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But what was true, and very full of proof.

Leon. My lord, my lord
Pedro. I will not hear

Leon. No!
Come, brother, away; I will be heard.

Ant. And shall,
Or some of us will smart for it.

[Exeunt ambo.


Enter Benedick.
Pedro. See, fee, here comes the man we went to seek.
Claud. Now, fignior, what news?
Bene. Good day, my lord.

Pedro. Welcome, signior; you are almost come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snap'd 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.

Bene. 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?

Bene. It is in my scabbard ; shall I draw it?
Pedro. Doft thou wear thy wit by thy side ?

Claud. Never any did so, though very many have been beside their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels; draw to pleasure us.

Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale: art thou fick, or angry?

Claud. What! courage, man! what though care kill'd a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care.

Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, if you charge it against me. I pray you, choose another subject.


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Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this last was broke cross.

Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more: I think, he be angry indeed.

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear?
Claud. God bless me from a challenge!

Bene. You are a villain ; I jest not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have kill'd a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.

Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer. Pedro. What, a feast?

Claud. l' faith, I thank him, he hath bid me to a calves-head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too?

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well, it goes easily.

Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice prais’d thy wit the other day: I said, thou hadft a fine wit; right, says she, a fine little one; no, said I, a great wit; just, said she, a great gross one; nay, said I, a good wit; just, said she, it hurts no body; nay, said I, the gentleman is wise; certain, said she, a wise gentleman; nay, said I, he hath the tongues; that I believe, said The, for he swore a thing to me on monday night which he forswore on tuesday morning; there's a double tongue, there's two tongues. Thus did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular virtues; yet, at last, she concluded with a figh, thou wast the properest man

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said, she car'd not.

Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet for all that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly: the old man's daughter told us alí.

Claud. All, all; and moreover, god saw him when he was hid

Pedro. But when shall we set the falvage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head ?


in Italy.

in the garden.

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the marry'd man.

Bene. 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, god be thank’d, hurt not. My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you; I must discontinue your company; your brother the bastard is fled from Mesfina; you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my lord Lack-beard there, he and I shall meet; and 'till then, peace be with him!

[Exit Benedick Pedro. He is in earnest.

Claud. In most profound earnest; and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.

Pedro. And hath challeng'd thee?
Claud. Most sincerely,

Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit!

Claud. He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

Pedro. But, soft you, let me fee, pluck up my heart, and be sad; did he not say, my brother was Aed ?


Enter Dogberry, Verges, Conrade and Borachio guarded.

Dogb. Come you, fır, if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne’er weigh more reasons in her balance; nay, if


be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be look'd to.

· Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound? Borachio one!

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord.
Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?

Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths ; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have bely'd a lady; thirdly, they have verify’d unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.


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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. Rightly reason'd, and in his own division; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.

Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters, that you are thus bound to your answer? This learned constable is too cunning to be understood. What's your offence ?

Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you

hear me, and let this count kill me: I have deceiv'd even your very eyes; what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who, in the night, over-heard me confessing to this man, how don John your brother incens'd me to Nander the lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you disgrac'd her when you should marry her : my villany 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 my master's false accusation; and briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.

Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your blood ?
Claud. I have drunk poison while he utter'd it.
Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Bora. Yea, pay'd me richly for the practice of it.

Pedro. He is compos’d and fram'd of treachery;
And Aed he is


this villany. Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear: In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first.

Dog. Come, bring away, the plaintiffs ; by this tiine, our fexton hath reform’d lignior Leonato of the matter : and, masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master signior Leonato, and the. sexton too.


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Enter Leonato, and Sexton.
Leon. Which is the villain ? let me see his eyes ;
That when I note another man like him,

avoid him: Which of these is he? Bora. If


would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou, art thou the slave that with thy breath Haft kill'd mine innocent child ?

Bora. Even Í alone.

Leon. No, not so, villain, thou bely'st thyself;
Here stand a pair of honourable men,
A third is Aed, that had a hand in it:
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death;
Record it with your high and worthy deeds;
'Twas bravely done, if you



of it. Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, Yet I must speak: choose your revenge yourself

Expose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin; yet finn'd I not,
But in mistaking.

Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.

Leon. You cannot bid my daughter live again,
That were impossible; but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent The dy'd; and, if your love
Can labour ought in fad inventio
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night:
To-morrow morning come you to my house;
And since

you could not be my son-in-law, .
Be yet my nephew; my brother hath a daughter


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