by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

     To prison, till fit time
Of law and course of direct session
Call thee to answer.
To prison, until you’re called into court.
    What if I do obey?
90How may the Duke be therewith satisfied,
Whose messengers are here about my side
Upon some present business of the state
To bring me to him?
What if I do what you say? How would I satisfy the Duke then? His messengers are waiting here to take me to him immediately, on pressing state business.
    'Tis true, most worthy signior.
The Duke’s in council and your noble self,
95I am sure, is sent for.
It’s true. The Duke’s in a meeting right now, and he’s sent for you too.
    How? The Duke in council?
In this time of the night? Bring him away.
Mine’s not an idle cause. The Duke himself,
Or any of my brothers of the state,
Cannot but feel this wrong as ’twere their own.
100For if such actions may have passage free,
Bond-slaves and pagans shall our statesmen be.
The Duke’s in a meeting? At this time of night? Bring him with us. The law’s on my side. The Duke and any of my fellow senators will take this wrong as seriously as if it were their own. If we let crimes like this happen, slaves and heathens will be our rulers.
They all exit.