Measure for Measure

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter Duke, Escalus, Lords, and Attendants




My lord.


Of government the properties to unfold

Would seem in me t' affect speech and discourse,
affect (v.) 3 assume, display, put on, practise in an artificial way
discourse (n.) 1 conversation, talk, chat

Since I am put to know that your own science
put (v.) 1 force, make, compel
science (n.) 1 knowledge, learning

Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
list (n.) 3 boundary, limit, confines

My strength can give you. Then no more remains
strength (n.) 3 mental capacity, intellectual power

But that, to your sufficiency, as your worth is able,
sufficiency (n.) competence, ability, capability

And let them work. The nature of our people,

Our city's institutions, and the terms
institution (n.) custom, usage, practice
term (n.) 3 state, condition, circumstance

For common justice, y'are as pregnant in
pregnant (adj.) 5 well-versed, knowledgeable

As art and practice hath enriched any
art (n.) 1 knowledge, learning, scholarship, science

That we remember. There is our commission,
commission (n.) 1 warrant, authority [to act]

From which we would not have you warp. Call hither,
warp (v.) 3 deviate, turn away, diverge

I say, bid come before us Angelo.

Exit an Attendant

What figure of us think you he will bear?
figure (n.) 3 copy, image, likeness

For you must know, we have with special soul
soul (n.) 2 inner conviction, personal impulse

Elected him our absence to supply,
elect (v.) 1 pick out, choose, select
supply (v.) 1 fill up, take [the place of], occupy, substitute

Lent him our terror, dressed him with our love,
terror (n.) power to inspire dread

And given his deputation all the organs
deputation (n.) 1 delegation, appointment as deputy
organ (n.) 1 agent, instrument, means

Of our own power. What think you of it?
power (n.) 3 authority, government


If any in Vienna be of worth

To undergo such ample grace and honour,
undergo (v.) 2 support, sustain, bear

It is Lord Angelo.

Enter Angelo


                         Look where he comes.


Always obedient to your grace's will,

I come to know your pleasure.



There is a kind of character in thy life
character (n.) 1 distinctive sign, stamp, trait

That to th' observer doth thy history

Fully unfold. Thyself and thy belongings
belonging (n.) 1 attribute, capability, personal quality

Are not thine own so proper as to waste
proper (adj.) 4 personal, private, individual

Thyself upon thy virtues, they on thee.

Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,

Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues

Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely touched
finely (adv.) nicely, delicately, subtly
touch (v.) 6 test the quality [of], put to the test

But to fine issues, nor Nature never lends
fine (adj.) 6 subtle, intricate
issue (n.) 4 action, deed, proceeding
nature (n.) 6 natural order, ungoverned state, way of the world [often personified]

The smallest scruple of her excellence
scruple (n.) 1 tiny amount, last ounce

But, like a thrifty goddess, she determines

Herself the glory of a creditor,

Both thanks and use. But I do bend my speech
bend (v.) 1 aim, direct, level, turn
use (n.) 7 profit, interest, premium

To one that can my part in him advertise.
advertise, advertize (v.) 2 make known, instruct, inform about

Hold therefore, Angelo:

In our remove be thou at full ourself.
remove (n.) 1 change of residence, departure

Mortality and mercy in Vienna

Live in thy tongue and heart. Old Escalus,

Though first in question, is thy secondary.
question (n.) 3 consideration, contention
secondary (n.) deputy, agent, second-in-command

Take thy commission.


                         Now, good my lord,

Let there be some more test made of my metal

Before so noble and so great a figure
figure (n.) 3 copy, image, likeness

Be stamped upon't.


                         No more evasion.

We have with leavened and prepared choice
leavened (adj.) carefully considered, well-thought-out

Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours.

Our haste from hence is of so quick condition
condition (n.) 3 nature, state, circumstances
quick (adj.) 9 hasty, hurried

That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestioned
prefer (v.) 1 promote, advance, recommend
unquestioned (adj.) unconsidered, unexamined, not inquired into

Matters of needful value. We shall write to you,

As time and our concernings shall importune,
concerning (n.) concern, affair, matter
importune (v.) 1 urge, press

How it goes with us, and do look to know

What doth befall you here. So fare you well.

To th' hopeful execution do I leave you
execution (n.) 2 exercising, putting into operation

Of your commissions.


                         Yet give leave, my lord,

That we may bring you something on the way.
bring (v.) 1 accompany, conduct, escort
something (adv.) 2 a little, to some extent


My haste may not admit it;

Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do

With any scruple. Your scope is as mine own,
scruple (n.) 2 suspicion, misgiving, doubt

So to enforce or qualify the laws

As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand.

I'll privily away: I love the people,
privily (adv.) secretly, privately, stealthily

But do not like to stage me to their eyes;
stage (v.) put on stage, put on public display

Though it do well, I do not relish well

Their loud applause and aves vehement,
ave (n.) acclamation, ovation, welcoming shout

Nor do I think the man of safe discretion

That does affect it. Once more, fare you well.
affect (v.) 5 cultivate, aim at, seek out


The heavens give safety to your purposes!
purpose (n.) 1 intention, aim, plan See Topics: Frequency count


Lead forth and bring you back in happiness!


I thank you. Fare you well.



I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave

To have free speech with you, and it concerns me
concern (v.) 1 be important to, be the concern of
free (adj.) 9 frank, undisguised, open

To look into the bottom of my place.
bottom (n.) 2 total extent, basis, foundation
place (n.) 1 position, post, office, rank See Topics: Frequency count

A power I have, but of what strength and nature
power (n.) 5 exercise of power, authoritative action

I am not yet instructed.


'Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,

And we may soon our satisfaction have

Touching that point.


                         I'll wait upon your honour.

wait on / upon (v.) 1 accompany, attend

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