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Commend me to my brother: soon at night I'll send him certain word of my success. Lucio. I take my leave of you.

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Enter Angelo, Escalus, and a Justice, Provost, Officers, and

other Attendants, behind.

Ang. We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the birds of prey,


And let it keep one shape, till custom make it
Their perch, and not their terror.

Ay, but yet

Let us be keen, and rather cut a little,

Than fall, and bruise to death. Alas, this gentleman,
Whom I would save, had a most noble father!

Let but your honour know,

Whom I believe to be most strait in virtue,

That, in the working of your own affections,


Had time cohered with place or place with wishing,
Or that the resolute acting of your blood

Could have attain'd the effect of your own purpose,

Whether you had not sometime in your life
Err'd in this point which now you censure 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 made to

That justice seizes: what know the laws

That thieves do pass on thieves? 'Tis very 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 judgement pattern out my death,
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he must die.
Escal. Be it as your wisdom will.

Where is the provost ?

Prov. Here, if it like your honour.

See that Claudio
Be executed by nine to-morrow morning:
Bring him his confessor, let him be prepared;
For that's the utmost of his pilgrimage.


[Exit Provost. Escal. [Aside] Well, heaven forgive him! and forgive us all! Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall: Some run from brakes of vice, and answer none; And some condemned for a fault alone.

Enter Elbow, and Officers with Froth and Pompey.
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, 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 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 they of?

Elbow is

your name? why dost thou not speak, Elbow? Pom. He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow. Ang. What are you, sir?

Elb. He, sir! a tapster, sir; parcel-bawd; one that serves a bad woman; whose house, sir, was, as they say, plucked down in the suburbs; and now she professes a hot-house, which, I think, is a very ill house too.

Escal. How know you that?

Elb. My wife, sir, whom I detest before heaven and your honour,

Escal. How? thy wife?

Elb. Ay, sir;-whom, I thank heaven, is an honest

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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 unclean- 80
liness there.

Escal. By the woman's means?

Elb. Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone's means: but as
she spit in his face, so she defied him.

Pom. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.
Elb. Prove it before these varlets here, thou honour-
able man; prove it.

Escal. Do you hear how he misplaces?

Pom. Sir, she came in great with child; and long-
ing, saving your honour's reverence, for stewed 90
prunes; sir, we had but two in the house, which
at that very distant 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, sir.
Pom. 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-bellied, and longing, as I said, for 100
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

Froth. No, indeed.

Pom. Very well;-you being then, if you be re

membered, cracking the stones of the foresaid


Froth. Ay, so I did indeed.

Pom. Why, very well; I telling you then, if you be

remembered, 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.

Pom. 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 me to what was 120
done to her.

Pom. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.
Escal. No, sir, nor I mean it not.

Pom. 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-hallond eve.

Pom. Why, very well; I hope here be truths. He, 130 sir, sitting, as I say, in a lower 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,


good for winter.
Pom. 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 my leave,
And leave you to the hearing of the cause;

Hoping you'll find good cause to whip them all. 140

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