Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 3

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PROVOST

You, sirrah, provide your block and your axe
to-morrow four o’clock.

PROVOST

You, fellow, have your block and your axe ready tomorrow at four o’clock.

ABHORSON

50Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.

ABHORSON

Come on, pimp, I’ll show you the ropes. Follow me.

POMPEY

I do desire to learn, sir: and I hope, if you have
occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find
me yare; for truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you
a good turn.

POMPEY

I want to learn, sir. And I hope, if you ever get the chance to use me for your own execution, you’ll find me ready. Because, really, I owe you a good turn for your kindness.
POMPEY and ABHORSON exit.
POMPEY and ABHORSON exit.

PROVOST

55Call hither Barnardine and Claudio:
The one has my pity; not a jot the other,
Being a murderer, though he were my brother.

PROVOST

Call Barnardine and Claudio here. I pity one, but not the other, even if he were my brother, as he’s a murderer.
Enter CLAUDIO
CLAUDIO enters.
Look, here’s the warrant, Claudio, for thy death:
’Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow
60Thou must be made immortal. Where’s Barnardine?
Look, Claudio, here’s your death warrant. It’s now dead midnight, and by 8 a.m. tomorrow you must be laid to eternal rest. Where’s Barnardine?

CLAUDIO

As fast lock’d up in sleep as guiltless labour
When it lies starkly in the traveller’s bones:
He will not wake.

CLAUDIO

As fast asleep as the most innocent of exhausted laborers. He won’t wake up.

PROVOST

Who can do good on him?
65Well, go, prepare yourself.

PROVOST

Who could do him any good, anyway? Well, go, prepare yourself.
(knocking is heard offstage)
Knocking within
But, hark, what noise?
Heaven give your spirits comfort!
What’s that noise? (to Claudio) Heaven give your spirits comfort!

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