Imatges de pàgina

Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning, I meant plain holy-thiftle: you may think, perchance, that I think you are in love; nay, birlady, I am not fuch a fool to think what I lift; nor I list not to think what I can; nor, indeed, I cannot think, if I would think my heart out with thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be in love, or that you can be in love: yet Benedick was such another, and now is he become a man; he fwore, he would never marry; and yet now, in defpight of his heart, he eats his meat without grudging; and how you may be converted, I know not; but, methinks, you look with your eyes as other women do.

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ?
Marg. Not a false gallop.

Urfu. Madam, withdraw; the Prince, the Count, Signior Benedick, Don John, and all the Gallants of the town are come to fetch you to church.

Hero. Help to drefs me, good coz, good Meg, good Urfula. [Exeunt. SCENE, another Apartment in Leonato's Houfe.

Enter Leonato, with Dogberry and Verges.

Leon. W bour?

Dogb. Marry, Sir, I would have fome confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.

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

Dogb. Marry, this it is, Sir.

Ver. Yes, in truth it is, Sir.

7HAT would you with me, honeft neigh

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 skin between his brows.

Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honeft as any man living, that is an old man, and no honester than İ. Dogb. Comparifons are odorous; palabras, neighbour Verges.

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.

Dogb. It pleafes your worship to fay fo, 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 worship as of any man in the city; and tho' 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 say. Verg. Marry, Sir, our Watch to night, excepting your worship's presence, hath ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Mefina.

Dogb. A good old man, Sir; he will be talking, as they lay; 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 men ride an horfe, one must ride behind; an honeft foul, i'faith, Sir, by my troth he is, as ever broke bread, but God is to be worship'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 must leave you.

Dogb. One word, Sir; our Watch have, indeed, comprehended two aufpicious perfons; and we would have them this morning examin'd before your worship.

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

Dogb. It fhall be fuffigance.

Lean. Drink fome wine ere you go: fare you well.



Enter a Meffenger.

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 Seacoale, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the jail; we are now to examine thofe 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.






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



OME, friar Francis, be brief, only to the plain form of marriage, and you fhall recount 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 either 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. None, my Lord.

Friar. Know you any, Count?
Leon. I dare make his 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 ha, 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, whose worth

May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.
Claud. Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankful-
nefs :

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 it felf withal!
Comes not that blood, as modeft evidence,
To witness fimple virtue? would you not swear,
you that fee her, that fhe were a maid,
By these exterior fhews ? but she is none :
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed;
Her blush is guiltinefs, 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 (13)

(13) Dear my Lord, if you in your own Proof,] I am surpriz❜d, the Poetical Editors did not obferve the Lameness of this Verfe. It evidently wants a Syllable in the last Foot, which I have reftor'd by a Word, which, I prefume, the firft Editors might hefitate at; tho' it is a very proper one, and a Word elsewhere used by our Author. Befides, in the Paffage under

C 4


Have vanquish'd the refiftance of her youth,
And made defeat of her virginity

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


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, shew'd
Bafhful fincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And feem'd I ever otherwife to you?
Claud. Out on thy Seeming! I will write against it;
You seem to me as Dian in her orb,

As chafte as is the bud ere it be blown :

But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or thofe pamper'd animals
That rage in favage fenfuality.

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


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

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

Hero. True! O God!

Claud. Leonato, ftand 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 fo; but what of this, my lord? Claud. Let me but move one queftion to your


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 befet!

Examination, this Word comes in almost neceffarily, as Claudio had faid in the Line immediately preceding;

Not knit my Soul to an approved Wanton,


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