The Bodleian First Folio

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

Text and Image

Here you can read a digital edition of each play in various views.

Page Image & Text
Digital Text

Reference: F5v - Comedies, p. 70

Left Column

Measure for Measure. 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,

Right Column

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.
Actus Tertius. Scena Prima. [Act 3, Scene 1] Enter Duke, Claudio, and Prouost. Du. So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo? Cla. The miserable haue no other medicine But onely hope: I'haue hope to liue, and am prepar'd to die. Duke.
Be absolute for death: either death or life Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life: If I do loose thee, I do loose a thing That none but fooles would keepe: a breath thou art, Seruile to all the skyie‑influences
That dost this habitation where thou keepst Hourely afflict: Meerely, thou art deaths foole, For him thou labourst by thy flight to shun, And yet runst toward him still. Thou art not noble, For all th' accommodations that thou bearst,
Are nurst by basenesse: Thou'rt by no meanes valiant, For thou dost feare the soft and tender forke Of a poore worme: thy best of rest is sleepe, And that thou oft prouoakst, yet grosselie fearst; Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thy selfe,
For thou exists on manie a thousand graines That issue out of dust. Happie thou art not, For what thou hast not, still thou striu'st to get, And what thou hast forgetst. Thou art not certaine, For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the Moone: If thou art rich, thou'rt poore, For like an Asse, whose backe with Ingots bowes; Thou bearst thy heauie riches but a iournie, And death vnloads thee; Friend hast thou none. For thine owne bowels which do call thee, fire
The meere effusion of thy proper loines Do curse the Gowt, Sapego, and the Rheume For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth, nor age But as it were an after‑dinners sleepe Dreaming on both, for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth begge the almes Of palsied‑Eld: and when thou art old, and rich Thou

Download the digital text and images of the play