« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
in the bunch of grapes, where, indeed, you have a de light 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.
When nights are longest there. I'll take my leave,
Efcal. I think no lefs. Good morrow to your lord [Exit Angelo. Now, Sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
Clown. Once, Sir? there was nothing done to her
Elb. I beseech you, Sir, afk him what this man did to my wife.
Clown. I befeech your Honour, ask 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 purpose.---Doth your Honour mark his face? Efcal. Ay, Sir, very well.
Clown. Nay, I befeech you, mark it well.
Clown. Doth your Honour fee any harm in his face?
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.
Efeal. He's in the right; conftable, what fay you to it?
Elb. First, an' it like you, the house is a refpected
house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his miftrefs is a refpected woman.
Clown. 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 the was ever refpected with man, woman, or child.
Clown. Sir, fhe was refpected with him before he marry'd with her.
Efcal. Which is the wifer here? Juftice, or Iniqui ty? Is this true?
Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! I relpected with her, before I was marry'd to her? If ever I was relpected with her, or fhe withi 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't. What is't your worthip's pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff?
Efcal. Truly, officer, because he hath fome offences in him, that thou wouldst difcover 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 feeft, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee. Thou art to continue now, thou varlet; thou art to continue. Escal. Where were you born, friend? [To Froth. Froth. Here in Vienna, Sir.
Efcal. Are you of fourfcore pounds a year?
1 Justice or Iniquity.] Thefe were, I fuppofe, two perfonages well known to the audience by their frequent appearance in the old moralities. The words thare
fore at that time produced a combination of ideas, which they have now lost.
2 Hannibal.] Mistaken by the conftable for Cannibal. U
Efcal. So. What trade are you of, Sir?
[To the Clown.
Clown. A tapfter, a poor widow's tapfter.
Clown. Mistress Over-done.
Efcal. Hath fhe had any more than one husband?
Efcal. Nine? Come hither to me, master Froth. Mafter Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapfters; they will draw you, 3 master Froth, 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, mafter Froth; farewel. [Exit Froth.
Come you hither to me, mafter tapfter; what's your name, mafter tapfter?
Efcal. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you, fo that, in the beastlieft fenfe, you are Pompey the Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey; howfoever you colour it in being a tapfter ; are you not? come, tell me true; it fhall be the better for you.
Clown. Truly, Sir, I am a poor fellow that would
Efcal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a
3 they will draw you.] Draw has here a cluster of fenfes. As it refers to the tapfter, it figmines to drain, to empty as it is
related to hang, it means to embowel or extenterate. In Froth's anfwer it is the fame as to bring along by fome motive or power.
bawd? what do you think of the trade, Pompey is it a lawful trade?
Clown. If the law will allow it, Sir.
Efcal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey nor it fhall not be allowed in Vienna.
Clown. Does your worship mean to geld and fplay all the youth in the city?
Efcal. No, Pompey.
Clown. Truly, Sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't then. If your worship will take order for the drabs and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds. Efcal. There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you; it is but heading and hanging.
Clown. If you head and hang all that offend that way but for ten years together, you'll be glad to give out a commiffion for more heads. If this law hold in Vienna ten years, I'll rent the faireft house in it, after three pence a bay; 4 If you live to fee this come to pafs, fay, Pompey told you fo.
Efcal. 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 where you do; if I do, Pompey, I fhall beat you to your tent, and prove a fhrewd Cæfar to you: in plain dealing, Pompey, I
fhall have you whipt. So for this time, Pompey, fare you well.
Clown. I thank your worship for your good counfel. [afide.] But I fhall follow it, as the flesh and fortune fhall better determine.
Whip me? no, no; let carman whip his jade :
Efcal. Come hither to me, mafter Elbow ; come hither, mafter conftable. How long have you been in this place of conftable?
Elb. Seven years and a half, Sir
Efcal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it fome time; you fay, feven years together?
Elb. And a half, Sir.
Efcal. Alas! it hath been great pains to you; they do you wrong to put you fo oft upon't
are there not men in your ward fufficient to serve it?
Elb. Faith, Sir, few of any wit in fuch matters; as they are chofen, they are glad to chufe me for them. I do it for fome piece of money, and go through with
Efcal. Look you, bring me in the names of fome fix or feven, the moft fufficient of your parish. Elb. To your worfhip's houfe, Sir.
Efcal. To my houfe; fare you well. [Exit Elbow. What's a clock, think you?
Juft. Eleven, Sir.
Efcal. I pray you, home to dinner with me.
Efcal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio:
Just Lord Angelo is severe.
Efcal. It is but needful :
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks fo;