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What kind of catechizing call you this?
Claud. To make you answer truly to your name. Hero. Is it not Hero? who can blot that name With any just reproach?
Claud. Marry, that can Hero;
Hero her felf can blot out Hero's virtue.
Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my Lord. Pedro. Why, then you are no maiden. Leonato, I am forry, you must hear; upon mine Honour, My felf, my Brother, and this grieved Count Did fee her, hear her, at that hour last night Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window; Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal villain, Confefs'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in fecret..
John. Fie, fie, they are not to be nam'd, my Lord, Not to be spoken of;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them: thus, pretty lady,
Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been,
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? Beat. Why, how now, Coufin, wherefore fink you down?
John. Come, let us go; these things, come thus to light,
Smother her fpirits up.
[Exe. D. Pedro, D. John and Claud.
Bene. How doth the lady?
Beat. Dead, I think; help, uncle.
Hero! why, Hero! uncle! Signior Benedick! friar! Leon. O fate! take not away thy heavy hand; Death is the fairest cover for her fhame,
Friar. Yea, wherefore should she not?
Leon. Wherefore? why, doth not every earthly thing Cry fhame upon her? could fhe here deny
The ftory that is printed in her blood?
Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine
Thought I, thy fpirits were stronger than thy fhames,
Valuing of her; why, fhe,
O, fhe is fall'n Into a pit of ink, that the wide fea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again; feafon give
And falt too little, which
To her foul tainted flesh!
Bene. Sir, Sir, be patient;
For my part, I am fo attir'd in wonder,
Beat. O, on my foul, my coufin is bely'd.
Leon. Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, That is ftronger
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron.
For I have only been filent fo long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
To start into her face; a thousand innocent shames
Leon. Friar, it cannot be ;
Thou seeft, that all the grace, that she hath left,
A fin of perjury; fhe not denies it:
Why feek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That, which appears in proper nakedness?
Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of? Hero. They know, that do accufe me; I know none:
If I know more of any man alive,
Than that which maiden modefty doth warrant,
Prove you that any man with me convers'd
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature,
Friar. There is fome ftrange mifprifion in the Princes.
And if their wifdoms be mif-led in this,
The Practice of it lives in John the baftard,
Leon. I know not: if they speak but truth of her,
Nor fortune made fuch havock of my means,
Friar. Paufe a while,
And let my counsel fway you in this case.
And publish it, that fhe is dead, indeed:
That appertain unto a burial.
Leon. What fhall become of this? what will this do? Friar. Marry, this, well carry'd, fhall on her behalf Change flander to remorfe; that is fome good: But not for that dream I on this strange course, But on this travel look for greater birth: She dying, as it must be fo maintain'd, Upon the inftant that she was accus'd, Shall be lamented, pity'd, and excus'd, Of every hearer: for it fo falls out,
(14) Tour Daughter here the Princess (left for dead)] But how comes Hero to start up a Princess here? We have no Intimation of her Father being a Prince; and this is the first and only Time that She is complimented with this Dignity. The Remotion of a fingle Letter, and of the Parenthefis, will bring her to her own Rank, and the Place to its true Meaning.
Tour Daughter here the Princes left for dead;
i, c. Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon; and his-Baflard Brother who is likewife call'd a Prince.
That what we have we prize not to the worth,
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparel'd in more precious habit ;
Than when the liv'd indeed. Then fhall he mourn,
In fome reclufive and religious life,
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
As fecretly and juftly as your foul
Should with your body.
Leon. Being that I flow in grief,
The smallest twine may lead me.
Friar. 'Tis well confented, prefently away;
For to ftrange fores, ftrangely they ftrain the cure,
Come, lady, die to live; this wedding day,
Perhaps, is but prolong'd: have patience and en