.

Clo.
I do desire to learne sir: and I hope, if you haue
occasion to vse me for your owne turne, you shall finde me
y'are. For truly sir, for your kindnesse, I owe you a good
turne.

Pro.
Call hether Barnardine and Claudio:
Exit
Th' one has my pitie; not a iot the other,
Being a Murtherer, though he were my brother.
Enter Claudio.
Looke, here's the Warrant Claudio, for thy death,
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to morrow
Thou must be made immortall. Where's Barnardine?

Cla.
As fast lock'd vp in sleepe, as guiltlesse labour,
When it lies starkely in the Trauellers bones,
He will not wake.

Pro.
Who can do good on him?
Well, go, prepare your selfe.
But harke, what noise?
Heauen giue your spirits comfort:
by, and by,
I hope it is some pardon, or repreeue
For the most gentle Claudio.
Enter Duke.
Welcome Father.

Duke.
The best, and wholsomst spirits of the night,
Inuellop you, good Prouost: who call'd heere of late?

Pro.
None since the Curphew rung.

Duke.
Not Isabell?

Pro.
No.

Duke.
They will then er't be long.

Pro.
What comfort is for Claudio?

Duke.
There's some in hope.

Pro.
It is a bitter Deputie.

Duke.
Not so, not so: his life is paralel'd
Euen with the stroke and line of his great Iustice:
He doth with holie abstinence subdue
That in himselfe, which he spurres on his powre
To qualifie in others: were he meal'd with that
Which he corrects, then were he tirrannous,
But this being so, he's iust.
Now are they come.
This is a gentle Prouost, sildome when
The steeled Gaoler is the friend of men:
How now? what noise? That spirit's possest with hast,
That wounds th' vnsisting Posterne with these strokes.

Pro.
There he must stay vntil the Officer
Arise to let him in: he is call'd vp.

Duke.
Haue you no countermand for Claudio yet?
But he must die to morrow?

Pro.
None Sir, none.

Duke.
As neere the dawning Prouost, as it is,
You shall heare more ere Morning.

Pro.
Happely
You something know: yet I beleeue there comes
No countermand: no such example haue we:
Besides, vpon the verie siege of Iustice,
Lord Angelo hath to the publike eare
Profest the contrarie.
Enter a Messenger.

Duke.
This is his Lords man.

Pro.
And heere comes Claudio's pardon.

Mess.
My Lord hath sent you this note, / And by mee
this further charge; / That you swerue not from the smallest
Article of it, / Neither in time, matter, or other circumstance.
Good morrow: for as I take it, it is almost day.

Pro.
I shall obey him.

Duke.
This is his Pardon purchas'd by such sin,
For which the Pardoner himselfe is in:
Hence hath offence his quicke celeritie,
When it is borne in high Authority.
When Vice makes Mercie; Mercie's so extended,
That for the faults loue, is th' offender friended.
Now Sir, what newes?

Pro.
I told you: Lord Angelo (be-like) thinking me remisse
In mine Office, awakens mee / With this vnwonted
putting on, methinks strangely: / For he hath not vs'd
it before.

Duk.
Pray you let's heare.
The Letter.
Whatsoeuer you may heare to the
contrary, let Claudio be executed by foure of the clocke, and
in the afternoone Bernardine: For my better satisfaction,
let mee haue Claudios head sent me by fiue. Let this be
duely performed with a thought that more depends on it,
then we must yet deliuer. Thus faile not to doe your Office,
as you will answere it at your perill.
What say you to this Sir?

Duke.
What is that Barnardine, who is to be executed in
th' afternoone?

Pro.
A Bohemian borne: But here nurst vp &
bred, / One that is a prisoner nine yeeres old.

Duke.
How came it, that the absent Duke had not either
deliuer'd him to his libertie, or executed him? I haue
heard it was euer his manner to do so.

Pro.
His friends still wrought Repreeues for him:
And indeed his fact till now in the gouernment of Lord
Angelo, came not to an vndoubtfull proofe.

Duke.
It is now apparant?

Pro.
Most manifest, and not denied by himselfe.

Duke.
Hath he borne himselfe penitently in prison? / How
seemes he to be touch'd?

Pro.
A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully,
but as a drunken sleepe, carelesse, wreaklesse, and
fearelesse of what's past, present, or to come: insensible
of mortality, and desperately mortall.

Duke.
He wants aduice.

Pro.
He wil heare none: he hath euermore had the
liberty of the prison: giue him leaue to escape hence, hee
would not. Drunke many times a day, if not many daies
entirely drunke. We haue verie oft awak'd him, as if to
carrie him to execution, and shew'd him a seeming
warrant for it, it hath not moued him at all.

Duke.
More of him anon: There is written in your brow
Prouost, honesty and constancie; if I reade it not truly,
my ancient skill beguiles me: but in the boldnes of my
cunning, I will lay my selfe in hazard: Claudio, whom
heere you haue warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit
to the Law, then Angelo who hath sentenc'd him. To make
you vnderstand this in a manifested effect, I craue but
foure daies respit: for the which, you are to do me both a
present, and a dangerous courtesie.

Pro.
Pray Sir, in what?

Duke.
In the delaying death.

Pro.
Alacke, how may I do it? Hauing the houre limited,
and an expresse command, vnder penaltie, to deliuer his
head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case as
Claudio's, to crosse this in the smallest.

Duke.
By the vow of mine Order, I warrant you, / If my
instructions may be your guide, / Let this Barnardine be
this morning executed, / And his head borne to Angelo.

Pro.
Angelo hath seene them both, / And will discouer
the fauour.

Duke.
Oh, death's a great disguiser, and you may adde to it;
Shaue the head, and tie the beard, and say it was the desire
of the penitent to be so bar'de before his death: you
know the course is common. If any thing fall to you
vpon this, more then thankes and good fortune, by the
Saint whom I professe, I will plead against it with my life.

Pro.
Pardon me, good Father, it is against my oath.

Duke.
Were you sworne to the Duke, or to the Deputie?

Pro.
To him, and to his Substitutes.

Duke.
You will thinke you haue made no offence, if the
Duke auouch the iustice of your dealing?

Pro.
But what likelihood is in that?

Duke.
Not a resemblance, but a certainty; yet since I see
you fearfull, that neither my coate, integrity, nor
perswasion, can with ease attempt you, I wil go further then
I meant, to plucke all feares out of you. Looke you Sir,
heere is the hand and Seale of the Duke: you know the
Charracter I doubt not, and the Signet is not strange to
you?

Pro.
I know them both.

Duke.
The Contents of this, is the returne of the Duke; you
shall anon ouer-reade it at your pleasure: where you shall
finde within these two daies, he wil be heere. This is a
thing that Angelo knowes not, for hee this very day
receiues letters of strange tenor, perchance of the Dukes
death, perchance entering into some Monasterie, but by
chance nothing of what is writ. Looke, th' vnfolding Starre
calles vp the Shepheard; put not your selfe into amazement,
how these things should be; all difficulties are but easie
when they are knowne. Call your executioner, and off
with Barnardines head: I will giue him a present
shrift, and aduise him for a better place. Yet you are
amaz'd, but this shall absolutely resolue you: Come
away, it is almost cleere dawne.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Clowne.

Clo.
I am as well acquainted heere, as I was in our
house of profession: one would thinke it were Mistris
Ouer-dons owne house, for heere be manie of her olde
Customers. First, here's yong Mr Rash, hee's in for
a commoditie of browne paper, and olde Ginger, nine score
and seuenteene pounds, of which hee made fiue Markes
readie money: marrie then, Ginger was not much in request,
for the olde Women were all dead. Then is there
heere one Mr Caper, at the suite of Master Three-Pile
the Mercer, for some foure suites of Peach-colour'd Satten,
which now peaches him a beggar. Then haue we heere,
yong Dizie, and yong M Deepe-vow, and M
Copperspurre, and M Starue-Lackey the Rapier and
dagger man, and yong Drop-heire that kild lustie
Pudding, and M Forthlight the Tilter, and braue
M Shootie the great Traueller, and wilde Halfe-Canne
that stabb'd Pots, and I thinke fortie more, all great doers
in our Trade, and are now for the Lords sake.
Enter Abhorson.

Abh.
Sirrah, bring Barnardine hether.

Clo.
M Barnardine, you must rise and be
hang'd, M Barnardine.

Abh.
What hoa Barnardine.

Bar.
Barnardine within.
A pox o'your throats: who makes
that noyse there? What are you?

Clo.
Your friends Sir, the Hangman: / You must be so
good Sir to rise, and be put to death.

Bar.
Away you Rogue, away, I am
sleepie.

Abh.
Tell him he must awake, / And that quickly too.

Clo.
Pray Master Barnardine, awake till you are
executed, and sleepe afterwards.

Ab.
Go in to him, and fetch him out.

Clo.
He is comming Sir, he is comming: I heare his Straw
russle.
Enter Barnardine.

Abh.
Is the Axe vpon the blocke, sirrah?

Clo.
Verie readie Sir.

Bar.
How now Abhorson? / What's the newes with
you?

Abh.
Truly Sir, I would desire you to clap into
your prayers: for looke you, the Warrants come.

Bar.
You Rogue, I haue bin drinking all night,
I am not fitted for't.

Clo.
Oh, the better Sir: for he that drinkes all night,
and is hanged betimes in the morning, may sleepe the
sounder all the next day.
Enter Duke.

Abh.
Looke you Sir, heere comes your ghostly Father:
do we iest now thinke you?

Duke.
Sir, induced by my charitie, and hearing how hastily
you are to depart, I am come to aduise you, / Comfort you,
and pray with you.

Bar.
Friar, not I: I haue bin drinking hard all
night, and I will haue more time to prepare mee, or they
shall beat out my braines with billets: I will not consent
to die this day, that's certaine.

Duke.
Oh sir, you must: and therefore I beseech you / Looke
forward on the iournie you shall go.

Bar.
I sweare I will not die to day for anie mans
perswasion.

Duke.
But heare you:

Bar.
Not a word: if you haue anie thing to say to
me, come to my Ward: for thence will not I to day.
Exit
Enter Prouost.

Duke.
Vnfit to liue, or die: oh grauell heart.
After him (Fellowes) bring him to the blocke.

Pro.
Now Sir, how do you finde the prisoner?

Duke.
A creature vnpre-par'd, vnmeet for death,
And to transport him in the minde he is,
Were damnable.

Pro.
Heere in the prison, Father,
There died this morning of a cruell Feauor,
One Ragozine, a most notorious Pirate,
A man of Claudio's yeares: his beard, and head
Iust of his colour. What if we do omit
This Reprobate, til he were wel enclin'd,
And satisfie the Deputie with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?

Duke.
Oh, 'tis an accident that heauen prouides:
Dispatch it presently, the houre drawes on
Prefixt by Angelo: See this be done,
And sent according to command, whiles I
Perswade this rude wretch willingly to die.

Pro.
This shall be done (good Father) presently:
But Barnardine must die this afternoone,
And how shall we continue Claudio,
To saue me from the danger that might come,
If he were knowne aliue?

Duke.
Let this be done,
Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine
and Claudio, / Ere twice the Sun hath made
his iournall greeting / To yond generation,
you shal finde / Your safetie manifested.

Pro.
I am your free dependant.

Duke.
Quicke, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo
Exit.
Now wil I write Letters to Angelo,
(The Prouost he shal beare them) whose contents
Shal witnesse to him I am neere at home:
And that by great Iniunctions I am bound
To enter publikely: him Ile desire
To meet me at the consecrated Fount,
A League below the Citie: and from thence,
By cold gradation, and weale-ballanc'd forme.
We shal proceed with Angelo.
Enter Prouost.

Pro.
Heere is the head, Ile carrie it my selfe.

Duke.
Conuenient is it: Make a swift returne,
For I would commune with you of such things,
That want no eare but yours.

Pro.
Ile make all speede.
Exit

Isa.
Isabell within.
Peace hoa, be heere.

Duke.
The tongue of Isabell. She's come to know,
If yet her brothers pardon be come hither:
But I will keepe her ignorant of her good,
To make her heauenly comforts of dispaire,
When it is least expected.
Enter Isabella.

Isa.
Hoa, by your leaue.

Duke.
Good morning to you, faire, and gracious daughter.

Isa.
The better giuen me by so holy a man,
Hath yet the Deputie sent my brothers pardon?

Duke.
He hath releasd him, Isabell, from the world,
His head is off, and sent to Angelo.

Isa.
Nay, but it is not so.

Duke.
It is no other, Shew your wisedome daughter
in your close patience.

Isa.
Oh, I wil to him, and plucke out his eies.

Duk.
You shal not be admitted to his sight.

Isa.
Vnhappie Claudio, wretched Isabell,
Iniurious world, most damned Angelo.

Duke.
This nor hurts him, nor profits you a iot,
Forbeare it therefore, giue your cause to heauen,
Marke what I say, which you shal finde
By euery sillable a faithful veritie.
The Duke comes home to morrow: nay drie your eyes,
One of our Couent, and his Confessor
Giues me this instance: Already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
Who do prepare to meete him at the gates,
There to giue vp their powre: If you can pace your wisdome,
In that good path that I would wish it go,
And you shal haue your bosome on this wretch,
Grace of the Duke, reuenges to your heart,
And general Honor.

Isa.
I am directed by you.

Duk.
This Letter then to Friar Peter giue,
'Tis that he sent me of the Dukes returne:
Say, by this token, I desire his companie
At Mariana's house to night. Her cause, and yours
Ile perfect him withall, and he shal bring you
Before the Duke; and to the head of Angelo
Accuse him home and home. For my poore selfe,
I am combined by a sacred Vow,
And shall be absent. Wend you with this Letter :
Command these fretting waters from your eies
With a light heart; trust not my holie Order
If I peruert your course: whose heere?
Enter Lucio.

Luc.
Good' euen; / Frier, where's the Prouost?

Duke.
Not within Sir.

Luc.
Oh prettie Isabella, I am pale at mine heart, to see
thine eyes so red: thou must be patient; I am faine to
dine and sup with water and bran: I dare not for my
head fill my belly. One fruitful Meale would set mee too't:
but they say the Duke will be heere to Morrow. By my
troth Isabell I lou'd thy brother, if the olde fantastical
Duke of darke corners had bene at home, he had liued.

Duke.
Sir, the Duke is marueilous little beholding to your
reports, but the best is, he liues not in them.

Luc.
Friar, thou knowest not the Duke so wel as I do:
he's a better woodman then thou tak'st him for.

Duke.
Well: you'l answer this one day. Fare ye well.

Luc.
Nay tarrie, Ile go along with thee, / I can tel thee
pretty tales of the Duke.

Duke.
You haue told me too many of him already sir if
they be true: if not true, none were enough.

Lucio.
I was once before him for getting a Wench with
childe.

Duke.
Did you such a thing?

Luc.
Yes marrie did I; but I was faine to forswear it,
They would else haue married me to the rotten Medler.

Duke.
Sir your company is fairer then honest, rest you
well.

Lucio.
By my troth Ile go with thee to the lanes end: if
baudy talke offend you, wee'l haue very litle of it: nay
Friar, I am a kind of Burre, I shal sticke.
Exeunt
Original text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Angelo & Escalus.

Esc.
Euery Letter he hath writ, hath disuouch'd other.

An.
In most vneuen and distracted manner, his
actions show much like to madnesse, pray heauen his
wisedome bee not tainted: and why meet him at the gates
and deliuer our authorities there?

Esc.
I ghesse not.

Ang.
And why should wee proclaime it in an howre before
his entring, that if any craue redresse of iniustice, they
should exhibit their petitions in the street?

Esc.
He showes his reason for that: to haue a dispatch
of Complaints, and to deliuer vs from deuices heereafter,
which shall then haue no power to stand against vs.

Ang.
Well: I beseech you let it bee proclaim'd
betimes i'th' morne, Ile call you at your house:
giue notice to such men of sort and suite
as are to meete him.

Esc.
I shall sir: fareyouwell. Exit.

Ang.
Good night.
This deede vnshapes me quite, makes me vnpregnant
And dull to all proceedings. A deflowred maid,
And by an eminent body, that enforc'd
The Law against it? But that her tender shame
Will not proclaime against her maiden losse,
How might she tongue me? yet reason dares her no,
For my Authority beares of a credent bulke,
That no particular scandall once can touch
But it confounds the breather. He should haue liu'd,
Saue that his riotous youth with dangerous sense
Might in the times to come haue ta'ne reuenge
By so receiuing a dishonor'd life
With ransome of such shame: would yet he had liued.
Alack, when once our grace we haue forgot,
Nothing goes right, we would, and we would not.
Exit.
Original text
Act IV, Scene V
Enter Duke and Frier Peter.

Duke.
These Letters at fit time deliuer me,
The Prouost knowes our purpose and our plot,
The matter being a foote, keepe your instruction
And hold you euer to our speciall drift,
Though sometimes you doe blench from this to that
As cause doth minister: Goe call at Flauia's house,
And tell him where I stay: giue the like notice
To Valencius, Rowland, and to Crassus,
And bid them bring the Trumpets to the gate:
But send me Flauius first.

Peter.
It shall be speeded well.
Enter Varrius.

Duke.
I thank thee Varrius, thou hast made good hast,
Come, we will walke: There's other of our friends
Will greet vs heere anon: my gentle Varrius.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act IV, Scene VI
Enter Isabella and Mariana.

Isab.
To speake so indirectly I am loath,
I would say the truth, but to accuse him so
That is your part, yet I am aduis'd to doe it,
He saies, to vaile full purpose.

Mar.
Be rul'd by him.

Isab.
Besides he tells me, that if peraduenture
He speake against me on the aduerse side,
I should not thinke it strange, for 'tis a physicke
That's bitter, to sweet end.

Mar.
I would Frier Peter
Enter Peter.

Isab.
Oh peace, the Frier is come.

Peter.
Come I haue found you out a stand most fit,
Where you may haue such vantage on the Duke
He shall not passe you: / Twice haue the Trumpets sounded.
The generous, and grauest Citizens
Haue hent the gates, and very neere vpon
The Duke is entring: / Therefore hence away.
Exeunt.
Modern text
Act IV, Scene I
Enter Mariana, and Boy singing

BOY
Take, O take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn;
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn:
But my kisses bring again, bring again;
Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain.
Enter Duke as a friar

MARIANA
Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away.
Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often stilled my brawling discontent.
Exit Boy
I cry you mercy, sir, and well could wish
You had not found me here so musical.
Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.

DUKE
'Tis good, though music oft hath such a charm
To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
I pray you tell me, hath anybody inquired for me here
today? Much upon this time have I promised here to
meet.

MARIANA
You have not been inquired after. I have sat
here all day.
Enter Isabella

DUKE
I do constantly believe you. The time is come even
now. I shall crave your forbearance a little. May be I
will call upon you anon for some advantage to yourself.

MARIANA
I am always bound to you.
Exit

DUKE
Very well met, and welcome.
What is the news from this good deputy?

ISABELLA
He hath a garden circummured with brick,
Whose western side is with a vineyard backed;
And to that vineyard is a planched gate,
That makes his opening with this bigger key.
This other doth command a little door
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads.
There have I made my promise,
Upon the heavy middle of the night,
To call upon him.

DUKE
But shall you on your knowledge find this way?

ISABELLA
I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't.
With whispering and most guilty diligence,
In action all of precept, he did show me
The way twice o'er.

DUKE
Are there no other tokens
Between you 'greed concerning her observance?

ISABELLA
No, none, but only a repair i'th' dark,
And that I have possessed him my most stay
Can be but brief. For I have made him know
I have a servant comes with me along,
That stays upon me, whose persuasion is
I come about my brother.

DUKE
'Tis well borne up.
I have not yet made known to Mariana
A word of this. What ho, within. Come forth.
Enter Mariana
I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;
She comes to do you good.

ISABELLA
I do desire the like.

DUKE
Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?

MARIANA
Good friar, I know you do, and so have found it.

DUKE
Take then this your companion by the hand,
Who hath a story ready for your ear.
I shall attend your leisure, but make haste.
The vaporous night approaches.

MARIANA
Will't please you walk aside?
Exeunt Mariana and Isabella

DUKE
O place and greatness, millions of false eyes
Are stuck upon thee. Volumes of report
Run with these false and most contrarious quests
Upon thy doings; thousand escapes of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
And rack thee in their fancies.
Enter Mariana and Isabella
Welcome, how agreed?

ISABELLA
She'll take the enterprise upon her, father,
If you advise it.

DUKE
It is not my consent,
But my entreaty too.

ISABELLA
Little have you to say
When you depart from him but, soft and low,
‘ Remember now my brother.’

MARIANA
Fear me not.

DUKE
Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.
He is your husband on a pre-contract.
To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin,
Sith that the justice of your title to him
Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go;
Our corn's to reap, for yet our tilth's to sow.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene II
Enter Provost and Pompey

PROVOST
Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's
head?

POMPEY
If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a
married man, he's his wife's head, and I can never cut
off a woman's head.

PROVOST
Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield
me a direct answer. Tomorrow morning are to die
Claudio and Barnardine. Here is in our prison a common
executioner, who in his office lacks a helper. If you
will take it on you to assist him, it shall redeem you
from your gyves; if not, you shall have your full time
of imprisonment, and your deliverance with an
unpitied whipping, for you have been a notorious bawd.

POMPEY
Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of
mind, but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman.
I would be glad to receive some instruction from my
fellow partner.

PROVOST
What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?
Enter Abhorson

ABHORSON
Do you call, sir?

PROVOST
Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you tomorrow
in your execution. If you think it meet, compound with
him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if
not, use him for the present and dismiss him. He cannot
plead his estimation with you. He hath been a bawd.

ABHORSON
A bawd, sir? Fie upon him, he will discredit
our mystery.

PROVOST
Go to, sir, you weigh equally. A feather will
turn the scale.
Exit

POMPEY
Pray, sir, by your good favour – for surely, sir, a
good favour you have, but that you have a hanging
look – do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery?

ABHORSON
Ay, sir, a mystery.

POMPEY
Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery, and
your whores, sir, being members of my occupation,
using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery. But
what mystery there should be in hanging, if I should be
hanged, I cannot imagine.

ABHORSON
Sir, it is a mystery.

POMPEY
Proof?

ABHORSON
Every true man's apparel fits your thief. If it
be too little for your thief, your true man thinks it big
enough. If it be too big for your thief, your thief
thinks it little enough. So every true man's apparel
fits your thief.
Enter Provost

PROVOST
Are you agreed?

POMPEY
Sir, I will serve him, for I do find your hangman
is a more penitent trade than your bawd. He doth
oftener ask forgiveness.

PROVOST
You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe
tomorrow four o'clock.

ABHORSON
Come, on, bawd. I will instruct thee in my
trade. Follow!

POMPEY
I do desire to learn, sir, and I hope, if you have
occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find me
yare. For truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you a good
turn.

PROVOST
Call hither Barnardine and Claudio.
Exeunt Pompey and Abhorson
Th' one has my pity; not a jot the other,
Being a murderer, though he were my brother.
Enter Claudio
Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death.
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight tomorrow
Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine?

CLAUDIO
As fast locked up in sleep as guiltless labour
When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones.
He will not wake.

PROVOST
Who can do good on him?
Well, go, prepare yourself.
Knocking
But hark, what noise?
Heaven give your spirits comfort.
Exit Claudio
By and by.
I hope it is some pardon or reprieve
For the most gentle Claudio.
Enter Duke as a friar
Welcome, father.

DUKE
The best and wholesom'st spirits of the night
Envelop you, good provost. Who called here of late?

PROVOST
None since the curfew rung.

DUKE
Not Isabel?

PROVOST
No.

DUKE
They will then, ere't be long.

PROVOST
What comfort is for Claudio?

DUKE
There's some in hope.

PROVOST
It is a bitter deputy.

DUKE
Not so, not so; his life is paralleled
Even with the stroke and line of his great justice.
He doth with holy abstinence subdue
That in himself which he spurs on his power
To qualify in others. Were he mealed with that
Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous,
But this being so, he's just.
Knocking
Now are they come.
Exit Provost
This is a gentle provost; seldom when
The steeled gaoler is the friend of men.
Knocking
How now? What noise? That spirit's possessed with haste
That wounds th' unsisting postern with these strokes.
Enter Provost

PROVOST
There he must stay until the officer
Arise to let him in. He is called up.

DUKE
Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
But he must die tomorrow?

PROVOST
None, sir, none.

DUKE
As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.

PROVOST
Happily
You something know, yet I believe there comes
No countermand; no such example have we.
Besides, upon the very siege of justice,
Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
Professed the contrary.
Enter a Messenger

DUKE
This is his lordship's man.

PROVOST
And here comes Claudio's pardon.

MESSENGER
My lord hath sent you this note, and by me
this further charge: that you swerve not from the smallest
article of it, neither in time, matter, or other circumstance.
Good morrow; for, as I take it, it is almost day.

PROVOST
I shall obey him.
Exit Messenger

DUKE
(aside)
This is his pardon, purchased by such sin
For which the pardoner himself is in:
Hence hath offence his quick celerity,
When it is borne in high authority,
When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended
That for the fault's love is th' offender friended.
Now, sir, what news?

PROVOST
I told you. Lord Angelo, belike thinking me remiss
in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted
putting on – methinks strangely, for he hath not used
it before.

DUKE
Pray you, let's hear.

PROVOST
(reads the letter)
Whatsoever you may hear to the
contrary, let Claudio be executed by four of the clock, and,
in the afternoon, Barnardine. For my better satisfaction,
let me have Claudio's head sent me by five. Let this be
duly performed, with a thought that more depends on it
than we must yet deliver. Thus fail not to do your office,
as you will answer it at your peril.
What say you to this, sir?

DUKE
What is that Barnardine who is to be executed in
th' afternoon?

PROVOST
A Bohemian born, but here nursed up and
bred. One that is a prisoner nine years old.

DUKE
How came it that the absent Duke had not either
delivered him to his liberty or executed him? I have
heard it was ever his manner to do so.

PROVOST
His friends still wrought reprieves for him;
and, indeed, his fact, till now in the government of Lord
Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.

DUKE
It is now apparent?

PROVOST
Most manifest, and not denied by himself.

DUKE
Hath he borne himself penitently in prison? How
seems he to be touched?

PROVOST
A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully
but as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and
fearless of what's past, present, or to come; insensible
of mortality, and desperately mortal.

DUKE
He wants advice.

PROVOST
He will hear none. He hath evermore had the
liberty of the prison. Give him leave to escape hence, he
would not. Drunk many times a day, if not many days
entirely drunk. We have very oft awaked him, as if to
carry him to execution, and showed him a seeming
warrant for it. It hath not moved him at all.

DUKE
More of him anon. There is written in your brow,
provost, honesty and constancy. If I read it not truly,
my ancient skill beguiles me; but in the boldness of my
cunning I will lay myself in hazard. Claudio, whom
here you have warrant to execute, is no greater forfeit
to the law than Angelo who hath sentenced him. To make
you understand this in a manifested effect, I crave but
four days' respite, for the which you are to do me both a
present and a dangerous courtesy.

PROVOST
Pray, sir, in what?

DUKE
In the delaying death.

PROVOST
Alack, how may I do it, having the hour limited,
and an express command, under penalty, to deliver his
head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case as
Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.

DUKE
By the vow of mine order I warrant you, if my
instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine be
this morning executed, and his head borne to Angelo.

PROVOST
Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover
the favour.

DUKE
O, death's a great disguiser, and you may add to it.
Shave the head, and tie the beard, and say it was the desire
of the penitent to be so bared before his death. You
know the course is common. If anything fall to you
upon this, more than thanks and good fortune, by the
saint whom I profess, I will plead against it with my life.

PROVOST
Pardon me, good father, it is against my oath.

DUKE
Were you sworn to the Duke or to the deputy?

PROVOST
To him, and to his substitutes.

DUKE
You will think you have made no offence if the
Duke avouch the justice of your dealing?

PROVOST
But what likelihood is in that?

DUKE
Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet since I see
you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor
persuasion can with ease attempt you, I will go further than
I meant, to pluck all fears out of you. Look you, sir,
here is the hand and seal of the Duke. You know the
character, I doubt not, and the signet is not strange to
you.

PROVOST
I know them both.

DUKE
The contents of this is the return of the Duke. You
shall anon overread it at your pleasure, where you shall
find within these two days he will be here. This is a
thing that Angelo knows not, for he this very day
receives letters of strange tenor, perchance of the Duke's
death, perchance entering into some monastery, but by
chance nothing of what is writ. Look, th' unfolding star
calls up the shepherd. Put not yourself into amazement
how these things should be. All difficulties are but easy
when they are known. Call your executioner, and off
with Barnardine's head. I will give him a present
shrift and advise him for a better place. Yet you are
amazed, but this shall absolutely resolve you. Come
away, it is almost clear dawn.
Exit with Provost
Modern text
Act IV, Scene III
Enter Pompey

POMPEY
I am as well acquainted here as I was in our
house of profession. One would think it were Mistress
Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old
customers. First, here's young Master Rash. He's in for
a commodity of brown paper and old ginger, ninescore-and-seventeen
pounds, of which he made five marks
ready money. Marry, then ginger was not much in request,
for the old women were all dead. Then is there
here one Master Caper, at the suit of Master Threepile
the mercer, for some four suits of peach-coloured satin,
which now peaches him a beggar. Then have we here
young Dizzy, and young Master Deepvow, and Master
Copperspur, and Master Starve-lackey, the rapier and
dagger man, and young Drop-heir that killed lusty
Pudding, and Master Forthright the tilter, and brave
Master Shoe-tie the great traveller, and wild Half-can
that stabbed Pots, and I think forty more, all great doers
in our trade, and are now ‘ for the Lord's sake.’
Enter Abhorson

ABHORSON
Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.

POMPEY
Master Barnardine, you must rise and be
hanged, Master Barnardine!

ABHORSON
What ho, Barnardine!

BARNARDINE
(within)
A pox o' your throats! Who makes
that noise there? What are you?

POMPEY
Your friends, sir, the hangman. You must be so
good, sir, to rise and be put to death.

BARNARDINE
(within)
Away, you rogue, away! I am
sleepy.

ABHORSON
Tell him he must awake, and that quickly too.

POMPEY
Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till you are
executed, and sleep afterwards.

ABHORSON
Go in to him, and fetch him out.

POMPEY
He is coming, sir, he is coming. I hear his straw
rustle.
Enter Barnardine

ABHORSON
Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?

POMPEY
Very ready, sir.

BARNARDINE
How now, Abhorson, what's the news with
you?

ABHORSON
Truly, sir, I would desire you to clap into
your prayers, for look you, the warrant's come.

BARNARDINE
You rogue, I have been drinking all night.
I am not fitted for't.

POMPEY
O, the better, sir, for he that drinks all night,
and is hanged betimes in the morning, may sleep the
sounder all the next day.
Enter Duke as a friar

ABHORSON
Look you, sir, here comes your ghostly father.
Do we jest now, think you?

DUKE
Sir, induced by my charity, and hearing how hastily
you are to depart, I am come to advise you, comfort you,
and pray with you.

BARNARDINE
Friar, not I. I have been drinking hard all
night and I will have more time to prepare me, or they
shall beat out my brains with billets. I will not consent
to die this day, that's certain.

DUKE
O, sir, you must, and therefore I beseech you look
forward on the journey you shall go.

BARNARDINE
I swear I will not die today for any man's
persuasion.

DUKE
But hear you.

BARNARDINE
Not a word. If you have anything to say to
me, come to my ward, for thence will not I today.
Exit
Enter Provost

DUKE
Unfit to live or die. O gravel heart!
After him, fellows: bring him to the block.
Exeunt Abhorson and Pompey

PROVOST
Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner?

DUKE
A creature unprepared, unmeet for death,
And to transport him in the mind he is
Were damnable.

PROVOST
Here in the prison, father,
There died this morning of a cruel fever
One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate,
A man of Claudio's years, his beard and head
Just of his colour. What if we do omit
This reprobate till he were well inclined,
And satisfy the deputy with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?

DUKE
O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides.
Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on
Prefixed by Angelo. See this be done,
And sent according to command, whiles I
Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.

PROVOST
This shall be done, good father, presently,
But Barnardine must die this afternoon,
And how shall we continue Claudio,
To save me from the danger that might come
If he were known alive?

DUKE
Let this be done.
Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine
And Claudio. Ere twice the sun hath made
His journal greeting to yond generation,
You shall find your safety manifested.

PROVOST
I am your free dependant.

DUKE
Quick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo.
Exit Provost
Now will I write letters to Varrius –
The provost, he shall bear them – whose contents
Shall witness to him I am near at home,
And that by great injunctions I am bound
To enter publicly. Him I'll desire
To meet me at the consecrated fount
A league below the city, and from thence,
By cold gradation and well-balanced form,
We shall proceed with Angelo.
Enter Provost

PROVOST
Here is the head. I'll carry it myself.

DUKE
Convenient is it. Make a swift return,
For I would commune with you of such things
That want no ear but yours.

PROVOST
I'll make all speed.
Exit

ISABELLA
(within)
Peace, ho, be here.

DUKE
The tongue of Isabel. She's come to know
If yet her brother's pardon be come hither,
But I will keep her ignorant of her good,
To make her heavenly comforts of despair
When it is least expected.
Enter Isabella

ISABELLA
Ho, by your leave!

DUKE
Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.

ISABELLA
The better, given me by so holy a man.
Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?

DUKE
He hath released him, Isabel, from the world.
His head is off and sent to Angelo.

ISABELLA
Nay, but it is not so.

DUKE
It is no other. Show your wisdom, daughter,
In your close patience.

ISABELLA
O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!

DUKE
You shall not be admitted to his sight.

ISABELLA
Unhappy Claudio! Wretched Isabel!
Injurious world! Most damned Angelo!

DUKE
This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot;
Forbear it therefore, give your cause to heaven.
Mark what I say, which you shall find
By every syllable a faithful verity.
The Duke comes home tomorrow – nay, dry your eyes –
One of our covent, and his confessor,
Gives me this instance. Already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
There to give up their power. If you can, pace your wisdom
In that good path that I would wish it go,
And you shall have your bosom on this wretch,
Grace of the Duke, revenges to your heart,
And general honour.

ISABELLA
I am directed by you.

DUKE
This letter then to Friar Peter give.
'Tis that he sent me of the Duke's return.
Say, by this token, I desire his company
At Mariana's house tonight. Her cause and yours
I'll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you
Before the Duke; and to the head of Angelo
Accuse him home and home. For my poor self,
I am combined by a sacred vow
And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter.
Command these fretting waters from your eyes
With a light heart. Trust not my holy order
If I pervert your course. Who's here?
Enter Lucio

LUCIO
Good even. Friar, where's the provost?

DUKE
Not within, sir.

LUCIO
O pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see
thine eyes so red. Thou must be patient. I am fain to
dine and sup with water and bran. I dare not for my
head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set me to't.
But they say the Duke will be here tomorrow. By my
troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother. If the old fantastical
Duke of dark corners had been at home, he had lived.
Exit Isabella

DUKE
Sir, the Duke is marvellous little beholding to your
reports, but the best is, he lives not in them.

LUCIO
Friar, thou knowest not the Duke so well as I do.
He's a better woodman than thou tak'st him for.

DUKE
Well, you'll answer this one day. Fare ye well.

LUCIO
Nay, tarry, I'll go along with thee. I can tell thee
pretty tales of the Duke.

DUKE
You have told me too many of him already, sir, if
they be true; if not true, none were enough.

LUCIO
I was once before him for getting a wench with
child.

DUKE
Did you such a thing?

LUCIO
Yes, marry, did I, but I was fain to forswear it.
They would else have married me to the rotten medlar.

DUKE
Sir, your company is fairer than honest. Rest you
well.

LUCIO
By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's end. If
bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little of it. Nay,
friar, I am a kind of burr, I shall stick.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene IV
Enter Angelo and Escalus

ESCALUS
Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched other.

ANGELO
In most uneven and distracted manner. His
actions show much like to madness. Pray heaven his
wisdom be not tainted. And why meet him at the gates,
and reliver our authorities there?

ESCALUS
I guess not.

ANGELO
And why should we proclaim it in an hour before
his entering, that if any crave redress of injustice, they
should exhibit their petitions in the street?

ESCALUS
He shows his reason for that – to have a dispatch
of complaints, and to deliver us from devices hereafter,
which shall then have no power to stand against us.

ANGELO
Well, I beseech you let it be proclaimed.
Betimes i'th' morn I'll call you at your house.
Give notice to such men of sort and suit
As are to meet him.

ESCALUS
I shall, sir. Fare you well.

ANGELO
Good night.
Exit Escalus
This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant
And dull to all proceedings. A deflowered maid,
And by an eminent body that enforced
The law against it! But that her tender shame
Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
How might she tongue me? Yet reason dares her no,
For my authority bears of a credent bulk
That no particular scandal once can touch
But it confounds the breather. He should have lived,
Save that his riotous youth with dangerous sense
Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge,
By so receiving a dishonoured life
With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had lived.
Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right. We would, and we would not.
Exit
Modern text
Act IV, Scene V
Enter Duke, in his own habit, and Friar Peter

DUKE
These letters at fit time deliver me.
The provost knows our purpose and our plot.
The matter being afoot, keep your instruction,
And hold you ever to our special drift,
Though sometimes you do blench from this to that,
As cause doth minister. Go call at Flavius' house,
And tell him where I stay. Give the like notice
To Valentius, Rowland, and to Crassus,
And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate;
But send me Flavius first.

FRIAR PETER
It shall be speeded well.
Exit
Enter Varrius

DUKE
I thank thee, Varrius, thou hast made good haste.
Come, we will walk. There's other of our friends
Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act IV, Scene VI
Enter Isabella and Mariana

ISABELLA
To speak so indirectly I am loath.
I would say the truth, but to accuse him so,
That is your part. Yet I am advised to do it,
He says, to veil full purpose.

MARIANA
Be ruled by him.

ISABELLA
Besides, he tells me that if peradventure
He speak against me on the adverse side,
I should not think it strange, for 'tis a physic
That's bitter to sweet end.

MARIANA
I would Friar Peter –
Enter Friar Peter

ISABELLA
O, peace, the friar is come.

FRIAR PETER
Come, I have found you out a stand most fit,
Where you may have such vantage on the Duke
He shall not pass you. Twice have the trumpets sounded.
The generous and gravest citizens
Have hent the gates, and very near upon
The Duke is entering. Therefore hence, away.
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2020 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL