Enter Elbow, Pompey, and Officers
Nay, if there be no remedy for it but that you will
needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we shall
have all the world drink brown and white bastard.
O heavens, what stuff is here?
'Twas never merry world since, of two usuries,
way of dealing with money, financial practice
the merriest was put down, and the worser allowed by
order of law a furred gown to keep him warm; and
furred with fox and lamb skins too, to signify that craft,
being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.
Come your way, sir. Bless you, good father friar.
And you, good brother father. What offence hath
this man made you, sir?
Marry, sir, he hath offended the law. And, sir, we
take him to be a thief too, sir, for we have found upon
him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have sent to the
Fie, sirrah, a bawd, a wicked bawd!
The evil that thou causest to be done,
That is thy means to live. Do thou but think
What 'tis to cram a maw or clothe a back
From such a filthy vice. Say to thyself,
From their abominable and beastly touches
I drink, I eat, array myself, and live.
Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.
Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir, but yet,
sir, I would prove –
Nay, if the devil have given thee proofs for sin,
Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prison, officer.
Correction and instruction must both work
Ere this rude beast will profit.
He must before the deputy, sir. He has given him
warning. The deputy cannot abide a whoremaster. If he
be a whoremonger, and comes before him, he were as
good go a mile on his errand.
That we were all, as some would seem to be,
Free from our faults, as faults from seeming free.
His neck will come to your waist – a cord, sir.
I spy comfort, I cry bail. Here's a gentleman and
a friend of mine.
How now, noble Pompey? What, at the wheels of
Caesar? Art thou led in triumph? What, is there none
of Pygmalion's images, newly made woman, to be had
now, for putting the hand in the pocket and extracting
it clutched? What reply? Ha? What say'st thou to this
tune, matter, and method? Is't not drowned i'th' last
rain, ha? What say'st thou, trot? Is the world as it was,
man? Which is the way? Is it sad, and few words?
Or how? The trick of it?
Still thus, and thus, still worse?
How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures
she still, ha?
Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and
she is herself in the tub.
sweating-tub [for curing venereal disease]
Why, 'tis good. It is the right of it. It must be so.
Ever your fresh whore and your powdered bawd. An
unshunned consequence, it must be so. Art going to
Yes, faith, sir.
Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell. Go, say I
sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? Or how?
For being a bawd, for being a bawd.
Well, then, imprison him. If imprisonment be the
due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right. Bawd is he doubtless,
and of antiquity too; bawd-born. Farewell, good
Pompey. Commend me to the prison, Pompey. You will
turn good husband now, Pompey. You will keep the
I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.
No, indeed will I not, Pompey; it is not the wear. I
will pray, Pompey, to increase your bondage. If you
take it not patiently, why, your mettle is the more.
Adieu, trusty Pompey. Bless you, friar.
Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha?
Come your ways, sir, come.
You will not bail me then, sir?
Then, Pompey, nor now. What news abroad,
friar, what news?
Come your ways, sir, come.
Go to kennel, Pompey, go.
Exeunt Elbow, Pompey, and Officers
What news, friar, of the Duke?
I know none. Can you tell me of any?
Some say he is with the Emperor of Russia; other
some, he is in Rome. But where is he, think you?
I know not where, but wheresoever, I wish him
It was a mad fantastical trick of him to steal from
the state, and usurp the beggary he was never born to.
Lord Angelo dukes it well in his absence. He puts
He does well in't.
A little more lenity to lechery would do no harm
in him. Something too crabbed that way, friar.
It is too general a vice, and severity must cure it.
Yes, in good sooth, the vice is of a great kindred.
It is well allied, but it is impossible to extirp it quite,
friar, till eating and drinking be put down. They say this
Angelo was not made by man and woman after this
downright way of creation. Is it true, think you?
How should he be made, then?
Some report a sea-maid spawned him. Some that
he was begot between two stock-fishes. But it is certain
that when he makes water his urine is congealed ice.
That I know to be true. And he is a motion generative.
You are pleasant, sir, and speak apace.
Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the
rebellion of a cod-piece to take away the life of a man!
Would the Duke that is absent have done this? Ere he
would have hanged a man for the getting a hundred
bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a thousand.
He had some feeling of the sport. He knew the service,
sport (n.) 3
sexual recreation, intercourse, amorous dalliance
and that instructed him to mercy.
I never heard the absent Duke much detected for
women. He was not inclined that way.
O, sir, you are deceived.
'Tis not possible.
Who? Not the Duke? Yes, your beggar of fifty,
and his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish. The
begging bowl with a lid that could be clacked to attract attention
Duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk, too;
that let me inform you.
You do him wrong, surely.
Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the
Duke, and I believe I know the cause of his
What, I prithee, might be the cause?
No, pardon. 'Tis a secret must be locked within
the teeth and the lips. But this I can let you understand,
the greater file of the subject held the Duke to be wise.
Wise? Why, no question but he was.
A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
Either this is the envy in you, folly, or mistaking. The
very stream of his life and the business he hath helmed
must, upon a warranted need, give him a better proclamation.
Let him be but testimonied in his own bringings-forth,
and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a
statesman, and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully;
or, if your knowledge be more, it is much
darkened in your malice.
Sir, I know him, and I love him.
Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge
with dearer love.
Come, sir, I know what I know.
I can hardly believe that, since you know not what
you speak. But if ever the Duke return – as our prayers
are he may – let me desire you to make your answer
before him. If it be honest you have spoke, you have
courage to maintain it. I am bound to call upon you, and,
I pray you, your name?
Sir, my name is Lucio, well known to the Duke.
He shall know you better, sir, if I may live to report
I fear you not.
O, you hope the Duke will return no more, or you
imagine me too unhurtful an opposite. But indeed I can
do you little harm; you'll forswear this again.
I'll be hanged first. Thou art deceived in me, friar.
But no more of this. Canst thou tell if Claudio die
tomorrow or no?
Why should he die, sir?
Why? For filling a bottle with a tun-dish. I would
[brewing] type of funnel fitting into the bung-hole of a cask [tun]
the Duke we talk of were returned again. This
ungenitured agent will unpeople the province with
continency. Sparrows must not build in his house-eaves
because they are lecherous. The Duke yet would have
dark deeds darkly answered. He would never bring
them to light. Would he were returned. Marry, this
Claudio is condemned for untrussing. Farewell, good
undoing the points attaching hose to doublet, dropping one's breeches
friar. I prithee, pray for me. The Duke, I say to thee
again, would eat mutton on Fridays. He's not past it
yet, and I say to thee, he would mouth with a beggar,
though she smelt brown bread and garlic. Say that I
said so. Farewell.
No might nor greatness in mortality
Can censure 'scape; back-wounding calumny
The whitest virtue strikes. What king so strong
Can tie the gall up in the slanderous tongue?
But who comes here?
Enter Escalus, Provost, and Officers with Mistress
Go! Away with her to prison.
Good my lord, be good to me.
Your honour is accounted a merciful man, good my
Double and treble admonition, and still forfeit
in the same kind? This would make mercy swear, and
play the tyrant.
A bawd of eleven years' continuance, may it
please your honour.
My lord, this is one Lucio's
information against me. Mistress Kate Keepdown
was with child by him in the Duke's time. He promised her
marriage. His child is a year and a quarter old, come
Philip and Jacob. I have kept it myself, and see how he
goes about to abuse me.
That fellow is a fellow of much licence. Let him
be called before us. Away with her to prison. Go to, no
Exeunt Officers with Mistress Overdone
Provost, my brother Angelo will not be altered. Claudio
must die tomorrow. Let him be furnished with divines,
and have all charitable preparation. If my brother
wrought by my pity, it should not be so with him.
So please you, this friar hath been with him,
and advised him for th' entertainment of death.
Good even, good father.
Bliss and goodness on you!
Of whence are you?
Not of this country, though my chance is now
To use it for my time. I am a brother
Of gracious order, late come from the See,
In special business from his Holiness.
What news abroad i'th' world?
None, but that there is so great a fever on goodness
that the dissolution of it must cure it. Novelty is only
in request, and it is as dangerous to be aged in any kind
of course as it is virtuous to be constant in any undertaking.
There is scarce truth enough alive to make
societies secure, but security enough to make fellowships
accursed. Much upon this riddle runs the wisdom
of the world. This news is old enough, yet it is every
day's news. I pray you, sir, of what disposition was the
One that, above all other strifes, contended
especially to know himself.
What pleasure was he given to?
Rather rejoicing to see another merry than
merry at anything which professed to make him rejoice:
a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we him to his
events, with a prayer they may prove prosperous, and
let me desire to know how you find Claudio prepared.
I am made to understand that you have lent him
He professes to have received no sinister measure
from his judge, but most willingly humbles himself
to the determination of justice. Yet had he framed to
himself, by the instruction of his frailty, many deceiving
promises of life, which I, by my good leisure, have
discredited to him, and now is he resolved to die.
You have paid the heavens your function, and
the prisoner the very debt of your calling. I have
laboured for the poor gentleman to the extremest shore
of my modesty, but my brother-justice have I found so
severe that he hath forced me to tell him he is indeed
If his own life answer the straitness of his proceeding,
it shall become him well; wherein if he chance to
fail, he hath sentenced himself.
I am going to visit the prisoner. Fare you well.
Peace be with you!
Exeunt Escalus and Provost
He who the sword of heaven will bear
Should be as holy as severe;
Pattern in himself to know,
Grace to stand, and virtue go;
More nor less to others paying
Than by self-offences weighing.
Shame to him whose cruel striking
Kills for faults of his own liking.
Twice treble shame on Angelo,
To weed my vice and let his grow.
O, what may man within him hide,
Though angel on the outward side?
How may likeness made in crimes,
Making practice on the times,
To-draw with idle spiders' strings
Most ponderous and substantial things!
Craft against vice I must apply.
With Angelo tonight shall lie
His old betrothed, but despised:
So disguise shall by th' disguised
Pay with falsehood, false exacting,
And perform an old contracting.