Every Man in His Humour

by

Ben Jonson

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Justice Clement Character Analysis

Justice Clement is a rambunctious old man who acts as the play’s legal authority. His most important role is at the end of the play, in which he draws proceedings to a relatively forced resolution. He points out that Wellbred has tricked Kitely and Dame Kitely into each thinking the other is adulterous. He is not a clear-cut morally virtuous or disinterested figure, however, as he praises Brainworm for the “wit” of his deceptive actions throughout the play. He reserves special hatred for Bobadil and Matthew, both of whom he thinks are false (as a soldier and poet respectively). Clement concludes the play by ordering a banquet to celebrate the marriage of Edward Knowell and Mistress Bridget.

Justice Clement Quotes in Every Man in His Humour

The Every Man in His Humour quotes below are all either spoken by Justice Clement or refer to Justice Clement. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Language Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of Every Man in His Humour published in 2009.
Act 3, Scene 7 Quotes

Your cares are nothing: they are like my cap, soon put on, and as soon put off. What! your son is old enough to govern himself: let him run his course, it's the only way to make him staid man.

Related Characters: Justice Clement (speaker), Edward Knowell, Old Knowell
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

JUSTICE CLEMENT: I see, rank fruits of a jealous brain, mistress Kitely: but did you find your husband there, in that case, as you suspected?

KITELY: I found her there, sir.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Did you, so? that alters the case. Who gave you knowledge of your wife's being there?

KITELY: Marry, that did my brother Wellbred.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: How? Wellbred first tell her? then tell you, after? Where is Wellbred?

KITELY: Gone with my sister, sir, I know not whither.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Why, this is a mere trick, a device; you are gulled in this most grossly, all!

Related Characters: Kitely (speaker), Justice Clement (speaker), Wellbred, Dame Kitely
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Nay, keep out, sir; I know not your pretence. You send me word, sir, you are a soldier: why, sir, you shall be answered, here, here be them that have been amongst soldiers. Sir, your pleasure.

BOBADIL: Faith, sir, so it is, this gentleman, and myself, have been most uncivilly wronged, and beaten, by one Downright, a coarse fellow, about the town, here, and for mine own part, I protest, being a man in no sort given to this filthy humour of quarrelling, he hath assaulted me in the way of my peace; despoiled me of mine honour; disarmed me of my weapons; and rudely, laid me along, in the open streets: when I not so much as once offered to resist him.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Oh God's precious! Is this the soldier? Here, take my armour off quickly, ‘twill make him swoon, I fear; he is not fit to look on't, that will put up a blow.

Related Characters: Captain Bobadil (speaker), Justice Clement (speaker), Wellbred, Downright
Related Symbols: Swords
Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Why, Master Downright, are you such a novice, to be served, and never see the warrant?

DOWNRIGHT: Sir. He did not serve it on me.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: No? how then?

DOWNRIGHT: Marry, sir, he came to me, and said, he must serve it, and he would use me kindly, and so—

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Oh, God's pity, was it so, sir? He must serve it? Give me my longsword there, and help me off; so. Come on, sir varlet, I must cut off your legs, sirrah; nay, stand up, I'll use you kindly, I must cut off your legs, I say.

Related Characters: Downright (speaker), Justice Clement (speaker), Brainworm
Related Symbols: Swords
Page Number: 90-91
Explanation and Analysis:

And I will consider thee in another cup of sack. Here's to thee, which having drunk off this my sentence: Pledge me. Thou hast done, or assisted to nothing, in my judgment, but deserves to be pardon'd for the wit of the offence.

Related Characters: Justice Clement (speaker), Brainworm
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
Act 5, Scene 5 Quotes

EDWARD: We are the more bound to your humanity, sir.

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Only these two have so little of man in ‘em, they are no part of my care.

Related Characters: Edward Knowell (speaker), Justice Clement (speaker), Master Matthew, Captain Bobadil
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:

They are not born every year, as an alderman. There goes more to the making of a good poet, than a sheriff.

Related Characters: Justice Clement (speaker), Master Matthew
Related Symbols: Poetry
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

JUSTICE CLEMENT: Good complement! It will be their bridal night too. They are married anew. Come, I conjure the rest, to put off all discontent. You, master Downright, your anger; you, master Knowell, your cares; Master Kitely and his wife, their jealousy.

[…]

'Tis well, 'tis well! This night we'll dedicate to friendship, love, and laughter. Master bridegroom, take your bride and lead; everyone, a fellow. Here is my mistress, Brainworm! To whom all my addresses of courtship shall have their reference. Whose adventures, this day, when our grandchildren shall hear to be made a fable, I doubt not, but it shall find both spectators, and applause.

Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
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Every Man in His Humour PDF

Justice Clement Character Timeline in Every Man in His Humour

The timeline below shows where the character Justice Clement appears in Every Man in His Humour. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 3, Scene 2
Human Folly Theme Icon
Authenticity Theme Icon
...then tells Edward and Wellbred that Old Knowell is currently at the house of Justice Clement, the local judicial authority. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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...shows up at the house, explaining that he (Kitely) will most likely be at Justice Clement’s. Kitely then insists that he had no secret and was just checking that Cash is... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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Parenthood Theme Icon
...starting to panic at the men’s arrival, informs them that Kitely has gone to Justice Clement. Cash frantically calls for Cob. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 6
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Cob arrives at Justice Clement’s house and tells him of Wellbred’s arrival there with his entourage. Kitely panics about the... (full context)
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...he tries to bring Cob with him, Cob insists on staying to speak with Justice Clement about Bobadil’s attack on him. (full context)
Act 3, Scene 7
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Justice Clement asks his assistant, Roger Formal, whether Kitely has gone. He wonders what made him leave... (full context)
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Justice Clement laughs at Bobadil’s reason for attacking Cob—the insult over tobacco—and instead orders Formal to send... (full context)
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Evidently in a frivolous mood, Justice Clement tells Old Knowell that his worries about Edward are “nothing”; “Your son is old enough... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 8
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Brainworm comes in, now dressed as Roger Formal. He tells Kitely that his master, Justice Clement, desires to speak with him as soon as possible. Kitely goes to look for Cash... (full context)
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...too much like “an old knight-adventurer’s servant.” Just then, Kitely returns, having realized that Justice Clement had not called for him as Brainworm said. Bridget tells him that Dame Kitely has... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 10
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...“bawd.” Old Knowell tries to stop the “madness.” They all decide to go to Justice Clement for judgment. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 11
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...him with the warrant on Matthew and Bobadil’s behalf; Downright agrees to go before Justice Clement. (full context)
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...being a thief. Stephen gives him the cloak but is forced to go to Justice Clement anyway. Brainworm tries to talk him out of it, but Downright is insistent. In fact,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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Justice Clement, Knowell, Kitely, Dame Kitely, Cash, Tib, and Cob assemble at Justice Clement’s house. Clement is... (full context)
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Clement questions Dame Kitely and Kitely, getting them both to realize that each of them was... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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A servant announces Matthew and Bobadil’s arrival. Justice Clement briefly thinks that Bobadil, described merely as a “soldier” by the servant, has come to... (full context)
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...arrival of a “varlet” of the city, with two men under arrest according to Justice Clement’s warrant. Clement is confused, having not issued any such warrant. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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Justice Clement asks about the warrant; Brainworm, in disguise as the “varlet,” says he doesn’t have it—but... (full context)
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Justice Clement mocks Downright for following Brainworm’s instructions, waving his sword over Brainworm, saying that he “must... (full context)
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Justice Clement tells Brainworm to go and fetch the young couple, praising the “good news.” He asks... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 4
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Roger Formal, drunk, arrives at Justice Clement’s house, followed shortly after by Edward, Wellbred, and Bridget. Clement tells Edward that he has... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 5
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Edward thanks Justice Clement for his “humanity.” Clement says that only Bobadil and Matthew “have so little of man... (full context)
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...insists that Matthew is more of a “pocket” poet than one who likes to “extempore.” Clement notices that Matthew is carrying “commonwealth of paper” and begins to read some of the... (full context)
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Clement states that a “good poet” is a rare thing, “not born every year.” Clement announces... (full context)
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Clement then entreats Cob and Tib to be “reconciled”; they make their peace. Clement tells the... (full context)