The idea of her life shall sweetly creep
Into his study of imagination ;
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come apparell’d in more precious habit,
Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
Than when she lived indeed : then shall be mourn,
And wish he had not so accused her;
No, though he thought his accusation-true.
Let this be so, and doubt not, but success
Will fashion the event in better shape,
Than I can lay it down, in likelihood.

Bened. 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.

Leon. Being, that I flow in grief, The smallest twine may lead me.

Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently, away; Come, lady, die, to live ; this wedding day, Perhaps, is but prolonged; have patience, and endure.

[Exeunt R. all but BENEDICK and BEATRICE. Bened. (R. C.) Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this

while ?
Bcatr. (c.) Yea, and I will weep awhile longer.
Bened. (Advances to her.] will not desire that.
Beatr. You have no reason: I do it freely.

Bened. Surely, I do believe your fair cousin is wronged.

Beatr. Ah, how much might the man deserve of me, that would right her!

Bened. Is there any way to show such friendship?
Beatr. A very even way, but no such friend.
Bened. May a man do it?
Beatr. It is a man's office, but not yours.
Bened. [Pausing.] I do love nothing in the world se

well as, you: [Takes her hand.] Is not that strange? 6. Beutr. 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.

Bered. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest me!
Beatr. Do not swear by it, and eat it.

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!
Bened. What offence, sweet Beatrice ?

Beatr. You have staid me in an 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. Kill Claudio.
Bened. Ha ! not for the wide world!
Beatr. You kill me to deny it :-Farewell!

[Going, r. Bened. Tarry, sweet Beatrice !

Beatr. I am gone, though I am here :- There is no love in you :-nay, I pray you, let me go.

Bened. Beatrice,Beatr. In faith, I will go ! Bened. [Follows and pulls her back.] We'll be friends first.

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 kinswoman ?-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 bis 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 !

Bened. Beatrice !

Beatr. 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 trîm 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 way than swearing by it.

Bcned. Think you in your soul, the Count Claudio bath wronged Hero ?

Beatr. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul !

Bened. Enough, I am engaged ; [Puls on his hat] I will challenge him.

Bcatr. Will you?

Bened. Upon my soul I will. I'll kiss your hand, and so leave you. By this hand Claudio shall render me a dear account.

Beatr. You'll be sure to challenge him ?
Bened. By those bright eyes I will.
Beatr. My dear friend, kiss my hand again.

Bened. As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort your cousin : I must say she is dead; and so farewell.

Beatr. Benedick, kill him, kill him, if you can.
Bened. As sure as he is alive, I will.

[Exeunt, BeatR. R. BENED. L. SCENE II.-A Prison.-DOGBERRY, Verges, Sea

COAL, and OATCAKE discovered seated.- DOGBERRY
and part of the Watch L. of the Table ; Prisoners
and other Watchmen, R.
Dogb. Is our whole assembly appeared ?

Enter SexTON, L.
Verges. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton!
Sexton. Which be the malefactors?
Dogb. Marry, that am I, and my partner.

Verges. Nay, that is 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 BORACHIO, and CONRADE, R. What is your name, friend 3

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Bor, Borachio. Dogb. Pray write down Borachio. Yours, sirrah? 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 ! Masters, 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, to 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 you him say else? Oat. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully.

Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed !
Verges. Yea, by the mass, that it is!
Sexton. What else, fellow?

Sea. And that Count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not

Dogb. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.


marry her.

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 died. ' Master Constable, let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato's. I will go before, and show him their examination.

[Exit, R. Dogb. (R.) 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 my 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 every thing handsome about him :-Bring him away. O, that I had been writ down-an ass !

[Exeunt, r.



SCENE I.-The Court before Leonato's House.-Same

as Scene First, in Act First,

Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO. Ant. (L.) If you go on thus, you will kill yourself ; And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief Against yourself.

Leon. (L. c.) I pray thee, cease thy counsel ;

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