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SCENE changes to Leonato's House.
Enter Benedick, and Margaret.
RAY thee, fweet Mistress Margaret, deserve
fpeech of Beatrice.
Marg. Will you then write me a fonnet in praise of my beauty?
Bene. In fo high a style, Margaret, that no man living fhall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deferveft it.
(20) Marg. To have no Man come over me? why, fhall I always keep above stairs?
Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth,
Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.
Bene. A moft manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt a woman; and fo, I pray thee, call Beatrice; I give thee the bucklers.
Marg. Give us the fwords; we have bucklers of our
Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put in the pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for maids.
Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think, hath legs. [Exit Margaret. Bene. And therefore will come. [Sings.] The God of love, that fits above, and knows me, and knows me, bow pitiful I deferve, I mean, in finging; but
(20) To have no Man come over me? why, shall I always keep below Stairs?] Thus all the printed Copies, but, fure, eironeously for all the Jeft, that can lie in the Paffage, is deftroy'd by it. Any Man might come over her, literally speaking, if the always kept below Stairs. By the Correction I have ventur'd to make, Margaret, as I prefume, muft mean, What! fhall I always keep above Stairs? i. e. Shall I for ever continue a Chambermaid?
in loving, Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole book full of these quondam carpet-mongers, whofe names yet run fmoothly in the even road of a blank verfe; why, they were never fo truly turn'd over and over, as my poor felf, in love; marry, I cannot fhew it in rhime; I have try'd; I can find out no rhime to lady but baby, an innocent's rhime; for fcorn, born, a hard rhime; for school, fool, a babling rhime; very ominous endings; no, I was not born under a rhiming planet, for I cannot woo in festival terms.
Sweet Beatrice, would't thou come when I call thee? Beat. Yea, Signior, and depart when you bid me. Bene. O, ftay but 'till then.
Beat. Then, is fpoken; fare you well now; and yet ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which is, with knowing what hath paft between you and Claudio.
Bene. Only foul words, and thereupon I will kifs thee.
Beat. Foul words are but foul wind, and foul wind is but foul breath, and foul breath is noifome; therefore I will depart unkift.
Bene. Thou haft frighted the word out of its right fenfe, fo forcible is thy wit; but, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must fhortly hear from him, or I will fubfcribe him a coward; and, I pray thee, now tell me, for which of my bad parts didit thou firft fall in love with me?
Beat. For them all together; which maintain'd so politick 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 firft fuffer love for me?
Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet; I do fuffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.
Beat. In fpight of your heart, I think; alas! poor heart, if you fpight it for my fake, I will fpight it for yours; for I will never love that, which my friend hates.
Bene. Thou and I are too wife to woo peaceably. Beat. It appears not in this confeffion; there's not one wife man among twenty that will praise himself.
Bene. An old, an old inftance, Beatrice, that liv'd in the time of good neighbours; if a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he fhall live no longer in monuments, than the bells ring, and the widow weeps.
Beat. And how long is that, think you?
Bene. Question?-why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rhewm; therefore it is moft expedient for the wife, if Don worm (his confcience) find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to my felf; fo much for praifing my felf; who, I my felf will bear witnefs, is praife-worthy; and now tell me, how doth your Coufin?
Beat. Very ill.
Bene. And how do you?
Beat. Very ill too.
Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend; there will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.
Urfu. Madam, you must come to your uncle; yonder's old coil at home; it is proved, my lady Hero hath been falfely accus'd; the Prince and Claudio mightily abus'd; and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and gone: will you come presently?
Beat. Will you go hear this news, Signior? Bene. I will live in thy eyes, die in thy lap, and te bury'd in thy heart; and moreover I will go with thee to thy uncle. [Exeunt,
SCENE changes to a CHURCH.
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, and Attendants with tapers.
S this the monument of Leonato?
Claud. Now mufick found, and fing your folemn hymn.
Pardon, Goddess of the night,
Graves, yawn and yield your dead,
Claud. Now unto thy bones good night! Yearly will I do this Right.
Pedro. Good morrow, mafters, put your torches out; The wolves have prey'd; and, look, the gentle day, Before the wheels of Phœbus, round about
Dapples the drowfie east with spots of grey : Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well.
Claud. Good morrow, masters; each his several
Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds; And then to Leonato's we will go.
Claud. And Hymen now with luckier iffue speed's, (21) Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe! [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to Leonato's Houfe.
Enter Leonato, Benedick, Margaret, Urfula, Antonio, Friar, and Hero.
ID I not tell you, fhe was innocent? Leon. So are the Prince and Claudio, who accus'd her, Upon the error that you heard debated. But Margaret was in fome fault for this; Although against her will, as it appears, In the true course of all the question.
Ant. Well; I am glad, that all things fort fo well. Bene. And fo am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
Leon. Well, Daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them:
(21) And Hymen now with luckier Issue speeds,
Than this, for whom we render'd up this Woe.] Claudio could not know, without being a Prophet, that this new-propos'd Match fhould have any luckier Event than That defign'd with Hero. Certainly, therefore, this fhould be a Wim in Claudio; and, to this End, the Poet might have wrote, Speed's ; i. e. Speed us; and so it becomes a Prayer to Hymen.