Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 1

page Act 5 Scene 1 Page 19

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MARIANA

O my dear lord,
I crave no other, nor no better man.

MARIANA

Oh my dear lord, I don’t want any other man or any better man.

DUKE VINCENTIO

455Never crave him; we are definitive.

DUKE VINCENTIO

You shouldn’t want him. My decision is final.

MARIANA

Gentle my liege,—

MARIANA

My gentle lord—
Kneeling
kneeling

DUKE VINCENTIO

You do but lose your labour.
Away with him to death!

DUKE VINCENTIO

You’re just wasting your time. Take him to his death!
(To LUCIO)
(to LUCIO)
Now, sir, to you.
Now, sir, about you.

MARIANA

460O my good lord! Sweet Isabel, take my part;
Lend me your knees, and all my life to come
I’ll lend you all my life to do you service.

MARIANA

Oh, my good lord! Sweet Isabel, take my side. Kneel with me, and for the rest of my life I’ll be at your service.

DUKE VINCENTIO

Against all sense you do importune her:
Should she kneel down in mercy of this fact,
465Her brother’s ghost his paved bed would break,
And take her hence in horror.

DUKE VINCENTIO

It makes no sense to beg her. If she were to kneel and plead for mercy, her brother’s horrified ghost would break through his stone-covered grave and drag her away with him.

MARIANA

Isabel,
Sweet Isabel, do yet but kneel by me;
Hold up your hands, say nothing; I’ll speak all.
470They say, best men are moulded out of faults;
And, for the most, become much more the better
For being a little bad: so may my husband.
O Isabel, will you not lend a knee?

MARIANA

Isabel, sweet Isabel, just kneel beside me, and hold out your hands. Don’t say anything, I’ll do all the talking. They say the best men are formed out of their faults, and most of them become much better for being a little bad. That might happen with my husband. Oh, Isabel, won’t you kneel?

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