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Much adoe about Nothing

 Actus primus, Scena prima.
 Enter Leonato Gouernour of Messina, Innogen his wife, Hero his
 and Beatrice his Neece, with a messenger.
   Leonato. I learne in this Letter, that Don Peter of Arragon,
 comes this night to Messina
    Mess. He is very neere by this: he was not
 three Leagues off when I left him
    Leon. How many Gentlemen haue you lost in this
   Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name
    Leon. A victorie is twice it selfe, when the atchieuer
 brings home full numbers: I finde heere, that Don Peter
 hath bestowed much honor on a yong Florentine, called
    Mess. Much deseru'd on his part, and equally remembred
 by Don Pedro, he hath borne himselfe beyond the
 promise of his age, doing in the figure of a Lambe, the
 feats of a Lion, he hath indeede better bettred expectation,
 then you must expect of me to tell you how
    Leo. He hath an Vnckle heere in Messina, wil be very
 much glad of it
    Mess. I haue alreadie deliuered him letters, and there
 appeares much ioy in him, euen so much, that ioy could
 not shew it selfe modest enough, without a badg of bitternesse
    Leo. Did he breake out into teares?
   Mess. In great measure
    Leo. A kinde ouerflow of kindnesse, there are no faces
 truer, then those that are so wash'd, how much better
 is it to weepe at ioy, then to ioy at weeping?
   Bea. I pray you, is Signior Mountanto return'd from
 the warres, or no?
   Mess. I know none of that name, Lady, there was
 none such in the armie of any sort
    Leon. What is he that you aske for Neece?
   Hero. My cousin meanes Signior Benedick of Padua
   Mess. O he's return'd, and as pleasant as euer he was
    Beat. He set vp his bils here in Messina, & challeng'd
 Cupid at the Flight: and my Vnckles foole reading the
 Challenge, subscrib'd for Cupid, and challeng'd him at
 the Burbolt. I pray you, how many hath hee kil'd and
 eaten in these warres? But how many hath he kil'd? for
 indeed, I promis'd to eate all of his killing
    Leon. 'Faith Neece, you taxe Signior Benedicke too
 much, but hee'l be meete with you, I doubt it not
    Mess. He hath done good seruice Lady in these wars
    Beat. You had musty victuall, and he hath holpe to
 ease it: he's a very valiant Trencher-man, hee hath an
 excellent stomacke
    Mess. And a good souldier too Lady
    Beat. And a good souldier to a Lady. But what is he
 to a Lord?
   Mess. A Lord to a Lord, a man to a man, stuft with
 all honourable vertues
    Beat. It is so indeed, he is no lesse then a stuft man:
 but for the stuffing well, we are all mortall
    Leon. You must not (sir) mistake my Neece, there is
 a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick, & her:
 they neuer meet, but there's a skirmish of wit between
    Bea. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict,
 foure of his fiue wits went halting off, and now is
 the whole man gouern'd with one: so that if hee haue
 wit enough to keepe himselfe warme, let him beare it
 for a difference betweene himselfe and his horse: For it
 is all the wealth that he hath left, to be knowne a reasonable
 creature. Who is his companion now? He hath
 euery month a new sworne brother
    Mess. Is't possible?
   Beat. Very easily possible: he weares his faith but as
 the fashion of his hat, it euer changes with y next block
    Mess. I see (Lady) the Gentleman is not in your
    Bea. No, and he were, I would burne my study. But
 I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no young
 squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the
   Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble
    Beat. O Lord, he will hang vpon him like a disease:
 he is sooner caught then the pestilence, and the taker
 runs presently mad. God helpe the noble Claudio, if hee
 haue caught the Benedict, it will cost him a thousand
 pound ere he be cur'd
    Mess. I will hold friends with you Lady
    Bea. Do good friend
    Leo. You'l ne're run mad Neece
    Bea. No, not till a hot Ianuary
    Mess. Don Pedro is approach'd.
 Enter don Pedro, Claudio, Benedicke, Balthasar, and Iohn the
   Pedro. Good Signior Leonato, you are come to meet
 your trouble: the fashion of the world is to auoid cost,
 and you encounter it
    Leon. Neuer came trouble to my house in the likenes
 of your Grace: for trouble being gone, comfort should
 remaine: but when you depart from me, sorrow abides,
 and happinesse takes his leaue
    Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly: I
 thinke this is your daughter
    Leonato. Her mother hath many times told me so
    Bened. Were you in doubt that you askt her?
   Leonato. Signior Benedicke, no, for then were you a
    Pedro. You haue it full Benedicke, we may ghesse by
 this, what you are, being a man, truely the Lady fathers
 her selfe: be happie Lady, for you are like an honorable
    Ben. If Signior Leonato be her father, she would not
 haue his head on her shoulders for al Messina, as like him
 as she is
    Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, signior
 Benedicke, no body markes you
    Ben. What my deere Ladie Disdaine! are you yet
   Beat. Is it possible Disdaine should die, while shee
 hath such meete foode to feede it, as Signior Benedicke?
 Curtesie it selfe must conuert to Disdaine, if you come in
 her presence
    Bene. Then is curtesie a turne-coate, but it is certaine
 I am loued of all Ladies, onely you excepted: and
 I would I could finde in my heart that I had not a hard
 heart, for truely I loue none
    Beat. A deere happinesse to women, they would else
 haue beene troubled with a pernitious Suter, I thanke
 God and my cold blood, I am of your humour for that, I
 had rather heare my Dog barke at a Crow, than a man
 sweare he loues me
    Bene. God keepe your Ladiship still in that minde,
 so some Gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate
 scratcht face
    Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, and 'twere
 such a face as yours were
    Bene. Well, you are a rare Parrat teacher
    Beat. A bird of my tongue, is better than a beast of
    Ben. I would my horse had the speed of your tongue,
 and so good a continuer, but keepe your way a Gods
 name, I haue done
    Beat. You alwaies end with a Iades tricke, I know
 you of old
    Pedro. This is the summe of all: Leonato, signior Claudio,
 and signior Benedicke; my deere friend Leonato, hath
 inuited you all, I tell him we shall stay here, at the least
 a moneth, and he heartily praies some occasion may detaine
 vs longer: I dare sweare hee is no hypocrite, but
 praies from his heart
    Leon. If you sweare, my Lord, you shall not be forsworne,
 let mee bid you welcome, my Lord, being reconciled
 to the Prince your brother: I owe you all
    Iohn. I thanke you, I am not of many words, but I
 thanke you
    Leon. Please it your grace leade on?
   Pedro. Your hand Leonato, we will goe together.
 Exeunt. Manet Benedicke and Claudio.
   Clau. Benedicke, didst thou note the daughter of signior
   Bene. I noted her not, but I lookt on her
    Claud. Is she not a modest yong Ladie?
   Bene. Doe you question me as an honest man should
 doe, for my simple true iudgement? or would you haue
 me speake after my custome, as being a professed tyrant
 to their sexe?
   Clau. No, I pray thee speake in sober iudgement
    Bene. Why yfaith me thinks shee's too low for a hie
 praise, too browne for a faire praise, and too little for a
 great praise, onely this commendation I can affoord her,
 that were shee other then she is, she were vnhandsome,
 and being no other, but as she is, I doe not like her
    Clau. Thou think'st I am in sport, I pray thee tell me
 truely how thou lik'st her
    Bene. Would you buie her, that you enquier after
   Clau. Can the world buie such a iewell?
   Ben. Yea, and a case to put it into, but speake you this
 with a sad brow? Or doe you play the flowting iacke, to
 tell vs Cupid is a good Hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare
 Carpenter: Come, in what key shall a man take you to
 goe in the song?
   Clau. In mine eie, she is the sweetest Ladie that euer
 I lookt on
    Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no
 such matter: there's her cosin, and she were not possest
 with a furie, exceedes her as much in beautie, as the first
 of Maie doth the last of December: but I hope you haue
 no intent to turne husband, haue you?
   Clau. I would scarce trust my selfe, though I had
 sworne the contrarie, if Hero would be my wife
    Bene. Ist come to this? in faith hath not the world one
 man but he will weare his cap with suspition? shall I neuer
 see a batcheller of three score againe? goe to yfaith,
 and thou wilt needes thrust thy necke into a yoke, weare
 the print of it, and sigh away sundaies: looke, don Pedro
 is returned to seeke you.
 Enter don Pedro, Iohn the bastard.
   Pedr. What secret hath held you here, that you followed
 not to Leonatoes?
   Bened. I would your Grace would constraine mee to
    Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegeance
    Ben. You heare, Count Claudio, I can be secret as a
 dumbe man, I would haue you thinke so (but on my allegiance,
 marke you this, on my allegiance) hee is in
 loue, With who? now that is your Graces part: marke
 how short his answere is, with Hero, Leonatoes short
    Clau. If this were so, so were it vttred
    Bened. Like the old tale, my Lord, it is not so, nor 'twas
 not so: but indeede, God forbid it should be so
    Clau. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it
 should be otherwise
    Pedro. Amen, if you loue her, for the Ladie is verie
 well worthie
    Clau. You speake this to fetch me in, my Lord
    Pedr. By my troth I speake my thought
    Clau. And in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine
    Bened. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I
 speake mine
    Clau. That I loue her, I feele
    Pedr. That she is worthie, I know
    Bened. That I neither feele how shee should be loued,
 nor know how shee should be worthie, is the
 opinion that fire cannot melt out of me, I will die in it at
 the stake
    Pedr. Thou wast euer an obstinate heretique in the despight
 of Beautie
    Clau. And neuer could maintaine his part, but in the
 force of his will
   Ben. That a woman conceiued me, I thanke her: that
 she brought mee vp, I likewise giue her most humble
 thankes: but that I will haue a rechate winded in my
 forehead, or hang my bugle in an inuisible baldricke, all
 women shall pardon me: because I will not do them the
 wrong to mistrust any, I will doe my selfe the right to
 trust none: and the fine is, (for the which I may goe the
 finer) I will liue a Batchellor
    Pedro. I shall see thee ere I die, looke pale with loue
    Bene. With anger, with sicknesse, or with hunger,
 my Lord, not with loue: proue that euer I loose more
 blood with loue, then I will get againe with drinking,
 picke out mine eyes with a Ballet-makers penne, and
 hang me vp at the doore of a brothel-house for the signe
 of blinde Cupid
    Pedro. Well, if euer thou doost fall from this faith,
 thou wilt proue a notable argument
    Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a Cat, & shoot
 at me, and he that hit's me, let him be clapt on the shoulder,
 and cal'd Adam
    Pedro. Well, as time shall trie: In time the sauage
 Bull doth beare the yoake
    Bene. The sauage bull may, but if euer the sensible
 Benedicke beare it, plucke off the bulles hornes, and set
 them in my forehead, and let me be vildely painted, and
 in such great Letters as they write, heere is good horse
 to hire: let them signifie vnder my signe, here you may
 see Benedicke the married man
    Clau. If this should euer happen, thou wouldst bee
 horne mad
    Pedro. Nay, if Cupid haue not spent all his Quiuer in
 Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly
    Bene. I looke for an earthquake too then
    Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the houres, in
 the meane time, good Signior Benedicke, repaire to Leonatoes,
 commend me to him, and tell him I will not faile
 him at supper, for indeede he hath made great preparation
    Bene. I haue almost matter enough in me for such an
 Embassage, and so I commit you
    Clau. To the tuition of God. From my house, if I
 had it
    Pedro. The sixt of Iuly. Your louing friend, Benedick
    Bene. Nay mocke not, mocke not; the body of your
 discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the
 guardes are but slightly basted on neither, ere you flout
 old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so I
 leaue you.
   Clau. My Liege, your Highnesse now may doe mee
    Pedro. My loue is thine to teach, teach it but how,
 And thou shalt see how apt it is to learne
 Any hard Lesson that may do thee good
    Clau. Hath Leonato any sonne my Lord?
   Pedro. No childe but Hero, she's his onely heire.
 Dost thou affect her Claudio?
   Clau. O my Lord,
 When you went onward on this ended action,
 I look'd vpon her with a souldiers eie,
 That lik'd, but had a rougher taske in hand,
 Than to driue liking to the name of loue:
 But now I am return'd, and that warre-thoughts
 Haue left their places vacant: in their roomes,
 Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
 All prompting mee how faire yong Hero is,
 Saying I lik'd her ere I went to warres
    Pedro. Thou wilt be like a louer presently,
 And tire the hearer with a booke of words:
 If thou dost loue faire Hero, cherish it,
 And I will breake with her: wast not to this end,
 That thou beganst to twist so fine a story?
   Clau. How sweetly doe you minister to loue,
 That know loues griefe by his complexion!
 But lest my liking might too sodaine seeme,
 I would haue salu'd it with a longer treatise
    Ped. What need y bridge much broder then the flood?
 The fairest graunt is the necessitie:
 Looke what will serue, is fit: 'tis once, thou louest,
 And I will fit thee with the remedie,
 I know we shall haue reuelling to night,
 I will assume thy part in some disguise,
 And tell faire Hero I am Claudio,
 And in her bosome Ile vnclaspe my heart,
 And take her hearing prisoner with the force
 And strong incounter of my amorous tale:
 Then after, to her father will I breake,
 And the conclusion is, shee shall be thine,
 In practise let vs put it presently.
 Enter Leonato and an old man, brother to Leonato.
   Leo. How now brother, where is my cosen your son:
 hath he prouided this musicke?
   Old. He is very busie about it, but brother, I can tell
 you newes that you yet dreamt not of
    Lo. Are they good?
   Old. As the euents stamps them, but they haue a good
 couer: they shew well outward, the Prince and Count
 Claudio walking in a thick pleached alley in my orchard,
 were thus ouer-heard by a man of mine: the Prince discouered
 to Claudio that hee loued my niece your daughter,
 and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance,
 and if hee found her accordant, hee meant to take the
 present time by the top, and instantly breake with you
 of it
    Leo. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this?
   Old. A good sharpe fellow, I will send for him, and
 question him your selfe
    Leo. No, no; wee will hold it as a dreame, till it appeare
 it selfe: but I will acquaint my daughter withall,
 that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if peraduenture
 this bee true: goe you and tell her of it: coosins,
 you know what you haue to doe, O I crie you mercie
 friend, goe you with mee and I will vse your skill,
 good cosin haue a care this busie time.
 Enter Sir Iohn the Bastard, and Conrade his companion.
   Con. What the good yeere my Lord, why are you
 thus out of measure sad?
   Ioh. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds,
 therefore the sadnesse is without limit
    Con. You should heare reason
    Iohn. And when I haue heard it, what blessing bringeth
   Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance
    Ioh. I wonder that thou (being as thou saist thou art,
 borne vnder Saturne) goest about to apply a morall medicine,
 to a mortifying mischiefe: I cannot hide what I
 am: I must bee sad when I haue cause, and smile at no
 mans iests, eat when I haue stomacke, and wait for no
 mans leisure: sleepe when I am drowsie, and tend on no
 mans businesse, laugh when I am merry, and claw no man
 in his humor
    Con. Yea, but you must not make the ful show of this,
 till you may doe it without controllment, you haue of
 late stood out against your brother, and hee hath tane
 you newly into his grace, where it is impossible you
 should take root, but by the faire weather that you make
 your selfe, it is needful that you frame the season for your
 owne haruest
    Iohn. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, then a rose
 in his grace, and it better fits my bloud to be disdain'd of
 all, then to fashion a carriage to rob loue from any: in this
 (though I cannot be said to be a flattering honest man)
 it must not be denied but I am a plaine dealing villaine, I
 am trusted with a mussell, and enfranchisde with a clog,
 therefore I haue decreed, not to sing in my cage: if I had
 my mouth, I would bite: if I had my liberty, I would do
 my liking: in the meane time, let me be that I am, and
 seeke not to alter me
    Con. Can you make no vse of your discontent?
   Iohn. I will make all vse of it, for I vse it onely.
 Who comes here? what newes Borachio?
 Enter Borachio.
   Bor. I came yonder from a great supper, the Prince
 your brother is royally entertained by Leonato, and I can
 giue you intelligence of an intended marriage
    Iohn. Will it serue for any Modell to build mischiefe
 on? What is hee for a foole that betrothes himselfe to
   Bor. Mary it is your brothers right hand
    Iohn. Who, the most exquisite Claudio?
   Bor. Euen he
    Iohn. A proper squier, and who, and who, which way
 lookes he?
   Bor. Mary on Hero, the daughter and Heire of Leonato
    Iohn. A very forward March-chicke, how came you
 to this:
   Bor. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoaking
 a musty roome, comes me the Prince and Claudio,
 hand in hand in sad conference: I whipt behind the Arras,
 and there heard it agreed vpon, that the Prince should
 wooe Hero for himselfe, and hauing obtain'd her, giue
 her to Count Claudio
    Iohn. Come, come, let vs thither, this may proue food
 to my displeasure, that young start-vp hath all the glorie
 of my ouerthrow: if I can crosse him any way, I blesse
 my selfe euery way, you are both sure, and will assist
   Conr. To the death my Lord
    Iohn. Let vs to the great supper, their cheere is the
 greater that I am subdued, would the Cooke were of my
 minde: shall we goe proue whats to be done?
   Bor. Wee'll wait vpon your Lordship.
 Actus Secundus.
 Enter Leonato, his brother, his wife, Hero his daughter, and
 Beatrice his
 neece, and a kinsman.
   Leonato. Was not Count Iohn here at supper?
   Brother. I saw him not
    Beatrice. How tartly that Gentleman lookes, I neuer
 can see him, but I am heart-burn'd an howre after
    Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition
    Beatrice. Hee were an excellent man that were made
 iust in the mid-way betweene him and Benedicke, the one
 is too like an image and saies nothing, and the other too
 like my Ladies eldest sonne, euermore tatling
    Leon. Then halfe signior Benedicks tongue in Count
 Iohns mouth, and halfe Count Iohns melancholy in Signior
 Benedicks face
    Beat. With a good legge, and a good foot vnckle, and
 money enough in his purse, such a man would winne any
 woman in the world, if he could get her good will
    Leon. By my troth Neece, thou wilt neuer get thee a
 husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue
    Brother. Infaith shee's too curst
    Beat. Too curst is more then curst, I shall lessen Gods
 sending that way: for it is said, God sends a curst Cow
 short hornes, but to a Cow too curst he sends none
    Leon. So, by being too curst, God will send you no
    Beat. Iust, if he send me no husband, for the which
 blessing, I am at him vpon my knees euery morning and
 euening: Lord, I could not endure a husband with a
 beard on his face, I had rather lie in the woollen
    Leonato. You may light vpon a husband that hath no
    Beatrice. What should I doe with him? dresse him in
 my apparell, and make him my waiting gentlewoman? he
 that hath a beard, is more then a youth: and he that hath
 no beard, is lesse then a man: and hee that is more then a
 youth, is not for mee: and he that is lesse then a man, I am
 not for him: therefore I will euen take sixepence in earnest
 of the Berrord, and leade his Apes into hell
    Leon. Well then, goe you into hell
    Beat. No, but to the gate, and there will the Deuill
 meete mee like an old Cuckold with hornes on his head,
 and say, get you to heauen Beatrice, get you to heauen,
 heere's no place for you maids, so deliuer I vp my Apes,
 and away to S[aint]. Peter: for the heauens, hee shewes mee
 where the Batchellers sit, and there liue wee as merry as
 the day is long
    Brother. Well neece, I trust you will be rul'd by your
    Beatrice. Yes faith, it is my cosens dutie to make curtsie,
 and say, as it please you: but yet for all that cosin, let
 him be a handsome fellow, or else make an other cursie,
 and say, father, as it please me
    Leonato. Well neece, I hope to see you one day fitted
 with a husband
    Beatrice. Not till God make men of some other mettall
 then earth, would it not grieue a woman to be ouermastred
 with a peece of valiant dust: to make account of
 her life to a clod of waiward marle? no vnckle, ile none:
 Adams sonnes are my brethren, and truly I hold it a sinne
 to match in my kinred
    Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you, if the
 Prince doe solicit you in that kinde, you know your answere
    Beatrice. The fault will be in the musicke cosin, if you
 be not woed in good time: if the Prince bee too important,
 tell him there is measure in euery thing, & so dance
 out the answere, for heare me Hero, wooing, wedding, &
 repenting, is as a Scotch jigge, a measure, and a cinquepace:
 the first suite is hot and hasty like a Scotch jigge
 (and full as fantasticall) the wedding manerly modest,
 (as a measure) full of state & aunchentry, and then comes
 repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinquepace
 faster and faster, till he sinkes into his graue
    Leonato. Cosin you apprehend passing shrewdly
    Beatrice. I haue a good eye vnckle, I can see a Church
 by daylight
    Leon. The reuellers are entring brother, make good
 Enter Prince, Pedro, Claudio, and Benedicke, and Balthasar, or
 dumbe Iohn,
 Maskers with a drum.
   Pedro. Lady, will you walke about with your friend?
   Hero. So you walke softly, and looke sweetly, and say
 nothing, I am yours for the walke, and especially when I
 walke away
    Pedro. With me in your company
    Hero. I may say so when I please
    Pedro. And when please you to say so?
   Hero. When I like your fauour, for God defend the
 Lute should be like the case
    Pedro. My visor is Philemons roofe, within the house
 is Loue
    Hero. Why then your visor should be thatcht
    Pedro. Speake low if you speake Loue
    Bene. Well, I would you did like me
    Mar. So would not I for your owne sake, for I haue
 manie ill qualities
    Bene. Which is one?
   Mar. I say my prayers alowd
    Ben. I loue you the better, the hearers may cry Amen
    Mar. God match me with a good dauncer
    Balt. Amen
    Mar. And God keepe him out of my sight when the
 daunce is done: answer Clarke
    Balt. No more words, the Clarke is answered
    Vrsula. I know you well enough, you are Signior Anthonio
    Anth. At a word, I am not
    Vrsula. I know you by the wagling of your head
    Anth. To tell you true, I counterfet him
    Vrsu. You could neuer doe him so ill well, vnlesse
 you were the very man: here's his dry hand vp & down,
 you are he, you are he
    Anth. At a word I am not
    Vrsula. Come, come, doe you thinke I doe not know
 you by your excellent wit? can vertue hide it selfe? goe
 to mumme, you are he, graces will appeare, and there's
 an end
    Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so?
   Bene. No, you shall pardon me
    Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are?
   Bened. Not now
    Beat. That I was disdainfull, and that I had my good
 wit out of the hundred merry tales: well, this was Signior
 Benedicke that said so
    Bene. What's he?
   Beat. I am sure you know him well enough
    Bene. Not I, beleeue me
    Beat. Did he neuer make you laugh?
   Bene. I pray you what is he?
   Beat. Why he is the Princes ieaster, a very dull foole,
 onely his gift is, in deuising impossible slanders, none
 but Libertines delight in him, and the commendation is
 not in his witte, but in his villanie, for hee both pleaseth
 men and angers them, and then they laugh at him, and
 beat him: I am sure he is in the Fleet, I would he had
 boorded me
    Bene. When I know the Gentleman, Ile tell him what
 you say
    Beat. Do, do, hee'l but breake a comparison or two
 on me, which peraduenture (not markt, or not laugh'd
 at) strikes him into melancholly, and then there's a Partridge
 wing saued, for the foole will eate no supper that
 night. We must follow the Leaders
    Ben. In euery good thing
    Bea. Nay, if they leade to any ill, I will leaue them
 at the next turning.
 Musicke for the dance.
   Iohn. Sure my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath
 withdrawne her father to breake with him about it: the
 Ladies follow her, and but one visor remaines
    Borachio. And that is Claudio, I know him by his bearing
    Iohn. Are not you signior Benedicke?
   Clau. You know me well, I am hee
    Iohn. Signior, you are verie neere my Brother in his
 loue, he is enamor'd on Hero, I pray you disswade him
 from her, she is no equall for his birth: you may do the
 part of an honest man in it
    Claudio. How know you he loues her?
   Iohn. I heard him sweare his affection
    Bor. So did I too, and he swore he would marrie her
 to night
    Iohn. Come, let vs to the banquet.
 Ex. manet Clau.
   Clau. Thus answere I in name of Benedicke,
 But heare these ill newes with the eares of Claudio:
 'Tis certaine so, the Prince woes for himselfe:
 Friendship is constant in all other things,
 Saue in the Office and affaires of loue:
 Therefore all hearts in loue vse their owne tongues.
 Let euerie eye negotiate for it selfe,
 And trust no Agent: for beautie is a witch,
 Against whose charmes, faith melteth into blood:
 This is an accident of hourely proofe,
 Which I mistrusted not. Farewell therefore Hero.
 Enter Benedicke.
   Ben. Count Claudio
    Clau. Yea, the same
    Ben. Come, will you goe with me?
   Clau. Whither?
   Ben. Euen to the next Willow, about your own businesse,
 Count. What fashion will you weare the Garland
 off? About your necke, like an Vsurers chaine? Or
 vnder your arme, like a Lieutenants scarfe? You must
 weare it one way, for the Prince hath got your Hero
    Clau . I wish him ioy of her
    Ben. Why that's spoken like an honest Drouier, so
 they sel Bullockes: but did you thinke the Prince wold
 haue serued you thus?
   Clau. I pray you leaue me
    Ben. Ho now you strike like the blindman, 'twas the
 boy that stole your meate, and you'l beat the post
    Clau. If it will not be, Ile leaue you.
   Ben. Alas poore hurt fowle, now will he creepe into
 sedges: But that my Ladie Beatrice should know me, &
 not know me: the Princes foole! Hah? It may be I goe
 vnder that title, because I am merrie: yea but so I am
 apt to do my selfe wrong: I am not so reputed, it is the
 base (though bitter) disposition of Beatrice, that putt's
 the world into her person, and so giues me out: well, Ile
 be reuenged as I may.
 Enter the Prince.
   Pedro. Now Signior, where's the Count, did you
 see him?
   Bene. Troth my Lord, I haue played the part of Lady
 Fame, I found him heere as melancholy as a Lodge in a
 Warren, I told him, and I thinke, told him true, that your
 grace had got the will of this young Lady, and I offered
 him my company to a willow tree, either to make him a
 garland, as being forsaken, or to binde him a rod, as being
 worthy to be whipt
    Pedro. To be whipt, what's his fault?
   Bene. The flat transgression of a Schoole-boy, who
 being ouer-ioyed with finding a birds nest, shewes it his
 companion, and he steales it
    Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust, a transgression? the
 transgression is in the stealer
    Ben. Yet it had not been amisse the rod had beene
 made, and the garland too, for the garland he might haue
 worne himselfe, and the rod hee might haue bestowed on
 you, who (as I take it) haue stolne his birds nest
    Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and restore them
 to the owner
    Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith
 you say honestly
    Pedro. The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrell to you, the
 Gentleman that daunst with her, told her shee is much
 wrong'd by you
    Bene. O she misusde me past the indurance of a block:
 an oake but with one greene leafe on it, would haue answered
 her: my very visor began to assume life, and scold
 with her: shee told mee, not thinking I had beene my
 selfe, that I was the Princes Iester, and that I was duller
 then a great thaw, hudling iest vpon iest, with such impossible
 conueiance vpon me, that I stood like a man at a
 marke, with a whole army shooting at me: shee speakes
 poynyards, and euery word stabbes: if her breath were
 as terrible as terminations, there were no liuing neere
 her, she would infect to the north starre: I would not
 marry her, though she were indowed with all that Adam
 had left him before he transgrest, she would haue made
   Hercules haue turnd spit, yea, and haue cleft his club to
 make the fire too: come, talke not of her, you shall finde
 her the infernall Ate in good apparell. I would to God
 some scholler would coniure her, for certainely while she
 is heere, a man may liue as quiet in hell, as in a sanctuary,
 and people sinne vpon purpose, because they would goe
 thither, so indeed all disquiet, horror, and perturbation
 followes her.
 Enter Claudio and Beatrice, Leonato, Hero.
   Pedro. Looke heere she comes
    Bene. Will your Grace command mee any seruice to
 the worlds end? I will goe on the slightest arrand now
 to the Antypodes that you can deuise to send me on: I
 will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the furthest inch
 of Asia: bring you the length of Prester Iohns foot: fetch
 you a hayre off the great Chams beard: doe you any embassage
 to the Pigmies, rather then hould three words
 conference, with this Harpy: you haue no employment
 for me?
   Pedro. None, but to desire your good company
    Bene. O God sir, heeres a dish I loue not, I cannot indure
 this Lady tongue.
   Pedr. Come Lady, come, you haue lost the heart of
 Signior Benedicke
    Beatr. Indeed my Lord, hee lent it me a while, and I
 gaue him vse for it, a double heart for a single one, marry
 once before he wonne it of mee, with false dice, therefore
 your Grace may well say I haue lost it
    Pedro. You haue put him downe Lady, you haue put
 him downe
    Beat. So I would not he should do me, my Lord, lest
 I should prooue the mother of fooles: I haue brought
 Count Claudio, whom you sent me to seeke
    Pedro. Why how now Count, wherfore are you sad?
   Claud. Not sad my Lord
    Pedro. How then? sicke?
   Claud. Neither, my Lord
    Beat. The Count is neither sad, nor sicke, nor merry,
 nor well: but ciuill Count, ciuill as an Orange, and something
 of a iealous complexion
    Pedro. Ifaith Lady, I thinke your blazon to be true.
 though Ile be sworne, if hee be so, his conceit is false:
 heere Claudio, I haue wooed in thy name, and faire Hero
 is won, I haue broke with her father, and his good will
 obtained, name the day of marriage, and God giue
 thee ioy
    Leona. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her
 my fortunes: his grace hath made the match, & all grace
 say, Amen to it
    Beatr. Speake Count, tis your Qu
    Claud. Silence is the perfectest Herault of ioy, I were
 but little happy if I could say, how much? Lady, as you
 are mine, I am yours, I giue away my selfe for you, and
 doat vpon the exchange
    Beat. Speake cosin, or (if you cannot) stop his mouth
 with a kisse, and let not him speake neither
    Pedro. In faith Lady you haue a merry heart
    Beatr. Yea my Lord I thanke it, poore foole it keepes
 on the windy side of Care, my coosin tells him in his eare
 that he is in my heart
    Clau. And so she doth coosin
    Beat. Good Lord for alliance: thus goes euery one
 to the world but I, and I am sun-burn'd, I may sit in a corner
 and cry, heigh ho for a husband
    Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one
    Beat. I would rather haue one of your fathers getting:
 hath your Grace ne're a brother like you? your father
 got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them
    Prince. Will you haue me? Lady
    Beat. No, my Lord, vnlesse I might haue another for
 working-daies, your Grace is too costly to weare euerie
 day: but I beseech your Grace pardon mee, I was borne
 to speake all mirth, and no matter
    Prince. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry,
 best becomes you, for out of question, you were born
 in a merry howre
    Beatr. No sure my Lord, my Mother cried, but then
 there was a starre daunst, and vnder that was I borne: cosins
 God giue you ioy
    Leonato. Neece, will you looke to those things I told
 you of?
   Beat. I cry you mercy Vncle, by your Graces pardon.
 Exit Beatrice.
   Prince. By my troth a pleasant spirited Lady
    Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in her
 my Lord, she is neuer sad, but when she sleepes, and not
 euer sad then: for I haue heard my daughter say, she hath
 often dreamt of vnhappinesse, and wakt her selfe with
    Pedro. Shee cannot indure to heare tell of a husband
    Leonato. O, by no meanes, she mocks all her wooers
 out of suite
    Prince. She were an excellent wife for Benedick
    Leonato. O Lord, my Lord, if they were but a weeke
 married, they would talke themselues madde
    Prince. Counte Claudio, when meane you to goe to
   Clau. To morrow my Lord, Time goes on crutches,
 till Loue haue all his rites
    Leonato. Not till monday, my deare sonne, which is
 hence a iust seuen night, and a time too briefe too, to haue
 all things answer minde
    Prince. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing,
 but I warrant thee Claudio, the time shall not goe
 dully by vs, I will in the interim, vndertake one of Hercules
 labors, which is, to bring Signior Benedicke and the
 Lady Beatrice into a mountaine of affection, th' one with
 th' other, I would faine haue it a match, and I doubt not
 but to fashion it, if you three will but minister such assistance
 as I shall giue you direction
    Leonato. My Lord, I am for you, though it cost mee
 ten nights watchings
    Claud. And I my Lord
    Prin. And you to gentle Hero?
   Hero. I will doe any modest office, my Lord, to helpe
 my cosin to a good husband
    Prin. And Benedick is not the vnhopefullest husband
 that I know: thus farre can I praise him, hee is of a noble
 straine, of approued valour, and confirm'd honesty, I will
 teach you how to humour your cosin, that shee shall fall
 in loue with Benedicke, and I, with your two helpes, will
 so practise on Benedicke, that in despight of his quicke
 wit, and his queasie stomacke, hee shall fall in loue with
 Beatrice: if wee can doe this, Cupid is no longer an Archer,
 his glory shall be ours, for wee are the onely louegods,
 goe in with me, and I will tell you my drift.
 Enter Iohn and Borachio.
   Ioh. It is so, the Count Claudio shal marry the daughter
 of Leonato
    Bora. Yea my Lord, but I can crosse it
    Iohn. Any barre, any crosse, any impediment, will be
 medicinable to me, I am sicke in displeasure to him, and
 whatsoeuer comes athwart his affection, ranges euenly
 with mine, how canst thou crosse this marriage?
   Bor. Not honestly my Lord, but so couertly, that no
 dishonesty shall appeare in me
    Iohn. Shew me breefely how
    Bor. I thinke I told your Lordship a yeere since, how
 much I am in the fauour of Margaret, the waiting gentlewoman
 to Hero
    Iohn. I remember
    Bor. I can at any vnseasonable instant of the night,
 appoint her to looke out at her Ladies chamber window
    Iohn. What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?
   Bor. The poyson of that lies in you to temper, goe
 you to the Prince your brother, spare not to tell him, that
 hee hath wronged his Honor in marrying the renowned
 Claudio, whose estimation do you mightily hold vp, to a
 contaminated stale, such a one as Hero
    Iohn. What proofe shall I make of that?
   Bor. Proofe enough, to misuse the Prince, to vexe
 Claudio, to vndoe Hero, and kill Leonato, looke you for any
 other issue?
   Iohn. Onely to despight them, I will endeauour any
    Bor. Goe then, finde me a meete howre, to draw on
 Pedro and the Count Claudio alone, tell them that you
 know that Hero loues me, intend a kinde of zeale both
 to the Prince and Claudio (as in a loue of your brothers
 honor who hath made this match) and his friends reputation,
 who is thus like to be cosen'd with the semblance
 of a maid, that you haue discouer'd thus: they will scarcely
 beleeue this without triall: offer them instances which
 shall beare no lesse likelihood, than to see mee at her
 chamber window, heare me call Margaret, Hero; heare
 Margaret terme me Claudio, and bring them to see this
 the very night before the intended wedding, for in the
 meane time, I will so fashion the matter, that Hero shall
 be absent, and there shall appeare such seeming truths of
 Heroes disloyaltie, that iealousie shall be cal'd assurance,
 and all the preparation ouerthrowne
    Iohn. Grow this to what aduerse issue it can, I will
 put it in practise: be cunning in the working this, and
 thy fee is a thousand ducates
    Bor. Be thou constant in the accusation, and my cunning
 shall not shame me
    Iohn. I will presentlie goe learne their day of marriage.
 Enter Benedicke alone.
   Bene. Boy
    Boy. Signior
    Bene. In my chamber window lies a booke, bring it
 hither to me in the orchard
    Boy. I am heere already sir.
   Bene. I know that, but I would haue thee hence, and
 heere againe. I doe much wonder, that one man seeing
 how much another man is a foole, when he dedicates his
 behauiours to loue, will after hee hath laught at such
 shallow follies in others, become the argument of his
 owne scorne, by falling in loue, & such a man is Claudio.
 I haue known when there was no musicke with him but
 the drum and the fife, and now had hee rather heare the
 taber and the pipe: I haue knowne when he would haue
 walkt ten mile afoot, to see a good armor, and now will
 he lie ten nights awake caruing the fashion of a new dublet:
 he was wont to speake plaine, & to the purpose (like
 an honest man & a souldier) and now is he turn'd orthography,
 his words are a very fantasticall banquet, iust so
 many strange dishes: may I be so conuerted, & see with
 these eyes? I cannot tell, I thinke not: I will not bee
 sworne, but loue may transforme me to an oyster, but Ile
 take my oath on it, till he haue made an oyster of me, he
 shall neuer make me such a foole: one woman is faire, yet
 I am well: another is wise, yet I am well: another vertuous,
 yet I am well: but till all graces be in one woman,
 one woman shall not come in my grace: rich shee shall
 be, that's certaine: wise, or Ile none: vertuous, or Ile neuer
 cheapen her: faire, or Ile neuer looke on her: milde,
 or come not neere me: Noble, or not for an Angell: of
 good discourse: an excellent Musitian, and her haire shal
 be of what colour it please God, hah! the Prince and
 Monsieur Loue, I will hide me in the Arbor.
 Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio, and Iacke Wilson.
   Prin. Come, shall we heare this musicke?
   Claud. Yea my good Lord: how still the euening is.
 As husht on purpose to grace harmonie
    Prin. See you where Benedicke hath hid himselfe?
   Clau. O very well my Lord: the musicke ended,
 Wee'll fit the kid-foxe with a penny worth
    Prince. Come Balthasar, wee'll heare that song again
    Balth. O good my Lord, taxe not so bad a voyce,
 To slander musicke any more then once
    Prin. It is the witnesse still of excellency,
 To slander Musicke any more then once
    Prince. It is the witnesse still of excellencie,
 To put a strange face on his owne perfection,
 I pray thee sing, and let me woe no more
    Balth. Because you talke of wooing, I will sing,
 Since many a wooer doth commence his suit,
 To her he thinkes not worthy, yet he wooes,
 Yet will he sweare he loues
    Prince. Nay pray thee come,
 Or if thou wilt hold longer argument,
 Doe it in notes
    Balth. Note this before my notes,
 Theres not a note of mine that's worth the noting
    Prince. Why these are very crotchets that he speaks,
 Note notes forsooth, and nothing
    Bene. Now diuine aire, now is his soule rauisht, is it
 not strange that sheepes guts should hale soules out of
 mens bodies? well, a horne for my money when all's
 The Song.
 Sigh no more Ladies, sigh no more,
 Men were deceiuers euer,
 One foote in Sea, and one on shore,
 To one thing constant neuer,
 Then sigh not so, but let them goe,
 And be you blithe and bonnie,
 Conuerting all your sounds of woe,
 Into hey nony nony.
 Sing no more ditties, sing no moe,
 Of dumps so dull and heauy,
 The fraud of men were euer so,
 Since summer first was leauy,
 Then sigh not so, &c
    Prince. By my troth a good song
    Balth. And an ill singer, my Lord
    Prince. Ha, no, no faith, thou singst well enough for a
    Ben. And he had been a dog that should haue howld
 thus, they would haue hang'd him, and I pray God his
 bad voyce bode no mischiefe, I had as liefe haue heard
 the night-rauen, come what plague could haue come after
    Prince. Yea marry, dost thou heare Balthasar? I pray
 thee get vs some excellent musick: for to morrow night
 we would haue it at the Lady Heroes chamber window
    Balth. The best I can, my Lord.
 Exit Balthasar.
   Prince. Do so, farewell. Come hither Leonato, what
 was it you told me of to day, that your Niece Beatrice
 was in loue with signior Benedicke?
   Cla. O I, stalke on, stalke on, the foule sits. I did neuer
 thinke that Lady would haue loued any man
    Leon. No, nor I neither, but most wonderful, that she
 should so dote on Signior Benedicke, whom shee hath in
 all outward behauiours seemed euer to abhorre
    Bene. Is't possible? sits the winde in that corner?
   Leo. By my troth my Lord, I cannot tell what to
 thinke of it, but that she loues him with an inraged affection,
 it is past the infinite of thought
    Prince. May be she doth but counterfeit
    Claud. Faith like enough
    Leon. O God! counterfeit? there was neuer counterfeit
 of passion, came so neere the life of passion as she discouers
    Prince. Why what effects of passion shewes she?
   Claud. Baite the hooke well, this fish will bite
    Leon. What effects my Lord? shee will sit you, you
 heard my daughter tell you how
    Clau. She did indeed
    Prince. How, how I pray you? you amaze me, I would
 haue thought her spirit had beene inuincible against all
 assaults of affection
    Leo. I would haue sworne it had, my Lord, especially
 against Benedicke
    Bene. I should thinke this a gull, but that the whitebearded
 fellow speakes it: knauery cannot sure hide
 himselfe in such reuerence
    Claud. He hath tane th' infection, hold it vp
    Prince. Hath shee made her affection known to Benedicke:
   Leonato. No, and sweares she neuer will, that's her
    Claud. 'Tis true indeed, so your daughter saies: shall
 I, saies she, that haue so oft encountred him with scorne,
 write to him that I loue him?
   Leo. This saies shee now when shee is beginning to
 write to him, for shee'll be vp twenty times a night, and
 there will she sit in her smocke, till she haue writ a sheet
 of paper: my daughter tells vs all
    Clau. Now you talke of a sheet of paper, I remember
 a pretty iest your daughter told vs of
    Leon. O when she had writ it, & was reading it ouer,
 she found Benedicke and Beatrice betweene the sheete
    Clau. That
    Leon. O she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence,
 raild at her self, that she should be so immodest to write,
 to one that shee knew would flout her: I measure him,
 saies she, by my owne spirit, for I should flout him if hee
 writ to mee, yea though I loue him, I should
    Clau. Then downe vpon her knees she falls, weepes,
 sobs, beates her heart, teares her hayre, praies, curses, O
 sweet Benedicke, God giue me patience
    Leon. She doth indeed, my daughter saies so, and the
 extasie hath so much ouerborne her, that my daughter is
 somtime afeard she will doe a desperate out-rage to her
 selfe, it is very true
    Prince. It were good that Benedicke knew of it by some
 other, if she will not discouer it
    Clau. To what end? he would but make a sport of it,
 and torment the poore Lady worse
    Prin. And he should, it were an almes to hang him,
 shee's an excellent sweet Lady, and (out of all suspition,)
 she is vertuous
    Claudio. And she is exceeding wise
    Prince. In euery thing, but in louing Benedicke
    Leon. O my Lord, wisedome and bloud combating in
 so tender a body, we haue ten proofes to one, that bloud
 hath the victory, I am sorry for her, as I haue iust cause,
 being her Vncle, and her Guardian
    Prince. I would shee had bestowed this dotage on
 mee, I would haue daft all other respects, and made her
 halfe my selfe: I pray you tell Benedicke of it, and heare
 what he will say
    Leon. Were it good thinke you?
   Clau. Hero thinkes surely she wil die, for she saies she
 will die, if hee loue her not, and shee will die ere shee
 make her loue knowne, and she will die if hee wooe her,
 rather than shee will bate one breath of her accustomed
    Prince. She doth well, if she should make tender of her
 loue, 'tis very possible hee'l scorne it, for the man (as you
 know all) hath a contemptible spirit
    Clau. He is a very proper man
    Prin. He hath indeed a good outward happines
    Clau. 'Fore God, and in my minde very wise
    Prin. He doth indeed shew some sparkes that are like
    Leon. And I take him to be valiant
    Prin. As Hector, I assure you, and in the managing of
 quarrels you may see hee is wise, for either hee auoydes
 them with great discretion, or vndertakes them with a
 Christian-like feare
    Leon. If hee doe feare God, a must necessarilie keepe
 peace, if hee breake the peace, hee ought to enter into a
 quarrell with feare and trembling
    Prin. And so will he doe, for the man doth fear God,
 howsoeuer it seemes not in him, by some large ieasts hee
 will make: well, I am sorry for your niece, shall we goe
 see Benedicke, and tell him of her loue
    Claud. Neuer tell him, my Lord, let her weare it out
 with good counsell
    Leon. Nay that's impossible, she may weare her heart
 out first
    Prin. Well, we will heare further of it by your daughter,
 let it coole the while, I loue Benedicke well, and I
 could wish he would modestly examine himselfe, to see
 how much he is vnworthy to haue so good a Lady
    Leon. My Lord, will you walke? dinner is ready
    Clau. If he do not doat on her vpon this, I wil neuer
 trust my expectation
    Prin. Let there be the same Net spread for her, and
 that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry:
 the sport will be, when they hold one an opinion of anothers
 dotage, and no such matter, that's the Scene that I
 would see, which will be meerely a dumbe shew: let vs
 send her to call him into dinner.
   Bene. This can be no tricke, the conference was sadly
 borne, they haue the truth of this from Hero, they seeme
 to pittie the Lady: it seemes her affections haue the full
 bent: loue me? why it must be requited: I heare how I
 am censur'd, they say I will beare my selfe proudly, if I
 perceiue the loue come from her: they say too, that she
 will rather die than giue any signe of affection: I did neuer
 thinke to marry, I must not seeme proud, happy are
 they that heare their detractions, and can put them to
 mending: they say the Lady is faire, 'tis a truth, I can
 beare them witnesse: and vertuous, tis so, I cannot reprooue
 it, and wise, but for louing me, by my troth it is
 no addition to her witte, nor no great argument of her
 folly; for I wil be horribly in loue with her, I may chance
 haue some odde quirkes and remnants of witte broken
 on mee, because I haue rail'd so long against marriage:
 but doth not the appetite alter? a man loues the meat in
 his youth, that he cannot indure in his age. Shall quips
 and sentences, and these paper bullets of the braine awe
 a man from the careere of his humour? No, the world
 must be peopled. When I said I would die a batcheler, I
 did not think I should liue till I were maried, here comes
 Beatrice: by this day, shee's a faire Lady, I doe spie some
 markes of loue in her.
 Enter Beatrice.
   Beat. Against my wil I am sent to bid you come in to
    Bene. Faire Beatrice, I thanke you for your paines
    Beat. I tooke no more paines for those thankes, then
 you take paines to thanke me, if it had been painefull, I
 would not haue come
    Bene. You take pleasure then in the message
    Beat. Yea iust so much as you may take vpon a kniues
 point, and choake a daw withall: you haue no stomacke
 signior, fare you well.
   Bene. Ha, against my will I am sent to bid you come
 into dinner: there's a double meaning in that: I tooke
 no more paines for those thankes then you took paines
 to thanke me, that's as much as to say, any paines that I
 take for you is as easie as thankes: if I do not take pitty
 of her I am a villaine, if I doe not loue her I am a Iew, I
 will goe get her picture.
 Actus Tertius.
 Enter Hero and two Gentlemen, Margaret, and Vrsula.
   Hero. Good Margaret runne thee to the parlour,
 There shalt thou finde my Cosin Beatrice,
 Proposing with the Prince and Claudio,
 Whisper her eare, and tell her I and Vrsula,
 Walke in the Orchard, and our whole discourse
 Is all of her, say that thou ouer-heardst vs,
 And bid her steale into the pleached bower,
 Where hony-suckles ripened by the sunne,
 Forbid the sunne to enter: like fauourites,
 Made proud by Princes, that aduance their pride,
 Against that power that bred it, there will she hide her,
 To listen our purpose, this is thy office,
 Beare thee well in it, and leaue vs alone
    Marg. Ile make her come I warrant you presently
    Hero. Now Vrsula, when Beatrice doth come,
 As we do trace this alley vp and downe,
 Our talke must onely be of Benedicke,
 When I doe name him, let it be thy part,
 To praise him more then euer man did merit,
 My talke to thee must be how Benedicke
 Is sicke in loue with Beatrice; of this matter,
 Is little Cupids crafty arrow made,
 That onely wounds by heare-say: now begin,
 Enter Beatrice.
 For looke where Beatrice like a Lapwing runs
 Close by the ground, to heare our conference
    Vrs. The pleasant'st angling is to see the fish
 Cut with her golden ores the siluer streame,
 And greedily deuoure the treacherous baite:
 So angle we for Beatrice, who euen now,
 Is couched in the wood-bine couerture,
 Feare you not my part of the Dialogue
    Her. Then go we neare her that her eare loose nothing,
 Of the false sweete baite that we lay for it:
 No truely Vrsula, she is too disdainfull,
 I know her spirits are as coy and wilde,
 As Haggerds of the rocke
    Vrsula. But are you sure,
 That Benedicke loues Beatrice so intirely?
   Her. So saies the Prince, and my new trothed Lord
    Vrs. And did they bid you tell her of it, Madam?
   Her. They did intreate me to acquaint her of it,
 But I perswaded them, if they lou'd Benedicke,
 To wish him wrastle with affection,
 And neuer to let Beatrice know of it
    Vrsula. Why did you so, doth not the Gentleman
 Deserue as full as fortunate a bed,
 As euer Beatrice shall couch vpon?
   Hero. O God of loue! I know he doth deserue,
 As much as may be yeelded to a man:
 But Nature neuer fram'd a womans heart,
 Of prowder stuffe then that of Beatrice:
 Disdaine and Scorne ride sparkling in her eyes,
 Mis-prizing what they looke on, and her wit
 Values it selfe so highly, that to her
 All matter else seemes weake: she cannot loue,
 Nor take no shape nor proiect of affection,
 Shee is so selfe indeared
    Vrsula. Sure I thinke so,
 And therefore certainely it were not good
 She knew his loue, lest she make sport at it
    Hero. Why you speake truth, I neuer yet saw man,
 How wise, how noble, yong, how rarely featur'd.
 But she would spell him backward: if faire fac'd,
 She would sweare the gentleman should be her sister:
 If blacke, why Nature drawing of an anticke,
 Made a foule blot: if tall, a launce ill headed:
 If low, an agot very vildlie cut:
 If speaking, why a vane blowne with all windes:
 If silent, why a blocke moued with none.
 So turnes she euery man the wrong side out,
 And neuer giues to Truth and Vertue, that
 Which simplenesse and merit purchaseth
    Vrsu. Sure, sure, such carping is not commendable
    Hero. No, not to be so odde, and from all fashions,
 As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable,
 But who dare tell her so? if I should speake,
 She would mocke me into ayre, O she would laugh me
 Out of my selfe, presse me to death with wit,
 Therefore let Benedicke like couered fire,
 Consume away in sighes, waste inwardly:
 It were a better death, to die with mockes,
 Which is as bad as die with tickling
    Vrsu. Yet tell her of it, heare what shee will say
    Hero. No, rather I will goe to Benedicke,
 And counsaile him to fight against his passion,
 And truly Ile deuise some honest slanders,
 To staine my cosin with, one doth not know,
 How much an ill word may impoison liking
    Vrsu. O doe not doe your cosin such a wrong,
 She cannot be so much without true iudgement,
 Hauing so swift and excellent a wit
 As she is prisde to haue, as to refuse
 So rare a Gentleman as signior Benedicke
    Hero. He is the onely man of Italy,
 Alwaies excepted, my deare Claudio
    Vrsu. I pray you be not angry with me, Madame,
 Speaking my fancy: Signior Benedicke,
 For shape, for bearing argument and valour,
 Goes formost in report through Italy
    Hero. Indeed he hath an excellent good name
    Vrsu. His excellence did earne it ere he had it:
 When are you married Madame?
   Hero. Why euerie day to morrow, come goe in,
 Ile shew thee some attires, and haue thy counsell,
 Which is the best to furnish me to morrow
    Vrsu. Shee's tane I warrant you,
 We haue caught her Madame?
   Hero. If it proue so, then louing goes by haps,
 Some Cupid kills with arrowes, some with traps.
   Beat. What fire is in mine eares? can this be true?
 Stand I condemn'd for pride and scorne so much?
 Contempt, farewell, and maiden pride, adew,
 No glory liues behinde the backe of such.
 And Benedicke, loue on, I will requite thee,
 Taming my wilde heart to thy louing hand:
 If thou dost loue, my kindnesse shall incite thee
 To binde our loues vp in a holy band.
 For others say thou dost deserue, and I
 Beleeue it better then reportingly.
 Enter Prince, Claudio, Benedicke, and Leonato.
   Prince. I doe but stay till your marriage be consummate,
 and then go I toward Arragon
    Clau. Ile bring you thither my Lord, if you'l vouchsafe
    Prin. Nay, that would be as great a soyle in the new
 glosse of your marriage, as to shew a childe his new coat
 and forbid him to weare it, I will onely bee bold with
 Benedicke for his companie, for from the crowne of his
 head, to the sole of his foot, he is all mirth, he hath twice
 or thrice cut Cupids bow-string, and the little hang-man
 dare not shoot at him, he hath a heart as sound as a bell,
 and his tongue is the clapper, for what his heart thinkes,
 his tongue speakes
    Bene. Gallants, I am not as I haue bin
    Leo. So say I, methinkes you are sadder
    Claud. I hope he be in loue
    Prin. Hang him truant, there's no true drop of bloud
 in him to be truly toucht with loue, if he be sad, he wants
    Bene. I haue the tooth-ach
    Prin. Draw it
    Bene. Hang it
    Claud. You must hang it first, and draw it afterwards
    Prin. What? sigh for the tooth-ach
    Leon. Where is but a humour or a worme
    Bene. Well, euery one cannot master a griefe, but hee
 that has it
    Clau. Yet say I, he is in loue
    Prin. There is no appearance of fancie in him, vnlesse
 it be a fancy that he hath to strange disguises, as to bee a
 Dutchman to day, a Frenchman to morrow: vnlesse hee
 haue a fancy to this foolery, as it appeares hee hath, hee
 is no foole for fancy, as you would haue it to appeare
 he is
    Clau. If he be not in loue with some woman, there
 is no beleeuing old signes, a brushes his hat a mornings,
 What should that bode?
   Prin. Hath any man seene him at the Barbers?
   Clau. No, but the Barbers man hath beene seen with
 him, and the olde ornament of his cheeke hath alreadie
 stuft tennis balls
    Leon. Indeed he lookes yonger than hee did, by the
 losse of a beard
    Prin. Nay a rubs himselfe with Ciuit, can you smell
 him out by that?
   Clau. That's as much as to say, the sweet youth's in
    Prin. The greatest note of it is his melancholy
    Clau. And when was he wont to wash his face?
   Prin. Yea, or to paint himselfe? for the which I heare
 what they say of him
    Clau. Nay, but his iesting spirit, which is now crept
 into a lute-string, and now gouern'd by stops
    Prin. Indeed that tels a heauy tale for him: conclude,
 he is in loue
    Clau. Nay, but I know who loues him
    Prince. That would I know too, I warrant one that
 knowes him not
    Cla. Yes, and his ill conditions, and in despight of all,
 dies for him
    Prin. Shee shall be buried with her face vpwards
    Bene. Yet is this no charme for the tooth-ake, old signior,
 walke aside with mee, I haue studied eight or nine
 wise words to speake to you, which these hobby-horses
 must not heare
    Prin. For my life to breake with him about Beatrice
    Clau. 'Tis euen so, Hero and Margaret haue by this
 played their parts with Beatrice, and then the two Beares
 will not bite one another when they meete.
 Enter Iohn the Bastard.
   Bast. My Lord and brother, God saue you
    Prin. Good den brother
    Bast. If your leisure seru'd, I would speake with you
    Prince. In priuate?
   Bast. If it please you, yet Count Claudio may heare,
 for what I would speake of, concernes him
    Prin. What's the matter?
   Basta. Meanes your Lordship to be married to morrow?
   Prin. You know he does
    Bast. I know not that when he knowes what I know
    Clau. If there be any impediment, I pray you discouer
    Bast. You may thinke I loue you not, let that appeare
 hereafter, and ayme better at me by that I now will manifest,
 for my brother (I thinke, he holds you well, and in
 dearenesse of heart) hath holpe to effect your ensuing
 marriage: surely sute ill spent, and labour ill bestowed
    Prin. Why, what's the matter?
   Bastard. I came hither to tell you, and circumstances
 shortned, (for she hath beene too long a talking of) the
 Lady is disloyall
    Clau. Who Hero?
   Bast. Euen shee, Leonatoes Hero, your Hero, euery
 mans Hero
    Clau. Disloyall?
   Bast. The word is too good to paint out her wickednesse,
 I could say she were worse, thinke you of a worse
 title, and I will fit her to it: wonder not till further warrant:
 goe but with mee to night, you shal see her chamber
 window entred, euen the night before her wedding
 day, if you loue her, then to morrow wed her: But it
 would better fit your honour to change your minde
    Claud. May this be so?
   Princ. I will not thinke it
    Bast. If you dare not trust that you see, confesse not
 that you know: if you will follow mee, I will shew you
 enough, and when you haue seene more, & heard more,
 proceed accordingly
    Clau. If I see any thing to night, why I should not
 marry her to morrow in the congregation, where I shold
 wedde, there will I shame her
    Prin. And as I wooed for thee to obtaine her, I will
 ioyne with thee to disgrace her
    Bast. I will disparage her no farther, till you are my
 witnesses, beare it coldly but till night, and let the issue
 shew it selfe
    Prin. O day vntowardly turned!
   Claud. O mischiefe strangelie thwarting!
   Bastard. O plague right well preuented! so will you
 say, when you haue seene the sequele.
 Enter Dogbery and his compartner with the watch.
   Dog. Are you good men and true?
   Verg. Yea, or else it were pitty but they should suffer
 saluation body and soule
    Dogb. Nay, that were a punishment too good for
 them, if they should haue any allegiance in them, being
 chosen for the Princes watch
    Verges. Well, giue them their charge, neighbour
    Dog. First, who thinke you the most desartlesse man
 to be Constable
    Watch.1. Hugh Ote-cake sir, or George Sea-coale, for
 they can write and reade
    Dogb. Come hither neighbour Sea-coale, God hath
 blest you with a good name: to be a wel-fauoured man,
 is the gift of Fortune, but to write and reade, comes by
    Watch 2. Both which Master Constable
   Dogb. You haue: I knew it would be your answere:
 well, for your fauour sir, why giue God thankes, & make
 no boast of it, and for your writing and reading, let that
 appeare when there is no need of such vanity, you are
 thought heere to be the most senslesse and fit man for the
 Constable of the watch: therefore beare you the lanthorne:
 this is your charge: You shall comprehend all
 vagrom men, you are to bid any man stand in the Princes
    Watch 2. How if a will not stand?
   Dogb. Why then take no note of him, but let him go,
 and presently call the rest of the Watch together, and
 thanke God you are ridde of a knaue
    Verges. If he will not stand when he is bidden, hee is
 none of the Princes subiects
    Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none but
 the Princes subiects: you shall also make no noise in the
 streetes: for, for the Watch to babble and talke, is most
 tollerable, and not to be indured
    Watch. We will rather sleepe than talke, wee know
 what belongs to a Watch
    Dog. Why you speake like an ancient and most quiet
 watchman, for I cannot see how sleeping should offend:
 only haue a care that your bills be not stolne: well, you
 are to call at all the Alehouses, and bid them that are
 drunke get them to bed
    Watch. How if they will not?
   Dogb. Why then let them alone till they are sober, if
 they make you not then the better answere, you may say,
 they are not the men you tooke them for
    Watch. Well sir,
   Dogb. If you meet a theefe, you may suspect him, by
 vertue of your office, to be no true man: and for such
 kinde of men, the lesse you meddle or make with them,
 why the more is for your honesty
    Watch. If wee know him to be a thiefe, shall wee not
 lay hands on him
    Dogb. Truly by your office you may, but I think they
 that touch pitch will be defil'd: the most peaceable way
 for you, if you doe take a theefe, is, to let him shew himselfe
 what he is, and steale out of your company
    Ver. You haue bin alwaies cal'd a merciful ma[n] partner
    Dog. Truely I would not hang a dog by my will, much
 more a man who hath anie honestie in him
    Verges. If you heare a child crie in the night you must
 call to the nurse, and bid her still it
    Watch. How if the nurse be asleepe and will not
 heare vs?
   Dog. Why then depart in peace, and let the childe
 wake her with crying, for the ewe that will not heare
 her Lambe when it baes, will neuer answere a calfe when
 he bleates
    Verges. 'Tis verie true
    Dog. This is the end of the charge: you constable
 are to present the Princes owne person, if you meete the
 Prince in the night, you may staie him
    Verges. Nay birladie that I thinke a cannot
    Dog. Fiue shillings to one on't with anie man that
 knowes the Statutes, he may staie him, marrie not without
 the prince be willing, for indeed the watch ought to
 offend no man, and it is an offence to stay a man against
 his will
    Verges. Birladie I thinke it be so
    Dog. Ha, ah ha, well masters good night, and there be
 anie matter of weight chances, call vp me, keepe your
 fellowes counsailes, and your owne, and good night,
 come neighbour
    Watch. Well masters, we heare our charge, let vs go
 sit here vpon the Church bench till two, and then all to
    Dog. One word more, honest neighbors. I pray you
 watch about signior Leonatoes doore, for the wedding being
 there to morrow, there is a great coyle to night,
 adiew, be vigitant I beseech you.
 Enter Borachio and Conrade.
   Bor. What, Conrade?
   Watch. Peace, stir not
    Bor. Conrade I say
    Con. Here man, I am at thy elbow
    Bor. Mas and my elbow itcht, I thought there would
 a scabbe follow
    Con. I will owe thee an answere for that, and now
 forward with thy tale
    Bor. Stand thee close then vnder this penthouse, for it
 drissels raine, and I will, like a true drunkard, vtter all to
    Watch. Some treason masters, yet stand close
    Bor. Therefore know, I haue earned of Don Iohn a
 thousand Ducates
    Con. Is it possible that anie villanie should be so deare?
   Bor. Thou should'st rather aske if it were possible anie
 villanie should be so rich? for when rich villains haue
 neede of poore ones, poore ones may make what price
 they will
    Con. I wonder at it
    Bor. That shewes thou art vnconfirm'd, thou knowest
 that the fashion of a doublet, or a hat, or a cloake, is nothing
 to a man
    Con. Yes, it is apparell
    Bor. I meane the fashion
    Con. Yes the fashion is the fashion
    Bor. Tush, I may as well say the foole's the foole, but
 seest thou not what a deformed theefe this fashion is?
   Watch. I know that deformed, a has bin a vile theefe,
 this vii. yeares, a goes vp and downe like a gentle man:
 I remember his name
    Bor. Did'st thou not heare some bodie?
   Con. No, 'twas the vaine on the house
    Bor. Seest thou not (I say) what a deformed thiefe
 this fashion is, how giddily a turnes about all the Hotblouds,
 betweene, foureteene & fiue & thirtie, sometimes
 fashioning them like Pharaoes souldiours in the rechie
 painting, sometime like god Bels priests in the old
 Church window, sometime like the shauen Hercules in
 the smircht worm-eaten tapestrie, where his cod-peece
 seemes as massie as his club
    Con. All this I see, and see that the fashion weares out
 more apparrell then the man; but art not thou thy selfe
 giddie with the fashion too that thou hast shifted out of
 thy tale into telling me of the fashion?
   Bor. Not so neither, but know that I haue to night
 wooed Margaret the Lady Heroes gentle-woman, by the
 name of Hero, she leanes me out at her mistris chamberwindow,
 bids me a thousand times good night: I tell
 this tale vildly. I should first tell thee how the Prince
 Claudio and my Master planted, and placed, and possessed
 by my Master Don Iohn, saw a far off in the Orchard this
 amiable incounter
    Con. And thought thy Margaret was Hero?
   Bor. Two of them did, the Prince and Claudio, but the
 diuell my Master knew she was Margaret and partly by
 his oathes, which first possest them, partly by the darke
 night which did deceiue them, but chiefely, by my villanie,
 which did confirme any slander that Don Iohn had
 made, away went Claudio enraged, swore hee would
 meete her as he was apointed next morning at the Temple,
 and there, before the whole congregation shame her
 with what he saw o're night, and send her home againe
 without a husband
    Watch.1. We charge you in the Princes name stand
    Watch.2. Call vp the right master Constable, we haue
 here recouered the most dangerous peece of lechery, that
 euer was knowne in the Common-wealth
    Watch.1. And one Deformed is one of them, I know
 him, a weares a locke
    Conr. Masters, masters
    Watch.2. Youle be made bring deformed forth I warrant
   Conr. Masters, neuer speake, we charge you, let vs obey
 you to goe with vs
    Bor. We are like to proue a goodly commoditie, being
 taken vp of these mens bils
    Conr. A commoditie in question I warrant you, come
 weele obey you.
 Enter Hero, and Margaret, and Vrsula.
   Hero. Good Vrsula wake my cosin Beatrice, and desire
 her to rise
    Vrsu. I will Lady
    Her. And bid her come hither
    Vrs. Well
    Mar. Troth I thinke your other rebato were better
    Hero. No pray thee good Meg, Ile weare this
    Marg. By my troth's not so good, and I warrant your
 cosin will say so
    Hero. My cosin's a foole, and thou art another, ile
 weare none but this
    Mar. I like the new tire within excellently, if the
 haire were a thought browner: and your gown's a most
 rare fashion yfaith, I saw the Dutchesse of Millaines
 gowne that they praise so
    Hero. O that exceedes they say
    Mar. By my troth's but a night-gowne in respect of
 yours, cloth a gold and cuts, and lac'd with siluer, set with
 pearles, downe sleeues, side sleeues, and skirts, round vnderborn
 with a blewish tinsel, but for a fine queint gracefull
 and excellent fashion, yours is worth ten on't
    Hero. God giue mee ioy to weare it, for my heart is
 exceeding heauy
    Marga. 'Twill be heauier soone, by the waight of a
    Hero. Fie vpon thee, art not asham'd?
   Marg. Of what Lady? of speaking honourably? is
 not marriage honourable in a beggar? is not your Lord
 honourable without marriage? I thinke you would haue
 me say, sauing your reuerence a husband: and bad thinking
 doe not wrest true speaking, Ile offend no body, is
 there any harme in the heauier for a husband? none I
 thinke, and it be the right husband, and the right wife,
 otherwise 'tis light and not heauy, aske my Lady Beatrice
 else, here she comes.
 Enter Beatrice.
   Hero. Good morrow Coze
    Beat. Good morrow sweet Hero
    Hero. Why how now? do you speake in the sick tune?
   Beat. I am out of all other tune, me thinkes
    Mar. Claps into Light a loue, (that goes without a
 burden,) do you sing it and Ile dance it
    Beat. Ye Light aloue with your heeles, then if your
 husband haue stables enough, you'll looke he shall lacke
 no barnes
    Mar. O illegitimate construction! I scorne that with
 my heeles
    Beat. 'Tis almost fiue a clocke cosin, 'tis time you
 were ready, by my troth I am exceeding ill, hey ho
    Mar. For a hauke, a horse, or a husband?
   Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H
    Mar. Well, and you be not turn'd Turke, there's no
 more sayling by the starre
    Beat. What meanes the foole trow?
   Mar. Nothing I, but God send euery one their harts
    Hero. These gloues the Count sent mee, they are an
 excellent perfume
    Beat. I am stuft cosin, I cannot smell
    Mar. A maid and stuft! there's goodly catching of
    Beat. O God helpe me, God help me, how long haue
 you profest apprehension?
   Mar. Euer since you left it, doth not my wit become
 me rarely?
   Beat. It is not seene enough, you should weare it in
 your cap, by my troth I am sicke
    Mar. Get you some of this distill'd carduus benedictus
 and lay it to your heart, it is the onely thing for a qualm
    Hero. There thou prick'st her with a thissell
    Beat. Benedictus, why benedictus? you haue some morall
 in this benedictus
    Mar. Morall? no by my troth, I haue no morall meaning,
 I meant plaine holy thissell, you may thinke perchance
 that I thinke you are in loue, nay birlady I am not
 such a foole to thinke what I list, nor I list not to thinke
 what I can, nor indeed, I cannot thinke, if I would thinke
 my hart out of thinking, that you are in loue, or that you
 will be in loue, or that you can be in loue: yet Benedicke
 was such another, and now is he become a man, he swore
 hee would neuer marry, and yet now in despight of his
 heart he eates his meat without grudging, and how you
 may be conuerted I know not, but me thinkes you looke
 with your eies as other women doe
    Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keepes
    Mar. Not a false gallop.
 Enter Vrsula.
   Vrsula. Madam, withdraw, the Prince, the Count, signior
 Benedicke, Don Iohn, and all the gallants of the
 towne are come to fetch you to Church
    Hero. Helpe me to dresse mee good coze, good Meg,
 good Vrsula.
 Enter Leonato, and the Constable, and the Headborough.
   Leonato. What would you with mee, honest neighbour?
   Const.Dog. Mary sir I would haue some confidence
 with you, that decernes you nearely
    Leon. Briefe I pray you, for you see it is a busie time
 with me
    Const.Dog. Mary this it is sir
    Headb. Yes in truth it is sir
    Leon. What is it my good friends?
   Con.Do. Goodman Verges sir speakes a little of the
 matter, an old man sir, and his wits are not so blunt, as
 God helpe I would desire they were, but infaith honest
 as the skin betweene his browes
    Head. Yes I thank God, I am as honest as any man liuing,
 that is an old man, and no honester then I
    Con.Dog. Comparisons are odorous, palabras, neighbour
    Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious
    Con.Dog. It pleases your worship to say so, but we are
 the poore Dukes officers, but truely for mine owne part,
 if I were as tedious as a King I could finde in my heart to
 bestow it all of your worship
    Leon. All thy tediousnesse on me, ah?
   Const.Dog. Yea, and 'twere a thousand times more
 than 'tis, for I heare as good exclamation on your Worship
 as of any man in the Citie, and though I bee but a
 poore man, I am glad to heare it
    Head. And so am I
    Leon. I would faine know what you haue to say
    Head. Marry sir our watch to night, excepting your
 worships presence, haue tane a couple of as arrant
 knaues as any in Messina
    Con.Dog. A good old man sir, hee will be talking as
 they say, when the age is in, the wit is out, God helpe vs,
 it is a world to see: well said yfaith neighbour Verges,
 well, God's a good man, and two men ride of a horse,
 one must ride behinde, an honest soule yfaith sir, by my
 troth he is, as euer broke bread, but God is to bee worshipt,
 all men are not alike, alas good neighbour
    Leon. Indeed neighbour he comes too short of you
    Con.Do. Gifts that God giues
    Leon. I must leaue you
    Con.Dog. One word sir, our watch sir haue indeede
 comprehended two aspitious persons, & we would haue
 them this morning examined before your worship
    Leon. Take their examination your selfe, and bring it
 me, I am now in great haste, as may appeare vnto you
    Const. It shall be suffigance
    Leon. Drinke some wine ere you goe: fare you well.
   Messenger. My Lord, they stay for you to giue your
 daughter to her husband
    Leon. Ile wait vpon them, I am ready
    Dogb. Goe good partner, goe get you to Francis Seacoale,
 bid him bring his pen and inkehorne to the Gaole:
 we are now to examine those men
    Verges. And we must doe it wisely
    Dogb. Wee will spare for no witte I warrant you:
 heere's that shall driue some to a non-come, only
 get the learned writer to set downe our excommunication,
 and meet me at the Iaile.
 Actus Quartus.
 Enter Prince, Bastard, Leonato, Frier, Claudio, Benedicke, Hero,
   Leonato. Come Frier Francis, be briefe, onely to the
 plaine forme of marriage, and you shal recount their particular
 duties afterwards
    Fran. You come hither, my Lord, to marry this Lady
    Clau. No
    Leo. To be married to her: Frier, you come to marrie
    Frier. Lady, you come hither to be married to this
    Hero. I doe
    Frier. If either of you know any inward impediment
 why you should not be conioyned, I charge you on your
 soules to vtter it
    Claud. Know you anie, Hero?
   Hero. None my Lord
    Frier. Know you anie, Count?
   Leon. I dare make his answer, None
    Clau. O what men dare do! what men may do! what
 men daily do!
   Bene. How now! interiections? why then, some be
 of laughing, as ha, ha, he
    Clau. Stand thee by Frier, father, by your leaue,
 Will you with free and vnconstrained soule
 Giue me this maid your daughter?
   Leon. As freely sonne as God did giue her me
    Cla. And what haue I to giue you back, whose worth
 May counterpoise this rich and precious gift?
   Prin. Nothing, vnlesse you render her againe
    Clau. Sweet Prince, you learn me noble thankfulnes:
 There Leonato, take her backe againe,
 Giue not this rotten Orenge to your friend,
 Shee's but the signe and semblance of her honour:
 Behold how like a maid she blushes heere!
 O what authoritie and shew of truth
 Can cunning sinne couer it selfe withall!
 Comes not that bloud, as modest euidence,
 To witnesse simple Vertue? would you not sweare
 All you that see her, that she were a maide,
 By these exterior shewes? But she is none:
 She knowes the heat of a luxurious bed:
 Her blush is guiltinesse, not modestie
    Leonato. What doe you meane, my Lord?
   Clau. Not to be married,
 Not to knit my soule to an approued wanton
    Leon. Deere my Lord, if you in your owne proofe,
 Haue vanquisht the resistance of her youth,
 And made defeat of her virginitie
    Clau. I know what you would say: if I haue knowne
 You will say, she did imbrace me as a husband,
 And so extenuate the forehand sinne: No Leonato,
 I neuer tempted her with word too large,
 But as a brother to his sister, shewed
 Bashfull sinceritie and comely loue
    Hero. And seem'd I euer otherwise to you?
   Clau. Out on thee seeming, I will write against it,
 You seeme to me as Diane in her Orbe,
 As chaste as is the budde ere it be blowne:
 But you are more intemperate in your blood,
 Than Venus, or those pampred animalls,
 That rage in sauage sensualitie
    Hero. Is my Lord well, that he doth speake so wide?
   Leon. Sweete Prince, why speake not you?
   Prin. What should I speake?
 I stand dishonour'd that haue gone about,
 To linke my deare friend to a common stale
    Leon. Are these things spoken, or doe I but dreame?
   Bast. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true
    Bene. This lookes not like a nuptiall
    Hero. True, O God!
   Clau. Leonato, stand I here?
 Is this the Prince? is this the Princes brother?
 Is this face Heroes? are our eies our owne?
   Leon. All this is so, but what of this my Lord?
   Clau. Let me but moue one question to your daughter,
 And by that fatherly and kindly power,
 That you haue in her, bid her answer truly
    Leo. I charge thee doe, as thou art my childe
    Hero. O God defend me how am I beset,
 What kinde of catechizing call you this?
   Clau. To make you answer truly to your name
    Hero. Is it not Hero? who can blot that name
 With any iust reproach?
   Claud. Marry that can Hero,
 Hero it selfe can blot out Heroes vertue.
 What man was he, talkt with you yesternight,
 Out at your window betwixt twelue and one?
 Now if you are a maid, answer to this
    Hero. I talkt with no man at that howre my Lord
    Prince. Why then you are no maiden. Leonato,
 I am sorry you must heare: vpon mine honor,
 My selfe, my brother, and this grieued Count
 Did see her, heare her, at that howre last night,
 Talke with a ruffian at her chamber window,
 Who hath indeed most like a liberall villaine,
 Confest the vile encounters they haue had
 A thousand times in secret
    Iohn. Fie, fie, they are not to be named my Lord,
 Not to be spoken of,
 There is not chastitie enough in language,
 Without offence to vtter them: thus pretty Lady
 I am sorry for thy much misgouernment
    Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou beene
 If halfe thy outward graces had beene placed
 About thy thoughts and counsailes of thy heart?
 But fare thee well, most foule, most faire, farewell
 Thou pure impiety, and impious puritie,
 For thee Ile locke vp all the gates of Loue,
 And on my eie-lids shall Coniecture hang,
 To turne all beauty into thoughts of harme,
 And neuer shall it more be gracious
    Leon. Hath no mans dagger here a point for me?
   Beat. Why how now cosin, wherfore sink you down?
   Bast. Come, let vs go: these things come thus to light,
 Smother her spirits vp
    Bene. How doth the Lady?
   Beat. Dead I thinke, helpe vncle,
 Hero, why Hero, Vncle, Signor Benedicke, Frier
    Leonato. O Fate! take not away thy heauy hand,
 Death is the fairest couer for her shame
 That may be wisht for
    Beatr. How now cosin Hero?
   Fri. Haue comfort Ladie
    Leon. Dost thou looke vp?
   Frier. Yea, wherefore should she not?
   Leon. Wherfore? Why doth not euery earthly thing
 Cry shame vpon her? Could she heere denie
 The storie that is printed in her blood?
 Do not liue Hero, do not ope thine eyes:
 For did I thinke thou wouldst not quickly die,
 Thought I thy spirits were stronger then thy shames,
 My selfe would on the reward of reproaches
 Strike at thy life. Grieu'd I, I had but one?
 Chid I, for that at frugal Natures frame?
 O one too much by thee: why had I one?
 Why euer was't thou louelie in my eies?
 Why had I not with charitable hand
 Tooke vp a beggars issue at my gates,
 Who smeered thus, and mir'd with infamie,
 I might haue said, no part of it is mine:
 This shame deriues it selfe from vnknowne loines,
 But mine, and mine I lou'd, and mine I prais'd,
 And mine that I was proud on mine so much,
 That I my selfe, was to my selfe not mine:
 Valewing of her, why she, O she is falne
 Into a pit of Inke, that the wide sea
 Hath drops too few to wash her cleane againe,
 And salt too little, which may season giue
 To her foule tainted flesh
    Ben. Sir, sir, be patient: for my part, I am so attired
 in wonder, I know not what to say
    Bea. O on my soule my cosin is belied
    Ben. Ladie, were you her bedfellow last night?
   Bea. No, truly: not although vntill last night,
 I haue this tweluemonth bin her bedfellow
    Leon. Confirm'd, confirm'd, O that is stronger made
 Which was before barr'd vp with ribs of iron.
 Would the Princes lie, and Claudio lie,
 Who lou'd her so, that speaking of her foulnesse,
 Wash'd it with teares? Hence from her, let her die
    Fri. Heare me a little, for I haue onely bene silent so
 long, and giuen way vnto this course of fortune, by noting
 of the Ladie, I haue markt.
 A thousand blushing apparitions,
 To start into her face, a thousand innocent shames,
 In Angel whitenesse beare away those blushes,
 And in her eie there hath appear'd a fire
 To burne the errors that these Princes hold
 Against her maiden truth. Call me a foole,
 Trust not my reading, nor my obseruations,
 Which with experimental seale doth warrant
 The tenure of my booke: trust not my age,
 My reuerence, calling, nor diuinitie,
 If this sweet Ladie lye not guiltlesse heere,
 Vnder some biting error
    Leo. Friar, it cannot be:
 Thou seest that all the Grace that she hath left,
 Is, that she wil not adde to her damnation,
 A sinne of periury, she not denies it:
 Why seek'st thou then to couer with excuse,
 That which appeares in proper nakednesse?
   Fri. Ladie, what man is he you are accus'd of?
   Hero. They know that do accuse me, I know none:
 If I know more of any man aliue
 Then that which maiden modestie doth warrant,
 Let all my sinnes lacke mercy. O my Father,
 Proue you that any man with me conuerst,
 At houres vnmeete, or that I yesternight
 Maintain'd the change of words with any creature,
 Refuse me, hate me, torture me to death
    Fri. There is some strange misprision in the Princes
    Ben. Two of them haue the verie bent of honor,
 And if their wisedomes be misled in this:
 The practise of it liues in Iohn the bastard,
 Whose spirits toile in frame of villanies
    Leo. I know not: if they speake but truth of her,
 These hands shall teare her: If they wrong her honour,
 The proudest of them shall wel heare of it.
 Time hath not yet so dried this bloud of mine,
 Nor age so eate vp my inuention,
 Nor Fortune made such hauocke of my meanes,
 Nor my bad life reft me so much of friends,
 But they shall finde, awak'd in such a kinde,
 Both strength of limbe, and policie of minde,
 Ability in meanes, and choise of friends,
 To quit me of them throughly
    Fri. Pause awhile:
 And let my counsell sway you in this case,
 Your daughter heere the Princesse (left for dead)
 Let her awhile be secretly kept in,
 And publish it, that she is dead indeed:
 Maintaine a mourning ostentation,
 And on your Families old monument,
 Hang mournfull Epitaphes, and do all rites,
 That appertaine vnto a buriall
    Leon. What shall become of this? What wil this do?
   Fri. Marry this wel carried, shall on her behalfe,
 Change slander to remorse, that is some good,
 But not for that dreame I on this strange course,
 But on this trauaile looke for greater birth:
 She dying, as it must be so maintain'd,
 Vpon the instant that she was accus'd,
 Shal be lamented, pittied, and excus'd
 Of euery hearer: for it so fals out,
 That what we haue, we prize not to the worth,
 Whiles we enioy it; but being lack'd and lost,
 Why then we racke the value, then we finde
 The vertue that possession would not shew vs
 Whiles it was ours, so will it fare with Claudio:
 When he shal heare she dyed vpon his words,
 Th' Idea of her life shal sweetly creepe
 Into his study of imagination.
 And euery louely Organ of her life,
 Shall come apparel'd in more precious habite:
 More mouing delicate, and ful of life,
 Into the eye and prospect of his soule
 Then when she liu'd indeed: then shal he mourne,
 If euer Loue had interest in his Liuer,
 And wish he had not so accused her:
 No, though he thought his accusation true:
 Let this be so, and doubt not but successe
 Wil fashion the euent in better shape,
 Then I can lay it downe in likelihood.
 But if all ayme but this be leuelld false,
 The supposition of the Ladies death,
 Will quench the wonder of her infamie.
 And if it sort not well, you may conceale her
 As best befits her wounded reputation,
 In some reclusiue and religious life,
 Out of all eyes, tongues, mindes and iniuries
    Bene. Signior Leonato, let the Frier aduise you,
 And though you know my inwardnesse and loue
 Is very much vnto the Prince and Claudio.
 Yet, by mine honor, I will deale in this,
 As secretly and iustlie, as your soule
 Should with your bodie
    Leon. Being that I flow in greefe,
 The smallest twine may lead me
    Frier. 'Tis well consented, presently away,
 For to strange sores, strangely they straine the cure,
 Come Lady, die to liue, this wedding day
 Perhaps is but prolong'd, haue patience & endure.
   Bene. Lady Beatrice, haue you wept all this while?
   Beat. Yea, and I will weepe a while longer
    Bene. I will not desire that
    Beat. You haue no reason, I doe it freely
    Bene. Surelie I do beleeue your fair cosin is wrong'd
    Beat. Ah, how much might the man deserue of mee
 that would right her!
   Bene. Is there any way to shew such friendship?
   Beat. A verie euen way, but no such friend
    Bene. May a man doe it?
   Beat. It is a mans office, but not yours
    Bene. I doe loue 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 loued nothing so well as you, but
 beleeue me not, and yet I lie not, I confesse nothing, nor
 I deny nothing, I am sorry for my cousin
    Bene. By my sword Beatrice thou lou'st me
    Beat. Doe not sweare by it and eat it
    Bene. I will sweare by it that you loue mee, and I will
 make him eat it that sayes I loue not you
    Beat. Will you not eat your word?
   Bene. With no sawce that can be deuised to it, I protest
 I loue thee
    Beat. Why then God forgiue me
    Bene. What offence sweet Beatrice?
   Beat. You haue stayed me in a happy howre, I was about
 to protest I loued you
    Bene. And doe it with all thy heart
    Beat. I loue you with so much of my heart, that none
 is left to protest
    Bened. Come, bid me doe any thing for thee
    Beat. Kill Claudio
    Bene. Ha, not for the wide world
    Beat. You kill me to denie, farewell
    Bene. Tarrie sweet Beatrice
    Beat. I am gone, though I am heere, there is no loue
 in you, nay I pray you let me goe
    Bene. Beatrice
    Beat. Infaith I will goe
    Bene. Wee'll be friends first
    Beat. You dare easier be friends with mee, than fight
 with mine enemy
    Bene. Is Claudio thine enemie?
   Beat. Is a not approued in the height a villaine, that
 hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O
 that I were a man! what, beare her in hand vntill they
 come to take hands, and then with publike accusation
 vncouered slander, vnmittigated rancour? O God that I
 were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place
    Bene. Heare me Beatrice
    Beat. Talke with a man out at a window, a proper
    Bene. Nay but Beatrice
    Beat. Sweet Hero, she is wrong'd, shee is slandered,
 she is vndone
    Bene. Beat?
   Beat. Princes and Counties! surelie a Princely testimonie,
 a goodly Count, Comfect, a sweet Gallant surelie,
 O that I were a man for his sake! or that I had any
 friend would be a man for my sake! But manhood is melted
 into cursies, valour into complement, and men are
 onelie turned into tongue, and trim ones too: he is now
 as valiant as Hercules, that only tells a lie, and sweares it:
 I cannot be a man with wishing, therfore I will die a woman
 with grieuing
    Bene. Tarry good Beatrice, by this hand I loue thee
    Beat. Vse it for my loue some other way then swearing
 by it
    Bened. Thinke you in your soule the Count Claudio
 hath wrong'd Hero?
   Beat. Yea, as sure as I haue a thought, or a soule
    Bene. Enough, I am engagde, I will challenge him, I
 will kisse your hand, and so leaue you: by this hand Claudio
 shall render me a deere account: as you heare of me,
 so thinke of me: goe comfort your coosin, I must say she
 is dead, and so farewell.
 Enter the Constables, Borachio, and the Towne Clerke in gownes.
   Keeper. Is our whole dissembly appeard?
   Cowley. O a stoole and a cushion for the Sexton
    Sexton. Which be the malefactors?
   Andrew. Marry that am I, and my partner
    Cowley. Nay that's certaine, wee haue the exhibition
 to examine
    Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined,
 let them come before master Constable
    Kemp. Yea marry, let them come before mee, what is
 your name, friend?
   Bor. Borachio
    Kem. Pray write downe Borachio. Yours sirra
    Con. I am a Gentleman sir, and my name is Conrade
    Kee. Write downe Master gentleman Conrade: maisters,
 doe you serue God: maisters, it is proued alreadie
 that you are little better than false knaues, and it will goe
 neere to be thought so shortly, how answer you for your
   Con. Marry sir, we say we are none
    Kemp. A maruellous witty fellow I assure you, but I
 will goe about with him: come you hither sirra, a word
 in your eare sir, I say to you, it is thought you are false
    Bor. Sir, I say to you, we are none
    Kemp. Well, stand aside, 'fore God they are both in
 a tale: haue you writ downe that they are none?
   Sext. Master Constable, you goe not the way to examine,
 you must call forth the watch that are their accusers
    Kemp. Yea marry, that's the eftest way, let the watch
 come forth: masters, I charge you in the Princes name,
 accuse these men
    Watch 1. This man said sir, that Don Iohn the Princes
 brother was a villaine
    Kemp. Write down, Prince Iohn a villaine: why this
 is flat periurie, to call a Princes brother villaine
    Bora. Master Constable
    Kemp. Pray thee fellow peace, I do not like thy looke
 I promise thee
    Sexton. What heard you him say else?
   Watch 2. Mary that he had receiued a thousand Dukates
 of Don Iohn, for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully
    Kemp. Flat Burglarie as euer was committed
    Const. Yea by th' masse that it is
    Sexton. What else fellow?
   Watch 1. And that Count Claudio did meane vpon his
 words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and
 not marry her
    Kemp. O villaine! thou wilt be condemn'd into euerlasting
 redemption for this
    Sexton. What else?
   Watch. This is all
    Sexton. And this is more masters then you can deny,
 Prince Iohn is this morning secretly stolne away: Hero
 was in this manner accus'd, in this very manner refus'd,
 and vpon the griefe of this sodainely died: Master Constable,
 let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato,
 I will goe before, and shew him their examination
    Const. Come, let them be opinion'd
    Sex. Let them be in the hands of Coxcombe
    Kem. Gods my life, where's the Sexton? let him write
 downe the Princes Officer Coxcombe: come, binde them
 thou naughty varlet
    Couley. Away, you are an asse, you are an asse
    Kemp. Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not
 suspect my yeeres? O that hee were heere to write mee
 downe an asse! but masters, remember that I am an asse:
 though it be not written down, yet forget not y I am an
 asse: No thou villaine, y art full of piety as shall be prou'd
 vpon thee by good witnesse, I am a wise fellow, and
 which is more, an officer, and which is more, a houshoulder,
 and which is more, as pretty a peece of flesh as any in
 Messina, and one that knowes the Law, goe to, & a rich
 fellow enough, goe to, and a fellow that hath had losses,
 and one that hath two gownes, and euery thing handsome
 about him: bring him away: O that I had been writ
 downe an asse!
 Actus Quintus.
 Enter Leonato and his brother.
   Brother. If you goe on thus, you will kill your selfe,
 And 'tis not wisedome thus to second griefe,
 Against your selfe
    Leon. I pray thee cease thy counsaile,
 Which falls into mine eares as profitlesse,
 As water in a siue: giue not me counsaile,
 Nor let no comfort delight mine eare,
 But such a one whose wrongs doth sute with mine.
 Bring me a father that so lou'd his childe,
 Whose ioy of her is ouer-whelmed like mine,
 And bid him speake of patience,
 Measure his woe the length and bredth of mine,
 And let it answere euery straine for straine,
 As thus for thus, and such a griefe for such,
 In euery lineament, branch, shape, and forme:
 If such a one will smile and stroke his beard,
 And sorrow, wagge, crie hem, when he should grone,
 Patch griefe with prouerbs, make misfortune drunke,
 With candle-wasters: bring him yet to me,
 And I of him will gather patience:
 But there is no such man, for brother, men
 Can counsaile, and speake comfort to that griefe,
 Which they themselues not feele, but tasting it,
 Their counsaile turnes to passion, which before,
 Would giue preceptiall medicine to rage,
 Fetter strong madnesse in a silken thred,
 Charme ache with ayre, and agony with words,
 No, no, 'tis all mens office, to speake patience
 To those that wring vnder the load of sorrow:
 But no mans vertue nor sufficiencie
 To be so morall, when he shall endure
 The like himselfe: therefore giue me no counsaile,
 My griefs cry lowder then aduertisement
    Broth. Therein do men from children nothing differ
    Leonato. I pray thee peace, I will be flesh and bloud,
 For there was neuer yet Philosopher,
 That could endure the tooth-ake patiently,
 How euer they haue writ the stile of gods,
 And made a push at chance and sufferance
    Brother. Yet bend not all the harme vpon your selfe,
 Make those that doe offend you, suffer too
    Leon. There thou speak'st reason, nay I will doe so,
 My soule doth tell me, Hero is belied,
 And that shall Claudio know, so shall the Prince,
 And all of them that thus dishonour her.
 Enter Prince and Claudio.
   Brot. Here comes the Prince and Claudio hastily
    Prin. Good den, good den
    Clau. Good day to both of you
    Leon. Heare you my Lords?
   Prin. We haue some haste Leonato
    Leo. Some haste my Lord! wel, fareyouwel my Lord,
 Are you so hasty now? well, all is one
    Prin. Nay, do not quarrel with vs, good old man
    Brot. If he could rite himselfe with quarrelling,
 Some of vs would lie low
    Claud. Who wrongs him?
   Leon. Marry y dost wrong me, thou dissembler, thou:
 Nay, neuer lay thy hand vpon thy sword,
 I feare thee not
    Claud. Marry beshrew my hand,
 If it should giue your age such cause of feare,
 Infaith my hand meant nothing to my sword
    Leonato. Tush, tush, man, neuer fleere and iest at me,
 I speake not like a dotard, nor a foole,
 As vnder priuiledge of age to bragge,
 What I haue done being yong, or what would doe,
 Were I not old, know Claudio to thy head,
 Thou hast so wrong'd my innocent childe and me,
 That I am forc'd to lay my reuerence by,
 And with grey haires and bruise of many daies,
 Doe challenge thee to triall of a man,
 I say thou hast belied mine innocent childe.
 Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart,
 And she lies buried with her ancestors:
 O in a tombe where neuer scandall slept,
 Saue this of hers, fram'd by thy villanie
    Claud. My villany?
   Leonato. Thine Claudio, thine I say
    Prin. You say not right old man
    Leon. My Lord, my Lord,
 Ile proue it on his body if he dare,
 Despight his nice fence, and his actiue practise,
 His Maie of youth, and bloome of lustihood
    Claud. Away, I will not haue to do with you
    Leo. Canst thou so daffe me? thou hast kild my child,
 If thou kilst me, boy, thou shalt kill a man
    Bro. He shall kill two of vs, and men indeed,
 But that's no matter, let him kill one first:
 Win me and weare me, let him answere me,
 Come follow me boy, come sir boy, come follow me
 Sir boy, ile whip you from your foyning fence,
 Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will
    Leon. Brother
    Brot. Content your self, God knows I lou'd my neece,
 And she is dead, slander'd to death by villaines,
 That dare as well answer a man indeede,
 As I dare take a serpent by the tongue.
 Boyes, apes, braggarts, Iackes, milke-sops
    Leon. Brother Anthony
    Brot. Hold you content, what man? I know them, yea
 And what they weigh, euen to the vtmost scruple,
 Scambling, out-facing, fashion-monging boyes,
 That lye, and cog, and flout, depraue, and slander,
 Goe antiquely, and show outward hidiousnesse,
 And speake of halfe a dozen dang'rous words,
 How they might hurt their enemies, if they durst.
 And this is all
    Leon. But brother Anthonie
    Ant. Come, 'tis no matter,
 Do not you meddle, let me deale in this
    Pri. Gentlemen both, we will not wake your patience
 My heart is sorry for your daughters death:
 But on my honour she was charg'd with nothing
 But what was true, and very full of proofe
    Leon. My Lord, my Lord
    Prin. I will not heare you.
 Enter Benedicke.
   Leo. No come brother, away, I will be heard.
 Exeunt. ambo.
   Bro. And shall, or some of vs will smart for it
    Prin. See, see, here comes the man we went to seeke
    Clau. Now signior, what newes?
   Ben. Good day my Lord
    Prin. Welcome signior, you are almost come to part
 almost a fray
    Clau. Wee had likt to haue had our two noses snapt
 off with two old men without teeth
    Prin. Leonato and his brother, what think'st thou? had
 wee fought, I doubt we should haue beene too yong for
    Ben. In a false quarrell there is no true valour, I came
 to seeke you both
    Clau. We haue beene vp and downe to seeke thee, for
 we are high proofe melancholly, and would faine haue it
 beaten away, wilt thou vse thy wit?
   Ben. It is in my scabberd, shall I draw it?
   Prin. Doest thou weare thy wit by thy side?
   Clau. Neuer any did so, though verie many haue been
 beside their wit, I will bid thee drawe, as we do the minstrels,
 draw to pleasure vs
    Prin. As I am an honest man he lookes pale, art thou
 sicke, or angrie?
   Clau. What, courage man: what though care kil'd a
 cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care
    Ben. Sir, I shall meete your wit in the careere, and
 you charge it against me, I pray you chuse another subiect
    Clau. Nay then giue him another staffe, this last was
 broke crosse
    Prin. By this light, he changes more and more, I thinke
 he be angrie indeede
    Clau. If he be, he knowes how to turne his girdle
    Ben. Shall I speake a word in your eare?
   Clau. God blesse me from a challenge
    Ben. You are a villaine, I iest not, I will make it good
 how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare:
 do me right, or I will protest your cowardise: you haue
 kill'd a sweete Ladie, and her death shall fall heauie on
 you, let me heare from you
    Clau. Well, I will meete you, so I may haue good
    Prin. What, a feast, a feast?
   Clau. I faith I thanke him, he hath bid me to a calues
 head and a Capon, the which if I doe not carue most curiously,
 say my knife's naught, shall I not finde a woodcocke
   Ben. Sir, your wit ambles well, it goes easily
    Prin. Ile tell thee how Beatrice prais'd thy wit the other
 day: I said thou hadst a fine wit: true saies she, a fine
 little one: no said I, a great wit: right saies shee, a great
 grosse one: nay said I, a good wit: iust said she, it hurts
 no body: nay said I, the gentleman is wise: certaine said
 she, a wise gentleman: nay said I, he hath the tongues:
 that I beleeue said shee, for hee swore a thing to me on
 munday night, which he forswore on tuesday morning:
 there's a double tongue, there's two tongues: thus did
 shee an howre together trans-shape thy particular vertues,
 yet at last she concluded with a sigh, thou wast the
 proprest man in Italie
    Claud. For the which she wept heartily, and said shee
 car'd not
    Prin. Yea that she did, but yet for all that, and if shee
 did not hate him deadlie, shee would loue him dearely,
 the old mans daughter told vs all
    Clau. All, all, and moreouer, God saw him when he
 was hid in the garden
    Prin. But when shall we set the sauage Bulls hornes
 on the sensible Benedicks head?
   Clau. Yea and text vnderneath, heere dwells Benedicke
 the married man
    Ben. Fare you well, Boy, you know my minde, I will
 leaue you now to your gossep-like humor, you breake
 iests as braggards do their blades, which God be thanked
 hurt not: my Lord, for your manie courtesies I thank
 you, I must discontinue your companie, your brother
 the Bastard is fled from Messina: you haue among you,
 kill'd a sweet and innocent Ladie: for my Lord Lackebeard
 there, he and I shall meete, and till then peace be
 with him
    Prin. He is in earnest
    Clau. In most profound earnest, and Ile warrant you,
 for the loue of Beatrice
    Prin. And hath challeng'd thee
    Clau. Most sincerely
    Prin. What a prettie thing man is, when he goes in his
 doublet and hose, and leaues off his wit.
 Enter Constable, Conrade, and Borachio.
   Clau. He is then a Giant to an Ape, but then is an Ape
 a Doctor to such a man
    Prin. But soft you, let me be, plucke vp my heart, and
 be sad, did he not say my brother was fled?
   Const. Come you sir, if iustice cannot tame you, shee
 shall nere weigh more reasons in her ballance, nay, and
 you be a cursing hypocrite once, you must be lookt to
    Prin. How now, two of my brothers men bound? Borachio
    Clau. Harken after their offence my Lord
    Prin. Officers, what offence haue these men done?
   Const. Marrie sir, they haue committed false report,
 moreouer they haue spoken vntruths, secondarily they
 are slanders, sixt and lastly, they haue belyed a Ladie,
 thirdly, they haue verified vniust things, and to conclude
 they are lying knaues
    Prin. First I aske thee what they haue done, thirdlie
 I aske thee what's their offence, sixt and lastlie why they
 are committed, and to conclude, what you lay to their
    Clau. Rightlie reasoned, and in his owne diuision, and
 by my troth there's one meaning well suted
    Prin. Who haue you offended masters, that you are
 thus bound to your answer? this learned Constable is too
 cunning to be vnderstood, what's your offence?
   Bor. Sweete Prince, let me go no farther to mine answere:
 do you heare me, and let this Count kill mee: I
 haue deceiued euen your verie eies: what your wisedomes
 could not discouer, these shallow fooles haue
 brought to light, who in the night ouerheard me confessing
 to this man, how Don Iohn your brother incensed
 me to slander the Ladie Hero, how you were brought
 into the Orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Heroes
 garments, how you disgrac'd her when you should
 marrie her: my villanie they haue vpon record, which
 I had rather seale with my death, then repeate ouer to
 my shame: the Ladie is dead vpon mine and my masters
 false accusation: and briefelie, I desire nothing but the
 reward of a villaine
    Prin. Runs not this speech like yron through your
   Clau. I haue drunke poison whiles he vtter'd it
    Prin. But did my Brother set thee on to this?
   Bor. Yea, and paid me richly for the practise of it
    Prin. He is compos'd and fram'd of treacherie,
 And fled he is vpon this villanie
    Clau. Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appeare
 In the rare semblance that I lou'd it first
    Const. Come, bring away the plaintiffes, by this time
 our Sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter:
 and masters, do not forget to specifie when time & place
 shall serue, that I am an Asse
    Con.2. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and
 the Sexton too.
 Enter Leonato.
   Leon. Which is the villaine? let me see his eies,
 That when I note another man like him,
 I may auoide him: which of these is he?
   Bor. If you would know your wronger, looke on me
    Leon. Art thou the slaue that with thy breath
 hast kild mine innocent childe?
   Bor. Yea, euen I alone
    Leo. No, not so villaine, thou beliest thy selfe,
 Here stand a paire of honourable men,
 A third is fled that had a hand in it:
 I thanke you Princes for my daughters death,
 Record it with your high and worthie deedes,
 'Twas brauely done, if you bethinke you of it
    Clau. I know not how to pray your patience,
 Yet I must speake, choose your reuenge your selfe,
 Impose me to what penance your inuention
 Can lay vpon my sinne, yet sinn'd I not,
 But in mistaking
    Prin. By my soule nor I,
 And yet to satisfie this good old man,
 I would bend vnder anie heauie waight,
 That heele enioyne me to
    Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter liue,
 That were impossible, but I praie you both,
 Possesse the people in Messina here,
 How innocent she died, and if your loue
 Can labour aught in sad inuention,
 Hang her an epitaph vpon her toomb,
 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 sonne in law,
 Be yet my Nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
 Almost the copie of my childe that's dead,
 And she alone is heire to both of vs,
 Giue her the right you should haue giu'n her cosin,
 And so dies my reuenge
    Clau. O noble sir!
 Your ouerkindnesse doth wring teares from me,
 I do embrace your offer, and dispose
 For henceforth of poore Claudio
    Leon. To morrow then I will expect your comming,
 To night I take my leaue, this naughtie man
 Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
 Who I beleeue was packt in all this wrong,
 Hired to it by your brother
    Bor. No, by my soule she was not,
 Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me,
 But alwaies hath bin iust and vertuous,
 In anie thing that I do know by her
    Const. Moreouer sir, which indeede is not vnder white
 and black, this plaintiffe here, the offendour did call mee
 asse, I beseech you let it be remembred in his punishment,
 and also the watch heard them talke of one Deformed,
 they say he weares a key in his eare and a lock hanging
 by it, and borrowes monie in Gods name, the which
 he hath vs'd so long, and neuer paied, that now men grow
 hard-harted and will lend nothing for Gods sake: praie
 you examine him vpon that point
    Leon. I thanke thee for thy care and honest paines
    Const. Your worship speakes like a most thankefull
 and reuerend youth, and I praise God for you
    Leon. There's for thy paines
    Const. God saue the foundation
    Leon. Goe, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I
 thanke thee
    Const. I leaue an arrant knaue with your worship,
 which I beseech your worship to correct your selfe, for
 the example of others: God keepe your worship, I
 wish your worship well, God restore you to health,
 I humblie giue you leaue to depart, and if a merrie
 meeting may be wisht, God prohibite it: come
    Leon. Vntill to morrow morning, Lords, farewell.
   Brot. Farewell my Lords, we looke for you to morrow
    Prin. We will not faile
    Clau. To night ile mourne with Hero
    Leon. Bring you these fellowes on, weel talke with
 Margaret, How her acquaintance grew with this lewd
 Enter Benedicke and Margaret.
   Ben. Praie thee sweete Mistris Margaret, deserue
 well at my hands, by helping mee to the speech of Beatrice
    Mar. Will you then write me a Sonnet in praise of
 my beautie?
   Bene. In so high a stile Margaret, that no man liuing
 shall come ouer it, for in most comely truth thou deseruest
    Mar. To haue no man come ouer me, why, shall I alwaies
 keepe below staires?
   Bene. Thy wit is as quicke as the grey-hounds mouth,
 it catches
    Mar. And yours, as blunt as the Fencers foiles, 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 giue thee the
    Mar. Giue vs the swords, wee haue bucklers of our
    Bene. If you vse them Margaret, you must put in the
 pikes with a vice, and they are dangerous weapons for
    Mar. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who I thinke
 hath legges.
 Exit Margarite.
   Ben. And therefore will come. The God of loue that
 sits aboue, and knowes me, and knowes me, how pittifull
 I deserue. I meane in singing, but in louing, Leander
 the good swimmer, Troilous the first imploier of
 pandars, and a whole booke full of these quondam carpet-mongers,
 whose name yet runne smoothly in the euen
 rode of a blanke verse, why they were neuer so truely
 turned ouer and ouer as my poore selfe in loue: marrie
 I cannot shew it rime, I haue tried, I can finde out no
 rime to Ladie but babie, an innocent rime: for scorne,
 horne, a hard rime: for schoole foole, a babling rime:
 verie ominous endings, no, I was not borne vnder a riming
 Plannet, for I cannot wooe in festiuall tearmes:
 Enter Beatrice.
 sweete Beatrice would'st thou come when I cal'd
   Beat. Yea Signior, and depart when you bid me
    Bene. O stay but till then
    Beat. Then, is spoken: fare you well now, and yet ere
 I goe, let me goe with that I came, which is, with knowing
 what hath past betweene you and Claudio
    Bene. Onely foule words, and thereupon I will kisse
    Beat. Foule words is but foule wind, and foule wind
 is but foule breath, and foule breath is noisome, therefore
 I will depart vnkist
    Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right
 sence, so forcible is thy wit, but I must tell thee plainely,
 Claudio vndergoes my challenge, and either I must shortly
 heare from him, or I will subscribe him a coward, and
 I pray thee now tell me, for which of my bad parts didst
 thou first fall in loue with me?
   Beat. For them all together, which maintain'd so
 politique a state of euill, that they will not admit any
 good part to intermingle with them: but for which of
 my good parts did you first suffer loue for me?
   Bene. Suffer loue! a good epithite, I do suffer loue indeede,
 for I loue thee against my will,
   Beat. In spight of your heart I think, alas poore heart,
 if you spight it for my sake, I will spight it for yours, for
 I will neuer loue that which my friend hates
    Bened. Thou and I are too wise to wooe peaceablie
    Bea. It appeares not in this confession, there's not one
 wise man among twentie that will praise himselfe
    Bene. An old, an old instance Beatrice, that liu'd in
 the time of good neighbours, if a man doe not erect in
 this age his owne tombe ere he dies, hee shall liue no
 longer in monuments, then the Bels ring, & the Widdow
    Beat. And how long is that thinke you?
   Ben. Question, why an hower in clamour and a quarter
 in rhewme, therfore is it most expedient for the wise,
 if Don worme (his conscience) finde no impediment to
 the contrarie, to be the trumpet of his owne vertues, as
 I am to my selfe so much for praising my selfe, who I my
 selfe will beare witnesse is praise worthie, and now tell
 me, how doth your cosin?
   Beat. Verie ill
    Bene. And how doe you?
   Beat. Verie ill too.
 Enter Vrsula.
   Bene. Serue God, loue me, and mend, there will I leaue
 you too, for here comes one in haste
    Vrs. Madam, you must come to your Vncle, yonders
 old coile at home, it is prooued my Ladie Hero
 hath bin falselie accusde, the Prince and Claudio
 mightilie abusde, and Don Iohn is the author of all, who
 is fled and gone: will you come presentlie?
   Beat. Will you go heare this newes Signior?
   Bene. I will liue in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried
 in thy eies: and moreouer, I will goe with thee to
 thy Vncles.
 Enter Claudio, Prince, and three or foure with Tapers.
   Clau. Is this the monument of Leonato?
   Lord. It is my Lord.
 Done to death by slanderous tongues,
 Was the Hero that here lies:
 Death in guerdon of her wrongs,
 Giues her fame which neuer dies:
 So the life that dyed with shame,
 Liues in death with glorious fame.
 Hang thou there vpon the tombe,
 Praising her when I am dombe
    Clau. Now musick sound & sing your solemn hymne
 Pardon goddesse of the night,
 Those that slew thy virgin knight,
 For the which with songs of woe,
 Round about her tombe they goe:
 Midnight assist our mone, helpe vs to sigh and grone.
 Heauily, heauily.
 Graues yawne and yeelde your dead,
 Till death be vttered,
 Heauenly, heauenly
    Lo. Now vnto thy bones good night, yeerely will I do this right
    Prin. Good morrow masters, put your Torches out,
 The wolues haue preied, and looke, the gentle day
 Before the wheeles of Phoebus, round about
 Dapples the drowsie East with spots of grey:
 Thanks to you all, and leaue vs, fare you well
    Clau. Good morrow masters, each his seuerall way
    Prin. Come let vs hence, and put on other weedes,
 And then to Leonatoes we will goe
    Clau. And Hymen now with luckier issue speeds,
 Then this for whom we rendred vp this woe.
 Enter Leonato, Bene. Marg. Vrsula, old man, Frier, Hero.
   Frier. Did I not tell you she was innocent?
   Leo. So are the Prince and Claudio who accus'd her,
 Vpon the errour that you heard debated:
 But Margaret was in some fault for this,
 Although against her will as it appeares,
 In the true course of all the question
    Old. 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
    Leo. Well daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
 Withdraw into a chamber by your selues,
 And when I send for you, come hither mask'd:
 The Prince and Claudio promis'd by this howre
 To visit me, you know your office Brother,
 You must be father to your brothers daughter,
 And giue her to young Claudio.
 Exeunt. Ladies.
   Old. Which I will doe with confirm'd countenance
    Bene. Frier, I must intreat your paines, I thinke
    Frier. To doe what Signior?
   Bene. To binde me, or vndoe me, one of them:
 Signior Leonato, truth it is good Signior,
 Your neece regards me with an eye of fauour
    Leo. That eye my daughter lent her, 'tis most true
    Bene. And I doe with an eye of loue requite her
    Leo. The sight whereof I thinke you had from me,
 From Claudio, and the Prince, but what's your will?
   Bened. Your answer sir is Enigmaticall,
 But for my will, my will is, your good will
 May stand with ours, this day to be conioyn'd,
 In the state of honourable marriage,
 In which (good Frier) I shall desire your helpe
    Leon. My heart is with your liking
    Frier. And my helpe.
 Enter Prince and Claudio, with attendants.
   Prin. Good morrow to this faire assembly
    Leo. Good morrow Prince, good morrow Claudio:
 We heere attend you, are you yet determin'd,
 To day to marry with my brothers daughter?
   Claud. Ile hold my minde were she an Ethiope
    Leo. Call her forth brother, heres the Frier ready
    Prin. Good morrow Benedicke, why what's the matter?
 That you haue such a Februarie face,
 So full of frost, of storme, and clowdinesse
    Claud. I thinke he thinkes vpon the sauage bull:
 Tush, feare not man, wee'll tip thy hornes with gold,
 And all Europa shall reioyce at thee,
 As once Europa did at lusty Ioue,
 When he would play the noble beast in loue
    Ben. Bull Ioue sir, had an amiable low,
 And some such strange bull leapt your fathers Cow,
 A got a Calfe in that same noble feat,
 Much like to you, for you haue iust his bleat.
 Enter brother, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, Vrsula.
   Cla. For this I owe you: here comes other recknings.
 Which is the Lady I must seize vpon?
   Leo. This same is she, and I doe giue you her
    Cla. Why then she's mine, sweet let me see your face
    Leon. No that you shal not, till you take her hand,
 Before this Frier, and sweare to marry her
    Clau. Giue me your hand before this holy Frier,
 I am your husband if you like of me
    Hero. And when I liu'd I was your other wife,
 And when you lou'd, you were my other husband
    Clau. Another Hero?
   Hero. Nothing certainer.
 One Hero died, but I doe liue,
 And surely as I liue, I am a maid
    Prin. The former Hero, Hero that is dead
    Leon. Shee died my Lord, but whiles her slander liu'd
    Frier. All this amazement can I qualifie,
 When after that the holy rites are ended,
 Ile tell you largely of faire Heroes death:
 Meane time let wonder seeme familiar,
 And to the chappell let vs presently
    Ben. Soft and faire Frier, which is Beatrice?
   Beat. I answer to that name, what is your will?
   Bene. Doe not you loue me?
   Beat. Why no, no more then reason
    Bene. Why then your Vncle, and the Prince, & Claudio,
 haue beene deceiued, they swore you did
    Beat. Doe not you loue mee?
   Bene. Troth no, no more then reason
    Beat. Why then my Cosin Margaret and Vrsula
 Are much deceiu'd, for they did sweare you did
    Bene. They swore you were almost sicke for me
    Beat. They swore you were wel-nye dead for me
    Bene. 'Tis no matter, then you doe not loue me?
   Beat. No truly, but in friendly recompence
    Leon. Come Cosin, I am sure you loue the gentlema[n]
    Clau. And Ile be sworne vpon't, that he loues her,
 For heres a paper written in his hand,
 A halting sonnet of his owne pure braine,
 Fashioned to Beatrice
    Hero. And heeres another,
 Writ in my cosins hand, stolne from her pocket,
 Containing her affection vnto Benedicke
    Bene. A miracle, here's our owne hands against our
 hearts: come I will haue thee, but by this light I take
 thee for pittie
    Beat. I would not denie you, but by this good day, I
 yeeld vpon great perswasion, & partly to saue your life,
 for I was told, you were in a consumption
    Leon. Peace I will stop your mouth
    Prin. How dost thou Benedicke the married man?
   Bene. Ile tell thee what Prince: a Colledge of witte-crackers
 cannot flout mee out of my humour, dost thou
 think I care for a Satyre or an Epigram? no, if a man will
 be beaten with braines, a shall weare nothing handsome
 about him: in briefe, since I do purpose to marry, I will
 thinke nothing to any purpose that the world can say against
 it, and therefore neuer flout at me, for I haue said
 against it: for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion:
 for thy part Claudio, I did thinke to haue beaten
 thee, but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, liue vnbruis'd,
 and loue my cousin
    Cla. I had well hop'd y wouldst haue denied Beatrice, y
 I might haue cudgel'd thee out of thy single life, to make
 thee a double dealer, which out of questio[n] thou wilt be,
 if my Cousin do not looke exceeding narrowly to thee
    Bene. Come, come, we are friends, let's haue a dance
 ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts,
 and our wiues heeles
    Leon. Wee'll haue dancing afterward
    Bene. First, of my word, therfore play musick. Prince,
 thou art sad, get thee a wife, get thee a wife, there is no
 staff more reuerend then one tipt with horn.
 Enter. Mes.
   Messen. My Lord, your brother Iohn is tane in flight,
 And brought with armed men backe to Messina
    Bene. Thinke not on him till to morrow, ile deuise
 thee braue punishments for him: strike vp Pipers.
 FINIS. Much adoe about Nothing.

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