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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?

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,' said she, 'a 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,' said 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, trans-shape 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.

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D. Pedro. Who 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 even 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 D. Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet, for all brought into the orchard and saw me court that, an if she did not hate him deadly, she Margaret in Hero's garments; how you diswould love him dearly. The old man's daughter graced her, when you should marry her. My told us all. 180 villany they have upon record; which I had Claud. All, all; and moreover, God saw him rather seal with my death than repeat over to when he was hid in the garden. 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. 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 humour: 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 Lackbeard there, he and I shall meet; and till then, peace be with him.


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!

Claud. 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 me be: pluck up, my heart, and be sad! Did he not say my

brother was fled?


Enter DOGBERRY, VERGES, and the Watch, with

Dogb. Come you, sir: if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance. Nay, an 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?


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Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time our sexton hath reformed Signior 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 Signior Leonato, and the sexton too.

Re-enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, and 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

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Leon. Art thou the slave that with thy breath
hast kill'd
Mine innocent child?

Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself:
Here stand a pair of honourable 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;

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By my soul, nor I; And yet, to satisfy this good old man, I would bend under any heavy weight That he'll enjoin me to.


Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live; That were impossible: but, I pray you both, Possess the people in Messina here How innocent she died; and, if your love Can labour aught in sad invention, Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb, And sing it to her bones: sing it to-night. To-morrow morning come you to my house, And since you could not be my son-in-law, Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter, Almost the copy of my child that's dead, And she alone is heir to both of us :

Give her the right you should have given her consin,

And so dies my revenge. Claud.

O noble sir!

Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me.
I do embrace your offer; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.


Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming;

To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

No, by my soul, she was not;
Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to

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Dogb. Moreover, sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembered in his punishment. And also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they say he wears a key in his ear and a lock hanging by it, and borrows money in God's name; the which he hath used so long and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's sake. Pray you, examine him upon that point. 322 Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth, and I praise God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains. Dogb. God save the foundation!

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thank thee.


Dogb. I leave an arrant knave with your worship; which I beseech your worship to correct yourself for the example of others. God keep your worship! I wish your worship well: God restore you to health! I humbly give you leave to depart, and if a merry meeting may be wished, God prohibit it! Come, neighbour.

Exeunt DOGBERRY and VERGES. Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.

Ant. Farewell, my lords: we look for you to


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Enter BENEDICK and MARGARET, meeting.

Bene. Pray thee, sweet Mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

Marg. Will you then write me a sonnet in praise of my beauty?

Bene. In so high a style, Margaret, that no man living shall come over it; for, in most comely truth, thou deservest it.

Marg. To have no man come over me! why, shall I always keep below stairs?


Bene. Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's mouth; it catches.

Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils, which hit, but hurt not.

Bene. A most manly wit, Margaret; it will not hurt a woman: and so, I pray thee, call Beatrice. I give thee the bucklers.

Marg. Give us the swords, we have bucklers of our own.

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.

Bene. And therefore will come.

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I mean in singing; but in loving, Leander the good swimmer, Troilus the first employer of pandars, and a whole bookful of these quondam carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in the even road of a blank verse, why, they were never so truly turned over and over as my poor self in love. Marry, I cannot show it in rime; I have tried: I can find out no rime to 'lady' but baby,' an innocent rime; for 'scorn,' 'horn,' a hard rime; for school,' 'fool,' a babbling rime; very ominous endings. No, I was not born under a riming planet, nor I cannot woo in festival terms,

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Beat. For them all together; which maintained so politic 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 first suffer love for me?

Bene. Suffer love! a good epithet. I do suffer love, indeed, for I love thee against my will.

Bea'. In spite of your heart, I think. Alas! poor heart. If you spite it for my sake, I will spite it for yours; for I will never love that which my friend hates.


Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably. Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty that will praise himself.

Bene. An old, an old instance, Beatrice, that lived in the time of good neighbours. If a man do not erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he shall live no longer in monument than the bell rings and the widow weeps.


Beat. And how long is that, think you? Bene. Question: why, an hour in clamour and a quarter in rheum: therefore is it most expedient for the wise, if Don Worm, his conscience, find no impediment to the contrary, to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself. So much for praising myself, who, I myself will bear witness, is praiseworthy. And now tell me, how doth your cousin?

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.

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Reads from a scroll.

Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies:

Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
Gives her fame which never dies.
So the life that died with shame
Lives in death with glorious fame.

Hang thou there upon the tomb,

Praising her when I am dumb.




Pardon, goddess of the night, Those that slew thy virgin knight; For the which, with songs of woe Round about her tomb they go. Midnight, assist our moan; Help us to sigh and groan, Heavily, heavily:

Graves, yawn and yield your dead, Till death be uttered,

Heavily, heavily.

Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night!

Yearly will I do this rite.


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SCENE IV. A Room in LEONATO'S House.


Fri. Did I not tell you she was innocent? Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her

Upon the error that you heard debated:
But Margaret was in some 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 sort so well. Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

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Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves, And when I send for you, come hither mask'd: The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour To visit me. Exeunt Ladies, You know your office, brother: You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio.

Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd counte


Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think, Fri. To do what, signior?

Bene. To bind me, or undo me; one of them.


Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.
Leon. That eye my daughter lent her: 'tis
most true.

Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her. Leon. The sight whereof I think you had from me,

From Claudio, and the prince. But what's your


Bene, Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:

Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn. But, for my will, my will is your good will

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That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?


Claud. I think he thinks upon the savage bull.
Tush! fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold,
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee,
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,

When he would play the noble beast in love.
Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's


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Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked. Claud. For this I owe you: here come other reckonings.

Which is the lady I must seize upon?

Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her. Claud. Why, then she's mine. Sweet, let me see your face.

Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand

Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
Claud. Give me your hand: before this holy

I am your husband, if you like of me.
Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife:
Unmasking. 60
And when you lov'd, you were my other husband.
Claud. Another Hero!

Nothing certainer :
One Hero died defil'd, but I do live,
And, surely as I live, I am a maid.

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead! Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her slander liv'd.

Beat. They swore that you were well nigh dead for me.

Bene. "Tis no such matter. love me?

Then you do not

Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

Claud. And I'll be sworn upon 't that he loves her; For here's a paper written in his hand, A halting sonnet of his own pure brain, Fashion'd to Beatrice.


Hero. And here's another Containing her affection unto Benedick. Writ in my cousin's hand, stol'n from her pocket,

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts. Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.

Beat. I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.

Bene. Peace! I will stop your mouth.


Kisses her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick, the married man?

Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, a' shall wear nothing handsome about him. In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it, for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but, in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.


Claud. I had well hoped thou would'st have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a doubledealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends. Let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts and our wives' heels.


Leon. We'll have dancing afterward. Bene. First, of my word; therefore play, music! Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife there is no staff more reverend 70 than one tipped with horn.

Fri. All this amazement can I qualify: When after that the holy rites are ended, I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death: Meantime, let wonder seem familiar, And to the chapel let us presently. Bene. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice? Beat. I answer to that name. Unmasking.

What is your will?

Bene. Do not you love me?
Beat. Why, no; no more than reason.
Bene. Why then, your uncle and the prince
and Claudio

Have been deceiv'd; they swore you did.

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SCENE I.-The King of Navarre's Park.



To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die; a
With all these living in philosophy.

Berowne. I can but say their protestation over;
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, to live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances;

King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their As, not to see a woman in that term,

Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen

And make us heirs of all eternity.


Therefore, brave conquerors, for so you are,
That war against your own affections
And the huge army of the world's desires,
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force :
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me,
My fellow scholars, and to keep those statutes
That are recorded in this schedule here:
Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your



That his own hand may strike his honour down
That violates the smallest branch herein.
If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do,
Subscribe to your deep oaths, and keep it too.
Long. I am resolv'd; 'tis but a three years'

The mind shall banquet, though the body pine:
Fat paunches have lean pates, and dainty bits
Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
Dum. My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified:
The grosser manner of these world's delights
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:

Which I hope well is not enrolled there :
And one day in a week to touch no food,
And but one meal on every day beside;
The which I hope is not enrolled there:
And then, to sleep but three hours in the night
And not be seen to wink of all the day,
When I was wont to think no harm all night
And make a dark night too of half the day,
Which I hope well is not enrolled there.

O! these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.

King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from

Berowne. Let me say no, my liege, an if you

I only swore to study with your grace,
And stay here in your court for three years' space.
Long. You swore to that, Berowne, and to the


Berowne. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest.
What is the end of study? let me know.
King. Why, that to know which else we should
not know.

Beroune. Things hid and barr'd, you mean,
from common sense?

King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense.
Berowne. Come on then; I will swear to study


To know the thing I am forbid to know;
As thus: to study where I well may dine,
When I to feast expressly am forbid;
Or study where to meet some mistress fine,
When mistresses from common sense are hid;

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