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2 Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, and then all to-bed.

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 tonight: Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.

[Exeunt Dogb. and VERG. Enter BORACHI0 and CONRADE. Bora. What! Conrade, Watch. Peace, stir not.

[Aside. Bora. Conrade, I say! Con. Here, man, I am at thy elbow.

Bora. Mass, and my elbow itch'd; 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, 9 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 villainy should be so. dear?

Bora. Thou should'st rather ask, if it were possible any villainy should be so rich;1 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 unconfirm’d:2 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. I mean, the fashion.



like a true drunkard,] I suppose, it was on this account that Shakspeare called him Borachio, from Boraccho, Spanish, a, drunkard; or Borracha, a leathern receptacle for wine. Steevens.

any villainy should be so rich;] The sense' absolutely requires us to read, villain. Warburton. The old reading may stand. Steevens. thou art unconfirm’d:] i. e. unpractised in the ways

of the world. Warburton.


Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion.

Bora. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the fool. But see'st 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;3 sometime, like god Bel's priests in the old church window; sometime, like the shaven Hercules


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reechy painting ; ] Is painting discoloured by smoke. So, In Hans Beer Pot's Invisible Comedy, 1618:

- he look'd so reechily, “Like bacon hanging on the chimney's roof.” from Recan, Anglo-Saxon, to reek, fumare. Steevens.

- like god Bel's priests -] Alluding to some awkward representation of the story of Bel and the Dragon, as related in the Apocrypha. Steevens.

- sometime, like the shaven Hercules &c.] By the shaven Hercules is meant Sampson, the usual subject of old tapestry. In this ridicule on the fashion, the poet has not unartfully given a stroke at the barbarous workmanship of the common tapestry hangings, then so much in use. The same kind of raillery Cervantes has employed on the like occasion, when he brings his knight and 'squire to an inn, where they found the story of Dido and Æneas represented in bad tapestry. On Sancho's seeing the tears fall from the eyes of the forsaken queen as big as walnuts, he hopes that when their achievements became the general sub. ject for these sorts of works, that fortune will send them a better artist.- What authorised the poet to give this name to Sampson was the folly of certain Christian mythologists, who pretend that the Grecian Hercules was the Jewish Sampson. The retenue of our author is to be commended: The sober audience of that time would have been offended with the mention of a venerable name on so light an occasion. Shakspeare is indeed sometimes licentious in these matters: But to do him justice, he generally seems to have a sense of religion, and to be under its influence. What Pedro says of Benedick, in this comedy, may be well enough applied to him: The man doth fear God, however it seems not to be in him by some large jests he will make. Warburton.

I believe that Shakspeare knew nothing of these Christian my. thologists, and by the shaven Hercules mcant only Hercules when

in the smirch'd6 worm-eaten tapestry, where his codpiece 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 to-night 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; and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them, partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, but chiefly by my villainy, 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.

? 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.?


shaved to make him look like a woman, while he remained in the service of Omphale, his Lydian mistress. Had the shaven Hercules been meant to represent Sampson, he would probably have been equipped with a jaw bone instead of a club. Steevens.

siirch'd --] Smirch'd is sõiled, obscured. So, in As you Like it, Act I, sc. iii:

“ And with a kind of umber smirch my face.” Steevens.

wears a lock.] So, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606: “ Hę whose thin fire dwells in a smoky roofe,

- Must take tobacco, and must wear a lock.See Dr. Warburton's note, Act V, sc. i. Steevens


Con. Masters, masters, 8 –

2 Watch. You 'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.

Con. Masters,

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 men's bills.

Con. A commodity in question,' I warrant you. Come, we ’ll obey you.



A Room in LEONATO's House.
Enter Hero, MARGARET, and URSULA.
Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and de-
sire her to rise.

Urs. I will, lady.
Hero. And bid her come hither.
Urs. Well.

[Exit URS.


8 Con. Masters, masters, &c.] In former copies: Con. Masters. 2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you. Con. Masters never speak, we charge you, let us obey you to go with s.] The regulation which I have made in this last speech, though against the authority of all the printed copies, I fatter myself, carries its proof with it. Conrade and Borachio are not designed to talk absurd nonsense. It is evident therefore, that Conrade is attempting his own justification; but is interrupted in it by the impertinence of the men in office. Theobald.

i-a goodly commodity, being taken up of these men's bills.] Here is a cluster of conceits. Commodity was formerly as now, the usual term for an article fmerchandise. To take up, besides its common meaning, (to apprehend) was the phrase for obtaining goods on credit. “If a man is thorough with them in honest tak. ing up, (says Falstaff) then they must stand upon security.” Bill was the term both for a single bond, and a halberd.

We have the same conceit in King Henry VI, P. II: “My lord, When shall we go to Cheapside, and take up commodities upon our bills?Malone.

1 A commodity in question,] i. e. a commodity subject to judi. cial trial or examination. Thus Hooker: “Whosoever be found guilty, the communion book hath deserved least to be called in question for this fault.” Steevens.

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 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:3 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, side-sleeves, and skirts

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rabato--) An ornament for the neck, a collar-band or kind of ruff. Fr. Rabat. Menage saith it comes from rabattre, to put back, because it was at first nothing but the collar of the shirt or shift turn'd back towards the shoulders. T. Hawkins.

This article of dress is frequently mentioned by our ancient comic writers. So, in the comedy of Law Tricks, &c. 1608:

“ Broke broad jests upon her narrow heel,

Pok'd her rabatoes, and survey'd her steel." Again, in Decker's Guls Hornbook, 1609:-“ Your stiff-necked rebatoes (that have more arches for pride to row under, than can stand under five London-bridges) durst not then,” &c.

Again, in Decker's Untrussing the Humorous Poet: “What a miserable thing it is to be a noble bride! There's such delays in rising, in fitting gowns, in pinning rebatoes, in poaking,&c.

The first and last of these passages will likewise serve for an additional explanation of the poking sticks of steel, mentioned by Autolycus in The Winter's Tale. Steevens.

If the hair were a thought browner :) i. e. the false hair attached to the cap; for we learn from Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 1595, p. 40, that ladies were “not simplie content with their own haire, but did buy up other haire either of horses, mares, or any other strange beasts, dying it of what collour they list them. selves.” Steevens.

side-sleeves,] Side-sleeves, I believe, mean long ones. So, in Greene's Farewel to Follie, 1617: “ As great selfe-love lurketh in a side-gowne, as in a short armour.” Again, in Laneham's Account of Queen Elizabeth's entertainment at Kenelworth-Castle, 1575, the minstrel's “ gown had side-sleeves down to the midleg." Clement Paston (See Paston Letters, Vol. I, p. 145, 2nd edit.) had “ a short blue gown that was made of a side-gown.” i. e. of a long one. Again, in The last Voyage of Cap



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