Measure for Measure

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Duke and Frier Thomas.Enter Duke and Friar Thomas MM I.iii.1
Duk. DUKE 
No: holy Father, throw away that thought,No, holy father, throw away that thought; MM I.iii.1
Beleeue not that the dribling dart of LoueBelieve not that the dribbling dart of lovedart (n.)
arrow; or: light spear
MM I.iii.2
Can pierce a compleat bosome: why, I desire theeCan pierce a complete bosom. Why I desire theecomplete, compleat (adj.)
fully equipped, with everything present
MM I.iii.3
To giue me secret harbour, hath a purposeTo give me secret harbour hath a purposepurpose (n.)
intention, aim, plan
MM I.iii.4
More graue, and wrinkled, then the aimes, and endsMore grave and wrinkled than the aims and endsend (n.)
purpose, aim, design
MM I.iii.5
grave (adj.)

old form: graue
respected, revered, wise
aim (n.)

old form: aimes
target, object, goal
Of burning youth.Of burning youth. MM I.iii.6.1
May your Grace speake of it?May your grace speak of it? MM I.iii.6.2
Duk. DUKE 
My holy Sir, none better knowes then youMy holy sir, none better knows than you MM I.iii.7
How I haue euer lou'd the life remouedHow I have ever loved the life removedremoved (adj.)

old form: remoued
remote, secluded, further away
MM I.iii.8
And held in idle price, to haunt assembliesAnd held in idle price to haunt assemblies MM I.iii.9
Where youth, and cost, witlesse brauery keepes.Where youth and cost a witless bravery keeps.witless (adj.)

old form: witlesse
stupid, foolish, crazy
MM I.iii.10
keep (v.)

old form: keepes
keep up, maintain, carry on
cost (n.)
outlay, expense, expenditure
bravery (n.)

old form: brauery
splendour, fine display, ostentation
I haue deliuerd to Lord AngeloI have delivered to Lord Angelo,deliver (v.)

old form: deliuerd
hand over, convey, commit to the keeping [of someone]
MM I.iii.11
(A man of stricture and firme abstinence)A man of stricture and firm abstinence,stricture (n.)
self-constraint, rigour; or: strictness, severity
MM I.iii.12
My absolute power, and place here in Vienna,My absolute power and place here in Vienna,place (n.)
position, post, office, rank
MM I.iii.13
And he supposes me trauaild to Poland,And he supposes me travelled to Poland, MM I.iii.14
(For so I haue strewd it in the common eare)For so I have strewed it in the common ear,strew (v.)

old form: strewd
scatter, broadcast, spread about
MM I.iii.15
And so it is receiu'd: Now (pious Sir)And so it is received. Now, pious sir, MM I.iii.16
You will demand of me, why I do this.You will demand of me why I do this. MM I.iii.17
Gladly, my Lord.Gladly, my lord. MM I.iii.18
Duk. DUKE 
We haue strict Statutes, and most biting Laws,We have strict statutes and most biting laws, MM I.iii.19
(The needfull bits and curbes to headstrong weedes,)The needful bits and curbs to headstrong weeds, MM I.iii.20
Which for this foureteene yeares, we haue let slip,Which for this fourteen years we have let slip; MM I.iii.21
Euen like an ore-growne Lyon in a CaueEven like an o'ergrown lion in a cave, MM I.iii.22
That goes not out to prey: Now, as fond Fathers,That goes not out to prey. Now, as fond fathers,fond (adj.)
foolish, stupid, mad
MM I.iii.23
Hauing bound vp the threatning twigs of birch,Having bound up the threatening twigs of birch, MM I.iii.24
Onely to sticke it in their childrens sight,Only to stick it in their children's sight MM I.iii.25
For terror, not to vse: in time the rodFor terror, not to use, in time the rod MM I.iii.26
More mock'd, then fear'd: so our Decrees,Becomes more mocked than feared, so our decrees, MM I.iii.27
Dead to infliction, to themselues are dead,Dead to infliction, to themselves are dead,infliction (n.)
being inflicted, implementation, enforcement
MM I.iii.28
And libertie, plucks Iustice by the nose;And liberty plucks justice by the nose; MM I.iii.29
The Baby beates the Nurse, and quite athwartThe baby beats the nurse, and quite athwartathwart (adv.)
askew, awry, out of the normal course
MM I.iii.30
Goes all decorum.Goes all decorum. MM I.iii.31.1
It rested in your GraceIt rested in your grace MM I.iii.31.2
To vnloose this tyde-vp Iustice, when you pleas'd:To unloose this tied-up justice when you pleased, MM I.iii.32
And it in you more dreadfull would haue seem'dAnd it in you more dreadful would have seemed MM I.iii.33
Then in Lord Angelo.Than in Lord Angelo. MM I.iii.34.1
Duk. DUKE 
I doe feare: too dreadfull:I do fear, too dreadful. MM I.iii.34.2
Sith 'twas my fault, to giue the people scope,Sith 'twas my fault to give the people scope,scope (n.)
opportunity, liberty, free course of action
MM I.iii.35
'Twould be my tirrany to strike and gall them,'Twould be my tyranny to strike and gall themgall (v.)
vex, annoy, irritate
MM I.iii.36
For what I bid them doe: For, we bid this be doneFor what I bid them do: for we bid this be done MM I.iii.37
When euill deedes haue their permissiue passe,When evil deeds have their permissive pass MM I.iii.38
And not the punishment: therefore indeede (my father)And not the punishment. Therefore, indeed, my father, MM I.iii.39
I haue on Angelo impos'd the office,I have on Angelo imposed the office,office (n.)
task, service, duty, responsibility
MM I.iii.40
Who may in th' ambush of my name, strike home,Who may, in th' ambush of my name, strike home, MM I.iii.41
And yet, my nature neuer in the sightAnd yet my nature never in the sight MM I.iii.42
To do in slander: And to behold his swayTo do it slander. And to behold his swaysway (n.)
controlling influence, guiding power, direction
MM I.iii.43
I will, as 'twere a brother of your Order,I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, MM I.iii.44
Visit both Prince, and People: Therefore I pre'theeVisit both prince and people. Therefore, I prithee, MM I.iii.45
Supply me with the habit, and instruct meSupply me with the habit, and instruct MM I.iii.46
How I may formally in person beareHow I may formally in person bear mebear (v.), past forms bore, borne

old form: beare
behave, look, conduct [oneself]
MM I.iii.47
Like a true Frier: Moe reasons for this actionLike a true friar. More reasons for this action MM I.iii.48
At our more leysure, shall I render you;At our more leisure shall I render you; MM I.iii.49
Onely, this one: Lord Angelo is precise,Only this one – Lord Angelo is precise,precise (adj.)
puritanical, strictly moral, scrupulously correct
MM I.iii.50
Stands at a guard with Enuie: scarce confessesStands at a guard with envy, scarce confessesenvy (n.)

old form: Enuie
malice, ill-will, enmity
MM I.iii.51
guard (n.)
[fencing] defensive position, posture of defence
That his blood flowes: or that his appetiteThat his blood flows, or that his appetite MM I.iii.52
Is more to bread then stone: hence shall we seeIs more to bread than stone. Hence shall we see, MM I.iii.53
If power change purpose: what our Seemers be. If power change purpose, what our seemers be.seemer (n.)
make-believer, pretender, one who assumes a behaviour
MM I.iii.54
purpose (n.)
intention, aim, plan
Exit.Exeunt MM I.iii.54
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