The Bodleian First Folio

A digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, Bodleian Arch. G c.7.

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Reference: F2r - Comedies, p. 63

Left Column

Measure for Measure.
Like Rats that rauyn downe their proper Bane, A thirsty euill, and when we drinke, we die.

If I could speake so wisely vnder an arrest, I

would send for certaine of my Creditors: and yet, to say

the truth, I had as lief haue the foppery of freedome, as


the mortality of imprisonment: what's thy offence,


Cla. What (but to speake of) would offend againe. Luc. What, is't murder? Cla. No. Luc.
Cla. Call it so. Pro. Away, Sir, you must goe. Cla. One word, good friend: Lucio, a word with you. Luc.
A hundred: If they'll doe you any good: Is Lechery so look'd after?
Cla. Thus stands it with me: vpon a true contract I got possession of Iulietas bed, You know the Lady, she is fast my wife,
Saue that we doe the denunciation lacke Of outward Order. This we came not to, Onely for propogation of a Dowre Remaining in the Coffer of her friends, From whom we thought it meet to hide our Loue
Till Time had made them for vs. But it chances The stealth of our most mutuall entertainment With Character too grosse, is writ on Iuliet.
Luc. With childe, perhaps? Cla. Vnhappely, euen so.
And the new Deputie, now for the Duke, Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newnes, Or whether that the body publique, be A horse whereon the Gouernor doth ride, Who newly in the Seate, that it may know
He can command; lets it strait feele the spur: Whether the Tirranny be in his place, Or in his Eminence that fills it vp I stagger in: But this new Gouernor Awakes me all the inrolled penalties
Which haue (like vn‑scowr'd Armor) hung by th'wall So long, that ninteene Zodiacks haue gone round, And none of them beene worne; and for a name Now puts the drowsie and neglected Act Freshly on me: 'tis surely for a name.

I warrant it is: And thy head stands so tickle on

thy shoulders, that a milke­maid, if she be in loue, may

sigh it off: Send after the Duke, and appeale to him.

Cla. I haue done so, but hee's not to be found. I pre'thee ( Lucio) doe me this kinde seruice:
This day, my sister should the Cloyster enter, And there receiue her approbation. Acquaint her with the danger of my state, Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends To the strict deputie: bid her selfe assay him,
I haue great hope in that: for in her youth There is a prone and speechlesse dialect, Such as moue men: beside, she hath prosperous Art When she will play with reason, and discourse, And well she can perswade.

I pray shee may; aswell for the encouragement

of the like, which else would stand vnder greeuous im­

position: as for the enioying of thy life, who I would

be sorry should bee thus foolishly lost, at a game of ticke­

tacke: Ile to her.


I thanke you good friend Lucio.

Right Column


Within two houres.


Come Officer, away.

Scena Quarta. [Act 1, Scene 3] Enter Duke and Frier Thomas. Duk. No: holy Father, throw away that thought, Beleeue not that the dribling dart of Loue
Can pierce a compleat bosome: why, I desire thee To giue me secret harbour, hath a purpose More graue, and wrinkled, then the aimes, and ends Of burning youth.
Fri. May your Grace speake of it? Duk.
My holy Sir, none better knowes then you How I haue euer lou'd the life remoued And held in idle price, to haunt assemblies Where youth, and cost, witlesse brauery keepes. I haue deliuerd to Lord Angelo
(A man of stricture and firme abstinence) My absolute power, and place here in Uienna And he supposes me trauaild to Poland, (For so I haue strewd it in the common eare) And so it is receiu'd: Now (pious Sir)
You will demand of me, why I do this.
Fri. Gladly, my Lord. Duk. We haue strict Statutes, and most biting Laws, (The needfull bits and curbes to headstrong weedes,) Which for this foureteene yeares, we haue let slip,
Euen like an ore7#x2011;growne Lyon in a Caue That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond Fathers, Hauing bound vp the threatning twigs of birch, Onely to sticke it in their childrens sight, For terror, not to vse: in time the rod
More mock'd, then fear'd: so our Decrees, Dead to infliction, to themselues are dead, And libertie, plucks Iustice by the nose; The Baby beates the Nurse, and quite athwart Goes all decorum.
It rested in your Grace To vnloose this tyde‑vp Iustice, when you pleas'd: And it in you more dreadfull would haue seem'd Then in Lord Angelo.
Duk. I doe feare: too dreadfull:
Sith 'twas my fault, to giue the people scope, 'Twould be my tirrany to strike and gall them, For what I bid them doe: For, we bid this be done When euill deedes haue their permissiue passe, And not the punishment: therefore indeede (my father)
I haue on Angelo impos'd the office, Who may in th' ambush of my name, stri home, And yet, my nature neuer in the fight To do in slander: And to behold his sway I will, as 'twere a brother of your Order,
Visit both Prince, and People: Therefore I pre'thee Supply me with the habit, and instruct me How I may formally in person beare Like a true Frier: Moe reasons for this action At our more leysure, shall I render you;
Onely, this one: Lord Angelo is precise, Stands at a guard with Enuie: scarce confesses That his blood flowes: or that his appetite Is more to bread then stone: hence shall we see
If power change purpose: what our Seemers be. Exit. F2 Scœna

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