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Manent Benedick and Beatrice. 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 shew such friendship?
Bene. I do love nothing in the world fo well as you ; is not that ftrange ?
Beat. As ftrange 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 lye not;
I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my coufin.
Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lov'ft me.
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 devis'd to it; I protest, I love thee.
Beat. Why then, God forgive me.
Beat. You have stay'd me in a happy hour ; I was about to protest, I lov'd 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, tho' I am here; there is no love in you ; nay, I pray you, let me go.
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 sander'd, scorn'd, dishonour'd my kinswoman ! O, that I were man! what! bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then with publick accufation, uncover'd slander, unmitigated rancour O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.
Bene. Hear me, Beatrice.
-a proper saying! Bene. Nay, but Beatrice.
Beat. Sweet Hero ! she is wrong'd, she is slander'd, she is undone.
Beat. Princes and Counts ! surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfeet, a sweet gallant, surely! O that I were a man for his fake!. Or that I had any friend would be a man for my fake! but manhood is melted into curtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turn’d 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. Bere. Tarry, good Beatrice;
by this hand, 'I love thee. Beat. Use it for my love some other way than fwearing by it.
Bene. Think you in your soul, the Count Claudio hath wrong'd Hero?
Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.
Bene. Enough, I am engag'd; 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, fo think of me; go comfort your cousin; I must fay, she is dead, and so farewel.
SCENE changes to a Prison. Enter. Dogberry, Verges, Borachio, Conrade, the
Town-Clerk and Sexton in Gowns.
TO. CI. TS our whole diffembly appear'd ?
Dog. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton! Sexton. Which be the malefactors ? V'erg. Marry, that am I and
Partner, Dog. Nay, that's certain, we have the exhibition to examine.
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examin'd? let them come before master constable.
To. Cl. Yea, marry, let them come before me ; what is
your name, friend? Bora. Borachio. T. CI. Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours, Sirrah?
Conr. I am a gentleman, Sir, and my name is Conrade,
To. Cl. Write down, master gentleman Conrade ; masters, do you serve God?
Both. Yea, Sir, we hope. (15)
To. Cl. Write down, that they hope they ferve 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
your selves ?
Conr. Marry, Sir, we say, we are none.
To. Cl. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you, but I will go about with him. Come you hither, firrah,
(15) Both. Tea, Sir, we hope.
To. Cl. Write down, that they hope, they serve God: and write God first; for God defend, but God skould go before amb Villains —] This shost Passage, which is truly humourous and in character, I have added from the old Quarto. Besides, it fupplies a Defeat: for, without it, the Town-Clerk asks a Queftion of the Prisoners, and goes on without staying for any Answer to it,
a word in your ear, Sir; I say to you, it is thought you are both false knaves.
Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.
To. Cl. Well, itand aside; 'fore God, they are both in a tale; have you writ down, that they are none ?
Sexton. Mafter town-clerk, you go not the way to examine, you must call the watch that are their accusers. (16) To. Cl. Yea, marry, that's the deftest way,
let the Watch come forth; masters, I charge you in the Prince's name accuse these men.
Enter Watchmen. 1 Watch. This. man said, Sir, that Don John the Prince's brother was a villain.
To. Cl. Write down, Prince John a villain; why this is flat perjury, to call a Prince's brother villain.
Bora. Mafter town clerk
To. Cl. 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 receiv'd a thousand dus cats of Don Jobs, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.
(16) To. Cl. Tea, marry, that's the easiest Way, let the Watch come forth.) This, easieft, is a Sophistication of our modern Editors, who were at a Lors to make out the corrupted Reading of the old Copies. The Quarto, in 1600, and the first and Second Editions in Folio ail concur in readings
Tea, marry, that's the estest war, &c. A Letter happen'd ro flip out at Press in the first Edition ; and 'was too hard a Task for the. subsequent Editors to put it in, or guess at the Word under this accidental Depravation. There is no doubt, but the Author wrote, as I have reford the Text;
Tea, marry, thai's the deftest way, &c. i. e. the readiest, most commodious Way. The word is pure Saxen. Deaflice, debitè, congruè, duely, fitly. Lesæftlice, opportund, commode, bitly, conveniently, seasonably, in good time, commodiously.. Vid. Spelman's Saxon Gloss.
and not marry
To. Cl. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
I Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly,
her. To. Ci. O villain! thou wilt be condemn'd into everlasting redemption for this.
Sexton. What else?
Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly ftoll'n away: Hero was in this manner accus'd, and in this very manner refus'd, and upon the grief of this suddenly dy'd. Master Constable, let these men be bound and brought to Leonato ; I will go before, and shew him their examination,
[Exit. Dogb. Come, let them be opinion'd. Conr. Let them be in the hands of 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.
Conr. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass.
Dogb. Dost'thou not suspect my place ? doft thou not suspect my years ? O, that he were here to write me down an afs! but, masters, remember, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an afs; no, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be prov'd upon thee by good witness ;. I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer ; and which is more, an housholder; and which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh
any in Mefina, 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!