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And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
Trust not my reading, nor my observations, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
Which with experimental seal doth warrant And never shall it more be gracious.
The tenour of my book; trust not my age, Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
[HERO swoons If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here Beat. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore sink Under some biting error.
Friar, it cannot be : D. John. Come, let us go; these things, come Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left, thus to light,
Is, that she will not add unto her guilt Smother her spirits up.
A sin of perjury; she not denies it: [Ereunt Don Pedro, Don John, and CLAUDIO. Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse Bene. How doth the lady?
That which appears in proper nakedness? Beat.
Dead, I think; - help, uncle; - Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of? Hero! why, Ilero ! - Uncle ! — Signior Benedick ! Hero. They know, that do accuse me; I know none: friar !
If I know more of any man alive, Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand ! Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, Death is the fairest cover for her shame,
Let all my sins lack mercy! - O my father, That may be wish'd for.
Prove you that any man with me convers’d Beat.
How now, cousin Hero? At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight Friar. Have comfort, lady.
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, Leon.
Dost thou look up? Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death. Friar. Yea; wherefore should she not?
Friar. There is soine strange misprision 3 in the Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly
Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour; Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny And if their wisdoms be misled in this, The story that is printed in her blood ?
The practice of it lives in John the bastard, Do not live, Hero: do not ope thine eyes :
Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies, For did I think thou wouldst not quickly die, Leon. I know not; If they speak but truth of her; Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour, Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches, The proudest of them shall well hear of it. Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ? Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame,'
Nor age so eat up my invention, 0, one too much by thee! Why had I one ? Nor fortune made such havock of my means, Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends, Why had I not, with charitable hand,
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
To quit me of them throughly.
Pause a while, But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais’d, And let my counsel sway you in this case. And mine that I was proud on; mine so much, Your daughter here the princes left for dead; That I myself was to myself not mine,
Let her a while be secretly kept in, Valuing of her; why, she -- 0, she is fallen And publish it, that she is dead indeed : Into a pit of ink! that the wide sea
Maintain a mourning ostentation : Hath drops too few to wash her clean again. And on your family's old monument Bene. Sir, sir, be patient :
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
That appertain unto a burial. I know not what to say.
Leon. What shall become of this? What will this Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied !
do? Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night? Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf
Beat. No, truly, not: although, until last night, Change slander to remorse; that is soine good : I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow. But not for that, dream I on this strange course, Leon. Confirm’d, confirm'd! O, that is stronger But on this travail look for greater birth. made,
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd, Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron! Upon the instant that she was accus'd, Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie? Shall be lamented, pitied and excus'd, Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness, Of every hearer : For it so falls out, Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her; let her die. That what we have we prize not to the worth, Friar. Hear me a little;
Whiles we enjoy it ; but being lack'd and lost, For I have only been silent so long,
Why, then we rack 4 the value; then we find And given way unto this course of fortune, The virtue, that possession would not show us By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
Whiles it was ours :- So will it fare with Claudio: A thousand blushing apparitions start
When he shall hear she died upon his words,
The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparell’d in more precious habit, Against her maiden truth : – Call me a fool ; More moving-delicate, and full of life,
| Disposition of things.
Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
Rrat. I am gone, though I am here : — There is Than when she liv'd indeed: — then shall he mourn, no love in you : — - Nay, I pray you, let me go. And wish he had not so accus'd her;
Bene. Beatrice, – No, though he thought bis accusation true.
Beat. In faith, I will go. Let this be so, and doubt not but success
Bene. We'll be friends first. Will fashion the event in better shape
Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
fight with mine enemy. But if all aim but this be levell’d false,
Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy? The supposition of the lady's death
Beat. Is he not approved in the heigl a villain, Will quench the wonder of her infamy:
that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinsAnd, if it sort not well, you may conceal her woman?- 0, that I were a man! - What! bear (As best befits her wounded reputation)
her in hand until they come to take hands; and In some reclusive and religious life,
then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unOut of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries. mitigated rancour, - 0, that I were a man! I would
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you : eat his heart in the market-place. And though, you know, my inwardness 5 and Bene. Hear me, Beatrice; love
Beat. Talk with a man out at a window ? Is very much unto the prince and Claudio,
proper saying! Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
Bene. Nay, but, Beatrice;As secretly, and justly, as your soul
Beat. Sweet Hero! — she is wronged, she is Should with your body.
slandered, she is undone. Leon.
Being that I flow in grief, Bene. Beat The smallest twine may lead me.
Beat. Princes and counties 6 ! Surely, a princely Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently away; testimony, a goodly count-confect 7; a sweet galFor to strange sores strangely they strain the lant, surely! O, that I were a man for his sake! or
that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! Come, lady, die to live: this wedding day,
But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into Perhaps, is but prolong'd; have patience, and compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, endure.
and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Ilercu[Ereunt Friar, Hero, and LEONATO. les, that only tells a lie, and swears it:- I cannot Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman while?
with grieving Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice: By this hand, I love Bene. I will not desire that.
thee. Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely.
Beat. Use it for my love some other way than Bene. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is swearing by it. wrong'd.
Bene. Think you in your soul the count Claudio Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of hath wronged Hero? me, that would right her!
Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a Pene. Is there any way to show such friendship? soul. Beat. A very even way, but no such friend. Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge Bene. May a man do it?
him ; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you : By Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.
this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account: Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort you: Is not that strange?
your cousin : I must say, she is dead; and so, fareBeat. As strange as the thing I know not: It well.
[Exeunt. were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as you : but believe me not; and yet I lie not;
SCENE II. - A Prison. I confess nothing, nor, I deny nothing: -I am sorry | Enter Dogberry, Verges, and Sexton, in gowns ; for my cousin.
and the Watch, with CONRADE and Borach10. Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me. Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.
Dogb. Is our whole dissembly appeared ? Bene. I will swear by it, that
Verg, 0, a stvol and a cushion for the sexton! you
and I will make him eat it, that says I love not you.
Serton. Which be the malefactors ? Beat. Will you not eat your word ?
Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner. Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it:
Verg. Nay, that's certain ; we have the exhibition
to examine. I protest, I love thee.
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be Beat. Why then, heaven forgive me!
examined ? let them come before master constable. Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice. Beat. You have staid me in a happy hour; I was
Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me. about to protest, I loved you.
What is your name, friend? Bene. And do it with all thy heart.
Yours, Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest.
sirrah? Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is
Dogb. Write down -- master gentleman Conrade. Beat. You kill me to deny it: Farewell.
Masters, it is proved already that you are little Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.
better than false knaves; and it will go near to be 5 Intimacy.
I A nobleman made out of sugar.
thought so shortly. How answer you for your- Dogh. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into selves?
everlasting redemption for this. Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none.
Serton. What else? Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; 2 Watch. This is all. but I will go about with him. — Come you hither, Serton. And this is more, masters, than you can sirrah : a word in your ear, sir; I say to you, it is deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen thought you are false knaves.
away; Hero was in this manner accused, in this very Bura. Sir, I say to you, we are none.
manner refused, and upon the grief of this, suddenly Dogb. Well, stand aside. — They are both in a died. —- Master constable, let these men be bound, tale: Have you writ down — that they are none ? and brought to Leonato's; I will go before, and Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way to show him their examination.
(Erit. examine: you must call forth the watch that are Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned. their accusers.
Verg. Let them be in band. Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way: -- Let Con. Off, coxcomb. the watch come forth — Masters, I charge you, in Dogb. Where's the sexton ; let him write down the prince's name, accuse these men.
the prince's officer, coxcomb. Come, bind 1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the them : Thou naughty varlet! prince's brother, was a villain.
Con. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass. Dogb. Write down - prince John a villain : - Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place? Dost Why this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother- thou not suspect my years ? — O that he were here villain.
to write me down-an ass!—but, masters, remenBora. Master constable,
ber, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like yet forget not that I am an ass : — No, thou villain, thy look, I promise thee.
thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee Serton. What heard
by good witness. I am a wise fellow ; and, which 2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand is more, an officer; and, which is more, a houseducats of Don John, for accusing the lady llero holder: and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh wrongfully.
as any is in Messina ; and one that knows the law, Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed. go to ; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fel. Very. Yea, by the mass, that it is.
low that hath had losses; and one that hath two Serton. What else, fellow?
gowns, and every thing handsome about him: 1 Watch. And that count Claudio did mean upon Bring him away. O, that I had been writ down his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole as
[Exeunt. sembly, and not marry her.
SCENE I. — Before Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO.
Leon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel,
No, no : 'tis all men's office to speak patience
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ.
Leon. I pray thee, peace : I will be flesh and blood;
Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself;
Leon. There thou speak'st reason : nay, I will
do so :
My soul doth tell me, Hero is belied;
Enter Don Pedro and Claudio.
Good day to both of you.
my lord: –
D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old Leon. My lord, my lord,
I will not hear you. Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, Leon.
No? Some of us would lie low.
Brother, away :
- I will be heard ; Claud. Who wrongs him ? Ant.
And shall, Leon.
Marry, Or some of us will smart for it. Thou, thou dost wrong me: thou dissembler, thou:
[Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO. Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword, I fear thee not.
D. Pedro. See, see; here comes the man we went
Leon. Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me: Bene. Good day, my lord. I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool ;
D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: You are almost As, under privilege of age, to brag
come to part almost a fray. What I have done being young, or what would do, Claud. We had like to have had our two noses Were I not old: Know, Claudio, to thy head, snapped off with two old men without teeth. Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me, D. Pedro. Leonato and his brother : What That I am fore'd to lay my reverence by;
think'st thou? Had we fought, I doubt we should And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days, have been too young for them. Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
Bene. In a false quarrel there is no true valour. I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child; I came to seek you both. Thy slander hath gone through and through her Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; heart,
for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain And she lies buried with her ancestors :
have it beaten away: Wilt thou use thy wit? 0! in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Bene. It is in my scabbard ; shall I draw it? Save this of hers fram'd by thy villainy!
D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side? Claud. My villainy !
Claud. Never any did so, though very many have Leon. Thine, Claudio ; thine, I say. been beside their wit
. - I will bid thee draw, as we D. Pedro. You say not right, old man.
do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us. Leon.
My lord, my lord, D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks I'll prove it on his body, if he dare;
pale: Art thou sick, or angry? Despite his nice fence, and his active practice, Claud. What! courage, man! What though care His May of youth, and bloom of lustyhood. killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill
Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you.
an you charge it against me : - I pray you, choose If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man. another subject.
Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed : Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this But that's no matter; let him kill one first ; - last was broke cross. Win me and wear me, let him answer me,
D. Peilro. By this light, he changes more and Come, follow me, boy ; come, boy, follow me: more; I think, he be angry indeed. Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining 9 fence; Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle. Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear? Leon. Brother,
Claud. Heaven bless me from a challenge! Ant. Content yourself: God knows, I lov’d my Bene. You are a villain; I jest not :- - I will
make it good how you dare, with what you dare, And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains ; and when you dare :-- Do me right, or I will proThat dare as well answer a man, indeed,
test your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, As I dare take a serpent by the tongue:
and her death shall fall heavy on you : Let me hear Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops! Leon.
Brother Antony, Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good Ant. Hold you content; What, man! I know cheer.
D. Pedro. What, a feast ? a feast ? And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple : Claud. I'faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mong’ring boys, a calf's head and a capon; the which if I do not That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander, carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught. -Go antickly, and show outward hideousness, Shall I not find a woodcock too ? And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily. How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst, D. Pedro, I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy And this is all.
wit the other day: I said, thou hadst a fine wit: Leon. But, brother Antony,
True, says she, a fine little one : No, said I, a great Ant.
Come, 'tis no matter ; wit ; Right, says she, a great gross one : Nay, said I, Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
a good wit ; Just, said she, it hurts nobody : Nay, D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake said I, the gentleman is wise; Certnin, said she, a your patience.
wise gentleman: Nay, said I, he hath the tongues ; My heart is sorry for your daughter's death ; That I believe, said she, for he suore a thing to me But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday But wbat was true, and very full of proof.
morning ; there's a double tongue ; there's two tongues. 9 Thrusting.
Thus did she, an hour together, trans-shape thy par
ticular virtues; yet, at last, she concluded with a saw me court Margaret Hero's garment; how sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy. you disgraced her, when you should marry her :
Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said, my villainy they have upon record; which I had she cared not.
rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet for all that, shame : the lady is dead upon mine and my master's an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but him dearly: the old man's daughter told us all. the reward of a villain. Claud. All, all.
D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through D. Pedro. But when shall we set the
blood ? horns on the sensible Benedick's head?
Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he utter'd it. Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this? Benedick the married man?
Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice Bene. Fare you well, boy; you
of it. I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour : D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treayou break jests as braggarts do their blades, which
chery : hurt not. — - My lord, for your many courtesies, I | And Aed he is upon this villainy. thank you: I must discontinue your company : Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear your brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina : you In the rare semblance that I loved it first. have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady: Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs; by this For my lord lack-beard, there, he and I shall meet; time our sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of and till then, peace be with him. [Erit BENEDICK. the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specify, D. Pedro. He is in earnest.
when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass. Claud. In most profound earnest ; and, I'll war- Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, rant you, for the love of Beatrice.
and the sexton too. D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee. Claud. Most sincerely,
Re-enter LEONATO and Antonio, with the Serton. D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his eyes; goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit! That when I note another man like him,
I may avoid him: Which of these is he? Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with Bora. If you would know your wronger, look
CONRADE and BORACHIO. Claud. He is then a giant to an ape: but then is Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath an ape a doctor to such a man.
hast kill'd D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be; pluck up, my | Mine innocent child ? heart, and be sad ! Did he not say, my brother was Bora.
Yea, even I alone. Aed?
Leon. No, not so, villain; thou bely’st thyself; Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, Here stand a pair of honourable men. she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance : | A third is fled, that bad a hand in it: nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death ; be looked to.
Record it with your high and worthy deeds; D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men 'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it. bound! Borachio, one!
Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord! Yet I must speak: Choose your revenge yourself';
D. Pedro. Officers, what oflence have these men Impose me to what penance your invention done?
Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn’d I not, Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false re- But in mistaking port; moreover, they have spoken untruths; se- D. Pedro. By my soul, nor I; condarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they And yet, to satisfy this good old man, have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified un- I would bend under any heavy weight just things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves. That he'll enjoin me to.
D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done; Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live, thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and That were impossible: but, I pray you both, lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, Possess the people in Messina here what you lay to their charge?
How innocent she died : and, if your love Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division; Can labour aught in sad invention, and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited. Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night: that you are thus bound to your answer? this learned To-morrow morning come you to my house ; constable is too cunning to be understood: What's | And since you could not be my son-in-law, your offence ?
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter, Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine Almost the copy of my child that's dead, answer; do you hear me,
and let this count kill me. And she alone is heir to both of us; I have deceived even your very eyes; what your Give her the right you should have given her cousin, wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools | And so dies my revenge. have brought to light; who, in the night, over- Claud.
0, noble sir, heard me confessing to this man, how don John | Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me ! your brother incensed ? me to slander the lady I do embrace your offer; and dispose Hero : how you were brought into the orchard, and For henceforth of poor Claudlio.