Abridged Measure for Measure/#3/Disguise/Act 1, Scene 3

The Duke and Friar Thomas are on stage. The Duke says “Why I desire thee to give me secret harbor hath a purpose.” Friar Thomas asks ‘May your Grace speak of it?” The Duke replies “I have delivered to Lord Angelo, a man of firm abstinence, my absolute power and place in Vienna, and he supposes I have traveled to Poland. You may demand of me why I do this.” Friar Thomas says “Gladly.” The Duke says “We have strict statutes and most biting laws which for these fourteen years we have let slip. Our decrees, never used as punishment, allow undisciplined freedom to pluck justice by the nose.” Friar Thomas says “unloosing this tied-up justice in you would have seemed more dreadful than in Lord Angelo.” The Duke responds “I do fear, too dreadful. ‘Twas my fault to give the people scope. Angelo may in th’ ambush of my name strike home. To exert my influence I will, as ‘twere a brother of your order, visit both Angelo and people. Therefore I prithee supply me with the habit, and instruct me how I may in person bear like a true friar.” The Duke goes on to say “Lord Angelo is a strict observer of the rules. Hence shall we see if power changes the man.”

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