1. Scene I. Before LEONATO'S House.
Sweet Hero! now thy image doth appear In the rare semblance that
I lov'd it first.
Come, bring away the plaintiffs: by this time our sexton hath
reformed Signior Leonato of the matter. And masters, do not forget
to specify, when time and place shall serve, that I am an ass.
Here, here comes Master Signior Leonato, and the sexton too.
[Re-enter LEONATO, ANTONIO, and the Sexton.]
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?
If you would know your wronger, look on me.
Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd
Mine innocent child?
Yea, even I alone.
No, not so, villain; thou beliest thyself:
Here stand a pair of honourable men;
A third is fled, that had a hand in it.
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death:
Record it with your high and worthy deeds.
'Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it.
I know not how to pray your patience;
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.
By my soul, nor I:
And yet, to satisfy this good old man,
I would bend under any heavy weight
That he'll enjoin me to.
I cannot bid you bid my daughter live;
That were impossible; but, I pray you both,
Possess the people in Messina here
How innocent she died; and if your love
Can labour aught in sad invention,
Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb,
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 son-in-law,
Be yet my nephew. My brother hath a daughter,
Almost the copy of my child that's dead,
And she alone is heir to both of us:
Give her the right you should have given her cousin,
And so dies my revenge.