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Are you fo hafty now? well, all is one.

Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man. Ant. If he could right himself with quarrelling, Some of us would lye low.

Claud. Who wrongs him?

Leon. Marry, thou doft wrong me, thou diffembler, thou!

Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy fword,
I fear thee not.

Claud. Marry, befhrew my hand,

If it should give your age fuch cause of fear;
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my fword.
Leon. Tufh, tufh, man, never fleer and jeft at me
I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool;
As, under privilege of age, to brag

What I have done being young, or what would do,
Were I not old: know, Claudio, to thy head,
Thou haft fo wrong'd my innocent child and me,
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by ;
And, with grey hairs, and bruise of many days,
Do challenge thee to tryal of a man ;
I fay, thou haft bely'd mine innocent child,
Thy flander hath gone through and through her heart
And the lyes bury'd with her ancestors,
O, in a tomb where never scandal flept,
Save this of hers, fram'd by thy villany!
Claud. My villany?

Leon. Thine, Claudio; thine, I fay.
Pedro. You fay not right, old man.
Leon. My lord, my lord,


prove it on his body, if he dare; Despight his nice fence and his active practice, His May of youth, and bloom of luftyhood. Claud. Away, I will not have to do with Leon. Canft thou fo doffe me? thou haft kill'd my


child; If thou kill'ft me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.


3 Ant. He fhall kill two of us, and men indeed
But that's no matter, let him kill one first ;
Win me and wear me, let him answer me;
Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me;
Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

Leon. Brother,

Ant. Content your felf; God knows, I lov'd my

And fhe is dead, flander'd to death by villains,
That dare as well answer a man, indeed,
As I dare take a ferpent by the tongue.
Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milkfops!

Leon. Brother Anthony

Ant. "Hold you content; what, man? I know them, yea,

"And what they weigh, even to the utmost scruple: "Scambling, out-facing, fashion-mongring boys, "That lye, and cog, and flout, deprave and flander, "Go antickly, and fhow an outward hideousness, "And fpeak off half a dozen dangerous words, "How they might hurt their enemies, if they durft; "And this is all."

Leon. But, brother Anthony,

Ant. Come, 'tis no matter;
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.

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3 Ant. He shall kill two of us, &c.] This Brother Anthony is the trueft picture imaginable of human nature. He had affumed the Character of a Sage to comfort his Brother, o'erwhelm'd with grief for his only daughter's affront and dishonour; and had feverely reproved him for not commanding his paffion better on fo trying an occafion. Yet, immediately after this, no fooner does he begin to fufpect that his Age and Valour are flighted, but he falls into the moft intemperate fit of rage himself: and all his Brother can do or fay is not of power to pacify him. This is copying nature with a penetration and exactnefs of Judgment peculiar to Shakespear. As to the expreffion, too, of his paffion, nothing can be more highly painted.


Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not wrack your

My heart is forry for your daughter's death;
But, on my Honour, fhe was charg'd with nothing
But what was true, and very full of proof.
Leon. My lord, my lord

Pedro. I will not hear you.

Leon. No! come, brother, away, I will be heard. Ant. And fhall, or fome of us will smart for it.

[Exeunt ambo.


Enter Benedick.

Pedro. See, fee, here comes the man we went to



Claud. Now, Signior, what news?

Bene. Good day, my lord.

Pedro. Welcome, Signior; you are almost come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We had like to have had our two nofes fnapt off with two old men without teeth.

Pedro. Leonato and his brother; what think'ft thou? had we fought, I doubt, we should have been too young for them.

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Bene. In a falfe quarrel there is no true valour: I came to feek you both.

Claud. We have been up and down to feek thee; for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain have it beaten away: wilt thou ufe thy wit?

Bene. It is in my fcabbard; fhall I'draw it?
Pedro. Doft thou wear thy wit by thy fide?

4 we will not WAKE your patience.] This conveys a fentiment that the speaker would by no means have implied, That the patience of the two Old men was not exercised, but asleep, which upbraids them for infenfibility under their wrong. Shakespear must have wrote-We will nat WRACK, i. e. destroy your patience by tantalizing you,


Claud. Never any did fo, though very many have been befide their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels; draw, to pleasure us.

Pedro. As I am an honeft man, he looks pale: art thou fick or angry?

Claud. What! courage, man: what tho' care kill'd a cat, thou haft mettle enough in thee to kill care. Bene. Sir, I fhall meet your wit in the career, if you charge it against me. I pray you, chufe another subject. Claud. Nay, then give him another staff; this laft was broke cross.

Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more: I think, he be angry, indeed.

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
Bene. Shall I speak a word in your ear?
Claud. God blefs me from a challenge!

Bene. You are a villain; I jeft not. I will make it
good how you dare, with what you dare, and when
you dare.
Do me right, or I will protest your cow-
ardise. You have kill'd a fweet lady, and her death
shall fall heavy on you. Let me hear from you.
Claud. Well, I will meet you, fo I may have good

Pedro. What, a feast?

Claud. I'faith, I thank him; he hath bid me to a calves-head and a capon, the which if I do not carve most curiously, fay, my knife's naught. Shall I not find a woodcock too?

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well; it goes easily.

Pedro. I'll tell thee, how Beatrice prais'd thy wit the other day I faid, thou hadft a fine wit; right, fays fhe, a fine little one; no, faid I, a great wit; just, faid fhe, a great grofs one; nay, said I, a good wit; juft, faid fhe, it hurts no body; nay, faid I, the gen

5 Nay, then give him another faff; &c.] Allufion to Tilting. See note, As you like it. A&t 3. Scene 10.


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tleman is wife; certain, faid fhe, a wife gentleman; nay, faid I, he hath the tongues; that I believe, said fhe, for he fwore a thing to me on Monday night, which he forfwore on Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue, there's two tongues. Thus did fhe an hour together trans-fhape thy particular virtues ; yet, at laft, fhe concluded with a figh, thou waft the propereft man in Italy.

Claud. For the which fhe wept heartily, and said, fhe car'd not.

Pedro. Yea, that she did; but yet for all that, and if she did not hate him deadly, the would love him dearly; the old man's daughter told us all.

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God faw him when he was bid in the garden.

Pedro. But when fhall we fet the falvage bull's horns on the fenfible Benedick's head?

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Benedick the married man.

Bene. Fare you well, boy, you know my mind I will leave you now to your goffip-like humour; you break jefts as braggarts do their blades, which, God be thank'd, hurt not. My lord, for your many courtefies I thank you; I muft difcontinue your company; your brother, the bastard, is fled from Messina; you have among you killed a sweet and innocent lady. For my lord lack-beard there, he and I fhall meet; and 'till then, peace be with him! [Exit Benedick. Pedro. He is in earnest.

Claud. In moft profound earnest, and, I'll warrant you, for the love of Beatrice.

Pedro. And hath challeng'd thee?

Claud. Moft fincerely.


Pedro. What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hofe, and leaves off his wit!


6 What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in his doublet and hofe, and leaves off his wit!] It was esteemed a mark of levity


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