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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 ber 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 havoc of my means,

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.

Friar. Pause awhile,
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
That appertain unto a burial.

Leon. What shall become of this ? What will this do ?
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 fails 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 the value ;' then we 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 swectly 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 be mour,
[5] 1. e. se exigate the value. Tüc allusion is to rack-rents.


(If ever love had interest in his liver,)
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 leveli'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:
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 flow in grief,
The smallest twine may lead me.'
Friar. 'Tis well consented; presently away ;

For to strange sores strangely they strain the cure.-
Come, lady, die to live : this wedding-day,
Perhaps, is but prolong'd; have patience, and endure.

[Exe. Friar, Hero, and LEONATO. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while ?s Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. Bene. I will not desire that.

[6] The liver, in conformity to ancient supposition, is frequently mentioned by Bhakespeare as the seat of love. Thus Pistol represents Falstaff as loving Mrs. For-*. with liver burning hot." STEEVENS.

[7] This is one of our author's observations upon life. Men overpowered with distress, eagerly listen to the first offers of relief, close with every scheme, and believe every promise. He that has no longer any confidence in himself, is glad to repose his trust in any other that will undertake to guide him.

JOHNSON (8] The poet, in my opinion, has shown a great deal of address in this scene. Beatrice here engages her lover to revenge the injury done her cousin Hero: and without this very natural incident, considering the character of Beatrice, and that the story of her passion for Benedick was all a fable, she could never have been easily or naturally brought to consess she loved bim, notwithstanding all the foregoing preparation. And yet, on this confession, in this very place, depended the whole success of the plot upon her and Benedick. For had she not owned her love here, they must have soon found out the trick, and then the design of bringing them together had been defeated ; and she would never have owned a passion she had been only tricked into, tad not her desire of revenging her cousin's wrong made her drop her capricious humour at once. WARBURTON.

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 show such friendship?
Beat. A very even way, but no such friend,
Bene. 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 lie not; i confess nothing, nor 1 deny nothing :-1 am sorry for my cousin.

Bene. By my sword, Beatrice, thou lovest 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 eat it, that says, I love not you.

Beat. Will you not eat your word ?

Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it: I protest, I love thee.

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

Beat. You have staid me in a happy hour; I was about to protest, I loved 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 it: Farewell.
Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beat. I am gone, though 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 be not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman ?-O, that I were a man !- What! bear her in hand until they come to take hands; and then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,-0 God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market


Bene. Hear me, Beatrice ;

Beat. Talk with a man out at a window ?-a proper saying! Bene. Nay but, Beatrice ;

Beat. Sweet Hero !—she is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone.

Bene. Beat

Beat. Princes, and counties ! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-comfect ;' a sweet gallant, surely! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had


friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour into compliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and swears it :-) 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 wronged Hero?

Beat. Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a soul.

Bene. Enough, I ain engaged, I will challenge him; I will kiss your hand, and so 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 say, she is dead; and so, farewell.


A Prison. Enter DogBERRY, VERGES, and Sexton, in gowns ;

and the Watch, with CONRADE and BORACHIO.
Dogb. Is our whole dissembly appeared ?
Verg. 0, a stool and a cushion for the sexton!
Sexton. Which be the malefactors ?
Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner.

(9) i. e. deluded her by fair promises.

STEEVENS. (11 1. e. a specious nobleman made out of sugar. STEEVENS.


Verg. Nay, that's certain ; we have the exhibition to examine.

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined ? let them come before master constable.

Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me. What is your name, friend?

Bora, Borachio.
Dogb. Pray write down, Borachio.--Yours, sirrah ?
Conr. I am a gentleman, sir, and my name is Conrade.

Dogb. Write down, master gentleman Conrade.—Masters, do you serve God ?

Bora. Conr. Yea, sir, we hope.

Dogb. Write down, that they hope they serve God :and write God first ; for God defend but God should go before such villains !—Masters, it is proved already, that you are little better than false knaves ; and it will go near to be thought so shortly. How answer you for yourselves?

Conr. Marry, sir, we say we are none. Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you ; but I will go about with him.-Come you hither, sirrah ; a word in your ear,

I say to you, it is thought you are false knaves.

Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.

Dogb. Well, stand aside.-'Fore God, they are both in a tale : Have you writ down, that they are none ?

Sexton. Master constable, you go not the way to examine; you must call forth the watch that are their accusers.

Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the eftest way :-Let the watch come forth.-Masters, I charge you in the prince's name, accuse these men.

1 Watch, This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain.

Dogb. Write down, prince John a villain :--Why this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother, villain.

Bora. Master constable,

Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace ; I do not like thy look,
I promise thee.
Sexton. What heard


else ? 2 Watch. Marry, that he had received a thousand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.

(2) Blunder for examination to exhibit. See p. 49 : - Take their examinalion yourseli, and bring it me."

) D flly, i e. the readest, most commodious way. Shakespeare, I suppose, designed Dogberry to corrupt this word as well as many others. STEEVENS. G

Vol. 111


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