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

Total: 65

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

1

I,2,208

Claudio. Fellow, why dost thou show me thus to the world?
Bear me to prison, where I am committed.

Provost. I do it not in evil disposition,
But from Lord Angelo by special charge.


2

I,2,232

Claudio. Call it so.

Provost. Away, sir! you must go.


3

II,1,487

Angelo. Where is the provost?

Provost. Here, if it like your honour.


4

II,2,735

Servant. He's hearing of a cause; he will come straight
I'll tell him of you.

Provost. Pray you, do.
[Exit Servant]
I'll know
His pleasure; may be he will relent. Alas,
He hath but as offended in a dream!
All sects, all ages smack of this vice; and he
To die for't!


5

II,2,744

Angelo. Now, what's the matter. Provost?

Provost. Is it your will Claudio shall die tomorrow?


6

II,2,747

Angelo. Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thou not order?
Why dost thou ask again?

Provost. Lest I might be too rash:
Under your good correction, I have seen,
When, after execution, judgment hath
Repented o'er his doom.


7

II,2,754

Angelo. Go to; let that be mine:
Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spared.

Provost. I crave your honour's pardon.
What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet?
She's very near her hour.


8

II,2,763

Angelo. Hath he a sister?

Provost. Ay, my good lord; a very virtuous maid,
And to be shortly of a sisterhood,
If not already.


9

II,2,772

(stage directions). [Enter ISABELLA and LUCIO]

Provost. God save your honour!


10

II,2,788

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

Provost. [Aside] Heaven give thee moving graces!


11

II,2,892

Lucio. [Aside to ISABELLA] O, to him, to him, wench! he
will relent;
He's coming; I perceive 't.

Provost. [Aside] Pray heaven she win him!


12

II,3,966

Vincentio. Hail to you, provost! so I think you are.

Provost. I am the provost. What's your will, good friar?


13

II,3,973

Vincentio. Bound by my charity and my blest order,
I come to visit the afflicted spirits
Here in the prison. Do me the common right
To let me see them and to make me know
The nature of their crimes, that I may minister
To them accordingly.

Provost. I would do more than that, if more were needful.
[Enter JULIET]
Look, here comes one: a gentlewoman of mine,
Who, falling in the flaws of her own youth,
Hath blister'd her report: she is with child;
And he that got it, sentenced; a young man
More fit to do another such offence
Than die for this.


14

II,3,982

Vincentio. When must he die?

Provost. As I do think, to-morrow.
I have provided for you: stay awhile,
[To JULIET]
And you shall be conducted.


15

II,3,1014

Juliet. Must die to-morrow! O injurious love,
That respites me a life, whose very comfort
Is still a dying horror!

Provost. 'Tis pity of him.


16

III,1,1268

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

Provost. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.


17

III,1,1273

Isabella. My business is a word or two with Claudio.

Provost. And very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister.


18

III,1,1275

Vincentio. Provost, a word with you.

Provost. As many as you please.


19

III,1,1417

(stage directions). [Re-enter Provost]

Provost. What's your will, father


20

III,1,1421

Vincentio. That now you are come, you will be gone. Leave me
awhile with the maid: my mind promises with my
habit no loss shall touch her by my company.

Provost. In good time.


21

III,2,1705

Escalus. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in
the same kind! This would make mercy swear and play
the tyrant.

Provost. A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it please
your honour.


22

III,2,1721

Escalus. That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be
called before us. Away with her to prison! Go to;
no more words.
[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. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and
advised him for the entertainment of death.


23

IV,2,1886

(stage directions). [Enter Provost and POMPEY]

Provost. Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's head?


24

IV,2,1890

Pompey. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a
married man, he's his wife's head, and I can never
cut off a woman's head.

Provost. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a
direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio
and Barnardine. Here is in our prison a common
executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if
you will take it on you to assist him, it shall
redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall have
your full time of imprisonment and your deliverance
with an unpitied whipping, for you have been a
notorious bawd.


25

IV,2,1903

Pompey. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind;
but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I
would be glad to receive some instruction from my
fellow partner.

Provost. What, ho! Abhorson! Where's Abhorson, there?


26

IV,2,1906

Abhorson. Do you call, sir?

Provost. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-morrow in
your execution. If you think it meet, compound with
him by the year, and let him abide here with you; if
not, use him for the present and dismiss him. He
cannot plead his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd.


27

IV,2,1912

Abhorson. A bawd, sir? fie upon him! he will discredit our mystery.

Provost. Go to, sir; you weigh equally; a feather will turn
the scale.


28

IV,2,1932

(stage directions). [Re-enter Provost]

Provost. Are you agreed?


29

IV,2,1936

Pompey. Sir, I will serve him; for I do find your hangman is
a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth
oftener ask forgiveness.

Provost. You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe
to-morrow four o'clock.


30

IV,2,1943

Pompey. I do desire to learn, sir: and I hope, if you have
occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find
me yare; for truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you
a good turn.

Provost. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:
[Exeunt POMPEY and ABHORSON]
The one has my pity; not a jot the other,
Being a murderer, though he were my brother.
[Enter CLAUDIO]
Look, here's the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:
'Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow
Thou must be made immortal. Where's Barnardine?


31

IV,2,1954

Claudio. As fast lock'd up in sleep as guiltless labour
When it lies starkly in the traveller's bones:
He will not wake.

Provost. Who can do good on him?
Well, go, prepare yourself.
[Knocking within]
But, hark, what noise?
Heaven give your spirits comfort!
[Exit CLAUDIO]
By and by.
I hope it is some pardon or reprieve
For the most gentle Claudio.
[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before]
Welcome father.


32

IV,2,1967

Vincentio. The best and wholesomest spirts of the night
Envelope you, good Provost! Who call'd here of late?

Provost. None, since the curfew rung.


33

IV,2,1969

Vincentio. Not Isabel?

Provost. No.


34

IV,2,1971

Vincentio. They will, then, ere't be long.

Provost. What comfort is for Claudio?


35

IV,2,1973

Vincentio. There's some in hope.

Provost. It is a bitter deputy.


36

IV,2,1990

(stage directions). [Re-enter Provost]

Provost. There he must stay until the officer
Arise to let him in: he is call'd up.


37

IV,2,1994

Vincentio. Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
But he must die to-morrow?

Provost. None, sir, none.


38

IV,2,1997

Vincentio. As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.

Provost. Happily
You something know; yet I believe there comes
No countermand; no such example have we:
Besides, upon the very siege of justice
Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
Profess'd the contrary.
[Enter a Messenger]
This is his lordship's man.


39

IV,2,2012

Messenger. [Giving a paper]
My lord hath sent you this note; and by me this
further charge, that you swerve not from the
smallest article of it, neither in time, matter, or
other circumstance. Good morrow; for, as I take it,
it is almost day.

Provost. I shall obey him.


40

IV,2,2021

Vincentio. [Aside] This is his pardon, purchased by such sin
For which the pardoner himself is in.
Hence hath offence his quick celerity,
When it is born in high authority:
When vice makes mercy, mercy's so extended,
That for the fault's love is the offender friended.
Now, sir, what news?

Provost. I told you. Lord Angelo, belike thinking me remiss
in mine office, awakens me with this unwonted
putting-on; methinks strangely, for he hath not used it before.


41

IV,2,2025

Vincentio. Pray you, let's hear.

Provost. [Reads]
'Whatsoever you may hear to the contrary, let
Claudio be executed by four of the clock; and in the
afternoon Barnardine: for my better satisfaction,
let me have Claudio's head sent me by five. Let
this be duly performed; with a thought that more
depends on it than we must yet deliver. Thus fail
not to do your office, as you will answer it at your peril.'
What say you to this, sir?


42

IV,2,2036

Vincentio. What is that Barnardine who is to be executed in the
afternoon?

Provost. A Bohemian born, but here nursed un and bred; one
that is a prisoner nine years old.


43

IV,2,2041

Vincentio. How came it that the absent duke had not either
delivered him to his liberty or executed him? I
have heard it was ever his manner to do so.

Provost. His friends still wrought reprieves for him: and,
indeed, his fact, till now in the government of Lord
Angelo, came not to an undoubtful proof.


44

IV,2,2045

Vincentio. It is now apparent?

Provost. Most manifest, and not denied by himself.


45

IV,2,2048

Vincentio. Hath he born himself penitently in prison? how
seems he to be touched?

Provost. A man that apprehends death no more dreadfully but
as a drunken sleep; careless, reckless, and fearless
of what's past, present, or to come; insensible of
mortality, and desperately mortal.


46

IV,2,2053

Vincentio. He wants advice.

Provost. He will hear none: he hath evermore had the liberty
of the prison; give him leave to escape hence, he
would not: drunk many times a day, if not many days
entirely drunk. We have very oft awaked him, as if
to carry him to execution, and showed him a seeming
warrant for it: it hath not moved him at all.


47

IV,2,2069

Vincentio. More of him anon. There is written in your brow,
provost, honesty and constancy: if I read it not
truly, my ancient skill beguiles me; but, in the
boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in hazard.
Claudio, whom here you have warrant to execute, is
no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo who hath
sentenced him. To make you understand this in a
manifested effect, I crave but four days' respite;
for the which you are to do me both a present and a
dangerous courtesy.

Provost. Pray, sir, in what?


48

IV,2,2071

Vincentio. In the delaying death.

Provost. A lack, how may I do it, having the hour limited,
and an express command, under penalty, to deliver
his head in the view of Angelo? I may make my case
as Claudio's, to cross this in the smallest.


49

IV,2,2078

Vincentio. By the vow of mine order I warrant you, if my
instructions may be your guide. Let this Barnardine
be this morning executed, and his head born to Angelo.

Provost. Angelo hath seen them both, and will discover the favour.


50

IV,2,2086

Vincentio. O, death's a great disguiser; and you may add to it.
Shave the head, and tie the beard; and say it was
the desire of the penitent to be so bared before his
death: you know the course is common. If any thing
fall to you upon this, more than thanks and good
fortune, by the saint whom I profess, I will plead
against it with my life.

Provost. Pardon me, good father; it is against my oath.


51

IV,2,2088

Vincentio. Were you sworn to the duke, or to the deputy?

Provost. To him, and to his substitutes.


52

IV,2,2091

Vincentio. You will think you have made no offence, if the duke
avouch the justice of your dealing?

Provost. But what likelihood is in that?


53

IV,2,2099

Vincentio. Not a resemblance, but a certainty. Yet since I see
you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor
persuasion can with ease attempt you, I will go
further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you.
Look you, sir, here is the hand and seal of the
duke: you know the character, I doubt not; and the
signet is not strange to you.

Provost. I know them both.


54

IV,3,2184

(stage directions). [Re-enter Provost]

Provost. Now, sir, how do you find the prisoner?


55

IV,3,2188

Vincentio. A creature unprepared, unmeet for death;
And to transport him in the mind he is
Were damnable.

Provost. Here in the prison, father,
There died this morning of a cruel fever
One Ragozine, a most notorious pirate,
A man of Claudio's years; his beard and head
Just of his colour. What if we do omit
This reprobate till he were well inclined;
And satisfy the deputy with the visage
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio?


56

IV,3,2201

Vincentio. O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides!
Dispatch it presently; the hour draws on
Prefix'd by Angelo: see this be done,
And sent according to command; whiles I
Persuade this rude wretch willingly to die.

Provost. This shall be done, good father, presently.
But Barnardine must die this afternoon:
And how shall we continue Claudio,
To save me from the danger that might come
If he were known alive?


57

IV,3,2211

Vincentio. Let this be done.
Put them in secret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio:
Ere twice the sun hath made his journal greeting
To the under generation, you shall find
Your safety manifested.

Provost. I am your free dependant.


58

IV,3,2224

(stage directions). [Re-enter Provost]

Provost. Here is the head; I'll carry it myself.


59

IV,3,2228

Vincentio. Convenient is it. Make a swift return;
For I would commune with you of such things
That want no ear but yours.

Provost. I'll make all speed.


60

V,1,2895

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?

Provost. It was commanded so.


61

V,1,2897

Vincentio. Had you a special warrant for the deed?

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


62

V,1,2900

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


63

V,1,2907

Vincentio. What's he?

Provost. His name is Barnardine.


64

V,1,2922

Vincentio. Which is that Barnardine?

Provost. This, my lord.


65

V,1,2931

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?

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


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