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Dogb. Why then, take no note of him, but let
Enter BORACHIO and CONRADE. him go; and presently call the rest of the watch to
Bora. What! Conrade, gether, and thank heaven you are rid of a knave.
Watch. Peace, stir not. Verg. If he will not stand when he is bidden, he
[Aside. is none of the prince's subjects.
Bora. Conrade, I say ! Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none
Con. Here, man, I am at thy elbow. but the prince's subjects: – You shall also make no house, for it drizzles rain ; and I will, like a true
Bora. Stand thee close then under this pentnoise in the streets ; for, for the watch to babble and drunkard, utter all to thee. talk is most tolerable and not to be endured. 2 Watch. We will rather sleep than talk; we stand close.
Watch. [Aside.] Some treason, masters; yet know what belongs to a watch. Dogb. Why, you speak like an ancient and most John a thousand ducats.
Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of don quiet watchman; for I cannot see how sleeping should offend: only, have a care that your bills 3
Con. Is it possible that any villainy should be so
dear? be not stolen: - - Well, you are to call at all the
Bora. Thou shouldst rather ask, if it were posale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to sible any villainy should be so rich; for when rich bed.
villains have need of poor ones, poor ones may make 2 Watch. How, if they will not?
what price they will. Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are
Con. I wonder at it. sober; if they make you not then the better an
Bora. That shows thou art unconfirmed 4 : Thou swer, you may say, they are not the men you took knowest that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a them for. 2 Watch. Well, sir.
cloak, is nothing to a man.
Con. Yes, it is apparel. Dogo. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him,
Bora. I mean the fashion. by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and,
Con. Yes, the fashion is the fashion. for such kind of men, the less you meddle or make
Bora. Tush! I may as well say, the fool's the with them, why, the more is for your honesty.
fool. But see'st thou not what a deformed thief 2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, shall we
this fashion is? not lay hands on him?
Watch. I know that Deformed; he has been a Dogb. Truly, by your office, you may; but, I vile thief this seven year; he goes up and down like think, they that touch pitch will be defiled : the
a gentleman : I remember his name. most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief,
Bora. Didst thou not hear somebody? is, to let him show himself what he is, and steal out
Con. No; 'twas the vane on the house. of your company. Verg. You have been always called a merciful thief this fashion is ? how giddily he turns about
Bora. Seest thou not, I say, what a deformed man, partner.
all the hot bloods, between fourteen and five-andDogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my will; thirty ? much more a man who hath any honesty in him.
Con. All this I see; and see, that the fashion Verg. If you hear a child cry in the night, you
wears out more apparel than the man : But art not must call to the nurse, and bid her still it. 2 Watch. How, if the nurse be asleep, and will hast shifted out of thy tale into telling me of the
thou thyself giddy with the fashion too, that thou not hear us?
fashion ? Dogb. Why, then depart in peace, and let the
Bora. Not so, neither: but know, that I have child wake her with crying; for the ewe that will to-night wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentlenot hear her lamb when it baes, will never answer
woman, by the name of Hero; she leans me out at a calf when he bleats.
her mistress' chamber-window, bids me a thousand Verg. 'Tis very true.
times good night, - I tell this tale vilely: - I Dogo. This is the end of the charge. You, con
should first tell thee, how the prince, Claudio, and stable, are to present the prince's own person :
if you meet the prince in the night, you may stay him. my master, planted, and placed, and possessed by
my master don John, saw afar off in the orchard Verg. Nay by'r lady, that, I think, he cannot.
this amiable encounter. Dogb. Five shillings to one on't, with any man
Con. And thought they, Margaret was Hero ? that knows the statues, he may stay him : marry,
Bora. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio; not without the prince be willing : for, indeed, the but the devil my master knew she was Margaret ; watch ought to offend no man; and it is an offence and partly by his oaths, which first possessed them, to stay a man against his will.
partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, Verg. By'r lady, I think it be so.
but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! Well, masters, good night : slander that don John had made, away went Claudio an there be any matter of weight chances, call up enraged; swore he would meet her as he was apme: keep your fellows' counsels and your own, and pointed,' next morning at the temple
, and there, good night. Come, neighbour. 2 Watch. Well, masters, we hear our charge: let before the whole congregation, shame her with what
he saw over-night, and send her home again without us go sit here upon the church-bench till two, and
a husband. then all to-bed.
1 Watch. We charge you in the prince's name, Dogb. One word more, honest neighbours: I
stand. pray you, watch about signior Leonato's door; for the wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great have here recovered the most dangerous piece of
2 Watch. Call up the right master constable: We coil to-night : Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.
lechery that ever was known in the commonwealth, [Exeunt DCGBERRY and VERGES. 3 Weapons of the watchmen.
* Unpractised in the ways of the world.
1 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them; I
Re-enter Ursula. know him, he wears a lock,
Urs. Madam, withdraw; the prince, the count, Con. Masters, masters. 2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, the town, are come to fetch you to church.
signior Benedick, don John, and all the gallants of I warrant you.
Hero. Help to dress me, good coz, good Meg, Con. Masters, – 1 Watch. Never speak; we charge you, let us
(Exeunt. obey you to go with us. Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity,
SCENE V. – Another Room in Leonato's House. being taken up of these men's bills.
Enter Leonato, with DOGBERRY and VERGES. Con. A commodity in question, I warrant you.
Leon. What would you with me, honest neighCome, we'll obey you.
bour? SCENE IV. - A Room in Leonato's House. Dogb. Marry, sir, I would have some confidence Enter Hero, MARGARET, and URSULA.
with you, that decerns you nearly. Hero. Good Ursula, wake my cousin Beatrice,
Leon. Brief, I pray you ; for you see, 'tis a busy and desire her to rise.
time with me. Urs. I will, lady.
Dogh. Marry, this it is, sir. Hero. And bid her come hither.
Verg. Yes, in truth, it is, sir. Urs. Well.
Leon. What is it, my good friends? Marg. Troth, I think, your other rabato 5 were
Dogb. Goodman Verges, sir, speaks a liule off better.
the matter; an old man, sir, and his wits are not so Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this.
blunt, as I would desire they were; but, in faith, Marg. By my troth, it's not so good; and I war-honest, as the skin between his brows. rant, your cousin will say so.
Verg. Yes, I thank God, I am as honest as any Hero. My cousin's a fool, and thou art another;
man living, that is an old man, and no honester I'll wear none but this.
than I. Marg. I like the new tire within excellently, if
Dogb. Comparisons are odorous : palabras, neighthe hair were a thought browner: and your gown's
bour Verges. a most rare fashion, I saw the duchess of Milan's Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious. gown, that they praise so.
Dogb. It pleases your worship to say so, but we Hero. O that exceeds, they say.
are the poor duke's officers; but truly, for mine own Marg. By my troth, its but a night-gown in re- part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in spect of yours : Cloth of gold, and cuts, and laced my heart to bestow it all of your worship. with silver; set with pearls, down sleeves, side
Leon. All thy tediousness on me! ha! sleeves, and skirts round, underborne with a bluish
Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more tinsel : but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excel-than 'tis : for I hear as good exclamation on your lent fashion, yours is worth ten on't.
worship, as of any man in the city; and though I Hero. God give me joy to wear it
, for my heart be but a poor man, I am glad to hear it. is exceeding heavy!
Verg. And so am I.
Leon. I would fain know what you have to say. Enter BEATRICE.
Verg. Marry, sir, our watch to-night, excepting Hero. Good morrow, coz. Beat. Good morrow, sweet Hero. 'Tis almost arrant knaves as any in Messina.
your worship's presence, have ta'en a couple of as five o'clock, cousin ; 'tis time you were ready. By
Dogb. A good old man, sir; he will be talking; my troth, I am exceeding ill : — - hey ho!
as they say, When the age is in, the wit is out: it Marg. For a hawk, a horse, or a husband ? is a world to see ! 6 — Well said, i'faith, neigbour Beat. By my troth, I am sick.
Verges : - well, an two men ride of a horse, one Marg. Get you some of this distilled Carduus must ride behind :- An honest soul, i'faith, sir; Benedictus, and lay it to your heart; it is the only by my troth he is, as ever broke bread : but, all thing for a qualm.
men are not alike; alas, good neighbour ! Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thistle.
Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too short of Beat. Benedictus ! why Benedictus ? you have you ; but I must leave you. some moral in this Benedictus.
Dogb. One word, sir ; our watch, sir, have, inMarg. Moral! no, by my troth, I have no moral deed, comprehended two aspicious persons, and meaning; I meant, plain holy-thistle.
we would have them this morning examined before think, perchance, that I think you are in love: nay, your worship. by'r lady, I am not such a fool to think what I list; Leon. Take their examination yourself, and bring nor I list not to think what I can; nor, indeed, I l it me; I am now in great haste, as it may appear cannot think, if I would think my heart out of
unto you. thinking, that you are in love, or that you will be Dogb. It shall be suffigance. in love, or that you can be in love ; yet Benedick Leon. Drink some wine ere you go; fare you well. was such another, and now is he become a man : he swore he would never marry; and yet 'now, in
Enter a Messenger. despite of his heart, he eats his meat without grudg- Mess. My lord, they stay for you to give your ing: and how you may be converted, I know not ; daughter to her husband. but, methinks, you look with your eyes as other Leon. I will wait upon them; I am ready. women do.
[Ereunt LEONATO and Messenger. Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ?
Dogb. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis Marg. Not a false gallop.
Bi.c. It is wonderful to see.
SA kind of ruff.
Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the here's that (Touching his forehead.] shall drive some gaol ; we are now to examination these men. of them to a non com: only get the learned writer Verg. And we must do it wisely.
to set down our excommunication, and meet me at Dogb. We will spare for no wit, I warrant you; | the gaol.
CLAUDIO, Benedick, Hexo, and Beatrice, fc."
SCENE I. The Inside of a Church. But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity, and comely love. Enter Don Pedro, Don John, LEONATO, Friar, Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write against it: Leon. Come, friar Francis, be brief; only to the You seem to me as Dian in her orb; plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown; particular duties afterwards.
But you are more intemperate in your blood Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady? Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals Claud. No.
That rage in savage sensuality. Leon. To be married to her, friar; you come to
Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide? 8
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you? Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to D. Pedro.
What should I speak ? this count?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about Hero. I do.
To link my dear friend to a common stale. Friar. If either of you know any inward impe- Leon. Are these things spoken? or do I but dream? diment why you should not be conjoined, I charge D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things you, on your souls, to utter it.
are true. Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial. Hero. None, my lord.
True? O God! Friar. Know you any, count?
Claud. Leonato, stand I here? Leon. I dare make his answer, none.
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother? Claud. O, what men dare do! what men may do! Is this face Hero's? Are our eyes our own ? what men daily do! not knowing what they do! Leon. All this is so; But what of this, my lord ?
Bene. How now! Interjections? Why, then some Claud. Let me but move one question your be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he !
daughter : Claud. Stand thee by, friar:-Father, by your leave! And, by that fatherly and kindly power Will you with free and unconstrained soul
That you have in her, bid her answer truly. Give me this maid, your daughter?
Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child. Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me. Hero. O God defend me! how am I beset ! Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose What kind of catechising call you this ? worth
Claud. To make you answer truly to your name. May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
Hero. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. With any just reproach? Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thank- Claud.
Marry, that can Hero; fulness.
Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. There, Leonato, take her back again ;
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight Give not this rotten orange to your friend; Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one ? She's but the sign and semblance of her honour :- Now, if you are a maid, answer to this. Behold, how like a maid she blushes here:
Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. 0, what authority and show of truth
D. Pedro. Why, then are you nomaiden.-Leonato, Can cunning sin cover itself withal !
I am sorry you must hear; Upon mine honour, Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count, To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night, All you that see her, that she were a maid, Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window; By these exterior shows? But she is none : Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal 9 villain, Her blush is guiltiness, not inodesty.
Confess’d the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.
Fye, fye! they are Not knit my soul to an approved wanton.
Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be spoke of; Leon. Dear my lord, if you in your own proof There is not chastity enough in language, Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth,
Without offence to utter them : Thus, pretty lady, And made defeat of her virginity,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment. Claud. I know what you would say; if I have Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been, known her,
If half thy outward graces had been placed You'll say, she did embrace me as a husband, About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart ! And so extenuate the 'forehand sin :
But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell, No, Leonato,
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity!
9 Too free of tongue.
And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang,
Trust not my reading, nor my observations, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
Which with experimental seal doth warrant And never shall it more be gracious.
The tenour of my book; trust not my age, Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me? My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
[Hero swoons If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here Beat. Why, how now, cousin ? wherefore sink Under some biting error.
Friar, it cannot be : D. John. Come, let us go; these things, come Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left, thus to light,
Is, that she will not add unto her guilt Smother her spirits up.
A sin of perjury; she not denies it : [Exeunt Don Pedro, Don John, and CLAUDIO. Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse Bene. How doth the lady?
That which appears in proper nakedness? Beat.
Dead, I think; — help, uncle;- Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of? Hero! why, Hero !-- Uncle !-- Signior Benedick ! Hero. They know, that do accuse me; I know none: friar !
If I know more of any man alive, Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand ! Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, Death is the fairest cover for her shame,
Let all my sins lack mercy! - O my father, That may be wish'd for.
Prove you that any man with me convers'd Beat.
How now, cousin Hero? At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight Friar. Have comfort, lady.
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, Leon.
Dost thou look up? Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death. Friar. Yea; wherefore should she not?
Friar. There is some strange misprision 3 in the Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly
Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour; Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny And if their wisdoms be misled in this, The story that is printed in her blood ?
The practice of it lives in John the bastard, Do not live, Hero: do not ope thine eyes : Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies. For did I think thou wouldst not quickly die, Leon. I know not; If they speak but truth of her; Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour, Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches, The proudest of them shall well hear of it. Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ? Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine, Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame,
Nor age so eat up my invention, 0, one too much by thee! Why had I one ? Nor fortune made such havock of my means, Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes ?
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends, Why had I not, with charitable hand,
But they shall find, awak'd in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
To quit me of them throughly.
Pause a while, But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd, And let my counsel sway you in this case. And mine that I was proud on; mine so much, Your daughter here the princes left for dead; That I myself was to myself not mine,
Let her a while be secretly kept in, Valuing of her; why, she — O, she is fallen And publish it, that she is dead indeed : Into a pit of ink! that the wide sea
Maintain a mourning ostentation : Hath drops too few to wash her clean again. And on your family's old monument Bene. Sir, sir, be patient:
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
That appertain unto a burial. I know not what to say.
Leon. What shall become of this? What will this Beat. 0, on my soul, my cousin is belied !
do? Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last nigủit? Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf
Beat. No, truly, not: although, until last night, Change slander to remorse; that is some good : I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
But not for that, dream I on this strange course, Leon. Confirm’d, confirm’d! O, that is stronger But on this travail look for greater birth. made,
She dying, as it must be so maintainid, Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron! Upon the instant that she was accus'd, Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie? Shall be lamented, pitied and excus'd, Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness, Of every hearer : For it so falls out, Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her; let her die. That what we have we prize not to the worth, Friar. Hear me a little;
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack'd and lost, For I have only been silent so long,
Why, then we rack 4 the value; then we find And given way unto this course of fortune, The virtue, that possession would not show us By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
Whiles it was ours: - So will it fare with Claudio: A thousand blushing apparitions start
When he shall hear she died upon his words,
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit, Against her maiden truth :- Call me a fool ; More moving-delicate, and full of life,
· Disposition of things.
Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
Beat. I am gone, though I am here : - There is Than when she liv'd indeed: -- then shall he mourn, no love in you :- Nay, I pray you, let me go. And wish he had not so accus'd her;
Bene. Beatrice, No, though he thought his accusation true,
Beat. In faith, I will go. Let this be so, and doubt not but success
Bene. We'll be friends first. Will fashion the event in better shape
Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
fight with mine enemy.. But if all aim but this be levellid false,
Bene. ls Claudio thine enemy? The supposition of the lady's death
Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, Will quench the wonder of her infamy :
that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinsAnd, if it sort not well, you may conceal her woman?- 0, that I were a man! - What! bear (As best befits her wounded reputation)
her in hand until they come to take hands; and In some reclusive and religious life,
then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unOut of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries. mitigated rancour, - 0, that I were a man! I would
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you : eat his heart in the market-place. And though, you know, my inwardness 5 and Bene. Hear me, Beatrice ;love
Beat. Talk with a man out at a window? — a Is very much unto the prince and Claudio, proper saying ! Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
Bene. Nay, but, Beatrice; As secretly, and justly, as your soul
Beat. Sweet Hero! - she is wronged, she is Should with your body.
slandered, she is undone. Leon.
Being that I flow in grief, Bene. Beat The smallest twine may lead me.
Beat. Princes and counties 6 ! Surely, a princely Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently away; testimony, a goodly count-confect 7; a sweet galFor to strange sores strangely they strain the lant, surely! O, that I were a man for his sake! or
that I had any friend would be a man for my sake! Come, lady, die to live: this wedding day, But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into Perhaps, is but prolong'd; have patience, and compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, endure.
and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercu[Ereunt Friar, Hero, and LEONATO. les, that only tells a lie, and swears it: - - I cannot Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman while?
with grieving. Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice: By this hand, I love Bene. I will not desire that.
thee. Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely.
Beat. Use it for my love some other way than Bene. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is swearing by it. wrong’d.
Bene. Think you in your soul the count Claudio Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserve of hath wronged Hero? me, that would right her!
Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a Bene. Is there any way to show such friendship? soul. Beat. A very even way, but no such friend. Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge Bene. May a man do it ?
him; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you : By Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.
this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account : Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort you: Is not that strange ?
your cousin : I must say, she is dead; and so, fareBeat. As strange as the thing I know not: It well.
[Exeunt. were as possible for me to say, I loved nothing so well as you : but believe me not; and yet I lie not;
SCENE II. A Prison. I confess nothing, nor, I deny nothing:- I am sorry Enter DogBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns ; for my cousin.
and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO. Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me. Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.
Dogb. Is our whole dissembly appeared ? Bene. I will swear by it, that you love me; and
Verg. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton! I will make him eat it, that says I love not you.
Sexton. Which be the malefactors ? Beat. Will you not eat your word ?
Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner. Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it:
Verg. Nay, that's certain ; we have the exhibition
to examine. I protest, I love thee.
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be Beat. Why then, heaven forgive me!
examined ? let them come before master constable. Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice. Beat. You have staid me in a happy hour; I was
Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me. — about to protest, I loved you.
What is your name, friend?
Dogb. Pray write down Borachio. -Yours,
sirrah? none is left to protest. Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is
Dogb. Write down - master gentleman Conrade. Beat. You kill me to deny it: Farewell.
Masters, it is proved already that you are little Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.
better than false knaves; and it will go near to be 5 Intimacy.
6 Noblemen. I A nobleman made out of sugar.