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Bashful sincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy Seeming!' I will write against it;
You seem to me as Dian in her orb,
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown:
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals
That rage in savage sensuality.

Hero. Is my Lord well, that he doth speak so wide?
Leon. Sweet Prince, why speak not you?

Pedro. What should I speak ?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link

my

dear friend to a common Stale.
Leon. Are these things spoken, or do I but dream?
John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
Bene. This looks nor like a Nuptial.
Hero. True! O God!

Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
Is this the Prince? Is this the Prince's Brother?
Is this face Hero's? are our eyes our own?

Leon. All this is so; but what of this, my lord ?
Claud. Let me but move one question to your

daughter,
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
That you have in her, bid her answer truly.

Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.

Hero. O God defend me, how am I belet! What kind of catechizing call you this?

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name.

Hero. Is it not Hero? who can blot that name
With any just reproach?

Claud. Marry, that can Hero;
Hero her self can blot out Hero's virtue.
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight
Oui at your window betwixt twelve and one ?

I will write against it;] What? a libel? nonsense. We should read, I will RATE against it, i. e. rail or revile.

Now,

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Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my Lord.

Pedro. Why, then you are no maiden. Leonato, I am sorry, you must hear; upon mine Honour, My felf, my Brother, and this grieved Count Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window Who hath, indeed, o like an illiberal villain, Confess'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in secret.

John. Fie, fie, they are not to be nam'd, my Lord,
Not to be spoken of ;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, tó utter them : thus, pretty lady,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadft thou been,
If half thy outward graces had been plac'd
About the thoughts and counsels of thy heart?
But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewel

Thou pure impiety, and impious purity!
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love,
And on my eyelids Thall Conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm ;
And never shall it more be gracious.

Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? Beat. Why, how now, Cousin, wherefore sink you

down? John. Come, let us go ; these things, come thus to

light, Smother her fpirits up.

(Exeunt D. Pedro, D. John and Claud.

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2 most like a LIBERAL villain,) We should read, like an ILLIBERAL villain, VOL. II.

Heral

1

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Hero! why, Hero! uncle! Signior Benedick! friar !

Leon. O tate! take not away thy heavy hand ;
Death is the faireft cover for her shame,
That may be wilh'd for.

Beat. How now, cousin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, Lady.
Leon. Doft thou look up?
Friar. Yea, wherefore should she not ?
Leon. Wherefore? why, doth not every earthly

thing
Cry shame upon her? could she here deny
The story that is printed in her blood ?
Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes:
For did I think, thou wouldst not quickly die,
Thought I, thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
My self would on the rereward of reproaches
Strike at thy life. 3 Griev'd I, I had but one ?
Chid I for That at frugal nature's 'fraine ?
I've one too much by thee. Why had I one ?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Why had I not, with charitable hand,
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates ?
Who Imeered thus, and mir'd with infamy,
I might have said, no part of it is mine;
3 Griev'd I, I kad but one ?

Chid I for That at frugal nature's FRAME?

I've one too much by thee.---] The meaning of the second line according to the present reading, is this, Chid ! at frugal nature that he sent me a girl and not a boy? But this is not what he chid nature for; if he himself may be believed, it was because The had given him but one: and in that he owns he did foolishly, for he now finds he had one too much. He called her frugal, therefore, in giving him but one child. (For to call her so because the chose to lend a girl, rather than a boy, would be ridiculous) So that we must certainly read,

Chid I for this at frugnl-nature's 'FRAINE, i. e. refraine, of keeping back her further favours, fopping her hand, as we say, when she had given him one. But the Oxford Editor has, in his usual way, improved this amendmert, by subdituting band for fraine,

This shame derives it self from unknown loins :
+ But mine, as mine I lov'd, as mine I prais'd,
As mine that I was proud on, mine so much,
That I my self was to my self not mine,
Valuing of her ; why, she, O, The is fallin
Into a pit of ink, that the wide fea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again ;
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!

Bene. Sir, Sir, be patient;
For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is bely'd.
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

Beat, No, truly, not; altho' until last night
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
Leon. Confirm’d, confirm'd! O, That is stronger

made,
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron.
Would the two Princes lie and Claudio lie?
Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears ? hence from her, let her die,

Friar. Hear me a little,
For I have only been silenc so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady. I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions
To start into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whitenefs bear away those blushes;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors that these Princes hold

4 But miné, AND mine I lov'd, AND mine I prais'd,

AND mine that I was proud' on ] The fente requires that we should read, as in these three places. The reasoning of the speaker stands thus, - Had this been my adopted child, this shame would not have rebounded on me. But this child was mine, AS mine I loved ber, praised her, was proud of her: consequently, as I claimed the glory I must needs be subjected to the foame, &c.

Against

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Against her maiden truth. Call me a fool,
Trust not my reading, nor my observations,
Which with experimental seal do warrant
The tenour of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Under some biting error.

Leon. Friar, it cannot be ;
Thou seest, that all the grace, that she hath left,
Is, that she will not add to her damnation

A sin of perjury; she not denies it:
Why seekʼst thou then to cover with excuse
That, which appears in proper nakedness?

5 Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of?
Hero. They know, that do accuse me; I know

none:
If I know more of any man alive,
Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Let all my sins lack mercy! O my father,
Prove you that any man with me convers'd
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature,
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.
Friar. There is some strange misprision in the

Princes. 5

Friar, Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of?] The friar had just before boafted his great skill in fishing out the truth. And indeed, he appears, by this question, to be no fool. He was by, all the while at the accusation, and heard no names mentioned. Why then should he ask her what man she was accused of? But in this lay the subtilty of his examination. For had Hero been guilty, it was very probable that, in that hurry and confusion of spirits, into which the terrible insult of her lover had thrown her, she would never have observed that the man's name was not mentioned ; and so, on this question, have betrayed herself by naming the person she was conscious of an affair with. The friar observed this, and so concluded, that were the guilty she would probably fall into the trap he laid for her. only take notice of this to laew how admirably well Shakespear knew how to sustain his characters,

Bene.

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