Dog. Fiue shillings to one on't with anie man that knowes the Statutes, he may staie him, marrie 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. Birladie I thinke it be so

Dog. Ha, ah ha, well masters good night, and there be anie matter of weight chances, call vp me, keepe your fellowes counsailes, and your owne, and good night, come neighbour

Watch. Well masters, we heare our charge, let vs go sit here vpon the Church bench till two, and then all to bed

Dog. One word more, honest neighbors. I pray you watch about signior Leonatoes doore, for the wedding being there to morrow, there is a great coyle to night, adiew, be vigitant I beseech you.


Enter Borachio and Conrade.

Bor. What, Conrade? Watch. Peace, stir not

Bor. Conrade I say

Con. Here man, I am at thy elbow

Bor. Mas and my elbow itcht, I thought there would a scabbe follow

Con. I will owe thee an answere for that, and now forward with thy tale

Bor. Stand thee close then vnder this penthouse, for it drissels raine, and I will, like a true drunkard, vtter all to thee

Watch. Some treason masters, yet stand close

Bor. Therefore know, I haue earned of Don Iohn a thousand Ducates

Con. Is it possible that anie villanie should be so deare? Bor. Thou should'st rather aske if it were possible anie villanie should be so rich? for when rich villains haue neede of poore ones, poore ones may make what price they will

Con. I wonder at it

Bor. That shewes thou art vnconfirm'd, thou knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloake, is nothing to a man

Con. Yes, it is apparell

Bor. I meane the fashion

Con. Yes the fashion is the fashion

Bor. Tush, I may as well say the foole's the foole, but seest thou not what a deformed theefe this fashion is? Watch. I know that deformed, a has bin a vile theefe, this vii. yeares, a goes vp and downe like a gentle man: I remember his name

Bor. Did'st thou not heare some bodie? Con. No, 'twas the vaine on the house

Bor. Seest thou not (I say) what a deformed thiefe this fashion is, how giddily a turnes about all the Hotblouds, betweene, foureteene & fiue & thirtie, sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoes souldiours in the rechie painting, sometime like god Bels priests in the old Church window, sometime like the shauen Hercules in the smircht worm-eaten tapestrie, where his cod-peece seemes as massie as his club

Con. All this I see, and see that the fashion weares out more apparrell then the man; but art not thou thy selfe giddie with the fashion too that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion? Bor. Not so neither, but know that I haue to night wooed Margaret the Lady Heroes gentle-woman, by the name of Hero, she leanes me out at her mistris chamberwindow, bids me a thousand times good night: I tell this tale vildly. I should first tell thee how the Prince Claudio and my Master planted, and placed, and possessed by my Master Don Iohn, saw a far off in the Orchard this amiable incounter

Con. And thought thy Margaret was Hero? Bor. Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio, but the diuell my Master knew she was Margaret and partly by his oathes, which first possest them, partly by the darke night which did deceiue them, but chiefely, by my villanie, which did confirme any slander that Don Iohn had made, away went Claudio enraged, swore hee would meete her as he was apointed next morning at the Temple, and there, before the whole congregation shame her with what he saw o're night, and send her home againe without a husband

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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