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is no believing old signs : a' brushes his hat o' mornings; what should that bode?
D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's ?
Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him, and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.
Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.
D. Pedro. Nay, a' rubs himself with civet: can you smell him out by that?
Claud. That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.
D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy. Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face?
D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.
Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit, which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops.
D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him. Conclude, conclude, he is in love.
Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him.
D. Pedro. That would I know too: I warrant, one that knows him not.
Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and in despite of all dies for him.
D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards
8 Conclude, CONCLUDE,] The folio does not repeat the word " conclude.”
with her face upwards.) So all the old copies. Theobald altered “face" to heels, principally on the authority of the following quotation from Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Wild Goose Chase :"
“ love cannot starve me, For if I die o' the first fit, I am unhappy,
And worthy to be buried with my heels upwards." On the other hand, Heath remarks, that “Theobald quite mistakes the scope of the poet, who prepares the reader to expect somewhat uncommon or extraordinary, and the humour consists in the disappointment of that expectation." At all events, we have no right to disturb the text, as it has been handed down to us, merely upon conjecture. If the old copies varied, we might doubt.
Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ache.—Old signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobbyhorses must not hear.
[Exeunt BENEDICK and LEONATO. D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.
Claud. 'Tis even so. Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with Beatrice, and then the two bears will not bite one another when they meet.
Enter John. John. My lord and brother, God save you. D. Pedro. Good den, brother! John. If your leisure served, I would speak with you. D. Pedro. In private?
John. If it please you; yet count Claudio may hear, for what I would speak of concerns him.
D. Pedro. What's the matter?
married to-morrow? D. Pedro. You know, he does. John. I know not that, when he knows what I know.
Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, discover it.
John. You may think, I love you not: let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest. For my brother, I think, he holds you well, and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage ; surely, suit ill spent, and labour ill bestowed !
D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?
John. I came hither to tell you; and, circumstances shortened, (for she has been too long a talking of,) the lady is disloyal.
"Good DEN, brother.] “Good den” is a colloquial abridgment of good even, but it was also used for good day; and in A. v. sc. 1, Don Pedro says, good den, and Claudio, good day.
Claud. Who? Hero?
John. Even she: Leonato's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.
Claud. Disloyal ?
John. The word is too good to paint out her wickedness : I could say, she were worse : think
you worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till farther warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamber-window entered, even the night before her wedding-day: if you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it would better fit your honour to change
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.
D. 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.
D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned !
John. O plague right well prevented! So will you say, when you have seen the sequel.
bear it coldly but till MIDNIGHT,] The folio reads,“ but till night.” That of the 4to. is no doubt the true reading, as fixing the particular hour of the night.
Enter DOGBERRY and VERGES", with the Watch. Dogb. Are you good men and true?
Verg. 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.
Verg. Well, give them their charge, neighbour Dogberry.
Dogb. First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable ?
1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal, for they can write and read.
Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal. God hath blessed you with a good name: to be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature.
2 Watch. Both which, master constable,
Dogb. You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, 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 bid any man stand, in the prince's name.
2 Watch. How, if a' will not stand ? Dogb. Why then, take no note of him, but let him > Enter Dogberry and Verges,] Verges, in the old stage-direction of the 4to. and folio, is called the "compartner” of Dogberry.
go; and presently call the rest of the watch together, and thank God you are rid of a knave.
Verg. 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.
2 Watch. 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, have a care that your bills be not stolen. Well, you are to call at all the ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
2 Watch. 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.
2 Watch. Well, sir.
Dogh. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with them, why, the more is for your honesty.
2 Watch. 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 do take a thief, is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal out of your company.
Verg. 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. Verg. If
hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse, and bid her still it.