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Escal. Why, no.
Clo. I'll be supposed 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 honor.
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 any of us 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 Iniquity? Is this true ?
Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! 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'th' 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 should do with this wicked caitiff?
Escal. Truly, officer, because he has 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.
Escal. Where were you born, friend? [To Froth.
Escal. No, Pompey.
Clo. 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.
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 :' if
live to see this come to pass, say, Ponipey told you so.
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 where 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 whipped : 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 whipped 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.
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
1 A bay is a principal division in building, as a barn of three bays is a barn twice crossed by beams.
VOL. I. 45
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.
Ell. To your worship’s house, sir?
Escal. To my house: fare you well.
Just. Eleven, sir.
Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio;
Just. Lord Angelo is severe.
It is but necdful:
SCENE II. Another Room in the same.
Enter Provost and a Servant.
Proc. Pray you, do. [Exit Servant.] I'll know
Now, what's the matter, provost.
Lest I might be too rash: