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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 to-night: Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.
[Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES.
Enter BORACHIO and CONRADE.
[Aside. Bora. Conrade, I say ! Con. Here, man, I am at thy elbow.
Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought, there would a scab follow.
Con. 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. [Aside.] Some treason, masters; yet stand close.
Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.
Con. 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.
Con. I wonder at it.
Bora. That shows thou art unconfirmed 6: Thou knowest, that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a man.
Con. Yes, it is apparel.
Bora. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the fool. But seest thou not what a deformed thief this fashion is?
Watch. I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thief this seven year; he goes up and down like a gentleman: I remember his name. Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody? Con. 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; sometime, like god Bel's priests in the old church window; sometime, like the shaven Hercules in the smirched 8 worm-eaten tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his club?
Con. 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 tonight 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 ?
Bora. Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio; but the devil my master knew she was Margaret;
? i. e. discoloured by smoke, reeky. From recan, Saxon. 8 Soiled, sullied. Probably only another form of smutched. The word is peculiar to Shakspeare.
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.
Con. Masters, masters.
2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.
1 Watch. Never speak; we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.
Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken
of these men's bills 9. Con. A commodity in question 10, I warrant you. Come, we'll obey you.
SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato's House.
Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA. Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire her to rise.
Urs. I will, lady. 9 We have the same conceit in K. Henry VI, Part 11. 'My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and take up commodities
upon our bills !'
10 i. e. in examination or trial.
Hero. And bid her come hither.
[Erit URSULA. Marg. Troth, I think, your other rabato were better.
Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this. Marg. By my troth, it's not so good; and I war
cousin will say so. Hero. My cousin'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 saw the duchess of Milan's gown, that they praise so.
Hero. O, that exceeds, they say.
Marg. By my troth it's but a night-gown in respect of yours: Cloth of gold, and cuts, and laced with silver; set with pearls, down-sleeves, sidesleeves', and skirts round, underborne with a blueish tinsel: but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't. Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my
heart is exceeding heavy!
Marg. 'Twill be heavier soon by the weight of
Hero. Fye upon thee! art not ashamed ?
Marg. Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord honourable without marriage? I think, you would have me say, saving your reverence,band: an bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody: Is there any harm in the heavier
1 A kind of ruff. Rabat, Fr. Menage says it comes from rabattre, to put back, being at first nothing but the collar of the shirt turned back toward the shoulders.
3 i. e. long sleeves. Side or syde in North Britain is used for long when applied to the garment. It has the same signification in Anglo-Saxon and Danish.
for a husband? None, I think, an it be the right husband, and the right wife; otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy: Ask my lady Beatrice else, here she
Hero. Why, how now! do you speak in the sick tune?
Beat. I am out of all other tune, methinks.
Marg. Clap us into-Light o' love; that goes without burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
Beat. Yea, Light o' love, with your heels?then if your husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no barns 5.
Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my
heels. Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my troth I am exceeding ill: -hey ho!
Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband ?
4 The name of a popular old dance tune mentioned again in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, and in several of our old dramas, The notes are given in the Variorum Shakspeare.
• A quibble between barns repositories for corn, and bairns children, formerly pronounced barns. So, in The Winter's Tale:
• Mercy on us, a barn! a very pretty barn!' 6 That is for an ach or pain, pronounced aitch. See note on Tempest, Act i. Sc. 2, p. 28. Heywood has an epigram which best elucidates this:
* H is worst among letters in the cross-row,