William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 45 of 224)
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Bene, I will swear by it that you love me ; and
I will make him eat it that says I love not you.
Beat, Will you not eat your word ?
Bene. With no sauce that can be devised to it:
I protest I love thee.
Beat. Why, then God forgive me 1
Bene. What offence, sweet Beatrice?
Beat. You have stayed me ui a happy hoar ; I
was about to protest I loved you.
Bene, And do it witli all thy heart.
BeaL I love you with so much of my heart, that
none is left to protest.
Bene, Come, bid me do any thmg for thee.
Beat. Kill Claudio.



ABOUT NOTHING.

Bene, Ha! not for the wide world

Beat, Yon kill me to dtn^ : FareweU.

Bene. Tarry, sweet Beatrice.

Beat, 1 am gone, though I am here: -There is
no love in you : — Nay, I pray you, let me go.

Bene. Beatrice, —

Beat. In faith, I will go.

Bene, Well be friends first

Beat, You dare easier be friends with me than
fight with mine enemv.

Bene, Is Claudio thine enemy?

Beat. Is he not approved in the height a -villain,
that hath slandered, scorned, dislionoured my
kinswoman ? — that I were a man I — What ! bear
her in hand until they come to take hands ; and
then with public accusation, uncovered sl«ider,
unmitigated rancour,— God, that' I were a man!
I would eat his heart in the market-placel

Bene, Hear me, Beatrice ; —

Beat, Talk with a man out at a window ?—«
proper saying.

Bene. Nay, but, Beatrice ; —

Beat, Sweet Hero I— she is wronged, she if
slandered, she is undone.

Bene, Beat

Beat. Princes, and counties I Surely, a princely
testimony, a goodly count-confect ; a sweet gallant,
surelv I that I were a man for his sake I or that
I had any friend would be a man for my sake I
But manhood is melted into courtesies, valour
into compliment, and men are only turned into
tongue, and trim ones too : he is now as valiant as
Hercules that only tells a lie, and swears it : — I
cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die
a woman with grieving.

Bene, Tarry, good Beatrice: By this hand I
love thee.

Beat, Use it for my love some other way than
swearing b^ it

Bene, Think vou m your soul the Count Claudio
bath wronged Hero?

Beat, Yea, as sure as I have a thought, or a souL

Bene. Enough, I am engaged, I will challenge
him; I will kiss your hand, and so leave you: By
this hand, Claudio shall render me a dear account :
As you hear of me, so think of me. Go, comfort
your cotuin: I must say she is dead; and so,
farewelL [EaoeunL

SCENE II.— -4 iVtfon.

Enter Dooberet, Yebobs, and Sexton, ingoum$:
and the Watch, toith Conrade and Borachio.

Do^, Is our whole dissembly appeared?

Vcrg. O, a stool and a cusliion for the sexton I

SesOon. Which be the malefHctors?

Dogh. Marry, that am 1 and my partner.

Verg. Nay, tliat 's certain ; we have the exhibi
tion to examine.

Sexton. But which are the ofienders that are to
be examined? let them come before master con-
stable.

Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come beiore me. —
What is your name, friend?

Bora. Borachio.

Dogb. Pray, write down, Borachio. Yours,

sirrah?

Con, I am a genlleman, sir, and my name is
Comade.

Dogb, Write down, master gentleman Comrade.
Mastent. do vou serve God?

[Cjn. B'/ra. Yea, sir, we hope.

Dogb, Write down tliat they hope they serve
Gbd^and write God first; tor GKid defend but



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MUCH ADO ABOUT
Ood should go before snoh TiUains ! — ] Masters,
it is proved already that you are little better than
fidse knaves ; and it will go near to be thought so
shortly. How answer you for yourselves ?

Can. Marry, sir, we sa^ we are none.

Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I assure you ;
but I will go about with him. — Come you hither,



NOTHING. 141

upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole
, assembly, and not marry her.

Dogb. O villain, thou wilt be condemned into
everlasting redemption for this.

Sexton. What else?

2 Watch. This is all.

Sexton. And this is more, masters, than you can



sirrah ; a word in your car, sir ; I say to you, it is I deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen



thought you are fiilse knavee.

Bora. Sir, I say to you, we are none.

Do^ Well, stand aside. — Fore Qod, they are
both ma tale: Have you writ down that they are
none?

Sexton. Master constable, you go not the tray
to examine ; yon must call forth the watch that
ve their accusers.

Iktyb. Yea, marry, tha.VB the eftest way: — Let
the watch come forth : — Masters, I diarge yon, in
the prince's name, accuse th&se men.

1 Watch. This man said, sir, that Don John, the
prince's brother, was a villain.

Dogb. Write down. Prince John a villain:—
Whjr, this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother
villain.

Bom. Master constable, —

Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like
tiiy look, I promise thee.

Seadon. What heard you him say else ?

2 WaUh. Marry, that he had received a thon-
sand^iueats of Don John, for accusing the Lady
Hero wrongfully.

Dogb, FUt burglary, as ever was committed.

Verg, Yea. by Uie mass, that it is.

Sexton. What else, fellow?

1 Watek, And that Coont Ckadio did mean,



I away; Hero was in tliis manner accused, in this
very manner refused, and upon the grief of this
suddenly died. — Master constable, let these men be
bound, and brought to Leonato ; I will go before,
and show him their examination. [ExU.

Dogb. Come, let them be opinioned.

Verg. Let them be in the liands —

Con. Off, coxcomb I

Do^. God's my life I where^ the sexton ? let
him write down, the prince's officer, coxcomb.
Come, bind them : Thou naughty varlet 1

Con. Away ! you are an ass, you are an ass.

Dogb. Dost thou not suspect my place ? Dost
thou not suspect my years?— that he were here
to write me down, an ass ! but, masters, remember
that I am an ass; though it be not written down,
yet forget not that I am an ass ;— No, thou villain,
thou art full of pie^, as shall be proved unon thee
by good witness. I am a wise fellow ; ana, which
is more, an officer ; and which is more, a house-
holder ; and^ which is more, as pretty a piece of
flesh as any is in Messina: and one that knows the
law, go to ; and a rich fellow enough, go to ; and
a fellow that hath had losses ; and one that hath
two gowns and everything handsome about h m :—
Bring him away. 0, that I had been writ down
anassi {ExeimL



ACT V.



SCENE tr-B^fort Leonato*s House.
EnUr Lbohato and Antonio.

Axt. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself;
And tit not wisdom thus to second grief
Against yourself.

lieon. I pray thee, cease thy counsel,

Which falls into dune ears as profitless
As water in a sieve : give not me counsel ;
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear.
But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine.
Bring me a father, that so lov'd his child.
Whose jojr of her is overwhelmed like mine.
And bid him speak of patience :
Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine.
And let it answer every strain for strain ;
As thus for thus, and such a grief for such.
In ^'verj lineament, branch, shape, and form :
If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard;
Aiul, ** sorrow wag" ery; hem, when he should

groan;
Patch grief with proverbs ; make misfortune drunk
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 counsel, and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel ; but tasting it
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preoeptial medicine to rage.
Fetter strong madness in a silken thread.
Charm ach with air, and agony with words :
No, no; \is all men'^ office to speak patience
To those that wring under the load of sorrow ;
But no man's virtue, nor sufficiency.
To be so moral, when he shall endure



The like hims3lf : therefore give me no counsel '
My griefs cry louder than advertisement.

AnL Therein do men from children nothing
differ.

Leon, I pray thee, peace; I will be flesh and blood;
For there was never yet philosopher
That could endure the tooth-ach patiently ;
However they have writ the style of gods.
And made a push at chance and siiffoiance.

Ant. Yet bend not all the harm u^ion yourself;
Make those that do offend you suffer too.

Leon. There thou speak'it reason: nay, I will
do so:
My soul doth tell me Hero is belied ;
And that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince.
And all of them, that thus dishonour her.

Enter Don Pedxo and Claudio.

AnL Here comes the prince, and Claudio, hastily.
D. Pedro. Good den, good den.
CUxud. Good day to both of yon.

Leon, Hearyou, my lords, —
D. Pedro. We have some haste, Leonato.
Leon, Some haste, my lord! — well, fitro yon
well, my loro ;
Are you so h&^ty now ? — well, all is one.
D, Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old



Ant. If he oonld right himself with quarrelliug,
Some of us would lie low.

Claud. Who wrongs him?

Leon. Marry, thou dost wrong me; thou di»
sembler, thou : —
Nay, never lay thy hand upon th/ swoi:d,
I fear thee noL ( ^ r\r\n\o

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142



Claud, Harry, beshrew my haiid,
If it should give your age such cause of fear:
In &ith, my nand meant aotUin^ to my sword.

Leoih, Tushy tush^ man, never leerand jestatme:
I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool ;
As, under privilege of age, to brag
What I have done being youn^, or what would do
Were I not old: Know, Ciaudio, to thv head,
Thou hast so wrong'd my uinocent child and me,
That i ara forc'd to lay my reverence by ;
And, with grey hairs, and bruise of nuiny days.
Do challenge thee to trial of a man.
1 say, thou hast belied mine innocent child ;
Thy slander hath gone through and through her

heart,
And she lies buried with her ancestors :
O I in a tomb where never scandal slept,
ISare this of hers framed by thy villainy.

Claud. My villainy?

Leon. Thine^ Claudio ; thine, I say.

i>. Fiedro, You saj not right, old man.

Leon* My lord, my lord,

111 prove it on his body, if he daro ;
Despite hh nice fence and his active practice,
His May of youth, and hluora of iustihoud.

ClatuL Away, I will not have to do with you.

Leon, Canst thou so daff me ? Thou hast kiird
my child:
If thon kill St me. t>oy, thou shalt kill a man.

Ant. He shall 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 sir boy, come follow

me:
Sir boy. 111 whip you from your fomiug fence ;
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.

Leon. Brother,—
- JnL Content yourself: God knows, I lov*d my
niece:
And she is dead, slandered to death by villains;
That dare as well answer a man, indeed.
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue :
Boys, apes, braggarts, Jacks, milksops !^

lieon. Brother Antony, —

AnL Hold you content: Wliat, manl I know
them, yea.
And woat they weigh, even to the utmost scruple:
Scambling, out-facing, fashioii-monging boys,
That lie, and cog, and flout, deprave, and slander.
Go anticly, and show outward hideousncss.
And speak off half a dozen dangerous words,
How they might hurt their enemies, if they dur:«t,
And this is all.

Leon. Bat, brother Antony, —

Ant. Uome, ^tis no matter ;

Do not you meddle, let me deal in this.

J). Fedro, Gentlemen both, we will not wake
your patience.



MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



Ton are almost



Bene. Good day, my lord.
! /). Fedro. Welcome, signior:
come to part almost a fray.

Claud. We liad like to have had our two nosea
snapped off with two old men without teeth.

D. Fedro. Leonato and his brother: What
think 'st thou? Had we fought, I doubt we should
have been too young for them.

liene. In a false quarrel there is no true yalonr:
, 1 came to seek you both.

I Claud. We faiave been upand down to seek thee;
! for we are high proof melancholy, and would &in
' have it beaten away : Wilt thou use thy wit ?
Bene. It is in my scabbard : Shall 1 draw it?
2). Fedro. Dost thou wear thy wit by thy side?
Claud. Never any did so, though very many
have be^i beside their wiL — I will bid thee dmw,
I as we do the minstrels ; draw, to pleasure us.
D. Fedro. As I am an honest man, he looks
pale : — Art thou sick, or angry ?

Claud. What? courage, man! What though
care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee
to kill care.

j Bene, Sir, I shall meet your wit in the career,
an you char^ it against me : — I pray you, choose
another subject.

Claud. Nay, thun give him another staff; this
list was broke cross.
, D. Fedro. Qy tliis light, ho changes more and
, more : 1 think he be angry indeed. «

I Claud. If ho be, he knows how to turn his girdle.
I Bene. Shall [speak a word in your ear?
I Claud. God bless me from a challenge I
1 Bene. You are a villain; — I jast not — I will
make it good how you dare, with what you dare,
and when you dare: — Do me right, or I will

{)rotest your cowardiee. You have killed a sweet
ady, and her death shall fall heavy on you : Let
me hear from you.

Claud. Well, I will meet you, so I may have
good cheer.

J). Fedro. What, a feast? a feast ?

Claud. V faith, I thank him ; be hath bid me to
a calf 8 head and a capon, the wliich if I do not
carvemostcuriously, say my knife & naught. — Shall
I not find a woodcock too V

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

Z>. Fedro. I'll tell thee how Beatrice praised thy
wit the other day: I said, thou hadst a fine Mrit:
" True," saj'S she, '*a fine little one : " " No," said
I, " a great wit ;" " Right," says she, *' a great gross
one:" " Nay," said 1, "a good wit ;" " Just," said
she, " it hurts nobody :" " Nay," said I, " the
gentleman is wise;" ** Certain," baid she, ** a wise
gentleman:" ^* Nay," said I, ^* he hath the tongues;"
** That I believe,*' said she, ^^ for he swore a tidng
to me on Monday night, which he forswore on
Tuesday morning; there's a double tongue; there's



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Bene, Fare 70a w«llf bo^I you know mj mind;
1 frill leave ^oa now to your gossip-like humoar :
jou break jests as braggarts do their blades,
i» hioh, God be thanked, hurt not. — My lord, fur
your many courtesies 1 thank you : I must discon-
tinue your company: your brotl»er, the bastard,
is fled from Messma: you have, among you,
killed a sweet and iimocent bdy : For my Lord
Lackbeard there : he and I shall meet, and till then
peace be with him. [Exit Bene.

i>. Pedro, Ue is in earnest.

Claud. In most profound earnest; and 111
warrant you for the love of Beatrice.

D. Pedro. And hath challenged thee?

Claud. Most sincerely.

2>. Pedro. What a pretty thmg man is, when be
goes in his doublet and hose, and leaves off his wit!

Claud, Ue is then a giant to an ape : but then
ia an ape a doctor to such a man.

Z>. Pedro. But, soft you, let me be ; pluck up,
my heart, and be sad! Did he not say ray brother
was fled?

Enter Doobehrt, Verges, and the Watch, with
Com HADB and Borachio.

Dogb. Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame
TOO, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her
Dalance : nay, an you be a cursing hypocrite once,
yon must be looked to.

D. Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men
bound I Borachio one I

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord!

2>. Pedro. Officers, what offence have mese men
done?

Dogb. Marry, sir, they have committed false
report; moreover, they have spoken untruths;
secondarily, they are slaniiers ; sixth and lastly,
thejr have belied a hdy; thirdly, they have
verified unjust things ; and, to conclude, tney are
lying knaves.

D.Pedro. First, I ask thee what they have done;
thirdly, 1 ask thee what's their offence; sixth
and lastly, why they are committed ; and, to con-
elude, what you lay to tlieir cluirge ?

Claud. Rightlyrcasoned,andinnisowndiviHi n;
and, by my troth, there's one meaning well suited.

D. Pedro. Whom have you offended, masters,
that you are thus bound to your answer? this
learned constable is too cunning to be understood :
What'a your offence?

Bora. Sweet prince, lot me go no further to
mine answer : do you hear me, and let this count
kill me. I nave deceived even your very eves :
what your wisdoms could not discovoi Uie^te shallow
fools have brought to light; who, in the night,
overheard me confessing to this man, how Don
John yoar brother incenfued me to slander the lady
Hero ; how you were brought into the orchard,
and saw me court Margaret in Hero's garments ;
how you disgpiced her when you should noarry
her : my villainy they have upon record ; which
1 had rather seal with my death, than repeat over
to my shame : the ladjr is dead upon mine and my
master's (Use accusation ; and, brieiiy, 1 desire
nothing bat the reward of a villain.

D. Pedro. Kuns not this speech like iron through
your blood ?

Claud. 1 have drunk poison whiles he utter'd it.

D. Bedro. But did my brother set thee on to this ?

Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of it.

/>. Bbdro. He is compos'd and firam'd of
treachery : —
And fled is he upon this villahiy.



MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.



148



Claud. Sweet llero I now thy image doth appear
In the rare semblance that 1 lov'd it first.

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

Very. Here, here comes Master Siguier Leonato,
and the sexton too.

Re-enter Leonato and Antonio, tovOi the Sexton.

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

Bora, if you would know your wronger, look
on me.

Leon. Art thou — thoa — the slave that with thy
breath hast kiil'd
Mine innocent child?

Bora. Yea, even I alone.

Leon. No, not so, vilUun ; thou beliest thyself;
Here stand a pair of honourable men,
A third is fled, that had a baud in it :
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death;
Record it witli your high and worthy deeds ;
Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.

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

D. Pedro. By my soul, nor I ;

And yet, to satisfy tnis good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That hell enjoin me to.

Leon. 1 cannot bid you bid my daughter live,
That were impossible ; but 1 pray you botli,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died : and, if your love
Can labour ought in sad invention.
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb.
And sing it to her nones ; sing it to-night: —
To-morrow morning come you to my house;
And since you could not be my son-m-law.
Be yet my nephew : my brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child tliat's dead.
And she alone is heir to both of us;
Give her the right you should have given her

cousin.
And 80 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. iVmorrow then I will expect your coming ;
To-night I take my leave. — This naughty man
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret,
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 dia, when she spoke to me ;
But always hath been just and virtuona,
In anythmg that 1 do know by her.

Dogb. Moreover, sir (which, indeed, ia not
under white and black), this plaintiff here, the
offender, did call me an ass : I oeseech you, let it
be remembered in his punishment : And also, tlie
watch heard them talk of one Deformed : they say,
he wears a key in hia ear, and a lock hanging by
it ; and borrows money in God's name ; the whicu
he hath used so long, and never paid, that now
men grow hard-hearted, and will lend nothing for
God's sake: Pray yon, examine him upon tluU
point



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144 MUCH ADO ABOUT

Ltoii I tliank thee for thy oare and honest pains.

Dogb. Your woisbip speaks like a most thank-
ftil and reverend yoath ; and I praise God for 70Q.

Leon. There's for thj pains.

Dogh. God save the foundation !

LtaiK, Go, 1 discharge thee of thy prisoner, and
I thank thee.

Lcyh. I leave an arrant knave with your wor-
fhip; which I beseech voar 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 wished,
God prohibit it. — Come, neighbour.

[Exeunt Uogb., Verq., and Watch.

Leon, Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell.
AnL Farewell, my lords; we look for you

to-morrow.
2>. Pedro, We will not fjdl.
Claud, To-night 111 moom with Hero.

[Exeunt D. Pedro and Claud.

Z^eon, Bring you these fellows on ; well talk
with Alargaret.
How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow.

[ExU,



NOTHING.

Eitter Beatrice.



SCENE II.— Leonato's Garden,
Snter Beaedick and Maroabet, meeting.

Bene, Vn.y thee, sweet Mistress Margaret,
deserve well at my hands, by helping me to the
speech of Heatiice.

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,
flhall I always keep below stairs?

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

Marg. And yours as blunt as the fencer's foils,
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 give thee the bucklers.

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

Bene, If you use them, Margaret, you must pat
in the pikes with a vice : and they are dangerous
weapons fornuuds.

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I
thmk, hath legs. [ExU Maboaret.

Bene. And therefore will come. [longing.

The god of lore,
That sits abore.
And kooMTB me. and knows me,
How pitiful I deserve,—

I mean in singing; but in loving, — Leander the
good swimmer, Troilos the first employer of
panders, and a whole book full of these quondam
carpet-mongers, whose names yet run smoothly in
the even road of a blank verse, why, they were
never so truly ttirned over and over as my poor
self, m Jove : 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: yerj ominous endings: No, I
was not bom unacr a rhyming planet, nor I cannot
woo in lestival t«i ma.



Sweet Beatrice, wouldst thou come when I called
thee?

Beat. Yea, signior, and depart when you bid me.

Bene. O, stay but till then I

Beat. Then, is spoken ; fare you well now : —
and yet, ere I go, let me go with (hat I came for,
which i», with knowing what hath passed between
you and Claudio.

Baic. Only foul words ; and thereupon I will
kiss thee.

I Beat. Foul words is but foul wind, and foul wind
I is but foul breath, and foul breath is noisome;
therefore I will depart unkissed.

Bene. Thou hast frighted the word out of his
! ri^ht sense, so forcible is thy wit: But, I must tell
I thee plainly, Claudio undergoes my oliallenge; and
I either I must shortly hear from him, or I wii'
1 Kiibscribe him a coward. And, I pray thee now,
tell me, for which of my bad parts didst thou first
fall in love with me ?

Ikat. 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 ?

Dene. "Suffer love;" a good epithet! I do
gufier 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 manamong 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 bells
ring, and the widuw weepe

Beat, And huw long is that, think you ?

Bene, Question? — Why, an hour m clamour,
and a quarter in rheum: Therefore it is most
expedient for the wise (if dun Worm, his con-
science, find no impediment tu the contrary) to be
the trumpet of his own virtues, as I am to myself:



Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 45 of 224)