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Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.

To. Cl. Well, stand aside ; 'fore God, they are both in a tale ; have you writ down, that they are none?

Sexton: Master town-clerk, you go not the way to examine, you must call the watch that are their accusers.

To. Cl. Yea, marry, that's the deftest way, let the Watch come forth ; masters, I charge you in the Prince's name accuse these men.

Enter Watchmen. 1 Watch. This man said, Sir, that Don John the Prince's brother was a villain.

To. CI. Write down, Prince "John a villain ; why this is flat perjury, to call a Prince's brother villain.

Bora. Master town-clerk

To. Cl. Pray thee, fellow, Peace; I do not like thy look, I promise thee.

Sexton. What heard you him fay else?

2 Watch. Marry, that he had receiv'd a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.

To. Cl. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
Dogb. Yea, by th' 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.

To, Cl. O villain ! thou wilt be condemn'd into everlasting redemption for this.

Sexton. What else ?
2 Watch. This is all.

Sexton. And this is more, masters, than deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stoll'n away : Hero was in this manner accus'd, and in this very manner refus'd, and upon the grief of this fuddenly dy'd. Master Constable, let thefe men be


you can

you are an ass.

bound and brought to Leonato ; I will go before, and shew him their examination.

Dogb. Come, let them be opinion’d. * Sexton. Let them be in hand.

[Exit. Conr, 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 varlet.

Conr. Away! 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 I am an ass; no, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be prov'd upon thee by good witness; I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer; and which is more, an housholder.; and which is more, as pretty a piece of fleih as any

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 ; 0, that I had been writ down an ass !




Before Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato and Antonio.

I F you go on thus, you will kill yourself ;
Against yourself.

Leon. * Sexton. Let them be in the hands of Coxcomb.] So the Editions. Mr. Theobald gives the Words to Conrade, and says, But why the Sexton should te lo pert upon his Brother Officers, there seems no Reafon from


Leon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel, Which falls into inine ears as profitless As water in a fieve; 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. 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, And Sorrow waive; cry, hem! when she should groan; Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune 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 give comfort to that grief Which they themselves not feel; but tafting it, Their counsel turns to passion, which before Would give preceptial medicine to rage; Fetter strong madness in a filken 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 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


any superior Qualifications in him; or any suspicion he shews of knowing their Ignorance. This is strange. The Sexton throughout shews as good Sense in their Examination as any Judge upon the Bench could do. And as to his Suspicion of their Ignorance, he tells the TownClerk, That he goes not the Way to examine.


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


suffer too. Leon. There thou speak'st reason; nay, I will do so. My foul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd; And that shall Claudio know, so shall the Prince; And all of them, that thus dishonour her.


Enter Don Pedro, and Claudio.
HERE.comes the Prince and Claudio hastily.

Pedro. Good
Claud. Good day to both of you.
Leon, Hear

you, my

lords ? Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato. Leon. Some hafte, my lord! well, fare you well,

my lord.

Are you so hafty now? well, all is one.

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 ?
Leon. Marry, thou doft wrong me, thou dissembler,

Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword,
I fear thee not.
Claud. Marry, beshrew my

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

fword. * However they have writ the style of Gods,] This alludes to the extravagant Titles the Stoics gave their wise Man.

+ And made a pish at chance and sufferance.] Alludes to their famous Apathy.


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Leon. Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jeft 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 my innocent child and me,
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by ;
And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days,
Do challenge thee to trial of a man;
I say, thou hast bely'd mine innocent child,
Thy slander hath gone through and through her
And she lies bury'd with her ancestors, [heart;
0, in a tomb where never scandal flept,
Save this of hers, fram'd by thy villany!

Claud. My villany?
Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.
Pedro. You say not right, old man.

Leon. My lord, my lord,
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare;
Despight 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 fo doffe me? thou hast kill'd my

If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.

* Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed; But that's no matter, let him kill one firft;

* Ant. He shall kill two of us, &c.] This Brother Anthony is the truest Piąure imaginable of human Nature. He had assumed the Character of a Sage to comfort his Brother, o’erwhelm'd with Grief for his only Daughter's Affront and Dishonour; and had severely reproved him for not commanding his Passion better on fo trying an Occasion. Yet, immediately after this, no sooner does he begin to suspect that his Age and Valour are flighted, but he falls into the most intemperate Fit of Rage himself : and all his Brother can do or say is not of power to pacify him. This is copying Nature with a Pe. netration and Exadness of Judgment peculiar to Shakespear. As to the Expression, too, of his passion, nothing can be more highly painted.

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