Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

Street near the city gate.
A street near the city gate.
Enter ISABELLA and MARIANA
ISABELLA and MARIANA enter.

ISABELLA

To speak so indirectly I am loath:
I would say the truth; but to accuse him so,
That is your part: yet I am advised to do it;
He says, to veil full purpose.

ISABELLA

I hate to speak so evasively. I’d rather tell the truth. But to accuse Angelo is your job, the friar says, and he advises me to lie, to hide our real aim.

MARIANA

5Be ruled by him.

MARIANA

We should do as he says.

ISABELLA

Besides, he tells me that, if peradventure
He speak against me on the adverse side,
I should not think it strange; for ’tis a physic
That’s bitter to sweet end.

ISABELLA

Besides, he tells me that I shouldn’t think it strange if he happens to contradict me. It’ll be like swallowing a bitter pill that offers a sweet cure.

MARIANA

10I would Friar Peter—

MARIANA

I wish Friar Peter—

ISABELLA

O, peace! the friar is come.

ISABELLA

Oh, wait! The friar’s here.
Enter FRIAR PETER
FRIAR PETER enters.

FRIAR PETER

Come, I have found you out a stand most fit,
Where you may have such vantage on the duke,
He shall not pass you. Twice have the trumpets sounded;
15The generous and gravest citizens
Have hent the gates, and very near upon
The duke is entering: therefore, hence, away!

FRIAR PETER

Come on, I’ve found you a good place to stand, where you’ll be so positioned that the duke won’t be able to bypass you. The trumpets have blown twice, the most high-born and important people have already gathered at the gates, and the duke’s about to enter. So, let’s go!
Exeunt
They exit.