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

D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage 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 thanked, hurt not.—My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you: I must discontinue your company : your brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina : you have among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady: For my lord Lackbeard, there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him.

[Exit BENEDICK. D. Pedro. He is in earnest.

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

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?
Claud. Most sincerely.

D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit!"

Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with


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

D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be;* pluck up, my heart, and be sad ! Did he not say, my brother was fled ?

Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance: nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to. D. Pedro. How now,

two of


brother's men bound! Borachio, one!

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- goes in his doublet and hose and leaves off his wit!] This is difficult,-it probably refers to the challenge just given by Benedick. To be in anger,

is to leave off the wit :-to go in doublet and hose, is to put off the cloak or upper garment, as fencers do for the purpose of more convenient action.

let be;] i. e. Desist.

pluck up, my heart, and be sad !] i. e. Rouse thyself, my heart, and be prepared for serious consequences !--STEEVENS.

Claud. Hearken after their offence my lord.

D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?

Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths ; secondarily, they are slanders ; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things: and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.

D. Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done ; thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence: sixth and lastly, why they are committed ; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge ?

Claud. Rightly reasoned, and in his own division ; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.

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

Bora. Sweet pripce, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me,

and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes: what your

wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who, in the night, overheard me confessing to this man, how Don John your brother incensed me to slander the lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments;

; how you disgraced her, when you should marry her: my villainy 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 briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain. D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your

blood ?
Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he uttered it.
D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

D. Pedro. He is compos’d and fram'd of treachery :And fled he is upon this villainy.

one meaning well suited.] i. e. Put into many different dresses Johnson.

incensed-] i. e. Incited.

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I loved it first.

Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this time our sexton hath reformed signior Leonato of the matter : And masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, and the sexton too.

you bethink

Re-enter Leonato and ANTONIO, with the Sexton. Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his

eyes ; That when I note another man like him, I may avoid him: Which of these is he?

Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me.

Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath hast Mine innocent child ?

[kill'd Bora.

Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain; thou bely'st thyself;
Here stand a pair of honourable men,
A third is fled, 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


of it.
Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak : Choose your revenge yourself ;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not,
But in mistaking.

D. 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. I cannot bid

my daughter live,
That were impossible; but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died : and, if your love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,

b Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,] It was customary in Roman Catholic countries to attach funeral inscriptions, written on paper, to the tombs, or to the columns near the tombs, of the dead.-BAYLE.

you bid

And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night:-
To-morrow morning come you to my house;
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew : my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my 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.

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,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

No, by my soul, she was not;
- Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me;
But always hath 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 remembered 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;e the which he hath used so long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing 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.


© was pack'd-) i. e. Combined ; an accomplice.

key in his ear,] When the constable made the mistake on the word deformed, he described him as one wearing a lock or love-lock ; this custom bas been sufficiently noticed in act 3. sc. 3. I cannot agree with Malone in imagining that even Dogberry could be so dense of intellect as to blunder this report into a lock and key; but suppose that key must bave been the familiar term given to the earring which was then commonly worn by men, and to which the lock might frequently have been attached by the coxcombs of the day.

borrows money in God's name,] i. e. Is a common beggar.


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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 arrant 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 meeting may be wished, God prohibit it.—Come neighbour.

[Ereunt DOGBERRY, VERGES, and Watch.
Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.
Ant. Farewell, my lords : we look for you to-morrow.
D. Pedro. We will not fail.

To-night I'll mourn with Hero.

[Exeunt Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO. Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk with Mar

garet, How her acquaintance grew with this lewdf fellow.



Leonato's Garden.

Enter Benedick and MARGARET, meeting. Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

Marg. Will you then write me á 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.

Marg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs ?

Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.

Marg. And your's as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.

lewd-] Leud, in this instance, means ignorant.

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