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honours have seen such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very good dishes.
Escal. Go to, go to; no matter for the dish, fir.
Clo. No, indeed, fir, not of a pin ; you are therein in the sight : but, to the point : As I say, this mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and being great belly'd, and longing, as I said, for prunes ; and having but two in the dis, 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 again.
Froth. No, indeed,
Clo. Very well: you being then, if you be remember'd, cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes.
Froth. Ay, so I did, indeed.
Clo. Why, very well : I telling you then, if you be remember'd, that such a one, and such a one, were part cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very good diet, as I
told you ;
Froth. All this is true.
Clo. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.
Clo. 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, mafter Froth ?
Froth. All-hollond eve.
Ch..Why, very well; I hope here be truths ; He, fir, fitting, as I say, in a lower chair, 4 fir;-'twas in the Bunch
of 3 A China dish, in the age of Shakspeare, must have been fuch an un. common thing, that the Clown's exemption of it, as no utenfil in a com. mon brothel, is a striking circumstance in his absurd and cautological depofition. STEEVENS.
+ Every house had formerly, among its other furniture, what was called a low cbair, designed for the ease of lick people, and, occagonaliy, occupied by, lazy ones. Of there conveniencies I have seen many, thu ugh, perhaps, at present they are wholly disused. STEEVENS,
of Grapes, where, indeed, you have a delight to fit: Have you not ;
Froth. I have fo; because it is an open room, and good for winter.
Clo. Why, very well then ;-I hope here be truths.
[Exit Angelo. Now, sir, come on : What was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
Clo. Once, fir? there was nothing done to her once.
Clo. I beseech your honour, ask me.
Clo. 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?
Escal. Ay, fir, very well.
Cls. I'll be supposed s 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 conftable’s wife any harm? I would know that your honour.
Escal. He's in the right : Constable what say you to it?
Élb. First, an it like you, the house is a respected house ; next, this is a respected fellow; and his mistress is a respected
Clo. By this hand, fir, his wife is a more respected person than any of us all.
Elb. Varlet, thou lieft; thou lielt, wicked varlet : the time is yet to come, that she was ever refpected with man, woman, or child.
cle. 5 He means deposed. MALONE,
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, ihou wicked Hannibal, or I'll have mine action of battery on thee.
Escal. If he took you a box o' the ear, you might have your action of slander too.
Elb. Marry, I thank your worship for it: What is't your worship's pleasure I should do with this wicked caitiff?
Escal. Truly, officer, because he hath some offences in him, that thou wouldit discover if thou couldit, let him continue in his courses, till thou know'st what they are.
Elb. Mariy, 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? [T. FROTH.
Cla. 6 These were, J fuppose, two personages well known to the audience by their frequent appearance in the old moralities. The words, therefore, at that time produced a combination of ideas, which chey have now loft.
JOHNSON . Justice or Iniquity ?] i. e. The constable or the fool. Escalus calls the latter Iniquity, in allusion to the old Vice, a familiar character, in the an. cient moralities and dumb-lhews. Justice may have a fimilar allusion, which I am unable to explain. Iniquitie is one of the perfonages in the “ Worthy interlude of Kynge Darius," 4to. bl. l. no date. And in the First Part of King Henry IV. Prince Henry calls Falstaff," that reve. rend Vice, that grey Iniquity.' RITRON.
7 Mistaken by the constable for Cannibal. JOHNSON.
8 Perhaps Elbow, misinterpreting the language of Efcalus, fuppofes the Clown is to continue in confinement; at least, he conceives some severe punishwent or other to be implied by the word continue. STELVENS.
Clo. Mistress Over-done.
Escal. Nine!--Come hither to me, master Froth. Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapiters; they will draw you, o 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 tap house, but I am drawn in.
Escal. Well; no more of it, master Froth: farewell. [Exit FroTH.]-Come you hither to me, master tapiter; what's your name, master tapster ?
Efcel. 'Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you;} fo that, in the beastlieft fense, you are Pompey the great, Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever you colour it in being a tapfter. Are you not ? come, tell me true; it 'hall be the better for
you. Clo. Truly, fir, I am a poor fellow, that would live. Escal. How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd ? What do you think of the trade Pompey? is it a lawful trade ?
Clo. If the law would allow it, fir.
Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey ; nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna.
9 Draw has her a clutter of fenfes. it refers to the tapiter, it fignifies to drain, to empty; as it is related to bang, it means to be conveyed to execution on a burdle. In Froth's answer, it is the same as to bring along by some morive or power. JOHNSON. 2 His mistress in a preceding scene, calls him Tbomas. RITSON.
3 Harrison in his Description of Britain, prefixed to Holingshed's Chro. nicle, condemns the excess of apparel amongst his contrymen. Should any curious reader wish for more information upon this subject, he is referred to “ Strutt's Manners and Customs of the English," Vol. III. po 86. Douce.
But perhaps an ancient MS. ballad, entitled, A lamentable complaint of ibe pore country men againste great hose, for ibe lolje of tbere cattelles tailes, Mul, Brit. MS. Harl. 367. nay throw further light on the fubje&t.
Clo. Does your worship mean to geld and fpay all the youth in the city?
Escal. No, Pompey.
Clo. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't then : If your worship will take order 4 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 out in Vienną ten year, I'll *? rent the fairest house in it, after three pence a bay : 5 If you
live to see this come to pass, say, Pompey told you fo.
Ffcal. Thank you, good Pompey: and, in requital of your prophecy, hark you, -I advise you, let me not find you before me ayain 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 whipt; fo for this time, Pompey, fare you well.
Clo. I thank your worship for your good counsel; but I
E/cal. Come hither to me, master Elbow ; come hither, mafter constable. How long have you been in this place of constable ?
Elh. Seven year and a half, fir.
Escal. I thought, by your readiness in the office, you had continued in it fome time: You say, feven years together?
Elb. And a half, sir.
Escal. Alas! it bath been great pains to you! They do you wrong to put you so oft upon't: Are there not men in your ward sufficient to serve it?
Elb. Faith, fir, few of any wit in such matters : as they
4 i. e. take measures. STLEVEN SO
5 A bay of building is, in many parts of England, a common term, of which the best conception that ever I could obtain, is, that it is the space between the main beams of the roof; so that a barn crofled twice with beams is a barn of three bays. JOHNSON.