Measure for Measure By William Shakespeare Act IV

SCENE IV. A Room in ANGELO'S house.

[Enter ANGELO and ESCALUS.]

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 not tainted! And why meet him
at the gates, and re-deliver our authorities there?

ESCALUS.
I guess not.

ANGELO.
And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his entering
that, if any crave redress of injustice, 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.

ANGELO.
Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaim'd:
Betimes i' the morn I'll call you at your house:
Give notice to such men of sort and suit
As are to meet him.

ESCALUS.
I shall, sir: fare you well.

[Exit.]

ANGELO.
Good night. —
This deed unshapes me quite, makes me unpregnant,
And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid!
And by an eminent body that enforced
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 a so credent bulk,
That no particular scandal once can touch
But it confounds the breather. He should have liv'd,
Save that his 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 liv'd!
Alack, when once our grace we have forgot,
Nothing goes right; we would, and we would not.

[Exit.]

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