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To be most strait in virtue, whether in
The working of your own affections,
Had time coher'd with place, or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your

Could have attain’d th’ effect of your own purpose,


had not sometime in your life Err’d in this point you censure now in him, And pull’d the law upon you.

Ang. '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

To justice, that it seizes on. What know
The laws that thieves do pass on thieves ? 'tis 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. He must die.

Enter Provost.
Escal. Be't it as your wisdom will.
Ang. Where is the provost ?
Prov. Here, if it like your honour.

Ang. See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning.
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepar’d,
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.

[Exit Provost.
Escal. Well, heav’n forgive him! and forgive us all !
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall:
Some run through brakes of vice, and answer none;
And some condemned for one fault alone.


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SCENE II. Enter Elbow, Froth, Clown, and Officers. Elb. Come, bring them away; if these be good people in a commonweal, that do nothing but use their abuses in common houses, I know no law ; bring them away.

Ang. How now, sir, what's your name? and what's the matter?

Elb. If it please your honour, I am the poor duke’s constable, and my name is Elbow; I do lean upon justice, fir, and do bring in here before your good honour two notorious benefactors.

Ang. Benefactors? well; what benefactors are they? are they not malefactors ?

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 you of? Elbow is your name? Why dost thou not speak, Elbow ?

Clown. He cannot, fir; he's out at elbow.
Ang. What are you, sir?

Elb. He, fir? a tapster, fir; parcel-bawd; one that ferves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was, as they say, pluck'd down in the suburbs; and now she profeffes a hot-house; which, I think, is as very ill house too.

. Escal. How know you that?

Elb. My wife, fir, whom I deteft before heav'n and your honour,

Escal, How! thy wife?
Elb. Ay, fir; whom I thank heav'n is an honest woman ; -
Escal. Dost thou deteft 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 ?


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

Escal. By that woman's means ?

Elb. Ay, fir, by mistress Over-don's means; but as she spit in his face, so she defy'd him.

Clown. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.
Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honourable man,

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prove it.

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Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces ?

Clown. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing (saving your honour's reverence) for stew'd prunes; we had but two in the house, which at that very instant 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.)

Escal. Go'to, go to; no matter for the dish, fir.

Clown. 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 faid, for prunes; and having no more in the dish, as I said; mafter 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.

Clown. Very well; you being then, if you be remembred, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes.

Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.

Clown. Why, very well; I telling you then, if you be remembred, that such a one, and such a one, were past cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept good diet, as I told you.

Froth. All this is true.
Clown. Why, very well then.

Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool; to the purpose: what
was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to complain of?
come to what was done to her.
Clown. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.


Escal. No, sir, I mean it not.

Clown. 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 dy'd at Hallowmas. Was't not at Hallowmas, master Froth?

Froth. All-holland eve.

Clown. Why, very well; I hope, here be truths. He, fir, sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, fir; 'twas in the bunch of grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to fit, have you not?

Froth. I have so, because it is an open room, and good for winter.
Clown. 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


leave, And leave you to the hearing of the cause, Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all. [Exit.

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

Clown. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once.
Elb. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my

Clown. I beseech your honour, ask me.
Escal. Well, fir, what did this gentleman to her?

Clown. I beseech you, fir, 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.
Clown. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Escal. Well, I do so.
Clown. Doth your honour see any harm in his face ?
Escal. Why, no.

Clown. 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



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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.

Clown. 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.

Clown. Sir, she was respected with him before he marry'd with her.

Escal. Which is the wiser here; Justice, or Iniquity? Is this true ?

Elb. O thou caitiff! o thou varlet! o thou wicked · Hannibal! I respected with her, before I was marry'd 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'th'ear, you might have your action of flander too.

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for it: 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 himn 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 thee. Thou art to continue now,
thou varlet; thou art to continue.
Escal. Where were you born, friend?

[To Froth.
Froth. Here in Vienna, sir.
Escal. Are you of fourscore pounds a year ?
Froth. Yes, an't please you,

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

[To the clown.
Clown. A tapster, a poor widow's tapster.
Escal. Your mistress's name?
Clown. Mistress Over-don.

· He means to say animal.


Vol. I.

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