Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 3

page Act 4 Scene 3 Page 7

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ISABELLA

I am directed by you.

ISABELLA

I’ll do whatever you say.

DUKE VINCENTIO

This letter, then, to Friar Peter give;
140’Tis that he sent me of the duke’s return:
Say, by this token, I desire his company
At Mariana’s house to-night. Her cause and yours
I’ll perfect him withal, and he shall bring you
Before the duke, and to the head of Angelo
145Accuse him home and home. For my poor self,
I am combined by a sacred vow
And shall be absent. Wend you with this letter:
Command these fretting waters from your eyes
With a light heart; trust not my holy order,
150If I pervert your course. Who’s here?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Then give this letter to Friar Peter. It’s the one he sent me about the duke’s return. It’ll be a sign that I want to meet him at Mariana’s house tonight. I’ll tell him all about her case and yours, and he’ll bring you before the duke, and you can thoroughly accuse Angelo face-to-face. My poor self is bound by a sacred vow, so I won’t be there. (giving the letter) Go with this letter. Banish those worried tears with a light heart. Never trust my holy order again if I steer you wrong. Who’s here?
Enter LUCIO
LUCIO enters.

LUCIO

Good even. Friar, where’s the provost?

LUCIO

Good evening. Friar, where’s the provost?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Not within, sir.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Not inside, sir.

LUCIO

O pretty Isabella, I am pale at mine heart to see
thine eyes so red: thou must be patient. I am fain
155to dine and sup with water and bran; I dare not for
my head fill my belly; one fruitful meal would set
me to ’t. But they say the duke will be here
to-morrow. By my troth, Isabel, I loved thy brother:
if the old fantastical duke of dark corners had been
160at home, he had lived.

LUCIO

Oh, pretty Isabella, I’m sick at heart to see your eyes so red, but try to calm down. I have to dine on plain bread and water—to control my desire, I don’t fill my belly, since one big meal would get me excited. But they say the duke will be here tomorrow. I swear, Isabel, I loved your brother. If the good old whimsical duke, who loved to fool around in dark places, had been at home, Claudio would’ve lived.

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