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handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, Father, as it please me.

Urs. Come, come; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day hide itself? Go to, mum, you are he: graces fitted with a husband.

Beat. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be over-mastered with a piece of valiant dust? to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren; and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.

Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your answer.

will appear, and there's an end.

Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so? Bene. No, you shall pardon me.

Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are? Bene. Not now.

Beat. That I was disdainful,-and that I had my good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales;— Well, this was signior Benedick that said so. Bene. What's he?

Beat. I am sure, you know him well enough.
Bene. Not I, believe me.

Beat. Did he never make you laugh?
Bene. I pray you, what is he?

Beat. The fault will be in the music, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good time: if the prince be too important,* tell him, there is measure in Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester: a very every thing, and so dance out the answer. For dull fool; only his gift is in devising impossible* hear me, Hero; Wooing, wedding, and repent- slanders; none but libertines delight in him; ing, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque- and the commendation is not in his wit, but in pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a his villany; for he both pleases men, and anScotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wed-gers them, and then they laugh at him, and ding, mannerly-modest, as a measure full of beat him: I am sure, he is in the fleet; I would state and ancientry; and then comes repent- he had boarded† me. ance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.


Leon.Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewd

Beat. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by day-light.

Leon. The revellers are entering; brother, make good room.

Enter Don PEDRO,Claudio, BenEDICK, BALTHAZAR; Don JOHN, BORACHIO, MARGARET, URSULA, and others, masked.

D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend?t

Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, especially, when I walk away.

D. Pedro. With me in your company? Hero. I may say so, when I please. D. Pedro. And when please you to say so? Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the lute should be like the case! D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.

Hero. Why,then yourvisor should be thatch'd. D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. [Takes her aside. Bene. Well, I would you did like me. Marg. So would not I, for your own sake; for I have many ill qualities,

Bene. Which is one?

Marg. I say my prayers aloud.

Bene. I love you the better; the hearers may cry, Amen.

Marg. God match me with a good dancer! Balth. Amen.

Marg. And God keep him out of my sight, when the dance is done!-Answer, clerk. Balth. No more words; the clerk is an


Urs. I know you well enough; you are sig

nior Antonio.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head.

Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. Urs. You could never do him so ill-well, unless you were the very man: Here's his dry brand up and down; you are he, you are he. Ant. At a word, I am not. * Importunate. ↑ Lover.


Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him what you say.

Beat. Do, do: he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or not laughed at strikes him into melancholy; and then there's a partidge' wing saved, for the fool will eat no supper that night. [Music within.] We must follow the leaders.

Bene. In every good thing.

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them at the next turning.

[Dance. Then Exeunt all but Don JOHN, BORACHIO, and CLAUDIO.

D. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break but one visor remains. with him about it: The ladies follow her, and

Bora. And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.

D. John. Are you not signior Benedick?
Claud. You know me well; I am he.

D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love: he is enamoured on Hero; I pray you, dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth: you may do the part of an honest man in it.

Claud. How know you he loves her? D. John. I heard him swear his affection. Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would marry her to night.

D. John. Come, let us to the banquet.

[Exeunt Don JOHN and BORACHIO. Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear these ill news with the ears of Clau


'Tis certain so ;-the prince wooes for himself.
Friendship is constant in all other things,
Save in the office and affairs of love:
Therefore, all hearts in love use their own
Let every eye negotiate for itself, [tengues;
And trust no agent: for beauty is a witch,
Against whose charms faith melteth into blood.
This is an accident of hourly proof, [Hero!
Which I mistrusted not: Farewell therefore,
Re-enter BENEdick.

Bene. Count Claudio?
Claud. Yea, the same.
Bene. Come, will you go with me?
Claud. Whither?

Bene. Even to the next willow, about your * Incredible.

Carriage, demeanour.

† Accosted. Passion

own business, count. What fashion will you wear the garland of? About your neck, like an usurer's chain? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf? You must wear it one way, for the prince hath got your Hero.

Claud. I wish him joy of her. Bene. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover; so they sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would have served you thus? Claud. I pray you, leave me. Bene. Ho! now you strike like the blind man; 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat the post.

Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. [Exit. Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowl! Now will he creep into sedges. But, that my lady Beatrice should know me, and not know me! The prince's fool!-Ha! it may be I go under that title, because I am merry.-Yea; but so; I am apt to do myself wrong: I am not so reputed: it is the base, the bitter disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may. Re-enter DON PEDRO, HERO, and LEONATO. D. Pedro. Now, signior, where's the count; Did you see him?

Bene. Troth, my lord, I have played the part of lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a warren; I told him, and, I think, I told him true, that your grace had got the good will of this young lady; and I offered him my company to a willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being forsaken, or to bind him up a rod as being worthy to be whipped.

D. Pedro. To be whipped! What's his fault? Bene. The flat transgression of a school-boy; who, being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nest, shows it his companion, and he steals it.

D. Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgression? The transgression is in the stealer.

Bene. Yet it had not been amiss, the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself: and the rod he might have bestowed on you, who, as I take it, have stol'n his bird's nest.

D. Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and restore them to the owner.

Bene. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.

D. Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you; the gentleman, that danced with her, told her, that she is much wronged by you.


Bene. O, she misused me past the endurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would have answered her; my very visor began to assume life and scold with her: She told me, not thinking I had been myself, that I was the prince's jester, that I was duller than a great thaw; huddling jest upon jest, with such impossible* conveyance, upon me, that stood like a man at a mark, with a whole army shooting at me: She speaks poniards, and every word stabs: if her breath were as terrible as her terminations, there were no living near her, she would infect to the north star. I would not marry her, though she were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he transgressed: she would have made Hercules have turned spit; yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her; you shall find her the infernal Atét in good apparel. I would to God, some scholar would conjure her; for, certainly, while she is here, a man

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may live as quiet in hell, as in a sanctuary; and people sin upon purpose, because they would go thither; so, indeed, all disquiet, horror, and perturbation follow her.

Re-enter CLAUDIO and BEATRICE. D. Pedro. Look, here she comes. vice to the world's end? I will go on the slightBene. Will your grace command me any serest errand now to the Antipodes, that you can devise to send me on; I will fetch you a toothpicker now from the farthest inch of Asia; bring you the length of Prester John's foot; do you any embassage to the Pigmies, rather fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard; than hold three words' conference with this harpy: You have no employment for me? D. Pedro. None, but to desire your good company.


cannot endure my lady tongue.

Bene. O God, Sir, here's a dish I love not; [Exit. the heart of signior Benedick. D. Pedro. Come, lady, come; you have lost

Beat. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me a while; and I give him use* for it, a double heart for his single one: marry, once before, he won it of me with false dice, therefore your grace may well say, I have lost it.

D. Pedro. You have put him down, lady, you have put him down.

Beat. So I would not he should do me, my lord, lest I should prove the mother of fools. I have brought count Claudio, whom you sent me to seek.

D. Pedro. Why, how now, count? wherefore are you sad?

Claud. Not sad, my lord.
D. Pedro. How then? Sick?
Claud. Neither, my lord.

Beat. The count is neither sad, nor sick, nor merry, nor well: but civil, count; civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion.

D. Pedro. I'faith, lady, I think your blazon to be true; though, I'll be sworn, if he be so, his conceit is false. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, and fair Hero is won; I have broke with her father, and his good will obtained: name the day of marriage, and God give you joy!

Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with her my fortunes: his grace hath made the match, and all grace say Amen to it?

Beat. Speak, count, 'tis your cue.t

Claud. Silence is the perfectest herald of joy: I were but little happy, if I could say how much.-Lady, as you are mine, I am yours: 1 give away myself for you, and dote upon the exchange.

Beat. Speak, cousin; or, if you cannot, stop his mouth with a kiss, and let him not speak, neither.

D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry


Beat. Yes, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care:-My cousin tells him in his ear, that he is in her heart.

Claud. And so she doth, cousin,

Beat. Good lord, for alliance!-Thus goes every one to the world but I, and I am sunburned; I may sit in a corner, and cry, heigh ho! for a husband.

D. Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one. Beat. I would rather have one of your father's getting: Hath your grace ne'er a brother like * Interest. 1 Turn: a phrase among the players.

you? Your father got excellent husbands, if a maid could come by them.

D. Pedro. Will you have me, lady? Beat. No, my lord, unless I might have another for working-days; your grace is too costly to wear every day:-But, I beseech your grace, pardon me: I was born to speak all mirth, and no matter.

D. Pedro. Your silence most offends me, and to be merry best becomes you; for, out of question, you were born in a merry hour.

Beat. No, sure, my lord, my mother cry'd; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.-Cousins, God give you joy! Leon. Niece, will you look to those things I told you of?

Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle.-By your grace's pardon. [Exit BEATRICE. D. Pedro. By my troth, a pleasant-spirited lady.

Bora. Yea, my lord; but I can cross it. D. John. Any bar, any cross, any impediment will be medicinable to me: I am sick in displeasure to him; and whatsoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine. How canst thou cross this marriage? Bora. Not honestly, my lord; but so covertly that no dishonesty shall appear in me. D. John. Show me briefly how. Bora. I think I told your lordship, a year since, how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the waiting-gentlewoman to Hero. D. John. I remember.

Bora. I can at any unseasonable instant of the night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber-window.

D. John. What life is in that, to be the death of this marriage?

Bora. The poison of that lies in you to temper. Go you to the prince your brother; Leon. There's little of the melancholy ele-spare not to tell him, that he hath wronged his ment in her, my lord: she is never sad, but honour in marrying the renowned Claudio when she sleeps; and not ever sad then; for I (whose estimation do you mightily hold up) to have heard my daughter say, she hath often a contaminated stale, such a one as Hero. dreamed of unhappiness, and waked herself D. John. What proof shall I make of that? with laughing. Bora. Proof enough to misuse the prince, to

D. Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of vex Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato: a husband.

Leon. O, by no means; she mocks all her wooers out of suit.

D. Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick.

Leon. O Lord, my lord, if they were but a week married, they would talk themselves mad. D. Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to go to church?

Claud. To-morrow, my lord: Time goes on crutches, till love have all his rites.

Leon. Not till Monday, my dear son, which is hence a just seven-night; and a time too brief too, to have all things answer my mind.

D. Pedro. Come, you shake the head at so long a breathing; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time shall not go dully by us: I will, in the interim, undertake one of Hercules' labours; which is, to bring signior Benedick and the lady Beatrice into a mountain of affection, the one with the other. I would fain have it a match; and I doubt not but to fashion it, if you three will but minister such assistance as I shall give you direction.

Leon. My lord, I am for you, though it cost me ten night's watchings.

Claud. And I, my lord.

D. Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero? Hero. I will do any modest office, my lord, to help my cousin to a good husband.

D. Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullest husband that I know: thus far can I praise him; he is of a noble strain,* of approved valour, and confirmed honesty. I will teach you how to humour your cousin, that she shall fall in love with Benedick:-and, I, with your two helps, will so practise on Benedick, that, in despite of his quick wit and his queasy+

stomach, he shall fall in love with Beatrice. If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer; his glory shall be ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in with me, and I will tell you [Exeunt. SCENE II.-Another room in LEONATO's House.

my drift.

D. John. It is so; the count Claudio shall
marry the daughter of Leonato.

* Fastidious.

Look you for any other issue?

D. John. Only to despite them, I will endea vour any thing.

Bora. Go then, find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro and the count Claudio, alone: tell them that you know that Hero loves me; intend* a kind of zeal both to the prince and Claudio, as-in love of your brother's honour who hath made this match; and his friend's reputation, who is thus like to be cozened with the semblance of a maid,-that you have discovered thus. They will scarcely believe this without trial: offer them instances; which shall bear no less likelihood, than to see me at her chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me Borachio; and bring them to see this, the very night before the intended wedding: for, in the mean time, I will so fashion the matter, that Hero shall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truth of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousy shail be call'd assurance, and all the preparation overthrown. D. John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practice: Be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand


Bora. Be you constant in the accusation, and my cunning shall not shame me.

D. John. I will presently go learn their day
of marriage.

Enter BENEDICK and a Box.

Bene. Boy,

Boy. Signior.

bring it hither to me in the orchard.
Bene. In my chamber-window lies a book;
Boy. I am here already, sir.

hence, and here again. [Exit Box. do
Bene. I know that; but I would have thee
much wonder, that one man, seeing how much
another man is a fool when he dedicates his be
haviours to love, will, after he hath laughed at
such shallow follies in others, become the ar-
gument of his own scorn, by falling in love:
And such a man is Claudio. I have known,
when there was no music with him but the
drum and fife; and now he would rather hear
the tabor and the pipe: I have known, when


Sing no more ditties, sing no mo*
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
The fraud of men was ever so,
Since summer first was leavy.
Then sigh not so,&c.
D. Pedro. By my troth, a good song.
Balth. And an ill singer, my lord.

D. Pedro. Ha? no; no, faith; thou singest well enough for a shift.

Bene. [Aside.] An he had been a dog, that should have howled thus, they would have hanged him: and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief! I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have

he would have walked ten mile afoot, to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain, and to the purpose, like an honest man, and a soldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair; yet I am well: another is wise; yet I am well: another virtuous; yet I am well: but till all graces become after it. in one woman, one woman shall not come in D. Pedro. Yea, marry; [To CLAUDIO.] my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain;-Dost thou hear, Balthazar! I pray thee get us wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheap- some excellent music; for to-morrow night we en her; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, would have it at the lady Hero's chamberor come not near me; noble, or not I for an window. angel; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.

[Withdraws. Enter Don PEDRO, LEONATO, and CLAUDIO. D. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this music? Claud. Yea, my good lord :-How still the

evening is,

As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
D. Pedro. See you where Benedick hath
hid himself?

Claud. O, very well, my lord: the music

We'll fit the kid-fox* with a penny-worth.

Enter BALTHAZAR, with music.

D. Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that song again.

Balth. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice,

To slander music any more than once.


D. Pedro. It is the witness still of excellency,
To put a strange face on his own perfection :-
I pray thee, sing, and let me woo no more.
Balth. Because you talk of wooing, I will

Since many a wooer doth commence his suit
To her he thinks not worthy; yet he wooes;
Yet will he swear, he loves.

D. Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come :
Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument,
Do it in notes.

Balth. Note this before my notes,
There's not a note of mine that's worth the

D. Pedro. Why these are very crotchets that he speaks:

Note, notes, forsooth, and noting! [Music. Bene. Now, Divine air! now is his soul ravished-Is it not strange, that sheep's guts should hale souls out of men's bodies!-Well, a horn for my money, when all's done.


Balth. Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever;

One foot in sea and one on shore;
To one thing constant never :
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
And be you blith and bonny;
Converting all your sounds of wo
Into, Hey nonny, nonny.

* Young or cub-fox.

Balth. The best I can, my lord.

D. Pedro. Do so: farewell. [Exeunt BALTHAZAR and music.] Come hither, Leonato: What was it you told me of to-day? that your niece Beatrice was in love with signior Benedick?

Claud. O, ay:-Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits. [Aside to PEDRO.] I did never think that lady would have loved any man.

Leon. No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so dote on signior Benedick, whom she hath in all outward behaviours seemed ever to abhor.

Bene. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?

[Aside. Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an enraged affection,-it is past the infinite of thought.†

D. Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Claud. 'Faith, like enough.

Leon. O God! counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.

D. Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows


Claud. Bait the hook well; this fish will bite. [Aside. Leon. What effects, my lord! She will sit you,

You heard my daughter tell you how.

Claud. She did, indeed.

D. Pedro. How, how, I pray you? You amaze me: I would have thought her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.

Leon. I would have sworn it had, my lord; especially against Benedick.

Bene. [Aside.] I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide itself in such reverence. Claud. He hath ta'en the infection; hold it up. [Aside. D. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?

Leon. No; and swears she never will: that's her torment.

Claud. 'Tis true, indeed; so your daughter says: Shall I, says she, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?

Leon. This says she now when she is beginning to write to him: for she'll be up twenty times a night: and there will she sit in her smock, till she have writ a sheet of paper :-my daughter tells us all.

Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of. * Longer. † Beyond the power of thought to conceive.

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