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Bened. I do love nothing in the world so well as
you: Is not that strange ?
Beatr. 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 sorry for my cousin.
Bened. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me!
Bened. I will swear by it, that you love me; and I will make him eat it, that says, I love not you.
Beatr. Will you not eat your word ?
Bened. With no sauce that can be devised to it: I protest, I love thee!
Beatr. Why, then, Heaven forgive me !
Beatr. You have staid me in a happy hour ; I was about to protest, I loved you.
Bened. And do it, with all thy heart !
Beatr. I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left, to protest.
Bened. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Beatr. I am gone, though I am here ;—There is no love in you :-nay, I pray you, let me go.
Beatr. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight with mine enemy. Bened. Is Claudio thine enemy?
Beatr. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured, my kinswomank-Oh, that I were a man!- What! bear her in
hand until they come to take hands, and then, with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,-0 Heaven, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market place!
Bened. Hear me, Beatrice.
Beatr. Talk with a man out at a window a proper saying!
Bened. Nay, but, Beatrice
Beatr. Sweet Hero!-she is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone !
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 courtesies, 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.
Bened. Tarry, good Beatrice: By this hand, I love thee! Beatr. Use it for my love, some other
than swearing by it.
Bened. Think you in your soul, the Count Claudio hath wronged Hero?
Beatr. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul !
Bened. 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!
Enter the Sexton, DOG BERRY, VERGES, SEACOAL,
Dogb. Is our whole dissembly appeared ?
Verges. Nay, that's certain; we have the exhibition to examine.
Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined? let them come before Master Constable. Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me.
[SEACOAL beckons to the Watch.
Enter Watch, bringing in BORACH10 and CONRADE.
Con. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.
Dogb. Write down Master Gentleman Conrade.Masters, do you serve Heaven?
Con. and Bor. Yes, sir, we hope.
Dogb. Write down, that they hope they serve Heaven and write Heaven first; for Heaven defend but Heaven should go before such villains !-Mas. ters, it 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 ?
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.
Bor. Sir, I say to you, we are none.
Dogb. Well, stand aside.—'Fore Heaven, they are both in a tale ! -Have you writ down, that they are none?
Sexton. Master Constable, you go not the way to examine; you must call the watch, that are their ac
Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way :-Let the watch stand forth:-- Masters, I charge you, in the prince's name, accuse these men!
Sea. This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain.
Dogb. Write down,-Prince John, a villain : Why, that is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother, villain!
Bor. Master Constable
Dogb. 'Pray thee, fellow, peace! I do not like thy look, I promise thee. Sexton. What heard
else? Oat. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the Lady Hero wrong fully.
Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed !
Sea. And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero, before the whole assembly, and not marry her.
Dogb. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this!
Sexton. What else?
Sea. This is all.
Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning, secretly stolen away : Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner refused, and, upon the grief of this, suddenly diedMaster Constable, let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato's.--I will go before, and show him their examination.
[Exit. Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned.-Come, bind them.--Thou naughty varlet!
Con. Away, you are an ass ! you are an ass !
Dogb. Dost thou not suspect ny place? Dost thou not suspect my years ? O that he were here, to write me down, an ass!—but, masters, remember, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not, that I am an ass :-No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee, by good witness !- I am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, an householder; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh, as any in Messina ! and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses ; and one that hath two gowns, and handsome about him:-Bring him away.
O, that I had been writ down an ass!