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Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2 Page 7

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LUCIO

Sir, my name is Lucio; well known to the duke.

LUCIO

Sir, my name is Lucio, and it’s well known to the duke.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to
report you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He’ll know you even better, sir, if I live to report you.

LUCIO

155I fear you not.

LUCIO

I’m not afraid of you.

DUKE VINCENTIO

O, you hope the duke will return no more; or you
imagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed I
can do you little harm; you’ll forswear this again.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Oh, you hope the duke will never come back, or you think I’m too weak an enemy. But I really can do you a little harm—you’ll end up denying this.

LUCIO

I’ll be hanged first: thou art deceived in me,
160friar. But no more of this. Canst thou tell if
Claudio die to-morrow or no?

LUCIO

I’ll be hanged first. You’re wrong about me, friar. But forget all this. Can you tell me if Claudio is to die tomorrow or not?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Why should he die, sir?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Why should he die, sir?

LUCIO

Why? For filling a bottle with a tundish. I would
the duke we talk of were returned again: the
165ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with
continency; sparrows must not build in his
house-eaves, because they are lecherous. The duke
yet would have dark deeds darkly answered; he would
never bring them to light: would he were returned!
170Marry, this Claudio is condemned for untrussing.
Farewell, good friar: I prithee, pray for me. The
duke, I say to thee again, would eat mutton on
Fridays. He’s not past it yet, and I say to thee,
he would mouth with a beggar, though she smelt brown
175bread and garlic: say that I said so. Farewell.

LUCIO

Why? For plugging a hole. I wish the duke were back again. His sexless deputy’s abstinence policy will depopulate the province. Even sparrows can’t nest on his roof,

because they’re lecherous

sparrows were considered sacred to Venus, Goddess of Love, and thus symbols of sex

because they’re lecherous
! The duke would have punished sexual acts privately—he’d never publicly expose them. I wish he were back! Claudio is condemned for getting undressed. Goodbye, good friar. Please pray for me. I tell you again, the duke was no choir boy—

he would eat mutton on Fridays

a pun, referring both to eating meat (mutton) on Fridays—forbidden to Catholics—and to visiting prostitutes, called mutton in Elizabethan slang

he would eat mutton on Fridays
. He’s not past it yet, and I tell you, he’d French-kiss a beggar, even if she smelled of moldy bread and garlic. Say that I said so. Goodbye.

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