|Measure for Measure|
| Measure for Measure
| Act 1, Scene 2
Previous scene | Next scene
Enter LUCIO and two GentlemenLUCIO
If the duke with the other dukes come not toFirst Gentleman
composition with the King of Hungary, why then all
the dukes fall upon the king.
Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King ofSecond Gentleman
Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, thatSecond Gentleman
went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped
one out of the table.
'Thou shalt not steal'?LUCIO
Ay, that he razed.First Gentleman
Why, 'twas a commandment to command the captain andSecond Gentleman
all the rest from their functions: they put forth
to steal. There's not a soldier of us all, that, in
the thanksgiving before meat, do relish the petition
well that prays for peace.
I never heard any soldier dislike it.LUCIO
I believe thee; for I think thou never wast whereSecond Gentleman
grace was said.
No? a dozen times at least.First Gentleman
What, in metre?LUCIO
In any proportion or in any language.First Gentleman
I think, or in any religion.LUCIO
Ay, why not? Grace is grace, despite of allFirst Gentleman
controversy: as, for example, thou thyself art a
wicked villain, despite of all grace.
Well, there went but a pair of shears between us.LUCIO
I grant; as there may between the lists and theFirst Gentleman
velvet. Thou art the list.
And thou the velvet: thou art good velvet; thou'rtLUCIO
a three-piled piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief
be a list of an English kersey as be piled, as thou
art piled, for a French velvet. Do I speak
I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painfulFirst Gentleman
feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own
confession, learn to begin thy health; but, whilst I
live, forget to drink after thee.
I think I have done myself wrong, have I not?Second Gentleman
Yes, that thou hast, whether thou art tainted or free.LUCIO
Behold, behold. where Madam Mitigation comes! ISecond Gentleman
have purchased as many diseases under her roof as come to--
To what, I pray?LUCIO
To three thousand dolours a year.First Gentleman
Ay, and more.LUCIO
A French crown more.First Gentleman
Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thouLUCIO
art full of error; I am sound.
Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound asFirst Gentleman
things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow;
impiety has made a feast of thee.
Enter MISTRESS OVERDONE
How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?MISTRESS OVERDONE
Well, well; there's one yonder arrested and carriedSecond Gentleman
to prison was worth five thousand of you all.
Who's that, I pray thee?MISTRESS OVERDONE
Marry, sir, that's Claudio, Signior Claudio.First Gentleman
Claudio to prison? 'tis not so.MISTRESS OVERDONE
Nay, but I know 'tis so: I saw him arrested, sawLUCIO
him carried away; and, which is more, within these
three days his head to be chopped off.
But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so.MISTRESS OVERDONE
Art thou sure of this?
I am too sure of it: and it is for getting MadamLUCIO
Julietta with child.
Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me twoSecond Gentleman
hours since, and he was ever precise in
Besides, you know, it draws something near to theFirst Gentleman
speech we had to such a purpose.
But, most of all, agreeing with the proclamation.LUCIO
Away! let's go learn the truth of it.MISTRESS OVERDONE
Exeunt LUCIO and Gentlemen
Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, whatPOMPEY
with the gallows and what with poverty, I am
Enter POMPEYHow now! what's the news with you?
Yonder man is carried to prison.MISTRESS OVERDONE
Well; what has he done?POMPEY
A woman.MISTRESS OVERDONE
But what's his offence?POMPEY
Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.MISTRESS OVERDONE
What, is there a maid with child by him?POMPEY
No, but there's a woman with maid by him. You haveMISTRESS OVERDONE
not heard of the proclamation, have you?
What proclamation, man?POMPEY
All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.MISTRESS OVERDONE
And what shall become of those in the city?POMPEY
They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too,MISTRESS OVERDONE
but that a wise burgher put in for them.
But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs bePOMPEY
To the ground, mistress.MISTRESS OVERDONE
Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth!POMPEY
What shall become of me?
Come; fear you not: good counsellors lack noMISTRESS OVERDONE
clients: though you change your place, you need not
change your trade; I'll be your tapster still.
Courage! there will be pity taken on you: you that
have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you
will be considered.
What's to do here, Thomas tapster? let's withdraw.POMPEY
Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost toCLAUDIO
prison; and there's Madam Juliet.
Enter Provost, CLAUDIO, JULIET, and Officers
Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?Provost
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.
I do it not in evil disposition,CLAUDIO
But from Lord Angelo by special charge.
Thus can the demigod AuthorityLUCIO
Make us pay down for our offence by weight
The words of heaven; on whom it will, it will;
On whom it will not, so; yet still 'tis just.
Re-enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen
Why, how now, Claudio! whence comes this restraint?CLAUDIO
From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty:LUCIO
As surfeit is the father of much fast,
So every scope by the immoderate use
Turns to restraint. Our natures do pursue,
Like rats that ravin down their proper bane,
A thirsty evil; and when we drink we die.
If could speak so wisely under an arrest, I wouldCLAUDIO
send for certain of my creditors: and yet, to say
the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of freedom
as the morality of imprisonment. What's thy
What but to speak of would offend again.LUCIO
What, is't murder?CLAUDIO
Call it so.Provost
Away, sir! you must go.CLAUDIO
One word, good friend. Lucio, a word with you.LUCIO
A hundred, if they'll do you any good.CLAUDIO
Is lechery so look'd after?
Thus stands it with me: upon a true contractLUCIO
I got possession of Julietta's bed:
You know the lady; she is fast my wife,
Save that we do the denunciation lack
Of outward order: this we came not to,
Only for propagation of a dower
Remaining in the coffer of her friends,
From whom we thought it meet to hide our love
Till time had made them for us. But it chances
The stealth of our most mutual entertainment
With character too gross is writ on Juliet.
With child, perhaps?CLAUDIO
Unhappily, even so.LUCIO
And the new deputy now for the duke--
Whether it be the fault and glimpse of newness,
Or whether that the body public be
A horse whereon the governor doth ride,
Who, newly in the seat, that it may know
He can command, lets it straight feel the spur;
Whether the tyranny be in his place,
Or in his emmence that fills it up,
I stagger in:--but this new governor
Awakes me all the enrolled penalties
Which have, like unscour'd armour, hung by the wall
So long that nineteen zodiacs have gone round
And none of them been worn; and, for a name,
Now puts the drowsy and neglected act
Freshly on me: 'tis surely for a name.
I warrant it is: and thy head stands so tickle onCLAUDIO
thy shoulders that a milkmaid, if she be in love,
may sigh it off. Send after the duke and appeal to
I have done so, but he's not to be found.LUCIO
I prithee, Lucio, do me this kind service:
This day my sister should the cloister enter
And there receive her approbation:
Acquaint her with the danger of my state:
Implore her, in my voice, that she make friends
To the strict deputy; bid herself assay him:
I have great hope in that; for in her youth
There is a prone and speechless dialect,
Such as move men; beside, she hath prosperous art
When she will play with reason and discourse,
And well she can persuade.
I pray she may; as well for the encouragement of theCLAUDIO
like, which else would stand under grievous
imposition, as for the enjoying of thy life, who I
would be sorry should be thus foolishly lost at a
game of tick-tack. I'll to her.
I thank you, good friend Lucio.LUCIO
Within two hours.CLAUDIO
Come, officer, away!
| Measure for Measure
| Act 1, Scene 2
Previous scene | Next scene