1605 Measure For Measure
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justice. Yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his
frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I, by my good
leisure, have discredited to him, and now he is resolv'd to die.
ESCALUS. You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner
the very debt of your calling. I have labour'd for the poor
gentleman to the extremest shore of my modesty; but my brother
justice have I found so severe that he hath forc'd me to tell him
he is indeed Justice.
DUKE. If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding, it
shall become him well; wherein if he chance to fail, he hath
ESCALUS. I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
DUKE. Peace be with you! Exeunt ESCALUS and PROVOST
He who the sword of heaven will bear
Should be as holy as severe;
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go;
More nor less to others paying
Than by self-offences weighing.
Shame to him whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking!
Twice treble shame on Angelo,
To weed my vice and let his grow!
O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side!
How may likeness, made in crimes,
Make a practice on the times,
To draw with idle spiders' strings
Most ponderous and substantial things!
Craft against vice I must apply.
With Angelo to-night shall lie
His old betrothed but despised;
So disguise shall, by th' disguised,
Pay with falsehood false exacting,
And perform an old contracting. Exit
Act IV. Scene I.
The moated grange at Saint Duke's
Enter MARIANA; and BOY singing
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 seal'd in vain, seal'd in vain.
Enter DUKE, disguised as before
MARIANA. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away;
Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
Hath often still'd 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 displeas'd, but pleas'd 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 inquir'd for me here to-day. Much
upon this time have I promis'd here to meet.
MARIANA. You have not been inquir'd after; I have sat here all day.
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 well come.
What is the news from this good deputy?
ISABELLA. He hath a garden circummur'd with brick,
Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd;
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 possess'd 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.
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 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 quest
Upon thy doings. Thousand escapes of wit
Make thee the father of their idle dream,
And rack thee in their fancies.
Re-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 tithe's to sow. Exeunt
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 of a
PROVOST. Come, sir, leave me your snatches and yield me a direct
answer. To-morrow 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 instructions from my fellow partner.
PROVOST. What ho, Abhorson! Where's Abhorson there?
ABHORSON. Do you call, sir?
PROVOST. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow 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
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 hang'd, I cannot imagine.
ABHORSON. Sir, it is a mystery.
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.
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 to-morrow
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