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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 ?
Clown. He cannot, Sir; he's out at elbow.
Elb. He, Sir? a tapster, Sir;. parcel-bawd; one that serves a bad woman; whose house, Sir, was, as they say, pluckt down in the suburbs; and now she profeffes 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 heav'n and your Honour, -i
Escal. How! thy wife?
Elb. Ay, Sir; whom, I thank heav'n, is an honest woman ;
Efcal. Dost thou deteft her therefore ?
Elb. I say, Sir, I will detest my self 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 uncleanness there.
Escal. By the woman's means ?
Elb. Ay, Sir, by mistress Over-done's means, but as she spit in his face, so she defy’d him.
Clown. 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 ?
Clown. « Clown. Sir, the came in great with child; and « longing (saving your Honour's reverence) for stew'd « prewns; Sir, we had but two in the house, which " at that very diftant time stood, as it were, in a « fruit-dish, a dish of some three pence ; (your Ho « nours have seen such dishes; they are not China «c dishes, but very good dishes.)
Escal. Go to, go to; no matter for the dish, Sir.
“ Clown. No, indeed, Sir, not of a pin ; you are
" therein in the right : but to the point ; as I say, 157 " this mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and
“ being great belly'd, and longing, as I said, for “ prewns; 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 les " not give you three pence again.
Froth. No, indeed.
• Clown. Very well ; you being then, if you be a bi s remembred, cracking the stones of the foresaid
Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.
" Clown. Why, very well; I telling you then, if b e you be remembred, that such a one, and such a
« one, were past cure of the thing you wot of, un-
Froth. All this is true.
Efcal. Come, you are a tedious fool ; to the purpose : 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. Escal. No, Sir, nor I mean it not.
“ Clown. 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
1 a year ; whose father dy'd at Hallowmas. Was: “ not at Hallowmas, master Froth?
Froth. All-holland eve.
“ Clown. Why, very well; I hope here be truths. * He, 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, and good for winter.
« Clown. Why, very well then; I hope here be
Ang. This will last out a night in Rusia,
S C Ε Ν Ε ΙΙ. 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?
Clown. Once, Sir? there was nothing done to her once.
Elb. I beseech you, Sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.
Clown. I beseech your Honour, ask me.
Clown. 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.
Clown. Doth your Honour fee any harm in his face?
Escal. 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 master Froth do the constable’s wife any harm ? I would know that of your Honour.
Escal. He's in the right; conftable, 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.
Clown. By this hand, Sir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.
Elb. Varlet, thou lieft; thou liest, wicked varlet ; the time is yet to come, that she was ever respected with man, woman, or child.
Clown. Sir, she was respected with him before he marry'd with her.
Escal. Which is the wiser here? Justice, or Iniquity? Is this true?
Elb. O thou caitiff ! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal ! I respected with her, before I was marry'd 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'th' ear, you might have your action of Nander too.
Elb. Marry, I thank your good worship for’t : what is't your worship's pleasure I shall do with this wicked caitiff?
Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him, that thou wouldst discover if thou couldīt, let him continue in his courses, 'till thou know'st what they are. .
Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it ; thou Seeft, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon
thee. Thou art to continuc now, thou varlet; thou art to continue.
Escal. Where were you born, friend? [To Froth.
[To the Clown.
Escal. Nine ? come hither to me, master Frotb: master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters ; They will draw you, master. Froth, and you will hang them. Get you gone, and let me hear ho more of you.
Frotb. I thank your worship; for mine own part, I never come into any room in a taphouse, but I am drawn in Escal. Well; no more of it, mafter Frotb; farewel.
[Exit Froth. SC EN E IV. Come you hither to me, mafter tapster; what's your name, master tapster ?
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 for you.