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Beat. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore sink you down?

D. John. Come, let us go: these things, come thus Smother her spirits up. [to light, [Exeunt Don Pedro, Don John, and Claudio. Bene. How doth the lady? Beat.

Dead, I think ;-help, uncle ;Hero! why, Hero!-Uncle !-Signior Benedick!-friar! Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand! Death is the fairest cover for her shame, That may be wish'd for.


How now, cousin Hero? Friar. Have comfort, lady. Leon.

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Dost thou look up?
Friar. Yea; wherefore should she not?
Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
The story that is printed in her blood?
Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes:
For did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Myself would on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one?
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame ?
O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Why had I not, with charitable hand,
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates;
Who smirched thus, and mir'd with infamy,
I might have said, No part of it is mine,
This shame derives itself from unknown loins?
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd,
And mine that I was proud on; mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her; why, she-O, she is fallen
Into a pit of ink! that the wide sea

Hath drops too few to wash her clean again;
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!


Sir, sir, be patient :
For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
Bene, Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?
Beat. No, truly, not: although, until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
Leon. Confirm'd,confirm'd! O, that is stronger made,
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron!
Would the two princes lie and Claudio lie?
Who lov'd her so that speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her; let her die.
Friar. Hear me a little;

For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions start
Into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness bear away those blushes;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth :-Call me a fool;
Trust not my reading, nor my observations,
Which with experimental seal doth warrant
The tenor of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Under some biting error.


Friar, it cannot be :
Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left,
Is, that she will not add to her damnation
A sin of perjury; she not denies it:
Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That which appears in proper nakedness?

Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accused of? Hero. They know that do accuse me; I know none. If I know more of any man alive,

Than that which maideu modesty doth warrant,
Let all my sins lack mercy!--O my father,
Prove you that any man with me convers'd
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature,
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death. [princes.
Friar. There is some strange misprision in the
Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour;
And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
The practice of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.

Leon. I know not; If they speak but truth of her,
These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour,
The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,

Nor age so eat up my invention,
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
Ability in means, and choice of friends,
To quit me of them throughly.


Pause a while,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Your daughter here the princes left for dead;
Let her a while be secretly kept in,
And publish it, that she is dead indeed:
Maintain a mourning ostentation;
And on your family's old monument
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites
That appertain unto a burial.

Leon. What shall become of this? What will this do?
Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf
Change slander to remorse; that is some good:
But not for that dream I on this strange course,
But on this travail look for greater birth.
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd,
Upon the instant that she was accus'd,
Shall be lamented, pitied, and excus'd,
Of every hearer: for it so falls out

That what we have we prize not to the worth,
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack'd and lost,
Why, then we rack the value; then we find
The virtue, that possession would not show us
Whiles it was ours:-So will it fare with Claudio:
When he shall hear she died upon his words,
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep

Into his study of imagination;

And every lovely organ of her life

Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,

More moving-delicate, and full of life,

Into the eye and prospect of his soul,

Than when she liv'd indeed :-then shall he mourn,
(If ever love had interest in his liver,)
And wish he had not so accused her;
No, though he thought his accusation true.
Let this be so, and doubt not but success
Will fashion the event in better shape
Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
But if all aim but this be levell'd false,
The supposition of the lady's death
Will quench the wonder of her infamy:
And, if it sort not well, you may conceal her
(As best befits her wounded reputation,)
In some reclusive and religious life,
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.

Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:
And though you know my inwardness and love
Is very much unto the prince and Claudio,
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
As secretly, and justly, as your soul
Should with your body.


Being that I flow in grief, The smallest twine may lead me.

Friar. "Tis well consented; presently away;
For to strange sores, strangely they strain the cure.-
Come, lady, die to live: this wedding-day,

Perhaps, is but prolonged; have patience, and end ure.
[Exeunt Friar, Hero, and Leonato.
Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer.
Bene. I will not desire that.

Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely.
Bene. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wrong'd.
Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me,
that would right her!

Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship?
Beat. A very even way, but no such friend.
Bene. May a man do it?

Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours. Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as you; is not that strange?

Beat. As strange as the thing I know not: it were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as you but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing: I am sorry for my cousin.

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.

Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I will make him eat it, that says, I love not you. Beat. Will you not eat your word?

Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it: I protest I love thee.

Beat. Why then, God forgive me !
Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice?

Beat. You have staid me in a happy hour; I was examine; you must call forth the watch that are their about to protest, I loved you.

Bene. And do it with all thy heart.


Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way: Let the Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that watch come forth-Masters, I charge you, in the

none is left to protest.

Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.

Beat. Kill Claudio.

Bene. Ha! not for the wide world.

Beat. You kill me to deny it: Farewell.

Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beat. I am gone, though I am here;-there is no love in you:-nay, I pray you, let me go.

Bene. Beatrice,

Beat. In faith, I will go.

Bene. We'll be friends first.

prince's name, accuse these men.

1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain.

Dogb. Write down-prince John a villain :-Why this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother-villain. Bora. Master constable,

Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like thy look, I promise thee.

Sexton. What heard you him say else?

2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrong

Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight fully. with mine enemy.

Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?

Beat. Is he not approv'd in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? -O that I were a man!-What! bear her in hand until they come to take hands; and then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,-O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.

Bene. Hear me, Beatrice ;

Beat. Talk with a man out at a window?-a proper saying!

Bene. Nay but, Beatrice ;

Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
Verg. Yea, by the mass, that it is.
Sexton. What else, fellow ?

1 Watch. And that count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her.

Dogb. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.

Sexton. What else?

2 Watch. This is all.

Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can deny.
Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away;
Hero was
this manner accused, in this very manner

Beat. Sweet Hero!-she is wronged, she is slan- refused, and upon the grief of this, suddenly died.-: dered, she is undone.

Bene. Beat

Beat. Princes, and counties! Surely a princely testimony, a goodly count-confect; a sweet gallant, surely! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it :-I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.

Bene, Tarry, good Beatrice: by this hand I love thee.

Beat. Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.

Bene. Think you in your soul the count Claudio hath wronged Hero?

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul. Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge him; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you: by this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account: as you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin: I must say, she is dead; and so farewell. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. A Prison.

Enter Dogberry, Verges, and Sexton, in Gowns; and
the Watch, with Conrade and Borachio.
Dogb. Is our whole dissembly appeared?
Verg. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton!
Sexton. Which be the malefactors?
Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner.
Verg. Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibition
to examine.

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined? let them come before master constable. Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me.-What is your name, friend?

Bora. Borachio.

Dogb. Pray write down-Borachio.Yours,
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
Dogb. Write down-master gentleman Conrade.
Masters, do you serve God?

Con. Bora. Yea, sir, we hope.

Master constable, let these men be bound, and brought
to Leonato's; I will go, before, and show him their

Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned.
Verg. Let them be in band.
Con. Off, coxcomb!

Dogb. God's my life! where's the sexton? let him write down-the prince's officer,-coxcomb.-Come, bind them :-Thou naughty variet!

Con. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass. Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years -O that he were here to write me down-an ass !-but, masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that am an ass :-No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a householder; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina; and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses; and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him :-Bring him away. O, that I had been writ down-an ass. [Exeunt.


SCENE I. Before Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato and Antonio.
Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself,
And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief
Against yourself.

I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
Which falls into mine ears as profitless
As water in a sieve; give not me counsel;
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear,
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
Bring me a father, that so lov'd his child,
sir-Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
And bid him speak of patience;
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain;
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form:
If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard;
Cry--sorrow, wag! and hem, when he should groan;
Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortunes drunk
With candle-wasters: bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.
But there is no such man: For, brother, men
Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ach with air, and agony with words:
No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow;
But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency,
To be so moral, when he shall endure

Dogb. Write down-that they hope they serve God: -and write God first; for God defend bat God should go before such villains !-Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves; and it will go near to be thought so shortly. How answer you for yourselves?

Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none. Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; but I will go about with him.-Come you hither, sirrah; a word in your ear, sir; I say to you, it is thought you are false knaves.

Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none. Dogb. Well, stand aside.-'Fore God, they are both in a tale have you writ down-that they are


Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way to

The like himself: therefore give me no counsel:
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.

Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ.
Leon. I pray thee, peace; I will be flesh and blood;
For there was never yet philosopher,
That could endure the tooth-ach patiently;
However they have writ the style of gods,
And made a pish at chance and sufferance.
Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself:
Make those, that do offend you, suffer too.

Leon. There thou speak 'st reason: nay, I will do so. My soul doth tell me, Hero is belied; And that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince, And all of them, that thus dishonour her.

Enter Don Pedro and Claudio.

Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio, hastily. D. Pedro. Good den, good den. Claud. Good day to both of you. Leon. Hear you, my lordsD. Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato. Leon. Some haste, my lord well, fare you well, Are you so hasty now?-well, all is one. [my lord:D. Pedro. Nay,do not quarrel with us,good old man. Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, Some of us would lie low. Claud.


Who wrongs him?


Thou, thou dost wrong me; thon dissembler, thou; Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword,

I fear thee not.


Marry, beshrew my hand,

If it should give your age such cause of fear:
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.

Leon. Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me :

I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool;

As, under privilege of age, to brag

What I have done, being young, or what would do,
Were I not old: Know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me,
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by;
And, with gray hairs, and bruise of
Do challenge thee to trial of a man.

many days,

I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child;

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D. Pedro. See, see, here comes the man we went to seek.

Claud. Now, signior! what news!

Bene. Good day, my lord.

D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: You are almost come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old men without teeth.

D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother. What think'st thou? Had we fought, I doubt, we should have been too young for them.

Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I came to seek you both.

Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain have it beaten away: Wilt thou use thy wit?

Bene. It is in my scabbard; Shall I draw it? D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side? Claud. Never any did so, though very many have been beside their wit.-1 will bid thee draw as we do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.

D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale: Art thou sick or angry?

killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill Claud. What! courage, man! What though care


Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an you charge it against me: I pray you, choose another subject.

Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this last was broke across.

D. Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more I think, he be angry indeed.

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear?
Claud. God bless me from a challenge!

Bene. You are a villain; 1 jest not:-I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare:-Do me right, or I will protest your

Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart, cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her

And she lies buried with her ancestors:
O! in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Save this of her's, fram'd by thy villany.
Claud. My villany!

Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.
D. Pedro. You say not right, old man.
My lord, my lord,
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare;
Despite his nice fence, and his active practice,
His May of youth, and bloom of lustyhood.

Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you. Leon. Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man. [child; Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed: But that's no matter; let him kill one first :Win me and wear me,-let him answer me,Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me :Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence; Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

Leon. Brother,

Ant. Content yourself: God knows, I lov'd my niece, And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains; That dare as well answer a man, indeed, As I dare take a serpent by the tongue : Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops! Leon.

death shall fall heavy on you: Let me hear from you. Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good


D. Pedro. What, a feast? a feast!

Claud. I'faith, I thank him he hath bid me to a calf's head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught.-Shall I not find a woodcock too?

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily. D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day I said, thou hadst a fine wit; True, says she, a fine little one: No, said 1, a great wit; Right, says she, a great gross one: Nay, said I, a good wit; Just, said she, it hurts nobody: Nay, said I, the gentleman is wise; Certain, said she, a wise gentleman: Nay, said I, he hath the tongues; That I believe, said she, for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue; there's two tongues. Thus did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular virtues; yet, at last, she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the propere t man in Italy.

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said,

she cared not.

D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet, for all that, Brother Antony,an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly the old man's daughter told us all. Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

Ant. Hold you content; What, man! I know

them, yea,

And what they weigh, even to the utmost seruple :
Scrambling, out-facing, fashion-mong'ring boys,
That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander,
Go anticly, and show outward hideousness,
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst,
And this is all.

Leon. But, brother Antony,-
Come, 'tis no matter;
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this. [patience.
D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death;
But, on my honour, she was charged with nothing
But what was true, and very full of proof.
Leon. My lord, my lord,-
D. Pedro.

I will not hear you.


Leon. Brother, away :-I will be heard ;

D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage ball's horns on the sensible Benedick's head?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the married man!

Bene. Fare you well, hoy; you know my mind; I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour: you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not.-My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your company; your brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina: you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady for my lord Lack-beard, there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him. [Exit.

D. Pedro. He is in earnest. Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?

Claud. Most sincerely. D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit! Enter Dogberry, Verges, and the Watch, with Conrade and Borachio.

Claud. He is then a giant to an ape: but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be; pluck up, my heart, and be sad! Did he not say, my brother was fled ?

Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance pay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.

D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound! Borachio, one!

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord! D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?


Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; darily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things: and, to conclude, they are lying knaves." D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge?

Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited. D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, that you are thus bound to your answer? this learned constable is too cunning to be understood: What's your offence?

Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes: what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who, in the night, overheard me confessing to this man, how Don John your brother incensed me to slander the lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you disgraced her, when you should marry her: my villany they have upon record; which I had rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame: the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.

D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through! your blood?

Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he utter'd it. D. Pedro. Bat did my brother set thee on to this? Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it. D. Pedro. He is compos'd aud fram'd of treachery:And fled he is upon this villany.

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first.

Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs; by this time our sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of the matter; and masters, do not forget to specify, when t time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.

Re-enter Leonato and Antonio, with the Sexton.

Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night:-
To-morrow morning come you to my house;
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us;
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.
Your over kindness doth wring tears from me!
O, noble sir,
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.

Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming;
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.


No, by my soul, she was not; Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me; But always hath been just and virtuous, In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover sir, (which, indeed, is not under white and black,) this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment: and also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it: and borrows money in God's name; the which he hath used so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake: Pray you, examine him upon that point.

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains.

Dogb. God save the foundation!

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I

thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship; for the example of others. God keep your worship; which, I beseech your worship, to correct yourself, I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry I wish your worship well; God restore you to health: meeting may be wished, God prohibit it.-Come, neighbour. [Exeunt Dogberry, Verges, and Watch. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. Ant. Farewell, my lords; we look for you toD. Pedro. We will not fail, [morrow. Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero. [Exeunt Don Pedro and Claudio. Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk with How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.



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Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty.

Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man

Leon. Which is the villain? let me see his eyes; living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, That when I note another man like him,

I may avoid him: Which of these is he?

Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath hast Mine innocent child? [kill'd

Yea, even I alone.

Bora. Leon. No, not so, villain; thou bely'st thyself; Here stand a pair of honourable men, A third has fled, that had a hand in it:I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death; Record it with your high and worthy deeds; "Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, Yet I must speak: Choose your revenge yourself: Impose me to what penance your invention Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not, But in mistaking.

D. Pedro.

By my soul, nor I;

And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live, That were impossible: but, I pray you both, Possess the people in Messina here

How innocent she died: and, if your love

thou deservest it.

Marg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs?

Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.

Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hart not.

Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so I pray thee, call Beatrice: I give thee the bucklers.

Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of

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a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned over and over as my poor self, in love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have tried; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an innocent rhyme; for scorn, horn, a hard rhyme; for school, fool, a babbling rhyme; very ominous endings: No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival


Enter Beatrice. Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?" Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me. Bene. O, stay but till then!

Beat. Then, is spoken; fare you well now:-and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss


Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed.

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit: But, I must, tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love

with me?

Beat. For them altogether; which maintained so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me? Bene. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will. Beat. In spite of your heart, I think; alas! poor heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend


Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty, that will praise himself. Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time of good neighbours: if a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monument, than the bell rings, and the widow weeps.

Beat. And how long is that, think you?

Bene. Question?-Why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is most expedient for the wise, (if Don Worm his conscience, find no impediment to the contrary,) to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So much for praising myself, (who, I myself will bear witness, is praiseworthy,) and now tell me, How doth your cousin? Beat. Very ill.

Bene. And how do you?

Beat. Very ill too.

For the which, with songs of woe, Round about her tomb they go. Midnight, assist our moan; Help us to sigh and groan, Heavily, heavily:

Graves, yawn, and yield your dead,
Till death be uttered,
Heavily, heavily.

Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night!

Yearly will I do this rite.


D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters; put your torches The wolves have prey'd; and look, the gentle day, Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about

Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray: Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well. Claud. Good morrow, masters: each his several way. D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other [weeds: And then to Leonato's we will go. Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speeds, Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe!


SCENE IV. A Room in Leonato's House. Enter Leonato, Antonio, Benedick, Beatrice, Ursula, Friar, and Hero.


Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent? Upon the error that you heard debated: Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accused But Margaret was in some fault for this; Although against her will, as it appears In the true course of all the question.

Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves; And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd: The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me You know your office, brother; You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies. Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think. Friar. To do what, signior?

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there will Here comes the prince, and Claudio. I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.

Enter Ursula.

Urs. Madam, you must come to your ancle; yonder's old coil at home: it is proved, my lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused; and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and gone will you come presently? Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior? Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes; and, moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's.


SCENE III. The Inside of a Church.
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, and Attendants, with
Music and Tapers.

Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato?
Atten. It is, my lord.

Claud. [Reads from a Scroll.]

Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies:
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
Gives her fame which never dies:
So the life, that died with shame,
Lives in death with glorious fame.
Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Praising her when I am dumb.---
Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.


Pardon, Goddess of the night,

Those that slew thy virgin knight;

[Affixing it.

Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; "Tis most true.
Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her.
From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your will?
Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me,
But, for my will, my will is, your good will
Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the estate of honourable marriage;-
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
Leon. My heart is with your liking.
And my help.
Enter Don Pedro and Claudio, with Attendants.
D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.
Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio;
We here attend you; Are you yet determin'd
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar ready.
[Exit Antonio.
D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's
[the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull:-
Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold,
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,

When he would play the noble beast in love.
Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;

And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
And got a calf in that same noble feat,
Much like to you, for you have just his bleat.

Re-enter Antonio, with the Ladies masked. Claud. For this I owe you here come other reckWhich is the lady I must seize upon? [onings. Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her. Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me see

your face.

Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar ;

I am your husband, if you like of me.

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