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my apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? He that hath a beard, is more than a youth; and he that haih no beard, is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth, is not for me ; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him: Therefore I will even take sixpence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell.
Ant. [To Hero.] Well, niece, I trust, you will be ruled by your father?
Beatr. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make a courtesy, and say, “ Father, as it please you :”—but yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another courtesy, and say, “ Father, as it please me."
Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.
Beatr. Not till Heaven 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 account of her life to a clod of wayward marle? No, uncle, I'll none : Adam's sons are my brethren, and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.
Ant. Niece, remember what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know your an
Beatr. The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if you be not wooed in good tinie: if the prince be too important, tell him, there is a measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer. For, hear me, Hero, wooing, wedding, and repenting, is a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly modest, as a measure full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.
Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.
Beatr. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church : by day light.
Music within. Leon. The revellers are entering. [Musick. Enter Don Pedro, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BALTHA
SAR, Don John, BORACHIO, CONRADE, MARGARET, URSULA, and others, masked.
Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your friend?
Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, especially, when I walk away.
Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero. When I like your favour; for Heaven defend, the lute should be like the case !
Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.
Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatched.
Beatr. 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,
Bened. What's he?
Beatr. Why, he is the prince's jesteľ: a very dull fool; Only, his gift is in devising impossible slanders:
none but libertines delight in him; and the com mendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; för he both pleaseth men, and angers them, and then they Jaugh at him, and beat him ; I am sure, he is in the fleet; I would he had boarded me.
Bened. When I know the gentleman, l'Il-tell him what you say.
Beatr. 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 partridge wing saved, for the fooi will eat supper that night.
[The Company beginning to leave the Room. We must follow the leaders.
[Musick.--Ereunt all but Don John, Bo
RACHIO, and CLAUDIO. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and bath withdrawn her father, to break with him about it: The ladies follow her, and but one visor remains.
Bor. And that is Claudio: I know him by his bearing.
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?
Bor. So did I too; and he swore he would marry her to-night. John. Come, let us to the banquet.
[Exeunt Don John and BORACH10. Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick, But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio '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 tongues ;
Let ev'ry eye negotiate for itself,
Bened. Even to the next willow, about your own business, Count. What fashion will you wear the garland of? About your neck, like a 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.
Bened. Why, that's spoken like an honest drover; so they sell bullocks. But did you think the prince would have served
thus? Claud. I
pray you, Bened. Ho ! now you strike like the blind man; 'twas the boy that stole your meat, and you'll beat Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you.
Exit CLAUDIO. Bened. Alas, poor hurt fowl! Now will be 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, though bitter, disposition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her person, and so gives me out. Well, I'll be revenged as I may.
Enter Don PEDRO.
- see him?
Bened. Troth, my lord, I 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 his
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 whipt.
Pedro. To be whipt! what's his fault?
Bened. The flat transgression of a school boy; who, being overjoyed with finding a bird's nest, shows it his companion, and he'steals it.
Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust a transgression? The transgression is in the stealer.
Bened. 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 stolen bis bird's nest.
Pedro. I will but teach them to sing, and restore them to the owner.
Bened. If their singing answer your saying, by my faith, you say honestly.
Pedro. The Lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you ; the gentleman, that danced with her, told her, she is much wronged by you.
Bened. Wronged ! she wronged ! 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; and that I was duller than a great thaw.; huddling jest upon jest, with such impossible conveyance, upon me, that I stood like a man as a mark, with a whole army shooting at me: She speaks poignards, 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