Measure for Measure By William Shakespeare Act III

SCENE II. The Street before the Prison.

[Enter DUKE, as a Friar; to him, ELBOW, CLOWN and Officers.]

ELBOW.
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.

DUKE.
O heavens! what stuff is here?

CLOWN.
'Twas never merry world since, of two usuries, the merriest was
put down, and the worser allowed by order of law a furred gown
to keep him warm; and furred with fox on lamb-skins too, to
signify that craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the
facing.

ELBOW.
Come your way, sir. — Bless you, good father friar.

DUKE.
And you, good brother father. What offence hath this man made
you, sir?

ELBOW.
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 deputy.

DUKE.
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.

CLOWN.
Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir; but yet, sir, I would
prove —

DUKE.
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.

ELBOW.
He must before the deputy, sir; he has given him warning:
The deputy cannot abide a whoremaster: if he be a whoremaster,
and comes before him, he were as good go a mile on his errand.

DUKE.
That we were all, as some would seem to be,
Free from our faults, as faults from seeming free!

ELBOW.
His neck will come to your waist, a cord, sir.

CLOWN.
I spy comfort; I cry bail! Here's a gentleman, and a friend of
mine.

[Enter LUCIO.]

LUCIO.
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' the last rain,
ha? What say'st thou to't? Is the world as it was, man? Which
is the way? Is it sad, and few words? or how? The trick of it?

DUKE.
Still thus, and thus! still worse!

LUCIO.
How doth my dear morsel, thy mistress? Procures she still, ha?

CLOWN.
Troth, sir, she hath eaten up all her beef, and she is herself in
the tub.

LUCIO.
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 prison, Pompey?

CLOWN.
Yes, faith, sir.

LUCIO.
Why, 'tis not amiss, Pompey. Farewell; go, say I sent thee
thither. For debt, Pompey? or how?

ELBOW.
For being a bawd, for being a bawd.

LUCIO.
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 house.

CLOWN.
I hope, sir, your good worship will be my bail.

LUCIO.
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.

DUKE.
And you.

LUCIO.
Does Bridget paint still, Pompey, ha?

ELBOW.
Come your ways, sir; come.

CLOWN.
You will not bail me then, sir?

LUCIO.
Then, Pompey, nor now. — What news abroad, friar? what news?

ELBOW.
Come your ways, sir; come.

LUCIO.
Go, — to kennel, Pompey, go:

[Exeunt ELBOW, CLOWN, and Officers.]

What news, friar, of the duke?

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