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Claud. May this be so ?
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.
Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.
John. I will disparage her no farther, till you are my witnesses; bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself.
SCENE III.-The Street.
Enter DogBERRY, VERGES, SEACOAL, OATCAKE, and
four WATCHMEN, L. V. E. Doyb. (R. C.) Are you good men and true?
Veryes. (c.) 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.
Verges. (1. C.) Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.
Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable ?
Verges. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal ; for they can write and read.
Doyb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal: Heaven hath bless'd you with a good name: to be a well-favour'd man is the gift of fortune ; but to write and read comes by nature.
Sea. (R.) Both which, Master Constable
Dogb. (6.) You have. I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give heaven thauks, 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 here 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 bil any man stand, in the prince's name.
Sea. (R c.) 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 heaven you are rid of a knave.
Verges. 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.
Sea. 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, hare a care that your bills be not stolen :-Well, you are to call at all the alehouses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
Sea. 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. Sea. Well, sir.
Dogb. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true inan; and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for your honesty.
Sea. 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 take a thief, is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal out of your coinpany.
Verges. You have been always 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.
Verges. If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse, and bid her still it.
Sea. How if the nurse 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.
Verges. 'Tis very true.
are to present the prince's own person ; if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay him.
Verges. 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 his will.
Verges. By’rlady, I think it be so.
Jogl. 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. [Exeunt DOGBERRY and Verges, ...
Sea. Well, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit upon the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.
Re-enter DOGBERRY and Verges, L. Dogb. One word more, honest 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, L.
Enter BORACHIO, R.
Enter CONRADE, R.
Bor. Stand thee close, then ; and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.
Séa. [Aside, L.] Some treason, masters; yet stand close.
Bor. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.
Con. Is it possible that any villainy should be so dear?
Bor. Thou should'st rather ask, if it were possible any villainy should be so rich; for, when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones inay have what price they will.
Con. I wonder at it.
Bor. That shows thou art unconfirmed: Thou know. est that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a man.
Con. Yes, it is apparel.
Bor. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the fool.But seest thou not what a deformed thief this fashion is ?
Sea. [Aside, as before.] 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.
Bor. Didst thou not hear somebody?
Bor. 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.
Con. Art not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy lale into telling me of the fashion.
Bor. 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. I tell this tale vilely: I 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.
Con. And thought they, Margaret was Hero? Bor. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio ;[Watchmen preparing to advance] but the devil, my master, knew she was Margaret: away went Claudio enraged; [Watchmen advance] 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.
Sea. (R. c.) We charge you in the prince's name stand!
Oat. (c.) Call up the right master constable: [Erit a WATCHMAN, 1..] We have here recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth.
Sea. And one Deformed is one of them; I know him ; Jie wears a lock.
Con. (Seacoal and WATChmen seize Borachio and Conrade.] Masters, masters,
Sea. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.
Sea. Never speak; we-eharge you, let us obey you to go with us.
[Excunt, L. with Prisoners in custody.
SCENE IV.-A Hall in Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO, DOGBERRY, and Verges, R. Leon. (L.) What would you with me, honest neighbour?
Dogb. (c.) Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you, that discerns you nearly.
Leon. Brief, pray you; for you see 'tis a busy time with me.
Dogb. Marry, this it is, sir!
Dogh. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter : an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as, Heaven help, I would desire they were! but, in faith, honest as the skin between his brows.
Verges. Yes, I thank Heaven, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honester than I.
Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.”
Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor duke's officers; but, truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.
Leon. All thy tediousness on me, ha?
Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more than 'tis; for I hear as good exclamation on your worship, as of any man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.
Verges. And so am I.
Verges, Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, have ta’en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.
Dogb. A good old man, sir ;-he will be talking—as they say, When the age is in, the wit is out;-Heaven help us! it is a world to see! Well said, i'faith, neighbour Verges !- An two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind :--An honest soul, i'faith, sir ! by my troth,