|Measure for Measure|
| Measure for Measure
| Act 4, Scene 3
Previous scene | Next scene
I am as well acquainted here as I was in our houseABHORSON
of profession: one would think it were Mistress
Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old
customers. First, here's young Master Rash; he's in
for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger,
ninescore and seventeen pounds; of which he made
five marks, ready money: marry, then ginger was not
much in request, for the old women were all dead.
Then is there here one Master Caper, at the suit of
Master Three-pile the mercer, for some four suits of
peach-coloured satin, which now peaches him a
beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and young
Master Deep-vow, and Master Copperspur, and Master
Starve-lackey the rapier and dagger man, and young
Drop-heir that killed lusty Pudding, and Master
Forthlight the tilter, and brave Master Shooty the
great traveller, and wild Half-can that stabbed
Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in
our trade, and are now 'for the Lord's sake.'
Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.POMPEY
Master Barnardine! you must rise and be hanged.ABHORSON
What, ho, Barnardine!BARNARDINE
[Within] A pox o' your throats! Who makes thatPOMPEY
noise there? What are you?
Your friends, sir; the hangman. You must be soBARNARDINE
good, sir, to rise and be put to death.
[Within] Away, you rogue, away! I am sleepy.ABHORSON
Tell him he must awake, and that quickly too.POMPEY
Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till you areABHORSON
executed, and sleep afterwards.
Go in to him, and fetch him out.POMPEY
He is coming, sir, he is coming; I hear his straw rustle.ABHORSON
Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?POMPEY
Very ready, sir.BARNARDINE
How now, Abhorson? what's the news with you?ABHORSON
Truly, sir, I would desire you to clap into yourBARNARDINE
prayers; for, look you, the warrant's come.
You rogue, I have been drinking all night; I am notPOMPEY
fitted for 't.
O, the better, sir; for he that drinks all night,ABHORSON
and is hanged betimes in the morning, may sleep the
sounder all the next day.
Look you, sir; here comes your ghostly father: doDUKE VINCENTIO
we jest now, think you?
Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before
Sir, induced by my charity, and hearing how hastilyBARNARDINE
you are to depart, I am come to advise you, comfort
you and pray with you.
Friar, not I I have been drinking hard all night,DUKE VINCENTIO
and I will have more time to prepare me, or they
shall beat out my brains with billets: I will not
consent to die this day, that's certain.
O, sir, you must: and therefore I beseech youBARNARDINE
Look forward on the journey you shall go.
I swear I will not die to-day for any man'sDUKE VINCENTIO
But hear you.BARNARDINE
Not a word: if you have any thing to say to me,DUKE VINCENTIO
come to my ward; for thence will not I to-day.
Unfit to live or die: O gravel heart!Provost
After him, fellows; bring him to the block.
Exeunt ABHORSON and POMPEY
Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner?DUKE VINCENTIO
A creature unprepared, unmeet for death;Provost
And to transport him in the mind he is
Here in the prison, father,DUKE VINCENTIO
There died this morning of a cruel fever
One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate,
A man of Claudio's years; his beard and head
Just of his colour. What if we do omit
This reprobate till he were well inclined;
And satisfy the deputy with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?
O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides!Provost
Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on
Prefix'd by Angelo: see this be done,
And sent according to command; whiles I
Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.
This shall be done, good father, presently.DUKE VINCENTIO
But Barnardine must die this afternoon:
And how shall we continue Claudio,
To save me from the danger that might come
If he were known alive?
Let this be done.Provost
Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio:
Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting
To the under generation, you shall find
Your safety manifested.
I am your free dependant.DUKE VINCENTIO
Quick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo.Provost
Exit ProvostNow will I write letters to Angelo,--
The provost, he shall bear them, whose contents
Shall witness to him I am near at home,
And that, by great injunctions, I am bound
To enter publicly: him I'll desire
To meet me at the consecrated fount
A league below the city; and from thence,
By cold gradation and well-balanced form,
We shall proceed with Angelo.
Here is the head; I'll carry it myself.DUKE VINCENTIO
Convenient is it. Make a swift return;Provost
For I would commune with you of such things
That want no ear but yours.
I'll make all speed.ISABELLA
[Within] Peace, ho, be here!DUKE VINCENTIO
The tongue of Isabel. She's come to knowISABELLA
If yet her brother's pardon be come hither:
But I will keep her ignorant of her good,
To make her heavenly comforts of despair,
When it is least expected.
Ho, by your leave!DUKE VINCENTIO
Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.ISABELLA
The better, given me by so holy a man.DUKE VINCENTIO
Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?
He hath released him, Isabel, from the world:ISABELLA
His head is off and sent to Angelo.
Nay, but it is not so.DUKE VINCENTIO
It is no other: show your wisdom, daughter,ISABELLA
In your close patience.
O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!DUKE VINCENTIO
You shall not be admitted to his sight.ISABELLA
Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel!DUKE VINCENTIO
Injurious world! most damned Angelo!
This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot;ISABELLA
Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven.
Mark what I say, which you shall find
By every syllable a faithful verity:
The duke comes home to-morrow; nay, dry your eyes;
One of our convent, and his confessor,
Gives me this instance: already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
There to give up their power. If you can, pace your wisdom
In that good path that I would wish it go,
And you shall have your bosom on this wretch,
Grace of the duke, revenges to your heart,
And general honour.
I am directed by you.DUKE VINCENTIO
This letter, then, to Friar Peter give;LUCIO
'Tis that he sent me of the duke's return:
Say, by this token, I desire his company
At Mariana's house to-night. Her cause and yours
I'll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you
Before the duke, and to the head of Angelo
Accuse him home and home. For my poor self,
I am combined by a sacred vow
And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter:
Command these fretting waters from your eyes
With a light heart; trust not my holy order,
If I pervert your course. Who's here?
Good even. Friar, where's the provost?DUKE VINCENTIO
Not within, sir.LUCIO
O pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to seeDUKE VINCENTIO
thine eyes so red: thou must be patient. I am fain
to dine and sup with water and bran; I dare not for
my head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set
me to 't. But they say the duke will be here
to-morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother:
if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been
at home, he had lived.
Sir, the duke is marvellous little beholding to yourLUCIO
reports; but the best is, he lives not in them.
Friar, thou knowest not the duke so well as I do:DUKE VINCENTIO
he's a better woodman than thou takest him for.
Well, you'll answer this one day. Fare ye well.LUCIO
Nay, tarry; I'll go along with theeDUKE VINCENTIO
I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke.
You have told me too many of him already, sir, ifLUCIO
they be true; if not true, none were enough.
I was once before him for getting a wench with child.DUKE VINCENTIO
Did you such a thing?LUCIO
Yes, marry, did I but I was fain to forswear it;DUKE VINCENTIO
they would else have married me to the rotten medlar.
Sir, your company is fairer than honest. Rest you well.LUCIO
By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's end:
if bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little of
it. Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr; I shall stick.
| Measure for Measure
| Act 4, Scene 3
Previous scene | Next scene