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Measure for Measure

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Act IV, Scene 1

The moated grange at ST. LUKE’s.


[Enter MARIANA and a Boy] [p][Boy sings] [p]Take, O, take those lips away, [p]That so sweetly were forsworn; [p]And those eyes, the break of day, [p]Lights that do mislead the morn: [p]But my kisses bring again, bring again; [p]Seals of love, but sealed in vain, sealed in vain.

  • Mariana. Break off thy song, and haste thee quick away:
    Here comes a man of comfort, whose advice
    Hath often still'd my brawling discontent.
    [Exit Boy]
    [Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before] 1805
    I cry you mercy, sir; and well could wish
    You had not found me here so musical:
    Let me excuse me, and believe me so,
    My mirth it much displeased, but pleased my woe.
  • Vincentio. 'Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm 1810
    To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.
    I pray, you, tell me, hath any body inquired
    for me here to-day? much upon this time have
    I promised here to meet.
  • Mariana. You have not been inquired after: 1815
    I have sat here all day.


  • Vincentio. I do constantly believe you. The time is come even
    now. I shall crave your forbearance a little: may
    be I will call upon you anon, for some advantage to yourself. 1820
  • Mariana. I am always bound to you.


  • Vincentio. Very well met, and well come.
    What is the news from this good deputy?
  • Isabella. He hath a garden circummured with brick, 1825
    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; 1830
    There have I made my promise
    Upon the heavy middle of the night
    To call upon him.
  • Vincentio. But shall you on your knowledge find this way?
  • Isabella. I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't: 1835
    With whispering and most guilty diligence,
    In action all of precept, he did show me
    The way twice o'er.
  • Vincentio. Are there no other tokens
    Between you 'greed concerning her observance? 1840
  • Isabella. 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 1845
    I come about my brother.
  • Vincentio. 'Tis well borne up.
    I have not yet made known to Mariana
    A word of this. What, ho! within! come forth!
    [Re-enter MARIANA] 1850
    I pray you, be acquainted with this maid;
    She comes to do you good.
  • Vincentio. Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?
  • Mariana. Good friar, I know you do, and have found it. 1855
  • Vincentio. Take, then, this your companion by the hand,
    Who hath a story ready for your ear.
    I shall attend your leisure: but make haste;
    The vaporous night approaches.
  • Mariana. Will't please you walk aside? 1860


  • Vincentio. O place and greatness! millions of false eyes
    Are stuck upon thee: volumes of report
    Run with these false and most contrarious quests
    Upon thy doings: thousand escapes of wit 1865
    Make thee the father of their idle dreams
    And rack thee in their fancies.
    [Re-enter MARIANA and ISABELLA]
    Welcome, how agreed?
  • Isabella. She'll take the enterprise upon her, father, 1870
    If you advise it.
  • Vincentio. It is not my consent,
    But my entreaty too.
  • Isabella. Little have you to say
    When you depart from him, but, soft and low, 1875
    'Remember now my brother.'
  • Vincentio. Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.
    He is your husband on a pre-contract:
    To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin, 1880
    Sith that the justice of your title to him
    Doth flourish the deceit. Come, let us go:
    Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to sow.