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I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what dream it was.

      — A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act IV Scene 1


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Measure for Measure


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Scene 1. A room in the prison.

Scene 2. The street before the prison.


Act III, Scene 1

A room in the prison.

      next scene .

[Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before, CLAUDIO,] [p]and Provost]

  • Vincentio. So then you hope of pardon from Lord Angelo?
  • Claudio. The miserable have no other medicine
    But only hope: 1225
    I've hope to live, and am prepared to die.
  • Vincentio. Be absolute for death; either death or life
    Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
    If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
    That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art, 1230
    Servile to all the skyey influences,
    That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
    Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
    For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun
    And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble; 1235
    For all the accommodations that thou bear'st
    Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant;
    For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
    Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
    And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st 1240
    Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
    For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
    That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not;
    For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get,
    And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain; 1245
    For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
    After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor;
    For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
    Thou bear's thy heavy riches but a journey,
    And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none; 1250
    For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
    The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
    Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
    For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age,
    But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep, 1255
    Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
    Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
    Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
    Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,
    To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this 1260
    That bears the name of life? Yet in this life
    Lie hid moe thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
    That makes these odds all even.
  • Claudio. I humbly thank you.
    To sue to live, I find I seek to die; 1265
    And, seeking death, find life: let it come on.
  • Isabella. [Within] What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company!
  • Provost. Who's there? come in: the wish deserves a welcome.
  • Vincentio. Dear sir, ere long I'll visit you again.
  • Claudio. Most holy sir, I thank you. 1270


  • Isabella. My business is a word or two with Claudio.
  • Provost. And very welcome. Look, signior, here's your sister.
  • Provost. As many as you please. 1275
  • Vincentio. Bring me to hear them speak, where I may be concealed.

[Exeunt DUKE VINCENTIO and Provost]

  • Claudio. Now, sister, what's the comfort?
  • Isabella. Why,
    As all comforts are; most good, most good indeed. 1280
    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. 1285
  • Isabella. None, but such remedy as, to save a head,
    To cleave a heart in twain.
  • Isabella. Yes, brother, you may live: 1290
    There is a devilish mercy in the judge,
    If you'll implore it, that will free your life,
    But fetter you till death.
  • Isabella. Ay, just; perpetual durance, a restraint, 1295
    Though all the world's vastidity you had,
    To a determined scope.
  • Isabella. In such a one as, you consenting to't,
    Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, 1300
    And leave you naked.
  • Isabella. O, I do fear thee, Claudio; and I quake,
    Lest thou a feverous life shouldst entertain,
    And six or seven winters more respect 1305
    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. 1310
  • Claudio. Why give you me this shame?
    Think you I can a resolution fetch
    From flowery tenderness? If I must die,
    I will encounter darkness as a bride,
    And hug it in mine arms. 1315
  • Isabella. 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 1320
    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.
  • Isabella. 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. 1330
  • Isabella. 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. 1335
  • Isabella. O, were it but my life,
    I'ld throw it down for your deliverance
    As frankly as a pin.
  • Isabella. Be ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow.
  • Claudio. Yes. Has he affections in him,
    That thus can make him bite the law by the nose,
    When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin,
    Or of the deadly seven, it is the least. 1345
  • Claudio. If it were damnable, he being so wise,
    Why would he for the momentary trick
    Be perdurably fined? O Isabel!
  • Claudio. Death is a fearful thing.
  • Claudio. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
    To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
    This sensible warm motion to become 1355
    A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
    To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
    In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
    To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
    And blown with restless violence round about 1360
    The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
    Of those that lawless and incertain thought
    Imagine howling: 'tis too horrible!
    The weariest and most loathed worldly life
    That age, ache, penury and imprisonment 1365
    Can lay on nature is a paradise
    To what we fear of death.
  • Claudio. Sweet sister, let me live:
    What sin you do to save a brother's life, 1370
    Nature dispenses with the deed so far
    That it becomes a virtue.
  • Isabella. O you beast!
    O faithless coward! O dishonest wretch!
    Wilt thou be made a man out of my vice? 1375
    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! 1380
    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.
  • Claudio. Nay, hear me, Isabel. 1385
  • Isabella. 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.


  • Vincentio. Vouchsafe a word, young sister, but one word.
  • Vincentio. Might you dispense with your leisure, I would by and
    by have some speech with you: the satisfaction I 1395
    would require is likewise your own benefit.
  • Isabella. I have no superfluous leisure; my stay must be
    stolen out of other affairs; but I will attend you awhile.

[Walks apart]

  • Vincentio. Son, I have overheard what hath passed between you 1400
    and your sister. Angelo had never the purpose to
    corrupt her; only he hath made an essay of her
    virtue to practise his judgment with the disposition
    of natures: she, having the truth of honour in her,
    hath made him that gracious denial which he is most 1405
    glad to receive. I am confessor to Angelo, and I
    know this to be true; therefore prepare yourself to
    death: do not satisfy your resolution with hopes
    that are fallible: tomorrow you must die; go to
    your knees and make ready. 1410
  • Claudio. Let me ask my sister pardon. I am so out of love
    with life that I will sue to be rid of it.
  • Vincentio. Hold you there: farewell.
    [Exit CLAUDIO]
    Provost, a word with you! 1415

[Re-enter Provost]

  • 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. 1420

[Exit Provost. ISABELLA comes forward]

  • Vincentio. The hand that hath made you fair hath made you good:
    the goodness that is cheap in beauty makes beauty
    brief in goodness; but grace, being the soul of 1425
    your complexion, shall keep the body of it ever
    fair. The assault that Angelo hath made to you,
    fortune hath conveyed to my understanding; and, but
    that frailty hath examples for his falling, I should
    wonder at Angelo. How will you do to content this 1430
    substitute, and to save your brother?
  • Isabella. 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 1435
    speak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or
    discover his government.
  • Vincentio. That shall not be much amiss: Yet, as the matter
    now stands, he will avoid your accusation; he made
    trial of you only. Therefore fasten your ear on my 1440
    advisings: to the love I have in doing good a
    remedy presents itself. I do make myself believe
    that you may most uprighteously do a poor wronged
    lady a merited benefit; redeem your brother from
    the angry law; do no stain to your own gracious 1445
    person; and much please the absent duke, if
    peradventure he shall ever return to have hearing of
    this business.
  • Isabella. Let me hear you speak farther. I have spirit to do
    anything that appears not foul in the truth of my spirit. 1450
  • Vincentio. Virtue is bold, and goodness never fearful. Have
    you not heard speak of Mariana, the sister of
    Frederick the great soldier who miscarried at sea?
  • Isabella. I have heard of the lady, and good words went with her name.
  • Vincentio. She should this Angelo have married; was affianced 1455
    to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed: between
    which time of the contract and limit of the
    solemnity, her brother Frederick was wrecked at sea,
    having in that perished vessel the dowry of his
    sister. But mark how heavily this befell to the 1460
    poor gentlewoman: there she lost a noble and
    renowned brother, in his love toward her ever most
    kind and natural; with him, the portion and sinew of
    her fortune, her marriage-dowry; with both, her
    combinate husband, this well-seeming Angelo. 1465
  • Isabella. Can this be so? did Angelo so leave her?
  • Vincentio. Left her in her tears, and dried not one of them
    with his comfort; swallowed his vows whole,
    pretending in her discoveries of dishonour: in few,
    bestowed her on her own lamentation, which she yet 1470
    wears for his sake; and he, a marble to her tears,
    is washed with them, but relents not.
  • Isabella. 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? 1475
  • Vincentio. It is a rupture that you may easily heal: and the
    cure of it not only saves your brother, but keeps
    you from dishonour in doing it.
  • Vincentio. This forenamed maid hath yet in her the continuance 1480
    of her first affection: his unjust unkindness, that
    in all reason should have quenched her love, hath,
    like an impediment in the current, made it more
    violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo; answer his
    requiring with a plausible obedience; agree with 1485
    his demands to the point; only refer yourself to
    this advantage, first, that your stay with him may
    not be long; that the time may have all shadow and
    silence in it; and the place answer to convenience.
    This being granted in course,—and now follows 1490
    all,—we shall advise this wronged maid to stead up
    your appointment, go in your place; if the encounter
    acknowledge itself hereafter, it may compel him to
    her recompense: and here, by this, is your brother
    saved, your honour untainted, the poor Mariana 1495
    advantaged, and the corrupt deputy scaled. The maid
    will I frame and make fit for his attempt. If you
    think well to carry this as you may, the doubleness
    of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof.
    What think you of it? 1500
  • Isabella. The image of it gives me content already; and I
    trust it will grow to a most prosperous perfection.
  • Vincentio. It lies much in your holding up. Haste you speedily
    to Angelo: if for this night he entreat you to his
    bed, give him promise of satisfaction. I will 1505
    presently to Saint Luke's: there, at the moated
    grange, resides this dejected Mariana. At that
    place call upon me; and dispatch with Angelo, that
    it may be quickly.
  • Isabella. I thank you for this comfort. Fare you well, good father. 1510

[Exeunt severally]

. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 2

The street before the prison.


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

  • Elbow. Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will
    needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we 1515
    shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.
  • 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 1520
    furred with fox and lamb-skins too, to signify, that
    craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.
  • Elbow. Come your way, sir. 'Bless you, good father friar.
  • Vincentio. And you, good brother father. What offence hath
    this man made you, sir? 1525
  • 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.
  • Vincentio. Fie, sirrah! a bawd, a wicked bawd! 1530
    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 1535
    I drink, I eat, array myself, and live.
    Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
    So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.
  • Pompey. Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet,
    sir, I would prove— 1540
  • 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.
  • Elbow. He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him 1545
    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.
  • Vincentio. That we were all, as some would seem to be,
    From our faults, as faults from seeming, free! 1550
  • Elbow. His neck will come to your waist,—a cord, sir.
  • Pompey. I spy comfort; I cry bail. Here's a gentleman and a
    friend of mine.

[Enter LUCIO]

  • Lucio. How now, noble Pompey! What, at the wheels of 1555
    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 1560
    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?
  • Vincentio. Still thus, and thus; still worse! 1565
  • Lucio. How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she
    still, ha?
  • Pompey. Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she
    is herself in the tub.
  • Lucio. Why, 'tis good; it is the right of it; it must be 1570
    so: ever your fresh whore and your powdered bawd:
    an unshunned consequence; it must be so. Art going
    to prison, Pompey?
  • Lucio. Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell: go, say I 1575
    sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? or how?
  • Elbow. For being a bawd, for being a bawd.
  • 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. 1580
    Farewell, good Pompey. Commend me to the prison,
    Pompey: you will turn good husband now, Pompey; you
    will keep the house.
  • Pompey. I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.
  • Lucio. No, indeed, will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. 1585
    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. Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha? 1590
  • Elbow. Come your ways, sir; come.
  • Pompey. You will not bail me, then, sir?
  • Lucio. Then, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad, friar?
    what news?
  • Elbow. Come your ways, sir; come. 1595
  • Lucio. Go to kennel, Pompey; go.
    [Exeunt ELBOW, POMPEY and Officers]
    What news, friar, of the duke?
  • Vincentio. I know none. Can you tell me of any?
  • Lucio. Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other 1600
    some, he is in Rome: but where is he, think you?
  • Vincentio. I know not where; but wheresoever, 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 1605
    puts transgression to 't.
  • Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in
    him: something too crabbed that way, friar.
  • Vincentio. It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it. 1610
  • 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 1615
    true, think you?
  • 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 1620
    congealed ice; that I know to be true: and he is a
    motion generative; that's infallible.
  • Vincentio. You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.
  • Lucio. Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the
    rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a 1625
    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. 1630
  • Vincentio. I never heard the absent duke much detected for
    women; he was not inclined that way.
  • Lucio. O, sir, you are deceived.
  • Lucio. Who, not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and 1635
    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. Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the 1640
    duke: and I believe I know the cause of his
  • Vincentio. What, I prithee, might be the cause?
  • Lucio. No, pardon; 'tis a secret must be locked within the
    teeth and the lips: but this I can let you 1645
    understand, the greater file of the subject held the
    duke to be wise.
  • Vincentio. Wise! why, no question but he was.
  • Lucio. A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
  • Vincentio. Either this is the envy in you, folly, or mistaking: 1650
    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. 1655
    Therefore you speak unskilfully: or if your
    knowledge be more it is much darkened in your malice.
  • Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him.
  • Vincentio. Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with
    dearer love. 1660
  • Lucio. Come, sir, I know what I know.
  • 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, 1665
    you have courage to maintain it: I am bound to call
    upon you; and, I pray you, your name?
  • Lucio. Sir, my name is Lucio; well known to the duke.
  • Vincentio. He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to
    report you. 1670
  • Vincentio. O, you hope the duke will return no more; or you
    imagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed I
    can do you little harm; you'll forswear this again.
  • Lucio. I'll be hanged first: thou art deceived in me, 1675
    friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell if
    Claudio die to-morrow or no?
  • Lucio. Why? For filling a bottle with a tundish. I would
    the duke we talk of were returned again: the 1680
    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! 1685
    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 1690
    bread and garlic: say that I said so. Farewell.


  • Vincentio. No might nor greatness in mortality
    Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny
    The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong 1695
    Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
    But who comes here?

[Enter ESCALUS, Provost, and Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE]

  • Escalus. Go; away with her to prison!
  • Mistress Overdone. Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted 1700
    a merciful man; good my lord.
  • 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 1705
    your honour.
  • 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: 1710
    I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me!
  • 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] 1715
    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. 1720
  • Provost. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and
    advised him for the entertainment of death.
  • 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.
  • Escalus. What news abroad i' the world? 1730
  • 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 1735
    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? 1740
  • Escalus. One that, above all other strifes, contended
    especially to know himself.
  • Escalus. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at
    any thing which professed to make him rejoice: a 1745
    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. 1750
  • 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 1755
    leisure have discredited to him, and now is he
    resolved 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 1760
    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.
  • Vincentio. If his own life answer the straitness of his
    proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he 1765
    chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.
  • Escalus. I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
  • Vincentio. Peace be with you!
    [Exeunt ESCALUS and Provost]
    He who the sword of heaven will bear 1770
    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. 1775
    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, 1780
    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! 1785
    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, 1790
    And perform an old contracting.