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Manent Benedick and Beatrice. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while ? Beat. Yea, and I will wecp a while longer. Bene. I will not defire that. Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely. Bene. Surely, I do believe, your fair coufin is wrong'd.
Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me; that would right her!
Bene. Is there any way to sew such friend thip?
Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as you ; is not that strange ??
Beat. As strange as the thing I know not; it were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as you ;. but believe me not ; and yet I lye not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing I am sorry for my cousin,
Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lov'it me.
Bene. I will swear by it that you love me, and I will make him eat it, that fays, I love not you. Beat. Will you not eat your
word? Bene. With no sauce that can be devis'd to it; I protest, I love thee.
Beat. Why then. 'God. forgive me.
Beat. You have ftay'd me in a happy hour ; I was about to proteit, I lov'd you.
Bene. And do it with all thy heart.
Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest.
Bene. Come, hid me do any thing for thee.
in, ihr am her; there is no love in you; na - Itä, you, let me go.
Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight with mine enemy:
Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?
Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath flander'd, scorn'd, dishonour'd my kinswoman! O, that I were a man! what! bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then with publick accu. fation, uncover'd slander, unmitigated rancour
0 God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the: marketplace. Bene. Hear
- a proper saying! Bene. Nay, but Beatrice.
Beat. Sweet Hero! lhe is wrong'd, me is Sander'd, she is undone,
Beat. Princes and Counts! surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfect, a sweet gallant, surely!' O that I were a man for his sake! Or that I had any. friend would be a man for my fake! but manhood is melted into curtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turn'd into tongue, and trim ones too; he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it: I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice; by this hand, I love thee.
Beat. Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.
Bene. Think you in your soul, the Count Claudio hath wrong'd Horo?
Beat. Yea, as fure as I have a thought or a foul.
Bene. Enough, I am engag'd; I will challenge him. I will kiss your hand, and so leave you, 'by this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account ; as you hear of me, so think of me; go comfort your cousin ; I must lay, she is dead, and so farewel.
SCENE changes to a Prison.
Town-Clerk and Sexton in Gowns.
Dog. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton ! Sexton. Which be the malefactors? Verg. Marry, that am I and my Partner.
Dog. Nay, that's certain, we have the exhibition to examine.
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examin'd? let them come before master constable.
To. Cl. Yea, marry, let them come before me; what is
your name, friend Bora. Borachio. T. Cl. Pray, write down, Boracbio. Yours, Sirrah ?
Conr. I am a gentleman, Sir, and my name is Conrade. T. Cl. Write down, master gentleman Conrade;
' masters, do you serve God ?
Botb. Yea, Sir, we hope. (15)
To. Cl. Write down, that they hope they serve God: and write God first: for God defend, but God should go before such villains.Mafters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knaves, and it will go near to be thought fo fortly; how answer you for your selves ?
Conr. Marry, Sir, we say, we are none.
To. C. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you, but I will go about with him. Come you hither, firrab, ( (15) Both. Yea, Sir, we bope.
To. Cl. Write down, that they bope, they serve God: and writt God forft : for God defend, but God jould go before sucb Vil. lainsa
-] This short Pallage, which is truly humorous and in character, I have added from the old Quarto. Besides, it supplies a Defect : for, without it, the Town.Clerk asks a Question of the Prisoners, and goes on without saying for any Answer to it,
a word in your ear, Sir ; I say to you, it is thought you are both false knaves.
Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.
To. Cl. Well, ftand aside; 'fore God, they are both in a tale ; have you writ down, that they are none ?
Sexton. Máster town-clerk, you go not the way to examine, you must call the watch that are their accusers. (16) To. Cl. Yea, marry, that's the deftest way,
let the Watch come forth ; masters, I charge you in the Prince's name accuse these men.
Enter Watchmen. 2 Watch. This man said, Sir, that Don John the Prince's brother was a villain.
To. Cl. Write down, Prince John a villain ; why this is flat perjury, to call a Prince's brother villain.
Bora. Master town-clerk
To. Cl. Pray thee, fellow, Peace ; I do not like thy look, I promise thee.
Sexton. What heard you him fay else ?
2 Watch. Marry, that he had receiv'd a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.
(16) To. Cl. Yea, marry that's the easiest Way, let the Watch come fortb.] This eafieft, is a Sophistication of our modern Editors, who were at a loss to make out the corrupted Reading of the old Copies. The Quarto, in 1600, and the first and second Editions in Folio all concur in reading ;
Yea, marry, tbat's tbe efteft way, &c. A Letter happen'd to flip out at Press in the first Edition ; and 'twas too hard a Task for the subsequent Editors to put it in, or guess at the Word under this accidental Depravation. There is no doubt, but the Author wrote, as I have restor'd the Text:
Yea, marry, that's the deftest way, &c. i. e. the readiest, most commodious Way. The Word is pare Saxon. Dearlice debitè, congruè, duely, fitly. Ledæftlice, opportunè, commodè, fitly,. conveniently, seasonably, in good time, commodiously,
Vid. Spelman's Saxon Gloff.
To. Cl. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
i Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her.
To. Cl. O villain! thou wilt be condemn'd into everlasting redemption for this.
Sexton. What else?
Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stoll'n away : Hero was in this manner accus'd, and in this very manner refus'd, and upon the grief of this suddenly dy'd. Maiter Constable, let these men be bound and brought to Leonato ; I will go before, and thew him their examination.
(Exita Dogb. Come, let them be opinion'd. Conr. Let them be in the hands of Coxcomb!
Dogb. God's my life, where's the Sexton ? let him write down the Prince's officer Coxcamb: come, bind them, thou naughty varlet.
Conr. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass. Dogb. Doit thou not suspect my place ? dost thou not fuspect my years ? O, that he were here to write me down an ass! but, masters, remember, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass ; no, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be prov'd upon thee by good witness ; I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer ; and which is more, an housholder; and which is more, as pretty a piece of Melh as any in Messina, and one that knows the law; go to, and a rich fellow enough; go to, and a fellow that hath had losses; and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him ; bring him away ; 0, that I had been writ down an ass!