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Measure for Measure

ACT IV SCENE III Another room in the same. 
 Enter POMPEY. 
POMPEY I am as well acquainted here as I was in our house 
 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 5
 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 10
 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 15
 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.' 20
ABHORSON Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither. 
POMPEY Master Barnardine! you must rise and be hanged. 
 Master Barnardine! 
ABHORSON What, ho, Barnardine! 
 noise there? What are you? 25
POMPEY Your friends, sir; the hangman. You must be so 
 good, sir, to rise and be put to death. 
ABHORSON Tell him he must awake, and that quickly too. 
POMPEY Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till you are 
 executed, and sleep afterwards. 30
ABHORSON 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? 35
ABHORSON Truly, sir, I would desire you to clap into your 
 prayers; for, look you, the warrant's come. 
BARNARDINE You rogue, I have been drinking all night; I am not 
 fitted for 't. 
POMPEY O, the better, sir; for he that drinks all night, 40
 and is hanged betimes in the morning, may sleep the 
 sounder all the next day. 
ABHORSON Look you, sir; here comes your ghostly father: do 
 we jest now, think you? 
 Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before. 
DUKE VINCENTIO Sir, induced by my charity, and hearing how hastily 45
 you are to depart, I am come to advise you, comfort 
 you and pray with you. 
BARNARDINE Friar, not I I have been drinking hard all night, 
 and I will have more time to prepare me, or they 
 shall beat out my brains with billets: I will not 50
 consent to die this day, that's certain. 
DUKE VINCENTIO O, sir, you must: and therefore I beseech you 
 Look forward on the journey you shall go. 
BARNARDINE I swear I will not die to-day for any man's 
 persuasion. 55
DUKE VINCENTIO But hear you. 
BARNARDINE Not a word: if you have any thing to say to me, 
 come to my ward; for thence will not I to-day. 
DUKE VINCENTIO Unfit to live or die: O gravel heart! 
 After him, fellows; bring him to the block. 60
 Re-enter Provost. 
Provost Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner? 
DUKE VINCENTIO A creature unprepared, unmeet for death; 
 And to transport him in the mind he is 
 Were damnable. 
Provost Here in the prison, father, 65
 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; 70
 And satisfy the deputy with the visage 
 Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio? 
DUKE VINCENTIO O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides! 
 Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on 
 Prefix'd by Angelo: see this be done, 75
 And sent according to command; whiles I 
 Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die. 
Provost This shall be done, good father, presently. 
 But Barnardine must die this afternoon: 
 And how shall we continue Claudio, 80
 To save me from the danger that might come 
 If he were known alive? 
DUKE VINCENTIO Let this be done. 
 Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio: 
 Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting 85
 To the under generation, you shall find 
 Your safety manifested. 
Provost I am your free dependant. 
DUKE VINCENTIO Quick, dispatch, and send the head to Angelo. 
 Exit Provost. 
 Now will I write letters to Angelo,-- 90
 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 95
 A league below the city; and from thence, 
 By cold gradation and well-balanced form, 
 We shall proceed with Angelo. 
 Re-enter Provost 
Provost Here is the head; I'll carry it myself. 
DUKE VINCENTIO Convenient is it. Make a swift return; 100
 For I would commune with you of such things 
 That want no ear but yours. 
Provost I'll make all speed. 
DUKE VINCENTIO The tongue of Isabel. She's come to know 
 If yet her brother's pardon be come hither: 105
 But I will keep her ignorant of her good, 
 To make her heavenly comforts of despair, 
 When it is least expected. 
ISABELLA Ho, by your leave! 
DUKE VINCENTIO Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter. 110
ISABELLA The better, given me by so holy a man. 
 Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon? 
DUKE VINCENTIO He hath released him, Isabel, from the world: 
 His head is off and sent to Angelo. 
ISABELLA Nay, but it is not so. 115
DUKE VINCENTIO It is no other: show your wisdom, daughter, 
 In your close patience. 
ISABELLA 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! 120
 Injurious world! most damned Angelo! 
DUKE VINCENTIO This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot; 
 Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven. 
 Mark what I say, which you shall find 
 By every syllable a faithful verity: 125
 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, 130
 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. 135
ISABELLA I am directed by you. 
DUKE VINCENTIO This letter, then, to Friar Peter give; 
 '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 140
 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: 145
 Command these fretting waters from your eyes 
 With a light heart; trust not my holy order, 
 If I pervert your course. Who's here? 
 Enter LUCIO. 
LUCIO Good even. Friar, where's the provost? 
DUKE VINCENTIO Not within, sir. 150
LUCIO O pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see 
 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 155
 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. 
DUKE VINCENTIO Sir, the duke is marvellous little beholding to your 
 reports; but the best is, he lives not in them. 160
LUCIO Friar, thou knowest not the duke so well as I do: 
 he's a better woodman than thou takest him for. 
DUKE VINCENTIO Well, you'll answer this one day. Fare ye well. 
LUCIO Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee 
 I can tell thee pretty tales of the duke. 165
DUKE VINCENTIO You have told me too many of him already, sir, if 
 they be true; if not true, none were enough. 
LUCIO 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; 170
 they would else have married me to the rotten medlar. 
DUKE VINCENTIO 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. 175

Measure for Measure, Act 4, Scene 4


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