Measure for Measure

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 9

Original Text

Modern Text

Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What’s your
name, Master tapster?
Come here, Mr. Bartender. What’s your name, Mr. Bartender?

POMPEY

Pompey.

POMPEY

Pompey.

ESCALUS

205What else?

ESCALUS

What else?

POMPEY

Bum, sir.

POMPEY

Ass, sir.

ESCALUS

Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you;
so that in the beastliest sense you are Pompey the
Great. Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey,
210howsoever you colour it in being a tapster, are you
not? come, tell me true: it shall be the better for you.

ESCALUS

Yes, and your ass is the biggest thing about you, so in the crudest sense you are Pompey the Great. Pompey, you’re a part-time pimp, however much you hide it by bartending, aren’t you? Come on, it’ll be better for you if you tell me the truth.

POMPEY

Truly, sir, I am a poor fellow that would live.

POMPEY

Honestly, sir, I’m a poor man just trying to earn a living.

ESCALUS

How would you live, Pompey? by being a bawd? What
do you think of the trade, Pompey? is it a lawful trade?

ESCALUS

How would you live, Pompey? By being a pimp? What
do you think of that profession, Pompey? Is it a legal profession?

POMPEY

215If the law would allow it, sir.

POMPEY

If the law allowed it, sir.

ESCALUS

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

ESCALUS

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

POMPEY

Does your worship mean to geld and splay all the
youth of the city?

POMPEY

Does your worship mean to castrate and spay all the young men and women in town?

ESCALUS

220No, Pompey.

ESCALUS

No, Pompey.

POMPEY

Truly, sir, in my poor opinion, they will to’t then.
If your worship will take order for the drabs and
the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds.

POMPEY

Then, sir, in my poor opinion, they’ll get it on. If your worship would make arrangements for the whores and their clients, you wouldn’t need to fear the pimps.

ESCALUS

There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell you:
225it is but heading and hanging.

ESCALUS

I can tell you, we’re introducing some strong penalties— specifically, beheading and hanging.

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