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

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


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

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Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I think, hath legs. [Exit MARGARET.

Bene. And therefore will come.

The god of love,
That sits above,

And knows me, and knows me,

How pitiful I deserve,——


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


Sweet Beatrice, would'st thou come when I called thee?
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 go, let me go with that I come for, which is, with knowing what hath passed between you and Claudio.

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kiss thee. Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind is

8 I give thee the bucklers.] To give the buckler is, perhaps, to yield, or to lay by all thoughts of defence; so clypeum abjicere. The rest deserves no comment.JOHNSON.

but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome; therefore I will depart unkissed.

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his right sense, so forcible is thy wit: But, I must tell thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge; and either I must shortly hear 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 love with me?

Beat. For them all together; which maintained so politic a state of evil, that they will not admit any good part to intermingle with them. But for which of my good parts did you first suffer love for me?

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

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

Bene. Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably.

Beat. It appears not in this confession: there's not one wise man among twenty, that will praise himself.

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

Beat. And how long is that, think you?

Bene. Question;—why, an hour in clamour, and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is most expedient for the wise, (if Don Worm, his conscience, find no impediment to the contrary,) to be the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself: So much for praising myself, (whọ, I myself will bear witness, is praise-worthy,) and now tell me, How doth your cousin?

Beat. Very ill.

Bene. And how do you?

Beat. Very ill too.

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend: there will I leave you too, for here comes one in haste.

h time of good neighbours:] When men were not envious but every man gave another his due.-WARBURTON.

iQuestion ;-] This phrase frequently occurs and means no more than that's the question.-RITSON.


Urs. Madam, you must come to your uncle; yonder's old coil at home: it is proved, my lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abus'd; and Don John is the author of all, who is fled and gone; will you come presently?


Beat. Will you go hear this news, signior?

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Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be buried in thy eyes; and, moreover, I will go with thee to thy uncle's. [Exeunt.


The inside of a Church.

Enter Don PEDRO, CLAUDIO, and attendants, with music and tapers.

Claud. Is this the monument of Leonato ?

Atten. It is, my lord.

Claud. [Reads from a scroll.]

Done to death by slanderous tongues
Was the Hero that here lies:
Death, in guerdon of her wrongs,
Gives her fame which never dies:
So the life, that died with shame,
Lives in death with glorious fame.

Hang thou there upon the tomb, [affixing it.
Praising her when I am dumb.-

Now, music, sound, and sing your solemn hymn.



Pardon, Goddess of the night,
Those that slew thy virgin knight,
For the which, with songs of woe,
Round about her tomb they go.

k old coil-] Bustle, stir :-old was anciently a common augmentative in familiar language.

I guerdon-] Reward,

Those that slew thy virgin knight;] i. e. Virgin Hero.



Midnight, assist our moan;
Help us to sigh and groan,
Heavily, heavily:

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

Heavenly, heavenly."

Claud. Now unto thy bones good night!
Yearly will I do this rite!

D. Pedro. Good morrow, masters; put your torches out: The wolves have prey'd and look, the gentle day, Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about


Dapples the drowsy east with spots of gray : Thanks to you all, and leave us; fare you well.

Claud. Good morrow, masters; each his several way. D. Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds; And then to Leonato's we will go.

Claud. And, Hymen, now with luckier issue speeds, Than this, for whom he render'd up this woe!



A Room in Leonato's House.


Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent?

Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accused her, Upon the error that you heard debated:

But Margaret was in some fault for this;
Although against her will, as it appears
In the true course of all question.

Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well. Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc'd To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

n Heavenly, heavenly.] This is the old reading of the first folio, for which all the recent editors have erroneously printed heavily, heavily; and, having made nonsense of the passage, find with Mr. Malone that they could not understand it. The song entreats that the graves may restore their dead, till death, the monarch of the grave, is proved to be of a heavenly nature, by his lepity in yielding to the supplications of mankind.


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

[Exeunt Ladies.
Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.
Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
Friar. To do what, signior?

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.-
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; 'Tis most true.
Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her.

Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me. From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your will? Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:

But, for my will, my will is, your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the estate of honourable marriage;

In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
Leon. My heart is with your liking.

Here comes the prince, and Claudio.

And my help.

Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with Attendants.

D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly. Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio; We here attend you; Are you yet determin'd To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?

Claud. I'll hold my mind, where she an Ethiope.
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar ready.
D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's the


That you have such a February face,

So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?

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