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Conr. Is it possible that any villainy should be fo dear?
Bora. 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 may make what price they will.
Conr. I wonder at it.
Bora. That shews thou art unconfirm’d; 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; but feest thou not what a deformed chief this fashion is ?
Watch. I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thief this seven years; he goes up and down like a gentleman : I remember his name.
Bora. Didst thou not hear some body?
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, sometimes fashioning them like Pharao's soldiers in the reechy painting, sometimes like the God Bel's priests in the old church-window, sometimes like the shaven Hercules a in the smirch'd worm-eaten tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massie as his club?
Conr. All this I fee, and see that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man; but art not thou thy self giddy with the fashion, 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's chamberwindow, bids me a thousand times good night I tell this tale 6 /vilely I should first tell thee, how the Prince, Claudio, and my master planted and plac'd, and
poffeffed (a) Meaning Sampson,
possessed by my master Don John, faw far off in the orchard this amiable encounter.
Conr. And thought thy 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 posseft them, partly by the dark night which did deceive them, but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any Nander 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 o'er 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 moft dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the common-wealth.
1 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them; I know him, he wears a lock,
Conr. Masters, masters,
2 Watcb. 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 question, I warrant you: come, , we'll obey you.
S C E N E VI.
desire her to rise.
[Exit, 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 warrant your cousin will say fo.
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 Dutchess of Milan's gown that they praise fo.
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 lac'd with silver, set with pearls down-Neeves, fide-Necves, and skirts round, underborn with a bleuish tinsel ; but for a fine, queint, 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 a man. Hero. Fie upon thee, art not alham’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 would have me say (saving your reverence) a husband. If bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, 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, otherwise 'tis light and not heavy; ask my Lady Beatrice else, here she comes.
S CE N E
C Ν E VII.
Marg. Clap us into Light o love ; that goes without a burden; do you sing 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 lack no barns.
Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with
Beat. 'Tis almost five a 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?
Marg, Well, if you be not turn'd Turk, there's no more failing by the star.
Beat. What means the fool, trów?
Marg. Nothing I, but God send every one their heart's desire!
Hero. These gloves the Count sent me, they are an excellent perfume.
Beat. I am stuft, cousin, I cannot smell.
Marg. A maid and stuft! there's a goodly catching of cold.
Beat. O, God help me, God help me, how long havo you profest apprehension ?
Marg. Ever fince you left it; doth not my wit become me rarely?
Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap. By my troth, I am sick.
Marg. Get you some of this distillid Carduus Benedietus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.
Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle.
Beat. Benedi&tus ? why Benedi&tus ? you have some moral in this BenediEtus.
Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning, I meant plain holy-thistle ; you may think perchance that I think you are in love; nay, birlady, I am not such a fool to think what I list; nor I lift not to think what I can, nor indeed I cannot think, if I would think my heart out with thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be in love, or that you can be in love: yet Benedick was such another, and now is he become a man; he swore he would never marry, and yet now in despight of his heart he eats his meat without grudging; and how you may be converted I know not, but methinks you look with your eyes as other women do.
Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps?
Enter Ursula. Urf. Madam, withdraw; the Prince, the Count, Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town are come to fetch you to church.
Hero. Help to dress me, good což, good Meg, good Ursula.
Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges. Leon. WHAT would
you with me, honeft
neighbour? ? fidence with you that decerns you nearly. Leon, Brief, I pray you, for you fee 'tis a busy time