Prin. Runs not this speech like yron through your bloud? Clau. I haue drunke poison whiles he vtter'd it

Prin. But did my Brother set thee on to this? Bor. Yea, and paid me richly for the practise of it

Prin. He is compos'd and fram'd of treacherie, And fled he is vpon this villanie

Clau. Sweet Hero, now thy image doth appeare In the rare semblance that I lou'd it first

Const. Come, bring away the plaintiffes, by this time our Sexton hath reformed Signior Leonato of the matter: and masters, do not forget to specifie when time & place shall serue, that I am an Asse

Con.2. Here, here comes master Signior Leonato, and the Sexton too. Enter Leonato.

Leon. Which is the villaine? let me see his eies, That when I note another man like him, I may auoide him: which of these is he? Bor. If you would know your wronger, looke on me

Leon. Art thou the slaue that with thy breath hast kild mine innocent childe? Bor. Yea, euen I alone

Leo. No, not so villaine, thou beliest thy selfe, Here stand a paire of honourable men, A third is fled that had a hand in it: I thanke you Princes for my daughters death, Record it with your high and worthie deedes, 'Twas brauely done, if you bethinke you of it

Clau. I know not how to pray your patience, Yet I must speake, choose your reuenge your selfe, Impose me to what penance your inuention Can lay vpon my sinne, yet sinn'd I not, But in mistaking

Prin. By my soule nor I, And yet to satisfie this good old man, I would bend vnder anie heauie waight, That heele enioyne me to

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter liue, That were impossible, but I praie you both, Possesse the people in Messina here, How innocent she died, and if your loue Can labour aught in sad inuention, Hang her an epitaph vpon her toomb, And sing it to her bones, sing it to night: To morrow morning come you to my house, And since you could not be my sonne in law, Be yet my Nephew: my brother hath a daughter, Almost the copie of my childe that's dead, And she alone is heire to both of vs, Giue her the right you should haue giu'n her cosin, And so dies my reuenge

Clau. O noble sir! Your ouerkindnesse doth wring teares from me, I do embrace your offer, and dispose For henceforth of poore Claudio

Leon. To morrow then I will expect your comming, To night I take my leaue, this naughtie man Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, Who I beleeue was packt in all this wrong, Hired to it by your brother

Bor. No, by my soule she was not, Nor knew not what she did when she spoke to me, But alwaies hath bin iust and vertuous, In anie thing that I do know by her

Const. Moreouer sir, which indeede is not vnder white and black, this plaintiffe here, the offendour did call mee asse, I beseech you let it be remembred in his punishment, and also the watch heard them talke of one Deformed, they say he weares a key in his eare and a lock hanging by it, and borrowes monie in Gods name, the which he hath vs'd so long, and neuer paied, that now men grow hard-harted and will lend nothing for Gods sake: praie you examine him vpon that point

Leon. I thanke thee for thy care and honest paines

Const. Your worship speakes like a most thankefull and reuerend youth, and I praise God for you

Leon. There's for thy paines

Const. God saue the foundation

Leon. Goe, I discharge thee of thy prisoner, and I thanke thee

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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