« PreviousContinue »
Bene. You are a villain; I jeft not. I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare. Do me right, or I will proteft your cowardife. You have kill'd a fweet lady, and her death fhall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.
Claud. Well, I will meet you, fo I may have good
Pedro. What, a feast?
Claud. I' faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calves-head and a capon, the which if I do not carve must curiously, fay, my knife's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too?
Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes eafily.
Pedro. I'll tell thee, how Beatrice prais'd thy wit the other day I faid, thou hadft a fine wit; right, fays fhe, a fine little one; no, faid I, a great wit; just, faid fhe, a great grofs one; nay, faid I, a good wit; juft, faid fhe, it hurts no body; nay, faid I, the gentleman is wife; certain, faid fhe, a wife gentleman; nay, faid I, he hath the tongues; that I believe, faid fhe, for he fwore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forfwore on Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue, there's two tongues. Thus did fhe an hour together tranf-fhape thy particular virtues; yet, at laft, fhe concluded with a figh, thou waft the propereft man in Italy.
Claud. For the which fhe wept heartily, and faid, fhe car'd not.
Pedro. Yea, that fhe did; but yet for all that, and if the did not hate him deadly, fhe would love him dearly; the old man's daughter told us all.
Claud. All, all; and moreover, God faw him when he was hid in the garden.
Pedro. But when fhall we fet the falvage bull's horns on the fenfible 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 goffip-like humour; you break jefts as braggarts do their blades, which, God be
thank'd, hurt not. My lord, for your many courtefies I thank you; I muft difcontinue 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 fhall meet; and 'till then, peace be with him ! [Exit Benedick.
Pedro. He is in earnest.
Claud. In most profound earnest, and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.
Pedro. And hath challeng'd thee?
Claud. Moft fincerely.
Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hofe, and leaves off his wit!
Enter Dogberry, Verges, Conrade and Borachio
Claud. He is then a giant to an ape; but then is an ape a doctor to fuch a man.
Pedro. But, foft you, let me fee, pluck up my heart and be fad; did he not fay, my brother was fled?
Dogb. Come, you, Sir; if juftice cannot tame you, fhe shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance; nay, an you be a curfing hypocrite once, you must be look'd to.
Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound? Borachio, one?
Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord.
Pedro. Officers, what offence have these men done? Dogb. Marry, Sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; fecondarily, they are flanders; fixth and laftly, they have bely'd a lady; thirdly, they have verify'd unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; fixth and laftly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge?
Claud. Rightly reafon'd, and in his own divifion; and, by my troth, there's one meaning well fuited. Pedro. Whom have you offended, mafters, that you VOL. II. Ꭰ
are thus bound to your answer? This learned confiable is too cunning to be understood. What's your offence?
Bora. Sweet Prince, let me go no further to mine anfwer: do you hear me, and let this Count kill me: I have deceiv'd even your very eyes; what your wifdoms could not discover, thefe fhallow fools have brought to light, who in the night overheard me confeffing to this man, how Don John your brother incens'd me to flander the lady Hero; how you were brought into the orchard, and faw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you difgrac'd her, when you fhould marry her; my villany they have upon record, which I had rather feal with my death, than repeat over to my fhame; the lady is dead upon mine and my mafter's falfe accufation; and briefly, I defire nothing but the reward of a villain.
Pedro. Runs not this fpeech like iron through your blood?
Claud. I have drunk poifon, while he utter'd it. Pedro. But did my brother fet thee on to this? Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery; And fled he is upon this villany.
Claud. Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare femblance that I lov'd it firft.
Dogb. Come, bring away the plaintiffs; by this time, our Sexton hath reform'd Signior Leonato of the matter; and mafters, do not forget to specifie, when time and place fhall ferve, that I am an afs.
Verg. Here, here comes mafter Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too.
Enter Leonato, and Sexton.
Leon. Which is the villain? let me fee 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, art thou the flave, that with thy breath
Haft kill'd mine innocent child?
Bora. Yea, even I alone.
Leon. No, not fo, villain; thou bely'ft thy felf; Here ftand a pair of honourable men,
A third is fled, that had a hand in it :
I thank you, Princes, for my daughter's death;
Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Pedro. By my foul, nor I;
And yet, to fatisfie this good old man,
That he'll enjoyn me to.
Leon. You cannot bid my daughter live again,
How innocent the dy'd; and if your love
And the alone is heir to both of us;
Give her the Right you should have given her Coufin,
And fo 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.
Bora. No, by my foul, fhe was not;
Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me.
In any thing that I do know by her.
Dogb. Moreover, Sir, which indeed is not under white and black, this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me afs: I befeech you, let it be remembred in his punishment; and also the watch heard them talk of one Deformed: they fay, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it; and borrows money in God's name, the which he hath us'd fo long, and never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for God's fake. Pray you, examine him upon that point.
Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains. Dogb. Your Worship speaks like a moft thankful and reverend youth; and I praife God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains.
Dogb. God fave the foundation!
Leon. Go, I difcharge thee of thy prifoner; and I thank thee.
Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your Worship, which, I beseech your Worship, to correct your felf, for the example of others. God keep your Worship; I wish your Worship well: God reftore you to health; I humbly give you leave to depart; and if a merry meeting may be wish'd, God prohibit it. Come, neighbour. [Exeunt. Leon. Until to morrow morning, Lords, farewel. Ant. Farewel, my Lords; we look for you to morrow. Pedro. We will not fail.
Claud. To night I'll mourn with Hero.
Leon. Bring you these fellows on, we'll talk with Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.