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Claud. May this be so ?
D. John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess not that you know: if you will follow me, I will show you enough ; and when you have seen more, and heard more, proceed accordingly,
Claud. If I see any thing to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow ; in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.
D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.
D. John, I will disparage ber no farther, till you are my witnesses : bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself,
D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned !
D. John, Oplague right well prevented!
SCENE II. A Street. Enter DOGBERRY and Verges, with the Watch,
Dogb. Are you good men and true ?
Verg. Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation, body and soul.
Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the prince's watch.
Verg. Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dog. berry.
Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable.
1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal; for they can write and read.
Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal : God hath blessed you with a good name : to be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune ; but to write and read comes by nature.
2 Watch. Both which, master constable,
Dogb. You have ; I knew it would be your answer. 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 no need of such vanity. You are thought bere to be the most senseless and fit man for the
constable of the watch ; therefore bear you the lantern : This is your charge ; You shall comprehend all vagrom men ; you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's name.
2 Watch. How if he will not stand ?
Dogb. Why then, take no note of him, but let him go; and presently call the rest 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 subjects.
Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none but the prince's subjects :-You shall also make no noise in the streets ; for, for the watch to babble and talk, is most tolerable and not to be endured.
2 Watch. We will rather sleep than talk; we know what belongs to a watch.
Dogb. Why, you speak like an ancient and most quiet watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should offend : only, have a care that your bills be not stolen :'-Well, you are to call at the ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
2 Watch. How if they will not ?
Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are sober; if they make you not then the better answer, you may say, 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 such 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, shall we not lay hands on him?
Dogb. Truly, by your office you may ; but, I think, they that touch pitch will be defiled: the most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal out of your company.
Verg. You have always been called 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 nurse, and bid her still it.
O] A bill is still carried by the watchmen at Lichfield. English infantry, wbich, says Temple, gave the most ghastly and deplorable nounde, !! may be called scouris falcata 'JOHNSON.
It way the old weapon of
2 Watch. How, if the purse be asleep, 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, constable, are to present the prince's own person : if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay him.
Verg. Nay, by’rlady, that, I think, he cannot.
Dogb. Five shillings to one on't, with any man that knows the statutes, he may stay 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 bis will.
Verg. By’rlady, I think, it be so.
Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night : an there be any matter of weight chances, call up me : keep your fellows' counsels and your own, and good night. Come, neighbour,
2 Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge : let us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.
Dogb. One word more, honest neighbours : 1 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 Doob. and VERG,
Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought, there would a scab follow.
 It is not impossible but that part of this scene was intended as a burlesque on The Statutes of the Streets, 1595. Among these I find the following : “ 22. No man sball blowe any horne in the night, within this citie, or whistle alter the houre of pyne of the clock in the night, under paine of imprisonment."_" 23. No man shall use to go with visoures, or disguised by night, under like paine of imprisonment."-“ 24. ^ade that night walkers, and evisdroppers, like punishment."_" 25. No hammer-man, as a smith, pewterer, a founder, and all artificers making great sound, sball not worke after the houre of nybe at night, &c."--"* 30. No man shall, after the houre of nyne at night, keepe aoy rule, whereby any such suddaine outcry be made in the still of the night, as coaking any affray, or beating his wyse, or servant, or singing, or revyling in his house, to the disturbance of his oeighbours, uode: payue of lije. ijiid. &c. &c. STEEVENS.
Conr. I will owe thee an answer for that ; and now for: ward with thy tale.
Bora. Stand thee close then under this pent-house for it drizzles raio ; and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.
Watch. (Aside.) Some treason, masters; yet stand close.
Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.
Conr. Is it possible that any villany should be so dear?
Bora. Thou shouldst rather ask, if it were possible any villany should be so 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 shows, thou art unconfirmed :9 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. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the fool.
Watch. I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thief this seven year; he goes up and down like a gen.' tleman: I remember his name.
Bora. Didst thou not hear some body? 1 Conr. No; 'twas the vane on the house.
Bora. Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is ? how giddily he turns about all the hot bloods, between fourteen and five and thirty? sometime, fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers in the reechy painting ;' sometimes, like god Bel's priests in the old church window;" sometime, like the shaven Hercules in the
(9) i e. unpractised in the ways of the world. WARBURTON
| Reechy painting ; is painting discoloured by smoke. From Recan, AngloSaxon, to reek, fumare. STEEVENS
(2) Alluding to some awkward representation of the story of Bel and the Dragon, as related in the Apocrypha. STEEVENS.
(3] By the shaven Hercules is meant Samson, the usual subjects of old tapestry: In this ridicule of the fashion, the poet bas not unartfully given a stroke at the barbarous workmanship of the common tapestry hangings, then so much in use. The same kind of raillery Cervantes has employed on the like occasion, when he brings his knight and 'squire to an ind, where they found the story of Dido and Eneas represented in bad tapestry. On Sancho's seeing the tears fall from the eyes of the forsaken queen as big as walouts, he hopes that when their achievements become the general subject for these sorts of works, that fortune will send them a better artist. - What authorised the poet to give this name to Satuson was the folly of certain Christian mythologists, who pretended that the Grecian Hercules kas Vol. III.
smirched worm-eaten tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his club?
Conr. All this I see ; and see, that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man : But art not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion ?
Bora. Not so neither : but know, that I have to-night wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the name of Hero; she leans me out at her mistress' chamber-window, bids me a thousand times good-night,-1 tell this tale vilely :-) should first tell thee, how the prince, Claudio, and my master, planted, and placed, and possessed by my master Don John, saw afar 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 master knew she was Margaret ; and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them, partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, but chiefly by my villany, which did confirm any slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio enraged ; swore he would meet her as he was appointed, next morning at the temple, and there, before the whole congregation, shame her with what he saw over-night, and send her home again without a husband.
1 Watch. We charge you in the prince's name, stand.
2 Watch. Call up the right master constable : We have here recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth.
1 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them ; I know him, he wears a lock.
Conr. Masters, masters,2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I war
the Jewish Samson. The retenue of our author is to be commended : The sober audience of that time would have been offended with the mention of a venerable name oo so light an occasion. Shakespeare is indeed sometimes licentious in these matters: But to do him justice, he generally seems to have a sense of religion, and to be under its infuence. What Pedro says of Benedick in this comedy, may be well enough applied to him: The man doth fear God, however it seems not lo be in him by some large jests he will make. WARBURTON
I believe that Shakespeare knew nothing of these Christian mythologists, and by the shaven Hercules meant only Hercules when shaved to make him look like a moman, while he remained in the service of Omplarie, his Lydian mistress. Had the shaven Hercules been meant to represent Samson, he would probably bave been equipped with a jaw-bone instead of a club. STEEVENS.