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SCEN E changes to Leonato's House.
Enter Benedick, and Margaret. Bene. RAY thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
well at my hands, by helping me to the speech
of Beatrice. Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty ?
Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.
(20) Marg. To have no Man come over me? why, fhall I always keep above ftairs ?
Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.
Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice; I give thee the buckiers.
Marg. Give us the swords ; we have bucklers of our own.
Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think, hath legs.
[Exit Margaret. Bene. And therefore will come. [Sings.] The God of love, that fits above, and knows me, and knows me, bow pitiful I de ferve, I mean, in singing; but
(20) To have no Man come over me? why, fhall I always keep below Stairs?] Thus all the printed Copies, but, sure, erroneously: for all the Jeft, that can lie in the Passage, is deftroy'd by it. Any Man might come over her, literally speaking, if she always kept below Stairs. By the Corre&tion I have ventur'd to make, Margaret, as 1 presume, must mean, What! shall I always keep above Stairs? i. e. Shall I for ever continue a Chambermaid ?
in loving, Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse; why, they were never so truly turnd over and over, as my poor self, in love; marry, I cannot shew it in rhime; I have try'd ; I can find out no rhime to lady but baby, an innocent's rhime; for fcorn, born, a hard rhime ; for school, fool, a babling rhime ; very ominous endings; no, I was not born under a rhiming planet, for I cannot woo in feitival terms.
Beat. Yea, Signior, and depart when you bid me.
go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath past between you and Claudio.
Bene. Only foul words, and thereupon I will kiss thee.
Beat. Foul words are but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome ; therefore I will depart unkift.
Bene. Thou haft frighted the word out of its right sense, so forcible is thy wit; but, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge ; and either I'muft Thortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward; and, I pray thee, now tell me, for which of my bad parts didit thou first fall in love with me?
Beat. For them all together ; which maintain'd so politick a state of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them : but for which of my good parts
first suffer love for me? Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet ; I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Beat. In spight of your heart, I think; alas ! poor heart, if you spight it for my fake, I will spight it for yours; for I will never love that, which my friend hates.
Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
Beat. It appears not in this confeffion; there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.
Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that liv'd in the time of good neighbours ; if a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monuments, than the bells ring, and the
Beat. And how long is that, think you ?
Bene. Question ? - why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rhewm ; therefore it is most expedient for the wise, if Don worm (his conscience) find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to my self; so much for praising my self; who, I my self will bear witness, is praise-worthy, and now tell me, how doth your Cousin?
Beat. Very ill.
Bene, Serve God, love me, and mend ; there will I leave you too, for here comes one in hafte.
Enter Ursula. Ursu. Madam, you must come to your uncle; yonder's old coil at home; it is proved, my lady Hero hath been falsely accus'd; the Prince and Claudio mightily abus'd; and Don John is the author of all, who is filed and gone : will you come presently?
Beat. Will you go hear this news, Signior ?
Bene. I will live in thy eyes, die in thy lap, and te bury'd in thy heart; and moreover I will go with thee to thy uncle.
[Exeunt, SCENE changes to a CHURCH.
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, and Attendants with tapers.
Ε Ρ Ι Τ Α Ρ Η.
Done to death by fanderous tongues
Was the Hero, that here lyes:
Gives her fame which never dies.
Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Praising her when I am dumb. Claud. Now mufick found, and fing your solemn hymn.
Pardon, Goddess of the night,
Claud. Now unto thy bones good night! Yearly will I do this Right. Pedro. Good morrow, masters, put your torches out ;
The wolves have prey'd; and, look, the gentle day, Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about Dapples the drowsie east with spots of
grey : Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare well. Claud. Good morrow, masters ; each his several
way. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds ; And then to Leonato's we will go.
Claud. And Hymen now with luckier issue speed's, (21) Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe! [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato, Benedick, Margaret, Ursula, Antonio,
Friar, and Hero.
Ant. Well; I am glad, that all things sort so well.
Leon. Well, Daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by your selves, And when I send for you, come hither mask’d: The Prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me; you know your office, brother, You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies,
Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance. Bene. Friar, I must intreat your pains, I think. Friar. To do what, Signior? Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them : Signior Leonato, truth it is, good Signior, Your neice regards me with an eye of favour.
(21) And Hymen now with luckier i fue speeds,
Than this, for whom we render'd up this Woc.] Claudio could not know, without being a Prophet, that this new-propos'd Match should have any luckier Event than That design'd with Hero. Certainly, therefore, this hould be a Wish in Claudio; and, to this End, the Poet might have wrote, Speed's; i e, speed usi and so it becomes a Prayer to Hymen.
Dr. Thiriby. .