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you told me of to-day? that your niece Beatrice was in love with signior Benedick?

Claud. O, ay:-Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits. [Aside to Pedro] I did never think that lady would have loved any man.

Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so dote on signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor. Bene. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner? [Aside. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an enraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.

D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Claud. 'Faith, like enough.

Leon. O God! counterfeit! There was never counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.

D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she?
Claud. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.

[Aside. Leon. What effects, my lord! She will sit you,You heard my daughter tell you how.

Claud. She did, indeed.

D. Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me: I would have thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.

Leon. I would have sworn it had, my lord; espeially against Benedick.

Bene. [Aside] I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence.

Claud. He hath ta'en the infection; hold it up.
D. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to

Leon. No; and swears she never will: that's her


Claud. 'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: Shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?

Leon. This says she now when she is beginning to write to him for she'll be up twenty times a night; and there will she sit in her smock, till she have writ a sheet of paper :-my daughter tells us all.

D. Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happi


Claud. 'Fore God, and in my mind, very wise. D. Pedro. He doth, indeed, show some sparks that are like wit.

Leon. And I take him to be valiant.

D. Pedro. As Hector, I assure you and in the managing of quarrels you may say he is wise; for either he avoids them with great discretion, or undertakes them with a most Christian-like fear.

Leon. If he do fear God, he must necessarily keep peace; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into a quarrel with fear and trembling.

D. Pedro. And so will he do; for the man doth fear God, howsoever it seems not in him, by some large jests he will make. Well, I am sorry for your niece shall we go see Benedick, and tell him of her love? Claud. Never tell him, my lord; let her wear it out with good counsel.

Leon. Nay, that's impossible; she may wear her heart out first.

D. Pedro. Well, we'll hear further of it by your daughter; let it cool the while. I love Benedick well; and I could wish he would modestly examine himself, to see how much he is unworthy so good a lady.

Leon. My lord, will you walk; dinner is ready. Claut. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust my expectation.


D. Pedro. Let there be the same net spread for her; and that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry. The sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of another's dotage, and no such matter; that's the scene that I would see, which will be merely a dumb show. Let us send her to call him in to dinner. [Aside. [Exeunt Don Pedro, Claudio, and Leonato. Benedick advances from above.

Bene. This can be no trick: the conference was

sadly borne. They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections have their full bent. Love me! why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say, I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from

Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, remem-her; they say too, that she will rather die than give ber a pretty jest your daughter told us of.

Leon. O-When she had writ it, and was reading it over, she found Benedick and Beatrice between the


Cland. That.

any sign of affection. I did never think to marry:-their detractions, and can put them to mending. I must not seem proud :-Happy are they that hear They say the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness and virtuous; 'tis so, I cannot reLeon. O she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; railed at herself, that she should be so immo- prove it; and wise, but for loving me :-By my troth, it is no addition to her wit;-nor no great argument dest to write to one that she knew would flout her of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I measure him, says she, by my own spirit; for II may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of should flout him, if he writ to me; yea, though I love wit broken on me, because I have railed so long him, I should. against marriage :-But doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his age: shall quips, and sentences, and these paper bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour? No: the world must be peonot think I should live till I were married.-Here pled. When I said, I would die a bachelor, I did comes Beatrice; By this day, she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.

Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curses :O sweet Benedick! God give me patience!

Leon. She doth, indeed; my daughter says so and the ecstasy hath so much overborne her, that my daughter is sometime afraid she will do a desperate outrage to herself; It is very true.

D. Pedro. It were good that Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it.

Claud. To what end? He would make but a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.

D. Pedro. An he should, it were an alms to hang him she's an excellent sweet lady; and, out of all suspicion, she is virtuous.

Claud. And she is exceeding wise.

D. Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick. Leon. O my lord, wisdom and blood combating in so tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that blood hath the victory. I am sorry for her, as I have just cause, being her uncle and her guardian.

D. Pedro. I would she had bestowed this dotage on me; I would have daff'd all other respects, and made her half myself: I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will say.

Leon. Were it good, think you? Claud. Hero, thinks surely, she will die: for she says, she will die if he love her not; and she will die ere she makes her love known and she will die if he woo her, rather than she will bate one breath of her accustomed crossness.

D. Pedro. She doth well: if she should make tender of her love, 'tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit. Claud. He is a very proper man.

Enter Beatrice. Beat. Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner.

Bene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains. Beat. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, I would not have come.

Bene. You take pleasure in the message? Beat. Yea, just so much as you may take upon a knife's point, and choke a daw withal.-You have [Exit, no stomach, signior: fare you well.

Bene. Ha! Against my will I am sent to bid you come to dinner there's a double meaning in that. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you took pains to thank me-that's as much as to say, Any pains that I take for you is as easy as thanks:-If I do not take pity of her, I am a villain; if I do not love her, I am a Jew: I will go get her picture.


SCENE 1. Leonato's Garden.
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.


Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour; There shalt thou find my cousin Beatrice

Proposing with the Prince and Claudio:
Whisper her ear, and tell her, I and Ursula
Walk in the orchard, and our whole dsscouse
Is all of her; say, that thou overheard'st us;
And bid her steal into the pleached bower,
Where honey-suckles, ripen'd by the sun,
Forbid the sun to enter;-like favourites,
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride
Against that power that bred it :-there will she hide
To listen our purpose: this is thy office, [her,
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone.
Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, presently.

Hero. Now, Ursula, when Beatrice doth come,
As we do trace this alley up and down,
Our talk must only be of Benedick:
When I do name him, let it be thy part

To praise him more than ever man did merit :
My talk to thee must be, how Benedick.

Is sick in love with Beatrice of this matter
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made,
That only wounds by hearsay. Now begin;

Enter Beatrice, behind.

For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.

Urs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
Cat with her golden oars the silver stream,
And greedily devour the treacherous bait:
So angle we for Beatrice; who even now
Is couched in the woodbine coverture:
Fear you not my part of the dialogue.
Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lose nothing
Of the false sweet bait that we lay for it-

[They advance to the Bower. No, truly, Ursula, she is too disdainful; I know, her spirits are as coy and wild. As haggards of the rock. Urs. But are you sure, That Benedick loves Beatrice so entirely? Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord. Urs. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam? Hero. They did entreat me to acquaint her of it: But I persuaded them, if they lov'd Benedick, To wish him wrestle with affection, And never to let Beatrice know of it.

Urs. Why did you so? Doth not the gentleman
Deserve as full, as fortunate a bed,
As ever Beatrice shall couch upon?

Hero. O god of love! I know, he doth deserve
As much as may be yielded to a man:
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart
Of prouder stuff than that of Beatrice :
Disdain and scorn ride sparkling in her eyes,
Misprising what they look on; and her wit
Values itself so highly, that to her

All matter else seems weak: she cannot love,
Nor take no shape nor project of affection,
She is so self-endeared."

Sure, I think so;

And therefore, certainly it were not good
She knew his love, lest she make sport at it.

Hero. Why, you speak truth: I never yet saw man,
How wise, how noble, young, how rarely featur'd,
But she would spell him backward; if fair-faced,
She'd swear the gentleman should be her sister;
If black, why, nature, drawing of an antic,
Made a foul blot; if tall, a lance ill-headed;
If low, an agate very vilely cut:

If speaking, why, a vane blown with all winds:
If silent, why, a block moved with none.
So turns she every man the wrong side out;
And never gives to truth and virtue, that
Which simpleness and merit purchaseth.

Urs. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable.
Hero. No not to be so odd, and from all fashions,
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable:
But who dare tell her so? If I should speak,
She'd mock me into air; O, she would laugh me
Out of myself, press me to death with wit.
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire,
Consume away in sighs, waste inwardly:
It were a better death than die with mocks;
Which is as bad as die with tickling.

Urs. Yet tell her of it; hear what she will say. Hero. No; rather I will go to Benedick, And counsel him to fight against his passion: And, truly, I'll devise some honest slanders To stain my cousin with one doth not know, How much an ill word may empoison liking. Urs. O, do not do your cousin such a wrong.

She cannot be so much without true judgment
(Having so swift and excellent a wit,
As she is priz'd to have), as to refuse
So rare a gentleman as signior Benedick.
Hero. He is the only man in Italy,
Always excepted my dear Claudio.

Urs. I pray you, be not angry with me, madam,
Speaking my fancy; signior Benedick,
For shape, for bearing, argument, and valour,
Goes foremost in report through Italy.

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name. Urs. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. When are you married, madam?

Hero. Why, every day ;-to-morrow: come, go in ; I'll show thee some attires; and have thy counsel, Which is the best to furnish me to-morrow. [madam, Urs. She's lim'd, I warrant you; we have caught her, Hero. If it prove so, then loving goes by haps: Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps, [Exeunt Hero and Ursula.

Beatrice advances.

Beat. What fire is in mine ears? Can this be true?
Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorn so much!
Contempt, farewell! and maiden pride, adieu !
No glory lives behind the back of such.
And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee;
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand;
If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee
To bind our loves up in a holy band:
For others say, thou dost deserve; and I
Believe it better than reportingly.


SCENE II. A Room in Leonato's House. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, and Leonato. D. Pedro. I do but stay till your marriage be consummale, and then I go toward Arragon.

Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll Vouchsafe me.

D. Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a soil in the new gloss of your marriage, as to show a child bis new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be bold with Benedick for his company; for, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bowstring, and the little hangman dares not shoot at him he hath a heart as sound as a bell, and his tongue is the clapper; for what his heart thinks, his tongue speaks." Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been, Leon. So say I; methinks you are sadder. Claud. I hope, he be in love.

D. Pedro. Hang him, truant; there's no true drop. of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love: if he be sad, he wants money.

Bene. I have the tooth-ach'!

D. Pedro. Draw it.

Bene. Hang it !

Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards.

Pedro. What? sigh for the tooth-ach?

Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm? Bene. Well, every one can master a grief, but he that has it.

Claud. Yet say I, he is in love.

D. Pedro. There is no appearance of fancy in him,. anless it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises; as, to be a Dutchman to-day; a Frenchman to-morrow; or in the shape of two countries at once, as a German from the waist downward, all slops; and a Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet: Unless he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it appear he is.

Claud. If he be not in love with some woman, there is no believing old signs: he brushes his hat o'mornings; what should that bode?

D. Pedro. Hath any man seen him at the barber's? Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been seen with him; and the old ornament of his cheek hath already stuffed tennis-balls.

Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by the loss of a beard.

D. Pedro. Nay, he rubs himself with civet: Can you smell him out by that?

Claud. That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in love.

D. Pedro. The greatest note of it is his melancholy. Claud. And when was he wont to wash his face ? D. Pedro. Yea, or to paint himself? for the which, I hear what they say of him.

Claud. Nay, but his jesting spirit; which is now crept into a lutestring, and now governed by stops. D. Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him: conclude, conclude, he is in love.

Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him. D. Pedro. That would I know too; 1 warrant, one that knows him not.

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions; and, in despite of all, dies for him.

D. Pedro. She shall be buried with her face upwards. Bene. Yet is this no charm for the tooch-ach.-Old signior, walk aside with me: I have studied eight or nine wise words to speak to you, which these hobbyhorses must not hear. [Exeunt Benedick and Leonato. D. Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Beatrice.

Claud. 'Tis even so: Hero and Margaret have by this played their parts with Beatrice; and then the two bears will not bite one another, when they meet. Enter Don John.

D. John. My lord and brother, God save you.
D. Pedro. Good den, brother.

D. John. If your leisure served, I would speak with you.

D. Pedro. In private?

D. John. If it please you ;-yet count Ciandio may hear; for what I would speak of concerns him. D. Pedro. What's the matter?

Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal. God hath blessed you with a good name: to be a well-favoured 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 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 lantern: this is your charge; you shall comprehend all vagrom men: you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's name.

2 Watch. 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 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 to--Well, you are to call at all the alehouses, and bid offend; only, have a care that your bills be not stolen: those that are drunk get them to bed.

D. John. Means your lordship to be married
[To Claudio.

morrow ?

D. Pedro. You know he does.

D. John. I know not that, when he knows what

I know.

2 Watch. How if they will not?

Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are so

Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you dis-ber; if they make you not then the better answer,

cover it.

D. John. You may think I love you not; let that appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now will manifest; for my brother, I think, he holds you well; and in dearness of heart hath holp to effect your ensuing marriage: surely, suit ill spent, and labour ill bestowed!

D. Pedro. Why, what's the matter?

D. John. I came hither to tell you; and, circum

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 them, why, the more is for your honesty. such kind of men, the less you meddle or make with

2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, shall we not lay hands on him!

Dogb. Tuly, by your office, you may; but I think,

stances shortened, (for she hath been too long a talk-they that touch pitch will be defiled: the most peaceing of), the lady is disloyal.

Claud. Who? Hero!

D. John. Even she; Leonato's Hero, your Hero,

every man's Hero.

Claud. Disloyal?

D. John. The word is too good to paint out her wickedness; I could say, she were worse; think you of a worse title, and I will fit her to it. Wonder not till further warrant: go but with me to-night, you shall see her chamber-window entered; even the night before her wedding-day: if you love her then, to-morrow wed her; but it would better fit your honour to change your mind.

Claud. May this be so?

D. Pedro. I will not think it.

D. John. If you dare not trust that you see, confess not that you know if you will follow me, I will show you enough; and when you have seen more, and heard more, proceed accordingly.

Claud. If I see any thing to-night why I should not marry her to-morrow; in the congregation, where I should wed, there will I shame her.

D. Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, I will join with thee to disgrace her.

D. John. I will disparage her no further, till you are my witnesses: bear it coldly but till midnight, and let the issue show itself.

D. Pedro. O day untowardly turned !
Claud. O mischief strangely thwarting!
D. John. O plague right well prevented!
So will you say, when you have seen the sequel.

SCENE III. A Street.


Enter Dogberry and Verges, with the Watch.
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, neighbour Dogberry.

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

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

able way for you, if you do take a thief, is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal out of your


Verg. You have been always called a merciful man, partner.

much more a man who hath any honesty in him.
Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will;
Verg. If you hear a child cry in the night, you
must call to the nurse, and bid her still it.
hear us!
2 Watch. How if the nurse be asleep, and will not

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.

ble, are to present the prince's own person; if you Dogb. This is the end of the charge. You, constameet 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 without the prince be willing: for, indeed, the watch that knows the statues, he may stay him; marry, not ought to offend no man: and it is an offence to stay a man against his will.

Verg. By'r 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 night.-Come, neighbour.

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

Dogb. One word more, honest neighbours: 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."

[Exeunt Dogberry and Verges. Enter Borachio and Conrade.

Bera. What! Conrade,-
Watch. Peace, stir not.
Bora. Conrade, I say!

Con. Here, man, I am at thy elbow,


Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought there would a scab follow.

Con. I will owe thee an answer for that; and now forward with thy tale.

Bora. Stand thee close then under this penthouse, for it drizzles rain; and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.

Watch. [Aside] Some treason, masters: yet stand close.

Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don John a thousand ducats.

Con. Is it possible that any villany should be so dear?

Bora. Thou shouldst rather ask, if it were possible any villany should be so rich; for when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will.

Con. I wonder at it.

Bora. That shows thou art unconfirmed: thou knowest that the fashion of a doablet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a man.

Con. Yes, it is apparel.
Bora. I meau the fashion.

Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion:

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

Watch. 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.

Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody?
Con. No; 'twas the vane on the house.

Bora. See'st 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? sometime, 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 smirched worm-eaten tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his club?

Con. All this I see; and see, that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man: but art thou not thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?

Marg. 1 like the new tire within excellently, if the hair were a thought browner: and your gown's a most rare fashion, i'faith. I saw the duchess of Milan's gown, that they praise so.

Hero. O, that exceeds, they say.

Marg. By my troth it's but a night-gown in respect of yours: Cloth of gold, and cuts, and laced with silver; set with pearls, down sleeves, side-sleeves, and skirts round, underhorne with a bluish tinsel: but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't.

Here. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy!

Marg. Twill be heavier soon, by the weight of a man.
Hero. Fie upon thee! art not ashamed?

Marg. Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord honourable without marriage? I think you would have me say, saving your reverence,-a husband: an bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody: Is there any harm in-the heavier for a husband? None, think,an if it be the right husband,and the right wife: otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy: Ask my lady Beatrice else, here she comes.


Enter Beatrice.
Hero. Good morrow, coz.

Beat. Good morrow, sweet Hero.

Hero. Why, how now! do you speak in the sick tune?
Beat. I am out of all other tane, methinks.
out a burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it.
Marg. Clap us into-Light o'love; that goes with-

Beat. Yea, Light o'love, with your heels!-then if
lack no barns.
your husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall

Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.

Beat. "Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my troth I am exceeding ill :-hey,


Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H.
Marg. Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's
no more sailing by the star.

Beat. What means the fool, trow ?

desire! Marg. Nothing.I; but God send every one their

Bora. 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,-Iheart's 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 encounter.

Con. And thought they Margaret was Hero? Bora. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio; but the devil my master knew she was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which first possessed 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 enraged 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 over-night, and send her home again without a husband.

1 Watch. We charge you in the prince's name, stand. 2 Watch. Call up the right master constable: we have here recovered the most dangerous piece of lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth. 1 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them; Iknow him, he wears a lock.

Con. Masters, masters.

excellent perfume.
Hero. These gloves the count sent me, they are an

Beat, I am stuff'd cousin, I cannot smell.
Marg. A maid, and stuffed! there's goodly catching
of cold.

have you profess'd apprehension ?
Beat. O, God help me! God help me! how long

Marg. Ever since you left it: doth not my wit become me rarely?

Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap.-By my troth, I am sick.

dictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing Marg. Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benefor a qualm.

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle. Beat. Benedictus! why Benedictus? you have some moral in this Benedictus.

Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning; I meant, plain holy thistle. You may think, perchance, that I think you are in love: nay, by'r lady, I am not such fool to think what I list; nor I list not to think what I can nor, indeed, I cannot think, if I

2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I would think my heart out of thinking, that you are in

warrant you.

Con. Masters.

I Watch. Never speak; we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.

Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity,
being taken up of these men's bills.
Con. A commodity in question, I warrant you. Come,
we'll obey you.

SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato's House.
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.

Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire her to rise.

Urs. I will, lady.

Hero. And bid her come hither.

Urs. Well.


Marg. Troth, I think your other rabato were better. Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this, Marg. By my troth, it's not so good; and I warrant, your cousin will say so.

Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another; I'll wear none but this.

love, or that you will be in love, or that you can be in become a man: he swore he would never marry; and love: yet Benedick was such another, and now is he yet now, in despite of his heart, he eats his meat without grudging and how you may be converted, I know not; but methinks you look with your eyes as other

women do.

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ?
Marg. Not a false gallop.

Re-enter Ursula.

Urs. Madam, withdraw; the prince, the count, signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of the town, are come to fetch you to church. Hero. Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula. [Exeunt. SCENE V. Another Room in Leonato's House.

Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges. Leon. What would you with me, honest neighbour? Dogb. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.

Leon. Brief, I pray you; for you see, 'tis a busy Will you with free and unconstrained soul time with me.

Dogb. Marry, this it is, sir.

Verg. Yes, in truth it is, sir.

Leon. What is it, my good friends?

Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the natter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest as the skin between his brows.

Give me this maid, your daughter?

Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me.
Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift. [worth
D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.
Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankful-
There, Leonato, take her back again;
Give not this rotten orange to your friend;
She's but the sign and semblance of her honour:-
Behold, how like a maid she blushes here:

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man
living, that is an old man, and no honester than I.
Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neigh-0, what authority and show of truth
bour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor duke's officers; but, truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.

Leon. All thy tediousness on me, ha!

Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more than 'tis: for I hear as good exclamation on your worship, as of any man in the city; and though I be buta poor man, I am glad to hear it.

Verg. And so am I.

Leon. I would fain know what you have to say. Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, have ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.

Dogb. A good old man, sir; he will be talking; as they say, When the age is in, the wit is out; God help us! it is a world to see!-Well said, i'faith,neighbour Verges-well, God's a good man; an two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind: an honest soul, i'faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread: but, God is to be worshipped: all men are not alike; alas, good neighbour!

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
Dogb. Gifts, that God gives.
Leon. I must leave you.

Dogb. One word, sir: our watch, sir, have, indeed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship. Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great haste, as it may appear unto


Dogb. It shall be suffigance.

Leon. Drink some wine ere you go fare you well.

Enter a Messenger.

Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows! But she is none:
She knows the heat of a laxarious bed:
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
Leon. What do you mean, my lord?

Not to be married,

Not knit my soul to an approved wanton.
Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity,-

Claud. I know what you would say; if I have known
You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband, [her,
And so extenuate the 'forehand sin
No, Leonato,

I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write against it:
You seem to me as Dian in her orb;
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown:
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus or those pamper'd animals
That rage in savage sensuality.
Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide ?
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you?
D. Pedro.
What should I speak?
stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.
Leon. Are these things spoken or do I but dream?
D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
True, O God!



Claud, Leonato, stand I here?

Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother? daughter to her husband.

Leon. I will wait upon them; I am ready. [Exeunt Leonato and Messenger. Dogb. Go, good partner, go; get you to Francis Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol; we are now to examination these men.

Verg. And we must do it wisely.

Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's that [Touching his Forehead] shali drive some of them to a non com only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the gaol. [Exeunt.


SCENE I. The Inside of a Church. Enter Don Pedro, Don John, Leonato, Friar, Claudio, Benedick, Hero, Beatrice, &c. Leon. Come, friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards.

Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady? Claud. No.

Leon. To be married to her, friar; you come to marry her.

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to this count? Hero. I do.

Friar. If either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be coojoined, I charge you, on your souls, to utter it.

Claud. Know you any, Hero!
Hero. None, my lord.

Friar. Know you any, count?

Leon. I dare make his answer, none.

Claud. O, what men dare do what men may do! what men daily do not knowing what they do! Bene. How now interjections? Why, then some be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he!

Claud. Stand thee by, friar :-Father, by your leave;

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Is this face Hero's? Are our eyes our own?
Leon. All this is so; but what of this, my lord?
Claud. Let me but move one question to your daugh-
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
That you have in her, bid her answer truly.
Leon. I charge thee do so, as thon art my child.
Hero. O God defend me how am I beset !-
What kind of catechising call you this?

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name.
Hero. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
With any just reproach?

Marry, that can Hero;"
Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue.
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight
Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one!
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.
D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.- Leonato,
I am sorry you must hear; upon mine honour,
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count,
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night,
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window;
Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal villain,
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.

D. John. Fie, fie they are Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be spoke of; There is not chastity enough in language, Withont offence to utter them: thus, pretty lady, I am sorry for thy much misgovernment. Claud. O Hero! what a Hero badst thou been, If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart! But, fare thee well, most fou!, most fair! farewell, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, And never shall it,more be gracious.

Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? [Hero swoons

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