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Escal. 'Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you?; so that, in the beastliest sense,

7- greatest thing about you ;) Greene, in one of his pieces, mentions the “great bumme of Paris.Again, in Tyro's Roaring Megge, 1598 :

Tyro's round breeches have a cliffe behind.” Steevens. Harrison, in his Description of Britain, prefixed to Holinshed's Chronicle, condemns the excess of apparel amongst' his countrymen, and thus proceeds : “ Neither can we be more justly burdened with any reproche than inordinate behaviour in apparell, for which most nations deride us ; as also for that we men doe seeme to bestowe most cost upon our arses, and much more than upon all the rest of our bodies, as women do likewise


their heads and shoulders.” 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. p. 86. Douce.

But perhaps an ancient MS. ballad, entitled, A Lamentable Complaint of the Poor Country Men againste great Hose, for the Losse of there Cattelles Tailes, Mus. Brit. MŠ. Harl. 367, may throw further light on the subject, This ballad consists of 41 stanzas, From these the following are selected :

5. “ For proude and paynted parragenns,

“ And monstrous breched beares,
6. This realme almost hath cleane distroy'd,

“ Which I reporte with teares.
9. “ And chefely those of eache degree

6. Who monstrous hose delyght,
“ As monsters fell, have done to us
“ Most

hurte and spyte.
11. “ As now of late in lesser thinges

“ To furnyshe forthe theare pryde,
• With woole, with flaxe, with hare also,

“ To make theare bryches wyde.
12. “ What hurte and damage doth ensew
And fall



“ For want of woll and flax of late,

" Which monnstrus hose devore.-
14. “ But heare hath so possessed of late

“ The bryche of every knave,
66 That none one beast nor horse can tell

So Which waye his tale to saufe.

you are Pompey the great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, howsoever 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 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, sir.

Escal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey; nor it shall not be allowed in Vienna.

Clo. Does your worship mean to geld and spay all the youth in the city ?

23. “ And that with speede to take awaye

Great bryches as the cause
“ Of all this hurte, or ealse to make

“ Some sharpe and houlsome lawes.-
39. “ So that in fyne the charytie

“ Whiche Chrysten men should save, “ By dyvers wayes is blemyshed,

“ To boulster breaches brave.
40. “ But now for that noe remedye

As yet cann wel be founde,
" I wolde that suche as weare this heare

“ Weare well and trewly bounde,
41. “ With every heare a louse to have,

“ To stuffe their breyches oute;
“ And then I trust they wolde not weare
“ Nor beare suche baggs about.

“ Finis.”

a she

See also, in the Persones Tale of Chaucer :

" and eke the buttokkes of hem behinde, that faren as it were the hinder part of


in the ful of the mone.” In consequence of a diligent inspection of ancient pictures and prints, it may be pronounced that this ridiculous fashion appeared in the early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign, then declined, and recommenced at the beginning of that of James the First.


EscAL. No, Pompey.

Clo. Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to't then: If your worship will take order 8 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 you live to see this come to pass, say, Pompey 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 whipt: so for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Cio. I thank your worship for your good counsel; but I shall follow it, as the flesh and fortune shall better determine.



take order-] i. e. take measures. So, in Othello :
“ Honest Iago hath ta'en order for’t.” STEEVENS.

- I'll rent the fairest house in it, after three pence a BAY:] 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 crossed twice with beams is a barn of three bays. Johnson.

that by the yearly birth “ The large-bay'd barn doth fill,” &c. I forgot to take down the title of the work from which this instance is adopted. Again, in Hall's Virgidemiarum, lib. iv.:

“ His rent in faire respondence must arise,
To double trebles of his one yeares price;
Of one bayes breadth, God wot, a silly cote
“Whose thatched spars are furr'd with sluttish soote.”


Whip me ? No, no; let carmen whip his jade;
The valiant heart's not whipt 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.

Escal. Alas! it hath 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, 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 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.

Elb. To your worship's house, sir ?

Escal. To my house : Fare you well. [Exit Elbow.] What's o'clock, think you ?

Just. Eleven, sir.
Escal. I pray you home to dinner with me.
Just. I humbly thank you.

Escal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio; But there's no remedy.

Just. Lord Angelo is severe.

It is but needful :
Mercy is not itself, that oft looks so ;
Pardon is still the nurse of second woe :

1 — hy Your readiness —] Old copy—the readiness. Corrected by Mr. Pope. In the MSS. of our author's age, yo. and y". (for so they were frequently written) were easily confounded.


But yet, -Poor Claudio !—There's no remedy.
Come, sir.



Another Room in the Same.

Enter Provost and a Servant. Serv. He's hearing of a cause ; he will come

straight. I'll tell him of you.

Prov. Pray you, do. (Exit Servant.] I'll know His pleasure ; may be, he will relent: Alas, He hath but as offended in a dream! All sects, all ages smack of this vice; and he To die for it!

Enter ANGELO. Ang.

Now, what's the matter, provost ? Prov. Is it your will Claudio shall die to-mor

row ?

Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea ? hadst thou not

order ? Why dost thou ask again ? Prov.

Lest I might be too rash : Under your good correction, I have seen, When, after execution, judgment hath Repented o'er his doom. Ang.

Go to; let that be mine: Do you your office, or give up your place, And you shall well be spar'd. PROV.

I crave your honour's pardon.What shall be done, sir, with the groaning Juliet ? She's very near her hour. Ang.

Dispose of her To some more fitter place; and that with speed.

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