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Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me: I am now in great haste, as may appear unto you.
we would have them this morning examined | Comes not that blood as modest evidence
Dogb. It shall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well.
Fri. If either of you know any inward impediment, why you should not be conjoined, I charge you on your souls to utter it.
Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Fri. 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, ah! ha! he!
Claud. Stand thee by, friar. Father, by your
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me.
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
There, Leonato, take her back again :
Not to be married,
Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.
Claud. I know what you would say: if I have
You'll say she did embrace me as a husband,
I never tempted her with word too large;
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
True! O God!
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother?
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
Claud. To make you answer truly to your name.
Marry, that can Hero: 81
Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my
D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.
I am sorry you must hear: upon mine honour,
D. John. Fie, fie! they are not to be nam'd, | Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron. my lord,
Not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for
Beat. Why, how now, cousin! wherefore sink you down? 110
D. John. Come, let us go. These things, come thus to light, Smother her spirits up.
Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don JOHN, and
Bene. How doth the lady?
Leon. O Fate! take not away thy heavy hand: Death is the fairest cover for her shame
That may be wish'd for.
Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie,
For I have only been silent so long,
To start into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness beat away those blushes;
Leon. Friar, it cannot be. 170 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?
Fri. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of? Hero. They know that do accuse me, I know
If I know more of any man alive
How now, cousin Hero! Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Fri. Have comfort, lady.
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
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 made 150
Fri. 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,
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.
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
Leon. What shall become of this? what will this do?
Fri. Marry, this well carried shall on her behalf Change slander to remorse; that is some good :
But not for that dream I on this strange course,
That what we have we prize not to the worth
When he shall hear she died upon his words,
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,
Than when she liv'd indeed: then shall he mourn,
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:
Being that I flow in grief, The smallest twine may lead me. Fri. 'Tis well consented: presently away, For to strange sores strangely they strain the
Come, lady, die to live: this wedding-day Perhaps is but prolong'd: have patience and endure.
Exeunt Friar, HERO, and LEONATO. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer.
Beat. You have no reason; I do it freely. Bene. Surely I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.
Beat. Ah! how much might the man deserve of me that would right her.
Bene. Is there any way to showsuch friendship?
Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.
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
I will make him eat 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 stayed 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. 290
Bene. Ha! not for the wide world.
Beat. You kill me to deny it.
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 approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my What! kinswoman? O! that I were a man. bear her in hand 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 marketplace.
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.
Beat. Princes and counties! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count, Count Comfect; a sweet gallant, surely! O! that I were a man for his sake, or that I had any friend would be But manhood is melted a man for my sake! into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving. By this hand, I Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice. 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 I leave you. By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear As you hear of me, so think of me. account. Go, comfort your cousin: I must say she is dead; Exeunt. 310 and so, farewell.
SCENE II.-A Prison.
lie not: I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns; I am sorry for my cousin,
Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me.
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?
Dogh. Marry, that am I and my partner. Verg. Nay, that's certain: we have the exhibition to examine.
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined? let them come before Master constable.
Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me. What is your name, friend?
Dogb. Pray, write down Borachio. Yours,
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. Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years? O that he were here to write me down an ass! but masters, remember that I am an ass; though it be not written down, 11yet forget not that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved 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 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. O that I had been writ down an ass! Exeunt.
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
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. 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 car: 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 none?
Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way to examine you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.
Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way. Let the watch come forth. Masters, I charge you, in the prince's name, accuse these men. 40 First Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain.
Dogb. Write down Prince John a villain. Why, this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother villain. Bora. Master constable,
Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace: I do not like thy look, I promise thee.
Sexton. What heard you him say else?
Dogb. Flat burglary as ever was committed.
First Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, 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?
Second Watch. This is all.
SCENE I. Before LEONATO's House.
I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
Patch grief with proverbs, make misfortune
With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me,
But there is no such man; for, brother, men
60 To be so moral when he shall endure
Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen away: Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner refused, and upon the grief of this suddenly died. Master constable, let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato's: I will go before and show him their examiExit.
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ.
Leon. I pray thee, peace! I will be flesh and
For there was never yet philosopher
Leon. There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will
My soul doth tell me Hero is belied;
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO.
Ant. Here comes the prince and Claudio hastily.
Good day to both of you.
Leon. Hear you, my lords,-
Are you so hasty now? well, all is one.
D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good
50 Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, Some of us would lie low.
Who wrongs him?
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
Marry, beshrew my hand,
If it should give your age such cause of fear.
I speak not like a dotard nor a fool,
Ant. Hold you content. What, man! I know
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple:
And this is all!
Leon. But, brother Antony,-
Come, 'tis no matter:
D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death;
Come, brother, away. I will be heard.
D. Pedro. See, see; here comes the man we
Claud. Now, signior, what news?
D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: you are almost
What I have done being young, or what would come to part almost a fray.
Were I not old. Know, Claudio, to thy head,
And she lies buried with her ancestors;
Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old men without teeth. D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother. thinkest 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 you both.
Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof melancholy, and Wilt thou use would fain have it beaten away.
70 thy wit?
Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.
kill'd my child:
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Ant. Content yourself. God knows I lov'd
And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains,
Bene. It is in my scabbard; shall I draw it? D. Pedro. Dost 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.
D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale. Art thou sick, or angry?
Claud. What, courage, man! What though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.
Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, I pray you choose an you charge it against me. another subject. Claud. Nay then, give him another staff: this last was broke cross.
D. 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
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear?
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 killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.