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Clo. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet. Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.
Clo. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honour's leave: and I beseech you, look into master Froth here, sir; a man of fourscore pound a year; whose father died at Hallowmas :-Was't not at Hallowmas, master Froth?
Froth. All-hollond1 eve.
Clo. Why, very well; I hope here be truths: he, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower2 chair, sir ;'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to sit : have you not?
Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, and good for winter.
Clo. Why, very well then;-I hope here be truths.
Ang. 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. Escal. I think no less: good morrow to your lordship. [Exit Angelo. Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
Clo. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her
Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife?
Clo. I beseech your honour, ask me.
Escal. Well, sir: what did this gentleman to her? Clo. 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?
Escal. Ay, sir, very well.
Clo. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Clo. Doth your honour see any harm in his face?
(1) Eve of All Saints day.
Escal. Why, no.
Clo. I'll be suppos'd' 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.
Escal. He's in the right: constable, what say you to it?
Elb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected woman.
Clo. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.
Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet: the time is yet to come, that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.
Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.
Escal. Which is the wiser here? justice, or iniquity ?2 Is this true?
Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal !3 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.
Escal. If he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your action of slander too.
Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it; what is't your worship's pleasure I should do with this wicked caitiff?
Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him, that thou wouldst discover if thou couldst, let him continue in his courses, till thou know'st what they are.
Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it :-thou seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon
(1) Deposed, sworn. (2) Constable or Clown. For cannibal
thee; thou art to continue now,
art to continue.
Escal. Where were you born, friend? [To Froth. Froth. Here, in Vienna, sir.
thou varlet; thou
Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?
[To the Clown. Clo. A tapster: a poor widow's tapster. Escal. Your mistress's name?
Clo. Mistress Over-done.
Escal. Hath she had any more than one husband? Clo. Nine, sir; Over-done by the last.
Escal. 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 taphouse, but I am drawn in.
Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: farewell. [Exit Froth.]-Come you hither to me, master tapster; what's your name, master tapster?
Clo. Pompey. Escal. What else? Clo. Bum, sir.
Escal. "Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you; so that, in the beastilest 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.
Clo. Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow, that would
Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?
Clo. If the law would allow it, sir.
Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey;
nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna.
Clo. Does your worship mean to geld and spay all the youth in the city?
Escal. No, Pompey.
Clo. 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.
Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you it is but heading and hanging.
Clo. 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.
Escal. 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 Cæsar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall have you whipt: so for this time Pompey, fare you well.
Clo. I thank your worship for your good counsel; but I shall follow it, as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.
Whip me! No, no; let carman whip his jade; The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade. [Ex.
Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come hither, master Constable. How long have you been in this place of constable?
Elb. Seven years and a half, sir.
Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time: You say, seven years together?
Elb. And a half, sir.
Escal. 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?
Elb. 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 all.
Escal. Look you, bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish. Elb. To your worship's house, sir?
Escal. To my house: Fare you well. [Exit Elbow.] What's o'clock, think you?
Just. Eleven, sir.
Escal. I pray you home to dinner with me.
Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio; But there's no remedy.
Just. Lord Angelo is severe.
It is but needful: Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so: Pardon is still the nurse of second wo: But yet, Poor Claudio!-There's no remedy. Come, sir.
SCENE II-Another room in the same. Enter Provost and a Servant.
Serv. He's hearing of a cause; he will come straight. I'll tell him of you.
Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.] I'll know His pleasure; may be, he will relent: Alas, He hath but as offended in a dream!
All sects, all ages, smack of this vice; and he
Now, what's the matter, provost? Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow? Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not