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Bene. You are a villain ; I jest not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or ! will protest your cowardice, You have kill'd a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.

Claud. 'Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.

Pedro. What, a feast?

Claud. I'faith, I thank him ; he hath bid me to a calve's head and a capon, the which if I do not carve moft curiously, say, my knife's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too?

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

Pedro. I'll tell thee, how Beatrice prais'd thy wit the other day: I said, thou hadít a fine wit; right, fays she, a fine little one ; no, faid I, a great wit ; juft, said she, a great gross one ; nay, said I, a good wit; juft, faid she, it hurts no body ; nay, said ), the gentleman is wife ; certain, said she, a wise gentleman ; nay, said I, he hath the tongues; that I believe, said the, for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning ; there's a double tongue, there's two tongues. Thus did she an hour together tranf-shape thy particular virtues; yet, at laft, the concluded with a figh, thou waft the properest man in Italy.

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said, the car'd not.

Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet for all that, and if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly ; the old man's daughter told us all.

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him wben he was hid in the garden.

Pedro. But when shall we set the favage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head ?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the married man.

Bene, Fare you well, boy, you know my mind ; I will leave you now to your gossip.like humour ; you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be


thank'd, hurt not. My lord, for your many courtefies I thank you; I must discontinue your company; your brother, the baftard, is fled from Melina : you have among you killed a sweet and innocent lady.' For my lord lack-beard there, he and I shall meet; and 'till then, peace be with him!

[Exit Benedick. Pedro. He is in earnest.

Claud. In most profound earnest, and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.

Pedro. And hath challeng'd thee?
Cluud. Most fincerely.

Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes ia his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit ! Enter Dogberry, Verges, Conrade and Borachio

guarded. Claud. He is then a giant to an ape ; but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

Pedro. But, soft you, let me see, pluck up my heart and be fad; did he not say, my brother was fed ?

Dogb. Come, you, Sir; if justice cannot tame you, the fhall ne'er weigh more realons in her balance ; nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be look'd to.

Pedro. How bow, two of my brother's men boand? Borachio, one?

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord.
Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?

Dogb. Marry, Sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are (anders ; fixth and lastly, they have bely'd a lady's thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to con clude, they are iyicg kinaves. Pedro. First

, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ak chee what's their ofence; fixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, 19 conclude, what you lay to their charge?

Claud. Rightly reason'd, and in his own divisioni and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited. Vol. II,



Pedro. Whom have you offended, mafters, that you are thus bound to your answer ? This learned constable is too cunning to be understood. What's your offence?

Bora. Sweet Prince, let me go no further to mine answer : do you hear me, and let this Count kill me: I have deceiv'd even your very eyes ; what your wifdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light, who in the night overheard me confefling to this man, how Don John your brother incens’d me to flander the lady Hero ; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments ; how you disgrac'd her, when you should marry her; my villany they have upon record, which I had rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame; the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and biiefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain,

Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your blood?
Claud. I have drunk poison, while he utter'd it.
Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this ?
Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

Pedro. He is compos’d and fram'd of treachery;
And fled he is upon this villany.

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I lov'd it firit.

Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiff's; by this time, our Sexton hath reforin'd Signior Leonato of the matter ; and matters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes malier Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.

Enter Leonato, and Sexton.

I iniy

Leon. Which is the villain ? let me see his

eyes ; That when I note another man like him,

avoid him ; which of these is he? Bora, If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou, art thou the flave, that with thy breath


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Haft kill'd mine innocent child?

Bora. Yea, even I alone.

Leon. No, not so, villain ; thou bel, 'it thyself ;
Here stand a pair of honourable men,
A third is filed, that had a hand in it:
I thank you, Princes, for my daughter's death;
Record it with your high and worthy deeds;
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak : chuse your revenge yourself;
Impofe me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my fin; yet finn'd I not,
But in miftaking.

Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
And yet to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight,
That he'll enjoin me to.

Leon. You cannot bid my daughter live again,
That were impossible ; but, I pray you both,
Pofless the People in Meling here
How innocent the dy'd ; and if your love
Can labour aught in fad invention,
Hang her an Epitaph upon her tomb,
And sing it to her bones; fing it to-night
To-morrow morning come you to my house,
And since you could not be my ron-in-law,
Be yet my nephew; my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the



child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us;
Give her the Right you should have given her Cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

Claud. O noble Sir!
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me:
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.

Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your Coming,
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack d in all this wrong,
Hird to it by your brother.


D 2

Bora. No, by my soul, she was not ;
Nor knew not what he did, when she spoke to me.
But always hach been just and virtuous,
In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, Sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembred in his punishment; and also the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it; and borrows money in God's name, the which he hath us'd so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard hearted, and will lend no. thing for God's sake. Pray you, examine him upon that point.

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogb. Your Worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you.

Leon. There's for thy pains.
Dogb. God save the foundation !

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner ; and I thank thee.

Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your Worship, which, I beseech your Worship, to correct yourself, for the example of others. God keep your Worship; I wish your Worship well: God restore you to health ; I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry mceting may be withd, God prohibit it. Come, neighbour.

Lern. Until to-morrow morning, Lords, farewel.
Ant. Farewel, my Lords; we look for you to-morrow.
Pedro. We will not fail,
Claud. To-wight I'll mourn with Hero.
Leon. Bring you these fellows on, we'll talk with

How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[Exeunt severally.

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