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Verg. And we must do it wisely.

Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's that [touching his forehead] shall drive some of them to a non com : only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the gaol.



SCENE I.— The Inside of a Church. Enter Dox PEDRO, DON JOIN, LEONATO, Friar


OME, friar Francis, be brief; only to

the plain form of marriage, and you
shall recount their particular duties

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

Claud. No.

Leon. To be married to her : friar, you come to marry her.

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to this count?

Hero. I do.

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

Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Hero. None, my lord.
Friar. Know you any,


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!

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

Claud. Stand thee by, friar :-Father, by your



Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Give me this maid, your daughter ?

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

whose worth May counterpoise this rich and precious gift ? D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her

again. Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thank

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 show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witness simple virtue? Wculd you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows ? But she is none :
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed :
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.

Leon. What do you mean, my lord ?

Not to be married, Not to knit my soul to an approved wanton.

Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof 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 her husband, And so extenuate the 'forehand sin: No, Leonato, I never tempted her with word too large; But, as a brother to his sister, show'd Bashful sincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on the 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


savage sensuality. Hero, Is my lord well, that he doth speak so

wide ? Leon, Sweet prince, why speak not you? D. 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 lut

dream? D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these thinks

That rage

are true.

Benc. This looks not like a nuptial.

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 beset !What kind of catechising 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 itself can blot out Hero's virtue. What man was he talk'd with you yesternight Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one? Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.

Leonato, I am sorry you must hear : Upon mine honour, Myself, 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, most like a liberal villain, Confess'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in secret. D. Yohn.

Fie, fie! they are Not to be named, my lord, not to be spoken of; There is not chastity enough in language, Without offence, to utter them : thus, pretty lady, I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

Claud. O Hero ! what a Hero hadst thou been, If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart ! But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair ! farewell, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And

my eyelids shall 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

[Hero swoons. Beat. Why, how now, cousin ? wherefore sink


you down?

D. John. Come, let us go : these things, come

thus to light, Smother her spirits up.

[Exeunt Dox PEDRO, Don John, and CLAUDIO, Bene. How doth the lady? Beat.

Dead, I think ;-help, uncle;Hero ! why, Hero!— Uncle !—Signior Benedick !

-friar ! Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand ! Death is the fairest cover for her shame That may be wish'd for. Beat.

How now, cousin Hero? Friar. Have comfort, lady. Leon. Dost thou look up ? Friar. Yea; wherefore should she not? Leon. Wherefore ? Why, doth not every earth

ly 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 wouldse not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy

Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Grieved I, I had but one?
Chid 1 for that at frugal nature's frame ?
O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes ?
Why had I not, with charitable hand,
Tuok up a beggar's issue at my gates ;

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