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

D. 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 R.
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.—Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed 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.

D. Pedro. What, a feast? a feast?

Claud. l'faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf's-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.

D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day. I said, thou hadst a fine wit: “True," said she, “a fine little one:” “No," said I, “a great wit:” “Right,” says she, "a great gross one:” “ Nay,” said I, “a good wit:” “ Just,” said she, “it hurts nobody:” “Nay,” said I, “ the gentleman is wise:” “Certain,” said she, “a wise gentleman:” “ Nay,” said I, “ he hath the tongues :” “That I believe,” said she, “ 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

to turn his girdle.] “Large belts," says Holt White,“ were worn with the buckle before, but for wrestling the buckle was turned behind, to give the adversary a fairer grasp at the girdle. To turn the buckle behind, therefore, was a challenge.” This seems a plausible explanation.

7 Shall I not find a woODCOCK too ?] A jesting allusion to the supposed fact that the woodcock has no brains, and is therefore easily caught in a springe. It was often formerly the subject of a joke.

together, trans-shape thy particular virtues; yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy.

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said she cared not.

D. 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 all.

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

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

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, “Here dwells Benedick the married 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 thanked, hurt not.--My lord, 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 Lack-beard, there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him.

[Exit BENEDICK. D. Pedro. He is in earnest.

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

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?
Claud. Most sincerely.

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

Claud. Ile is then a giant to an ape: but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

D. Pedro. But, soft you ; let me be 8 : pluck up, my

* But, soft you ; let me be :) The modern editions read “let be,” in opposition to the 4to, 1600, and the first folio, which have “let me be :” meaning merely “let me alone." The expression seems to require no such elaborate explanation, as that entered into by Malone and Steevens.

heart, and be sad ! fied?

Did he not say, my brother was

Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with Con

RADE and BORACHIO. Dogb. Come, you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance. Nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.

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

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord !

D. 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 belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.

D. 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 reasoned, and in his own division ; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.

D. 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

What's your offence? Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no farther to mine answer : do you

and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes : what 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 the 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 my master's false accusation; and, briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.

hear me,

your wisdoms

9 Enter Dogberry, &c.] The entrance of the “ Constables, Conrade, and Borachio,” in the old copies, is wrongly made to precede the last two speeches of Claudio and Don Pedro.

D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through

your blood ?

Claud. I have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.
D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this?
Bora. Yea; and paid me richly for the practice of it.

D. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery.And fled he is upon this villainy.

Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I loved 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.

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

Re-enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, and the Se.ston.

Lcon. Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes, That when I note another man like him, I may avoid him.

avoid him. Which of these is he? Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou the slave', that with thy breath hast

Mine innocent child?

Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself :

10 Art thou the slave,] The folio repeats thou, to the destruction of the metre, which is complete in the 4to.

Here stand a pair of honourable men,
A third is fled, 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 bethink you of it.

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin: yet sinn'd I not,
But in mistaking.

D. 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. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;
That were impossible; but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina, here,
How innocent she died : and, if your love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
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,
Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us :
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

O! noble sir,
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me.
I do embrace your offer, and dispose
For henceforth of

Leon. To-morrow, then, I will expect your coming :
To-night I take my leave.—This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pact in all this wrong',


· Who, I believe, was pact in all this wrong,] “ Pact” is properly bargain

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