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belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things : and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
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.
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 your offence?
Bor. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes :
wisdoms 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 villany 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.
Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your blood ?
Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he uttered it.
Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery :And fled he is upon this villany.
Claud. Sweet Hero ! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I lov'd it 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,
Verges. Here comes Master Signior Leonato, and the sexton too.
Enter LEONATO, Servants, and the Sexton. Leon. Which is the villain? Let me see his eyes ; That, when I note another man like him, I may avoid him: Which of these is he?
Bor. If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou the slave, that, with thy breath,
hast kill'd Mine innocent child ?
Bur. Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain ; thou beliest thyself:
Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live,
Claud. O, noble sir,
Your over kindness doth wring tears from me!
[Exeunt Pedro and CLAUDIO. This naughty man Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this
wrong. Bor. No, by my soul, she was not; Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me; But always hath been just and virtuous, In any
thing that I do know by her. Dogb. Moreover, sir, which indeed, is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in bis punishment.
Leon. I thank thee, for thy care and honest pains.
Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth ; and I praise Heaven for you!
Leon. There's for thy pains.
Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.
Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your worship; which, I beseech your worship to correct yourself, for the example of others. Heaven keep your worshipI wish your worship well-Heaven restore you to health! I humbly give you leave to depart; and, if a merry meeting may be wished, Heaven prohibit it! -Come, neighbour.
[Exeunt DÓG BERRY, Verges, the Sexton,
SFACOAL, OATCAK E, and the Watcu.
A Hall, in LEONATO's House.
Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET.
Bened. 'Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.
Marg. Will you then, write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?
Bened. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it!
Marg. To have no man come over me? why, shall I always keep below stairs ?
Bened. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth, it catches.
Marg. And yours, as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bened. A most manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman: and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice.
Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you. [Exit.
Bened. [Sings.] The god of love,
That sits above,
How pitiful I deserve,
I mean in singing ; but in loving - Leander, the good swimmer, Troilus, the first employer of panders, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned over and over, as my poor self, in love: Marry, I cannot show it in rhyme; I have tried; I can find out no rhyme to lady but baby, an innocent rhyme; for school, fool, a babbling rhyme; for scorn, horn, a hard rhyme ; very ominous endings !—No, I was not born under a rhyming planet, for I cannot woo in festival terms.
Enter BeATRICE. Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called thee?
Beatr. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me, Bened. O, stay but till then!
Beatr. Then, is spoken; fare you well now :- -and yet, ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath past between you and Claudio.
Bened. Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly hear from him, or I will subscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell which of my bad parts didst thou first fall in love with me?
Beatr. For them all together; which maintained so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me.
Bened. Suffer love; a good epithet! I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Beatr. In spite of your heart, I think; alas! poor heart! If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that, which my friend hates.
Bened. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.
Beatr. It appears not in this confession; there's not one wise man among twenty, that will praise himself.
Bened. An old, an old instance-And now tell me, how doth your cousin ?