• Enter FLAVIUS, MURELLUS, a CARPENTER, a COBBLER, and certain other COMMONERS over the stage

    FLAVIUS

    Hence! Home, you idle creatures get you home!
    Is this a holiday? What, know you not,
    Being mechanical, you ought not walk
    Upon a laboring day without the sign
    5Of your profession?—Speak, what trade art thou?

    CARPENTER

    Why, sir, a carpenter.

    MURELLUS

    Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
    What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
    —You, sir, what trade are you?

    COBBLER

    10Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but, as you would say, a cobbler.

    MURELLUS

    But what trade art thou? Answer me directly.

    COBBLER

    A trade, sir, that I hope I may use with a safe conscience, which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.

    MURELLUS

    15What trade, thou knave? Thou naughty knave, what trade?

    COBBLER

    Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me. Yet, if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

    MURELLUS

    What mean’st thou by that? “Mend” me, thou saucy fellow?
  • FLAVIUS and MURELLUS enter and speak to a CARPENTER, a COBBLER, and some other commoners.

    FLAVIUS

    Get out of here! Go home, you lazy men. What, is today a holiday? Don’t you know that working men aren’t supposed to walk around on a workday without wearing their work clothes? You there, speak up. What’s your occupation?

    CARPENTER

    I’m a carpenter, sir.

    MURELLUS

    Where are your leather apron and your ruler? What are you doing, wearing your best clothes? And you, sir, what’s your trade?

    COBBLER

    Well, compared to a fine workman, you might call me a mere cobbler.

    MURELLUS

    But what’s your trade? Answer me straightforwardly.

    COBBLER

    It is a trade, sir, that I practice with a clear conscience. I am a mender of worn soles.

    MURELLUS

    What trade, boy? You insolent rascal, what trade?

    COBBLER

    Sir, please, don’t be angry. But if your soles are worn out, I can mend you.

    MURELLUS

    What do you mean by that? “Mend” me, you impertinent fellow?!