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Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 2

page Act 1 Scene 2 Page 3

Original Text

Modern Text

SECOND GENTLEMAN

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Three thousand dollars’ worth.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Ay, and more.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Yeah, and more.

LUCIO

LUCIO

A syphilis sore more.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Thou art always figuring diseases in me; but thou
art full of error; I am sound.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

You’re always suggesting I’m diseased, but you’re wrong. I’m sound and healthy.

LUCIO

50Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound as
things that are hollow: thy bones are hollow;
impiety has made a feast of thee.

LUCIO

You may be sound, but you’re not healthy. Your bones sound hollow. Loose living has eaten out your insides.
Enter MISTRESS OVERDONE
MISTRESS OVERDONE enters.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

How now! which of your hips has the most profound sciatica?

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Hey, there! In which hip is the pain of your sciatica worse?

MISTRESS OVERDONE

Well, well; there’s one yonder arrested and carried
55to prison was worth five thousand of you all.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

Well, well. There’s someone over there who’s been arrested and hauled off to prison who was worth five thousand of you all.

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Who’s that, I pray thee?

SECOND GENTLEMAN

Who’s that?

MISTRESS OVERDONE

Marry, sir, that’s Claudio, Signior Claudio.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

That’s Claudio, Signior Claudio.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Claudio to prison? ’tis not so.

FIRST GENTLEMAN

Claudio in prison? It can’t be true.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

Nay, but I know ’tis so: I saw him arrested, saw
60him carried away; and, which is more, within these
three days his head to be chopped off.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

I know it's true: I saw him arrested and saw him carried away, and what’s more, they’re chopping his head off in three days.

LUCIO

But, after all this fooling, I would not have it so.
Art thou sure of this?

LUCIO

All kidding aside, I’d hate for this to be true. Are you sure?

MISTRESS OVERDONE

I am too sure of it: and it is for getting Madam
65Julietta with child.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

I’m all too sure. It’s for getting Miss
Julietta pregnant.

LUCIO

Believe me, this may be: he promised to meet me two
hours since, and he was ever precise in
promise-keeping.

LUCIO

She might be right about this. He promised to meet me two hours ago, and he always keeps his promises.

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