Imatges de pÓgina

John. O plague right well prevented!

So you will fay, when you have feen the fequel.


SCENE IV. Changes to the fireet. Enter Dogberry and Verges, with the watch. Dogb. Are you good men and true?

Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they fhould fuffer falvation, body and foul.

Dogb. Nay that were a punishment too good for them, if they fhould have any allegiance in them, being chofen for the Prince's watch.

Verg. Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.

Dogb. Firft, who think you the most defartless man to be conftable?

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, Sir, or George Seacole; for they can write and read.

Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacole: God hath bleffed you with a good name; and to be a well-favour'd man is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.

2 Watch. Both which, Master Conftable-

Dogh. You have: I knew, it would be your anfwer. Well, for your favour, Sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there is more need of fuch vanity: you are thought here to be the moft fenfelefs and fit man for the conftable of the watch, therefore bear you the lanthorn; this is your charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom men ; you are to bid any man fand, in the Prince's name.

2 Watch. How if he will not stand!

Dogh. Why, then take no note of him, but let him go; and prefently call the reft of the watch together, and thank God you are rid of a knave.

Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the Prince's fubjects.

Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none but the Prince's fubjects. You shall also make no no fe in

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the streets; for, for the watch to babble and talk, is moft tolerable, and not to be endur'd

2 Watch "We will rather fleep than talk; we know "what belongs to a watch."

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Dogb. "Why, you fpeak like an ancient and most quiet watchman, for I cannot fee how fleeping "fhould offend; only have a care that your bills be "not ftolen. Well, you are to call at all the alehouses, and bid them that are drunk get them to "bed."

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2 Watch. How if they will not?

Dougb. Why then let them alone till they are fober; if they make you not then the better answer, you may fay, they are not the men you took them for.

2 Watch. Well, Sir.

Dogb. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him by virtue of your office to be no true man; and for fuch kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for your honesty.

2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, fhall we not lay hands on him?

Dogb. Truly, by your office you may; but, I think, they that touch pitch will de defil'd: the most peaceable way for if you you, do take a thief, is, to let him fhew himfelf what he is, and fteal out of your company.

Verg. You have been always call'd a merciful man, partner.

Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who hath any honesty in him. Verg. If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the narfe and bid her still it.

2 Watch. How if the nurse be afleep, and will not hear us?

Dogb. Why, then depart in peace, and let the child wake her with crying: for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes, will never answer a calf when he bleats.

Verg. 'Tis very true.

Dogb. This is the end of the charge: you, conftable, are to prefent the Prince's own perfon; if you meet the Prince in the night, you may stay him. VOL. II.



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Verg. Nay, birlady, that, I think, he cannot.

Dogb. Five fhillings to one on't with any man that knows the ftatutes, he may ftay him; marry, not without the Prince be willing: for indeed the watch ought to offend no man; and it is an offence to stay a man against his will.

Verg. Birlady, I think it be fo.

Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! well, mafters, good night; an there be any matter of weight chances, call up me; keep your fellow's counfels and your own, and good night. Come, neighbour.

2 Watch. Well, maiters, we hear our charge; let us fit here. upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.


Dogb. One word more, honeft neighbours. I pray you watch about Signior Leonato's door, for the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great coil tonight. Adieu; be vigilant, I beseech you.

[Exeunt Dogberry and Verges, SCENE V. Enter Borachio and Conrade.

Bora. What? Conrade

Watch. Peace, ftir not.


Bora. Conrade, I fay.

Conr. Here, man, I am at thy elbow.

Bora. Mafs, and my elbow itch'd, I thought there would a fcab follow.

Conr. I will owe thee an answer for that, and now forward with thy tale.

Bora. Stand thee close then under this pent-house, for it drizzles rain, and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.

Watch. Some treafon, masters; yet ftand close.

Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John a thoufand ducats.

Conr. Is it poffible that any villany fhould be fo dear?

Bora. Thou fhould'st rather afk, if it were poffible any villain should be fo rich? for when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what` price they will.

Conr. I wonder at it.


Bora. That fhews, thou art unconfirm'd; thou knoweft, that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a man.

Conr. Yes, it is apparel.

Bora. I mean the fashion.

Conr. Yes, the fashion is the fashion.

Bora. Tufh, I may as well fay, the fool's the fool; but fee'ft thou not, what a deformed thief this fashion is? Watch. I know that deformed; he has been a vile thief these seven years; he goes up and down like a gentleman: I remember his name.

Bora. Didft thou not hear fome body?

Conr. No, 'twas the vane on the house.

Bora. Seeft thou not, I fay, what a deformed thief this fashion is? how giddily he turns about all the hotbloods between fourteen and five and thirty, fometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh's foldiers in the reachy ́ painting; fometimes like the God Bel's priefts in the old church window; fometimes like the fhaven Hercules in the fmirch worm-eaten tapestry, where his codpiece feems as maffy as his club.

Conr. All this I fee, and fee that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man; but art not thou thyfelf giddy with the fashion too, that thou haft fhifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fathion ?

Bora. Not fo neither; but know, that I have to-night wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the name of Hero; fhe leans me out at her mistress's chamber-window, bids me a thousand times good night-I tell this tale vildly-I should firft tell thee, how the Prince, Claudio, and my master, planted and placed, and possessed by my mafter Don John, faw a far off in the orchard this amiable encounter.

Conr. And thought they Margaret was Hero?

Bora. Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio; but the devil my mafter knew fhe was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which firft poffefs'd them; partly by the dark night, which did deceive them; but chiefly. by my villany, which did confirm any flander that Don John had made, away went Claudio enraged; fwore, he would meet her as he was appointed next morning at the temple, and there, before the whole congregation, fhame D 2


* Meaning Samfon.

her with what he faw o'er night, and fend her home again without a husband.

I Watch. We charge you in the Prince's name, ftand.

2 Watch. Call up the right Mafter Conftable; we have here recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the common-wealth.

1 Watch. And one deformed is one of them; I know him, he wears a lock.

Conr. Malters, Masters,

2 Watch. You'll be made bring deformed forth, I warrant you.

Conr. Mafters,

1 Watch. Never fpeak; we charge you, let us obey you to with us. go

Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken up of thefe mens bills.

Conr. A commodity in question, I warrant you : come, we'll obey you.


SCENE VI. Hero's apartment in Leonato's houfe.

Enter Hero, Margaret, and Urfula.

Hero. Good Urfula, wake my coufin Beatrice, and defire her to rifs.

Urf. I will, Lady.

Hero. And bid her come hither.
Urf. Well.


Marg. Troth, I think your other rebato were better. Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this. Marg. By my troth, it's not fo good; and I warrant your coufin will say so.

Hero. My coufin's a fool, and thou art another. I'll wear none but this.

Marg. I like the new tire within excellently, if the hair were a thought browner; and your gown's a most rare fashion, i'faith. I faw the Duchefs of Milan's gown, that they praise fo.

Hero. O, that exceeds, they fay.

Marg. By my troth, it's but a night-gown in refpect of your's; cloth of gold and cuts, and lace'd with filver, fet with pearls down-fleeves, fide-fleeves and skirts, round

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