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Manent Benedick and Beatrice. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while ? Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. Bene. I will not defire that. Beat. You have no reason, I do it freely. Bene. Surely, I do believe, your fair cousin is wrong'd.

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

Bene. Is there any way to fhew such friendship?
Beat. A very even way, but no such friend.
Bene. May a man do it?
Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours.

Bene. I do love nothing in the world so well as you ; is not that strange ?

Beat. As strange as the thing I know not; it were as possible for me to say, I lov'd nothing so well as you ; but believe me not; and yet I lye not; I confess

I nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am forry for my cousin.

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lov'ít me.
Beat. Do not swear by it, and eat it.

Bene. I will swear by it that you love me ; and I will make him eat it, that says, I love not you.

Beat. Will you not eat your word?

Bine. With no sauce that can be devis'd to it; I proteit, I love thee.

Beat. Why then, Gcd forgive me.
Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice ?

Beat. You have stay'd me in a happy hour; I was about to proteft, I lov'd you.

Dene. And do it with all thy heart.

Feat. I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to proteft.

Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
Beat. Kill Claudio.
Eene. Ha! not for the wide world.
Feat. You kill me to deny; farewel.
Eene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beat, I am gone, tho'I am here ; there is no love in you; nay, I pray you, let me go. 4

Bene.

Bene. Beatrice,
Beat. In faith, I will go.
Bene. We'll be friends first.

Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight with mine enemy.

Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?

Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath flander'd, scorn'd, dishonour'd my kinswoman! that I were a man! what bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then with publick accusation, uncover'd flander, unmitigated rancour--O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.

Bene. Hear me, Beatrice.

Beat. Talk with a man out at a window?. proper saying!

Bene. Nay, but Beatrice.

Beat. Sweet Hero! she is wrong'd, she is flander'd, she is undone.

Bene. Beat

Beat. Princes and Counts ! surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfect, a sweet gallant, surely! O that I were a man for his fake! Or that I had any friend would be a man for my fake! but manhood is melted into curtefies, valour into compliment, and men are only turn’d into tongue, and trim ones too ; he is

as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and fwears it; I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.

Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice; by this hand I love thee.

Beat. Use it for my love fome other way than swearing by it.

Bene. Think you in your soul, the Count Claudio hath wrong'd Hero?

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought or a soul.

Bene. Enough, I am engag’d, I will challenge him, I will kiss your hand, and so leave you; by this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear åccount; as you hear of me, so think of me; go comfort your cousin; I muit say, she is dea?, and lo farewel.

[Exeunt.

now

SCENE

SCENE changes to a Prison.
Enter Dogberry, Verges, Borachio, Conrade, the

Town-Clerk and Sexton in Gowns. 9. CI. Dog. O, a stool and a cushion for the fexton!

TS our whole diffembly appear'd ?
Sexton. Which be the malefactors ?
Verg. Marry, that am I and my Partner.

Dog Nay, that's certain, we have the exhibition to examine.

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examin'd? let them come before mafter constable.

To. Cl. Yea, marry, let them come before me; what is your name, friend'

Bora. Borachio.
To. Cl. Pray write down, Borachio. Yours, Sirrah?

Conr. I am a gentleman, Sir, and my name is Conrade.

To. Cl. Write down, master gentleman Conrade ; masters, do you serve God?

Both. Yea, Sir, we hope. (19)

To. Cl. Write down, that they hope they ferve God: and write God first: for God defend, but God should go

before such villains.-Masters, it is proved already that you are little better than false knayes, and it will go near to be thought so shortly; how answer you for yourselves ?

Conr. Marry, Sir, we say, we are none.

To. Cl. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you, but I will go about with him. Come you hither, firrah, a word in your ear, Sir; I say to you, it is thought you are both false knaves.

(19) Both. Yea, Sir, we hope.

To. ci. Write down, that they hope, they serve God: and write God first

, for God defend, but God should go bejore fuck Villains-] This short passage, which is truly humorous and in character, I have added from the old Quarto. Besides, it fupplies a defect : for, without it, the Town-Clerk asks a question of the prisoners, and goes on without Staying for any answer to it.

Bora,

Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.

To. Cl. Well, stand aside; 'fore God, they are both in a tale; have you writ down, that they are none ?

Sexton. Mafter town-clerk, you go not the way to examine, you must call the watch that are their accusers.

(20) To. Cl. Yea, marry, that's the deftest way, let the Watch come forth; masters, I charge you in the Prince's name accuse these men.

Enter Watchmen. 1 Watch. This man said, Sir, that Don John the Prince's brother was a villain.

To. Cl. Write down, Prince John a villain; why this is flat perjury, to call a Prince's brother villain.

Bora. Mafter town-clerk,

To. Cl. Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like thy look, I promise thee.

Sexton. What heard you him say else?

2 Watch. Marry, that he had receiv'd a thousand ducats of Don John, for accufing the lady Hero wrongfully.

To Cl. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
Dogb. Yea, by tħ mass, that it is.
Sexton. What else, fellow?

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

(20) To. Cl. Tea, marry, that's the eafieft way, let the Watcb come forib.] This, easiest, is a sophistication of our modern editors, who were at a loss to make out the corrupted reading of the old copies. The Quarto, in 1600, and the first and fecond editions in Folio all concur in reading ;

Yea, marry, that's the efteft way, &c. A letter happen's to flip out at press in the first edition ; and 'twas too hard a task for the subsequent editors to put it in, or guess at the word under this accidental depravation. There is no doubt, but the author wrote, as I have reftor’d the text ; Yea, marry, that's the defter

way,

&c. i. e, the readiest, most commodious way. The word is

pure

Saxon. Deaflice, debite, congrue, duely, fitly. Ledæfelice, opportune, commode, fitly, conveniently, seasonably, in good time, commodiously.

Vid. Spelman's Saxon Gloss.

To. Cl.

To. Cl. O villain! thou wilt be condemn’d into everlafting redemption for this.

Sexton. What else?
2 Watch. This is all.

Sexton. And this is more, masers, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly ftol'n away: Hero was in this manner accus’d, and in this very manner refus’d, and upon the grief of this suddenly dy'd. Master Conftable, let thele men be bound and brought to Leonato; I will go before, and shew him their examination. (Exit.

Dogb. Come, let them be opinion'd. (21) Conr. Let them be in the hands of Coxcomb !

Dogb. God's iny life, where's the Sexton ? let him write down the Prince's officer Coxcomb: come, bind them, thou naughty varlet.

Conr. 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 prov'd upon thee by good witness; I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer; and which is more, an housholder; and which is more, as pretty a piece of Aesh as any in Meljina, and one that knows the law; go to, and a rich fellow enough; go to, and a fellow that hath had loffes; and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him; bring him away; O that I had been writ down an als !

[Exeunt. (21) Sexton. Let them be in the hands of Coxcomb.] The generality of the editions place this line to the Sexion. But, why he should be pert upon his brother-officers, there seems no realon from any fuperior qualifications in him; or any suspicion he fhews of knowing their ignorance. The old Quarto gave me the first umbrage fur placing it to Conrade; and common sense vouches that it ought to come from one of the prisoners, in contempt of the despicable wretches who had then in cuftody.

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