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Dogb. Go, good partner, go; get you to Francis Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's Seacoal; bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the that shall drive some of them to a non com : only get gaol : we are now to examination these men.
the learned writer to set down our excommunication, Verg. And we must do it wisely.
and meet me at the gaol.
Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to
Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write against it, Enter Don Pedro, John, Leonato, Friar, CLAUDIO,
You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown; Leon. Come, friar Francis, be brief: only to the But you are more intemperate in your blood plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals particular duties afterwards.
savage sensuality. Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady ? Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide ? Claud. No.
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you? Leon. To be married to her; friar, you come to D. Pedro.
What should I speak?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to this To link my dear friend to a common stale. count?
Leon. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream? Hero. I do.
John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are Friar. If either of you know any inward impediment, true. why you
should not be conjoined, 'I charge you on your Bene. This looks not like a nuptial. souls to utter it.
True? O God! Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Claud. Leonato, stand I here? Hero. None, my lord.
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother ? Friar. Know you any, count?
Is this face Hero's? Are our eyes our own ? Leon, I dare make his answer; none.
Leon. All this is so; but what of this, my lord ? Claud. O, what men dare do! what men may do! Claud. Let me but move one question to your what men daily do, not knowing what they do!
daughter, Bene. How now! Interjections ? Why then, some And, by that fatherly and kindly power be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he !
That you have in her, bid her answer truly. Claud. Stand thee by, friar.-Father, by your leave: Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child. Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Hero. O God, defend me! how am I beset!Give me this maid, your daughter?
What kind of catechizing call you this? Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me. Claud. To make you answer truly to your name. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose Hero. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name worth
With any just reproach ? May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
Marry, that can Hero: D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankful What man was he talk'd with you yesternight
Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one ? There, Leonato; take her back again :
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this. Give not this rotten orange to your friend ;
Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. She's but the sign and semblance of her honour.- D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.—Leonato, Behold, how like a maid she blushes here :
I am sorry you must hear: upon mine honour, O, what authority and show of truth
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count, Can cunning sin cover itself withal !
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night, Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber window; To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear, Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal villain, All you that see her, that she were a maid,
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had By these exterior shows? But she is none :
A thousand times in secret. She knows the heat of a luxurious bed ;
John. Fie, fie! they are not to be nam'd, my lord, Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
Not to be spoke of; Leon. What do you mean, my lord ?
There is not chastity enough in language, Claud.
Not to be married, Without offence to utter them. Thou pretty lady, Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
If half thy outward graces had been plac'd
About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart! Claud. I know what you would say: if I have known But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell, her,
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband, For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And so extenuate the 'forehand sin :
And on my eye-lids shall conjecture hang, No, Leonato,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,, I never tempted her with word too large;
And never shall it more be gracious. But, as a brother to his sister, showed
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? Bashful sincerity, and comely love.
Beat. Why, how now, cousin ! wherefore sink you Under some blighting error. down?
Friar, it cannot be. John. Come, let us go. These things, come thus to Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left, light,
Is, that she will not add to her damnation Smother her spirits up.
A sin of perjury: she not denies it. [Exeunt Don Pedro, John, and Claudio. Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse Bene, How doth the lady?
That which appears in proper nakedness? Beat.
Dead, I think :-help, uncle !- Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of? Hero! why, Hero !—Uncle !-Signior Benedick ! - Hero. They know, that do accuse me : I know none. friar!
If I know more of any man alive, Leon. O fate! take not away thy heavy hand : Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, Death is the fairest cover for her shame,
Let all my sins lack mercy !_0, my father! That may be wish'd for.
Prove you that any man with me convers'd Beat.
How now, cousin Hero? At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight Friar. Have comfort, lady.
Maintain’d the change of words with any creature, Leon. Dost thou look up ?
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death. Friar.
Yea; wherefore should she not? Friar. There is some strange misprision in the Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly princes. thing
Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour; Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
And if their wisdoms be misled in this, The story that is printed in her blood ?
The practice of it lives in John the bastard, Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes;
Whose spirits toil in fraud and villainies. For did I think thou would'st not quickly die,
Leon. I know not. If they speak but truth of her, Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, These hands shall tear her : if they wrong her honour, Myself would, on the hazard of reproaches,
The proudest of them shall well hear of it. Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ? Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, Chid I for that at frugal nature's frown?
Nor age so eat up my invention, O, one too much by thee ! Why had I one ?
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means, Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes ?
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends, Why had I not with charitable hand
But they shall find, awak'd in such a cause, Took up a beggar's issue at my gates;
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind, Who smirched thus, and mir'd with infamy,
Ability in means, and choice of friends, I might have said, “ No part of it is mine,
To quit me of them throughly. This shame derives itself from unknown loins ?"
Pause a while,
Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
And publish it, that she is dead indeed : Into a pit of ink, that the wide sea
Maintain a mourning ostentation ; Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,
And on your family's old monument And salt too little, which may season give
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites
That appertain unto a burial.
Leon. What shall become of this ? What will this do? For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf I know not what to say.
Change slander to remorse; that is some good : Beat. 0, on my soul, my cousin is belied !
But not for that dream I on this strange course, Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night? But on this travail look for greater birth. Beat. No, truly, not; although, until last night, She dying, as it must be so maintain'd, I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
Upon the instant that she was accus'd, Leon. Confirm'd, confirm’d? O, that is stronger Shall be lamented, pitied and excus'a made,
Of every hearer; for it so falls out,
Whiles we enjoy it, but being lost and lack'd,
Whiles it was ours.-So will it fare with Claudio : For I have only been silent so long,
When he shall hear she died upon his words, and given way unto this cross of fortune,
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
Into his study of imagination,
And every lovely organ of her life
Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
Than when she liv'd indeed :—then shall he mourn, Against her maiden truth.—Call me a fool;
(If ever love had interest in his liver) Trust not my reading, nor my observation,
And wish he had not so accused her; Which with experimental seal doth warrant
No, though he thought his accusation true. The tenour of my book; trust not my age,
Let this be so, and doubt not but success Wy reverend calling, nor divinity,
Will fashion the event in better shape If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
But if all aim but this be levell’d false,
that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the The supposition of the lady's death
market-place. Will quench the wonder of her infamy:
Bene. Hear me, BeatriceAnd, if it sort not well, you may conceal her
Beat. Talk with a man out at a window !--a proper As best befits her wounded reputation,
saying. In some reclusive and religious life,
Bene. Nay, but BeatriceOut of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
Beat. Sweet Hero!—she is wronged, she is slanBene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you: dered, she is undone. And though you know, my inwardness and love Bene, BeatIs very much unto the prince and Claudio,
Beat. Princes, and counties ! Surely, a princely testiYet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
mony, a goodly count, count confect; a sweet gallant, As secretly and justly, as your soul
surely! O, that I were a man for his sake! or that I Should with your body.
had any friend would be a man for my sake! But Leon.
Being that I flow in grief, manhood is melted into courtesy, valour into compliThe smallest twine may lead me.
ment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim Friar. "Tis well consented: presently away, ones too : he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only
Forto strange sores strangely they strain the cure.- tells a lie, and swears it.— I cannot be a man with Come, lady, die to live: this wedding day,
wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving. Perhaps, is but prolong'd : have patience, and Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice. By this hand, I love
endure. [Exeunt Friar, Hero, and Leonato. thee. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while ? Beat. Use it for my love some other way
than swearBeat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. ing by it. Bene. I will not desire that.
Bene. Think you in your soul the count Claudio Beat. You have no reason; I do it freely.
hath wronged Hero? Bene. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul. wronged.
Bene. Enough! I am engaged, I will challenge him. Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me I will kiss your hand, and so I leave you. By this hand, that would right her!
Claudio shall render me a dear account. As you hear Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship? of me, so think of me. Go, confort your cousin : 1 Beat. A very even way, but no such friend. must say she is dead ; and so, farewell. [Exeunt. Bene. May a man do it?
SCENE II.-A Prison.
Enter Dogberry, Verges, and Sexton, in gowns ; and Is not that strange ?
the Watch, with CONRADE and Borachio. Beat. As strange as the thing I know not. It were Dogb. Is our whole dissembly appeared ? as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as Verg. O! a stool and a cushion for the sexton. you; but believe me not, and yet I lie not: I confess Sexton. Which be the malefactors ? nothing, nor I deny nothing.–Í am sorry for my cousin. Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner.
Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me. Verg. Nay, that's certain ; we have the exhibition Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.
to examine. Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be will make bim eat it, that says I love not you.
examined ? let them come before master constable. Beat. Will you not eat your word ?
Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me.-What Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it. I is your name, friend? protest, I love thee.
Bora. Borachio. Beat. Why then, God forgive me!
Dogb. Pray write down Borachio.--Yours, sirrah? Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice ?
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade. Beat. You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was Dogb. Write down master gentleman Conrade.about to protest, I loved you.
Masters, do you serve God? Bene. And do it with all thy heart.
Con. Bora. Yea, sir, we hope. Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that Dogb. Write down—that they hope they serve God : none is left to protest.
—and write God first; for God defend but God should Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
go before such villains ! - Masters, it is proved already Beat. Kill Claudio,
that you are little better than false knaves, and it will Bene. Ha! not for the wide world.
go near to be thought so shortly. How answer you Beat. You kill me to deny it. Farewell.
for yourselves ? Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.
Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none. Beat. I am gone, though I am here :- there is no Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; but love in you.—Nay, I pray you, let me go.
I will go about with bim.—Come you hither, sirrah : a Bene. Beatrice,
word in your ear, sir: I say to you, it is thought you Beat. In faith, I will go.
are false knares. Bene. We'll be friends first.
Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none. Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight Dogb. Well, stand aside.—'Fore God, they are both with mine enemy,
in a tale. Have you writ down, that they are none ? Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?
Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way to Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that examine : you must call forth the watch that are their hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman?— accusers. O, that I were a man !-What! bear her in hand until
Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way.—Let the they come to take hands, and then with public accusa- watch come forth.-Masters, I charge you, in the tioni, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,-0 God, prince's name, accuse these men.
1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the died. Master constable, let these men be bound, and prince's brother, was a villain.
brought to Leonato's : I will go before, and show him Dogb. Write down-prince John a villain.—Why, their examination.
[Exit. this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother villain. Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned. Bora. Master constable,
Verg. Let them be bound. Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace: I do not like thy Bora. Hands off, coxcomb ! look, I promise thee.
Dogb. God's my life! where's the sexton ? let him Serton. What heard
write down the prince's officer, coxcomb.—Come, bind 2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand them.- Thou naughty varlet ! ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrong- Con. Away! you are an ass; you are an ass. fully.
Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou Dogb. Flat burglary as ever was committed. not suspect my years ?-0, that he were here to write Verg. Yea, by the mass, that it is.
me down an ass !-but, masters, remember, that I am Sexton. What else, fellow?
an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not 1 Watch. And that count Claudio did mean, upon that I am an ass.—No, thou villain, thou art full of his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I and not marry her.
am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, Dogb. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into ever- which is more, a householder; and, which is more, as lasting redemption for this.
pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Messina ; and one Serton. What else?
that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, 2 Watch. This is all.
go to; and a fellow that hath had leases; and one that Serion. And this is more, masters, than you can hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him. deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen Bring him away. O, that I had been writ down an away: Hero was in this manner accused, in this very ass !
[Exeunt. manner refused, and, upon the grief of this, suddenly
However they have writ the style of gods,
And made a push at chance and sufferance.
Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself;
Leon. There thou speak’st reason : nay, I will do Against yourself. Leon.
I pray thee, cease thy counsel, My soul doth tell me Hero is belied, Which falls into mine ears as profitless
And that shall Claudio know; so shall the prince, As water in a sieve. Give not me counsel;
And all of them, that thus dishonour her. Nor let no comforter delight mine ear,
Enter Don Pedro and CLAUDIO. But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine: Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio hastily. | Bring me a father that so lov'd his child,
D. Pedro. Good den, good den. Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
Good day to both of you. And bid him speak to me of patience;
Leon. Hear you, my lords,Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine, D. Pedro.
We have some haste, Leonato. And let it answer every strain for strain;
Leon. Some haste, my lord !-well, fare you well, As thus for thus, and such a grief for such, In every lineament, branch, shape, and form: Are you so hasty now?-well, all is one. If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard;
D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old Call sorrow joy; cry hem, when he should groan; Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune drunk Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, With candle-wasters; bring him you to me,
Some of us would lie low. And I of him will gather patience.
Who wrongs him ? But there is no such man; for, brother, men
Leon. Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou, dissemCan counsel, and speak comfort to that grief
bler, thou.Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it, Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword, Their counsel turns to passion, which before
I fear thee notr Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand, Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
If it should give your age such cause of fear. Charm ache with air, and agony with words.
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword. So, no ; 'tis all men's office to speak patience
Leon. Tush, tush, man! never fleer and jest at me: To those that wring under the load of sorrow, I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool ; Bat no man's virtue, nor sufficiency,
As, under privilege of age, to brag To be so moral when he shall endure
What I have done being young, or what would do, ị The like himself. Therefore give me no counsel : Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head, Mş griefs cry louder than advertisement.
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me, Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ. That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by, 1
Leon. I pray thee, peace! I will be flesh and blood; And with grey hairs, and bruise of many days, For there was never yet philosopher,
Do challenge thee to trial of a man. That could endure the tooth-ache patiently,
I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child : 1 I
Thy slander hath gone through and through her Bene. It is in my scabbard : shall I draw it? heart,
D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side ? And she lies buried with her ancestors,
Claud. Never any did so, though very many have 0! in a tomb where never scandal slept,
been beside their wit.--I will bid thee draw, as we do Save this of her's, fram'd by thy villainy.
the minstrels ; draw to pleasure us. Claud. My villainy?
D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale.Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.
Art thou sick, or angry? D. Pedro. You say not right, old man.
Claud. What! courage, man! What though care Leon.
My lord, my lord, killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill I'll prove it on his body, if he dare, Despite his nice fence, and his active practice,
Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an His May of youth, and bloom of lustyhood.
you charge it against me. I pray you, choose another Claud. Away! I will not have to do with you. subject. Leon. Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd my Claud. Nay then, give him another staff: this last
was broke cross. If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
D. Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more. Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed : I think he be angry indeed. But that's no matter; let him kill one first :
Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle. Win me and wear me,- let him answer me.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear ? Come, follow me, boy! come, sir boy, come, follow Claud. God bless me from a challenge!
Bene. You are a villain.—I jest not :- I will make Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence; it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
you dare.--Do me right, or I will protest your cowardLeon. Brother
ice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall Ant. Content yourself. God knows, I lov'd my niece; fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you. And she is dead; slander'd to death by villains, Claud." Well, I will meet you, so I may have good That dare as well answer a man, indeed,
cheer. As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.
D. Pedro. What, a feast? a feast ? Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops !
Claud. I'faith, I thank him ; he hath bid me to a Leon.
Brother Antony-calf's-head and capers, the which if I do not carve Ant. Hold you content. What, man! I know them; most curiously, say my knife's naught.—Shall I not yea,
find a woodcock too? And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple : Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well : it goes easily. Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mong’ring boys, D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander, the other day. I said, thou hadst a fine wit: “True," Go antickly, and show an outward hideousness, said she, “a fine little one:” “No," said I, “a great And speak off half a dozen dangerous words, wit:” “Right," says she, “ a great gross one:”. “Nay,” How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst,
a good wit:" " Just,” said she, “it hurts noAnd this is all !
body;". "Nay,” said I, “the gentleman is wise :" Leon. But, brother Antony
“ Certain," said she, “ a wise gentleman :" "Nay," said Ant.
Come, 'tis no matter : I," he hath the tongues :" " That I believe," said she, Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
"for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your he forswore on Tuesday morning: there's a double patience.
tongue; there's two tongues.” Thus did she, an hour My heart is sorry for your daughter's death ; together, trans-shape thy particular virtues; yet at last But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing she concluded with a sigħ, thou wast the properest man But what was true, and very full of proof.
in Italy. Leon. My lord, my lord !-
Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said D. Pedro.
I will not hear you.
she cared not. Leon.
No? D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet, for all that, Come, brother, away.--I will be heard.
an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him Ant. And shall, or some of us will smart for it. dearly. The old man's daughter told us all.
[Exeunt Leonato and Antonio. Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him when Enter BENEDICK.
he was hid in the garden. D. Pedro. See, see! here comes the man we went D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's to seek.
horns on the sensible Benedick's head ? Claud. Now, signior, what news ?
Claud. Yea, and text underneath, “Here dwells Bene. Good day, my lord.
Benedick the married man!” D. Pedro. Welcome, signior : you are almost come Bene. Fare you well, boy: you know my mind. I to part almost a fray.
will leave you now to your gossip-like humour: you Claud. We had like to have had our two noses break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be snapped off with two old men without teeth.
thanked, hurt not.-My lord, for your many courtesies D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother. What think'st I thank you : I must discontinue your company. Your thou? Had we fought, I doubt, we should have been brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina : you have, too young for them.
among you, killed a sweet and nocent lady. For my Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I lord Lack-beard, there, he and I shall meet ; and till came to seek you both.
then, peace be with him.
[Exit BENEDICK, Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee ; D. Pedro. He is in earnest. for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain have Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant it beaten away." Wilt thou use thy wit?
you, for the love of Beatrice.