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But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd,
Sir, sir, be patient :
Beat. 0, on my soul, my cousin is belied !
Friar. Hear me a little ;
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:
Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accused of?
Hero. They know that do accuse me; I know If I know more of any man alive, Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, Let all my sins lack mercy 50 my father, Prore you that any man with me convers'd At hours unneet, or that I yesternight Maintain’d the change of words with any creature, Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death. Friar. There is some strange misprision in the
princes. 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
bad life reft me so much of friends,
Pause a while,
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites
half 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 rack2 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,
(1) While. (2) Over-rate. (3) By.
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
Bene Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you :
much unto the prince and Claudio,
Being that I flow in grief,
For to strange sorås strangely they strain the Come lady, die to live : this wedding day, Perhaps, is but prolong!d; have patience, and
endure. [Exe. Friar, Hero, and Leon. 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?
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.
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 about to protest I loved 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. I am gone, though I am here ;—there is no love in you :-nay, I pray you, let me go.
Beat. You dare easier be friends with than fight 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 ?-0, that I were a man !- What! bear her in handl until they come to take hands; and then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,-0 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?proper saying!
Bene. Nay but, Beatrice ;
Beat. Sweet Hero!—she is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.
(1) Delude her with hopes.