Speeches (Lines) for Isabella
in "Measure for Measure"

Total: 129

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,4,349

And have you nuns no farther privileges?

2

I,4,351

Yes, truly; I speak not as desiring more;
But rather wishing a more strict restraint
Upon the sisterhood, the votarists of Saint Clare.

3

I,4,355

Who's that which calls?

4

I,4,365

Peace and prosperity! Who is't that calls

5

I,4,372

Why 'her unhappy brother'? let me ask,
The rather for I now must make you know
I am that Isabella and his sister.

6

I,4,377

Woe me! for what?

7

I,4,381

Sir, make me not your story.

8

I,4,390

You do blaspheme the good in mocking me.

9

I,4,397

Some one with child by him? My cousin Juliet?

10

I,4,399

Adoptedly; as school-maids change their names
By vain though apt affection.

11

I,4,402

O, let him marry her.

12

I,4,426

Doth he so seek his life?

13

I,4,430

Alas! what poor ability's in me
To do him good?

14

I,4,433

My power? Alas, I doubt—

15

I,4,441

I'll see what I can do.

16

I,4,443

I will about it straight;
No longer staying but to give the mother
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you:
Commend me to my brother: soon at night
I'll send him certain word of my success.

17

I,4,449

Good sir, adieu.

18

II,2,776

I am a woeful suitor to your honour,
Please but your honour hear me.

19

II,2,779

There is a vice that most I do abhor,
And most desire should meet the blow of justice;
For which I would not plead, but that I must;
For which I must not plead, but that I am
At war 'twixt will and will not.

20

II,2,785

I have a brother is condemn'd to die:
I do beseech you, let it be his fault,
And not my brother.

21

II,2,794

O just but severe law!
I had a brother, then. Heaven keep your honour!

22

II,2,802

Must he needs die?

23

II,2,804

Yes; I do think that you might pardon him,
And neither heaven nor man grieve at the mercy.

24

II,2,807

But can you, if you would?

25

II,2,809

But might you do't, and do the world no wrong,
If so your heart were touch'd with that remorse
As mine is to him?

26

II,2,814

Too late? why, no; I, that do speak a word.
May call it back again. Well, believe this,
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs,
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed sword,
The marshal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe,
Become them with one half so good a grace
As mercy does.
If he had been as you and you as he,
You would have slipt like him; but he, like you,
Would not have been so stern.

27

II,2,825

I would to heaven I had your potency,
And you were Isabel! should it then be thus?
No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge,
And what a prisoner.

28

II,2,833

Alas, alas!
Why, all the souls that were were forfeit once;
And He that might the vantage best have took
Found out the remedy. How would you be,
If He, which is the top of judgment, should
But judge you as you are? O, think on that;
And mercy then will breathe within your lips,
Like man new made.

29

II,2,845

To-morrow! O, that's sudden! Spare him, spare him!
He's not prepared for death. Even for our kitchens
We kill the fowl of season: shall we serve heaven
With less respect than we do minister
To our gross selves? Good, good my lord, bethink you;
Who is it that hath died for this offence?
There's many have committed it.

30

II,2,863

Yet show some pity.

31

II,2,870

So you must be the first that gives this sentence,
And he, that suffer's. O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.

32

II,2,875

Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder;
Nothing but thunder! Merciful Heaven,
Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
Than the soft myrtle: but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep; who, with our spleens,
Would all themselves laugh mortal.

33

II,2,893

We cannot weigh our brother with ourself:
Great men may jest with saints; 'tis wit in them,
But in the less foul profanation.

34

II,2,897

That in the captain's but a choleric word,
Which in the soldier is flat blasphemy.

35

II,2,901

Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom;
Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know
That's like my brother's fault: if it confess
A natural guiltiness such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.

36

II,2,911

Gentle my lord, turn back.

37

II,2,913

Hark how I'll bribe you: good my lord, turn back.

38

II,2,915

Ay, with such gifts that heaven shall share with you.

39

II,2,917

Not with fond shekels of the tested gold,
Or stones whose rates are either rich or poor
As fancy values them; but with true prayers
That shall be up at heaven and enter there
Ere sun-rise, prayers from preserved souls,
From fasting maids whose minds are dedicate
To nothing temporal.

40

II,2,926

Heaven keep your honour safe!

41

II,2,930

At what hour to-morrow
Shall I attend your lordship?

42

II,2,933

'Save your honour!

43

II,4,1053

I am come to know your pleasure.

44

II,4,1056

Even so. Heaven keep your honour!

45

II,4,1059

Under your sentence?

46

II,4,1061

When, I beseech you? that in his reprieve,
Longer or shorter, he may be so fitted
That his soul sicken not.

47

II,4,1072

'Tis set down so in heaven, but not in earth.

48

II,4,1078

Sir, believe this,
I had rather give my body than my soul.

49

II,4,1082

How say you?

50

II,4,1089

Please you to do't,
I'll take it as a peril to my soul,
It is no sin at all, but charity.

51

II,4,1094

That I do beg his life, if it be sin,
Heaven let me bear it! you granting of my suit,
If that be sin, I'll make it my morn prayer
To have it added to the faults of mine,
And nothing of your answer.

52

II,4,1102

Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good,
But graciously to know I am no better.

53

II,4,1110

So.

54

II,4,1113

True.

55

II,4,1125

As much for my poor brother as myself:
That is, were I under the terms of death,
The impression of keen whips I'ld wear as rubies,
And strip myself to death, as to a bed
That longing have been sick for, ere I'ld yield
My body up to shame.

56

II,4,1132

And 'twere the cheaper way:
Better it were a brother died at once,
Than that a sister, by redeeming him,
Should die for ever.

57

II,4,1138

Ignomy in ransom and free pardon
Are of two houses: lawful mercy
Is nothing kin to foul redemption.

58

II,4,1144

O, pardon me, my lord; it oft falls out,
To have what we would have, we speak not what we mean:
I something do excuse the thing I hate,
For his advantage that I dearly love.

59

II,4,1149

Else let my brother die,
If not a feodary, but only he
Owe and succeed thy weakness.

60

II,4,1153

Ay, as the glasses where they view themselves;
Which are as easy broke as they make forms.
Women! Help Heaven! men their creation mar
In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail;
For we are soft as our complexions are,
And credulous to false prints.

61

II,4,1168

I have no tongue but one: gentle my lord,
Let me entreat you speak the former language.

62

II,4,1171

My brother did love Juliet,
And you tell me that he shall die for it.

63

II,4,1174

I know your virtue hath a licence in't,
Which seems a little fouler than it is,
To pluck on others.

64

II,4,1179

Ha! little honour to be much believed,
And most pernicious purpose! Seeming, seeming!
I will proclaim thee, Angelo; look for't:
Sign me a present pardon for my brother,
Or with an outstretch'd throat I'll tell the world aloud
What man thou art.

65

II,4,1203

To whom should I complain? Did I tell this,
Who would believe me? O perilous mouths,
That bear in them one and the self-same tongue,
Either of condemnation or approof;
Bidding the law make court'sy to their will:
Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite,
To follow as it draws! I'll to my brother:
Though he hath fallen by prompture of the blood,
Yet hath he in him such a mind of honour.
That, had he twenty heads to tender down
On twenty bloody blocks, he'ld yield them up,
Before his sister should her body stoop
To such abhorr'd pollution.
Then, Isabel, live chaste, and, brother, die:
More than our brother is our chastity.
I'll tell him yet of Angelo's request,
And fit his mind to death, for his soul's rest.

66

III,1,1267

[Within] What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!

67

III,1,1272

My business is a word or two with Claudio.

68

III,1,1279

Why,
As all comforts are; most good, most good indeed.
Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
Intends you for his swift ambassador,
Where you shall be an everlasting leiger:
Therefore your best appointment make with speed;
To-morrow you set on.

69

III,1,1287

None, but such remedy as, to save a head,
To cleave a heart in twain.

70

III,1,1290

Yes, brother, you may live:
There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
But fetter you till death.

71

III,1,1295

Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint,
Though all the world's vastidity you had,
To a determined scope.

72

III,1,1299

In such a one as, you consenting to't,
Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear,
And leave you naked.

73

III,1,1303

O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain,
And six or seven winters more respect
Than a perpetual honour. Darest thou die?
The sense of death is most in apprehension;
And the poor beetle, that we tread upon,
In corporal sufferance finds a pang as great
As when a giant dies.

74

III,1,1316

There spake my brother; there my father's grave
Did utter forth a voice. Yes, thou must die:
Thou art too noble to conserve a life
In base appliances. This outward-sainted deputy,
Whose settled visage and deliberate word
Nips youth i' the head and follies doth emmew
As falcon doth the fowl, is yet a devil
His filth within being cast, he would appear
A pond as deep as hell.

75

III,1,1326

O, 'tis the cunning livery of hell,
The damned'st body to invest and cover
In prenzie guards! Dost thou think, Claudio?
If I would yield him my virginity,
Thou mightst be freed.

76

III,1,1332

Yes, he would give't thee, from this rank offence,
So to offend him still. This night's the time
That I should do what I abhor to name,
Or else thou diest to-morrow.

77

III,1,1337

O, were it but my life,
I'ld throw it down for your deliverance
As frankly as a pin.

78

III,1,1341

Be ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow.

79

III,1,1346

Which is the least?

80

III,1,1350

What says my brother?

81

III,1,1352

And shamed life a hateful.

82

III,1,1368

Alas, alas!

83

III,1,1373

O you beast!
O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!
Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice?
Is't not a kind of incest, to take life
From thine own sister's shame? What should I think?
Heaven shield my mother play'd my father fair!
For such a warped slip of wilderness
Ne'er issued from his blood. Take my defiance!
Die, perish! Might but my bending down
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it should proceed:
I'll pray a thousand prayers for thy death,
No word to save thee.

84

III,1,1386

O, fie, fie, fie!
Thy sin's not accidental, but a trade.
Mercy to thee would prove itself a bawd:
'Tis best thou diest quickly.

85

III,1,1393

What is your will?

86

III,1,1397

I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be
stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile.

87

III,1,1432

I am now going to resolve him: I had rather my
brother die by the law than my son should be
unlawfully born. But, O, how much is the good duke
deceived in Angelo! If ever he return and I can
speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or
discover his government.

88

III,1,1449

Let me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to do
anything that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit.

89

III,1,1454

I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.

90

III,1,1466

Can this be so? did Angelo so leave her?

91

III,1,1473

What a merit were it in death to take this poor maid
from the world! What corruption in this life, that
it will let this man live! But how out of this can she avail?

92

III,1,1479

Show me how, good father.

93

III,1,1501

The image of it gives me content already; and I
trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.

94

III,1,1510

I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father.

95

IV,1,1825

He hath a garden circummured with brick,
Whose western side is with a vineyard back'd;
And to that vineyard is a planched gate,
That makes his opening with this bigger key:
This other doth command a little door
Which from the vineyard to the garden leads;
There have I made my promise
Upon the heavy middle of the night
To call upon him.

96

IV,1,1835

I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't:
With whispering and most guilty diligence,
In action all of precept, he did show me
The way twice o'er.

97

IV,1,1841

No, none, but only a repair i' the dark;
And that I have possess'd him my most stay
Can be but brief; for I have made him know
I have a servant comes with me along,
That stays upon me, whose persuasion is
I come about my brother.

98

IV,1,1853

I do desire the like.

99

IV,1,1870

She'll take the enterprise upon her, father,
If you advise it.

100

IV,1,1874

Little have you to say
When you depart from him, but, soft and low,
'Remember now my brother.'

101

IV,3,2230

[Within] Peace, ho, be here!

102

IV,3,2237

Ho, by your leave!

103

IV,3,2239

The better, given me by so holy a man.
Hath yet the deputy sent my brother's pardon?

104

IV,3,2243

Nay, but it is not so.

105

IV,3,2246

O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!

106

IV,3,2248

Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel!
Injurious world! most damned Angelo!

107

IV,3,2264

I am directed by you.

108

IV,6,2364

To speak so indirectly I am loath:
I would say the truth; but to accuse him so,
That is your part: yet I am advised to do it;
He says, to veil full purpose.

109

IV,6,2369

Besides, he tells me that, if peradventure
He speak against me on the adverse side,
I should not think it strange; for 'tis a physic
That's bitter to sweet end.

110

IV,6,2374

O, peace! the friar is come.

111

V,1,2408

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!

112

V,1,2417

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!

113

V,1,2425

By course of justice!

114

V,1,2427

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?

115

V,1,2434

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.

116

V,1,2440

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, characts, 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.

117

V,1,2457

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.

118

V,1,2464

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,—

119

V,1,2474

That's he indeed.

120

V,1,2484

This gentleman told somewhat of my tale,—

121

V,1,2488

I went
To this pernicious caitiff deputy,—

122

V,1,2491

Pardon it;
The phrase is to the matter.

123

V,1,2494

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.

124

V,1,2507

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

125

V,1,2518

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!

126

V,1,2529

One that I would were here, Friar Lodowick.

127

V,1,2808

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

128

V,1,2824

I do, my lord.

129

V,1,2877

Most bounteous sir,
[Kneeling]
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.

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