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But what was true, and very full of proof.
Leon. My lord, my lord
Ant. And shall,
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
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?
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.
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. 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 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?
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 ?
S CE N E
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.
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.
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 ?
Pedro. He is compos’d and fram'd of treachery;
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.
Enter Leonato, and Sexton.
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;
of it. Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, Yet I must speak: choose your revenge yourself
Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
Leon. You cannot bid my daughter live again,
you could not be my son-in-law, .