Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 17

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DUKE VINCENTIO

Come hither, Mariana.
Say, wast thou e’er contracted to this woman?

DUKE VINCENTIO

Come here, Mariana. (to Angelo) Were you ever engaged to this woman?

ANGELO

I was, my lord.

ANGELO

I was, my lord.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Go take her hence, and marry her instantly.
400Do you the office, friar; which consummate,
Return him here again. Go with him, provost.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Take her and marry her at once. You perform the ceremony, friar, and when it’s done, bring him back here. Go with him, provost.
Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER and Provost
ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER, and the Provost exit.

ESCALUS

My lord, I am more amazed at his dishonour
Than at the strangeness of it.

ESCALUS

My lord, I’m more amazed by Angelo’s dishonesty than by the strangeness of this situation.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Come hither, Isabel.
405Your friar is now your prince: as I was then
Advertising and holy to your business,
Not changing heart with habit, I am still
Attorney’d at your service.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Come here, Isabel. Your friar is now your prince, but my heart hasn’t changed with my clothes. I guided and devoted myself to your affairs then, and I’m still acting for you now.

ISABELLA

O, give me pardon,
410That I, your vassal, have employ’d and pain’d
Your unknown sovereignty!

ISABELLA

Oh, forgive me! To think that I, your servant, unknowingly used and created problems for your royal person!

DUKE VINCENTIO

You are pardon’d, Isabel:
And now, dear maid, be you as free to us.
Your brother’s death, I know, sits at your heart;
415And you may marvel why I obscured myself,
Labouring to save his life, and would not rather
Make rash remonstrance of my hidden power
Than let him so be lost. O most kind maid,
It was the swift celerity of his death,
420Which I did think with slower foot came on,
That brain’d my purpose. But, peace be with him!
That life is better life, past fearing death,
Than that which lives to fear: make it your comfort,
So happy is your brother.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You’re forgiven, Isabel. And now, dear girl, be as generous to me. I know your brother’s death hurts you deeply. And you may be wondering why I disguised myself, working behind the scenes to save his life, and didn’t just use my authority rather than let him die. Sweet girl, it was the speed of his execution, which I thought would take longer, that ruined my plan. But, peace be with him! The afterlife is a better life, since you don’t have to fear death anymore. Try to take comfort in the fact that your brother has that happiness.

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