The Bodleian First Folio

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Reference: G3r - Comedies, p. 77

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Measure for Measure. 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.


Pray Sir, in what?


In the delaying death.


Alacke, how may I do it? Hauing the houre li­

mited, and an expresse command, vnder penaltie, to de­

liuer 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 for­


tune, by the Saint whom I professe, I will plead against

it with my life.


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


Were you sworne to the Duke, or to the De­



To him, and to his Substitutes.


You will thinke you haue made no offence, if

the Duke auouch the iustice of your dealing?


But what likelihood is in that?


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?


I know them both.


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 re­


solue you: Come away, it is almost cleere dawne.

Scena Tertia. [Act 4, Scene 3] Enter Clowne. Clo.

I am as well acquainted heere, as I was in our

house of profession: one would thinke it vvere Mistris

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Ouer‑dons owne house, for heere be manie of her olde

Customers. First, here's yong M r 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 M r 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 vve heere, yong Dizie, and yong M r Deepe‑ vow , and M r Copperspurre, and M r Starue‑Lackey the Ra­

pier and dagger man, and yong Drop‑heire that kild lu­


stie Pudding, and Mr Forthlight the Tilter, and braue M r

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 r Barnardine, you must rise and be hang'd, M r Barnardine.
Abh. What hoa Barnardine. Barnardine within. Bar.

A pox o'your throats: who makes that noyse

there? What are you?

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

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 ex­

ecuted, and sleepe afterwards.


Go in to him, and fetch him out.


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 vvith 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 Fa­

ther: do we iest now thinke you?


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.


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.


Oh sir, you must: and therefore I beseech you

Looke forward on the iournie you shall go.


I sweare I will not die to day for anie mans per­



But heare you:


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. G3 After

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