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To be most strait in virtue, whether in
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,
Ang. See that Claudio
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.
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. 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 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.
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.
Escal. Come, you are a tedious fool; to the purpose: what
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.
Ang. This will last out a night in Russia,
leave, And leave you to the hearing of the cause, Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all. [Exit.
Clown. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once.
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. 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
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
[To the clown.
· He means to say animal.