The Bodleian First Folio

A digital facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, Bodleian Arch. G c.7.

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Reference: F3r - Comedies, p. 65

Left Column

Measure for Measure. Another thing to fall: I not deny The Iury passing on the Prisoners life May in the sworne‑twelue haue a thiefe, or two Guiltier then him they try; what's open made to Iustice,
That Iustice ceizes; What knowes the Lawes That theeues do passe on theeues? 'Tis very pregnant, The Iewell that we finde, we stoope, and take't, Because we see it; but what we doe not see, We tread vpon, and neuer thinke of it.
You may not so extenuate his offence, For I haue had such faults; but rather tell me When I, that censure him, do so offend, Let mine owne Iudgement patterne out my death, And nothing come in partiall. Sir, he must dye.
Enter Prouost. Esc.
Be it as your wisedome will.
Ang. Where is the Prouost? Pro. Here if it like your honour. Ang. See that Claudio Be executed by nine to morrow morning,
Bring him his Confessor, let him be prepar'd, For that's the vtmost of his pilgrimage.
Esc. Well: heauen forgiue him; and forgiue vs all: Some rise by sinne, and some by vertue fall: Some run from brakes of Ice, and answere none,
And some condemned for a fault alone.
Enter Elbow, Froth, Clowne, Officers. Elb.

Come, bring them away: if these be good peo­

ple in a Common‑weale, that doe nothing but vse their

abuses in common houses, I know no law: bring them away.


How now Sir, what's your name? And what's


the matter?


If it please your honour, I am the poore

Dukes Constable, and my name is Elbow; I doe leane vpon Ius­

tice Sir, and doe bring in here before your good honor,

two notorious Benefactors.

Benefactors? Well: What Benefactors are they? Are they not Malefactors?

If it please your honour, I know not well what

they are: But precise villaines they are, that I am sure of,

and void of all prophanation in the world, that good


Christians ought to haue.

Esc. This comes off well: here's a wise Officer. Ang.

Goe to: What quality are they of? Elbow is

your name?

Why do'st thou not speake Elbow?


He cannot Sir: he's out at Elbow.


What are you Sir?


He Sir: a Tapster Sir: parcell Baud: one that

serues a bad woman: whose house Sir was (as they say)

pluckt downe in the Suborbs: and now shee professes a hotߛhouse; which, I thinke is a very ill house too.


How know you that?


My wife Sir? whom I detest before heauen, and

your honour.


How? thy wife?


I Sir: whom I thanke heauen is an honest wo­




Do'st thou detest her therefore?


I say sir, I will detest; my selfe also, as well as she,

that this house, if it be not a Bauds house, it is pitty of her life,

for it is a naughty house.


How do'st thou know that, Constable?


Marry sir, by my wife, who, if she had bin a wo­

man Cardinally giuen, might haue bin accus'd in forn­

Right Column

ication, adultery, and all vncleanlinesse there.


By the womans meanes?


I sir, by Mistris Ouerߛdons meanes: but as she spit

in his face, so she defide him.


Sir, if it please your honor, this is not so.


Proue it before these varlets here, thou honora­ble

man, proue it.


Doe you heare how he misplaces?


Sir, she came in great with childe: and longing

(sauing your honors reuerence) for stewd prewyns; sir,

we had but two in the house, which at that very distant

time stood, as it were in a fruit dish (a dish of some three


pence; your honours haue seene such dishes) they are not

China‑dishes, but very good dishes.


Go too: go too: no matter for the dish sir.


No indeede sir not of a pin; you are therein in

the right: but, to the point: As I say, this Mistris Elbow,


being (as I say) with childe, and being great bellied, and

longing (as I said) for prewyns: and hauing but two in

the dish (as I said) Master Froth here, this very man, ha­

uing eaten the rest (as I said) & (as I say) paying for them

very honestly: for, as you know Master Froth, I could not


giue you three pence againe.


No indeede.


Very well: you being then (if you be remem­

bred) cracking the stones of the foresaid prewyns.


I, so I did indeede.


Why, very well: I telling you then (if you be

remembred) that such a one, and such a one, were past

cure of the thing you wot of, vnlesse they kept very good

diet, as I told you.


All this is true.


Why very well then.


Come: you are a tedious foole: to the purpose:

what was done to Elbowes wife, that hee hath cause to

complaine of? Come me to what was done to her.


Sir, your honor cannot come to that yet.


No sir, nor I meane it not.


Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honours

leaue: And I beseech you, looke into Master Froth here

sir, a man of foure‑score pound a yeare; whose father

died at Hallowmas: Was't not at Hallowmas Master Froth?




Why very well: I hope here be truthes: he Sir,

sitting (as I say) in a lower chaire, Sir, 'twas in the bunch

of Grapes, where indeede you haue a delight to sit, haue

you not?


I haue so, because it is an open roome, and good for winter.


Why very well then: I hope here be truthes.


This will last out a night in Russia

When nights are longest there: Ile take my leaue,

And leaue you to the hearing of the cause;


Hoping youle finde good cause to whip them all.

Exit. Esc.

I thinke no lesse: good morrow to your Lord­

ship. Now Sir, come on: What was done to Elbowes

wife, once more?


Once Sir? there was nothing done to her once.


I beseech you Sir, aske him what this man did to

my wife.


I beseech your honor, aske me.


Well sir, what did this Gentleman to her?


I beseech you sir, looke in this Gentlemans face:


good Master Froth looke vpon his honor; 'tis for a good

purpose: doth your honor marke his face?

F3 Esc. I

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