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Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter, on one side, DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before; on the other, ELBOW, and Officers with POMPEY

ELBOW

Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you willneeds buy and sell men and women like beasts, weshall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.

ELBOW

Well, if there's nothing to be done about it and you're intent on selling men and women like animals, the whole world can just drink cheap wine.

DUKE VINCENTIO

O heavens! what stuff is here?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Oh, heavens! What's going on here?

POMPEY

'Twas never merry world since, of two usuries, the merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by order of law a furred gown to keep him warm; and furred with fox and lamb-skins too, to signify, that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.

POMPEY

Things have never been right since sex and money-lending were repaid like this: the one who was just having fun was killed, and the worse one was allowed by order of the law to wear a fur coat to keep him warm—and made with fox and lamb-skins, too. This all goes to show that because the guilty are richer than the innocent, they can do whatever they want!

ELBOW

Come your way, sir. 'Bless you, good father friar.

ELBOW

Come on, sir. Bless you, good father friar.

DUKE VINCENTIO

And you, good brother father. What offence haththis man made you, sir?

DUKE VINCENTIO

And you, good brother father. What crime has this man committed against you, sir?

ELBOW

Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have sent to the deputy.

ELBOW

Well, sir, he's broken the law. And, sir, we think he's a thief, too, sir. For we found a lock-picking device with him which we sent to the deputy.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Fie, sirrah! a bawd, a wicked bawd! The evil that thou causest to be done, That is thy means to live. Do thou but think What 'tis to cram a maw or clothe a back From such a filthy vice: say to thyself, From their abominable and beastly touches I drink, I eat, array myself, and live. Canst thou believe thy living is a life, So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Shame on you, sir! You pimp, you wicked pimp! You make your living from this horrible evil. Do you even think about what it means to put food on the table or clothes on your back by such a dirty crime? Do you say to yourself, "from their disgusting, beastly encounters I drink, eat, clothe myself, and live?" Can you believe your living is a life that depends on such filth? Go improve yourself, improve yourself.

POMPEY

Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet,sir, I would prove—

POMPEY

It's true, sir. It does stink in a way. But sir, I would argue—

DUKE VINCENTIO

Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin, Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer: Correction and instruction must both work Ere this rude beast will profit.

DUKE VINCENTIO

No, if the devil has given you arguments with which to defend sin, then you're his already.

[To an officer] Take him to prison, officer. Correction and teaching will have to help this rude animal improve himself.

ELBOW

He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him warning: the deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if he be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.

ELBOW

He has to have a trial in front of the deputy, sir. The deputy has given him a warning, and he can't stand a pimp. If he is a pimp, and stands trial, he'd be better off doing anything else.

DUKE VINCENTIO

That we were all, as some would seem to be,From our faults, as faults from seeming, free!

DUKE VINCENTIO

If only we were all free from our faults—as some seem to be—and that our faults weren't so apparent to others!

ELBOW

His neck will come to your waist,—a cord, sir.

ELBOW

He'll be hanged with rope like your belt, sir.

POMPEY

I spy comfort; I cry bail. Here's a gentleman and afriend of mine.

POMPEY

There is hope; I might get bail! Here comes a gentleman who's a friend of mine.

Enter LUCIO

LUCIO

How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of Caesar? art thou led in triumph? What, is there none of Pygmalion's images, newly made woman, to be had now, for putting the hand in the pocket and extracting it clutch'd? What reply, ha? What sayest thou to this tune, matter and method? Is't not drowned i' the last rain, ha? What sayest thou, Trot? Is the world as it was, man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words? or how? The trick of it?

LUCIO

What's going on, noble Pompey? Are you being held prisoner? Are you on display like a prisoner of war? Don't you have any beautiful women, all dolled up and ready to reach into our pockets and rob us of all our cash? What, no reply? Ha. What do you have to say about this thing and the way it's been done? Shouldn't it all be over and done, huh? What do you have to say for yourself? Is the world the same as it was, man? How do you feel? Are you sad? Do you want to say a few words? Or anything? Tell us the gist.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Still thus, and thus; still worse!

DUKE VINCENTIO

It just keeps going on and on and getting worse and worse!

LUCIO

How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures shestill, ha?

LUCIO

How's my sweetie pie, your mistress? Is she still pimping?

POMPEY

Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and sheis herself in the tub.

POMPEY

To tell you the truth, sir, she's eaten up all her beef and is soaking in the bathtub.

LUCIO

Why, 'tis good; it is the right of it; it must be so: ever your fresh whore and your powdered bawd: an unshunned consequence; it must be so. Art going to prison, Pompey?

LUCIO

Well that's good. That's the right thing to do. It got to be that way. You've got to have a fresh whore and a powdered pimp. Got to embrace the consequences. Are you going to prison, Pompey?

POMPEY

Yes, faith, sir.

POMPEY

Yes, indeed I am, sir.

LUCIO

Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell: go, say Isent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? or how?

LUCIO

Well, it's not wrong, Pompey. Goodbye. Go, and say I sent you. Was it for debt, Pompey? Or what?

ELBOW

For being a bawd, for being a bawd.

ELBOW

For being a pimp, for being a pimp.

LUCIO

Well, then, imprison him: if imprisonment be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right: bawd is he doubtless, and of antiquity too; bawd-born. Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison, Pompey: you will turn good husband now, Pompey; you will keep the house.

LUCIO

Well, then, put him in prison. If imprisonment is the punishment for pimping, then it's right, isn't it? He's definitely a pimp, and has been one for a long time. He was born a pimp. Farewell, dear Pompey. Give the prison my best wishes, Pompey. You'll be a good husband now, Pompey, and keep house.

POMPEY

I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.

POMPEY

I had hoped that you might pay my bail, your good Worship.

LUCIO

No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage: If you take it not patiently, why, your mettle is the more. Adieu, trusty Pompey. 'Bless you, friar.

LUCIO

No I won't, Pompey. It's not meant to be. I'll pray that your punishment is even worse, Pompey. And if you don't take it well, then you're even worse than I thought. Goodbye, trusty Pompey.

[To DUKE VINCENTIO] Bless you, friar.

DUKE VINCENTIO

And you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

And you.

LUCIO

Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha?

LUCIO

Does Bridget still wear makeup, Pompey, huh?

ELBOW

Come your ways, sir; come.

ELBOW

Come on, sir, come on.

POMPEY

You will not bail me, then, sir?

POMPEY

You won't bail me out, then, sir?

LUCIO

Then, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad, friar?what news?

LUCIO

Not then, Pompey, and not now.

[To DUKE VINCENTIO] What's the news out there, friar? What's the news?

ELBOW

Come your ways, sir; come.

ELBOW

Come on, sir, come on.

LUCIO

Go to kennel, Pompey; go.

LUCIO

Go to your kennel, Pompey, go. 

Exeunt ELBOW, POMPEY and Officers

What news, friar, of the duke?

What the news about the Duke, friar?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I know none. Can you tell me of any?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I don't know anything. Can you tell me anything?

LUCIO

Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; othersome, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you?

LUCIO

Some say he's with the Emperor of Russia; others say he's in Rome. But where do you think he is?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I know not where; but wheresoever, I wish him well.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I don't know where. But wherever he is, I wish him well.

LUCIO

It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence; he puts transgression to 't.

LUCIO

What a crazy, fantastic trick for him to sneak away from the government and pretend to be a beggar when he's really rich. Lord Angelo is doing well while the Duke is gone. He makes people answer for their crimes.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He does well in 't.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He's doing well with it.

LUCIO

A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm inhim: something too crabbed that way, friar.

LUCIO

A little more leniency with sex wouldn't do him any harm. He's a little too uptight with that, friar.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It's a common fault, so you have to be harsh to put an end to it.

LUCIO

Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred; it is well allied: but it is impossible to extirp it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put down. They say this Angelo was not made by man and woman after this downright way of creation: is it true, think you?

LUCIO

Yes, it's true, everyone seems to have a weakness for sex; it's pretty far-spread. But it's impossible to exterminate it completely, friar. You could as easily put an end to eating and drinking. They say that Angelo wasn't conceived by a man and a woman in the usual way. Do you think that's true?

DUKE VINCENTIO

How should he be made, then?

DUKE VINCENTIO

How would he be born, then?

LUCIO

Some report a sea-maid spawned him; some, that he was begot between two stock-fishes. But it is certain that when he makes water his urine is congealed ice; that I know to be true: and he is a motion generative; that's infallible.

LUCIO

Some say a sea-nymph gave birth to him. Others say he was conceived by two dried fish. But it's true that when he pees, his urine is pure ice. I know that's true. He's a puppet without the ability to reproduce, that's undoubtable. 

DUKE VINCENTIO

You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You're funny, sir, and you speak quickly.

LUCIO

Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a man! Would the duke that is absent have done this? Ere he would have hanged a man for the getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a thousand: he had some feeling of the sport: he knew the service, and that instructed him to mercy.

LUCIO

It's so unforgiving of him, to kill a man for a little rebellion of the penis! Would the absent Duke have done this? Before he would have hanged one man for having a hundred bastards, he would have paid to care for a thousand bastards. He knew a little about the game. He got it, and that led him to be merciful.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I never heard the absent duke much detected forwomen; he was not inclined that way.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I never heard that the absent Duke was a ladies' man. He wasn't built that way.

LUCIO

O, sir, you are deceived.

LUCIO

Oh, sir, you're wrong.

DUKE VINCENTIO

'Tis not possible.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It's not possible.

LUCIO

Who, not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish: the duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk too; that let me inform you.

LUCIO

Who, the Duke? He'd see a fifty-year-old beggar woman and put a coin in her bucket; he had his quirks. And he'd get drunk, too, let me tell you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You do him wrong, surely.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You're definitely being too hard on him.

LUCIO

Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was theduke: and I believe I know the cause of hiswithdrawing.

LUCIO

Sir, I was a good friend of his. The Duke was a shy man, and I think I know why he left. 

DUKE VINCENTIO

What, I prithee, might be the cause?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Please tell me, what might be the reason?

LUCIO

No, pardon; 'tis a secret must be locked within the teeth and the lips: but this I can let you understand, the greater file of the subject held the duke to be wise.

LUCIO

No, sorry. It's a secret and my lips are sealed. But I can tell you this: most of the people thought of the Duke as a wise man.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Wise! why, no question but he was.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Wise? Well, there's no question about it; he was—

LUCIO

A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.

LUCIO

—a very superficial, ignorant, and impulsive man.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Either this is the envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life and the business he hath helmed must upon a warranted need give him a better proclamation. Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a statesman and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully: or if your knowledge be more it is much darkened in your malice.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Either you're jealous of him, you're stupid, or you've made a mistake. The quality of his life and the work he's done have to give him a better name. Let his actions be a testament to his critics: he's a scholar, a governor, and a soldier. You don't know what you're talking about. Or if you do know, you're lying out of bad intentions. 

LUCIO

Sir, I know him, and I love him.

LUCIO

Sir, I know him, and I love him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge withdearer love.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Love should know better. And if you did know him, you'd speak with more love.

LUCIO

Come, sir, I know what I know.

LUCIO

Come on, sir, I know what I know.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak. But, if ever the duke return, as our prayers are he may, let me desire you to make your answer before him. If it be honest you have spoke, you have courage to maintain it: I am bound to call upon you; and, I pray you, your name?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I can hardly believe that, since you don't know what you're talking about. But, if the Duke ever returns—as we hope and pray—let me ask you to tell him what you've said. If you've told the truth, you'll say it to his face. I'll have to call on you to do so. And, tell me, what was your name?

LUCIO

Sir, my name is Lucio; well known to the duke.

LUCIO

Sir, my name is Lucio, and I'm familiar with the Duke.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He shall know you better, sir, if I may live toreport you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He'll know you better soon, sir, if I live to report you.

LUCIO

I fear you not.

LUCIO

I'm not afraid of you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

O, you hope the duke will return no more; or youimagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed Ican do you little harm; you'll forswear this again.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Oh, you'd better hope the Duke will never come back, since you think I'm not someone to fear. But it's true I can't hurt you much. You'll repeat this in front of the Duke?

LUCIO

I'll be hanged first: thou art deceived in me,friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell ifClaudio die to-morrow or no?

LUCIO

I'll be hanged first. You're wrong about me, friar. But enough of this. Can you tell me if Claudio will die tomorrow, sir?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Why should he die, sir?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Why would he die, sir?

LUCIO

Why? For filling a bottle with a tundish. I would the duke we talk of were returned again: the ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with continency; sparrows must not build in his house-eaves, because they are lecherous. The duke yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would never bring them to light: would he were returned! Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing. Farewell, good friar: I prithee, pray for me. The duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's not past it yet, and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt brown bread and garlic: say that I said so. Farewell.

LUCIO

Why? For sticking his pipe in the hole. I wish the Duke we were talking about would come back already. The deputy he's left in his place will reduce the population with his abstinence policy. Even the sparrows can't build nests on window-sills because they're too lustful! The Duke, too, would have punished serious crimes. But he would never have exposed them. I wish he were back! Indeed, Claudio is condemned for having sex. Goodbye, good friar. Please pray for me. The Duke, I'll tell you again, would eat meat on Fridays. He's not too high and mighty, I'm saying, to talk with a beggar, even if she smelled like brown bread and garlic. You can tell him I said so. Goodbye.

Exit

DUKE VINCENTIO

No might nor greatness in mortality Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue? But who comes here?

DUKE VINCENTIO

No matter how big or powerful you are, you're not immune to criticism. Back-breaking rumors can ruin even the best reputation. Could even the strongest king stop the power of a gossiping tongue? But who's this?

Enter ESCALUS, Provost, and Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE

ESCALUS

Go; away with her to prison!

ESCALUS

Go, take her away to prison! 

MISTRESS OVERDONE

Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounteda merciful man; good my lord.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

My good lord, be good to me. I've heard that you're a merciful man, your Honor. My good lord.

ESCALUS

Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit inthe same kind! This would make mercy swear and playthe tyrant.

ESCALUS

You were warned two, then three times. And you're still up to the same stuff! This would make even the most merciful man act like a tyrant.

PROVOST

A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it pleaseyour honour.

PROVOST

A bawd for eleven years straight, if you will, sir.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me. Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the duke's time; he promised her marriage: his child is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob: I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me!

MISTRESS OVERDONE

My lord, Lucio's the one who informed on me. Ms. Kate Keepdown got knocked up by him back in the Duke's day, and he promised to marry her. His child is a year and three months old, come May 1. I've taken care of the child myself, and look how he goes around and rats on me!

ESCALUS

That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him becalled before us. Away with her to prison! Go to;no more words.

ESCALUS

That man is way too liberal. Bring him here to us. Take her away to prison! Cut it out, don't say anything else.

Exeunt Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE

Provost, my brother Angelo will not be altered; Claudio must die to-morrow: let him be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation. if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.

Provost, my friend Angelo won't change his mind; Claudio has to die tomorrow. Send him a priest so he can have his last rites. If Angelo had listened to me take pity on him, Claudio wouldn't be going to his death.

PROVOST

So please you, this friar hath been with him, andadvised him for the entertainment of death.

PROVOST

Sir, the friar has visited him and counseled him about being prepared for death.

ESCALUS

Good even, good father.

ESCALUS

Good evening, good father.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Bliss and goodness on you!

DUKE VINCENTIO

God bless you with happiness and goodness!

ESCALUS

Of whence are you?

ESCALUS

Where are you from?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Not of this country, though my chance is now To use it for my time: I am a brother Of gracious order, late come from the See In special business from his holiness.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Not from this country, though I'm here for now. I'm a monk in a holy order, and came from the Vatican on a special mission from the Pope.

ESCALUS

What news abroad i' the world?

ESCALUS

What's the news abroad in the world?

DUKE VINCENTIO

None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it: novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce truth enough alive to make societies secure; but security enough to make fellowships accurst: much upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke?

DUKE VINCENTIO

None, except there seems to be such a lack of goodness that the only way to change things would be if the whole generation died. Everyone wants something new. It's as dangerous to have done anything for very long as it is to be virtuous and trustworthy in any project. There's hardly enough truth out there to keep society secure, but there's enough security to keep business corrupt. This is the paradox at the heart of earthly wisdom. This is old news, really. But it's the same news every day. Let me ask you, sir, what kind of person was the Duke?

ESCALUS

One that, above all other strifes, contendedespecially to know himself.

ESCALUS

The kind of man that tried to be self-aware, above all else.

DUKE VINCENTIO

What pleasure was he given to?

DUKE VINCENTIO

What did he like to do?

ESCALUS

Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at any thing which professed to make him rejoice: a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous; and let me desire to know how you find Claudio prepared. I am made to understand that you have lent him visitation.

ESCALUS

He preferred to see other people happy than to do anything that would make him happy himself. He was a very modest man. But we'll leave him to his own affairs, and we'll pray they turn out well. Let me know if Claudio seems ready. I'm led to understand that you've been to see him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He professes to have received no sinister measure from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself to the determination of justice: yet had he framed to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving promises of life; which I by my good leisure have discredited to him, and now is he resolved to die.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He claims he doesn't think he's been punished too harshly by the judge, and willingly humbles himself to receive justice. He had kept on hoping, in his weakness, that he had a chance to live. But I've taken the time to help him see it isn't possible. Now he's set to die.

ESCALUS

You have paid the heavens your function, and the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have laboured for the poor gentleman to the extremest shore of my modesty: but my brother justice have I found so severe, that he hath forced me to tell him he is indeed Justice.

ESCALUS

You've done God's work, helping prisoners just as you've been called to do. I've done everything I can to help the poor man. But Angelo has been so severe that he's forced me to admit he is Justice incarnate.

DUKE VINCENTIO

If his own life answer the straitness of hisproceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if hechance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.

DUKE VINCENTIO

If Angelo's own life lives up to the strictness of his judgement, then good for him. On the other hand, if he happens to mess up, he's sentenced himself.

ESCALUS

I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.

ESCALUS

I'm going to visit the prisoner. Take care.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Peace be with you!

DUKE VINCENTIO

Peace be with you!

Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost

He who the sword of heaven will bear Should be as holy as severe; Pattern in himself to know, Grace to stand, and virtue go; More nor less to others paying Than by self-offences weighing. Shame to him whose cruel striking Kills for faults of his own liking! Twice treble shame on Angelo, To weed my vice and let his grow! O, what may man within him hide, Though angel on the outward side! How may likeness made in crimes, Making practise on the times, To draw with idle spiders' strings Most ponderous and substantial things! Craft against vice I must apply: With Angelo to-night shall lie His old betrothed but despised; So disguise shall, by the disguised, Pay with falsehood false exacting, And perform an old contracting.

Anyone who says he's dishing out God's justice should be as perfect as he is strict. He should be an example of knowledge, grace, and virtue, and he shouldn't dole out punishments greater or less than those he would give himself. Shame on the cruel man who kills another for crimes he himself commits! Double, triple times the shame on Angelo, to punish another man's crime while he lets his own go! A man can hide so much when he looks like an angel from the outside! Identical crimes in these strange times seem to be teaching us thought-provoking, substantial things! I have to be clever to put an end to this evil. Tonight, Angelo will sleep with Mariana, his one-time fiancée whom he abandoned. Her disguise, and she herself, will give Angelo exactly what he deserved—and make good on an old promise.

Exit

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Bailey sincox
About the Translator: Bailey Sincox

Bailey Sincox is a PhD student in English at Harvard University, where she researches the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Her teaching experience includes accessible online courses with edX on Hamlet and The Merchant of Venice. She holds a Master's from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor's from Duke University.