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Before Leonato's House.

Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself,
And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief
Against yourself.

I pray thee, cease thy counsel, :
Which falls into mine ears as profitless
As water in a sieve : give not me counsel ;
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear,
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
Bring me a father, that so lov'd his child,
Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine,
And bid him speak of patience;
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain ;
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form:
If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard ;
Cry--sorrow, wag! and hem, when he should groan;
Patch grief with proverbs ; make misfortune drunk
With candle-wasters; bring him yet to me,
And I of him will gather patience.
But there is no such man: For, brother, men
Can counsel, and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage,

madness in a silken thread, Charm ach with air, and agony with words :


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No, no; 'tis all men's office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency,
To be so moral, when he shall endure
The like himself: therefore give me no counsel :
My griefs cry louder than advertisement. 8
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing

Leon. I pray thee, peace: I will be flesh and
For there was never yet philosopher,
That could endure the tooth-ach patiently;
However they have writ the style of gods,
And made a pish at chance and sufferance.

Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself;
Make those, that do offend you, suffer too.

Leon. There thou speak’st reason: nay, I will
My soul doth tell me, Hero is belied ;
And that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince,
And all of them, that thus dishonour her.

Enter. Don Pedro and CLAUDIO.
Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio, hastily.
D. Pedro. Good den, good den,

Good day to both of you.
Leon. Hear you, my lords, –
D. Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato.
Leon. Some haste, my lord ! — well, fare you

well, my lord:-
Are you so hasty now? - well, all is one.

D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old

Ant. If he could right himself with quarreling,
Some of us would lie low.

Who wrongs him?

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Thou, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou:-
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword,
I fear thee not.

Claud. Marry, beshrew my hand,
If it should give your age such cause of fear :
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my sword,

Leon. Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at


I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool ;
As, under privilege of age, to brag
What I have done being young, or what would do,
Were I not old : Know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou hast so wrong'd mine innocent child and me,
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by ;
And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days,
Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
I say, thou hast belied mine innocent child;
Thy slander hath gone through and through her

And she lies buried with her ancestors :
O! in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Save this of her's fram’d by thy villainy.

Claud. My villainy!

Thine, Claudio ; thine, I say. · D. Pedro. You say not right, old man. Leon.

My lord, my lord, I'll prove it on his body, if he dare ; Despite his nice fence, and his active practice, His May of youth, and bloom of lustyhood.

Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you. Leon. Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast kill'd

my child; If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.

Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed : But that's no matter; let him kill one first; Win me and wear me,

let him answer me, Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me:

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Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining ' fence;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will,

Leon. Brother,
Ant. Content yourself: God knows, I lov'd my

niece ;
And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains :
That dare as well answer a man, indeed,
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue :
Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops!-

Brother Antony,
Ant. Hold you content; What, man! I know
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple :
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mong’ring boys,
That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander,
Go antickly, and show outward hideousness,
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst,
And this is all.

Leon. But, brother Antony,

Come, 'tis no matter ;
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.
D. Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wake

your patience.
My heart is sorry for your daughter's death ;
But, on my honour, she was charg'd with nothing
But what was true, and very full of proof.

Leon. My lord, my lord,
D. Pedro.

I will not hear you.

Brother, away :- I will be heard ;-

And shall, .
Or some of us will smart for it.


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D. Pedro. See, see; here comes the man
went to seek.

Claud. Now, signior! what news?
Bene. Good day, my lord.

D. Pedro. Welcome, signior: You are almost come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We had like to have had our two noses snapped off with two old men without teeth.

D. 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


both. 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?
D. Pedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side ?

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.

D. Pedro. As I am an honest man, he looks pale: - Art thou sick, or angry?

Claud. What! courage, man! What though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill

Bene. Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career, an you charge it against me: - I pray you, choose another subject.

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. Bene. Shall I speak a word in your

ear? Claud. Heaven bless me from a challenge! Bene. You are a villain ; I 'jest not: I will


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