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pray you, watch about signior Leonato's door; for | the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great uil to-night: Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you. [Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES.
Enter BORACHIO and CONRADE.
Bora. What! Conrade,-
Bora. Conrade, I say!
Con. Here, man, I am at thy elbow.
but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any slander that Don John had made, away went Claudio enraged; swore he would meet her as he was appointed, next morning at the temple, and there, before the whole congregation, shame her with what he saw over-night, and send her home again without a husband.
1 Watch. We charge you in the prince's name, stand.
2 Watch. Call up the right master Constable: we
Bora. Mass, and my elbow itched; I thought, have here recovered the most dangerous piece of there would a scab follow.
Con. I will owe thee an answer for that; and now forward with thy tale.
Bura. Stand thee close then under this pent. house, for it drizzles rain; and I will, like a true drunkard, utter all to thee.
Watch. [aside.] Some treason, masters; yet stand close.
Bora. Therefore know, I have carned of Don John a thousand ducats.
Con. Is it possible that any villainy should be so dear?
Bora. Thou should'st rather ask, if it were possiole any villainy should be so rich; for when rich villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what price they will.
Con. I wonder at it.
Bora. That shows, thou art unconfirmed: Thou snowest, that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloak, is nothing to a man.
Con. Yes, it is apparel.
Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion.
Bora. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the fool. But see'st thou not what a deformed thief this fashion is?
Watch. I know that Deformed; he has been a vile thief this seven year; he goes up and down like a gentleman: I remember his name.
Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody? Con. No; 'twas the vane on the house. Bora. Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed thief this fashion is? how giddily he turns about all the hot bloods, between fourteen and five and thirty? sometime, fashioning them like Pharaoh's soldiers in the reechy painting; sometime, like god Bel's priests in the old church window; sometime, like the shaven Hercules in the smirched worm-eaten tapestry, where his cod-piece seems as massy as his club?
Con. All this I see; and see, that the fashion wears out more apparel than the man: But art not thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the fashion?
Bora. Not so neither: but know, that I have tonight wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentlewoman, by the name of Hero; she leans me out at her mistress' chamber window, bids me a thousand times good night, I tell this tale vilely: - I should first tell thee, how the Prince, Claudio, and my master, planted, and placed, and possessed by my master Don John, saw afar off in the orchard this
Con. And thought they, Margaret was Hero? Bora. Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio; but the devil my master knew she was Margaret; and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them, partly by the dark night, which did deceive them,
lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth. 1 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them; I know him, he wears a lock.
Con. Masters, masters.
2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I warrant you.
Con. Masters, —
1 Watch. Never speak; we charge you, let us obey you to go with us.
Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, being taken up of these men's bills,
Con. A commodity in question, I warrant you. Come, we'll obey you.
SCENE IV. - A Room in Leonato's House.
Enter HERO, MARGARET, and URSULA. Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice, and desire her to rise.
Urs. I will, lady.
Hero. And bid her come hither.
[Exit URSULA. Marg. Troth, I think, your other rabato were better.
Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this. Marg. By my troth, it's not so good; and I warrant, your cousin will say so.
Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another; I'll wear none but this.
Marg. I like the new tire within excellently, if the hair were a thought browner and your gown's a most rare fashion, i'faith. I saw the duchess of Milan's gown, that they praise so.
Hero. O, that exceeds, they say.
Marg. By my troth it's but a night gown in respect of your's: Cloth of gold, and cuts, and laced with silver; set with pearls, down sleeves, sidesleeves, and skirts round, underborne with a blueish tinsel but for a fine, quaint, graceful. and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't.
Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is exceeding heavy!
Marg. Twill be heavier soon, by the weight of a
Hero. Fye upon thee! art not ashamed?
Marg. Of what lady? of speaking honourably? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar? Is not your lord honourable without marriage! I think, you would have me say, saving your reverence, →→ a husband: an bad thinking do not wrest true speaking, I'll offend nobody: Is there any harm in the heavier for a husband? None, I think, an it be the right husband, and the right wife; otherwise 'tis light, and not heavy: Ask my lady Beatrice else, here she comes.
Hero. Why, how now! do you speak in the sick tune?
Beat. I am out of all other tune, methinks. Marg. Clap us into- Light o' love; that goes without a burden; do you sing it, and I'll dance it. Beat. Yea, Light o' love, with your heels! - then if your husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no barns.
Marg. O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels.
Beat. 'Tis almost five o'clock, cousin; 'tis time you were ready. By my troth I am exceeding ill :hey ho!
Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband? Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H. Marg. Well, an you be not turned Turk, there's no more sailing by the star.
Beat. What means the fool, trow?
Marg. Nothing I; but God send every one their heart's desire!
Hero. These gloves the count sent me, they are an excellent perfume.
Beat. I am stuffed, cousin, I cannot smell. Marg. A maid, and stuffed! there's goodly catching of cold.
Beat. O, God help me! God help me! how long have you profess'd apprehension?
Marg. Ever since you left it: doth not my wit become me rarely?
Beat. It is not seen enough, you should wear it in your cap. - By my troth, I am sick. Marg. Get you some of this distilled Carduus Benedictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only thing for a qualm.
Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle. Beat. Benedictus! why Benedictus? you have some moral in this Benedictus.
Marg. Moral? no, by my troth, I have no moral meaning; I meant, plain holy-thistle. You may think, perchance, that I think you are in love: nay, by'r lady, I am not such a fool to think what I list; nor I list not to think what I can; nor, indeed, I cannot think, if I would think my heart out of 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 swore he would never marry; and yet now, in despite 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.
Urs. 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 dress me, good coz, good Meg, good Ursula. [Exeunt.
SCENE V.- Another Room in Leonato's House. Enter LEONATO, with DOGBERRY and VERGES. Leon. What would you with me, honest neighbour?
Dogb. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence with you, that decerns you nearly.
Leon. Brief, I pray you; for you see, 'tis a busy time with me.
Dogb. Marry, this it is, sir. l'erg. Yes, in truth it is, sir.
Leon. What is it, my good friends.
Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a little off the matter: an old man, sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as, God help, I would desire they were; but, in faith, honest, as the skin between his brows. Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any man living, that is an old man, and no honester than I.
Dogb. Comparisons are odorous: palabras, neighbour Verges.
Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious.
Dogb. It pleases 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 tediousness 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 though I be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it.
Verg. And so am I.
Leon. I would fain know what you have to say. Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting your worship's presence, have ta'en a couple of as arrant knaves as any in Messina.
Dogb. A good old man, sir; he will be talking; as they say, When the age is in, the wit is out; God help us! it is a world to see! . Well said, i'faith, neighbour Verges: - well, God's a good man; an two men ride of a horse, one must ride behind: An honest soul, i'faith, sir; by my troth he is, as ever broke bread: but God is to be worshipped: All men are not alike; alas, good neighbour!
Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of you.
Dogb. Gifts, that God gives.
Dogb. One word, sir: our watch, sir, have, indeed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and we would have them this morning examined before your worship.
Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring it me; I am now in great haste, as it may appear
Dogb. It shall be suffigance.
Leon. Drink some wine ere you go: fare you well.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your daughter to her husband.
Leon. I will wait upon them; I am ready.
[Exeunt LEONATO and Messenger. Dogb. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the gaol we are now to examination these men.
Verg. And we must do it wisely.
Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; here's that [touching his forehead.] shall drive some of them to a non com: only get the learned writer to set down our excommunication, and meet me at the gaol. [Exeunt.
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown ;
Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide?
Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady? I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
Leon. To be married to her, friar; you come to marry her.
Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to
Hero. I do.
Friar. If either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoined, I charge you, on your souls, to utter it.
Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Friar. Know you any, count?
Leon. I dare make his answer, 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 some be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he!
Claud. Stand thee by, friar: — Father, by vour leave;
Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose worth
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankfulness.
There, Leonato, take her back again;
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
By these exterior shows? But she is none :
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed:
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
Claud. I know what you would say; If I have
You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband, And so extenuate the 'forehand sin :
I never tempted her with word too large;
But, as a brother to his sister show'd
Bashful sincerity, and comely love.
Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write agair st it: You seem to me as Dian in her orb;
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother?
Leon. All this is so; But what of this, my lord? Claud. Let me but move one question to your daughter;
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.
Claud Marry, that can Hero; Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. What man was he talk'd with you yesternight 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, my lord.
I am sorry you must hear; Upon mine honour,
Fy, fye! they are Not to be nam'd my lord, not to be spoke of; There is not chastity enough in language. Without offence, to utter them: Thus, pretty lady, I am sorry for thy much misgovernment. Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been, If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart! But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eye-lids shall 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 Swoons. Beat. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore sink you down?
D. John. Come, let us go: these things, come thus to light, Smother her spirits up.
[Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don JOHN, and CLAUDIO
Bene. How doth the lady? Beat. Dead, I think; -help, uncle;Hero! why, Hero! - Uncle! - Signior Benedick!
Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand! Death is the fairest cover for her shame,
That may be wish'd for.
How now, cousin Hero? Friar. Have comfort, lady. Leon.
Dost thou look up?
Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
Do not live, Hero; do not ope thine eyes:
Sir, sir, be patient : For my part I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.
Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied!
Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron!
Friar. Hear me a little; For I have only been silent so long, And given way unto this course of fortune, By noting of the lady; I have mark'd A thousand blushing apparitions start Into her face; a thousand innocent shames In angel whiteness bear away those blushes; And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire, To burn the errors that these princes hold Against her maiden truth: - Call me a fool; Trust not my reading, nor my observations, Which with experimental seal doth warrant The tenour of my book; trust not my age, My reverence, calling, nor divinity, If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here Under some biting error.
Friar, it cannot be :
Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left,
Why seck'st thou then to cover with excuse
Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of?
If I know more of any man alive.
Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant,
Friar. There is some strange misprision in the princes.
Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour; And if their wisdoms bę misled in this, The practice of it lives in John the bastard, Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.
Leon. I know not; If they speak but truth of her, These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her ho
The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Nor fortune made such havoc of my means,
Leon. What shall become of this?
Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf
Change slander to remorse; that is some good:
Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit,
Than when she liv'd indeed :-then shall he mourr
The supposition of the lady's death
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you : And though, you know, my inwardness and love Is very much unto the prince and Claudio, Yet, by mine honour I will deal in this As secretly, and justly as your soul Should with your body.
Being that I flow in grief, The smallest twine may lead me. Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently away; For to strange sores strangely they strain the
Come, lady, die to live: this wedding day, Perhaps, is but prolong'd; have patience, and endure..
[Exeunt Friar, HERO, and LEONATO. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while?
Beat. Yea, and I will weep awhile longer.
Bent. You have no reason, I do it freely.
Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me that would right her!
Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship?
Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.
Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as you; Is not that strange?
Beat. As strange as the thing I know not: It were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as you but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing: -I am cousin. my
Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me. Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.
Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I will make him eat it, that says, I love not you. Beat. Will you not eat your word?
Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it:
I protest, I love thee.
Beat. Why then, God forgive me!
Beat. You have staid me in a happy hour; I was about to protest I loved you.
Bene. And do it with all thy heart.
Beat. I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest.
Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Bene. Ha! not for the wide world.
Beat. You kill me to deny it: Farewell.
Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.
she is wronged, she is slan
Bene. Beat Beat. Princes, and counties! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-confect; a sweet gallant, surely! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into courtesics, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it: I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.
Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice: By this hand, I love thee.
Beat. Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it.
Bene. Think you in your soul the count Claudic hath wronged Hero?
Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul.
Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge him; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you: By this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account: As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin I must say, she is dead; and so, farewell. [Exeunt.
Dogb. Write down that they hope they serve God: and write God first; for God defend but God should go before such villains!- Masters, it is There is proved already that you are little better than false knaves; and it will go near to be thought so shortly. How answer you for yourselves?
Beat. I am gone, though I am here;
no love in you: —
Beat. In faith, I will go.
Bene. We'll be friends first.
Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight with mine enemy.
Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?
Beat. Is he not approved in the height a vilain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my
Con. Marry, sir, we say we are none.
Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you; but I will go about with him. Come you hither, sirrah; a word in your ear, sir; I say to you, it is thought you are false knaves.
Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.