Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 6

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DUKE VINCENTIO

This is most likely!

DUKE VINCENTIO

(sarcastically) This is very believable!

ISABELLA

120O, that it were as like as it is true!

ISABELLA

Oh, I wish it were as believable as it is true!

DUKE VINCENTIO

By heaven, fond wretch, thou knowist not what thou speak’st,
Or else thou art suborn’d against his honour
In hateful practise. First, his integrity
Stands without blemish. Next, it imports no reason
125That with such vehemency he should pursue
Faults proper to himself: if he had so offended,
He would have weigh’d thy brother by himself
And not have cut him off. Some one hath set you on:
Confess the truth, and say by whose advice
130Thou camest here to complain.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Heavens above, you poor fool, you don’t know what you’re saying, or else you’ve been bribed to falsely accuse him. First of all, his integrity is beyond reproach. Next, it makes no sense that he should so vigorously prosecute crimes he himself commits. If he had committed such a crime, he would’ve judged your brother against himself, and not executed him. Someone has put you up to this. Confess the truth, and tell us who urged you to come here with this accusation.

ISABELLA

And is this all?
Then, O you blessed ministers above,
Keep me in patience, and with ripen’d time
Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up
135In countenance! Heaven shield your grace from woe,
As I, thus wrong’d, hence unbelieved go!

ISABELLA

That’s it? Then, oh, you blessed angels above, help me be patient, and let time reveal the evil hiding here behind appearances! Heaven protect your grace from harm. Since you don’t believe me, I have to go.

DUKE VINCENTIO

I know you’ld fain be gone. An officer!
To prison with her! Shall we thus permit
A blasting and a scandalous breath to fall
140On him so near us? This needs must be a practise.
Who knew of Your intent and coming hither?

DUKE VINCENTIO

I bet you’d like to go. Officer, take her to prison! Should I permit such destructive, scandalous rumors about someone so close to me? This must be a conspiracy. Who knew about your plan, and that you were coming here?

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