Page images
PDF
EPUB

you on compulsion. Give you a reason on compulsion ! If reasons were as plenty as blackberries, I would give no man a reason upon compulsion, I.

P. Hen. I'll be no longer guilty of this sin : this sanguine coward, this bed-presser, this horse-back-breaker, this huge hill of flesh;

Fal. Away, you starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's-tongue, you stock-fish-0, for breath to utter what is like thee! you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bow-case,

you vile

Mark now,

P. Hen. Well, breathe awhile, and then to it again: and when thou hast tired thyself in base comparisons, hear me speak but this.

Poins. Mark, Jack.

P. Hen. We two saw you four set on four; you bound them, and were masters of their wealth.how plain a tale shall put you down. Then did we two set on you four : and, with a word, out-faced you from your prize, and have it : yea, and can show it you here in the house and, Falstaff, you carried yourself away as nimbly, with as quick dexterity, and roared for mercy, and still ran and roared, as ever I heard calf. What a slave art thou, to hack thy sword as thou hast done; and then say it was in fight! What trick, what device, what starting-hole, canst thou now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?

Poins. Come, let's hear Jack ; what trick hast thou now?

Fal, Why, I knew ye, as well as he that made ye. Why, hear ye, my masters: was it for me to kill the heir apparent? Should I turn upon the true prince? Why, thou knowest, I am as valiant as Hercules: but beware instinct; the lion will not touch the true prince. Instinct is a great matter : I was a coward on instinct. I shall think the better of myself and thee, during my life ; I for a valiant lion, and thou for a true prince. But, lads, I am glad you have the money.--Hostess clap to the doors; watch to-night, pray to-morrow. Gallants,

lads, boys, hearts of gold, all the titles of good fellowship come to you! What, shall we be merry ? shall we have a play extempore?

P. Hen. Content;--and the argument shall be, thy running away.

Fal. Ah! No more of that, Hal, an thou lovest me.

CLIX.

DOGBERRY AND VERGES SETTING THE WATCII.

Shakspeare. 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, neighbor Dog. berry.

Dogb. First, who think you the most desertless man to be constable.

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, sir, or George Seacoal ; for they can write and read.

Dogb. Come hither, neighbor Seacoal. God hath blessed

you

with a good name: to be a well-favored 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 favor, sir, why, give 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

narne.

2 Wateh. How if he will not stand ?

Dogb. Why, then, take no note of him, but let him 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 not 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 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.

Dogb. 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 you company.

Verg. You have always been 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 you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse, and bid her still it.

2 Watch. How if the nurse be asleep, and will not hear us?

Dogb. Why then depart in peace, and let the child wake her with crying: for the ewe that will not hear her lamb when it baes, will never answer a calf when he bleats.

Verg. 'Tis very true.

Dogb. This is the end of the charge. You, constable, are to present the prince's own person ; if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay him.

Verg. Nay, by’r lady, that I think he cannot.

Dogb. Five shillings to one on't, with any man that knows the statutes, he may stay him : marry, not without the prince be willing ; for, indeed, the watch ought to off no man; and it is an offense to stay a man against his will.

Verg. Byår lady, I think, it be so.

Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night: an there be any matter of weight chances, call up me: keep your fellows' counsels and your own, and good nightCome, neighbor. 2 Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge ; let us

upon

the church-bench till two, and then all to bed.

Dogb. One word more, honest neighbors ; I pray you watch about signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great coil to-night ; adieu, be vigilant, I beseech you.

go sit here

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »