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Measure for Measure

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Act IV, Scene 4

A room in ANGELO’s house.



  • Escalus. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched other.
  • Angelo. In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions
    show much like to madness: pray heaven his wisdom be 2310
    not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and
    redeliver our authorities there
  • Angelo. And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his
    entering, that if any crave redress of injustice, 2315
    they should exhibit their petitions in the street?
  • Escalus. He shows his reason for that: to have a dispatch of
    complaints, and to deliver us from devices
    hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand
    against us. 2320
  • Angelo. Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaimed betimes
    i' the morn; I'll call you at your house: give
    notice to such men of sort and suit as are to meet
  • Escalus. I shall, sir. Fare you well. 2325
  • Angelo. Good night.
    [Exit ESCALUS]
    This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant
    And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid!
    And by an eminent body that enforced 2330
    The law against it! But that her tender shame
    Will not proclaim against her maiden loss,
    How might she tongue me! Yet reason dares her no;
    For my authority bears of a credent bulk,
    That no particular scandal once can touch 2335
    But it confounds the breather. He should have lived,
    Save that riotous youth, with dangerous sense,
    Might in the times to come have ta'en revenge,
    By so receiving a dishonour'd life
    With ransom of such shame. Would yet he had lived! 2340
    A lack, when once our grace we have forgot,
    Nothing goes right: we would, and we would not.