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SCENE changes to Leonato's House.
Enter Benedick, and Margaret. Bene. RAY thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
Marg. Will you then write me a 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 deferveft it.
(20) Marg. To have no Man come over me? why, fhall I always keep above stairs ?
Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.
Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice; I give thee the bucklers.
Marg. Give us the swords; we have bucklers of our
Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for maids
Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think, hath legs.
[Exit Margaret. Bene. And therefore will come. [Sings.] The God of love, that fits above, and knows me, and knows me, bow pitiful I deserve, I mean in singing ; but
(20) To bave no Man come over me ? wby, Mall I always keep below Stairs?] Thus all the printed Copies, but, sure, erroneously : for all the Jeft, that can lie in the Passage, is destroy'd by it. Any Man might come over her, literally speaka ing, if she always kept below Stairs. By the Correction I have ventur'd to make, Margaret, as I presume, must mean, What! Thall I always keep above Stairs ? i. e. Shall I for ever continue / a Cbombermaid?
in loving, Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse ; why, they were never so truly turn'd over and over, as my poor self, in love ; marry, I cannot shew it in rhime; I have try'd ; I can find out no rhime to lady but baby, an innocent's rhime; for fcorn, born, a hard rhime ; for school, fool, a babling rhime ; very ominous endings ; no, I was not born under a rhiming planet, for I cannot woo in festival terms.
Beat. Yea, Signior, and depart when you bid me.
and yet I go,
let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath past between you and Claudio.
Bene. Only foul words, and thereupon I will kiss thee.
Beat. Foul words are but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome ; therefore I will depart unkist.
Bene. Thou haft frighted the word out of its right sense, fo forcible is thy wit; but, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge ; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward; and, I pray thee, now tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
Beat. For them all together ; which maintain'd so politick a fate of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them: but for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?
Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet; I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Beat. In spight of your heart, I think; alas! poor heart, if you spight it for my fake, I will spight it for yours ; for I will neyer love that, which my friend
Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. Beat. It appears not in this confession ; there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.
Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that liv'd in the time of good neighbours ; if a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monuments, than the bells ring, and the widow weeps.
Beat. And how long is that, think you!
Bene. Question ?-why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rhewm; therefore it is most expedient for the wise, if Don worm (his conscience) find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to my self; so much for praising my self; who, I my self will bear witness, is praise-worthy; and now tell me, how doth your Cousint
Beat. Very ill.
Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend ; there will I
Enter Ursula. Ursu. Madam, you must come to your uncle; yonder's old coil at home; it is proved, my lady Hero hath been falsely accus'd ; the Prince and Claudio mightily abus'd ; and Don John is author of all, who is filed and gone : will you come presently?
Beat. Will you go hear this news, Signior ?
Bene. I will live in thy eyes, die in thy lap, and be bury'd in thy heart ; and moreover I will
with thee to thy uncle.
[Exeunt. SCENE changes to a CHUR C H. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, and Attendants with tapers.
S this the monument of Leonato ?
Claud. Is thalten. It is, my lord.
Ε Ρ Ι Τ Α Ρ Η.
Done to death by flanderous tongues
Was the Hero, that here lyes :
Gives her fame which never dies.
Hang thou there upon the tomb,
Praisng her when I am dumb. Claud. Now mufick sound, and fing your folemn hymn.
Pardon, Goddess of the night,
Heavily, beavily :
The wolves have prey'd ; and, look, the gentle day, Before the wheels of Phæbus round about
Dapples the drowsie east with spots of grey : Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well. Claud. Good morrow, masters ; each his several
way. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds ; And then to Leonato's we will go.
Claud. And Hymen now with luckier issue speed's, (21) Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe! [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to Leonato's House.
Enter Leonato, Benedick, Margaret, Ursula, Antonio,
Friar, and Hero.
Friar. ID I not tell you, she was innocent ?
Leon. So are the Prince and Claudio, who
accus'd her, Upon the error that
Ant. Well; I am glad, that all things fort fo well.
Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd
Leon. Well, Daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.
Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them :
(21) And Hymen now with luckier Issue speeds,
Tban ibis, for whom we render'd up this Woe.] Claudio could not know, without being a Prophet, that this new-propos’d Match Mould have any luckier Event than That design'd with Hero. Certainly, therefore, this should be a Wish in Claudio; and, to this End; the Poet might have wrote, Speed's ; i @ Speed us i and so it becomes a Prayer to Hymen,