Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

A Street.
A street.
Enter LUCIO and two Gentlemen
LUCIO and two Gentlemen enter.

LUCIO

If the duke with the other dukes come not to
composition with the King of Hungary, why then all
the dukes fall upon the king.

LUCIO

If our Duke, along with the other Dukes, can’t reach an agreement with the King of Hungary, they’re all going to attack him.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Heaven grant us its peace, but not the King of
5Hungary’s!

FIRST GENTLEMAN

May God give us peace—except not with Hungary.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Amen.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Amen.

LUCIO

Thou concludest like the sanctimonious pirate, that
went to sea with the Ten Commandments, but scraped
one out of the table.

LUCIO

You talk like the self-righteous pirate who went to sea with the Ten Commandments but cut out one of the commandments.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

10‘Thou shalt not steal’?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Was it “Thou shalt not steal”?

LUCIO

Ay, that he razed.

LUCIO

Yep, that’s the one.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Why, ’twas a commandment to command the captain and
all the rest from their functions: they put forth
to steal. There’s not a soldier of us all, that, in
15the thanksgiving before meat, do relish the petition
well that prays for peace.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Right, because that commandment would’ve put the captain and his pirate crew out of business—they went to sea to steal. When grace is being said before a meal, there’s not a soldier among us who likes a prayer for peace.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I never heard any soldier dislike it.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

I never heard any soldier say he dislikes it.

LUCIO

I believe thee; for I think thou never wast where
grace was said.

LUCIO

I believe you—I don’t think you’ve ever been at a table where they said grace.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

20No? a dozen times at least.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

No? I’ve heard it a dozen times at least.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

What, in metre?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

What, in verse?