A line-by-line translation

Measure for Measure

Measure for Measure Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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MARIANA veiled, ISABELLA, and FRIAR PETER, at their stand. Enter DUKE VINCENTIO, VARRIUS, Lords, ANGELO, ESCALUS, LUCIO, Provost, Officers, and Citizens, at several doors

DUKE VINCENTIO

My very worthy cousin, fairly met!Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to see you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It's good to see you, cousin! My old, faithful friend—I'm glad to see you.

ESCALUS

Happy return be to your royal grace!

ESCALUS

Welcome back, your royal Grace!

DUKE VINCENTIO

Many and hearty thankings to you both. We have made inquiry of you; and we hear Such goodness of your justice, that our soul Cannot but yield you forth to public thanks, Forerunning more requital.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I give you both many and hearty thanks. I've kept tabs on you, and have heard good things about your justice. I want to thank you publicly, and then reward you more later.

ANGELO

You make my bonds still greater.

ANGELO

I owe you even more.

DUKE VINCENTIO

O, your desert speaks loud; and I should wrong it, To lock it in the wards of covert bosom, When it deserves, with characters of brass, A forted residence 'gainst the tooth of time And razure of oblivion. Give me your hand, And let the subject see, to make them know That outward courtesies would fain proclaim Favours that keep within. Come, Escalus, You must walk by us on our other hand; And good supporters are you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It's clear how deserving you are. It would be wrong of me to keep it to myself when it deserves to be proclaimed in brass letters on a monument—one to stand the test of time, so you'll be remembered forever. Give me your hand so that the people can see that I want to honor you publicly as much as I honor you in my heart.

[To ESCALUS] Come and walk on my other side, Escalus.

[To ESCALUS and ANGELO] You're good supporters. 

FRIAR PETER and ISABELLA come forward

FRIAR PETER

Now is your time: speak loud and kneel before him.

FRIAR PETER

Now's your chance: speak loudly and kneel in front of him.

ISABELLA

Justice, O royal duke! Vail your regard Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have said, a maid! O worthy prince, dishonour not your eye By throwing it on any other object Till you have heard me in my true complaint And given me justice, justice, justice, justice!

ISABELLA

[Running out and kneeling in front of the DUKE] Justice, royal Duke! Help me! I've been wronged. I wish I could say I was a virgin! Oh, admirable prince, don't do yourself the disservice of passing me by before you've heard my true testimony, and have given me justice, justice, justice, justice!

DUKE VINCENTIO

Relate your wrongs; in what? by whom? be brief.Here is Lord Angelo shall give you justice:Reveal yourself to him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Tell me what happened to you. What was it? Who did it? And get to the point. Here's Lord Angelo; he'll give you justice. Tell him your story.

ISABELLA

O worthy duke, You bid me seek redemption of the devil: Hear me yourself; for that which I must speak Must either punish me, not being believed, Or wring redress from you. Hear me, O hear me, here!

ISABELLA

Oh, admirable Duke: you're asking me to look for redemption from the devil. Listen to me yourself, since what I'm about to say will either get me punished—if you don't believe me—or force you to help me. Hear me, oh, hear me here!

ANGELO

My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm:She hath been a suitor to me for her brotherCut off by course of justice,—

ANGELO

My lord, I'm afraid she's crazy. She came to ask me to help her brother, who was justly sentenced—

ISABELLA

By course of justice!

ISABELLA

"Justly?"

ANGELO

And she will speak most bitterly and strange.

ANGELO

And she'll say bitter, strange things.

ISABELLA

Most strange, but yet most truly, will I speak: That Angelo's forsworn; is it not strange? That Angelo's a murderer; is 't not strange? That Angelo is an adulterous thief, An hypocrite, a virgin-violator; Is it not strange and strange?

ISABELLA

Very strange things, but I'll speak the truth. Angelo's in office—isn't that strange? Angelo's a murderer—isn't that strange? Angelo's a sexually immoral thief, a hypocrite, a rapist—isn't that all stranger and stranger? 

DUKE VINCENTIO

Nay, it is ten times strange.

DUKE VINCENTIO

No, it's ten times as strange.

ISABELLA

It is not truer he is Angelo Than this is all as true as it is strange: Nay, it is ten times true; for truth is truth To the end of reckoning.

ISABELLA

All of these strange things are true, or his name's not Angelo. No, it's ten times as true—since truth is truth until the end of time.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Away with her! Poor soul,She speaks this in the infirmity of sense.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Take her away! Poor thing, she's completely out of her mind.

ISABELLA

O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believest There is another comfort than this world, That thou neglect me not, with that opinion That I am touch'd with madness! Make not impossible That which but seems unlike: 'tis not impossible But one, the wicked'st caitiff on the ground, May seem as shy, as grave, as just, as absolute As Angelo; even so may Angelo, In all his dressings, caracts, titles, forms, Be an arch-villain; believe it, royal prince: If he be less, he's nothing; but he's more, Had I more name for badness.

ISABELLA

Oh, prince, I'm begging you—if you believe that God is real and works in the world, then don't do this to me. Don't believe that I've gone crazy! Just because it's unlikely doesn't mean that it's impossible. It's just shy of impossible that the most evil scoundrel on earth could seem as shy, serious, just, and solid as Angelo. And so Angelo—with all his fancy clothes, badges, titles, and roles—can be the supreme villain. Believe it, royal prince. If he's anything less than that, he's nothing. But he's more—if I had more names for badness. 

DUKE VINCENTIO

By mine honesty, If she be mad,—as I believe no other,— Her madness hath the oddest frame of sense, Such a dependency of thing on thing, As e'er I heard in madness.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I swear, if she is crazy—as I believe—her craziness makes the strangest sense. I've never heard a crazy person make such a logical argument.

ISABELLA

O gracious duke, Harp not on that, nor do not banish reason For inequality; but let your reason serve To make the truth appear where it seems hid, And hide the false seems true.

ISABELLA

Oh, gracious Duke, forget all of that. Don't think I'm crazy just because it doesn't seem right. Look carefully and see the hidden truth. And overlook the false things that seem true.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Many that are not madHave, sure, more lack of reason. What would you say?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Lots of sane people certainly have less reason than you. What do you want to say?

ISABELLA

I am the sister of one Claudio, Condemn'd upon the act of fornication To lose his head; condemn'd by Angelo: I, in probation of a sisterhood, Was sent to by my brother; one Lucio As then the messenger,—

ISABELLA

I'm the sister of Claudio, condemned to die for the crime of premarital sex by Angelo. I am in my trial period as a nun, and my brother reached out to me in the convent through a messenger named Lucio—

LUCIO

That's I, an't like your grace: I came to her from Claudio, and desired her To try her gracious fortune with Lord Angelo For her poor brother's pardon.

LUCIO

That's me, your Grace! I went to see her on Claudio's orders, and asked her to appeal to Lord Angelo for her poor brother's pardon.

ISABELLA

That's he indeed.

ISABELLA

Yes, that's him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You were not bid to speak.

DUKE VINCENTIO

No one told you to speak.

LUCIO

No, my good lord;Nor wish'd to hold my peace.

LUCIO

No, sir, but no one told me to be silent.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I wish you now, then; Pray you, take note of it: and when you have A business for yourself, pray heaven you then Be perfect.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I'm telling you now, then. Please take note of it, and when you have a job to do, pray to God that you'll do it perfectly.

LUCIO

I warrant your honour.

LUCIO

I warrant I will, your Honor.

DUKE VINCENTIO

The warrants for yourself; take heed to't.

DUKE VINCENTIO

The warrant's for you; follow it.

ISABELLA

This gentleman told somewhat of my tale,—

ISABELLA

This man may have told my story already—

LUCIO

Right.

LUCIO

Right.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It may be right; but you are i' the wrongTo speak before your time. Proceed.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It may be right, but you're in the wrong to speak before your time.

[To ISABELLA] Go on.

ISABELLA

I wentTo this pernicious caitiff deputy,—

ISABELLA

I went to this poisonous, rascal of a deputy—

DUKE VINCENTIO

That's somewhat madly spoken.

DUKE VINCENTIO

That sounds a little crazy.

ISABELLA

Pardon it;The phrase is to the matter.

ISABELLA

Forgive me. The phrase is part of the point.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Mended again. The matter; proceed.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Then all is well. Get to the point; go on.

ISABELLA

In brief, to set the needless process by, How I persuaded, how I pray'd, and kneel'd, How he refell'd me, and how I replied,— For this was of much length, —the vile conclusion I now begin with grief and shame to utter: He would not, but by gift of my chaste body To his concupiscible intemperate lust, Release my brother; and, after much debatement, My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour, And I did yield to him: but the next morn betimes, His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant For my poor brother's head.

ISABELLA

In short (to skip over all the unimportant details, like how I begged, and prayed, and kneeled, and how he argued against me, and how I replied, since all of this took a long time) I'll say—shamefully and sadly—how it ended up. Angelo wouldn't release my brother unless I, a virgin, had sex with him and obeyed his unbounded, uncontrollable lust. After debating with myself for a long time, my duty as a sister overcame my sense of honor, and I gave in to Angelo. But the next morning, after he got what he wanted, Angelo sent a warrant for my brother's death.

DUKE VINCENTIO

This is most likely!

DUKE VINCENTIO

This is unbelievable!

ISABELLA

O, that it were as like as it is true!

ISABELLA

Oh, I wish it were as believable as it is true!

DUKE VINCENTIO

By heaven, fond wretch, thou knowist not what thou speak'st, Or else thou art suborn'd against his honour In hateful practise. First, his integrity Stands without blemish. Next, it imports no reason That with such vehemency he should pursue Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended, He would have weigh'd thy brother by himself And not have cut him off. Some one hath set you on: Confess the truth, and say by whose advice Thou camest here to complain.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I swear, you foolish scoundrel, you either don't know what you're saying, or you're out to get the deputy because you hate him. First of all, his reputation is perfect. Second, there's no reason he would so aggressively punish faults that he himself had. If he had done what you said, he would have compared your brother to himself, and not killed him after all. Someone put you up to this. Tell the truth, and tell us who told you to come here and complain.

ISABELLA

And is this all? Then, O you blessed ministers above, Keep me in patience, and with ripen'd time Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up In countenance! Heaven shield your grace from woe, As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go!

ISABELLA

Is this all I get? Then oh, God above, help me to be patient and wait for the moment when you'll expose the evil that's here in this man! God bless you, sir, and may he keep you from unhappiness. I, so wronged, will leave without being believed!

DUKE VINCENTIO

I know you'ld fain be gone. An officer! To prison with her! Shall we thus permit A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall On him so near us? This needs must be a practise. Who knew of Your intent and coming hither?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I knew you'd leave. Officer? Take her to prison! How can I allow such a loud-mouthed, scandalous voice to embarrass someone I care so much about? This is some kind of plot. Who knew about your plan to come here?

ISABELLA

One that I would were here, Friar Lodowick.

ISABELLA

Someone I wish were here: Friar Lodowick.

DUKE VINCENTIO

A ghostly father, belike. Who knows that Lodowick?

DUKE VINCENTIO

A holy father, probably. Does anyone know this Lodowick?

LUCIO

My lord, I know him; 'tis a meddling friar; I do not like the man: had he been lay, my lord For certain words he spake against your grace In your retirement, I had swinged him soundly.

LUCIO

Sir, I know him. He's a sneaky friar. I don't like the man. If he weren't a holy person, sir, I would have smacked him in the face for some of the things he said about you while you were gone.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Words against me? this is a good friar, belike!And to set on this wretched woman hereAgainst our substitute! Let this friar be found.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Bad things about me? This friar doesn't sound like a very good man. And he sent this horrible woman here to embarrass my deputy! Find this friar.

LUCIO

But yesternight, my lord, she and that friar,I saw them at the prison: a saucy friar,A very scurvy fellow.

LUCIO

Sir,  I saw her and the friar at the prison last night. A rude friar, an absolutely worthless man.

FRIAR PETER

Blessed be your royal grace! I have stood by, my lord, and I have heard Your royal ear abused. First, hath this woman Most wrongfully accused your substitute, Who is as free from touch or soil with her As she from one ungot.

FRIAR PETER

Bless you, your royal Grace! I've stood by and heard people telling you lies. First of all, this woman has wrongfully accused the deputy. He's as devoid of wrongdoing as she is devoid of Jesus.

DUKE VINCENTIO

We did believe no less.Know you that Friar Lodowick that she speaks of?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I thought so. Do you know this Friar Lodowick that she mentioned?

FRIAR PETER

I know him for a man divine and holy; Not scurvy, nor a temporary meddler, As he's reported by this gentleman; And, on my trust, a man that never yet Did, as he vouches, misreport your grace.

FRIAR PETER

I know that he's divine and holy; he's neither rude nor worthless like this man said. And I promise that he didn't say anything against you, your Grace, as this man has reported.

LUCIO

My lord, most villanously; believe it.

LUCIO

Sir, he did, and horribly. Believe it.

FRIAR PETER

Well, he in time may come to clear himself; But at this instant he is sick my lord, Of a strange fever. Upon his mere request, Being come to knowledge that there was complaint Intended 'gainst Lord Angelo, came I hither, To speak, as from his mouth, what he doth know Is true and false; and what he with his oath And all probation will make up full clear, Whensoever he's convented. First, for this woman. To justify this worthy nobleman, So vulgarly and personally accused, Her shall you hear disproved to her eyes, Till she herself confess it.

FRIAR PETER

Well, maybe he'll come to clear his name at some point, but he's sick at the moment; he has some strange fever. I came here on his behalf after he found out there was a complaint coming against Lord Angelo. He asked me to relay what he knew to be true, and what he knew to be false; he'll clear everything up as soon as you can get hold of him. First, for this woman Mariana. With her own confession, Mariana can disprove the testimonies on behalf of Angelo, who's so personally and vulgarly accused.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Good friar, let's hear it.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Good friar, let's hear it.

ISABELLA is carried off guarded and MARIANA comes forward

Do you not smile at this, Lord Angelo? O heaven, the vanity of wretched fools! Give us some seats. Come, cousin Angelo; In this I'll be impartial; be you judge Of your own cause. Is this the witness, friar? First, let her show her face, and after speak.

Can't you smile about this, Lord Angelo? For heaven's sake, foolish people are so conceited! Bring us some seats. Come on, Angelo, I'll sit this one out; you can be your own judge. [Pointing to MARIANA] Is this the witness, friar? First, make her show her face, and then have her speak.

MARIANA

Pardon, my lord; I will not show my faceUntil my husband bid me.

MARIANA

I'm sorry, sir, but I won't show my face until my husband tells me to.

DUKE VINCENTIO

What, are you married?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Oh, so you're married?

MARIANA

No, my lord.

MARIANA

No, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Are you a maid?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Are you a virgin?

MARIANA

No, my lord.

MARIANA

No, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

A widow, then?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Are you a widow, then?

MARIANA

Neither, my lord.

MARIANA

Not that either, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Why, you are nothing then: neither maid, widow, nor wife?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Well, then you're nothing at all! You're not a virgin, a widow, or a wife?

LUCIO

My lord, she may be a punk; for many of them areneither maid, widow, nor wife.

LUCIO

My lord, maybe she's a prostitute. Lots of them are not virgins, widows, or wives.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Silence that fellow: I would he had some causeTo prattle for himself.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Make that man quiet. I wish he'd be content to chatter to himself.

LUCIO

Well, my lord.

LUCIO

Very well, my lord.

MARIANA

My lord; I do confess I ne'er was married; And I confess besides I am no maid: I have known my husband; yet my husband Knows not that ever he knew me.

MARIANA

My lord, I'll admit that I was never married. And I'll admit, too, that I'm not a virgin. I've slept with my husband, but my husband doesn't know that he ever slept with me.

LUCIO

He was drunk then, my lord: it can be no better.

LUCIO

He was drunk then, my lord. That must've been it.

DUKE VINCENTIO

For the benefit of silence, would thou wert so too!

DUKE VINCENTIO

If it would keep you quiet, I wish you were drunk, too!

LUCIO

Well, my lord.

LUCIO

Very well, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

This is no witness for Lord Angelo.

DUKE VINCENTIO

This doesn't have anything to do with Lord Angelo.

MARIANA

Now I come to't my lord She that accuses him of fornication, In self-same manner doth accuse my husband, And charges him my lord, with such a time When I'll depose I had him in mine arms With all the effect of love.

MARIANA

I'm getting to that, my lord. The woman who accused him of assaulting her accuses my husband in the same way. My lord, she makes her charges against him based on the time when I held him in my arms and made love to him, as I'll explain.

ANGELO

Charges she more than me?

ANGELO

Is she charging someone besides me?

MARIANA

Not that I know.

MARIANA

Not that I know of.

DUKE VINCENTIO

No? you say your husband.

DUKE VINCENTIO

No? But you said "your husband."

MARIANA

Why, just, my lord, and that is Angelo,Who thinks he knows that he ne'er knew my body,But knows he thinks that he knows Isabel's.

MARIANA

Well, exactly, my lord. Angelo is my husband. He thinks he knows he's never had sex with me. But he knows that he thinks he's had sex with Isabella.

ANGELO

This is a strange abuse. Let's see thy face.

ANGELO

This is a strange accusation. Let us see your face.

MARIANA

My husband bids me; now I will unmask. [Unveiling] This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, Which once thou sworest was worth the looking on; This is the hand which, with a vow'd contract, Was fast belock'd in thine; this is the body That took away the match from Isabel, And did supply thee at thy garden-house In her imagined person.

MARIANA

Since my husband's telling me to do so, I'll take off my veil now. [She removes her veil] This is the face, you cruel man, which you used to say was worth looking at. This is the hand which you held when you promised to marry me. And this is the body which you thought was Isabella's, and which you had your way with in your garden shack, imagining it was her.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Know you this woman?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Do you know this woman?

LUCIO

Carnally, she says.

LUCIO

She said he knew her sexually.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Sirrah, no more!

DUKE VINCENTIO

Sir, that's enough!

LUCIO

Enough, my lord.

LUCIO

Enough, my lord.

ANGELO

My lord, I must confess I know this woman: And five years since there was some speech of marriage Betwixt myself and her; which was broke off, Partly for that her promised proportions Came short of composition, but in chief For that her reputation was disvalued In levity: since which time of five years I never spake with her, saw her, nor heard from her, Upon my faith and honour.

ANGELO

My lord, I have to admit I know this woman. Five years ago there was some talk about marriage between us, but it was broken off—partially because the dowry which was promised didn't materialize, and mainly because her reputation took a major hit. In the five years since then I haven't spoken to her, seen her, or heard from her—I swear.

MARIANA

Noble prince, As there comes light from heaven and words from breath, As there is sense in truth and truth in virtue, I am affianced this man's wife as strongly As words could make up vows: and, my good lord, But Tuesday night last gone in's garden-house He knew me as a wife. As this is true, Let me in safety raise me from my knees Or else for ever be confixed here, A marble monument!

MARIANA

Noble prince, as much as light comes from the sky and words come from our breath; as much as truth makes sense and virtue is always truthful, I'm this man's betrothed wife—if we put any stock in words and vows. And, my good lord, last Tuesday night in his garden shack, he slept with me as his wife. If this isn't true, may I never get up from here, and be frozen forever as a marble statue!

ANGELO

I did but smile till now: Now, good my lord, give me the scope of justice My patience here is touch'd. I do perceive These poor informal women are no more But instruments of some more mightier member That sets them on: let me have way, my lord, To find this practise out.

ANGELO

I smiled up until now, Now, my good lord, let me do justice. My patience is running out. I can see that these poor, tattle-tale women are just the tools of some more powerful person who's made them do this. My lord, allow me to figure out what's going on.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Ay, with my heart And punish them to your height of pleasure. Thou foolish friar, and thou pernicious woman, Compact with her that's gone, think'st thou thy oaths, Though they would swear down each particular saint, Were testimonies against his worth and credit That's seal'd in approbation? You, Lord Escalus, Sit with my cousin; lend him your kind pains To find out this abuse, whence 'tis derived. There is another friar that set them on; Let him be sent for.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Of course, gladly. Punish them as you see fit.

[To FRIAR PETER and MARIANA] You foolish friar, and you lying woman—you're in cahoots with the other woman who was taken away! Did you really think that you could support a testimony against someone as perfectly unshakably worthy and believable as Angelo, just because you swore by all the saints in heaven?

[To ESCALUS] You, Lord Escalus: sit with Angelo. Help him figure out who's behind all this, and where it came from. There's another friar that put them up to this; bring him here.

FRIAR PETER

Would he were here, my lord! for he indeed Hath set the women on to this complaint: Your provost knows the place where he abides And he may fetch him.

FRIAR PETER

I wish he were here, sir! He did put these women up to making the complaint. Your provost knows where he lives and can get him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Go do it instantly.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Go do it, immediately.

Exit Provost

And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin, Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth, Do with your injuries as seems you best, In any chastisement: I for a while will leave you; But stir not you till you have well determined Upon these slanderers.

And you, my noble, completely justified cousin: it's your job to hear this case and dole out whatever punishments you see fit. I'll leave you here for a while, but don't move until you've completely ruled on these slanderers.

ESCALUS

My lord, we'll do it throughly.

ESCALUS

Sir, we'll do it thoroughly. 

Exit DUKE

ESCALUS

Signior Lucio, did not you say you knew thatFriar Lodowick to be a dishonest person?

ESCALUS

Mr. Lucio, didn't you say that, as far as you knew, Friar Lodowick was a dishonest person?

LUCIO

"Cucullus non facit monachum:" honest in nothingbut in his clothes; and one that hath spoke mostvillanous speeches of the duke.

LUCIO

"A holy habit doesn't make a friar devout." The most honest thing about him are his clothes. He's the one who said such awful things about the Duke.

ESCALUS

We shall entreat you to abide here till he come andenforce them against him: we shall find this friar anotable fellow.

ESCALUS

We'll have to ask you to stay here until he comes, so you can accuse him of it. I'm sure we'll find that this friar is unique.

LUCIO

As any in Vienna, on my word.

LUCIO

As much as any friar in Vienna, I swear.

ESCALUS

Call that same Isabel here once again; I would speak with her.

ESCALUS

Bring Isabella here again; I want to speak with her.

Exit an Attendant


Pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; youshall see how I'll handle her.

Please, my lord, let me question her. You'll see how I handle her.

LUCIO

Not better than he, by her own report.

LUCIO

No better than he did, according to what she said.

ESCALUS

Say you?

ESCALUS

Do you think?

LUCIO

Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately,she would sooner confess: perchance, publicly,she'll be ashamed.

LUCIO

Indeed, I do, sir. I think that if you talked to her privately she'd confess sooner. Publicly, she might be too ashamed.

ESCALUS

I will go darkly to work with her.

ESCALUS

I'll go talk with her alone.

LUCIO

That's the way; for women are light at midnight.

LUCIO

That's the spirit. Women are best that way.

Re-enter Officers with ISABELLA; and Provost with the DUKE VINCENTIO in his friar's habit

ESCALUS

Come on, mistress: here's a gentlewoman denies allthat you have said.

ESCALUS

Come on, miss. Here's a gentlewoman that denies everything you said.

LUCIO

My lord, here comes the rascal I spoke of; here withthe provost.

LUCIO

My lord, here comes the rascal I was talking about. He's here with the provost.

ESCALUS

In very good time: speak not you to him till wecall upon you.

ESCALUS

Perfect timing. Don't say anything until we tell you to.

LUCIO

Mum.

LUCIO

Mum's the word.

ESCALUS

Come, sir: did you set these women on to slanderLord Angelo? they have confessed you did.

ESCALUS

All right, sir. Did you ask these women to slander Lord Angelo? They confessed that you did.

DUKE VINCENTIO

'Tis false.

DUKE VINCENTIO

That's false.

ESCALUS

How! know you where you are?

ESCALUS

What? Do you know where you are?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Respect to your great place! and let the devilBe sometime honour'd for his burning throne!Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I respect you and your position as much as I respect the devil on his burning throne! Where's the Duke? He's the one who should hear my testimony.

ESCALUS

The duke's in us; and we will hear you speak:Look you speak justly.

ESCALUS

We're the Duke's substitutes, and we'll listen to your testimony. Make sure you tell the truth.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Boldly, at least. But, O, poor souls, Come you to seek the lamb here of the fox? Good night to your redress! Is the duke gone? Then is your cause gone too. The duke's unjust, Thus to retort your manifest appeal, And put your trial in the villain's mouth Which here you come to accuse.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I'll speak boldly, at least. But you poor souls have let the fox set you on a lamb. Is this how you solve things? Is the Duke gone? Then you have no power.

[To MARIANA]
The Duke is unjust to reverse your appeal and make you go on trial in front of the villain you came to accuse.

LUCIO

This is the rascal; this is he I spoke of.

LUCIO

This is the rascal, this is the man I was talking about!

ESCALUS

Why, thou unreverend and unhallow'd friar, Is't not enough thou hast suborn'd these women To accuse this worthy man, but, in foul mouth And in the witness of his proper ear, To call him villain? and then to glance from him To the duke himself, to tax him with injustice? Take him hence; to the rack with him! We'll touse you Joint by joint, but we will know his purpose. What "unjust!"

ESCALUS

You blasphemous, unholy friar! Isn't it enough that you forced these women to accuse a good man? Do you have to insult the man to his face, and call him a "villain?" And then go on to call the Duke himself unjust? Take him away, torture him! We'll twist you up joint by joint until we get the truth out of you. He said "unjust!"

DUKE VINCENTIO

Be not so hot; the duke Dare no more stretch this finger of mine than he Dare rack his own: his subject am I not, Nor here provincial. My business in this state Made me a looker on here in Vienna, Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble Till it o'er-run the stew; laws for all faults, But faults so countenanced, that the strong statutes Stand like the forfeits in a barber's shop, As much in mock as mark.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Don't get so angry. The Duke wouldn't dare to touch my little finger as much as he would dare to hurt himself. I'm not his subject; I'm not from here. Because I've had business here, I've been an onlooker in Vienna, where I've seen corruption boil and bubble until it ran over the sides of the pot. There are laws against every crime, but the crimes are dealt with in such a way that the strong laws are a laughingstock, like bald men in a barber shop. They're not taken seriously at all.

ESCALUS

Slander to the state! Away with him to prison!

ESCALUS

He's slandering the state! Take him away to prison!

ANGELO

What can you vouch against him, Signior Lucio?Is this the man that you did tell us of?

ANGELO

What can you say against him, Mr. Lucio? Is this the man you told us about?

LUCIO

'Tis he, my lord. Come hither, goodman baldpate:do you know me?

LUCIO

Yes, it's him, sir. Come on, Mr. Baldie. Do you know who I am?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I remember you, sir, by the sound of your voice: Imet you at the prison, in the absence of the duke.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I remember you by the sound of your voice, sir. I met you at the prison while the Duke was gone.

LUCIO

O, did you so? And do you remember what you said of theduke?

LUCIO

Oh, did you? And do you remember what you said about the Duke?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Most notedly, sir.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Very well, sir.

LUCIO

Do you so, sir? And was the duke a fleshmonger, afool, and a coward, as you then reported him to be?

LUCIO

Do you, sir? And didn't you say the Duke was a womanizer, an idiot, and a coward?

DUKE VINCENTIO

You must, sir, change persons with me, ere you makethat my report: you, indeed, spoke so of him; andmuch more, much worse.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Sir, I think you'll have to switch places with me before you say that. It was you that said that about him—and much more, much worse.

LUCIO

O thou damnable fellow! Did not I pluck thee by thenose for thy speeches?

LUCIO

Oh, you accursed man! Didn't I punch you in the face for what you said?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I protest I love the duke as I love myself.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I have to say, I love the Duke as much as I love myself.

ANGELO

Hark, how the villain would close now, after histreasonable abuses!

ANGELO

Listen how the scoundrel tries to cover it up now, after committing treason!

ESCALUS

Such a fellow is not to be talked withal. Away with him to prison! Where is the provost? Away with him to prison! lay bolts enough upon him: let him speak no more. Away with those giglots too, and with the other confederate companion!

ESCALUS

You can't reason with a man like that. Take him away to prison! Where is the provost? Take him away to prison! Lock him up and never let him speak again. Take those whores, too, with their co-conspirator!

DUKE VINCENTIO

[To Provost] Stay, sir; stay awhile.

DUKE VINCENTIO

[To the PROVOST]  Wait, sir. Wait a minute.

ANGELO

What, resists he? Help him, Lucio.

ANGELO

What, is he resisting? Help him, Lucio.

LUCIO

Come, sir; come, sir; come, sir; foh, sir! Why, you bald-pated, lying rascal, you must be hooded, must you? Show your knave's visage, with a pox to you! show your sheep-biting face, and be hanged an hour! Will't not off? [Pulls off the friar's hood, and discovers DUKE VINCENTIO]

LUCIO

Come on, sir; come on, sir; come on, sir. Hey, sir! What, you bald-headed, lying rascal, you have to keep your hood on, huh? Show your foolish face, and damn you! Show your dirty, lying face, and go die! Take it off! [LUCIO pulls off the friar's hood, revealing DUKE VINCENTIO to everyone]

DUKE VINCENTIO

Thou art the first knave that e'er madest a duke. First, provost, let me bail these gentle three. [to Lucio] Sneak not away, sir; for the friar and you Must have a word anon. Lay hold on him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You're the first idiot that ever made someone a duke.

[To the PROVOST, gesturing toward ISABELLA, MARIANA, and CLAUDIO]
First, sheriff, let me bail out these three innocent people.

[To LUCIO] Don't sneak away, sir. The friar and you have more to say to each other. Grab him.

LUCIO

This may prove worse than hanging.

LUCIO

This might end up worse than hanging.

DUKE VINCENTIO

[To ESCALUS] What you have spoke I pardon: sit you down: We'll borrow place of him. [To ANGELO] Sir, by your leave. Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence, That yet can do thee office? If thou hast, Rely upon it till my tale be heard, And hold no longer out.

DUKE VINCENTIO

[To ESCALUS] I forgive you for what you said. Sit down; I'll take his place.

[To ANGELO] Sir, with your permission: do you have anything to say for yourself—any witty reply that can improve your situation? If you do, tell me now before I tell my story. Don't hold out any longer.

ANGELO

O my dread lord, I should be guiltier than my guiltiness, To think I can be undiscernible, When I perceive your grace, like power divine, Hath look'd upon my passes. Then, good prince, No longer session hold upon my shame, But let my trial be mine own confession: Immediate sentence then and sequent death Is all the grace I beg.

ANGELO

Oh, my sovereign lord, I feel guiltier than guiltiness itself now that I know I didn't go undetected; now that I know that you—like God himself—saw everything I did, your Grace. So, good prince, don't make me stand up here any longer in my shame. I'll cut my trial short with a confession. All I ask is an immediate sentence and, after that, death.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Come hither, Mariana.Say, wast thou e'er contracted to this woman?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Come here, Mariana. [MARIANA comes forward] Tell me, were you ever engaged to this woman?

ANGELO

I was, my lord.

ANGELO

I was, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Go take her hence, and marry her instantly. Do you the office, friar; which consummate, Return him here again. Go with him, provost.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Go take her away, and marry her immediately.

[To FRIAR PETER] Friar, you can do the service; once it's done, bring him back here.

[To the PROVOST] You go with him, Provost.

Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER and Provost

ESCALUS

My lord, I am more amazed at his dishonourThan at the strangeness of it.

ESCALUS

My lord, I'm more surprised by his dishonor than I am by the unexpected nature of it.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Come hither, Isabel. Your friar is now your prince: as I was then Advertising and holy to your business, Not changing heart with habit, I am still Attorney'd at your service.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Come here, Isabella. Your friar is really your ruler. Back when I was in my disguise, I gave you holy advice for your project. I haven't changed who I am when I changed my clothes; I'm still completely at your service.

ISABELLA

O, give me pardon,That I, your vassal, have employ'd and pain'dYour unknown sovereignty!

ISABELLA

Oh, forgive me, sir! I'm just your subject, and I ordered you around, not realizing you were the Duke!

DUKE VINCENTIO

You are pardon'd, Isabel: And now, dear maid, be you as free to us. Your brother's death, I know, sits at your heart; And you may marvel why I obscured myself, Labouring to save his life, and would not rather Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power Than let him so be lost. O most kind maid, It was the swift celerity of his death, Which I did think with slower foot came on, That brain'd my purpose. But, peace be with him! That life is better life, past fearing death, Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort, So happy is your brother.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I forgive you, Isabella. And now, dear girl, forgive me, too. I know you're grieving for your brother's death. And I know that you're wondering why I stayed disguised the whole time I was trying to save his life, instead of using my hidden power to save him. Oh, sweet girl, his death came so quickly, and I thought we had more time. So I didn't do what I meant to. God rest his soul! He's in a better place now, and doesn't have to be afraid of death anymore, the way he was in life. Take comfort in the fact that your brother is happy now.

ISABELLA

I do, my lord.

ISABELLA

I do, my lord.

Re-enter ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER, and Provost

DUKE VINCENTIO

For this new-married man approaching here, Whose salt imagination yet hath wrong'd Your well defended honour, you must pardon For Mariana's sake: but as he adjudged your brother,— Being criminal, in double violation Of sacred chastity and of promise-breach Thereon dependent, for your brother's life,— The very mercy of the law cries out Most audible, even from his proper tongue, 'An Angelo for Claudio, death for death!' Haste still pays haste, and leisure answers leisure; Like doth quit like, and MEASURE still FOR MEASURE. Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifested; Which, though thou wouldst deny, denies thee vantage. We do condemn thee to the very block Where Claudio stoop'd to death, and with like haste. Away with him!

DUKE VINCENTIO

As for this newly-married man who's now approaching—whose dirty mind has done you wrong—you need to forgive him for Mariana's sake. But since he judged you brother—criminally committing a double violation of the laws of abstinence and honesty with which he charged Claudio--the law itself seems to dictate that Angelo should die for Claudio, death for death. Fast for fast, slow for slow, like for like, and measure, too, for measure. So, Angelo, we all know your crime. Even if you would deny it, you can't escape. I condemn you to the same block where Claudio was killed, and just as quickly. Take him away!

MARIANA

O my most gracious lord,I hope you will not mock me with a husband.

MARIANA

Oh, my most gracious lord, I hope you won't tease me with a husband!

DUKE VINCENTIO

It is your husband mock'd you with a husband. Consenting to the safeguard of your honour, I thought your marriage fit; else imputation, For that he knew you, might reproach your life And choke your good to come; for his possessions, Although by confiscation they are ours, We do instate and widow you withal, To buy you a better husband.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Your husband's the one that teased you with a husband. I though it was best for your reputation to have you married; otherwise, you might have a difficult time in the future, since you had sex with him. As for his possessions, although I could confiscate them, you're now his widow—so you can have it all. Buy yourself a better husband.

MARIANA

O my dear lord,I crave no other, nor no better man.

MARIANA

Oh, my dear lord, I don't want anyone else. I don't want a better man.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Never crave him; we are definitive.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Stop wanting him. My word is final.

MARIANA

Gentle my liege,— [Kneeling]

MARIANA

But, sir— [She kneels]

DUKE VINCENTIO

You do but lose your labour.Away with him to death! [To LUCIO] Now, sir, to you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You're wasting your time. Take him away to death!

[To LUCIO] Now, sir, to you.

MARIANA

O my good lord! Sweet Isabel, take my part; Lend me your knees, and all my life to come I'll lend you all my life to do you service.

MARIANA

Oh, my good lord! Sweet Isabella, help me! Beg with me on your knees, and I'll owe you anything and everything for the rest of my life.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Against all sense you do importune her: Should she kneel down in mercy of this fact, Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break, And take her hence in horror.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It makes no sense for you to ask her. If she kneels and asks for mercy for him, her brother's ghost would come back to haunt her and steal her away in horror.

MARIANA

Isabel, Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me; Hold up your hands, say nothing; I'll speak all. They say, best men are moulded out of faults; And, for the most, become much more the better For being a little bad: so may my husband. O Isabel, will you not lend a knee?

MARIANA

Isabella, sweet Isabella, just kneel with me. Hold up your hands—you don't have to say anything. I'll do all the talking.

[To DUKE VINCENTIO] They say that even the best men make mistakes. And most of them are actually better for having a little imperfection in them. My husband's just the same.

[To ISABELLA] Oh, Isabella, won't you kneel with me?

DUKE VINCENTIO

He dies for Claudio's death.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He dies for Claudio's death.

ISABELLA

Most bounteous sir, Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd, As if my brother lived: I partly think A due sincerity govern'd his deeds, Till he did look on me: since it is so, Let him not die. My brother had but justice, In that he did the thing for which he died: For Angelo, His act did not o'ertake his bad intent, And must be buried but as an intent That perish'd by the way: thoughts are no subjects; Intents but merely thoughts.

ISABELLA

Generous sir, please treat this condemned man the way you would treat my brother if he were still alive. I partially think that he acted sincerely before he met me. Since that's the case, don't let him die. My brother got his justice—he did the thing for which he died. But Angelo, he didn't do the thing that he intended. Since it was only an intention, we should forget about it. Thoughts aren't actions; intentions are just thoughts.

MARIANA

Merely, my lord.

MARIANA

Just thoughts, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say. I have bethought me of another fault. Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded At an unusual hour?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Your request is useless. Stand up, now. I just thought of another mistake. Provost, why was it that Claudio was beheaded at such an unusual time?

PROVOST

It was commanded so.

PROVOST

That's what I was commanded to do.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Had you a special warrant for the deed?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Did you have a special warrant for it?

PROVOST

No, my good lord; it was by private message.

PROVOST

No, my good lord. It was in a private message.

DUKE VINCENTIO

For which I do discharge you of your office:Give up your keys.

DUKE VINCENTIO

For that, you're fired from your position. Give me your keys. 

PROVOST

Pardon me, noble lord: I thought it was a fault, but knew it not; Yet did repent me, after more advice; For testimony whereof, one in the prison, That should by private order else have died, I have reserved alive.

PROVOST

Forgive me, sir. I thought it was a mistake, but I wasn't sure. I repented after I'd talked with someone about it. A man in the prison—who should have died, but I kept alive—can testify to it.

DUKE VINCENTIO

What's he?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Who's that?

PROVOST

His name is Barnardine.

PROVOST

His name is Barnadine. 

DUKE VINCENTIO

I would thou hadst done so by Claudio.Go fetch him hither; let me look upon him.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I wish you would have kept Claudio alive. Bring him here; let me see him.

Exit Provost

ESCALUS

I am sorry, one so learned and so wise As you, Lord Angelo, have still appear'd, Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood. And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.

ESCALUS

Lord Angelo, I'm sad to see that someone as educated and wise as you, —and who seemed good—would mess up so badly, and let his desires get the best of him. And then to have had such poor judgment afterward. 

ANGELO

I am sorry that such sorrow I procure: And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart That I crave death more willingly than mercy; 'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.

ANGELO

I'm sorrow that I've caused so much suffering. I feel it so painfully in my remorseful heart that I want death more than I want mercy. It's what I deserve; it's what I ask for.

Re-enter Provost, with BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO muffled, and JULIET

DUKE VINCENTIO

Which is that Barnardine?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Which one is Barnadine?

PROVOST

This, my lord.

PROVOST

This one, sir.

DUKE VINCENTIO

There was a friar told me of this man. Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul. That apprehends no further than this world, And squarest thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd: But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all; And pray thee take this mercy to provide For better times to come. Friar, advise him; I leave him to your hand. What muffled fellow's that?

DUKE VINCENTIO

A friar told me about this man.

[To BARNADINE] Sir, I've heard that you have a stubborn soul; that you don't care about the afterlife and live your life accordingly. You're condemned. But, despite all of your earthly faults, I pardon you. Please take advantage of this mercy to improve your life in the future.

[To FRIAR PETER] Friar, speak with him; I leave him to you.

[To the PROVOST] Who's the man with the bag on his head?

PROVOST

This is another prisoner that I saved. Who should have died when Claudio lost his head; As like almost to Claudio as himself. [Unmuffles CLAUDIO]

PROVOST

This is another prisoner that I saved. He should have died when Claudio lost his head, and looks as much like Claudio as Claudio himself. [He takes the bag off CLAUDIO's head]

DUKE VINCENTIO

[To ISABELLA] If he be like your brother, for his sake Is he pardon'd; and, for your lovely sake, Give me your hand and say you will be mine. He is my brother too: but fitter time for that. By this Lord Angelo perceives he's safe; Methinks I see a quickening in his eye. Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well: Look that you love your wife; her worth worth yours. I find an apt remission in myself; And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon. [To LUCIO] You, sirrah, that knew me for a fool, a coward, One all of luxury, an ass, a madman; Wherein have I so deserved of you, That you extol me thus?

DUKE VINCENTIO

[To ISABELLA] If he looks like your brother, then I'll pardon him for his sake. And as for your beautiful sake, give me your hand and say you'll be mine. He's my brother, too—or will be soon. Lord Angelo can tell that he's safe now; I can see the look in his eye.

[To ANGELO] Well, Angelo, you're not evil anymore. Make sure you love your wife, and that you're good enough to deserve her. And yet, there's one person here who I can't pardon.

[To LUCIO] You, sir. You called me an idiot, a coward, wasteful, an ass, crazy. What did I do to deserve what you've said about me?

LUCIO

'Faith, my lord. I spoke it but according to the trick. If you will hang me for it, you may; but I had rather it would please you I might be whipt.

LUCIO

Truly, my lord, I only said it as a joke. You can hang me for it if you want. But I'd rather just get whipped, if it would please you, sir.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Whipt first, sir, and hanged after. Proclaim it, provost, round about the city. Is any woman wrong'd by this lewd fellow, As I have heard him swear himself there's one Whom he begot with child, let her appear, And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd, Let him be whipt and hang'd.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Whipped first, and hanged afterward.

[To the PROVOST] Announce it all around the city, Provost. If any woman has been wronged by this nasty man—since I've heard him swear he got one pregnant—bring her here, and he'll marry her. After the wedding, have him whipped and hanged.

LUCIO

I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore.Your highness said even now, I made you a duke:good my lord, do not recompense me in making me a cuckold.

LUCIO

I beg you, your Highness: don't make me marry a whore. You said even now, your Highness, that I made you a duke. Please, my good lord, don't repay me by making me marry a loose woman.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her. Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal Remit thy other forfeits. Take him to prison; And see our pleasure herein executed.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I swear on my honor—you'll marry her. I forgive your slander and pardon all your other crimes, too. Take him to prison and make sure my instructions are executed.

LUCIO

Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death,whipping, and hanging.

LUCIO

My lord, marrying a prostitute is worse than being pressed to death, whipped, and hanged.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Slandering a prince deserves it.

DUKE VICENTIO

That's what you deserve for slandering a prince.

Exit Officers with LUCIO

She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore. Joy to you, Mariana! Love her, Angelo: I have confess'd her and I know her virtue. Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness: There's more behind that is more gratulate. Thanks, provost, for thy care and secrecy: We shill employ thee in a worthier place. Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home The head of Ragozine for Claudio's: The offence pardons itself. Dear Isabel, I have a motion much imports your good; Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline, What's mine is yours and what is yours is mine. So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.

[To CLAUDIO] Marry the woman you wronged, Claudio.

[To MARIANA] Best wishes to you, Mariana!

[To ANGELO] Love her, Angelo. I've heard her confessions and know how good she is.

[To ESCALUS] Thank you for your good friendship, Escalus. There's more congratulations to come.

[To the PROVOST] Thank you for being so careful and for keeping everything secret, Provost. I'll give you a promotion.

[To ANGELO] Forgive the sheriff for bringing you Ragozine's head in place of Claudio's, Angelo. The offense pardons itself. 

[To ISABELLA] Dear Isabella, I have something in mind that will benefit you, if you're willing to listen: what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine.

[To the crowd] So, let's go to my palace. I'll explain everything that's still unsaid and that you all should know.

Exeunt

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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.