Measure for Measure By William Shakespeare Act V

Gentle my liege — [Kneeling.]

You do but lose your labour. —
Away with him to death! — [To LUCIO.] Now, sir, to you.

O my good lord! — Sweet Isabel, take my part;
Lend me your knees, and all my life to come
I'll lend you all my life to do you service.

Against all sense you do importune her.
Should she kneel down in mercy of this fact,
Her brother's ghost his paved bed would break,
And take her hence in horror.

Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me;
Hold up your hands, say nothing, — I'll speak all.
They say, best men moulded out of faults;
And, for the most, become much more the better
For being a little bad: so may my husband.
O Isabel, will you not lend a knee?

He dies for Claudio's death.

[Kneeling.] Most bounteous sir,
Look, if it please you, on this man condemn'd,
As if my brother liv'd: I partly think
A due sincerity govern'd his deeds
Till he did look on me; since it is so,
Let him not die. My brother had but justice,
In that he did the thing for which he died:
For Angelo,
His act did not o'ertake his bad intent,
And must be buried but as an intent
That perish'd by the way. Thoughts are no subjects;
Intents but merely thoughts.

Merely, my lord.

Your suit's unprofitable; stand up, I say. —
I have bethought me of another fault. —
Provost, how came it Claudio was beheaded
At an unusual hour?

It was commanded so.

Had you a special warrant for the deed?

No, my good lord; it was by private message.

For which I do discharge you of your office:
Give up your keys.

Pardon me, noble lord:
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not;
Yet did repent me, after more advice:
For testimony whereof, one in the prison,
That should by private order else have died,
I have reserved alive.

What's he?

His name is Barnardine.

I would thou hadst done so by Claudio. —
Go fetch him hither; let me look upon him.


I am sorry one so learned and so wise
As you, Lord Angelo, have still appear'd,
Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.

I am sorry that such sorrow I procure:
And so deep sticks it in my penitent heart
That I crave death more willingly than mercy;
'Tis my deserving, and I do entreat it.

[Re-enter PROVOST, with BARNARDINE, CLAUDIO (muffled) and

Which is that Barnardine?

This, my lord.

There was a friar told me of this man: —
Sirrah, thou art said to have a stubborn soul,
That apprehends no further than this world,
And squar'st thy life according. Thou'rt condemn'd;
But, for those earthly faults, I quit them all,
And pray thee take this mercy to provide
For better times to come: — Friar, advise him;
I leave him to your hand. — What muffled fellow's that?

This is another prisoner that I sav'd,
Who should have died when Claudio lost his head;
As like almost to Claudio as himself.

[Unmuffles CLAUDIO.]

If he be like your brother [to ISABELLA], for his sake
Is he pardon'd; and for your lovely sake,
Give me your hand and say you will be mine;
He is my brother too: but fitter time for that.
By this Lord Angelo perceives he's safe;
Methinks I see a quick'ning in his eye. —
Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well":
Look that you love your wife; her worth worth yours. —
I find an apt remission in myself;
And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon. —
You, sirrah [to Lucio], that knew me for a fool, a coward,
One all of luxury, an ass, a madman;
Wherein have I so deserved of you
That you extol me thus?

Faith, my lord, I spoke it but according to the trick. If you
will hang me for
it, you may; but I had rather it would please you I might be

Whipp'd first, sir, and hang'd after. —
Proclaim it, Provost, round about the city,
If any woman wrong'd by this lewd fellow, —
As I have heard him swear himself there's one
Whom he begot with child, — let her appear,
And he shall marry her: the nuptial finish'd,
Let him be whipp'd and hang'd.

I beseech your highness, do not marry me to a whore! Your
highness said even now I made you a duke; good my lord, do not
recompense me in making me a cuckold.

Upon mine honour, thou shalt marry her.
Thy slanders I forgive; and therewithal
Remit thy other forfeits. — Take him to prison;
And see our pleasure herein executed.

Marrying a punk, my lord, is pressing to death, whipping, and

Slandering a prince deserves it. —

[Exeunt Officers with LUCIO.]

She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you restore. —
Joy to you, Mariana! — Love her, Angelo;
I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue. —
Thanks, good friend Escalus, for thy much goodness
There's more behind that is more gratulate.
Thanks, Provost, for thy care and secrecy;
We shall employ thee in a worthier place. —
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home
The head of Ragozine for Claudio's:
The offence pardons itself. — Dear Isabel,
I have a motion much imports your good;
Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline,
What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine: —
So, bring us to our palace; where we'll show
What's yet behind that's meet you all should know.


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Angelo reneges on his promise to Isabella that he would free her brother, because he