Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 6

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter ISABELLA
ISABELLA enters.

ISABELLA

Ho, by your leave!

ISABELLA

May I come in?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Good morning to you, fair and gracious daughter.

ISABELLA

The better, given me by so holy a man.
Hath yet the deputy sent my brother’s pardon?

ISABELLA

All the better a morning when so holy a man says it to me. Has the deputy sent my brother’s pardon yet?

DUKE VINCENTIO

115He hath released him, Isabel, from the world:
His head is off and sent to Angelo.

DUKE VINCENTIO

He has released him, Isabel, from the world. His head is off and sent to Angelo.

ISABELLA

Nay, but it is not so.

ISABELLA

No, it’s not true.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It is no other: show your wisdom, daughter,
In your close patience.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It is. Be smart, daughter, and keep control of yourself.

ISABELLA

120O, I will to him and pluck out his eyes!

ISABELLA

Oh, I’ll go and tear his eyes out!

DUKE VINCENTIO

You shall not be admitted to his sight.

DUKE VINCENTIO

They won’t let you see him.

ISABELLA

Unhappy Claudio! wretched Isabel!
Injurious world! most damned Angelo!

ISABELLA

Unhappy Claudio! Wretched Isabel! Cruel world! Damned Angelo!

DUKE VINCENTIO

This nor hurts him nor profits you a jot;
125Forbear it therefore; give your cause to heaven.
Mark what I say, which you shall find
By every syllable a faithful verity:
The duke comes home to-morrow; nay, dry your eyes;
One of our convent, and his confessor,
130Gives me this instance: already he hath carried
Notice to Escalus and Angelo,
Who do prepare to meet him at the gates,
There to give up their power. If you can, pace your wisdom
In that good path that I would wish it go,
135And you shall have your bosom on this wretch,
Grace of the duke, revenges to your heart,
And general honour.

DUKE VINCENTIO

This neither hurts him nor helps you a bit. Control yourself and leave your case to heaven. Pay attention to what I say. Every syllable is truth you can rely on. The duke’s coming home tomorrow—no, dry your eyes. His confessor, who belongs to our monastery, gave me this information. He’s already sent word to Escalus and Angelo, who are preparing to meet him at the gates and surrender their authority to him there. If you can, steer your mind along the path I want it to follow. You’ll have your desire inflicted on this wretch, the favor of the duke, revenge to your heart’s content, and general acclaim.

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