Come hither, neighbor Seacole. God hath blest you with a good name.
To be a well-favor’d man is the gift of fortune, but to write and read comes by nature. 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. If ’a will not stand, 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. You shall also make no noise in the streets; for, for the watch to babble and to talk, is most tolerable, and not to be endur’d. If you would rather sleep than talk, 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 they will not, 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. 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. If you know him to be a thief, lay hands on him, 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. If you hear a child cry in the night, you must call to the nurse and bid her still it. If the nurse be asleep and will not hear you, 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. 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. Five shillings to one on’t, with any man that knows the statues, 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. Ha, ah ha! Well, masters, good night. And there be any matter of weight chances, call up me. Keep your fellows’ counsels and your own, and good night. One word more, honest neighbors. I pray you watch about Signior Leonato’s door, for the wedding being there tomorrow, there is a great coil tonight. Adieu! Be vigitant, I beseech you.