Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

An apartment in the DUKE’S palace.
A room in the DUKE’S palace.
Enter DUKE VINCENTIO, ESCALUS, Lords and Attendants
DUKE VINCENTIO enters, with ESCALUS and several lords and attendants.
My lord.
Yes, my lord?
Of government the properties to unfold,
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse;
5Since I am put to know that your own science
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,
10Our city’s institutions, and the terms
For common justice, you’re as pregnant in
As art and practise hath enriched any
That we remember. There is our commission,
From which we would not have you warp. Call hither,
15I say, bid come before us Angelo.
Explaining government affairs always makes me talk excitedly. But since you know more about matters of government than I can ever tell you, the only thing left for me to say is this: rely on your natural ability, and let it work with your knowledge. You know as much, from both learning and experience, about the nature of our people, our city’s laws and procedures, and our legal system as anyone I can think of. Here are your written orders; do not deviate from them. [To Attendants.] Go and order Angelo to come to me.
Exit an Attendant
An attendant exits.
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,
20And given his deputation all the organs
Of our own power: what think you of it?
How do you think he’ll represent me?
For you must know, after careful consideration, I’ve chosen him to rule in my absence, deputizing him with the dread and love my presence inspires, and transferring to him all the tools in my power. What do you think?