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How has abuse deform'd thee to all eyes,
That where thy virtues sat, thy vices rise !
Yet why so rashly for one villain's fault
Do I arraign whole man? Admired Law,
Thy upper parts must needs be sacred, pure,
And incorruptible; they're grave and wise:
'Tis but the dross beneath 'em, and the clouds
That get between thy glory and their praise,
That make the visible and foul eclipse;
For those that are near to thee are upright,
As noble in their conscience as their birth;
Know that damnation is in every bribe,
And rarely? put it off from 'em: rate the presenters,
And scourge 'em with five years' imprisonment,
For offering but to tempt 'em.
Thus is true justice exercis'd and us'd;
Woe to the giver when the bribe's refused !
'Tis not their will to have law worse than war,
Where still the poor'st die first;
To send a man without a sheet to his grave,
Or bury him in his papers;
'Tis not their mind it should be, nor to have
A suit hang longer than a man in chains,
Let him be ne'er so fasten'd. They least know
That are above, the tedious steps below.”

The following is a scene between Falso, who is a justice of the peace, and some suitors :

First Suitor. May it please your good worship, master justice

Falso. Please me and please yourself: that's my word.

First Suit. The party your worship sent for will by no means be brought to appear.

i Finely, nobly.


Fal. He will not? then, what would you advise me to do therein ?

First Suit. Only to grant your worship's warrant, which is of sufficient force to compel him.

Fal. No, by my faith, you shall not have me in that trap: am I sworn justice of peace, and shall I give my warrant to fetch a man against his will? Why, there the peace is broken.

We must do all quietly: if he come, he's welcome; and as far as I can see yet, he's a fool to be absent - ay, by this gold is he, which he gave me this morning. (Aside.)

First Suit. Why, but may it please your good worshipFal. I say again, please me and please yourself:

. that's my

word still. First Suit. Sir, the world esteems it a favor, upon the contempt of the party, the justice to grant his warrant.

Fal. Ay, 'tis so common, 'tis the worse again : 'twere the better for me were't otherwise.

First Suit. I protest, sir, and this gentleman can say as much, it lies upon my half-undoing.

Fal. I cannot see yet that it should be so, - I see not a cross yet. (Aside.)

First Suit. I beseech your worship, shew me your immediate favour, and accept this small trifle but as a remembrance to my succeeding thankfulness.

Fal. Angels? I'll not meddle with 'em : you give 'em to my wife, not to me.

First Suit. Ay, ay, sir.

Fal. But I pray tell me now, did the party viva voce with his own mouth, deliver that contempt, that he would not appear, or did you but jest in't?


First Suit. Jest? no, a' my troth, sir : such was his insolent answer.

Fal. And do you think it stood with my credit to put up such an abuse? Will he not appear, says he? I'll make him appear with a vengeance. Latronello ! (Enter Latronello.)

Lat. Does your worship call?

Fal. Draw me a strong-limbed warrant for the gentleman speedily: he will be bountiful to thee. Go and thank him within.

First Suit. I shall know your worship hereafter.

Fal. Ay, I pray thee do. (Exeunt Suitors with Latronello.) Two angels, one party, four another; and I think it a great spark of wisdom and policy, if a man come to me for justice, first, to know his griefs by his fees, which be light, and which be heavy: he may counterfeit else, and make me do justice for nothing ; I like not that; for where I mean to be just, let me be paid well for it: the deed so rare purges the bribe.”

A fencing-match ensues between Falso and Tangle, introductory to which the latter describes the weap


Tang. Your longsword, that's a writ of delay.

Fal. Mass, that sword's long enough, indeed: I ha' known it to reach the length of fifteen terms.

Tang. Fifteen terms ? that's but a short sword.
Fal. Methinks 'tis long enough : proceed, sir.

Tang. A writ of delay, longsword; scandala magnatum, backsword.

Fal. Scandals are backswords, indeed.
Tang. Capias cominus, case of rapiers.
Fal. O desperate !

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