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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 person than
of 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 Iniqui. ty?2 - Is this true?
Elb, O thou caitiff! ( thou varlet! O thou wicked 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 shall do with this wicked caitiff!
1 I'll be supposed —] He means deposed. Malone.
2 Justice, or Iniquity?] These were, I suppose, two personages well known to the audience by their frequent appearance in the old moralities. The words, therefore, at that time produced a combination of ideas, which they have now lost.
Yohnson. Justice or Inicuity?] i. e. The Constable or the Fool Escalus calls the latter Iniquity, in allusion to the old Vice, a familiar character, in the ancient moralities and dumb-shows. Justice may have a similar allusion, which I am unable to explain. Iniquitie is one of the personages in the “ Worthy Interlude of Kynge Dirius,” 4to. bl. 1. no date. And in the First Part of King Henry IV, Prince Henry calls Falstatt, -" that reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity.” Ritson. Hannibal!'] Mistaken by the constable for Cannibal.
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 thee; thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.4
Escal. Where were you born, friend?. [To FROTH.
Escal. Nine!--Come hither to me, master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters; they will draw you,5 master Froth, and you will hang them: Get you gone, and let me hear no more
Froth. I thank your worship: For mine own part, I never come into any room in a tap-house, but I am drawn in.
Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: farewel. [Exit Froth)-Come you hither to me, master tapster; what 's your name, master tapster?
thou art to continue.] Perhaps Elbow misinterpreting the language of Escalus, supposes the Clown is to continue in confinement; at least, he conceives some severe punishment or other to be implied by the word continue. Steevens.
they will draw you,] Draw has here a cluster of senses. As it refers to the tapster, it signifies to drain, to empty; as it is related to hang, it means to be conveyed to execution on a burdle. In Froth's answer, it is the same as to bring along by some motive or puwer. Fohnson.
6 Pompey.] His mistress, in a preceding scene, calls him Tbomas. Ritson.
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
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 a lawsul 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 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 orders for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.
Escal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you: 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 three pence a bay:9 If you live to see this come to pass, say, Pompey told you so.
greatest thing about you;] Greene, in one of his pieces, mentions the “great bumme of Paris.” Again, in Tyro's Roaring Megge, 1598:
“ Tyro's round breeches have a cliffe behind.” In consequence of a diligent inspection of ancient pictures and prints, it may be pronounced that the ridiculous fashion of wearing large breeches stuffed out behind appeared in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, then declined, and re-commenced at the beginning of that of James the First. Steevens.
- take order -] i.e. take measures. So, in Otbello:
“ Honest lago hath ta'en order for 't.” Steevens 9 I'll rent the fairest house in it, after three pence a bay:] A bay of building is, in many parts of England, a common term, of which the best conception that ever I could obtain, is, that it is the space between the main beams of the roof; so that a barn crossed twice with beams is a barn of three bays. Johnson.
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 were 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 better determine. Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade; The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade. [Exit.
Escal. Come hither to me, master Elbow; come hither, master constable. How long have you been in this place of constable ?
Elb. Seven year and a half, sir.
Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it some time : You say, seven years together?
Elb. And a half, sir.
Escal. Alas! it hath been great pains to you! They do you wrong to put you so oft upon 't: Are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it?
Elb. Faith, sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I do it for some piece of money, and go through with all.
Escal. Look you, bring me in the names of some six or seven, the most sufficient of your parish.
Elb. To your worship's house, sir?
that by the yearly birth
“ Hi: rent in faire respondence must arise,
Steevens, by your readiness -] Old copy-the readiness Cortected by Mr. Pope. In the MSS. of our author's age, ye, and gr. (for so they were frequently written) were easily confounded.
What's o'clock, think you?
Just. Eleven, sir.
Escal, It grieves me for the death of Claudio; But there's no remedy.
Just. Lord Angelo is severe.
It is but needful:
Another Room in the same.
Enter Provost, and a Servant.
Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit Serv.] I 'll know
Now, what 's the matter, provost? Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-morrow?
Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea? hadst thou not order? Why dost thou ask again? Prov.
Lest I might be too rash; Under your good correction, 1 have seen, When, after execution, judgment hath Repented o'er his doom. Ang.
Go to; let that be mine : Do you your office, or give up your place, And you shall well be spar'd. Prov.
I crave your honour's pardon :-
Dispose of her