Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editors: Kristin Lucas, Herbert Weil
Not Peer Reviewed

Measure for Measure (Folio, 1623)

Measure for Measure.
Esc. I sir, very well.
Clo. Nay, I beseech you marke it well.
Esc. Well, I doe so.
Clo. Doth your honor see any harme in his face?
605Esc. Why no.
Clo. Ile be supposd vpon a booke, his face is the worst
thing about him: good then: if his face be the worst
thing about him, how could Master Froth doe the Con-
stables wife any harme? I would know that of your
Esc. He's in the right (Constable) what say you to it?
Elb. First, and it like you, the house is a respected
house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his Mistris is
a respected woman.
615Clo. By this hand Sir, his wife is a more respected per-
son then any of vs all.
Elb. Varlet, thou lyest; thou lyest wicked varlet: the
time is yet to come that shee was euer respected with
man, woman, or childe.
620Clo. Sir, she was respected with him, before he mar-
ried with her.
Esc. Which is the wiser here; Iustice or Iniquitie? Is
this true?
Elb. O thou caytiffe: O thou varlet: O thou wick-
625ed Hanniball; I respected with her, before I was married
to her? If euer I was respected with her, or she with me,
let not your worship thinke mee the poore Dukes Offi-
cer: proue this, thou wicked Hanniball, or ile haue
mine action of battry on thee.
630Esc. If he tooke you a box o'th' eare, you might haue
your action of slander too.
Elb. Marry I thanke your good worship for it: what
is't your Worships pleasure I shall doe with this wick-
ed Caitiffe?
635Esc. Truly Officer, because he hath some offences in
him, that thou wouldst discouer, if thou couldst, let him
continue in his courses, till thou knowst what they are.
Elb. Marry I thanke your worship for it: Thou seest
thou wicked varlet now, what's come vpon thee. Thou
640art to continue now thou Varlet, thou art to continue.
Esc. Where were you borne, friend?
Froth. Here in Vienna, Sir.
Esc. Are you of fourescore pounds a yeere?
Froth. Yes, and't please you sir.
645Esc. So: what trade are you of, sir?
Clo. A Tapster, a poore widdowes Tapster.
Esc. Your Mistris name?
Clo. Mistris Ouer- don.
Esc. Hath she had any more then one husband?
650Clo. Nine, sir: Ouer-don by the last.
Esc. Nine? come hether to me, Master Froth; Master
Froth, I would not haue you acquainted with Tapsters;
they will draw you Master Froth, and you wil hang them:
get you gon, and let me heare no more of you.
655Fro. I thanke your worship: for mine owne part, I
neuer come into any roome in a Tap-house, but I am
drawne in.
Esc. Well: no more of it Master Froth: farewell:
Come you hether to me, M. Tapster: what's your name
660Mr. Tapster?
Clo. Pompey.
Esc. What else?
Clo. Bum, Sir.
Esc. Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about
665you, so that in the beastliest sence, you are Pompey the
great; Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey; howso-
euer you colour it in being a Tapster, are you not? come,
tell me true, it shall be the better for you.
Clo. Truly sir, I am a poore fellow that would liue.
670Esc. How would you liue Pompey? by being a bawd?
what doe you thinke of the trade Pompey? is it a lawfull
Clo. If the Law would allow it, sir.
Esc. But the Law will not allow it Pompey; nor it
675shall not be allowed in Vienna.
Clo. Do's your Worship meane to geld and splay all
the youth of the City?
Esc. No, Pompey.
Clo. Truely Sir, in my poore opinion they will too't
680then: if your worship will take order for the drabs and
the knaues, you need not to feare the bawds.
Esc. There is pretty orders beginning I can tell you:
It is but heading, and hanging.
Clo. If you head, and hang all that offend that way
685but for ten yeare together; you'll be glad to giue out a
Commission for more heads: if this law hold in Vienna
ten yeare, ile rent the fairest house in it after three pence
a Bay: if you liue to see this come to passe, say Pompey
told you so.
690Esc. Thanke you good Pompey; and in requitall of
your prophesie, harke you: I aduise you let me not finde
you before me againe vpon any complaint whatsoeuer;
no, not for dwelling where you doe: if I doe Pompey, I
shall beat you to your Tent, and proue a shrewd Casar
695to you: in plaine dealing Pompey, I shall haue you whipt;
so for this time, Pompey, fare you well.
Clo. I thanke your Worship for your good counsell;
but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall better
determine. Whip me? no, no, let Carman whip his Iade,
700The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade.
Esc. Come hether to me, Master Elbow: come hither
Master Constable: how long haue you bin in this place
of Constable?
Elb. Seuen yeere, and a halfe sir.
705Esc. I thought by the readinesse in the office, you had
continued in it some time: you say seauen yeares toge-
Elb. And a halfe sir.
Esc. Alas, it hath beene great paines to you: they do
710you wrong to put you so oft vpon't. Are there not men
in your Ward sufficient to serue it?
Elb. 'Faith sir, few of any wit in such matters: as they
are chosen, they are glad to choose me for them; I do it
for some peece of money, and goe through with all.
715Esc. Looke you bring mee in the names of some sixe
or seuen, the most sufficient of your parish.
Elb. To your Worships house sir?
Esc. To my house: fare you well: what's a clocke,
thinke you?
720Iust. Eleuen, Sir.
Esc. I pray you home to dinner with me.
Iust. I humbly thanke you.
Esc. It grieues me for the death of Claudio
But there's no remedie:
725Iust. Lord Angelo is seuere.
Esc. It is but needfull.
Mercy is not it selfe, that oft lookes so,
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe:
But yet, poore Claudio; there is no remedie.
730Come Sir.