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Marg. A maid, and stufft! there's goodly catching of cold.

Beat. O, God help me, God help me, how long have you profest apprehension?

Marg. Ever since you left it; doth not my wic become me rarely?

Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap. By my troth, I am sick.

Marg. Get you some of this distillid Carduus Benedi&tus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.

Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle.

Beat. Benedi&tus ? why Benedi&tus? you have some moral in this BenediEtus.

Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning, I meant plain holy-thistle: you may think, perchance, that I think you are in love; nay, birlady, I am not such a fool to think what I lift; nor I lift not to think what I can ; nor, indeed, I cannot think, if I would think my heart out with thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be in love, or that you can be in love: yet Benedick was such another, and now is he become a man; he swore, he would never marry; and yet now, in despight of his heart, he eats his meat without grudging; and how you may be converted, I know not; but, methinks, you look with your eyes as other women do.

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ?
Marg. Not a false gallop.

Ursu. Madam, withdraw; the Prince, the Count, Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the Gallants of the town are come to fetch you to church.

Hero. Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula.


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Another Apartment in Leonato's. House.

Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges. Leon. WHAT would you with me, honest neigh

Dogh. Marry, Sir, I would have some confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.

Leon. Brief, I pray you ; for, you see, 'tis a busy time with me.

Dogb. Marry, this it is, Sir.
Verg. Yes, iņ truth it is, Sir.
Leon. What is it, my good friends?

Dogb. Goodman Verges, Sir, speaks a little of the matter; an old man, Sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were ; but, in faith, as honest as the skin between his brows.

Verg. “ Yes, I thank God, 'I am as honest as any “ man living, that is an old man, and no honefter 66 than 1.”

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous ; palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor Duke's officers; but, truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a King, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.

Leon. All thy tediousness on me, ha?

2 I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honefler than 1 ] There is much humour, and extreme good sense under the cover of this blundering expression. It is a fly infinuation that length of years, and the being much hacknied in the ways of men, as Shakespear expresses it, take off the glofs of virtue, and bring much defilement on the manners. For as a great Wit says, Youth is the season of Virtue : corruptions grow with years, and I believe the oldef kogue in England is the greateft.


Dogb. Yea, and "cwere a thousand times more than ?tis, for I hear as good exclamation on your worship as of any man in the city, and tho' I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.

Verg. And so am I.
Leon. I would fain know what you have to say.

Verg. Marry, Sir, our Watch to night, excepting your worship's presence, hath ta’en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.

Dogb. " A good old man, Sir; he will be talking, as they say; when the age is in, the wit is out ; God help us, it is a world to see: well said, i'faith,

neighbour Verges, well, he's a good man; an two “ men ride an horse, one must ride behind ; an honest • soul, i'faith, Sir, by my troth he is, as ever broke s bread, but God is to be worshipp'd; all men are s6 not alike, alas, good neighbour!"

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
Dogb. Gifts, that God gives.
Leon. I must leave you.

Dogb. One word, Sir; our Watch have, indeed, comprehended two auspicious persons; and we would have them this morning examin'd before your worship

Leon. Take their examination your self, and bring it me; I am now in great haste, as may appear unto you.

Dogb. It shall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well.

Enter a Messenger. Mes. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband.

Leon. I'll wait upon them. I am ready. (Ex. Leon.

Dogb. Go, good Partner, go get you to Francis Sea.coale, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the jail; we are now to examine those men.

Verg. And we must do it wisely.

Dogb. We will fpare for no wit, I warrant ; 6 here's That shall drive some of them to a non“come.” Only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the Jail. [Exeunt.



Enter D. Pedro, D. John, Leonato, Friar, Claudio,

Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice.

marry her.

L EONATO. COME, friar Francis, be brief, only to the plain


shall recount their particular duties afterwards.

Friar. You come hither, my Lord, to marry this lady?

Glaud. No.
Leon. To be marry'd to her, friar ; you come to

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be marry'd to this Count?

Hero. I do.

Friar. If either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoin'd, I charge you on your souls to utter it.

Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Hero. None, my Lord.
Friar. 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!


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Bene. How now! Interjections? why, then some be of laughing, as ha, ha, he!

Claud. Stand thee by, friar : father, by your leave; Will you with free and unconstrained soul Give me this maid your daughter?

Leon. As freely, fon, as God did give her me. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose

May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?

Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.
Claud. Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankful.

There, Leonato, take her back again ;
Give not this rotten orange to your friend.
She's but the sign and semblance of her honour;
Behold, how like a maid she blushes here!
O, what authority and shew of truth
Can cunning fin cover it self withal!
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witness simple virtue? would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shews ? but she is none :
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed ;
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
Leon. What do you mean, my

Claud. Not to be marry'd,
Not knit my soul to an approved Wanton.

Leon. Dear my Lord, if you in your own approof
Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity
Claud. I know what you would say: if I have

known her,
You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate the forehand fin.
No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large ;
But, as a brother to his sister, shew'd


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