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ACT IV.

SCENE I.

The Inside of a Church.

Enter Don PEDRO, Don John, LEONATO, Friar,

CLAUDIO, BENEDICE, Hero, and BEATRICE, 8.

Leon. Come, friar Francis, be brief; only to the plain form of marriage, and you shall recount their particular duties afterwards.

Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this lady?

Claud. No.
Leon. To be married to her, friar; you come to

marry her.

Friar. Lady, you come hither to be married to this count?

Hero. I do.

Friar. If either of you know any inward impediment why you should not be conjoined, I charge you, on your souls, to utter it.

Claud. Know you any, Hero?
Hero. None, my lord.
Friar. Know you any count?
Leon. I dare make his answer, none.

Claud. O, what men dare do! what men may do! what men daily do! not knowing what they do!

Bene. How now! Interjections? Why, then some be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he? Claud. Stand thee by, friar :-Father, by your

leave!

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Will you with free and unconstrained soul
Give me this maid, your daughter?

Leon. As freely, son, as God did give her me.
Claud. And what have I to give you back, whose

worth
May counterpoise this rich and precious gift.

D. Pedro. Nothing, unless you render her again.
Claud. Sweet prince, you learn me noble thank-

fulness.
There, Leonato, take her back again;
Give not this rotten orange to your friend;
She's but the sign and semblance of her honour :
Behold, how like a maid she blushes here :
O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal !
Comes not that blood, as modest evidence,
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
All

you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows? But she is none :
She knows the heat of a luxurious 5 bed ;
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.

Leon. What do you mean, my lord?
Claud.

Not to be married, Not knit my soul to an approved wanton.

Leon. Dear my lord, if you, in your own proof Have vanquish'd the resistance of her youth, And made defeat of her virginity, -mm Claud. I know what you would say; If I have

known her, You'll

say,

she did embrace me as a husband, And so extenuate the 'forehand sin :

5 Lascivious.

No, Leonato,
I never tempted her with word too large;6
But, as a brother to his sister, show'd
Bashful sincerity, and comely love.

Hero. And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?

Claud. Out on thy seeming! I will write against it;
You seem to me as Dian in her orb;
As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown;
But you are more intemperate in your blood
Than Venus, or those pamper'd animals
That rage in savage sensuality,

Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth speak so wide ??
Leon. Sweet prince, why speak not you?
D. Pedro.

What should I speak ? I stand dishonour'd, that have

gone

about To link my dear friend to a common stale.

Leon. Are these things spoken? or do I but dream?
D. John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things

are true.
Bene. This looks not like a nuptial.
Hero.

True, O God!
Claud. Leonato, stand I here?
Is this the prince? Is this the prince's brother?
Is this face Hero's? Are our eyes our own?

Leon. All this is so; But what of this, my lord?
Claud. Let me but move one question to your.

daughter;
And, by that fatherly and kindly power
That
you

have in her, bid her answer truly.
Leon. I charge thee do so, as thou art my child.

B Licentious.

7 Remote from the business in hand.

Hero. O God defend me! how am I beset! What kind of catechizing call you this?

Claud. To make you answer truly to your name.

Hero. Is it not Hero? Who can blot that name
With any just reproach?
Claud.

Marry, that can Hero;
Hero itself can blot out Hero's virtue.
What man was he talk'd with you yesternight
Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one?
Now, if you are a maid, answer to this.

Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord.

D.Pedro. Why, then are you no maiden.-Leonato, I am sorry you must hear ; Upon mine honour, Myself, my brother, and this grieved count, Did see her, hear her, at that hour last night, Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window; Who hath, indeed, most like a liberal 8 villain, Confess'd the vile encounters they have had A thousand times in secret. D. John.

Fye, fye! they are
Not to be nam’d, my lord, not to be spoke of;
There is not chastity enough in language,
Without offence, to utter them: Thus, pretty lady,
I am sorry for thy much misgovernment.

Claud. O Hero! what a Hero hadst thou been,
If half thy outward graces had been placed
About thy thoughts, and counsels of thy heart!
But, fare thee well, most foul, most fair! farewell,
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity!
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love,

& Too. free of tongue.

And on my eye-lids shall conjecture hang,
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm,
And never shall it more be gracious.9
Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me?

[HERO swoons. Beat. Why, how now, cousin? wherefore sink you

down? D. John. Come, let us go: these things, come

thus to light, Smother her spirits up.

[Exeunt Don PEDRO, Don John, and

CLAUDIO.
Bene. How doth the lady?
Beat.

Dead, I think;-help, uncle;Hero! why, Hero!-Uncle !-Signior Benedick!

friar!
Leon. O fate, take not away thy heavy hand!
Death is the fairest cover for her shame,
That may be wish'd for.
Beat.

How now, cousin Hero?
Friar. Have comfort, lady.
Leon.

Dost thou look up? Friar. Yea; Wherefore should she not? Leon. Wherefore? Why, doth not every earthly,

thing Cry shame

upon

her? Could she here deny The story that is printed in her blood ?-Do not live, Hero; do not ope

thine

eyes: For did I think thou would'st not quickly die, Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames, Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,

9 Attractive.

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