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Bora. Sweet prince, let me go, no further to mine answer ; do

you hear me, and let this count kill me. I have deceived even your very eyes : what your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light; who, in the night, overheard me contessing to this man, how Don John your brother incens'd me to slander the lady Hero; how you were brought into tlie orchard, and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments; how you disgrac'd her, when you should marry her: my villainy they have upon record ; which I had rather seal with my death, than repeat over to my shame : the lady is dead upon mine and my master's false accusation; and briefly, I desire nothing but the reward of a villain.

253 Pedro. Runs not this speech like iron through your

blood ? Claud. I have drunk poison, whiles he utter'd it. Pedro. But did my brother set thee on to this ? Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of

it. Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery :And fed he is

upon

this villainy. Claud, Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that I lov'd it first.

261 Dogb. Come bring away the plaintiffs ; by this time our sexton hath reform’d signior Leonato of the matter : And masters do not forget to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.

Verg. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the sexton too.

Re-enter

Re-enter LEONATO and ANTONIO, with the Sexton.**

!

Leon. Which is the villain ? Let me see his eyes; That when I note another man like him, 1 may avoid him: which of these is he?

270 Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on

me.,
Leon. Art thou the slave, that with thy breath hast

kill'd
Mine innocent child ?

Bora. Yea, even I alone.

Leon? No, not so villain ; thou bely’st thyself;
Here stand a pair of honourable men,
A third is filed, that had a hand in it :-
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death;
Record it with your high and worthy deeds ;
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it. 280

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience,
Yet I must speak : Chuse your revenge yourself ;
Impose me to what penance your invention
Can lay upon my sin : yet sinn'd I not,
But in mistaking.

Pedro. By my soul, nor I;
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.
Leon. I cannot bid you
bid my daughter live,

2go
That were impossible; but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina liere
How innocent she dy'd : "and, if your love

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" Can

“ Can labour aught in sad invention,
“ Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
“ And sing it to her bones; sing it to-night":
To-morrow morning come you to my house ;
And since you could not be my son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew: my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child that's dead,

300
And she alone is heir to both of us ;
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.

Claud. O noble sir,
Your over-kindness doth wring tears from me!
I do embrace your offer ; and dispose
For henceforth of poor Claudio.

Leon. To-morrow then I will expect your coming i
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, 310
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong,
Hir'd to it by your brother.

Bora. No, by my soul, she was not ; Nor knew not what she did, when she spoke to me; But always hath been just and virtuous, In any thing that I do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, sir (which, indeed, is not under white and black), this plaintiff here, the offender, did call me ass: I beseech you, let it be remembred in his punishment: And also, the watch heard them talk of one Deformed : “ they say, he wears a key in his ear, and a lock hanging by it; and borrows money ", in God's pame; the which he hath us'd so long, and

" never

never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and “ will lend nothing for God's sake :" Pray you, exa. mine him upon that point.

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honest pains.

Dogb. Your worship speaks like a most thankful and reverend youth; and I praise God for you. Leon. There's for thy pains.

330 Dogb. God save the foundation !

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

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

[Exeunt.

340 Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewel. Ant. Farewel, my lords; we look for you to;

morrow.
Pedro. We will not fail.
« Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero."
Leon. Bring you these fellows on; we'll talk with

Margaret,
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[Excunt severally.

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SCENE II.

A Room in LEONATO's House.

Enter BENEDICK, and MARGARET, meeting. Bene. Pray thee, sweet mistress Margaret, deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the speech of Beatrice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bene. If you use them, Margaret, you must put 's in the pikes with a vice ; and they are dangerous “ weapons for maids."

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, " think hath legs." [ Exit MARGARET370 Bene. “ And therefore will corne.” [Sings.]

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