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Measure for Measure Scenes

Scene 1

The moated grange at St. Luke’s.

(Mariana; Boy; Duke; Isabella)

The Duke comes to visit Mariana, and Isabella joins them. She has made the arrangement for a meeting with Angelo, which is to be brief and conducted entirely in the dark. Mariana agrees to the plan to go in Isabella’s place and to remind Angelo to spare Claudio; the Duke reassures her that since she and Angelo were affianced, there is no sin in all this. (76 lines)

Enter Mariana, and Boy singing.



Take, O, take those lips away,

That so sweetly were forsworn,

And those eyes, the break of day,

Lights that do mislead the morn;

But my kisses bring again, bring again,

Seals of love, but seal’d in vain, seal’d in vain.

Enter Duke disguised as a friar.


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.

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 displeas’d, but pleas’d my woe.


’Tis good; though music oft hath such a charm

To make bad good, and good provoke to harm.

I pray you tell me, hath any body inquir’d for me here today? Much upon this time have I promis’d here to meet.


You have not been inquir’d after. I have sat here all day.

Enter Isabel.


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.


I am always bound to you.



Very well met, and well come.

What is the news from this good deputy?


He hath a garden circummur’d with brick,

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;

There have I made my promise upon the heavy

Middle of the night to call upon him.


But shall you on your knowledge find this way?


I have ta’en a due and wary note upon’t.

With whispering and most guilty diligence,

In action all of precept, he did show me

The way twice o’er.


Are there no other tokens

Between you ’greed concerning her observance?


No; none but only a repair i’ th’ 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

I come about my brother.


’Tis well borne up.

I have not yet made known to Mariana

A word of this. What ho, within! Come forth!

Enter Mariana.

I pray you be acquainted with this maid,

She comes to do you good.


I do desire the like.


Do you persuade yourself that I respect you?


Good friar, I know you do, and have found it.


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.


Will’t please you walk aside?

Exit with Isabella.


O place and greatness! Millions of false eyes

Are stuck upon thee. Volumes of report

Run with these false, and most contrarious quest

Upon thy doings; thousand escapes of wit

Make thee the father of their idle dream,

And rack thee in their fancies.

Enter Mariana and Isabella.

Welcome, how agreed?


She’ll take the enterprise upon her, father,

If you advise it.


It is not my consent,

But my entreaty too.


Little have you to say

When you depart from him, but soft and low,

“Remember now my brother.”


Fear me not.


Nor, gentle daughter, fear you not at all.

He is your husband on a pre-contract:

To bring you thus together ’tis no sin,

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.



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