Measure for Measure.
[Act 1, Scene 4]
Enter Isabell and Francisca
And haue you
Nuns no farther
Nun.Are not these large enough?Isa.Yes truely; I speake not as desiring more,But rather wishing a more strict restraintVpon the Sisterhood, the Votarists of Saint
Hoa? peace be in this place.Isa.Who's that which cals?Nun.It is a mans voice: gentle
IsabellaTurne you the key, and know his businesse of him;You may; I may not: you are yet vnsworne:
When you haue vowd, you must not speake with men,But in
the presence of the
Then if you speake, you must not show your face;Or if you show your face, you must not speake.He cals againe: I pray you answere him.Isa.
Peace and prosperitie: who is't that cals?Luc.Haile Virgin, (if you be) as those cheeke‑RosesProclaime you are no lesse: can you so steed me,As bring me to the sight of
A Nouice of this place, and the faire Sister
To her vnhappie brother
Isa.Why her vnhappy Brother? Let me aske,The rather for I now must make you knowI am that
Isabella, and his
Luc.Gentle & faire: your Brother kindly greets you;
Not to be weary with you; he's in prison.Isa.Woe me; for what?Luc.For that, which if my selfe might be his Iudge,He should receiue his punishment, in thankes:He hath got his friend with childe.Isa.
Sir, make me not your storie.Luc.'Tis true; I would not, though 'tis my familiar
With Maids to seeme the Lapwing, and to iestTongue, far from heart: play with all Virgins so:I hold you as a thing en‑skied, and sainted,
By your renouncement, an imortall spiritAnd to be talk'd with in sincerity,As with a Saint.Isa.You doe blaspheme the good, in mocking me.Luc.Doe not beleeue it: fewnes, and truth; tis thus,
Your brother, and his louer haue embrac'd;As those that feed, grow full: as blossoming TimeThat from the seednes, the bare fallow bringsTo teeming foyson: euen so her plenteous wombe Expresseth his full Tilth, and husbandry.Isa.
e with childe by him? my cosen
Luc.Is she your cosen?Isa.Adoptedly, as schoole‑maids change their names
though apt affection.
Luc.She it is.Isa.Oh, let him marry her.Luc.
This is the point.The Duke is very strangely gone from hence;Bore many gentlemen (my selfe being one)In hand, and hope of action: but we doe learne,By those that know the very Nerues of State,
His giuing‑out, were of an infinite distanceFrom his true meant designe: vpon his place,
(And with full line of his authority)Gouernes Lord
Angelo; A man, whose
Is very snow‑broth: one, who neuer feeles
The wanton stings, and motions of the sence;But doth rebate, and blunt his naturall edgeWith profits of the minde: Studie, and fastHe (to giue feare to vse, and libertie,Which haue, for long, run‑by the hideous law,
As Myce, by Lyons) hath pickt out an act,Vnder whose heauy sence, your brothers lifeFals into forfeit: he arrests him on it,And followes close the rigor of the StatuteTo make him an example: all hope is gone,
Vnlesse you haue the grace, by your faire praierTo soften
Angelo: And that's my
pith of businesse
'Twixt you, and your poore brother.Isa.Doth he so,Seeke his life?Luc.
Has censur'd him already,And as I heare, the Prouost hath a warrantFor's execution.Isa.Alas: what pooreAbilitie's in me, to doe him good.Luc.
Assay the powre you haue.Isa.My power? alas, I doubt.Luc.Our doubts are traitorsAnd makes vs loose the good we oft might win,By fearing to attempt: Goe to Lord
And let him learne to know, when Maidens sueMen giue like gods: but when they weepe and kneele,All their petitions, are as freely theirsAs they themselues would owe them.Isa.Ile see what I can doe.Luc.
But speedily.Isa.I will about it strait;No longer staying, but to giue the MotherNotice of my affaire: I humbly thanke you:Commend me to my brother: soone at night
Ile send him certaine word of my successe.Luc.I take my leaue of you.Isa.Good sir, adieu.Exeunt.
Actus Secundus. Scœna Prima.
[Act 2, Scene 1]
Enter Angelo, Escalus, and
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 itTheir pearch, and not their terror.Esc.I, but yetLet vs be keene, and rather cut a littleThen 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 bloodCould haue attaind th' effect of your owne
Whether you had not sometime in your lifeEr'd in this point, which now you censure him,And puld the Law vpon you.Ang.