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BORACHIO

105Tush, I may as well say the fool’s the fool. But seest thou not
what a deformed thief this fashion is?

BORACHIO

C’mon, I might as well say the fool’s the fool! But don’t you see what a

deformed

“Deformed” here means “deforming.”

deformed
villain fashion is?

WATCHMAN

(aside) 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.

WATCHMAN

(speaking so that only the other WATCHMEN can hear) I know that man,

Deformed

The watchman thinks that “Deformed” is the name of one of the criminals.

Deformed
. For the past seven years, he’s been a wicked thief. He walks around as if he were a gentleman. I remember that name.

BORACHIO

110Didst thou not hear somebody?

BORACHIO

Did you hear someone?

CONRADE

No, ’twas the vane on the house.

CONRADE

Just the weathervane moving.

BORACHIO

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, sometimes fashioning them
115like 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 smirched worm-eaten
tapestry, where his codpiece seems as massy as his club?

BORACHIO

As I was saying, fashion is a deformed villain. It makes hot-blooded young men spin around feverishly, forever changing their appearances, dictating that sometimes they dress like Pharoah’s soldiers in that grimy painting and sometimes like the priests of the god Baal, as seen in old church windows. And sometimes fashion dresses them like the great Hercules in that dirty, worm-eaten tapestry—the one where his

codpiece

A codpiece was a pouch, sometimes stuffed and decorated, worn over pants and covering a man’s genitals.

codpiece
seems almost as big as his club.

CONRADE

All this I see, and I see that the fashion wears out more
120apparel 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?

CONRADE

I get all this. And I also understand how fashion changes so quickly that a man’s clothing never gets a chance to wear itself out. But you’re all wound up about fashion, too. Otherwise, why would you stray from your story to blabber on about it?

BORACHIO

Not so, neither. But know that I have tonight wooed
Margaret, the Lady Hero’s gentlewoman, by the name of
125Hero. 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
130encounter.

BORACHIO

No, I’m not wound up. But I will tell you that I seduced Margaret, the Lady Hero’s waiting woman, tonight. I called her “Hero” the whole time. She leaned out of her mistress’s bedroom window and told me good night a thousand times—but I am telling this story poorly. I should backtrack and begin with how my master, Don John, arranged for the Prince, Claudio, and himself to witness this friendly encounter from the orchard.