Speeches (Lines) for Pompey
in "Measure for Measure"

Total: 60

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

I,2,177

Mistress Overdone. Thus, what with the war, what with the sweat, what
with the gallows and what with poverty, I am
custom-shrunk.
[Enter POMPEY]
How now! what's the news with you?

Pompey. Yonder man is carried to prison.


2

I,2,179

Mistress Overdone. Well; what has he done?

Pompey. A woman.


3

I,2,181

Mistress Overdone. But what's his offence?

Pompey. Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.


4

I,2,183

Mistress Overdone. What, is there a maid with child by him?

Pompey. No, but there's a woman with maid by him. You have
not heard of the proclamation, have you?


5

I,2,186

Mistress Overdone. What proclamation, man?

Pompey. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna must be plucked down.


6

I,2,188

Mistress Overdone. And what shall become of those in the city?

Pompey. They shall stand for seed: they had gone down too,
but that a wise burgher put in for them.


7

I,2,192

Mistress Overdone. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be
pulled down?

Pompey. To the ground, mistress.


8

I,2,195

Mistress Overdone. Why, here's a change indeed in the commonwealth!
What shall become of me?

Pompey. Come; fear you not: good counsellors lack no
clients: though you change your place, you need not
change your trade; I'll be your tapster still.
Courage! there will be pity taken on you: you that
have worn your eyes almost out in the service, you
will be considered.


9

I,2,202

Mistress Overdone. What's to do here, Thomas tapster? let's withdraw.

Pompey. Here comes Signior Claudio, led by the provost to
prison; and there's Madam Juliet.


10

II,1,515

Angelo. Go to: what quality are they of? Elbow is your
name? why dost thou not speak, Elbow?

Pompey. He cannot, sir; he's out at elbow.


11

II,1,536

Elbow. Ay, sir, by Mistress Overdone's means: but as she
spit in his face, so she defied him.

Pompey. Sir, if it please your honour, this is not so.


12

II,1,540

Escalus. Do you hear how he misplaces?

Pompey. Sir, she came in great with child; and longing,
saving your honour's reverence, for stewed prunes;
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 have seen
such dishes; they are not China dishes, but very
good dishes,—


13

II,1,548

Escalus. Go to, go to: no matter for the dish, sir.

Pompey. No, indeed, sir, not of a pin; you are therein in
the right: but to the point. As I say, this
Mistress Elbow, being, as I say, with child, and
being great-bellied, and longing, as I said, for
prunes; and having but two in the dish, as I said,
Master Froth here, this very man, having eaten the
rest, as I said, and, as I say, paying for them very
honestly; for, as you know, Master Froth, I could
not give you three-pence again.


14

II,1,558

Froth. No, indeed.

Pompey. Very well: you being then, if you be remembered,
cracking the stones of the foresaid prunes,—


15

II,1,561

Froth. Ay, so I did indeed.

Pompey. Why, very well; I telling you then, if you be
remembered, that such a one and such a one were past
cure of the thing you wot of, unless they kept very
good diet, as I told you,—


16

II,1,566

Froth. All this is true.

Pompey. Why, very well, then,—


17

II,1,570

Escalus. Come, you are a tedious fool: to the purpose. What
was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath cause to
complain of? Come me to what was done to her.

Pompey. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet.


18

II,1,572

Escalus. No, sir, nor I mean it not.

Pompey. Sir, but you shall come to it, by your honour's
leave. And, I beseech you, look into Master Froth
here, sir; a man of four-score pound a year; whose
father died at Hallowmas: was't not at Hallowmas,
Master Froth?


19

II,1,578

Froth. All-hallond eve.

Pompey. Why, very well; I hope here be truths. He, sir,
sitting, as I say, in a lower chair, sir; 'twas in
the Bunch of Grapes, where indeed you have a delight
to sit, have you not?


20

II,1,583

Froth. I have so; because it is an open room and good for winter.

Pompey. Why, very well, then; I hope here be truths.


21

II,1,591

Escalus. I think no less. Good morrow to your lordship.
[Exit ANGELO]
Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?

Pompey. Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once.


22

II,1,593

Elbow. I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.

Pompey. I beseech your honour, ask me.


23

II,1,595

Escalus. Well, sir; what did this gentleman to her?

Pompey. I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face.
Good Master Froth, look upon his honour; 'tis for a
good purpose. Doth your honour mark his face?


24

II,1,599

Escalus. Ay, sir, very well.

Pompey. Nay; I beseech you, mark it well.


25

II,1,601

Escalus. Well, I do so.

Pompey. Doth your honour see any harm in his face?


26

II,1,603

Escalus. Why, no.

Pompey. I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst
thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the
worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the
constable's wife any harm? I would know that of
your honour.


27

II,1,612

Elbow. First, an it like you, the house is a respected
house; next, this is a respected fellow; and his
mistress is a respected woman.

Pompey. By this hand, sir, his wife is a more respected
person than any of us all.


28

II,1,617

Elbow. Varlet, thou liest; thou liest, wicked varlet! the
time has yet to come that she was ever respected
with man, woman, or child.

Pompey. Sir, she was respected with him before he married with her.


29

II,1,642

Escalus. So. What trade are you of, sir?

Pompey. Tapster; a poor widow's tapster.


30

II,1,644

Escalus. Your mistress' name?

Pompey. Mistress Overdone.


31

II,1,646

Escalus. Hath she had any more than one husband?

Pompey. Nine, sir; Overdone by the last.


32

II,1,659

Escalus. Well, no more of it, Master Froth: farewell.
[Exit FROTH]
Come you hither to me, Master tapster. What's your
name, Master tapster?

Pompey. Pompey.


33

II,1,661

Escalus. What else?

Pompey. Bum, sir.


34

II,1,667

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,
howsoever you colour it in being a tapster, are you
not? come, tell me true: it shall be the better for you.

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


35

II,1,670

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

Pompey. If the law would allow it, sir.


36

II,1,673

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

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


37

II,1,676

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.


38

II,1,681

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

Pompey. 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.


39

II,1,694

Escalus. 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
Caesar to you; in plain dealing, Pompey, I shall
have you whipt: so, for this time, Pompey, fare you well.

Pompey. I thank your worship for your good counsel:
[Aside]
but I shall follow it as the flesh and fortune shall
better determine.
Whip me? No, no; let carman whip his jade:
The valiant heart is not whipt out of his trade.


40

III,2,1518

Vincentio. O heavens! what stuff is here

Pompey. '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 and lamb-skins too, to signify, that
craft, being richer than innocency, stands for the facing.


41

III,2,1539

Vincentio. 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.

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


42

III,2,1552

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

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


43

III,2,1568

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

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


44

III,2,1574

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?

Pompey. Yes, faith, sir.


45

III,2,1584

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.

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


46

III,2,1592

Elbow. Come your ways, sir; come.

Pompey. You will not bail me, then, sir?


47

IV,2,1887

Provost. Come hither, sirrah. Can you cut off a man's head?

Pompey. If the man be a bachelor, sir, I can; but if he be a
married man, he's his wife's head, and I can never
cut off a woman's head.


48

IV,2,1899

Provost. Come, sir, leave me your snatches, and yield me a
direct answer. To-morrow morning are to die Claudio
and Barnardine. Here is in our prison a common
executioner, who in his office lacks a helper: if
you will take it on you to assist him, it shall
redeem you from your gyves; if not, you shall have
your full time of imprisonment and your deliverance
with an unpitied whipping, for you have been a
notorious bawd.

Pompey. Sir, I have been an unlawful bawd time out of mind;
but yet I will be content to be a lawful hangman. I
would be glad to receive some instruction from my
fellow partner.


49

IV,2,1915

(stage directions). [Exit]

Pompey. Pray, sir, by your good favour,—for surely, sir, a
good favour you have, but that you have a hanging
look,—do you call, sir, your occupation a mystery?


50

IV,2,1919

Abhorson. Ay, sir; a mystery

Pompey. Painting, sir, I have heard say, is a mystery; and
your whores, sir, being members of my occupation,
using painting, do prove my occupation a mystery:
but what mystery there should be in hanging, if I
should be hanged, I cannot imagine.


51

IV,2,1925

Abhorson. Sir, it is a mystery.

Pompey. Proof?


52

IV,2,1933

Provost. Are you agreed?

Pompey. Sir, I will serve him; for I do find your hangman is
a more penitent trade than your bawd; he doth
oftener ask forgiveness.


53

IV,2,1939

Abhorson. Come on, bawd; I will instruct thee in my trade; follow.

Pompey. I do desire to learn, sir: and I hope, if you have
occasion to use me for your own turn, you shall find
me yare; for truly, sir, for your kindness I owe you
a good turn.


54

IV,3,2117

(stage directions). [Enter POMPEY]

Pompey. I am as well acquainted here as I was in our house
of profession: one would think it were Mistress
Overdone's own house, for here be many of her old
customers. First, here's young Master Rash; he's in
for a commodity of brown paper and old ginger,
ninescore and seventeen pounds; of which he made
five marks, ready money: marry, then ginger was not
much in request, for the old women were all dead.
Then is there here one Master Caper, at the suit of
Master Three-pile the mercer, for some four suits of
peach-coloured satin, which now peaches him a
beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and young
Master Deep-vow, and Master Copperspur, and Master
Starve-lackey the rapier and dagger man, and young
Drop-heir that killed lusty Pudding, and Master
Forthlight the tilter, and brave Master Shooty the
great traveller, and wild Half-can that stabbed
Pots, and, I think, forty more; all great doers in
our trade, and are now 'for the Lord's sake.'


55

IV,3,2138

Abhorson. Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither.

Pompey. Master Barnardine! you must rise and be hanged.
Master Barnardine!


56

IV,3,2143

Barnardine. [Within] A pox o' your throats! Who makes that
noise there? What are you?

Pompey. Your friends, sir; the hangman. You must be so
good, sir, to rise and be put to death.


57

IV,3,2147

Abhorson. Tell him he must awake, and that quickly too.

Pompey. Pray, Master Barnardine, awake till you are
executed, and sleep afterwards.


58

IV,3,2150

Abhorson. Go in to him, and fetch him out.

Pompey. He is coming, sir, he is coming; I hear his straw rustle.


59

IV,3,2152

Abhorson. Is the axe upon the block, sirrah?

Pompey. Very ready, sir.


60

IV,3,2159

Barnardine. You rogue, I have been drinking all night; I am not
fitted for 't.

Pompey. O, the better, sir; for he that drinks all night,
and is hanged betimes in the morning, may sleep the
sounder all the next day.


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