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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, malters, we hear our charge; let us go 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. Enter Borachio and Conrade.
Bora. What? Conrade-
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 thousand ducats.
Conr. Is it poffible that any villany fhould be fo
Bora. Thou fhould'st rather afk, if it were poffible any villain fhould 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 knowest, 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 fafhion.
Conr. Yes, the fashion is the fashion.
Bora. Tufh, I may as well fay, the fool's the fool; but fee'st 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. Didst thou not hear some body?
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 fafhioning them like Pharaoh's foldiers in the reachy' painting; fometimes like the God Bel's priests in the old church window; fometimes like the fhaven Her-cules * 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 fafhion 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 fhould firft tell thee, how the Prince, Claudio, and my master, planted and placed, and poffeffed 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 she 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 Ꭰ 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, Mafters,
2 Watch. You'll be made bring deforṛned forth, I warrant you. Conr. Mafters,
1 Watch. Never fpeak; we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.
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. [Exeunt. SCENE VI. Hero's apartment in Leonato's house. Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.
Hero. Good Urfula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and defire her to rife.
Urf. I will, Lady.
Hero. And bid her come hither.
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 fay fo.
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 moft 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 underborne with a bluish tinfel; but for à fine, queint, graceful, and excellent fashion, your's is worth
Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy!
Marg. Twill be heavier foon by the weight of a man. Hero. Fie upon thee, art not afham'd?
Marg. Of what, Lady? of speaking honourably? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? is not your Lord honourable without marriage? Ithink you would have me fay (faving your reverence) a husband. If bad thinking do not wreft true fpeaking, I'll offend no body; is there any harm in the heavier for a husband? None, I think, if it be the right husband, and the right wife, otherwife 'tis light and not heavy. Afk my Lady Beatrice elfe, here fhe comes.
Hero. Good morrow, coz.
Hero. Why, how now? do you fpeak in the fick tune?
Beat. I am out of all other tune, methinks.
Marg. Clap us into Light o'love; that goes without a burden; do you fing it, and I'll dance it.
Beat. Yes, Light o'love with your heels; then if your husband have stables enough, you'll look he fhall lack no barns.
Marg. O illegitimate conftruction! I fcorn that with my heels.
Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, coufin; 'tis time you were ready: by my troth, I am exceeding ill; hey hot Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband? Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H.
Mar. Well, if you be not turn'd Turk, there's no more failing by the star.
Beat. What means the fool, trow?
Marg. Nothing I, but God fend every one their heart's defire !
Hero. Thefe gloves the Count fent me; they are an excellent perfume.
Beat. I am ftuff'd, coufin, I cannot fmell.
Marg. A maid, and ftuff'd! there's goodly catching of cold.
Beat. O, God help me, God help me, how long have you profefs'd apprehenfion?
Marg. Ever fince you left it; doth not my wit become me rarely ?
Beat. It is not feen enough, you should wear it in your cap. By my troth, I am fick.
Marg. Get you fome of this diftill'd Carduus Benedictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.
Hero. There thou prick'ft her with a thistle.
Beat. Benedictus? why Benedictus ? you have fome moral in this Benedictus.
Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning, I meant plain holy-thiftle. You may think, perchance, that I think you are in love; nay, birlady, I am not fuch a fool to think what I lift; nor I lift not to think what I can; nor indeed I cannot think, if I would think my heart out with thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be in love, or that you can be in love. Yet Fenedict was fuch another, and now is he become a man. He fwore he would never marry; and yet now, in defpight of his heart, he eats his meat without grudging: and how you may be converted, I know not; but methinks you look with eyes as other women do.
Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ?
Urf. Madam, withdraw; the Prince, the Count, Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town, are come to fetch you to church.
Hero. Help to dress me, good coz. good Meg, good Urfula. [Exeunt. SCENE VIII. Another apartment in Leonato's houfe. Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges.
Leon. What would you with me, honeft neighbour? Dogh. Marry, Sir, I would have fome confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.