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Enter Borachio and Conrade.
Bora. What? Conrade
Bora. Conrade, I fay.
Conr. Here, Man, I am at thy elbow.
Bora. Mafs, and my elbow itch'd, I thought there would a scab follow.
Conr. I will owe thee an answer for that, and now forward with thy tale.
Bora. Stand thee close then under this pent-houfe, for it drizzles rain, and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.
Watch. Some Treason, masters; yet stand close. Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.
Conr. Is it poffible that any Villany fhould be fo dear?
Bora. Thou fhould'ft rather ask, if it were poffible 7 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 knoweft, that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak is nothing to a man.
Conr. Yes, it is apparel.
CC Bora. I mean the fashion.
Conr. Yes, the fashion is the fashion.
Bora. Tuth, I may as well fay, the fool's the Fool; but fee'ft thou not, what a deformed thief this fashion is?
7 any VILLANY fhould be fo rich?] The fenfe abfolutely requires us, to read VILLAIN.
8 thou art unconfirmed ;] i. e. unpractifed in the ways of the
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. Didit thou not hear fome body?
Bora. Seeft thou not, I fay, what a deformed thief this fashion is? how giddily he turns about all the hot-bloods between fourteen and five and thirty, fometimes, fashioning them like Pharao's foldiers in the reachy Painting; fometimes, like the God Bel's priefts in the old church-window; fometimes, like the fhaven Hercules in the fmirch worm-eaten tapeftry, where his codpiece feems as maffie as his club.
Conr. All this I fee, and fee, that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man; but art not thou thy felf giddy with the fashion too, that thou haft fhifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?
Bora. Not fo neither; but know, that I have to night wooed Margaret, the Lady Hero's Gentlewoman,
9 fometimes, like the fhaven Hercules, &c.] By the fhaven Hercules is meant Samfon, the ufual fubject of old tapestry. In this ridicule on the fashion, the poet has not unartfully given a ftroke at the barbarous workmanship of the common Tapestry hangings, then fo much in ufe. The fame kind of raillery Cervantes has employed on the like occafion, when he brings his knight and iquire to an inn, where they found the ftory of Dido and Eneas reprefented in bad tapestry. On Sanco's feeing the tears fall from the eyes of the forfaken queen as big as walnuts, he hopes that when their atchievements became the general fubject for thefe fort of works, that fortune will fend them a better artist.- What authorized the poet to give this name to Samfon was the folly of certain chriftian mythologifts, who pretend that the grecian Hercules was the jewish Samfon. The retenue of our author is to be commended: The fober audience of that time would have been offended with the mention of a venerable name on fo light an occafion. Shakespear is indeed fometimes licentious in these matters: But to do him juftice, he generally feems to have a sense of religion, and to be under its influence. What Pedro fays of Benedick, in this comedy, may be well enough applied to him. The man doth fear God, however it feems not to be in him by fome large jefts he will make.
by the name of Hero; the leans me out at her mistress's chamber-window, 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 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, fhe was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which firft poffeft 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 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.
I Watch. And one Deformed is one of them; I know him, he wears a lock.
Conr. Mafters, 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 up of these mens bills.
Conr. A commodity in queftion, I warrant you: come, we'll obey you,
Hero's Apartment in Leonato's Houfe.
Enter Hero, Margaret and Urfula.
Hero. GOOD Urfula, wake my coufin Beatrice, and
defire her to rife.
Urfu. I will, lady.
Hero. And bid her come hither.
Marg. Troth, I think, your other Rebato were
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 say so.
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 most rare fafhion, i'faith. I faw the Dutchefs 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 refpect of yours; cloth of gold and cuts, and lac'd with filver, fet with pearls down-fleeves, fide-sleeves and skirts, round underborne with a blueifh tinfel; but for a fine, queint, graceful and excellent fashion, your's is worth ten on't.
Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy!
Mar. 'Twill be heavier foon by the weight of a
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? I think, you E 3
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 ; ask my lady Beatrice elfe, here fhe comes.
Hero. Good morrow, coz.
Beat. Good morrow, fweet Hero.
Hero. Why, how now? do you speak 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 shall jack no barns.
Marg. O illegitimate conftruction! I scorn that with my heels.
Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, coufin; 'tis time you were ready by my troth, I am exceeding ill; hey ho!
Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
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 ftufft, coufin, I cannot fmell.
1 turn'd Turk, i. e. taken captive by Love, and turn'd a Renegado to his religion.