Speeches (Lines) for Escalus
in "Measure for Measure"

Total: 78

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Vincentio. Escalus.

Escalus. My lord.



Vincentio. Of government the properties to unfold,
Would seem in me to affect speech and discourse;
Since I am put to know that your own science
Exceeds, in that, the lists of all advice
My strength can give you: then no more remains,
But that to your sufficiency [—]
[—] as your Worth is able,]
And let them work. The nature of our people,
Our city's institutions, and the terms
For common justice, you're as pregnant in
As art and practise hath enriched any
That we remember. There is our commission,
From which we would not have you warp. Call hither,
I say, bid come before us Angelo.
[Exit an Attendant]
What figure of us Think you he will bear?
For you must know, we have with special soul
Elected him our absence to supply,
Lent him our terror, dress'd him with our love,
And given his deputation all the organs
Of our own power: what think you of it?

Escalus. If any in Vienna be of worth
To undergo such ample grace and honour,
It is Lord Angelo.



Angelo. The heavens give safety to your purposes!

Escalus. Lead forth and bring you back in happiness!



(stage directions). [Exit]

Escalus. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave
To have free speech with you; and it concerns me
To look into the bottom of my place:
A power I have, but of what strength and nature
I am not yet instructed.



Angelo. 'Tis so with me. Let us withdraw together,
And we may soon our satisfaction have
Touching that point.

Escalus. I'll wait upon your honour.



Angelo. We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,
And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch and not their terror.

Escalus. Ay, but yet
Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,
Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas, this gentleman
Whom I would save, had a most noble father!
Let but your honour know,
Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,
That, in the working of your own affections,
Had time cohered with place or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood
Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,
Whether you had not sometime in your life
Err'd in this point which now you censure him,
And pull'd the law upon you.



Angelo. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Escalus,
Another thing to fall. I not deny,
The jury, passing on the prisoner's life,
May in the sworn twelve have a thief or two
Guiltier than him they try. What's open made to justice,
That justice seizes: what know the laws
That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very pregnant,
The jewel that we find, we stoop and take't
Because we see it; but what we do not see
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence
For I have had such faults; but rather tell me,
When I, that censure him, do so offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.

Escalus. Be it as your wisdom will.



(stage directions). [Exit Provost]

Escalus. [Aside] Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all!
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run from brakes of ice, and answer none:
And some condemned for a fault alone.



Elbow. If it? please your honour, I know not well what they
are: but precise villains they are, that I am sure
of; and void of all profanation in the world that
good Christians ought to have.

Escalus. This comes off well; here's a wise officer.



Elbow. He, sir! a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that
serves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was, as they
say, plucked down in the suburbs; and now she
professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too.

Escalus. How know you that?



Elbow. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,—

Escalus. How? thy wife?



Elbow. Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,—

Escalus. Dost thou detest her therefore?



Elbow. I say, sir, I will detest myself also, as well as
she, that this house, if it be not a bawd's house,
it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty house.

Escalus. How dost thou know that, constable?



Elbow. Marry, sir, by my wife; who, if she had been a woman
cardinally given, might have been accused in
fornication, adultery, and all uncleanliness there.

Escalus. By the woman's means?



Elbow. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable
man; prove it.

Escalus. Do you hear how he misplaces?



Pompey. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing,
saving your honour's reverence, for stewed prunes;
sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very
distant time stood, as it were, in a fruit-dish, a
dish of some three-pence; your honours have seen
such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very
good dishes,—

Escalus. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.



Pompey. Why, very well, then,—

Escalus. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What
was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to
complain of? Come me to what was done to her.



Pompey. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.

Escalus. No, sir, nor I mean it not.



Angelo. This will last out a night in Russia,
When nights are longest there: I'll take my leave.
And leave you to the hearing of the cause;
Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all.

Escalus. I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship.
Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?



Pompey. I beseech your honour, ask me.

Escalus. Well, sir; what did this gentleman to her?



Pompey. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face.
Good Master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a
good purpose. Doth your honour mark his face?

Escalus. Ay, sir, very well.



Pompey. Nay; I beseech you, mark it well.

Escalus. Well, I do so.



Pompey. Doth your honour see any harm in his face?

Escalus. Why, no.



Pompey. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst
thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the
worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the
constable's wife any harm? I would know that of
your honour.

Escalus. He's in the right. Constable, what say you to it?



Pompey. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.

Escalus. Which is the wiser here? Justice or Iniquity? Is
this true?



Elbow. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked
Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married
to her! If ever I was respected with her, or she
with me, let not your worship think me the poor
duke's officer. Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal, or
I'll have mine action of battery on thee.

Escalus. If he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your
action of slander too.



Elbow. Marry, I thank your good worship for it. What is't
your worship's pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff?

Escalus. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him
that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him
continue in his courses till thou knowest what they



Elbow. Marry, I thank your worship for it. Thou seest, thou
wicked varlet, now, what's come upon thee: thou art
to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.

Escalus. Where were you born, friend?



Froth. Here in Vienna, sir.

Escalus. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?



Froth. Yes, an't please you, sir.

Escalus. So. What trade are you of, sir?



Pompey. Tapster; a poor widow's tapster.

Escalus. Your mistress' name?



Pompey. Mistress Overdone.

Escalus. Hath she had any more than one husband?



Pompey. Nine, sir; Overdone by the last.

Escalus. Nine! Come hither to me, Master Froth. Master
Froth, I would not have you acquainted with
tapsters: they will draw you, Master Froth, and you
will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear no
more of you.



Froth. I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never
come into any room in a tap-house, but I am drawn

Escalus. Well, no more of it, Master Froth: farewell.
[Exit FROTH]
Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What's your
name, Master tapster?



Pompey. Pompey.

Escalus. What else?



Pompey. Bum, sir.

Escalus. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you;
so that in the beastliest sense you are Pompey the
Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey,
howsoever you colour it in being a tapster, are you
not? come, tell me true: it shall be the better for you.



Pompey. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.

Escalus. How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What
do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?



Pompey. If the law would allow it, sir.

Escalus. But the law will not allow it, Pompey; nor it shall
not be allowed in Vienna.



Pompey. Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the
youth of the city?

Escalus. No, Pompey.



Pompey. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't then.
If your worship will take order for the drabs and
the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

Escalus. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you:
it is but heading and hanging.



Pompey. If you head and hang all that offend that way but
for ten year together, you'll be glad to give out a
commission for more heads: if this law hold in
Vienna ten year, I'll rent the fairest house in it
after three-pence a bay: if you live to see this
come to pass, say Pompey told you so.

Escalus. Thank you, good Pompey; and, in requital of your
prophecy, hark you: I advise you, let me not find
you before me again upon any complaint whatsoever;
no, not for dwelling where you do: if I do, Pompey,
I shall beat you to your tent, and prove a shrewd
Caesar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall
have you whipt: so, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Escalus. Come hither to me, Master Elbow; come hither, Master
constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?



Elbow. Seven year and a half, sir.

Escalus. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had
continued in it some time. You say, seven years together?



Elbow. And a half, sir.

Escalus. Alas, it hath been great pains to you. They do you
wrong to put you so oft upon 't: are there not men
in your ward sufficient to serve it?



Elbow. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they
are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I
do it for some piece of money, and go through with

Escalus. Look you bring me in the names of some six or seven,
the most sufficient of your parish.



Elbow. To your worship's house, sir?

Escalus. To my house. Fare you well.
[Exit ELBOW]
What's o'clock, think you?



Justice. Eleven, sir.

Escalus. I pray you home to dinner with me.



Justice. I humbly thank you.

Escalus. It grieves me for the death of Claudio;
But there's no remedy.



Justice. Lord Angelo is severe.

Escalus. It is but needful:
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so;
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe:
But yet,—poor Claudio! There is no remedy.
Come, sir.



(stage directions). [Enter ESCALUS, Provost, and Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE]

Escalus. Go; away with her to prison!



Mistress Overdone. Good my lord, be good to me; your honour is accounted
a merciful man; good my lord.

Escalus. Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit in
the same kind! This would make mercy swear and play
the tyrant.



Mistress Overdone. My lord, this is one Lucio's information against me.
Mistress Kate Keepdown was with child by him in the
duke's time; he promised her marriage: his child
is a year and a quarter old, come Philip and Jacob:
I have kept it myself; and see how he goes about to abuse me!

Escalus. That fellow is a fellow of much licence: let him be
called before us. Away with her to prison! Go to;
no more words.
[Exeunt Officers with MISTRESS OVERDONE]
Provost, my brother Angelo will not be altered;
Claudio must die to-morrow: let him be furnished
with divines, and have all charitable preparation.
if my brother wrought by my pity, it should not be
so with him.



Provost. So please you, this friar hath been with him, and
advised him for the entertainment of death.

Escalus. Good even, good father.



Vincentio. Bliss and goodness on you!

Escalus. Of whence are you?



Vincentio. Not of this country, though my chance is now
To use it for my time: I am a brother
Of gracious order, late come from the See
In special business from his holiness.

Escalus. What news abroad i' the world?



Vincentio. None, but that there is so great a fever on
goodness, that the dissolution of it must cure it:
novelty is only in request; and it is as dangerous
to be aged in any kind of course, as it is virtuous
to be constant in any undertaking. There is scarce
truth enough alive to make societies secure; but
security enough to make fellowships accurst: much
upon this riddle runs the wisdom of the world. This
news is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I
pray you, sir, of what disposition was the duke?

Escalus. One that, above all other strifes, contended
especially to know himself.



Vincentio. What pleasure was he given to?

Escalus. Rather rejoicing to see another merry, than merry at
any thing which professed to make him rejoice: a
gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to
his events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous;
and let me desire to know how you find Claudio
prepared. I am made to understand that you have
lent him visitation.



Vincentio. He professes to have received no sinister measure
from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself
to the determination of justice: yet had he framed
to himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many
deceiving promises of life; which I by my good
leisure have discredited to him, and now is he
resolved to die.

Escalus. You have paid the heavens your function, and the
prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have
laboured for the poor gentleman to the extremest
shore of my modesty: but my brother justice have I
found so severe, that he hath forced me to tell him
he is indeed Justice.



Vincentio. If his own life answer the straitness of his
proceeding, it shall become him well; wherein if he
chance to fail, he hath sentenced himself.

Escalus. I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.



(stage directions). [Enter ANGELO and ESCALUS]

Escalus. Every letter he hath writ hath disvouched other.



Angelo. In most uneven and distracted manner. His actions
show much like to madness: pray heaven his wisdom be
not tainted! And why meet him at the gates, and
redeliver our authorities there

Escalus. I guess not.



Angelo. And why should we proclaim it in an hour before his
entering, that if any crave redress of injustice,
they should exhibit their petitions in the street?

Escalus. He shows his reason for that: to have a dispatch of
complaints, and to deliver us from devices
hereafter, which shall then have no power to stand
against us.



Angelo. Well, I beseech you, let it be proclaimed betimes
i' the morn; I'll call you at your house: give
notice to such men of sort and suit as are to meet

Escalus. I shall, sir. Fare you well.



Vincentio. Go do it instantly.
[Exit Provost]
And you, my noble and well-warranted cousin,
Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth,
Do with your injuries as seems you best,
In any chastisement: I for a while will leave you;
But stir not you till you have well determined
Upon these slanderers.

Escalus. My lord, we'll do it throughly.
[Exit DUKE]
Signior Lucio, did not you say you knew that
Friar Lodowick to be a dishonest person?



Lucio. 'Cucullus non facit monachum:' honest in nothing
but in his clothes; and one that hath spoke most
villanous speeches of the duke.

Escalus. We shall entreat you to abide here till he come and
enforce them against him: we shall find this friar a
notable fellow.



Lucio. As any in Vienna, on my word.

Escalus. Call that same Isabel here once again; I would speak with her.
[Exit an Attendant]
Pray you, my lord, give me leave to question; you
shall see how I'll handle her.



Lucio. Not better than he, by her own report.

Escalus. Say you?



Lucio. Marry, sir, I think, if you handled her privately,
she would sooner confess: perchance, publicly,
she'll be ashamed.

Escalus. I will go darkly to work with her.



Lucio. That's the way; for women are light at midnight.
[Re-enter Officers with ISABELLA; and Provost with]
the DUKE VINCENTIO in his friar's habit]

Escalus. Come on, mistress: here's a gentlewoman denies all
that you have said.



Lucio. My lord, here comes the rascal I spoke of; here with
the provost.

Escalus. In very good time: speak not you to him till we
call upon you.



Lucio. Mum.

Escalus. Come, sir: did you set these women on to slander
Lord Angelo? they have confessed you did.



Vincentio. 'Tis false.

Escalus. How! know you where you are?



Vincentio. Respect to your great place! and let the devil
Be sometime honour'd for his burning throne!
Where is the duke? 'tis he should hear me speak.

Escalus. The duke's in us; and we will hear you speak:
Look you speak justly.



Lucio. This is the rascal; this is he I spoke of.

Escalus. Why, thou unreverend and unhallow'd friar,
Is't not enough thou hast suborn'd these women
To accuse this worthy man, but, in foul mouth
And in the witness of his proper ear,
To call him villain? and then to glance from him
To the duke himself, to tax him with injustice?
Take him hence; to the rack with him! We'll touse you
Joint by joint, but we will know his purpose.
What 'unjust'!



Vincentio. Be not so hot; the duke
Dare no more stretch this finger of mine than he
Dare rack his own: his subject am I not,
Nor here provincial. My business in this state
Made me a looker on here in Vienna,
Where I have seen corruption boil and bubble
Till it o'er-run the stew; laws for all faults,
But faults so countenanced, that the strong statutes
Stand like the forfeits in a barber's shop,
As much in mock as mark.

Escalus. Slander to the state! Away with him to prison!



Angelo. Hark, how the villain would close now, after his
treasonable abuses!

Escalus. Such a fellow is not to be talked withal. Away with
him to prison! Where is the provost? Away with him
to prison! lay bolts enough upon him: let him
speak no more. Away with those giglots too, and
with the other confederate companion!



(stage directions). [Exeunt ANGELO, MARIANA, FRIAR PETER and Provost]

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



(stage directions). [Exit Provost]

Escalus. I am sorry, one so learned and so wise
As you, Lord Angelo, have still appear'd,
Should slip so grossly, both in the heat of blood.
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward.

Return to the "Measure for Measure" menu

Plays + Sonnets + Poems + Concordance + Character Search + Advanced Search + About OSS