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Bene. Troth, no; no more than reason.
Beat. Why, then, my cousin, Margaret, and

witcrackers cannot flout me out of my humour. Dost thou think I care for a satire or an epigram? No; if a man will be beaten with brains, Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear you did. a' shall wear nothing handsome about him. In Bene. They swore that you were almost sick brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think for me. 80 nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it, for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion. For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but, in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.

Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me.

Bene. 'Tis no such matter. Then, you do not love me?

Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman. 84

Claud. And I'll be sworn upon 't that he loves

For here's a paper written in his hand,
A halting sonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.


And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, stolen from her

Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts. Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity. 93 Beat. I would not deny you; but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion, and partly to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption.

Bene. Peace! I will stop your mouth.


[Kisses her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick, the married man? 100 Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of


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Make rich the ribs, but bankrupt quite the wits.
Dum. My loving lord, Dumaine is mortified:
The grosser manner of these world's delights 29
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die;

King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their With all these living in philosophy.


Live register'd upon our brazen tombs,
And then grace us in the disgrace of death;
When, spite of cormorant devouring Time,
The endeavour of this present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate his scythe's keen

And make us heirs of all eternity.

Ber. I can but say their protestation over;
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn,
That is, to live and study here three years.
But there are other strict observances;
As, not to see a woman in that term,
Which I hope well is not enrolled there:
And one day in a week to touch no food,
And but one meal on every day beside;

Therefore, brave conquerors,-for so you are, 8 The which I hope is not enrolled there:


That war against your own affections
And the huge army of the world's desires,-
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force:
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world;
Our court shall be a little academe,
Still and contemplative in living art.
You three, Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville,
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me,
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes
That are recorded in this schedule here:
Your oaths are pass'd; and now subscribe your



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And then, to sleep but three hours in the night,
And not be seen to wink of all the day,—
When I was wont to think no harm all night 44
And make a dark night too of half the day,-
Which I hope well is not enrolled there.
O! these are barren tasks, too hard to keep,
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep.
King. Your oath is pass'd to pass away from


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King. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense. Ber. Come on then; I will swear to study so, To know the thing I am forbid to know; As thus: to study where I well may dine, When I to feast expressly am forbid; Or study where to meet some mistress fine, When mistresses from common sense are hid; Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath, 65 Study to break it, and not break my troth. If study's gain be thus, and this be so, Study knows that which yet it doth not know. Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say no.


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Long. Four days ago. Ber. Let's see the penalty. On pain of losing her tongue. Who devised this penalty? Long. Marry, that did I.


Sweet lord, and why?
Long. To fright them hence with that dread

Ber. A dangerous law against gentility! Item. If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court can possibly devise.

This article, my liege, yourself must break; 132 For well you know here comes in embassy The French king's daughter with yourself to speak

A maid of grace and complete majesty— About surrender up of Aquitaine

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father: Therefore this article is made in vain,


Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither. King. What say you, lords? why, this was quite forgot.


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For interim to our studies shall relate
In high-born words the worth of many a knight
From tawny Spain lost in the world's debate.
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I; 173
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie,
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.


Ber. Armado is a most illustrious wight, 176 A man of fire-new words, fashion's knight.

Long. Costard the swain and he shall be our sport;

And, so to study, three years is but short.

Enter DULL, with a letter, and COSTARD. Dull. Which is the duke's own person? 180 Ber. This, fellow. What wouldst? Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his Grace's tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood. 184

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Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!


King. Will you hear this letter with attention?
Ber. As we would hear an oracle.
Cost. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken
after the flesh.

King. Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron,

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
King. So it is,-

Cost. It may be so; but if he say it is so,
is, in telling true, but so.—
King. Peace!




Cost. Be to me and every man that dares not


King. No words!


Cost. Of other men's secrets, I beseech you. King. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper: so much for the time when. Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walked upon: it is ycleped thy park. Then for the place where; where, I mean, I did encounter that most obscene and preposterous event, that draweth from my snowwhite pen the ebon-coloured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest. But to the Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touch-place where, it standeth north-north-east and ing me. by east from the west corner of thy curiousknotted garden: there did I see that low-spirited swain, that base minnow of thy mirth,— Cost. Me.

Ber. This is he.

Dull. Signior Arm-Arm-commends you. There's villany abroad: this letter will tell you



King. A letter from the magnificent Armado. Ber. How long soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.


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Ber. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.



Cost. O me.


King. sorted and consorted, contrary to prosperity! Affliction may one day smile again; thy established proclaimed edict and continent and till then, sit thee down, sorrow! [Exeunt. canon, with-with,-O! with but with this I passion to say wherewith,

Cost. With a wench.


King, with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woman. Him, I,-as my everesteemed duty pricks me on,-have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet Grace's officer, Antony Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.


Dull. Me, an't please you; I am Antony Dull. King. For Jaquenetta,-so is the weaker vessel called which apprehended with the aforesaid swain,-I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty,


DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO. Ber. This is not so well as I looked for, but

the best that ever I heard.

King. Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, what say you to this?

Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.
King. Did you hear the proclamation?


Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but

little of the marking of it.


King. It was proclaimed a year's imprison

ment to be taken with a wench.

Cost. I was taken with none, sir: I was taken with a damosel.


King. Well, it was proclaimed 'damosel.' Cost. This was no damosel neither, sir: she was a 'virgin.’

King. It is so varied too; for it was proclaimed 'virgin.'


Cost. If it were, I deny her virginity: I was taken with a maid.

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SCENE II.-The Same.

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Arm. I love not to be crossed.


Arm. What! that an eel is ingenious?

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Moth. I am answered, sir.

Moth. [Aside.] He speaks the mere contrary: crosses love not him.


Arm. I have promised to study three years

Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir.
Arm. Impossible.


with the duke.

Moth. How many is one thrice told? Arm. I am ill at reckoning; it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.



Moth. You are a gentleman and a gamester,

Arm. I confess both: they are both the varnish of a complete man. 48 Moth. Then, I am sure you know how much the gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to. Arm. It doth amount to one more than two.

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