Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 5

Original Text

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LUCIO

95I warrant your honour.

LUCIO

I’ll take notice, your honor.

DUKE VINCENTIO

The warrants for yourself; take heed to’t.

DUKE VINCENTIO

The notice is for yourself. Pay attention to it.

ISABELLA

This gentleman told somewhat of my tale,—

ISABELLA

This gentleman has told some of my story—

LUCIO

Right.

LUCIO

Right.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It may be right; but you are i’ the wrong
100To speak before your time. Proceed.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It may be right, but you’re wrong to interrupt. Proceed.

ISABELLA

I went
To this pernicious caitiff deputy,—

ISABELLA

I went to this wicked, evil deputy—

DUKE VINCENTIO

That’s somewhat madly spoken.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You’re sounding crazy.

ISABELLA

Pardon it;
105The phrase is to the matter.

ISABELLA

Excuse me—the choice of words is appropriate.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Mended again. The matter; proceed.

DUKE VINCENTIO

That’s better. Continue.

ISABELLA

In brief, to set the needless process by,
How I persuaded, how I pray’d, and kneel’d,
How he refell’d me, and how I replied,—
110For this was of much length,—the vile conclusion
I now begin with grief and shame to utter:
He would not, but by gift of my chaste body
To his concupiscible intemperate lust,
Release my brother; and, after much debatement,
115My sisterly remorse confutes mine honour,
And I did yield to him: but the next morn betimes,
His purpose surfeiting, he sends a warrant
For my poor brother’s head.

ISABELLA

To make a long story short—because it took a while, how I begged, how I prayed and kneeled, how he refused me, and how I replied—I’ll sadly and shamefully get to the awful ending. He wouldn’t release my brother unless I gave my chaste body over to his yearning lust. And after much internal debate, my sisterly pity overcame my honor, and I gave in to him. But having got what he wanted, early the next morning he sent an order for my poor brother’s head.

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