The Bodleian First Folio

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Reference: F6v - Comedies, p. 72

Left Column

Measure for Measure. Mercy to thee would proue it selfe a Bawd,
'Tis best that thou diest quickly.
Cla. Oh heare me Isabella. Duk. Vouchsafe a word, yong sister, but one word. Isa. What is your Will. Duk.

Might you dispense with your leysure, I would


by and by haue some speech with you: the satisfaction I

would require, is likewise your owne benefit.


I haue no superfluous leysure, my stay must be

stolen out of other affaires: but I will attend you a while.


Son, I haue ouer‑heard what hath past between


you & your sister. Angelo had neuer the purpose to cor­

rupt her; onely he hath made an assay of her vertue, to practise his iudgement with the disposition of natures.

She (hauing the truth of honour in her) hath made him

that gracious deniall, which he is most glad to receiue: I

am Confessor to Angelo, and I know this to be true, ther­


fore prepare your selfe to death: do not satisfie your res­

olution with hopes that are fallible, to morrow you

must die, goe to your knees, and make ready.


Let me ask my sister pardon, I am so out of loue

with life, that I will sue to be rid of it.


Hold you there: farewell: Prouost, a word

with you.


What's your will (father?)


That now you are come, you wil be gone: leaue

me a while with the Maid, my minde promises with my


habit, no losse shall touch her by my company.


In good time.

Exit. Duk.

The hand that hath made you faire, hath made

you good: the goodnes that is cheape in beauty, makes

beauty briefe in goodnes; but grace being the soule of


your complexion, shall keepe the body of it euer faire:

the assault that Angelo hath made to you, Fortune hath

conuaid to my vnderstanding; and but that frailty hath

examples for his falling, I should wonder at Angelo: how

will you doe to content this Substitute, and to saue your




I am now going to resolue him: I had rather

my brother die by the Law, then my sonne should be vn­

lawfullie borne. But (oh) how much is the good Duke

deceiu'd in Angelo: if euer he returne, and I can speake


to him, I will open my lips in vaine, or discouer his go­



That shall not be much amisse: yet, as the ma­

tter now stands, he will auoid your accusation: he made

triall of you onelie. Therefore fasten your eare on my


aduisings, to the loue I haue in doing good; a remedie

presents it selfe. I doe make my selfe beleeue that you

may most vprighteously do a poor wronged Lady a me­

rited benefit; redeem your brother from the angry Law;

doe no staine to your owne gracious person, and much


please the absent Duke, if peraduenture he shall euer re­

turne to haue hearing of this businesse.


Let me heare you speake farther; I haue spirit to

do any thing that appeares not fowle in the truth of my



Vertue is bold, and goodnes neuer fearefull:

Haue you not heard speake of Mariana the sister of Fre­

dericke the great Souldier, who miscarried at Sea?


I haue heard of the Lady, and good words went

with her name.


Shee should this Angelo haue married: was af­

fianced to her oath, and the nuptiall appointed: between

which time of the contract, and limit of the solemnitie,

her brother Fredericke was wrackt at Sea, hauing in that

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perished vessell, the dowry of his sister: but marke how


heauily this befell to the poore Gentlewoman, there she lost a noble and renowned brother, in his loue toward

her, euer most kinde and naturall: with him the portion

and sinew of her fortune, her marriage dowry: with

both, her combynate‑husband, this

well‑seeming Angelo.


Can this be so? did Angelo so leaue her?


Left her in her teares, & dried not one of them with

his comfort: swallowed his vowes whole, prete­

nding in her, discoueries of dishonor: in few, bestow'd

her on her owne lamentation, which she yet weares for


his sake: and he, a marble to her teares, is washed with

them, but relents not.


What a merit were it in death to take this poore

maid from the world? what corruption in this life, that

it will let this man liue? But how out of this can shee a­




It is a rupture that you may easily heale: and the

cure of it not onely saues your brother, but keepes you

from dishonor in doing it.


Shew me how (good Father.)


This fore‑named Maid hath yet in her the con­

tinuance of her first affection: his vniust vnkindenesse

(that in all reason should haue quenched her loue) hath

(like an impediment in the Current) made it more vio­

lent and vnruly: Goe you to Angelo, answere his req­


uiring with a plausible obedience, agree with his demands

to the point: onely referre your selfe to this aduantage;

first, that your stay with him may not be long: that the

time may haue all shadow, and silence in it: and the place

answere to conuenience: this being granted in course,


and now followes all: wee shall aduise this wronged

maid to steed vp your appointment, goe in your place:

if the encounter acknowledge it selfe heereafter, it may

compell him to her recompence; and heere, by this is

your brother saued, your honor vntainted, the poore


Mariana aduantaged, and the corrupt Deputy scaled.

The Maid will I frame, and make fit for his attempt: if

you thinke well to carry this as you may, the doublenes

of the benefit defends the deceit from reproofe.

What thinke you of it?


The image of it giues me content already, and I

trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.


It lies much in your holding vp: haste you spee­

dily to Angelo, if for this night he intreat you to his bed,

giue him promise of satisfaction: I will presently to S. Lukes,


there at the moated‑Grange recides this deie­

cted Mariana; at that place call vpon me, and

dispatch with Angelo, that it may be quickly.


I thank you for this comfort: fare you well good


[Act 3, Scene 2] Enter Elbow, Clowne, Officers. Elb.

Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you

will needes buy and sell men and women like beasts, we

shall haue all the world drinke browne & white bastard.


Oh heauens, what stuffe is heere.


Twas neuer merry world since of two vsuries


the merriest was put downe, and the worser allow'd by

order of Law; a fur'd gowne to keepe him warme; and

furd with Foxe and Lamb‑skins too, to signifie, that craft

being richer then Innocency, stands for the facing.


Come your way sir: 'blesse you good Father




And you good Brother Father; what offence

hath this man made you, Sir?

Elb. Marry

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