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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 cowardise. 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, fo I may have good cheer.

Pedro. What, a feast?

Claud. l' 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 woodcock 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; juft

, faid she, 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 the, a wise gentleman ; nay, said I, he hath the tongues ; that I believe, said fhe, for he swore 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 trans-shape thy particular virtues ; yet, at laft, The concluded with a figh, thou waft the properest man in Italy.

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

Pedro. Yea, that she did ; but yet for all that, and if she did not hate him deadly, he 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.

Pedro. But when shall we set the favage 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 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 fled from Mefina ; 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 most 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! Enter Dogberry, Verges, Conrade and Borachio

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

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

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, 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; secondarily, they are flanders; 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; fixth and lahly, why they are committed ; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge?

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

Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, that you
Vol. II.


you must be



are thus bound to your answer? This learned conftable is too cunning to be understood. What's your of. fence ?

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 confelling to this man, how Don John your brother incens’d me to flander 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 Thould 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. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your

blood ?
Claud. I have drunk poison, while he utter'd it.
Pedro. 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.

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first.

Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs; by this time, our Sexton hath reform'd Signior Leonato of the matter ; and masters do not forget to specifie, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.

Enter Leonato, and Sexton.
Leon. Which is the villain ? let me see his eyes;
That when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him ; which of these is he?

Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou, art thou the slave, that with thy breath


Haft kill'd mine innocent child ?

Bora. Yea, even I alone.

Leon. No, not fo, villain; thou bely't thy self;
Here ftand a pair of honourable men,
A third is filed, that had a hand in it:
I thank you, Princes, for my daughter's death ;
Record it with your high and worthy deeds;
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak : chuse your revenge yourself ;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my fin; yet finn'd I not,
But in miftaking

Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
And yet, to satisfie this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight,
That he'll enjoyn me to.

Leon. You cannot bid my daughter live again,
That were impossible ; but, I pray you both,
Possess the People in Mefina here
How innocent The dy'd; and if your love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her an Epitaph upon her tomb,
And sing it to her bones ; sing it to night:
To morrow morning come you to my house,
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew; my brother hath a daughter,
Almoft the

copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us ;
Give her the Right you should have given her Cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

Claud. O noble Sir ?
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me:
I do embrace your offer ; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.

Leon. To morrow then I will expect your Coming,
To night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

D 2


that point.

Bora. No, by my soul, she was not ;
Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me.
But always hath been just and virtuous,
In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, Sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembred in his punishment; and also the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a key in his ear,

and a lock hanging by it ; and borrows money in God's name, the which he hath us'd so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake. Pray you, examine him upon

Leon. I'thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogb. Your Worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you.

Leon. There's for thy pains.
Dogb. God save the foundation !

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner ; and I thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your Worship, which, I beseech your Worship, to correct your self

, for the example of others. God keep your Worship; I wish your Worship well: God restore you to health; I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry meeting may be with'd, God prohibit it. Come, neighbour.

Leon. Until to morrow morning, Lords, farewel.
Ant. Farewel, my Lords; we look for you to morrow.
Pedro. We will not fail.
Claud. To night I'll mourn with Hero.
Leon. Bring you these fellows on, we'll talk with

How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[E xeunt severalls


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