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
lanthorn. This is your charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom
men; you are to bid any man stand, in the Prince's name.
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
If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the
True, and they are to meddle with none but the Prince's subjects.
You shall also make no noise in the streets; for the watch to
babble and to talk is most tolerable, and not to be endured.
We will rather sleep than talk. We know what belongs to a watch.
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 stol'n. Well, you are to call at all the
alehouses and bid those that are drunk get them to bed.
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 your honesty.
If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him?
Truly, by your office you may; but I think they that touch pitch
will be defil'd. 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.
You have been always called a merciful man, partner.
Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will, much more a man who
hath any honesty in him.
If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse
and bid her still it.
How if the nurse be asleep and will not hear us?
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.
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 offend no man, and it is
an offence to stay a man against his will.
Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is? how
giddily 'a turns about all the hot-bloods between fourteen and
five-and-thirty? sometimes fashioning them like Pharaoh's
soldiers in the reechy painting, sometime like god Bel's priests
in the old church window, sometime like the shaven Hercules in
the smirch'd worm-eaten tapestry, where his codpiece seems as
massy as his club?
All this I see; and I 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
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
Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio; but the devil my master
knew she was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which first
possess'd them, partly by the dark night, which did
deceive them, but chiefly by my villany, which did confirm any
slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio enrag'd; 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'ernight and send her home again without a husband.
We charge you in the Prince's name stand!
Call up the right Master Constable. We have here recover'd the
most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the
And one Deformed is one of them. I know him; 'a wears a lock.