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John. How! Constantia !
Fran. Yes, sir, the woman's name is Constantia, that's flat.
John. Is it so, sir? and so is this too. [Strikes him. Fran. Oh ! oh !
[Runs out. John. Now, sirrah, you may safely say you have not borne false witness for nothing.
Fred. Fie, Don John, why do you beat the poor fellow for doing liis duty, and telling truth?
John. Telling truth! thou talk'st as if thou hadst been hired to bear false witness too: you are a very fine gentleman !
Fred. What a strange confidence he has ! but is there no shame in thee i nor no consideration of what is just or honest, to keep a woman thus against her will, that thou knowest is in love with another man too? Dost think a judgment will not follow this?
John. Good, dear Frederick, do thou keep thy sentences and thy sentiments, which are now out of fashion, for some better opportunity; this here is not a fit subject for them: I tell thee, she is no more Constantia than thou art,
Fred. Why won't you let me see her then?
John. Because I can't: besides, she's not for thy taste.
Fred. How so? John. Why, thy genius lies another way; thou art all for flames and darts, and those fine things ! now I am for pure, plain, simple love, without any embroidery; I am not so curious, Frederick, as thou art.
Fred. Very well, sir; but is there no shame? but is this worthy in you to delude
John. But is there no shame! but is this worthy ! What a many buts are here! If I should tell thee now solemnly thou hast but one eye, and give thee reasons for it, wouldst thou believe me?
Fred. I'think hardly, sir, against my own knowledge.
John. Then why dost thou, with that grave face, go about to persuade me against mine? You should do as you would be done by, Frederick.
Fred. And so I will, sir, in this very particular, since there's no other remedy; I shall do that for the duke and Petruchio, which I should expect from them upon the like occasion : in short, to let you see I am as sensible of my honour, as you can be careless of yours, I must tell you, sir, that I'm resolved to wait upon this lady to them.
John. Are you so, sir? Why, I must then, sweet sir, tell you again, I am resolved you shan't. Ne'er stare nor wonder! I have promised to preserve her from the sight of any one whatsoever, and with the hazard of my life will make it good : but that you may not think I mean an injury to Petruchio, or the duke, know, Don Frederick, that though I love a pretty girl perhaps a little better, I hate to do a thing that's base, as much as you do.
Once more, upon my honour, this is not Constantia ; let that sa
Fred. All that will not do. [Goes to the Door.
John. No! why, then this shall. [Draws.] Come not one step nearer, for if thou dost, by Heaven, I'm through you!
Fred. This is an insolence beyond the temper of a man to suffer.—Thus, I throw off thy friendship; and since thy folly has provoked my patience beyond its natural bounds, know it is not in thy power now to save thyself.
John. That's to be tried, sir, though by your favour, [Looks up at the Balcony.] Mistress What d'ye-call-em pr’ythee look out now a little, and see how I'll fight for thee.
Fred. Come, sir, are you ready?
Enter Duke and PETRUCHIO.
Petr. What's here, fighting? Let's part them.How! Don Frederick against Don John? How came you' to fall out, gentlemen ? What's the cause?
Fred. Why, sir, it is your quarrel, and not mine, that drew this on me: I saw him lock Constantia up into that house, and I desired to wait upon her to you;
that's the cause. Duke. Oh, it may be, he designed to lay the obligation upon us himself-Sir, we are beholden to you for this favour beyond all possibility of
[Approaching Jonn. John. Pray, your grace, keep back, and don't throw away your thanks, before you know whether I have deserved them or no. Oh, is that your design? Sir, you must not go in there.
[Petruchio is going to the Door.
John. If she were your mother,, sir, you should not, though it were but to ask her blessing.
Petr. Since you are so positive, I'll try.
Duke. Nay, pray gentlemen, hold, let me compose this matter. Why do you make a scruple of letting us see Constantia ?
John. Why, sir, 'twould tu a man's head round to hear these fellows talk so: there is not one word true of all that he has said.
Duke. Then you do not know where Constantia is?
Fred. O monstrous impudence! Upon my life, sir, I saw him force her up into that house, lock her up, and the key is now in his pocket.
John. Now that is two lies; for, first, he did not see her; and next, all force is unnecessary, she is sơ very willing.
Duke. But lookye, sir, this doubt may easily be cleared ; let either Petruchio or me but see her, and if she be not Constantia, we engage our honours (though we should know her) never to discover who she is. John. Ay, but there's the point now,
that I can ne ver consent to.
word to the contrary. Petr. Pish! I won't be kept off thus any longer; Sir, either let me enter, or I'll force my way.
Fred. No, pray, sir, let that be my office: I will be revenged on him, for having betrayed me to his friendship. [PETRUCHIO and FREDERICK offer to fight with
John. Duke. Nay, you shall not offer him foul play, neither. Hold, brother, pray a word; and with you
John. Harkye, gentlemen, I'll make ye a fair proposition ; leave off this ceremony among yourselves, and those dismal threats against me; fillip up, cross or pile, who shall begin first, and I'll do the best I can to entertain you all one after another.
Ant. Now do my fingers itch to be about somebody's cars, for the loss of my gold. Ha ! what's here to do, swords drawn! I'must make one, though it cost me the singing of ten John Dories more. Courage, brave boy! I'll stand by you as long as this tool here lasts : and it was once a good one.
Petr. Who's this? Antonio ! O, sir, you are welcome! you shall be even judge between us.
Ant. No, no, no, not I, sir, I thank you ; I'll make work for others to judge of, I'm resolved to fight.
Petr. But we won't fight with you.
Ant. Then put up your swords, or by this hand I'll lay about me!
[They put up their Swords. John. Well said, old Bilboa, i'faith!
Petr. Pray hear us, though: this gentleman saw him lock up my sister into this house, and he refuses to let us see her.
Ant. How, friend, is this true? [Going to him.
John. Not so hasty, I beseech you-Lookye, gentlemen, to show you that all are mistaken, and that my formal friend there, is an ass Fred. I thank
you, John. I'll give you my consent, that this gentleman here shall see her, if his information can satisfy you. Duke. Yes, yes, he knows her very
well. John. Then, sir, go in here, if you please: I dare trust him with her, for he is too old to do any mischief.
[ANTONIO goes in. Fred. I wonder how my gentleman will get off from all this.
John. I shall be even with you, Don Frederick, another time, for all your grinning. [Noise within.] How now! what noise is that?
Peter. The gentleman !
Peter. Why, sir, he's run after the gentlewoman you brought in.
John. 'Sdeath : how durst you let her out?