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Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword,
I fear thee not.

Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand,
If it should give your age such cause of fear;
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword.

Leon. Tush, tuh, man, never fieer and jest 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 haft 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 haft bely'd mine innocent child,
Thy flander hath gone through and through her heart;
And she lies bury'd with her ancestors,
O, in a tomb where never scandal Nept,
Save this of her's, 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 laftyhood.

Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you.
Leon. Can'st thou so 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 first;
Win me and wear me, let him answer me;
Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me;
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

Leon. Brother,
Ant. Content yourself; God knows, I lov’d my


And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains,
That dare as well answer a man, indeed,
As I dare take a ferpent by the tongue.

Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milkfops!

Leon. Brother Anthony-
Ant. Hold you content; what, man? I know

" them, yea,

“ And what they weigh, even to the utmost fcruple: “ Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mongring boys, “ That lye, and cog, and flout, deprave, and Nander, Go anticly, and show an outward hideousness, And speak off half a dozen dangerous words, “ How they might hurt their enemies, if they durft; " And this is all.”

Leon. But, brother Anthony,

Ant. Come, 'tis no matter ;
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
Pedro. Gentlemen both,' we will not wrack your

My heart is forry for your daughter's death;
But, on my honour, the was charg'd with nothing
But what was true, and very full of proof.

Leon. My Lord, my Lord
Pedro, I will not hear you.
Leon, No! come, brother, away, I will be heard,
Ant. And shall, or some of us will smart for it.

[Exeunt ambo. SCENE III. Enter Benedick. Pedro. See, fee, here comes the man we went to seek.

Claud. Now, Signior, what news?
Bene. Good day, my Lord.

Pedro. Welcome, Signior; you are almost come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapt off with two old men without teeth.

Pedro. Leonato and his brother ; what think'st thou ?. had we fought, I doubt we should have been too young for them.

Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour: I came to seek


both. Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain have it

Wilt thou use thy wit ?

beaten away.

Bene. It is in my scabbard ; shall I draw it?
Pedro. Doft thou wear thy wit by thy side ?

Claud. Never any did so, though very many have been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.

Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale : art - thou fick or angry?

Claud. What! courage, man : what though care kill'd a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.

Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, if you charge it against me. --I pray you chufe another subject.

Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this last was broke cross.

Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more. I think he be angry indeed.

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear?
Claud, God bless me from a challenge!

Bene. You are a villain ; I jest not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have kill'd a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.

Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.

Pedro. What, a feast? Claud. I'faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calves-head and a capon ; the which if I do not carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught. Shall I not find a wood-cock too?

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice prais’d thy wit the other day. I said, thou hadft a fine wit; right, says she, a fine little one; no, said I, a great wit; just, said The, a great gross one; nay, said I, a good wit ; juft, said she, it hurts no body; nay, said I, the gentleman is wife; certain, said she, a wise gentleman; nay, said 1, he hath the tongues; that I believe, said she, for he fwore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue, there's two tongues. Thus did she an hour together

tranf-shape thy particular virtues; yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou waft the properest man in Italy.

Claud. For the which the wept heartily, and said she car'd not.

Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet for all that, and if The did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly; the old man's daughter told us all.

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw bim when he was hid in the garden.

Pedro. But when shall we set the salvage bull's horas on the sensible Benedick's head?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the married man.

Bene. Fare you well, boy, you know my mind; I will leave you now to your goslip-like humour; you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thank'd, hurt not. My Lord, for your many courtesies I thank you; I must discontinue your company ; your brother, the bastard, is filed from Messina ; you have among you killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my Lord Lack-beard there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him! [Exit Benedick,

Pedro. He is in earnest.

Claud. In moft profound earnest, and I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.,

Pedro. And hath challeng'd thee?
Claud. Most sincerely.

Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit !

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Enter Dogberry, Verges, Conrade and Borachio


Claud. He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

Pedro. But, foft you, let me see, pluck up my heart and be sad; did he not say, my brother was filed ?

Dogb. Come, you, Sir; if Justice cannot tame you, the fall ne’er weigh more reasons in her balance; nay,

an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be look'd to.

Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound? Borachio one?

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my Lord.
Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?

Dogb. Marry, Sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths ; fecondarily, they are sanders; fixth and lastly, they have bely'd a lady ; thirdly, they have verify'd unjust things ; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.

Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed ; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge ?

Claud. Rightly reason'd, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well-suited.

Pedro. Whom have you offended, Masters, that you are thus bound to your answer ? This learned constable is too cunning to be understood. What's your offence?

Bora. Sweet Prince, let me go no further to mine answer : do you hear me, and let this Count kill me. I have deceiv'd even your very eyes ; what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light, who in the night overheard me confesling to this man, how Don John your brother incens'd me to slander the Lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you

disgrac’d her, when you should marry her. My
villany they have upon record, which I had rather seal
with my death, than repeat over to my shame. The
Lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusa-
tion; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a
Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your

blood ?
Claud. I have drunk poison while he utter'd it.
Pedio. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery;
And fled he is upon this villany.
Vol. II.


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