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that any man with me convers'd
At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature,
Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death.

Friar. There is some strange misprision in the Princes.

Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour,
And if their wisdoms be mis-led in this,
The Practice of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villanies.

Leon. I know not: if they speak but truth of her,
These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her honour,
The proudeft of them shall well hear of it.
Time hath not yet so dry'd this blood of mine,
Nor age so eat up my invention,
Nor fortune made fuch havock of my means,
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
But they fall find awak'd, in such a kind,
Both strength of limb, and policy of mind,
Ability in means, and choice of friends,
To quit me of them throughly.

Friar. Pause a while,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Your daughter here the Princes left for dead; (17)
Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
And publish it, that she is dead, indeed :
Maintain a mourning oftentation,
And on your family's old Monument

(17) Your Daugbter here the Princess (left for dead)] But how comes Hero to start up a Princess here! We have no Intimation of her Father being a Prince ; and this is the first and only Time that She is complimented with this Dignity. The Remotion of a fingle Letter, and of the Parenthesis, will bring her to her own Rank, and the Place to its true Meaning

Your Daughter here the Princes left for dead;
i, e. Don Pedro, Prince of Arragon; and his Bastard Brother who is
likewise call’d a Prince. So in the other Passages of this Play;

To burn the Error that these Princes hold
Against her Maiden Honour.

And again,

There is some prange Misprision in thefe Princes.
And again,

I thank you, Princes, for my Daughter's Death.


Hang mournful Epitaphs, aad do all rites
That appertain unto a burial.

Leon. 'What shall become of this? what will this do?

Friar. Marry, this, well carry'd, fhall on her behalt Change flander to remorse; that is some good: But not for that dream I on this strange course, But on this travel look for greater birth: She dying, as it must be fo maintain'd, Upon the instant that he was accus'd,

Shall be lamented, pity'd, and excus’d,
Of every hearer: for it so falls out,
That what we have we prize not to the worth, (18)
Whiles we enjoy it ; but being lack'd and lost,
Why, then we rack the value, then we find
The virtue that possession would not fhew us
Whilft it was ours; so will it fare with Claudio:
When he shall hear the dy'd upon his words,
Th' idea of her Life shall fweetly creep
Into his study of imagination,
And every lovely organ of her life
Shall come appareld in more precious habit ;
More moving, delicate, and full of life,
Into the eye and prospect of his soul,
Than when the livd indeed. Then thall he moure,
If ever love had interest in his liver,
And with, he had not so accused her;
No, though he thought his accusation true:
Let this be so, and doubt not, but success
Will fashion the event in better Thape
Than I can lay it down in likelihood.
But if all Aim but this be levell'd false,
The supposition of the lady's death
(18) That, What we have, we prize not to the Worth,

Whiles we enjoy it ; but being lack'd and lost,
Why, then we rack the Value; then we find
The Virtue that Poffeffion would not feriu us
Whilft it was ours:

Whether this be an Imitation, or no, I won't contend; but if not, it Teems to me a very fine Paraphraso on this passage of Horace ; Lib. III. Ode 24,

Virtutem incolumem odimus,
Sublatam ex oculis quarrimus invidi.

Will quench the wonder of her infamy.
And, if it fort not well, you may conceal her,
As best befits her wounded reputation,
In some reclusive and religious life,
Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries.

Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you:
And though, you know, my inwardness and love.
Is very much unto the Prince and Claudio,
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this
As secretly and justly, as your soul
Should with your body.

Leon. Being that I fow in grief,
The smallest twine may lead me.
Friar. 'Tis well consented, presently away,

For to strange fores, strangely they ftrain the cure.
Comc, lady, die to live; this wedding day,
Perhaps, is but prolong’d: have patience and en-

[Exeunt. 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 desire 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 shew such friendship?
Beat. A very even way, but no such friend.
Béne. 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 loved nothing so well as you; but believe me not; and yet I lye not; I confels nothing, nor I deny nothing. I am sorry for my cousin.

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lov'st 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 cat it, that says, I love not you.

Beat. Will you not eat your word?

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

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

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

Bene. And do it with all thy heart.

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

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

Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice. : Beat. I am gone, tho' I am here; there is no love in you; nay, I pray you, let me go

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 slander'd, scorn'd, dishonour'd my kinswoman! O that I were a man! what bear her in hand until they come to take hands, and then with publick accusation, uncover'd slander, unmitigated rancourO 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

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Beat. Princes and Counts! surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfect, a sweet gallant, surely! Ö 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 curtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turn'd into tongue, and trim ones too; he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears 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 some other way than swearing by it.

Bene. Think you in your soul, the Count Claudio hath wrong's 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 to leave you ; by this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account; as you hear of me, so think of me; go comfort your cousin; I must fay, she is dead, and so farewel.


SCENE changes to a Prifon.


Enter Dogberry, Verges, Borachio, Conrade, the

Town-Clerk and Sexton in Gowns.
To. Cl. S our whole dissembly appear'd?

Dog. O, a stool and a cushion for the sexton!
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 master 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. Ci.

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