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Manent Benedick and Beatrice. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while? Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. Bene. I will not desire that. Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely. Bene. Surely, I do believe, your fair cousin is wrong'd.
Beat. Ah, how much might the man deferve of me, that would right her!
Bene. Is there any way to thew such friendfhip?
Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as you ; is not that ftrange?
Beat. As ftrange 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 lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my cousin.
Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lov'st me.
Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I will make him eat it, that says, I love not you.
Beat. Will you not eat your word ?
Bene. With no fauce that can be devis’d to it; I protest, I love thee.
Beat. Why then, God forgive me.
Beat. You have stay'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 proteit.
Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Beat. I am gone, tho'I am here; there is no love in you; nay, I pray 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 accusation, uncover'd slander, unmitigated rancour O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.
Bene. Hear me, Beatrice.
Beat. Talk with a man out at a window !-a proper saying !
Bene. Nay, but Beatrice.
Beat. Sweet Hero! she is wrong'd, she is flander'd, she is undone.
Beat. Princes and Counts ! surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfect, a sweet gallant, furely! O that I were a man for his fake! Or that I had any friend would be a man for my fake! but manhood is melted into curtefies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too; he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only teils a lye, and fwears 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,
ing by it.
Bene. Think you in your soul, the Count Claudio hath wrong'd Hero?
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 fay, she is dead, and so farewel.
SCENE changes to a Prison,
Enter Dogberry, Verges, Borachio, Conrade, the
Town Clerk and Sexton in Gowns.
To. Cl. S our whole dissembly appear'd?
Dogb. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton) Sexton, Which be the malefactors ? Verg. Marry, that am I and my Partner,
Dogb, 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 conftable.
To. Cl. Yea, marry, let them come before me; what is
your name, friend?
To. 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 so shortly; how answer you for yourselves ?
Conr. Marry, Sir, we say, we are none.
To. Cl. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you, but I will go about with him. Come you hither, firrah, a word in your ear, Sir; I say to you, it is thought you are both false knaves.
(16) Both. Yea, Sir, we hope.
To. Cl. Write down that they hope they serve God: and writeGod first; for God defend, but God should go before such Villains ; :] This short Pafiage, which is truly humourous and in character, I have added from the old Quarto. Besides, it supplies a Defeet: for, without it, the Town Clerk asks a Question of the Prisoners, and goes on without staging for any Answer to it.
Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.
To. Cl. Well stand aside ; 'fore God, they are both in á tale; have you writ down, that they are none?
Sexton. Master town-clerk, you go not the way to examine, you must call the watch that are their accufers.
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.
1 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 chee, fellow, Peace; I do not like thy look, I promise thee.
Sexton. What heard you him say else?
2 Watch. Marry, that he had receiv'd a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrong. fully.
To. Cl. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
(16) To Cl. Yea, marry that's the easiest Way, let the Watch come forth.] This, easiest, is a sophistication of our modern Editors, who were at a Lofs 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, that's the eftelt way, &c. A Letter happen'd to lip 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;
Tea, marry, that's the deftest way, &c. i. e. the readiest, most commodious Way. The Word is pure Saxon. Dealflice, debite, congrue, duely, fitly. [redäfte lice, opportune, commode, fatly, conveniently, seasonably, in good time, commodioudy.
Vid. Spelman's Saxon Glofs.
Dogb. Yea, by th' mass, that it is.
i Watch. And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole affembly, and not marry her.
To, Cl. O villain! thou wilt be condemn'd into ever. latting redemption for this.
Sexion. What elle?
Sexton. And this is more, mafiers, than you deny. Prince John is this morning secretly foll'n away : Hero was in this manner accus’d, and in this very manner refus’d, and upon the grief of this fuddenly dy'd. Master Constable, let thele men be bound and brought to Leonato; I will go before, and thew him their examination.
(Exit. Dogb. Come let them be opinion'd. Cont. Let them be the hands of Coxcomb!
Dogb. God's my life, where's the Sexton ? let him write down the Prince's officer Coxcomb: come, bind them, thou naughty varlet.
Conr. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass
Dogb. Dort thou noc suspect my place ? dost thou not suspect my years ? O, that he were here to write me down an afs! 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 fhall 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 flesh as any in Mefina, and one that knows the law; go to, and a rich fellow enough; go to, and•a fellow that haih had losses; and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him; bring him away; O that I had been writ down an ass !