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Nor let no comforter delight mine ear,
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ.
Leon. I pray thee, peace; I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philosopher, That could endure the tooth-ache patiently ; However they have writ the style of gods, And make a pish at chance and sufferance.
Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself; Make those, who do offend you, suffer too.
Leon. There thou speak'st reason; nay, I will do so ; My seul doth tell me, Hero is belied ; All that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince, And all of them, that thus dishonour her.
Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio, hastily.
Enter Don Pedro and CLAUDIO, L. and cross to R.
Pedro. Good den, good den.
Pedro. (R.) Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old
Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling,
Claud. (R.) Who wrongs him ?
Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand,
Leon. Tush, tush, man. Never fleer and jest at me! I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool, As, under privilege of age, to brag What I have done being young, or what would do, Were I not old: Know, Claudio, to thy head, Thou hast so wrong'd my innocent child, and me, That I am forced to lay my reverence by; And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days, Do challenge thee to trial of a man ;
[Going to c. and drawing his Snord. I say, thou hast belied my innocent child. Pedro. You say not right, old man.
Leon. My lord, my lord,
Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you!
Ant. Let him answer me:
Leon. (c.) Brother-
Leon. Brother Antony
Ant. Hold you content; What, man! I know them, yea, And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple; Scambling, outfacing, fashion-mong'ring boys, That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander, And speak off half a dozen dangerous words, How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst, And this is all.
Leon. But, brother Antony
Ant. Come, 'tis no matter ;
Leon. My lord, my lord-
Ant. And shall, Or some of us will smart for it. [Exeunt Leonato and Antonio through the gate
in c. of baek scene.
Enter BENEDICK, L.
Bened. (L.) Good day, my lord.
Pedro. Welcome, Signior !
Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapped off, with two old men without teeth.
Pedro. Leonato and his brother ; What think'st thou ? Had we fought, I doubt, we should have been too young for them.
Bened. In a false quarrel, there is no true valour. I came to seek you both.
Claud. We have been up and down to seek thee; for we are high proof melancholy, and would fain have it beaten away; Wilt thou use thy wit?
Bened. (L. c.) It is in my scabbard ; shall I draw it?
Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale !-Art thou sick, or angry?
Claud. What! courage, man! What, though care killed a cat, thou hast metal enough in thee to kill care.
Bened. Sir, I shalt meet your wit in the career, if you charge it against me; I pray you, chuse another subject. I don't like it.
Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more! I think, he be angry, indeed ! [Retires up the Stage.
Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bened. You are a villain! I jest not-I will make it good, how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare:-Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy upon you ! Let me hear from you.
Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer.
Pedro. What, a feast, a feast ! [ Advancing.
Claud. I'faith, I thank him, he hath bid me to a calf's head; the which, if I do not carve most curiously, say my knife's naught.
Bened. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.
Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head?
Claud. Yea, and text underneath.-Heredwells Benedick, the married man? [Goes to R. c. and turns.
Bened. Fare you well, boy ! you know my mind-I will leave you now to your gossip-like humour : you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which Heaven be thanked, hurt not !-My lord, [Takes off his Hat] for your many courtesies, I thank you-I must discontinue your company: your brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina ; you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady: For my Lord Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet, and till then, peace be with him! Let me hear from you.
[Exit, L. Pedro. He is in earnest.
Claud. In most profound earnest ; and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice !
Pedro. And hath challenged thee? Claud. Most sincerely ! Pedro. What a pretty thing manis, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit !- Did he not say, my brother was fled ? Enter Dogberry, Verges, with CONRADE and BORA
chio bound, followed by Seacoal, OATCAKE, and the WATCH, L. PEDRO and CLAUD, stand R.
Dogb. (c.) Come you, sir ! if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance; nay, and you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.
Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound ! Borachio one!
Claud. Hearken after their offenoe, my lord.
Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders : sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady ; thirdly, they have verified unjust things : and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
Pedro. First, I ask thee, what they have done ; thirdly, I ask thee, what's their offence ; sixth and lastly, why they are committed ; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge.
Claud. (R.) Rightly reasoned, and in his own division.
are thus bound to your answer? this learned constable is too cunning to be understood : What's your offence ?
Bor. (L.) Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes : what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light ; who, in the night, overheard me confessing to this man, how Don John, your brother, incensed me to slander ihe Lady Hero ; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret, in Hero's garments ; how you disgraced her, when you should marry her: my villainy they have upon record, which, I had rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame: the lady is dead, upon mine and iny master's false accusation ; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.
Pedro. [To CLAUD.] Runs not this speech like iron through your blood ?
Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he uttered it.
Pedro. He is composed and framed of treachery.: And fled he is upon this villainy.
Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear in the rare semblance that I loved it first.
Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs ; by this time, our sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter : And, masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
Verges. Here comes Master Signior Leonato, and the sexton too.
Enter LEONATO, Servants, and the Sexton, L.
Leon. Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes ; That, when I note another man like him, I may avoid himn : Which of these is he? Bor. If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou the slave, that, with thy breath, hast
Bor. Yea-even I alone.
[Turning to Claudio and Pedro. I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death; Record it with your high and worthy deeds ; 'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.