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Let but your honour know, whom I believe
To be moft ftrait in virtue, whether in
The working of your own affections,

Had time coher'd with place, or place with wishing,
Or that the refolute acting of your blood

Could have attain'd th' effect of your own purpose,
Whether you had not fometime in your life
Err'd in this point you cenfure now in him,
And pull'd the law upon you.

Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Efcalus,
Another thing to fall, I not deny

The jury paffing on the prifoner's life

May in the fworn twelve have a thief or two,
Guiltier than him they try; what's open made

To juftice, that it seizes on.

What know

The laws that thieves do pafs on thieves? 'tis pregnant,

The jewel that we find, we ftoop and take't,
Because we fee it: but what we do not fee,
We tread upon, and never think of it.
You may not fo extenuate his offence,

For I have had fuch faults; but rather tell me
When I, that cenfure him, do fo offend,
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. He must die.
Enter Provoft.

Efcal. Be't as your wisdom will.
Ang. Where is the Provoft?
Prov. Here, if it like your honour,

Ang. See that Claudio

Be executed by nine to-morrow morning.

Bring him his confeffor, let him be prepar'd,

For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.

[Exit Proveft,

Efcal. Well, heav'n forgive him! and forgive us all!~

Some rife by fin, and fome by virtue fall:

Some run through brakes of vice, and answer none;
And fome condemned for one fault alone..


Enter Elbow, Froth, Clown, and Officers.

Elb, Come, bring them away; if these be good people

in a common-weal, that do nothing but ufe 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 conftable, and my name is Elbow: I do lean upon justice, Sir, 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 pleafe your honour, I know not well what they are; but precife villains they are, that I am fure of, and void of all profanation in the world, that good chrif tians ought to have.

Efcal. This comes off well; here's a wife officer.

Aug. Go to: what quality are you of? Elbow is your name? Why doft thou not speak, Elbow ?

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

Elb. He, Sir? a tapfter, Sir; parcel-bawd; one that ferves a bad woman; whofe house, Sir, was, as they fay, pluckt down in the fuburbs; and now the profeffes a hothoufe; which, I think, is a very ill house too.

Efcal. How know you that?

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

Efcal. How! thy wife?

Elb. Ay, Sir; whom I thank heav'n is an honeft woman. Eftal. Doft thou deteft her therefore?

Elb. I fay, Sir, I will deteft myfelf alfo, as well as the, that this houfe, if it be not a bawd's houfe, it is pity of her life, for it is a naughty houfe.

Efcal. How doft thou know that, constable?

Elb. Marry, Sir, by my wife; who, if the had been a woman cardinally given, might have been accufed in forni cation, adultery, and all uncleanness there.

Efcal. By that woman's means?

Elb. Ay, Sir, by miftrefs Over-don's means; but as


fpit in his face, fo the defy'd him.

Clown. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not fo.


Elb. Prove it before thefe varlets here, thou honourable man, prove it.

Efcal. Do you hear how he mifplaces?

Clown. Sir, fhe came in great with child; and longing (faving your honour's reverence) for ftew'd prunes; we had but two in the houfe, which at that very inftant time. food, as it were, in a fruit-difh, a difh of fome three pence; (your honours have feen fuch dishes, they are not China difhes, but very good dishes.)

Efcal. Go to, go to; no matter for the difh, Sir.

Clown. No indeed, Sir, not of a pin; you are therein in the right: but to the point; as I fay, this mistress Elbow, being, as I fay, with child, and being great belly'd, and longing, as I faid, for prunes; and having no more in the difh, as I faid; mafter Froth here, this very man, having eaten the reft, as I faid, and, as I fay, 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 ftones of the forefaid prunes.

Froth. Ay, fo I did indeed.

Clown. Why, very well; I telling you then, if you be remembred, that fuch a one, and fuch a one, were paft 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.

Efcal. Come, you are a tedious fool; to the purpofe 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.

Efcal. No, Sir, I mean it not.

Clown. Sir, but you fhall come to it, by your honour's leave and I befeech you, look into mafter Froth here, Sir, a man of fourfcore pound a year: whofe father dy'd at Hallowmas. Was't not at Hallowmas, mafter Froth? Froth. All-holland eve.

Clown. Why, very well; I hope here be truths. He, Sir, fitting, as I fay, in a lower chair, Sir? 'twas in the


bunch of grapes, where indeed you have a delight to fit, have you not?

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

Clown. Why, very well then: I hope here be truths.
Ang. This wall laft out a night in Ruffia,
When nights are longeft there. I'll take my leave,
And leave you to the hearing of the cause,

Hoping you'll find good caufe to whip them all.

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

Clown. Once, Sir? there was nothing done to her once. Elb. I befeech you, Sir, afk him what this man did to my wife?

Clown. I befeech your honour, afk me.

Efcal. Well, Sir, what did this gentleman to her?

Clown. I beseech you, Sir, look in this gentleman's face; good mafter Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a good purpofe; doth your honour mark his face ?

Efcal. Ay, Sir, very well.

Clorun. Nay, I beseech you, mark it well.
Efcal. Well, I do fo.

Clown. Doth your honour fee any harm in his face?
Efcal. Why no.

Clown. I'll be fuppos'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 mafter Froth do the conftable's wife any harm? I would know that of your honour.

Efcal. He's in the right; conftable, what fay you to it? Elb. Firft, an it like you, the houfe is a refpected houfe; next, this is a refpected fellow; and his mistress is a refpected woman.

Clorun. By this hand, Sir, his wife is a more refpected perfon than any of us all.

Elb. Varlet, thou lieft; thou lieft, wicked varlet; the time is yet to come, that he was ever refpected with man, woman, or child,


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

Efeal. Which is the wifer here; Juftice, or Iniquity?

Is this true?

Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked *Hannibal! I refpected with her, before I was marry'd to her? If ever I was refpected with her, or fhe 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.

Efcal. 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 fhall do with this wicked


Efcal. Truly, officer, because he hath fome offences in him, that thou wouldst discover if thou couldft, let him continue in his courses, 'till thou know'ft what they are.

Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it; thou feeft, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee. Thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue. Efcal. Where were you born, friend? Froth. Here in Vienna, Sir.

Efcal. Are you of fourfcore pounds a year?

Froth. Yes, an't please you, Sir.

[To Froth.

Efcal. So. What trade are you of, Sir? [To the Clown, Clown. A tapfter, a poor widow's tapfter.

Efcal. Your mistress's name?

Clown. Miftrefs Over-don.

Efcal. Hath fhe had any more than one husband?
Clown. Nine? Sir: Over-don by the laft.

Efcal. Nine? Come hither to me, mafter Froth: master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapfters; they will draw you, mafter Frath, 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 taphoufe, but I am drawn in. Efcal. Well; no more of it, master Froth; farewel. [Exit Froth.

* He means to fay Animal.


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