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as, God help, I would desire they were ; but, in faith,
honest, as the skin between his brows.

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man
living, that is an old man, and no honester than i.

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are the poor duke's officers; but, truly, for mine own part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship.

Leon. All thy tediousness on me! ha!

Dogb. Yea, an 'twere a thousand times more than 'tis : for I hear as good exclanation on your worship, as of any man in the city; and though I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.

Verg. And so am I.
Leon. I would fain know what you have to say.

Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, have ta'en a couple of as arrant knares as any in Messina.

Dogb. A gooit old man, sir; he will be talking; es they say, When the age is in, the wit is out; God help us! it is a world to see!-Well said, i'faith, neighbour Verges :-well, God's a good nian; an two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind :- An honest soul, i'caith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread: but, God is to be worshipped : All men are not alike; alas, good neighbour!

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
Dogb. Gifts, that God gives.
Leon. I must leave you.

Dogb. One word, sir: our watch, sir, have indeed comprehended two auspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship.

Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great haste, as it may appear uuto you.

Dogb. It shall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you go : fare you well.

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Enter Messenger.
Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter
to her husband.
Leon. I will wait upon them; I am ready.

[Ereunt Leonato and Vessenger Dogb, Go, good partner, go, get you to P'ra ucis

Seacoal, bit him bring his pen and Inkhorn to the gaol:
we are now to examination these men.

Verg. And we must do it wisely.

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



be of laugand thee by, friar.-Father, by your leave;


SCENE I.-The Inside of a Church.


Leon. Come, friar Francis, he brief; onls 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.

Hero. None, my lord.
Claud. Know you any, Hero!
Leon. I dare make his answer, none.
Priar. Know you any, count ?
Claud. O, what men dare do! what men may do!

!, not knowing what they do!
How now! Interjections Why, then some

as, ha! ha! he!
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Give me this maid, your daughter?

Leon. As freely, son, at Gout did give her me.
Claud. And what have I to givo you back, whose
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?

V. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.

what me

Bene..daily do! mer



Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulThere, 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 shew of truth
Can cunning sin corer itself withal !
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witness simple virtue! Would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were

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 knit

knit my soul to an approved wanton. Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own prool, Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,

Claud. I know what you would say: If I have knowo
You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband,

so extenuate the 'forehand sin:
No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to a sister, shew'd
Bashful sincerity and comely love.

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

Venus, or those pamper'd animals,
That rage in 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 ?
dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.
Leon. Are these things spoken ? or do I but dream!
D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are
Bene. 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



1 stand


aud. To make you answer truly to your name. Pour window,

more Beat. Why, how Hero! why, Hero! - Uncle! - Signior Benedick!-Friar!

what outward graces

flight, Dead, I think – Help, uncle ! Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand! may

be wish'd for.

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?

Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
With any just reproach

Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue.

Marry, that can Hero;
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight

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, 1 Myself, my brother,

Must hear : Upon mine honour,

this grieved count,
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night,
Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal villain,
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times

D. John.

Fy, fy! they are
Not to be named, my lord, not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them: Thus,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

pretty lady,
Claud. O Hero!

thou been,

had been pinced


and counsels of thy heart!
But, fare thee well, most soul, most fair; farewell,
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity !
And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
And never shall it be gracious.

here a point for me?

(Hero swoons.) now, cousin wherefore sink you down? D. John. Come let us go : these things, come thus to Sinother her spirits up. Bene. How doth the lady

Exeunt Don Pedro, Don John, and Claudio.

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How now, cousin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, lady.

Dost thou look up ?
Friar. Yea: wherefore should she not?

Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly
Cry shame upon her ? Could she here deny [thing
The story that is printed in her blood ?-
Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes :
For did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Grieved I, I had but one ?
Chid I 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,
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates;
Who smirched thus, and mired with infamy,
I might have said, No part of it is mine,
This shame derives itself from unknown loins !
But mine, and mine I loved, and mine I praised,
And mine that I was proud on; mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her; why, she-O, she is fallen
Into a pit of ink! that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again;
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!

Sir, sir, be patient :
For my part, I am so attired in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Real. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied !
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night!

Beat. No, truly, not; although, until last night
I have this twelvenonth been her bedfellow,

Leon, Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger made.
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron !
Would the two princes lie P and Claudio lie ?
Who loved her so, that, speaking of her fuulness,
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her; let her die.

Friar. Hear me a little ;
For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady; I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions start
Tuto her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness bear away those blushes;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To buru the errors that these prioces hold

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