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Leon. Brief, I pray you; for, you fee, 'tis a busy time with me

Dogb. Marry, this it is, Sir.
Vurz. Yes, in truth it is, Sir.
Deon. What is it, my good friends ?

Dogb. Goodman Verges, Sir, speaks a little of the matter; 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. Verg.

“ Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any “ man living, that is an old man, and no honefter " than 1.”

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous; palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say fo, 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 but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.

Verg. And so am I
Leon. I would fain know what you have to fay.

Verg. Marry, Sir, our watch to-night, excepting your Worship’s presence, hath 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 fee: well said, i faith, “ neighbour Verges, well, he'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 worshipp'd; all men “ 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 have, indeed, comprehended two auspicious persons; and we would


: fare

have them this morning examin'd before your Worship.

Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great hafte, as may appear unto you.

Dogb. It fhall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you' go:


well. Enter a Mefjenger. Mel. My Lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband.

Leon. I'll wait upon them. I am ready. [Ex. Leon.

Dogb. Go, good partner, go get you to Francis Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the jail; we are now tu examine those men.

Verg. And we must do it wisely.

Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant; here's « that shall drive some of them to a non-com.” Only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the jail.



A Church.

Enter Don Pedro, Don John, Leonato, Friar, Claudio,

Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice.


Leon. OME, Friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their parti. cular duties afterwards.

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

Leon. To be marry'd to her, Eriar; you come to marry her.

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be marry'd to this Count.

Hero. I do.
Friar. If either of



inward impediment why you should not be conjoin’d, I charge you on your fouls 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,
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
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?

Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.

Claud. Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulness: 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! O, what authority and shew of truth Can cunning lin cover itself withal! Comes not that blood, as modeft evidence, To witness fimple virtue? would you not swear, All you

that see her, that she were a maid, By these exterior shews? But she is none: She knows the heat of a luxurious bed; Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.

Leon. What do you mean, my Lord?

Claud. Not to be marry'd, Not knit

my foul to an approved wanton. Leon. Dear my Lord, if



your own approof
Have vanquilh'd the resistance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity-
Claud. I know what you would say: if I have

known her,
You'll say she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate the forehand fin.
No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his sister, thew'd.
Bashful fincerity, and comely love.
· Hero. And teem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy feeming! I will rate against it:


You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
As chaite 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 fo wide
Leon. Sweet Prince, why fpeak not you?

Pedro. What should I speak?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone abouť
To link my dear friend to a common ftale.

Leon. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?'
Fobn Sit, t'ey are spoken, and these things are true
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
Hero. True! O God!

Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince's brother?
Is this face Hero's? are our eyes our own!

Leon. All this is fo; but what of this, mý Lord?

Claud Let me but move one question to your daughteny And, by that fatherly and kindly power That you

have in her, bid her anfwer truly. Leon. I charge thee do fo, as thou art my childi

Hero. O God defend me, how am I befet! What kind of catechifing call you this?

Claud. To make you anfwer truly to your name:

Hero. Is it not Hero? who can blot that name
With any just reproach?

Claud. Marry, that can Hero;
Hero herself 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,

Pedro. Why, then you are 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, like an illiberal villain, Confess'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in secret. Fohn. Fie, fie, they are not to be nam'd, my Lord,


Not to be spoken of:
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them; thus, pretty Lady,
I am sorry for thy much mifgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been,
If half thy outward graces had been plac'd
About the thoughts and counsels of thy heart?
But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell
'Thou pure impiety, and impious purity!
For thee I'll lock

all the


of love,
And on my eye-lids fhall 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 /woons. Beat. Why, how now,cousin? wherefore fink you down?

John. Come, let us go; these things come thus to light, Smother her fpirits up.

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Don Jobn and Claud.

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 faireft cover for her shame,
That may be wish'd for.
Beat. How


cousin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, Lady.
Leon. Doft thou look up?
Friar. Yea, wherefore should she not?

Leon. Wherefore? why, doth not every earthly thing Cry shame


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 wouldīt not quickly die, Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, Myself would on the rereward of reproaches Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one? Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame? l’ve one too much by thee. Why had I one?


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