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You seem to me as Dian in her orb;
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown ;
Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you?
D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother?
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
Claud. Marry, that can Hero;
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, my lord, not to be spoke of;
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity!
Beat. Why, how now,
Smother her spirits up.
Bene. How doth the lady?
Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand!
Beat. How now, cousin Hero?
Friar. Yea; Wherefore should she not?
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Bene. Sir, Sir, be patient:
Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron!
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her; let her
For I have only been silent so long,
Leon. Friar, it cannot be:
Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left,
[Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don JOHN, and A sin of perjury; she not denies it:
Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse
Disposition of things.
Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd | And, if it sort not well, you may conceal her of?
Hero. They know, that do accuse me; I know
If I know more of any man alive,
Bene. Two of them have the very bent of ho
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,
Friar. Pause a while,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Leon. What shall become of this? What will this do?
Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf
Change slander to remorse; that is some good:
When he shall bear she died upon his words,
And every lovely organ of her life
Than when she fiv'd indeed :-then shall he
(As best befits her wounded reputation,)
Leon. Being that I flow in grief,
Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently away; For to strange sores strangely they strain
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?
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. 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. Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.
Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and 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: protest, I love thee.
Beut. Why then, God forgive me!
I was about to protest, I loved you.
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.
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 approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonred my 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 | way to examine; you must call forth the watch in the market-place. that are their accusers.
Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way:
Bene. Hear me, Beatrice ;Beat. Talk with a man out at a window ?-a Let the watch come forth:-Masters, I charge proper saying! you, in the prince's name, accuse these men. 1 Watch. This man said, Sir, that Don John,
Bene. Nay but, Beatrice;
Beut. Sweet Hero!-she is wronged, she is the prince's brother, was a villain. slandered, she is undone.
Beat. Princes, and counties! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-confect ;t 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 Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it :-I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
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 your cousin: I must say, she is dead; and so, farewell. [Exeunt.
SCENE II-A Prison.
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, 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?
Dogb. 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?
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 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 none?
Sexton. Master constable, you go not the + A nobleman made out of sugar. * Ceremony.
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?
2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.
Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
1 Watch. And that count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her.
Dogb. O villian! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this. Sexton. What else?
2 Watch. This is all.
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 he bound, and brought to Leonato's; I will go before, and show him their examination. [Exi.
Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned.
Dogh. 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?-0 that he were here to write me down-an ass!-but, masters, remember, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet 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 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. Ö, that I had been writ down-an ass. [Exeunt.
SCENE. I.-Before LEONATO's House.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO. Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief Against yourself.
Leon. 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;
Measure his woe the length and breadth of Save this of her's fram'd by thy villany.
And let it answer every strain for strain;
But there is no such man: For, brother, men
Leon. I pray thee, peace: I will be flesh and For there was never yet philosopher, [blood; That could endure the tooth-ach patiently; However they have writ the style of gods, And made a pish at chance and sufferance. Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself; 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, [prince, And that shall Claudio know, so shall the And all of them, that thus dishonour her.
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO.
Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio, hastily.
D. Pedro. Good den, good den.
D. Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato. Leon. Some haste, my lord!-well, fare you well, my lord :
Are you so hasty now?-well, all is one. D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man.
Ant. If he could right himself with quarreling, Some of us would lie low.
Claud. Who wrongs him?
Thou, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler,
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword,
Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand,
I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child; Thy slander hath gone through and through her And she lies buried with her ancestors: [heart, O! in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Claud. My villany!
Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine I say.
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare?
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
Ant. Content yourself: God knows, I lov'd my niece;
And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains;
Ant. Hold you content; What, man! I know them, yea,
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple:
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mong'ring boys, That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave, and slander,
Go antickly, and show outward hideousness,
Leon. But, brother Antony,—
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death;, But, on my honour, she was charg'd with no
But what was true, and very full of proof.
D. Pedro. I will not hear you.
Brother, away:-I will be heard ;-
Or some of us will smart for it.
[Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO. Enter BENEDICK.
D. Pedro. See, see; here comes the man we went to seek.
Claud. Now, signior! what news!
D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: You are almost come to part almost a fray.
Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old men without teeth.
D. 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 you both.
Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain have it beaten away: Wilt thou use thy wit?
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 plea
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, an you charge it against me:-I pray you, choose 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 girdle.*
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear? Claud. God bless me from a challenge! Bene. You are a villian;-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 killed 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.
D. Pedro. What, a feast? a feast? Claud. I'faith, I thank him; he hath bidt me to a calf's-head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too? Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day: I said, thou hadst a fine wit; True, says she, a fine little one: No, said I, a great wit; Right, says she, a great gross one: Nay, said I, a good wit; Just, said she, it hurts nobody: Nay, said I, the gentleman is wise; Certain, said she, a wise gentleman: Nay, said I, he hath the tongues; That I believe, said she, for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he foreswore on Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue; there's two tongues. Thus did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular virtues; yet, at last, she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy.
Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said, she cared not.
D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet, for all that, an if she 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 him when he was hid in the garden.
D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's horns 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 gossip-like humour: you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not.My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your company: your brother, the bastard, is fled 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.
D. Pedro. He is in earnest. Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.
D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?
D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit!
Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the WATCH, with
CONRADE and BORACHIO.
Claud. He is then a giant to an ape: but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.
D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be; pluck up, my heart, and be sad! Did he not say my brother was fled?
Dogb. Come, you, Sir; if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound! Borachio, one!
Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord! D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?
Dogb. Marry, Sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things: and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge.
Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.
D. 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 deceived even your very eyes: what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who, in the night, over-heard me confessing to this man, how Don John your brother incensedt me to slander the lady Hero: how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garment; how you disgraced 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 accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain. D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he utter'd it.
D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the prac tice of it.
D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of And fled he is upon his villany. [treachery:Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth ap