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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 dry'd this blood of mine,
Nor age to eat up my invention,
Nor fortune made fuch havock 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.

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

(do ?
Leon. What shall become of this ? what will this
Friar. Marry, this, well carry’d, shall on her behalf
Change flander to remorse;. that is some good :
But not for that dream I on this strange course,
But on this travel look for greater birth :
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd,
Upon the instant that she was accus'd
Shall be lamented, pity'd, 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 shew us
Whilst it was ours; so will it fare with Claudio :
When he shall hear she dy'd upon his words,
Th' idea of her Life shall sweetly creep
Into his study of imagination,
And every lovely organ of her life

Shall

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Shall come apparel'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 inourn,
If ever love had interest in his liver,
And wild, 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 levelld false,
The fupposition of the lady's death
Will quench the wonder of her infamy.
And, if it fort 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 juftly as your soul
Should with your body.

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

lead Friar. 'Tis well consented, presently away;

For to strange fores, strangely they ftrain the cure, Come, lady, die to live; this wedding day, Perhaps, is but prolong'd: have patience and endure.

. [Exeunt.

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Manent Benedick and Beatrice. Bene.

ADY Beatrice, have you wept all this while ?

Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer.
Bene. I will not defire that.
Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely.

Bene.

LA

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 shew 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; 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

it were

my cousin

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lov'st 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 devis'd to it; I proteft, I love thee.

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

Beat. You have stay'd me in a happy hour; I was about to protest, I lov'd you.

Bene. And do it with all thy heart.

Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that 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; farewel.
Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beat. I am gone, tho' I am here ; there is no love in you; nay,

I
pray you,

let
Bene. Beatrice,
Beat. In faith, I will go.

Bene.

.

me go.

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Bene. We'll be friends first.

Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight with mine enemy. Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy

? Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath flander'd, fcorn'd, dishonour'd my kins- . woman ! O, that I were a man! what! bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then with public accusation, uncover'd slander, unmitigated

- O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place, Benz. Hear me,

Beatrice.
Beat. Talk with a man out at a window?-

a proper saying ! .

Bene. Nay, but Beatrice.

Beat. Sweet Hero ! she is wrong'd, she is slanderd, she is undone.

Bene. Beat.

Beat. Princes and Counts ! surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfect, a sweet gallant, furely! O that I were a man for his fake! Or that I had any friend would be a man for my

fake! but manhood is melted into curtefies, valour into compliment, and men are only turn'd 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 wrong'd Hero?

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.

Bene. Enough, I am engag'd; I will challenge him, I will kiss your hand, and so leave you ; by this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account;

as

hear of me, so think of me; go comfort your coulin; I must say, she is dead, and so farewel.

Exeunt.

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Changes to a Prison.
Enter Dogberry, Verges, Borachio, Conrade, the

Town-Clerk and Sexton in Gowns.
To. Cl. TS our whole dissembly appear'd ? [ton!

Dogb. O, a fool and a cushion for the sex-
Sexton. Which be the malefactors ?
Verg. Marry, that am I and my Partner.

Dogb. Nay, that's certain, we have the exhibition to examine.

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examin'd ? let them come before master constable.

To. Gl. Yea, marry, let them come before me ; what is

your name, friend ? Bora. Borachio. To. Cl. Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours, Sirrah?

Conr. I am a gentleman, Sir, and my name is Conrade.

To. Cl. Write down, master gentleman Conra:te ; masters, do you ferve God?

Both. Yea, Sir, we hope.

To. Cl. Write down, that they hope they serve God: and write. God firft : for God defend, but 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 ?

Conr. Marry, Sirs, we say, we are none.

To. Cl. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you, but I will go about with him. Come you hither, firrah, a word in your ear, Sir; I say to you, it is thought you are both false knaves. H6

Bene.

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