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Con. Masters, masters.

Marg. Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's

2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, no more sailing by the star.

I warrant you.

Con. Masters,

1 Watch. Never speak; we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.

Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken up of these men's bills.

Beat. What means the fool, trow? Marg. Nothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire!

Hero. These gloves the count sent me, they are an excellent perfume.

Beat. I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell. Marg. A maid, and stuffed! there's goodly [Exeunt. catching of cold.

Con. A commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, we'll obey you.

SCENE IV-A room in Leonato's house. ter Hero, Margaret, and Ursula.

Beat. O, God help me! God help me! how En-long have you profess'd apprehension?

Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire her to rise.

Urs. I will, lady.

Hero. And bid her come hither.
Urs. Well.

[Exit Ursula. Marg. Troth, I think, your other rabato' were better.

Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this. Marg. By my troth, it's not so good; and I warrant, your cousin will say so.

Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another; I'll wear none but this.

Marg. Ever since you left it: doth not my wit become me rarely?

Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap.-By my troth, I am sick.

Marg Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle. Beat. Benedictus! why Benedictus? you have some moral in this Benedictus.

Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral think, perchance, that I think you are in love: meaning; I meant, plain holy thistle. You may Marg. I like the new tire within excellently, I list; nor I list not to think what I can; nor, innay, by'r lady, I am not such a fool to think what if the hair were a thought browner: and your deed, I cannot think, if I would think my heart gown's a most rare fashion, i'faith. I saw the out of thinking, that you are in love, or that you duchess of Milan's gown, that they praise so. will be in love, or that you can be in love: yet Hero. O, that exceeds, they say. Benedick was such another, and now is he become Marg. By my troth it's but a night-gown in re- a man: he swore he would never marry; and yet spect of yours: Cloth of gold, and cuts, and laced now, in despite of his heart, he eats his meat withwith silver; set with pearls, down sleeves, side-out grudging: and how you may be converted, I sleeves, and skirts round, underborne with a bluish know not; but methinks, you look with your eyes tinsel: but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excel-as other women do. lent fashion, your's is worth ten on't.

Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy!

Marg. "Twill be heavier soon, by the weight of

a man.

Hero. Fie upon thee! art not ashamed? Marg. Of what, lady? of speaking honourably? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord honourable without marriage? I think you would have me say, saving your reverence,a husband: an bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody: Is there any harm inthe heavier for a husband? None, I think, an if it be the right husband, and the right wife; otherwise, 'tis light, and not heavy: Ask my lady Beatrice else, here she comes.

Enter Beatrice.

Hero. Good morrow, coz.
Beat. Good morrow, sweet Hero.
Hero. Why, how now! do you speak in the sick

Beat. I am out of all other tune, methinks. Marg. Clap us into-Light o' love; that goes without a burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it. Beat. Yea, Light o love, with your heels!then if your husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no barns.

Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.

Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my troth I am exceeding ill;hey ho!

Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband?
Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H.4

A kind of ruff. (2) Head-dress.

(3) Long-sleven. (4) 21. for an ache or pain.

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ?
Marg. Not a false gallop.

Re-enter Ursula.

Urs. Madam, withdraw; the prince, the count, of the town, are come to fetch you to church. signior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants

Hero. Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg,
good Ursula.

SCENE V.-Another room in Leonato's house.
Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges.
Leon. What would you with me, honest neigh-

Dogb. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.

Leon. Bricf, I pray you; for you see, 'tis a busy time with me.

Dogb. Marry, this it is, sir.
Verg. Yes, in truth it is, sir.

Leon. What is it, my good friends?

Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off 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 honester than I.

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, 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!

(5) Hidden meaning.

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Leon. I would fain know what you have to say. Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, have taken 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 see!'-Well said,

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

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

D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.

i'faith, neighbour Verges :-well, God's a good May counterpoise this rich and precious gift. 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 worshipped: all men are 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, sir, have, indeed, comprehended two auspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship.

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

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:
Q, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows? 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?

Not to be married,

Dogb. It shall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well. Not knit my soul to an approved wanton.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband.

Leon. I will wait upon them; I am ready. [Exeunt Leonato and Messenger. Dogb. Go, good partner, go; get you to Francis Seacol, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol; we are now to examination these men. Verg. And we must do it wisely.

Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's that [Touching his forehead.] shall drive some of them to a non com: only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the goal. [Exeunt.

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Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof
Have vanquish'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 sin:
No, Leonato,


never tempted her with word too large;"
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write against it:
You seem to me as Dian in her orb;
As chaste as in 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 so
wide ?4

Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you?
D. Pedro.
What should I speak ?
stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.
Leon. Are these things spoken? or do I but dream?
D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things
are true.

Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
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 so; but what of this, my lord?
Claud. Let me but move one question to your

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Hero. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name Into a pit of ink! that the wide sea

With any just reproach?
Marry, that can Hero;
Hero itself 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.
D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.

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, most like a liberal' villain,
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.

D. John.

Fie, fie! they are
Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them: thus, pretty lady,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been,
If half thy outward graces had been placed
About thy 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 up all the gates of love,
And on my eye-lids shall 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
[Hero swoons.
Beat. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore sink
you down?

D. John. Come, let us go: these things, come
thus to light,

Smother her spirits up.

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Don John, and Claudio.
Bene. How doth the lady?
Dead, I think;-help, uncle
Hero! why, Hero!-Uncle!-Signior Bencdick!-


Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand!
Death is the fairest cover for her shame,
That may be wish'd for.

How now, cousin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, lady.

Dost thou look up?
Friar. Yea; wherefore should she not?
Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly


Cry shame upon 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 would'st not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one?
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame ?3
O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Why had I not, with charitable hand,
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates;
Who'smirched thus, and inired with infamy,
I might have said, No part of it is mine,
This shame derives itself from unknown loins?
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd,
And mine that I was proud on; mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her; why, she-O, she is fallen

(1) Too free of tongue. (2) Attractive..
(3) Disposition of things.

Hath drops too few to wash her clean again;
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!

Sir, sir, be patient:
For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?
Beat. No, truly, not: although, until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.

Leon. Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger


Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron!
Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie?
Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her; let her die.
Friar. Hear me a little;

For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions start
Into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness bear away those blushes;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth:-Call me a fool;
Trust not my reading, nor my observations,
Which with experimental seal doth warrant
The tenor of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Under some biting error.

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:
Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That which appears in proper nakedness?

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!-O my father,
Prove you that any man with me convers'd
At hours unmeet, 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

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 honour,

The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
Nor age so eat up my invention,

Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
Ability in means, and choice of friends,
To quit me of them thoroughly.

Pause a while,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Your daughter here the princes left for dead;
Let her a while be secretly kept in,
And publish it, that she is dead indeed:

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Maintain a mourning ostentation;
And on your family's old monument
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites
That appertain unto a burial.

Leon. What shall become of this? What will
this do?

Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her

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 rack the value; then we find
The virtue, that possession would not show us
Whiles it was ours:-So will it fare with

When he shall hear she died upon3 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,

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.
Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.

Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I will make him cat it, that says, I love not


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

Clau-none is left to protest.

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,
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:
And though you know my inwardness and love
Is very much unto the prince and Claudio,
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
As secretly, and justly, as your soul
Should with your body.


Being that I flow in grief,
The smallest twine may lead me.
Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently away;
For to strange sores strangely they strain the

Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Beat. Kill Claudio.

Bene. Ha! not for the wide world.

Beat. You kill me to deny it: farewell.

Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beat. I am gone, though I am here;-there is no love in you:-nay, I pray you, let me go. Bene. Beatrice,

Beat. In faith I will go.

Bene. We'll be friends first.

Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, 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 hands until they come to take hands; and then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,-O 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 ?—a proper saying!

Bene. Nay but, Beatrice ;

Beat. Sweet Hero!-she is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.

Bene. Beat


Beat. Princes, and counties! Surely a princely testimony, a goodly count-confect; a sweet gallant, surely! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as HercuPerhaps, is but prolong'd; have patience, and les, that only tells a lie, and swears it :-I cannot endure. [Exe. Friar, Hero, and Leon. be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woBene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this man with grieving.


Come, lady, die to live: this wedding day,


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Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely.
Bene. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is

Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me, that would right her!

Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship?
Beat. A very even way, but no such friend.
Bene. May a man do it?

Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.

Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice: by this hand I love thee.

Beat. Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.

Bene. Think you in your soul the count Claudio hath wronged Hero?

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul.

Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge him; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you: by this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account: as you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort

Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as your cousin: I must say, she is dead; and so fareyou; is not that strange?

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(6) Noblemen. (7) A nobleman made out of sugar. (8) Ceremony.

SCENE II-A prison. Enter Dogberry, Ver-
ges, and Sexton, in gowns; and the Watch,
with Conrade and Borachio.

Dogb. Is our whole dissembly appeared?
Verg. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton!
Sexton. Which be the malefactors?

Verg. Let them be in band.1
Con. 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! Con. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass. Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner. Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost Verg. Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibi-thou not suspect my years ?-0 that he were here tion to examine. to write me down-an ass!-but, masters, rememSexton. But which are the offenders that are to be ber, that I am an ass; though it be not written examined? let them come before master constable. down, yet forget not that I am an ass :-No, thou Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me.-| villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved What is your name, friend? upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a householder: and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is 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. Ŏ, that I had been writ down-an ass. [Exeunt.

Bora. Borachio.

Dogb. Pray write down-Borachio.-Yours, sirrah?

Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name



Dogb. Write down-master gentleman Conrade.-Masters, do you serve God?

Con. Bora. Yea, sir, we hope.

Dogb. Write down-that they hope they serve God:-and write God first; for God defend but God should go before such villains!-Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false


knaves; and it will go near to be thought so shortly. SCENE I.-Before Leonato's house. Enter How answer you for yourselves?

Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none. Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; but I will go about with him.-Come you hither, sirrah; a word in your ear, sir; I say to you, it is thought you are false knaves.

Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none. Dogb. Well, stand aside.-'Fore God, they are both in a tale: have you writ down-that they are


Leonato and Antonio.

Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief Against yourself.


I pray thee, cease thy counsel, Which falls into mine ears as profitless As water in a sieve: 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; Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way:-Let Measure his wo the length and breadth of mine, the watch come forth:-Masters, I charge you, in And let it answer every strain for strain; the prince's name, accuse these men. As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,

Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way to examine; you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.

1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, In every lineament, branch, shape, and form:

the prince's brother, was a villain.

If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard;

Dogb. Write down-prince John a villain.-Cry-sorrow, wag! and hem, when he should groan, Why this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother-Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortunes drunk villain. With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me, And I of him will gather patience.

Bora. Master constable,

Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like But there is no such man: For, brother, men thy look, I promise thee.

Sexton. What heard you him say else? 2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a sand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.

Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
thou-Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache 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

Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
Verg. Yea, by the mass, that it is.

Sexton. What else, fellow?

1 Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her.

Dogb. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this. Sexton. What else?

2 Watch. This is all.

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

Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can For there was never yet philosopher, deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen That could endure the tooth-ach patiently; away; Hero was in this manner accused, in this However they have writ the style of gods, very manner refused, and upon the grief of this, And made a pish at chance and sufferance. suddenly died.-Master constable, let these men Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself: be bound, and brought to Leonato's; I will go before, and show him their examination. [Exit. Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned.

(1) Bond.

(2) Admonition.

Make those, that do offend you, suffer too.
Leon. There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will

do so.

My soul doth tell me, Hero is belied;
And that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince,

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