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To burn the errors that these princes hold
Friar, it cannot be:
Friar. Lady, what man is he you are accus'd of?
Hero. They know, that do accuse me; I know If I know more of any man alive, Than that which maiden modesty doth warrant, Let all
sins lack Prove
that any man with me convers’d At hours unmeet, or that I yesternight Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death. Friar. There is some strange misprision 3 in the
princes. Bene. Two of them have the very bent of
Leon. I know not ; If they speak but truth of her, These hands shall tear her; if they wrong her
mercy! - 0
The proudest of them shall well hear of it.
Pause a while,
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 falls out, That what we have we prize not to the worth, Whiles 4 we enjoy it; but being lack'd and lost, Why, then we rack 5 the value; then we find The virtue that possession would not show us Whiles it was ours:
So will it fare with Claudio:
5 Over rate.
When he shall hear she died upon his words,
Bene. Signior Leonato, let the friar advise you: And though you
inwardness 7 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 Come, lady, die to live: this wedding day,
Perhaps, is but prolong'd; have patience, and
[Exeunt Friar, Hero, and Leonato. Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this
while ? Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. Bene. I will not desire that. 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 deserye 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 your's.
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 confess nothing, nor I deny nothing :- I 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.
I lie not;
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. I am gone, though I am here; — There is no love in you:- Nay, I pray you, let me go.
Beat. You dare easier be friends with me, than fight with mine enemy: Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy?
Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? -0, that I were a man! - What! bear her in hands until they come to take hands; and then with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour,
O God that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place.
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.
Beat. Princes, and counties 9! Surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count-confect 1; a sweet gallant, surely ! O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had
any friend would be a man for my sake!
8 Delude with her hopes.