Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 4

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Exit CLAUDIO
CLAUDIO exits.
By and by.
I hope it is some pardon or reprieve
70For the most gentle Claudio.
In a minute. I hope it’s some pardon or reprieve for gentle Claudio.
Enter DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before
DUKE VINCENTIO enters, disguised as a friar.
Welcome father.
Welcome, father.

DUKE VINCENTIO

The best and wholesomest spirts of the night
Envelope you, good Provost! Who call’d here of late?

DUKE VINCENTIO

The best, most wholesome night spirits surround you, good Provost! Who’s been here lately?

PROVOST

None, since the curfew rung.

PROVOST

DUKE VINCENTIO

75Not Isabel?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Not Isabel?

PROVOST

No.

PROVOST

No.

DUKE VINCENTIO

They will, then, ere’t be long.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Someone will be, then, before long.

PROVOST

What comfort is for Claudio?

PROVOST

Is there any news to give comfort to Claudio?

DUKE VINCENTIO

There’s some in hope.

DUKE VINCENTIO

There’s comfort in hope.

PROVOST

80It is a bitter deputy.

PROVOST

Angelo’s a cruel deputy.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Not so, not so; his life is parallel’d
Even with the stroke and line of his great justice:
He doth with holy abstinence subdue
That in himself which he spurs on his power
85To qualify in others: were he meal’d with that
Which he corrects, then were he tyrannous;
But this being so, he’s just.

DUKE VINCENTIO

No, no. His life parallels the same straight line that his mighty justice draws. With religious restraint, he suppresses in himself the same impulses he persecutes in others. If he were stained with the sort of sins he punishes, then he’d be a tyrant. But because he’s virtuous, he’s fair.
(knocking is heard offstage)
Knocking within

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