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Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Estalus, 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 made to
justice, That justice seizes. What know the laws, That thieves do pass! on thieves ? 'Tis very preg
nant, The jewel that we find, we stoop and take it, 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 censure4 him, do so offend, Let mine own judgment pattern out my death, And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die. Escal. Be it as your
Where is the provost?
See that Claudio
Escal. Well, heaven forgive him; and forgive
Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall :
Enter Elbow, Froth, Clown, Officers, &c. Elb. Come, bring them away: if these be good people in a common weal,6 that do nothing but use their abuses in common houses, I know no law ; bring them away.
(1) Pass judgment. _ (2) Plain. (3) Because.
Sentence. (5) Thickest, thorny paths of vice. (6) Wealth.
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, 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 please your honour, I know not well what they are : but precise villains they are, that I am sure of; and vo 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.
Elb. He, sir? a tapster, sir; parcel2-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, a very ill house too. Escal. How know
you that? Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest4 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.
(1) Well told. (2) Partly. (3) Keeps a bagnio.
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 stewd
rur : sir, we had but two in the house, which at that very distant time stood, as it were, in a fruitdish, 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, sir.
Clo. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin ; you are therein in the right : but, to the point: as I 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 : you being then, if you be remember'd, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes.
Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.
Clo. Why, very well: I telling you then, if you 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.
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 me to what was done to her.
Clo. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet. Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.
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-hollondi eve.
Clo. Why, very well; I hope here be truths : he, sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower2 chair, sir ;'twas in the Bunch of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to sit : have you not?
Froth. I have so; because it is an open room, and good for winter. Clo. Why, very well then ;-) hope here be
truths. Ang. This will last out a night in Russia, When nights are longest there : I'll take my leave, And leave you to the hearing of the cause ; Hoping, you'll find good cause to whip them all. Escal. I think no less : good morrow to your lordship
[Exit Angelo. Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
Clo. Once, sir ? there was nothing done to her
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.
you to it?
Escal. Why, no.
Clo. I'll be suppos’dl 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
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 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.
Clo. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.
Escal. Which is the wiser here? justice, or iniquity ?2 Is this true?
Ē16. O thou caitiff ! O thou varlet! O thou wick. ed Hannibal !3 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 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.
Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it:-thou seest, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon
Deposed, sworn. (2) Constable or Clown.