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Enter BenEDICK, Bened. I do much wonder, that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow tollies in others, become the argument 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 the fife ; and now had he rather hear the tabor and the pipe : I have known when 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 he is turned 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 tilt all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace.
Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her; fair, or I'll never look on her: mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I; of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be
of what colour it please Heaven.-Ha! the prince, and Monsieur Love! I will hide ine in the arbour.
(Withdraws. Enter Don Pedro, LEONATO, CLAUDIO, BALTHA
SAR, and SINGERS. Pedro. Come, shall we hear this music? Claud. Yea, my good lord :-how still the even
ing is, As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony !
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself? Come, Balthasar, we'll hear that song again.
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
Men were deceivers ever ;
Then sigh not so,
But let them go,
Into, Hey nonny, nonny.
Sing no more ditties, sing no mo,
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
Then sigh not so, &c.
Pedro. Dost thou hear, Balthasar? I pray thee, get us some excellent music; for, to-morrow night, we would have it at the Lady Hero's chamber window.
Balth. The best I can, my lord..
Pedro. Do so: farewell! [Exeunt BALTHASAR and Singers.) Come hither, Leonato: What was it
you told me of to-day? that your niece, Beatrice, was in love with Signior Benedick? They sit.
Claud. O, ay :-(Aside.) Stalk on, stalk on; the fowl sits.--I did never think that lady would have loved any man,
Leon, No, nor I neither; but most wonderful, that she should so date on Signior Benedick, whom she hath, in all outward behaviours, seemed ever to abhor.
Bened. Is't possible? Sits the wind in that corner?
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.
Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Leon. Counterfeit! There never was counterfeit of passion came so near the life of passion, as she discovers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of passion shows she?
Claud. [Aside.] Bait the hook well; this fish will bite.
Leon. What effects, my lord! She will sit you, You heard my daughter tell you how.
Claud. She did, indeed.
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; espe, cially against Benedick.
Bened. I should think this a gull, but that the white-bearded fellow speaks it: knavery cannot, sure, hide himself in such reverence.
Claud. Aside. He hath ta'en the affection; hold it up:
Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick?
Leon. No; and swears she never will: that's her torment,
Bened. So, so
! Leon. My daughter says, the ecstacy hath so much overborne her, that she is sometime afraid she will do desperate outrage to herself.
Pedro. It were good, if Benedick knew of it by some other, if she will not discover it. I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and hear what he will say.
Leon. Were it good, think you?
Claud. 'Tis very possible he'll scorn it; for the man, as you know all, hath a contemptible spirit.
Bened. Very well!
Claud. Never tell him, my lord ; let her wear it out with good counsel.
Leon. Nay, that's impossible; she may wear her heart out first.
Pedro. Well, we will hear farther of it by your daughter; let it cool the while. I love Benedick well; and I could wish he would modestly examine himself, to see how much he is unworthy so good a lady. Leon. My lord, will you walk? dinner is ready?'
[They rise. Claud. (Aside.] If he do not dote on her upon this, I will never trust iny expectation.
Pedro. [Aside.] Let there be the same net spread for her, and that must your daughter and her gentlewoman carry. The sport will be, when they hold an opinion of one another's dotage, and no such matter; that's the scene that I would see. Let us send her to call him to dinner.
Bened. This can be no trick: The conference was sadly borne.—They have the truth of this from Hero. They seem to pity the lady; it seems, her affections have the full bent. Love me! why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say, I will
bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her: they say too, that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did never think to marry: I must not seem proud: happy are they that hear their detractions, and can put them to mending. They say, the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness : and virtuous;—'tis so, I cannot reprove it: and wise,—but for loving me :-By my troth, it is no addition to her wit;-nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her.-I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have railed so long against marriage: But doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth, that he cannot endure in his age :—Shall quips, and sentences, and these paper bullets of the brain, awe a man from the career of his humour? No: the world must be peopled. When I said, I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should till
were marrie -Here comes Beatrice: By this day, she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.
Beatr. Against my will, I am sent to bid you como in to dinner. Bened. Fair Beatrice, I thank you
your pains. Beatr. I took no more pains for those thanks, than you take pains to thank me; if it had been painful, I would not have come.
Bened. You take pleasure, then, in the message ?
upon a knife's point, and choke a daw withal :-You have ng stomach, signior; fare you well.
[Exit. Bened. Ha!" Against my will, I am sent to bid you come in to dinner”-there's a double meaning in ahat. “ I took no more pains for those thanks, than