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Claud.

Who wrongs him ? Leon. Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou dissemblor,

thou.
Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword;
[ 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 me.
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 wronged mine innocent child and me,
That I. am forced to lay my reverence by ;
And, with gray hairs, and bruise of many days,
To challenge thee to trial of a man.
I
say,

thou hast belied mine innocent child : Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart, And she lies buried with her ancestors. 0! in a tomb where never scandal slept, Save this of hers, framed by thy villany.

Claud. My villany!
Leon.

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 lustihood.

Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you.
Leon. Canst thou so daff me? Thou hast killed 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:
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 loved my niece; And she is dead, slandered 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! Leon.

Brother Antony,-

Ant. Hold you content. What, man! I know them, yea,
And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple :
Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mongring boys,
That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave and slander,
Go anticly, 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, -
Ant.

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 honor, she was charged with nothing,
But what was true, and very full of proof.

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

I will not hear you.
Leon.

No? Come, brother, away ;-I will be heard :Ant.

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

[Exeunt LEONATO and ANTONIO.

Enter BENEDICK. D. Pedro. See, see; here comes the man we went to seek. Claud. Now, seignior ! what news? Bene. Good day, my lord.

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

C'laud. 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 valor. I came to seek

you

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?

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

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. God bless me from a challenge!

Bene. You are a villain. I jest not; I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. --Do me right, or I will protest your cowardice. You have killed a sweet lady, and her death shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.

Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have good cheer. D. Pedro. What, a feast? A feast?

Claud. I'faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calf's head and a capon; the which if I do not carve most curiously, say, my knife's naught. — Shall I not find a woodcock too?

a Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

D. Pedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy wit the other day. I said thou hadst a fine wit. True, says she, å fine little one ; No, said I, a great wit ; Right, says she, a great gross one; Nay, said I, a good wit; Just, said she, it hurts nobody ; Nay, said I, the gentleman is wise ; Certain, says she, a wise gentleman; Nay, said I, he hath the tongues ; That I believe, said she, for he swore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forswore on Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue; there's two tongues. Thus did she, an hour together, transshape thy particular virtues ; yet, at last, she concluded, with a sigh, thou wast the properest man in Italy.

Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said, she cared not.

D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet, for all that, and if she did not hate him deadly, she would love him dearly. The old man's daughter told us all.

Claud All, all; and moreover, God saw him when he was hid in the garden.

D. Pedro. But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head ?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the married man?

Bene. Fare you well, boy; you know my mind; I will leave you now to your gossip-like humor; you break jests as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thanked, hurt not. — My lord, for your many courtesies I thank you; I must discontinue your company. Your brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina; you have, among you, killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my lord Lack-beard, there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him.

[Exit BENEDICK. D. Pedro. He is in earnest.

Claud. In most profound earnest; and I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?
Claud. Most sincerely.

D. Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit !

C'laud. He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor to such a man.

D. Pedro. But, soft you, let be; pluck up, my heart, and be sad! Did he not say, my brother was fled ? . Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with CONRADE

and BORACHIO. Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance. Nay, and you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be looked to.

D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound ! Borachio, one!

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord !
D. Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done?

Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths ; secondarily, they are slanderers; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.

D. 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; and,

; by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.

D. 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 ?

Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine answer; do you hear me,

and let this count kill me. I have deceived aven your very eyes.

What your 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 garment; 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. D. Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your

blood ? Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he uttered it. D. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this? Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

D. Pedro. He is composed and framed of treachery; -And fled he is upon this villany.

Claud. Sweet Hero! Now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I loved it first.

Dogb. Come, bring away. the plaintiffs. By this time our sexton hath reformed seignior Leonato of the matter. And, masters, do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master seignior Leonato, and the sexton too.

Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with 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?

Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on me. Leon. Art thou the slave, that with. thy breath hast

killed
Mine innocent child ?
Bora.

Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain ; thou bely'st thyself.
Here stand a pair of honorable men,
A third is fled that had a hand in it.
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death.
Record it with your high and worthy deeds ;
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

.
Claud. I know not how to pray your patience;
Yet I must speak. Choose your revenge yourself ;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin.

Yet sinned I not,
But in mistaking.

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