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Elb. 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.
Escal. This comes off well; here's a wise officer.
Ang. Go to: what quality are they of? Elbow is your name? Why dost thou not speak, Elbow?
Clo. He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.
El6. He, sir? a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that serves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was, as they say, pluck'd down in the suburbs; and now she professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too.
Escal. How know you that?
Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,
Escal. How! thy wife?
Elb. Ay, sir; whom, I thank heaven, is an honest woman,
Escal. Dost thou detest her therefore?
Elb. 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.
Escal. How dost thou know that, constable ?
Elb. 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.
Escal. By the woman's means?
Elb. Ay, sir, by mistress Over-done's means: but as she spit in his face, so she defied him.
Clo. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.
Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable man, prove it.
Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces? [To Angelo,
Clo. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing saving your honour's reverence,) for stew'd prunes; şir, we had but two in the house, which at that very Jistant 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.
Elb. to my
Escal. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.
Clo. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in the right: but, to the point: as I say, this mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great belly'd, and longing, as I said, for prunes; and having but two in the dish, as I said, master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very honestly ;--for, as you know, master Froth, I could not give you three-pence again.
Froth. No, indeed.
Clo. Very well: your being then, if you be remember'd, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes.
Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.
be remember'd, that such a one, and such a one, were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good diet, as I told you.
Froth. All this is true.
Clo. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.
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-hollond eve.
Clo. Why, very well; I hope here be truths : he, sir sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir;—'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a deligh to sit: have you not?
Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, an good for winter.
Clo. Why, very well then ;-I hope here be truths.
worst worst CA honou
Esca Is this
Hoping, you'll find good cause to whip them all.
[Exit Angelo. Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
Clo. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once.
Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.
Clo. I beseech your honour, ask me.
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. 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 sperson than any of us all.
Elb. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet: he time is yet to come, that she was ever respected yith man, woman, or child.
Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he maried with her.
Escal. Which is the wiser here? justice, or iniquity? s this true?
Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Tannibal! I respected with her, before I was married o her? If ever I was respected with her, or she with ne, let not your worship think me the poor dake’s of
ficer:-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. El6. 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.
Élb. Marry, I thank your worship for it:-thon seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee; thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to coutinue. Escal. Where were you born, friend?
[To Froth. Froth. Here in Vienna, sir. Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year? Froth. Yes, and't please you, sir. Escal. So.--What trade are you of, sir?
[To the Clour. 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, never come into any room in a laphouse, 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?
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 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 live.
Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it 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 it in 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 yon: 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 threepence 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 betler determine.
Whip me! No, no; let carman whip his jade;