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do! what men daily do! not knowing what they do!

Bene. How now! Interjections? Why, then some be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he! Claud. Stand thee by, friar :- Father, by your

leave! Will you with free and unconstrained soul Give me this maid, your daughter?

Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me. Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose

worth May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?

D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again. Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thank

fulness.There, Leonato, take her back again; Give not this rotten orange to your friend; She's but the sign and semblance of her honour: Behold, how like a maid she blushes here: O, what authority and show of truth Can cunning sin cover itself withal ! Comes not that blood, as modest evidence, To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear, All you that see her, that she were a maid, By these exterior shows ? — But she is none: She knows the heat of a luxurious 5 bed: Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty. Leon. What do you mean, my

lord? Claud.

Not to be married, Not knit my soul to an approved wanton.

Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth. And made defeat of her virginity,


5 Lascivious.

Claud. I know what you would say; If I have

known her, You'll

say, she did embrace me as a husband,
And so extenuate the 'forehand sin:
No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large;6
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?
Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write against

You seem'd to me as Dian in her orb;
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown;
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals
That rage in savage sensuality.
Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so

wide ?7
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you?
D. Pedro.

What should I speak ?
I stand dishonour'd, that have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale.
Leon. Are these things spoken? or do I but

D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things

are true.
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.

True, O God!
Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother?
Is this face Hero's? Are our eyes our own?

Leon. All this is so; But what of this, my lord ?
Claud. Let me but move one question to your


6 Licentious.

7 Remote from the business in hand.

And by that fatherly and kindly power

you have in her, bid her answer truly. Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.

Hero. O God defend me! how am I beset ! What kind of catechizing call you

this? Claud. To make you answer truly to your name.

Hero. Is it not Hero ? Who can blot that name With any just reproach? Claud.

Marry, that can Hero; Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue. What man was he talk'd with you yesternight Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one? Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.
D. Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.-

I am sorry you must hear; Upon mine honour,
Myself, my brother, and this grieved count,
Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night,
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window;
Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal 8 villainy
Confess'd the vile encounters they have had
A thousand times in secret.
D. John.

Fye, fye! they are
Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them: Thus, pretty lady,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been, If half thy outward graces had been placed About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart ! But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell, Thou pure impiety, and impious purity! For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love,

8 Too free of tongue.


you down?

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And on my eye-lids shall conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
And never shall it more be gracious 9.
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for

[HERO swoons. Beat. Why, how now, cousin ? wherefore sink D. John. Come, let us go: these things, come

thus to light, Smother her spirits up.

(Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don John, and Claudro. Bene. How doth the lady?

Beat. Dead, I think ; – help, uncle; Hero ! why, Hero !-Uncle!--Signior Benedick!

friar ! Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand ! Death is the fairest cover for her shame, That may be wish'd for. Beat.

How now, cousin Hero ? Friar. Have comfort, lady. Leon.

Dost thou look up ?
Friar. Yea; Wherefore should she not?
Leon. Wherefore? Why doth not every earthly

Cry shame upon her? Could she here deny
The story that is printed in her blood ?
Do not live, Hero; do not ope


eyes : For did I think thou would'st not quickly die, Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches, Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ? Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame + ? O, one too much by thee! Why had I one? Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes ?

9 Attractive.

1 Disposition of things.


Why had I not, with charitable hand,
'Took up a beggar's issue at my gates :
Who smirched 2 thus, and mired with infamy,
I might have said, No part of it is mine,
This shame derives itself from unknown loins ?
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd,
And mine that I was proud on; mine so much,
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her; why, she - 0, she is fallen
Into a pit of ink! that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again;
And salt too little, which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!

Sir, sir, be patient:
For my part, I am so attir'd in wonder,
I know not what to say.

Beat O, on my soul, my cousin is belied !
Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow last night?

Beat. No truly, not: although, until last night,
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow.
Leon. Confirm’d, confirm’d! O that is stronger

Which was before barr'd with ribs of iron !
Would the two princes lie? and Claudio lie?
Who lov'd her so, that speaking of her foulness,
Wash'd it with tears ? Hence from her; let her die.

Friar. Hear me a little ;
For I have only been silent so long,
And given way unto this course of fortune,
By noting of the lady: I have mark'd
A thousand blushing apparitions start
Into her face; a thousand innocent shames
In angel whiteness bear away those blushes ;
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire,


2 Sullied,

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