Bene. Enough, I am engagde, I will challenge him, I will kisse your hand, and so leaue you: by this hand Claudio shall render me a deere account: as you heare of me, so thinke of me: goe comfort your coosin, I must say she is dead, and so farewell. Enter the Constables, Borachio, and the Towne Clerke in gownes.

Keeper. Is our whole dissembly appeard? Cowley. O a stoole and a cushion for the Sexton

Sexton. Which be the malefactors? Andrew. Marry that am I, and my partner

Cowley. Nay that's certaine, wee haue the exhibition to examine

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to be examined, let them come before master Constable

Kemp. Yea marry, let them come before mee, what is your name, friend? Bor. Borachio

Kem. Pray write downe Borachio. Yours sirra

Con. I am a Gentleman sir, and my name is Conrade

Kee. Write downe Master gentleman Conrade: maisters, doe you serue God: maisters, it is proued alreadie that you are little better than false knaues, and it will goe neere to be thought so shortly, how answer you for your selues? Con. Marry sir, we say we are none

Kemp. A maruellous witty fellow I assure you, but I will goe about with him: come you hither sirra, a word in your eare sir, I say to you, it is thought you are false knaues

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

Kemp. Well, stand aside, 'fore God they are both in a tale: haue you writ downe that they are none? Sext. Master Constable, you goe not the way to examine, you must call forth the watch that are their accusers

Kemp. Yea marry, that's the eftest way, let the watch come forth: masters, I charge you in the Princes name, accuse these men

Watch 1. This man said sir, that Don Iohn the Princes brother was a villaine

Kemp. Write down, Prince Iohn a villaine: why this is flat periurie, to call a Princes brother villaine

Bora. Master Constable

Kemp. Pray thee fellow peace, I do not like thy looke I promise thee

Sexton. What heard you him say else? Watch 2. Mary that he had receiued a thousand Dukates of Don Iohn, for accusing the Lady Hero wrongfully

Kemp. Flat Burglarie as euer was committed

Const. Yea by th' masse that it is

Sexton. What else fellow? Watch 1. And that Count Claudio did meane vpon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole assembly, and not marry her

Kemp. O villaine! thou wilt be condemn'd into euerlasting redemption for this

Sexton. What else? Watch. This is all

Sexton. And this is more masters then you can deny, Prince Iohn is this morning secretly stolne away: Hero was in this manner accus'd, in this very manner refus'd, and vpon the griefe of this sodainely died: Master Constable, let these men be bound, and brought to Leonato, I will goe before, and shew him their examination

Const. Come, let them be opinion'd

Sex. Let them be in the hands of Coxcombe

Kem. Gods my life, where's the Sexton? let him write downe the Princes Officer Coxcombe: come, binde them thou naughty varlet

Couley. Away, you are an asse, you are an asse

Kemp. Dost thou not suspect my place? dost thou not suspect my yeeres? O that hee were heere to write mee downe an asse! but masters, remember that I am an asse: though it be not written down, yet forget not y I am an asse: No thou villaine, y art full of piety as shall be prou'd vpon thee by good witnesse, I am a wise fellow, and which is more, an officer, and which is more, a houshoulder, and which is more, as pretty a peece of flesh as any in Messina, and one that knowes the Law, goe to, & a rich fellow enough, goe to, and a fellow that hath had losses, and one that hath two gownes, and euery thing handsome about him: bring him away: O that I had been writ downe an asse! Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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