Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 5

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Now are they come.
They’re here.
Exit Provost
The Provost exits.
This is a gentle provost: seldom when
90The steeled gaoler is the friend of men.
This provost is a nice man. It’s rare that a hardened jailer has sympathy for his fellow men.
(knocking is heard offstage)
Knocking within
How now! what noise? That spirit’s possessed with haste
That wounds the unsisting postern with these strokes.
What is that noise? That messenger’s so impatient he’s going to hurt that poor door with his knocking.
Re-enter Provost
The Provost re-enters.

PROVOST

There he must stay until the officer
Arise to let him in: he is call’d up.

PROVOST

He’s stuck there until the officer at the gate wakes up to let him in. The officer’s up now.

DUKE VINCENTIO

95Have you no countermand for Claudio yet,
But he must die to-morrow?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Haven’t you received any order yet countermanding Claudio’s execution tomorrow?

PROVOST

None, sir, none.

PROVOST

None, sir, none.

DUKE VINCENTIO

As near the dawning, provost, as it is,
You shall hear more ere morning.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Even though it’s almost dawn, provost, you’ll have news before morning.

PROVOST

100Happily
You something know; yet I believe there comes
No countermand; no such example have we:
Besides, upon the very siege of justice
Lord Angelo hath to the public ear
105Profess’d the contrary.

PROVOST

Perhaps you know something. But I don’t think any reprieve is coming. There’s no precedent for it. Besides, Lord Angelo declared the opposite, in public, from the judge’s bench.
Enter a Messenger
A Messenger enters.
This is his lordship’s man.
This is his lordship’s servant.

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