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Measure for Measure The Works of William Shakespeare [Cambridge Edition]   By: (1564-1616)

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[Transcriber's Note:

This text of Measure for Measure is from Volume I of the nine volume 1863 Cambridge edition of Shakespeare. The Preface (e text 23041) and the other plays from this volume are each available as separate e texts.

General Notes are in their original location at the end of the play. Text critical notes are grouped at the end of each Scene. All line numbers are from the original text; line breaks in dialogue including prose passages are unchanged. Brackets are also unchanged; to avoid ambiguity, footnotes and linenotes are given without added brackets. In the notes, numerals printed as subscripts are shown inline as F1, F2, Q1...

Texts cited in the Notes are listed at the end of the e text.]




Edited by

WILLIAM GEORGE CLARK, M.A. Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, and Public Orator in the University of Cambridge;

and JOHN GLOVER, M.A. Librarian Of Trinity College, Cambridge.


Cambridge and London: MACMILLAN AND CO. 1863.



VINCENTIO, the Duke. ANGELO, Deputy. ESCALUS, an ancient Lord. CLAUDIO, a young gentleman. LUCIO, a fantastic. Two other gentlemen. PROVOST. THOMAS, } two friars. PETER, } A Justice[2]. VARRIUS[2]. ELBOW, a simple constable. FROTH, a foolish gentleman. POMPEY, servant to Mistress Overdone[3]. ABHORSON, an executioner. BARNARDINE, a dissolute prisoner.

ISABELLA, sister to Claudio. MARIANA, betrothed to Angelo. JULIET, beloved of Claudio. FRANCISCA, a nun. MISTRESS OVERDONE, a bawd.

Lords, Officers, Citizens, Boy, and Attendants[2].

SCENE Vienna .


1: DRAMATIS PERSONÆ] THE NAMES OF ALL THE ACTORS Ff (added at the end of the play). 2: Omitted in Ff. 3: Clowne. Ff.



SCENE I. An apartment in the DUKE'S palace.

Enter DUKE, ESCALUS, Lords and Attendants .

Duke. Escalus.

Escal. My lord.

Duke. Of government the properties to unfold, Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse; Since I am put to know that your own science 5 Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice My strength can give you: then no more remains, But that to your sufficiency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . as your worth is able, And let them work. The nature of our people, 10 Our city's institutions, and the terms For common justice, you're as pregnant in As art and practice hath enriched any That we remember. There is our commission, From which we would not have you warp. Call hither, 15 I say, bid come before us Angelo. [ Exit an Attendant. What figure of us think you he will bear? For you must know, we have with special soul Elected him our absence to supply; Lent him our terror, dress'd him with our love, 20 And given his deputation all the organs Of our own power: what think you of it?

Escal. If any in Vienna be of worth To undergo such ample grace and honour, It is Lord Angelo.

Duke. Look where he comes. 25


Ang. Always obedient to your Grace's will, I come to know your pleasure.

Duke. Angelo, There is a kind of character in thy life, That to th' observer doth thy history Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings 30 Are not thine own so proper, as to waste Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee. Heaven doth with us as we with torches do, Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike 35 As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touch'd But to fine issues; nor Nature never lends The smallest scruple of her excellence, But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines Herself the glory of a creditor, 40 Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech To one that can my part in him advertise; Hold therefore, Angelo: In our remove be thou at full ourself; Mortality and mercy in Vienna 45 Live in thy tongue and heart: old Escalus, Though first in question, is thy secondary... Continue reading book >>

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