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SHAKESPEARE

[Selections continued from Volume xxii.)

DOGBERRY CAPTAIN OF THE WATCH

From Much Ado About Nothing'

Scene : A Street. Enter Dogberry and Verges, with the Watch.

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OG BERRY - Are you good men and true ?

Verges — Yea, or else it were pity but they should suffer salvation, body and soul. Dogberry- Nay, that were a punishment too good for them, if they should have any allegiance in them, being chosen for the prince's watch.

Verges — Well, give them their charge, neighbor Dogberry.

Dogberry - First, who think you the most desartless man to be constable ?

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

Dogberry — 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.

Second Watch Both which, master constable,

Dogberry You have: I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favor, 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.

Second Watch - How, if 'a will not stand ?

Dogberry - 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.

Verges — If he will not stand when he is bidden, he is none of the prince's subjects.

Dogberry— 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.

Second Watch We will rather sleep than talk: we know what belongs to a watch.

Dogberry — 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.

Second Watch - How if they will not ?

Dogberry— 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.

Second Watch - Well, sir.

Dogberry - 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.

Second Watch - If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him ?

Dogberry— 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.

Verges — You have been always called a merciful man, part

ner.

Dogberry- Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will; much more a man who hath any honesty in him.

Verges - If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse, and bid her still it.

Second Watch - How, if the nurse be asleep, and will not hear it ?

Dogberry - 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.

Verges — 'Tis very true.

Dogberry - 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.

Verges - Nay, by'r lady, that, I think, 'a cannot.

Dogberry- 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 offense to stay a man against his will.

Verges — By'r lady, I think it be so.

Dogberry- Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good-night: an there be any matter of weight chances, call up me. Keep your fel. lows' counsels and your own, and good-night. Come, neighbor.

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

Dogberry-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

[Exeunt Dogberry and Verges.

beseech you.

SHYLOCK AND ANTONIO

From The Merchant of Venice)

HYLOCK —

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Signior Antonio, many a time and oft,
On the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances:
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug;
For sufferance is a badge of all our tribe.
You called me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears, you need my help.
Go to, then,- you come to me, and you say,
« Shylock, we would have moneys:" you say so;
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold: moneys is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
“Hath a dog money? Is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats ?)) or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,
With 'bated breath, and whispering humbleness,
Say this? -
“Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last;
You spurned me such a day; another time

You called me dog: and for these courtesies

I'll lend you thus much moneys.'
Antonio - I am as like to call thee so again,

To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friend; for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend?
But lend it rather to thine enemy;
Who if he break, thou may'st with better face

Exact the penalty.
Shylock -

Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you, and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stained me with,
Supply your present wants, and take no doit
Of usance for my moneys,
And you'll not hear me. This is kind I offer.

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L

AUNCELOT Certainly, my conscience will serve

from this Jew, my master. The fiend is at mine elbow, and

tempts me, saying to me, “Gobbo, Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the start, run away.” My conscience says, “No: take heed, honest Launcelot; take heed, honest Gobbo” – or as afore . said — “honest Launcelot Gobbo: do not run; scorn running with thy heels.” Well, the most contagious fiend bids me pack: "Via!” says the fiend; "away!” says the fiend: "'fore the heavens, rouse up a brave mind,” says the fiend, “and run.” Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me, "My honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son,”

or rather an honest woman's son: for indeed my father did something smack, something grow to, he had a kind of tastewell, my conscience says, “Launcelot, budge not.” “Budge,” says the fiend; “Budge not,” says my conscience. Conscience, say I, you counsel well; fiend, say I, you counsel well: to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who (God bless the mark!) is a kind of devil; and to run away from the

Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the Devil himself. Certainly, the Jew is the very Devil incarnation; and in my conscience, my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel: I will run, fiend; my heels are at your commandment; I will run.

[Going out in haste.

Enter Old Gobbo, with a Basket

Gobbo - Master, young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's ?

Launcelot [aside] - heavens! this is my true-begotten father, who, being more than sand-blind, high-gravel blind, knows me not; - I will try confusions with him.

Gobbo Master, young gentleman, I pray you, which is the way to master Jew's ?

Launcelot - Turn up on your right hand at the next turning, but at the next turning of all, on your left; marry, at the very next turning, turn of no hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's house.

Gobbo By God's sonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit. Can you tell me whether one Launcelot, that dwells with him, dwell with him or no ?

Launcelot - Talk you of young master Launcelot ? — [Aside.] Mark me now; now will I raise the waters.—[To him.] Talk you of young master Launcelot ?

Gobbo No master, sir, but a poor man's son: his father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding poor man; and God be thanked, well to live.

Launcelot Well, let his father be what ’a will, we talk of young master Launcelot.

Gobbo Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir,

Launcelot But I pray you, ergo, old man, ergo, I beseech you, talk you of young master Launcelot ?

Gobbo - Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership.

Launcelot - Ergo, master Launcelot. Talk not of master Launcelot, father: for the young gentleman (according to fates and destinies, and such odd sayings, the sisters three, and such branches of learning) is indeed deceased; or as you would say, in plain terms, gone to heaven.

Gobbo Marry, God forbid! the boy was the very staff of my age, my very prop.

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