• The street before the prison.
    Enter, on one side, DUKE VINCENTIO disguised as before; on the other, ELBOW, and Officers with POMPEY

    ELBOW

    Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that you will
    needs buy and sell men and women like beasts, we
    shall have all the world drink brown and white bastard.

    DUKE VINCENTIO

    O heavens! what stuff is here

    POMPEY

    5’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.

    ELBOW

    10Come your way, sir. ’Bless you, good father friar.

    DUKE VINCENTIO

    And you, good brother father. What offence hath
    this man made you, sir?

    ELBOW

    Marry, sir, he hath offended the law: and, sir, we
    take him to be a thief too, sir; for we have found
    15upon him, sir, a strange picklock, which we have
    sent to the deputy.

    DUKE 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
    20What ’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,
    25So stinkingly depending? Go mend, go mend.
  • The street outside the prison.
    DUKE VINCENTIO, disguised as before, enters on one side. ELBOW and officers with POMPEY enter on the other.

    ELBOW

    No, but if you go on buying and selling men and women like beasts, everyone in the world will end up spawning bastards.

    DUKE VINCENTIO

    Oh, heavens! What nonsense is this?

    POMPEY

    Life’s become a lot less fun since the law took two crimes—prostitution and moneylending—and suppressed the one that was the most fun, while condoning the worse of the two. The thriving moneylender wraps himself in a warm fur coat, made of skins from the innocent lamb and trimmed in fur from the crafty fox, proving that craftiness is worth more than innocence.

    ELBOW

    Come along, sir. Bless you, good father friar.

    father friar

    this greeting makes no sense since friar means brother, hence the Duke’s mocking response

    DUKE VINCENTIO

    And you, good brother father. How has this man offended you, sir?

    ELBOW

    Actually, sir, he has offended the law. And, sir, we
    take him to be a thief too, sir, because we found
    on him, sir, a strange device for picking locks, which we have sent to the deputy.

    picking locks

    presumably for picking the locks on chastity belts

    DUKE VINCENTIO

    (to POMPEY) Shame, sirrah! A pimp, a wicked pimp! You support yourself by doing evil. Do you ever stop to think what it is to stuff your mouth or clothe your back from such a filthy vice? Say to yourself, I eat, dress myself, and live off abominable, beastly sex. Can you believe your way of life is a life, when it’s dependent on such stinking acts? Change your ways, change your ways.

    sirrah

    a title used to address a male inferior