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Measure for Measure

William Shakespeare
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2
No Fear Act 3 Scene 2 Page 8

Original Text

Modern Text

Exit
He exits.

DUKE VINCENTIO

No might nor greatness in mortality
Can censure ’scape; back-wounding calumny
The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
180But who comes here?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Neither political power nor noble character can escape criticism; even the most virtuous person can be stabbed in the back by slurs. What king is so strong he can bottle up the poison of a slandering tongue? But who’s coming now?
Enter ESCALUS, Provost, and Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE
ESCALUS, the Provost, and officers enter with MISTRESS OVERDONE.

ESCALUS

Go; away with her to prison!

ESCALUS

Go on, take her to prison!

MISTRESS OVERDONE

Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted
a merciful man; good my lord.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

My good lord, be good to me. Your honor is said to be that of a merciful man, my good lord.

ESCALUS

Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in
185the same kind! This would make mercy swear and play
the tyrant.

ESCALUS

You’ve been warned two, three times, and you’re still committing the same crime! This is enough to turn mercy itself into a cursing tyrant.

PROVOST

A bawd of eleven years’ continuance, may it please
your honour.

PROVOST

A madam for eleven years, your honor.

MISTRESS OVERDONE

My lord, this is one Lucio’s information against me.
190Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the
duke’s time; he promised her marriage: his child
is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob:
I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me!

MISTRESS OVERDONE

My lord, this is Lucio’s accusation against me. He got Miss Kate Keepdown pregnant, back in the days when the duke was still here, and he promised to marry her. Now his child will be fifteen months old on May Day. I kept the kid myself, and now see how he goes out of his way to abuse me!

ESCALUS

That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be
195called before us. Away with her to prison! Go to;
no more words.

ESCALUS

That fellow is a dangerous fellow. Bring him before me. Take her away to prison! No more talking.

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