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my years:-O 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 piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a householder; 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 every thing handsome about him: Bring him away. O, that I had been writ down-an ass! [Exeunt.
Hero's innocence is completely established by the confession of Borachio. Claudio, on learning how unjustly he had accused his mistress, implores the forgiveness of Leonato, and offers any reparation within his power-supposing that Hero is dead. Leonato invites him to come to his House, "to-morrow morning"-and proposes to give him the hand of a niece of his, in marriage. Claudio consents. The next Scene winds up the story of this incomparable comedy.
SCENE.-A Room in Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, BENEDICK, BEATRICE, URSULA, Friar, and HERO.
Friar. Did I not tell you she was innocent?
Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her,
Upon the error that you have heard debated:
But Margaret was in some fault for this;
In the true course of all the question.
Ant. Well, I am glad that all things sort so well.
Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.
Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.-
Your niece regards me with an eye of favor.
Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; "Tis most true.
Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical:
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.
Here comes the prince, and Claudio.
And my help.
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO, with Attendants.
[Exit ANTONIO. D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's the matter, That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness?
Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull:
Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold.
Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked.
Claud. Here come other reckonings.
Which is the lady I must seize upon?
Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her.
Claud. Why, then she's mine: Sweet, let me see your face.
Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar;
I am your husband, if you like of me.
Hero. And when I lived, I was your other wife: And when you lov'd, you were my other husband. Claud. Another Hero?
Nothing certainer; One Hero died defam'd; but I do live.
D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead!
Leon. She died my lord, but whiles her slander lived.
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death;
And to the chapel let us presently.
Bene. Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice ?
Beat. I answer to that name;
What is your will?
Bene. Do not you love me?
Beat. No, no more than reason.
Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and Claudio, Have been deceived; for they swore you did.
Beat. Do not you love me?
Bene. No, no more than reason.
Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula,
Bene. They swore that you were almost sick for me.
Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.
And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her pocket,
Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts!Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.
Beat. I would not deny you;-but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.
Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth.
[Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick the married man? Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit-crackers cannot flout me out of my humor: Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, since I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.
Claud. I had well hoped, thou wouldst have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.
Bene. Come, come, we are friends :-let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.
Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.
Bene. First, o' my word; therefore, play music.-Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight,
And brought with armed men back to Messina.
Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll devise thee brave
punishments for him.-Strike up, pipers.
"The traditionary story of Macbeth, on which this Drama is founded, is related by Hollinshed, in his Chronicles, and also by George Buchanan in his Latin "History of Scotland."
Shakspeare is supposed to have availed himself of Hollinshed's narrative in the construction of this Play, as the incidents introduced by the Poet, are precisely those narrated by the chronicler. The supernatural agency exercised by the Witches, may appear in this enlightened age, to be beyond the bounds of credibility, but it should be remembered that in Shakspeare's time, the belief in witchcraft was universal.
DUNCAN, King of Scotland.
MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, his sons.
MACBETH, BANQUo, generals of the King's army.
MACDUFF, LENOX, ROSSE, MENTETH, ANGUS, CATHNESS, noblemen of Scotland.
FLEANCE, son to Banquo.
SIWARD, Earl of Northumberland, general of the English forces.
SEYTON, an officer attending on Macbeth.
Gentlewoman attending on Lady Macbeth.
HECATE, and three Witches.
Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attendants, and Messengers.
The Ghost of Banquo, and several other apparitions.
SCENE, in the end of the Fourth Act, lies in ENGLAND; through the rest of the Play, in SCOTLAND; and, chiefly, at MACBETH's Castle.
SCENE I.-An open Place.
Thunder and Lightning.
Enter three Witches.
1st Witch. When shall we three meet again,
In thunder, lightning, or in rain?
2nd Witch. When the hurlyburly's done,
When the battle's lost and won:
3rd Witch. That will be ere set of sun.
1st Witch. Where the place?
Upon the heath:
3rd Witch. There to meet with Macbeth.
1st Witch. I come, Graymalkin!
All. Paddock calls:-Anon.
Fair is foul, and foul is fair:
Hover through the fog and filthy air.
SCENE II.-A Camp near Fores. Alarum within.
Enter King DUNCAN, MALCOLM, DONALBAIN, LENOX, with Attendants, meeting a bleeding Soldier.
Dun. What bloody man is that? He can report,
As seemeth by his plight, of the revolt
The newest state.
Doubtfully it stood;
As two spent swimmers, that do cling together, And choke their art. The merciless Macdonwald (Worthy to be a rebel; for, to that,
The multiplying villanies of nature
Do swarm upon him,) from the western isles
Of Kernes and Gallowglasses is supplied;
But all's too weak:
For brave Macbeth, (well he deserves that name,)
Like valor's minion,
Carv'd out his passage, till he fac'd the slave;
Dun. O, valiant cousin! worthy gentleman!