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house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his 170 mistress is a respected woman.

Pom. 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.

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

Escal. Which is the wiser here?

Iniquity? Is this true?

Justice or 180

O thou varlet ! O thou

Elb. O thou caitiff!
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.

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 What is 't your worship's pleasure I shall 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 knowest what they are.


Elb. 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 200 art to continue.

Escal. Where were you born, friend?

Froth. Here in Vienna, sir.

180. Justice or Iniquity; alluding to figures in the Moralities:

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the personification of

Justice, and the Vice or Clown.

183. Hannibal, for 'Canni


Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year?
Froth. Yes, an 't please you, sir.

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

Pom. A tapster; a poor widow's tapster.
Escal. Your mistress' name?

Pom. Mistress Overdone.

Escal. Hath she had any more than one hus- 210 band?

Pom. Nine, sir; Overdone 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.

gone, and let me hear no more of you.

Get 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.

tapster ?

Pom. Pompey.

Escal. What else?

Pom. Bum, sir.

What's your name, Master


Escal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you; so that in the beastliest sense you are Pompey the Great. Pompey, you are 230 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.

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

Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by

215. draw you (quibbling on (2) drag to execution). the two senses: (1) draw liquor, 220. drawn in, swindled.

being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?

Pom. If the law would allow it, sir.

Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey; 240 nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna.

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

Escal. No, Pompey.

Pom. 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.

Pom. 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 260 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.

Pom. I thank your worship for your good counsel: [Aside] but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.

243. splay, castrate.

255. bay, an architectural term for a certain division of a building, usually the space in

cluded between successive beams or buttresses. Coles' Latin Dictionary (quoted by Singer) defines 'a bay of building, mensura 24 pedum.'

Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade:

The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade.


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

Elb. Seven year and a half, sir.

Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time.

say, seven years together?

Elb. And a half, sir.

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Escal. Alas, it hath been great pains to you. They do you wrong to put you so oft upon 't: are 280 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.

Just. I humbly thank you.

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 woe:

But yet,-poor Claudio!

Come, sir.

There is no remedy.

[Exeunt. 300

SCENE II. Another room in the same.

Enter PROVOST and a Servant.

Serv. He's hearing of a cause; he will come


I'll tell him of you.


I'll know

Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.]

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
To die for 't!



Now, what's the matter, provost ? Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die tomorrow?

Ang. Did not I tell thee yea? hadst thou not


Why dost thou ask again?

Lest I might be too rash:

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Under your good correction, I have seen,
When, after execution, judgement hath
Repented o'er his doom.


Go to; let that be mine:

I crave your honour's pardon.

Do you your office, or give up your place,
And you shall well be spared.


What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet ?
She's very near her hour.


Dispose of her

To some more fitter place, and that with speed.

5. sects, classes.

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