Imatges de pÓgina

Leon Brief, I pray you; for, you fee, 'tis a bufy 'time with me

Dogb. Marry, this it is, Sir.
Verg. Yes, in truth it is, Sir.

Leon. What is it, my good friends?

Dogb. Goodman Verges, Sir, fpeaks a little of the matter; an old man, Sir, and his wits are not fo blunt, as, God help, I would defire they were; but, in faith, as honest as the fkin between his brows.

Verg. "Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honefter


" than I "

Dogb. Comparisons are odorous; palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon Neighbours, you are tedious

Dogb. It pleafes 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 tedioufnefs on me, ha?

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

Verg. And fo am I.

Leon. I would fain know what you have to fay.. Verg. Marry, Sir, our watch to-night, excepting your Worship's prefence, hath ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Meffina

Dogb. "A good old man, Sir; he will be talking, as they fay; when the age is in, the wit is out; God help us, it is a world to fee: well faid, i' faith, neighbour Verges; well, he's a good man; an two 66 men ride an horse, one must ride behind; an honeft "foul, i' faith, Sir, by my troth he is, as ever broke "bread, but God is to be worshipp'd; all men are not alike, alas, good neighbour!"

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too fhort of you.
Dogb Gifts, that God gives.

Leon. I muit leave you.

Dogh. One word, Sir; our watch have, indeed, comprehended two aulpicious perfons; and we would


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have them this morning examin'd before yourWorship. Leon. Take their examination yourfelf, and bring it me; I am now in great hafte, as may appear unto you. Dogb. It fhall be fuffigance.

Leon. Drink fome wine ere you go:

fare you well.

Enter a mefenger.

Me. My Lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband.

Leon. I'll wait upon them. I am ready. [Ex. Leon.

Dogb. Go, good partner, go get you to Francis Seacole, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the jail, we are now to examine those men.

Verg. And we must do it wifely.

Dogb. "We will fpare for no wit, I warrant; here's "that fhall drive fome of them to a non-come." Only get the learned writer to fet down our excommunication, and meet me at the jail. [Exeunt.

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Enter Don Pedro, Don John, Leonato, Friar, Claudio, Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice.

Leon. NOME, Friar Francis, be brief, only to the

and you re

count their particular duties afterwards.

Friar. You come hither, my Lord, to marry this lady?

Claud. No.

Leon. To be marry'd to her, Friar; you come to marry her.

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be marry'd to this Count !

Hero. I do.

Friar. If any of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoin'd, I charge you on your fouls to utter it.

Claud. Know you any, Hero?

Hero. None, my Lord.
Friar. Know you any, Count?


Leon. I dare make this anfwer, None. Claud. O what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do! not knowing what they do! Bene How now! interjections? why, then fome be of laughing, as la, ha, he!

Claud. Stand thee by, Friar. Father, by your leave, Will you with free and unconstrained foul Give me this maid your daughter?

Leon. As freely, fon, as God did give her me. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whofe worth

May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.
Claud Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulness:
There, Leonato, take her back again;
Give not this rotten orange to your friend.
She's but the fign and femblance of her honour;
Behold, how like a maid fhe blushes here!
O, what authority and fhew of truth
Can cunning fin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witnefs fimple virtue? would you not fwear,
All you that fee her, that fhe were a maid,
By thefe exterior fhews? 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 ?
Claud. Not to be marry'd,

Not knit my foul to an approved wanton.

Leon. Dear my Lord, if you in your own approof Have vanquifh'd the refiftance of her youth, And made defeat of her virginity

Claud. I know what you would fay: if I have known her,

You'll fay fhe did embrace me as a husband,
And fo extenuate the forehand fin.

No, Leonato,

I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his fifter, fhew'd
Bafhful fincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And feem'd I ever otherwife to you?
Claud. Out on thy feeming! I will rate against it;


You feem to me as Dian in her orb,
As chalte as is the bud ere it be blown:
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals -
That rage in favage fenfuality.

Hero. Is my Lord well, that he doth speak fo wide?
Leon. Sweet Prince, why speak not you?
Pedro. What thould I fpeak?

I ftand difhonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common ftale.

Leon. Are thefe things fpoken, or do I but dream? John. Sir, they are fpoken, and these things are true. Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.

Hero. True! O God!

Claud. Leonato, stand I here ?

Is this the Prince? is this the Prince's brother?
Is this face fero's? are our eyes our own?

Leon. All this is fo; but what of this, my Lord?
Claud. Let me but move one queition to yourdaughter,-
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
That you have in her, bid her anfwer truly.

Leon. I charge thee do fo, as thou art my child. Hero. O God defend me, how am I befet! What kind of catechifing 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 herself can blot out Hero's virtue.
What man was he talk'd with you yefternight
Out at your window betwixt twelve and one?
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.


Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, Lord. Pedro, Why, then you are no maiden. Leonato, I am forry, you must hear; upon mine honour, Myfelf, 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, like an illiberal villain, Confefs'd the vile encounters they have had A thoufand 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,
I am forry for thy much mifgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadft thou been,
If half thy outward graces had been place'd
About the thoughts and counfels of thy heart?
But fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewel
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity !
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love,
And on my eye-lids fhall conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm;
And never shall it more be gracious.

Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?
[Hero fwoons.
Beat. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore fink you

John. Come, let us go; thefe things come thus to light, Smother her spirits up.

Exeunt Don Pedro, Don 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,
That may be wifh'd for.

Beat. How now, coufin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, Lady.
Leon. Doft thou look up?

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 eyes: For did I think thou wouldst not quickly die, Thought I thy fpirits were stronger than thy fhames, Myfelf would on the rereward of reproaches Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one? Chid I for that at frugal nature's 'fraine? I've one too much by thee. Why had I one?


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