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And, by that fatherly and kindly power

have in her, bid her answer truly. Leon. I charge'thee do so, as thou art my child.

Hero. O God defend me! how am I beset!. What kind of catechizing call you this ?

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name.

Hero. Is it not Hero ? Who can blot that name With any just reproach? Claud.

Marry, that can Hero; Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. What man was he talk'd with you yesternight Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one ? Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.
D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.

I am sorry you must hear ; Upon mine honour,
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count,
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night,
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window;
Who hath, indeed, most like a liberalo villain,
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.
D. John.

Fye, fye! they are
Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them : Thus, pretty lady,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been, If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart ! But, fare thee well, most foul, most'fair ! farewell, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, And on my eye-lids shall conjecture hang, To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, And never shall it more be gracious.

9 Too free of tongue.


you down?

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Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?

[HERO swoons. Beat. Why, how now, cousin ? wherefore sink D. John. Come, let us go : these things, come

thus to light, Smother her spirits up.

[Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don John, and

CLAUDIO. Bene. How doth the lady? Bèat.

Dead, I think;— help, uncle ; Hero! why, Hero! - Uncle ! - Signior Benedick!

friar ! Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand ! - Death is the fairest cover for her shame, That may

be wish'd for, Beat.

How now,

cousin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, lady.

Dost thou look up?
Friar. Yea; Wherefore should she not?
Leon. Wherefore ? Why, doth not every earthly

thing Cry shame


her ? Could she here deny The story that is printed in her blood ? Do not live, Hero ; do not ope


eyes :
For did I think thou would'st not quickly die,
Thought Ithy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ?
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame'?
0, one too much by thee! Why had I one ?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes ?
Why had I not, with charitable hand,
Took up a beggar's issue at my gates;
Who smirched thus, and mir'd with infamy,
I might have said, No part of it is mine,
This shame derives itself from unknown loins ?

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Disposition of things.

2 Sullied.

But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I' prais'd,
And mine that I was proud on; mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her ; why, she-O, she is fallen
Into a pit of ink ! that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again.

Bene. Šir, sir, be patient :
For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat. O, on my soul, my cousin is belied !
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?
Beat. No, truly, not: although, until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
Leon. Confirm'd, confirm'd! O, that is stronger

made, Which was before barr'd


with ribs of iron !
Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie?
Who lov'd her so, that, speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears? Hence from her ; let her die.

Friar. Hear me a little ;
For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions start
Into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness bear away

those blushes; And in her

eye there hath appear'd a fire,
To burn the errors that these princes hold
Against her maiden truth: Call me a fool;
Trust not my reading, nor my

Which with experimental seal doth warrant
The tenour of my book; trust not my age,
My reverence, calling, nor divinity,
If this sweet lady lie not guiltless here
Under some biting error.

Friar, it cannot be :
Thou seest, that all the grace that she hath left,
Is, that she will not add unto her guilt
A sin of perjury; she not denies it:

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Why seek'st thou then to cover with excuse
That which appears in proper nakedness ?

Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of?

Hero. They know, that do accuse me; I know
If I know more of any man alive,
Than that which maiden modesty doth warranty
Let all my sins lack mercy !--- O my father,


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 misprisions in the

Bene. Two of them have the very bent of honour;
And if their wisdoms be misled in this,
The practice of it lives in John the bastard,
Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.

Leon. I know not; If they speak but truth of her,
These hands shall tear her ; if they wrong her honour,
The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Time hath not yet so dried this blood of mine,
Nor age so eat up my invention,
Nor fortune made such havock of my means,
Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
But they shall 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.

Pause a while,
And let my counsel sway you in this case.
Your daughter here the princes left for dead;
Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
And publish it, that she is dead indeed :
Maintain a mourning ostentation:
And on your family's old monument
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites

Whe The Into And Shal


No le W TE В. TI

3 Misconception.

then we

That appertain unto a burial.
Leon. What shall become of this? What will this

Friar. Marry, this, well carried, shall on her behalf
Change slander to remorse ; that is some good :
But not for that, dream I 'on this strange course,
But on this travail look for greater birth.
She dying, as it must be so maintain'd,
Upon the instant that she was accus'd,
Shall be lamented, pitied and excus'd,
Of every hearer : For it so falls out,
That what we have we prize not to the worth,
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack'd and lost,
Why, then we rack 4 the value ;

find The virtue, that possession would not show us Whiles it was ours : -So will it fare with Claudio: When he shall hear she died upon

his words, The idea of her life shall sweetly creep Into his study of imagination ; And every lovely organ of her life, Shall come apparell'd in more precious habit, More moving-delicate, and full of life, Into the eye and prospect of his soul, Than when she liv'd indeed :- then shall he mourn, And wish 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 shape 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 Will quench the wonder of her infamy: And, if it sort 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:

4 Over-rate,

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