Measure for Measure By William Shakespeare Act III

DUKE.
I know none. Can you tell me of any?

LUCIO.
Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other some, he is in
Rome: but where is he, think you?

DUKE.
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 puts transgression to't.

DUKE.
He does well in't.

LUCIO.
A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm in him:
something too crabbed that way, friar.

DUKE.
It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.

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 true, think you?

DUKE.
How should he be made, then?

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 congealed ice; that I know to be true. And
he is a motion ungenerative; that's infallible.

DUKE.
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 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.

DUKE.
I never heard the absent duke much detected for women; he was not
inclined that way.

LUCIO.
O, sir, you are deceived.

DUKE.
'Tis not possible.

LUCIO.
Who, not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; — and 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.

DUKE.
You do him wrong, surely.

LUCIO.
Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the duke: and I
believe I know the cause of his withdrawing.

DUKE.
What, I pr'ythee, 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 understand, — the greater file of
the subject held the duke to be wise.

DUKE.
Wise? why, no question but he was.

LUCIO.
A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.

DUKE.
Either this is envy in you, folly, or mistaking; 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. 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.

DUKE.
Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.

LUCIO.
Come, sir, I know what I know.

DUKE.
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, 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.

DUKE.
He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report you.

LUCIO.
I fear you not.

DUKE.
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, friar. But no
more of this. Canst thou tell if Claudio die to-morrow or no?

DUKE.
Why should he die, sir?

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