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Bene. I would, your Grace would constrain me to tell.

Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think fo; but on my

I allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance:he is in love; with whom? now that is your Grace's part: mark, how short his answer is, with Hero, Leonato's short daughter.

Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered.

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord, it is not fo, nor 'twas not so ; but, indeed, God forbid it should be fo.

Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise.

Pedro. Amen, if you love her, for the Lady is very well worthy.

Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my Lord. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. Claud. And, in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine.

Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speak mine.

Claud. That I love her, I feel.
Pedro. That she is worthy, I know.

Bene. That I neither feel how she should be loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake,

Pedro, Thou wast ever an obftinate heretick in the despight of beauty. Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in


8 the force of his will.

Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks : but that I will have a recheate winded

8 but in the force of his will.] Alluding to the definition of a Heretick in the Schools.



in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me; because I will not do them the Wrong to mistrust any, I will do my self the Right to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a batchelor.

Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love.

Bene. “ With anger, with sickness, or with hun“ ger, my lord, not with love: prove, that ever I o lose more blood with love, than I will get again “ with drinking, pick out mine eyes with

a ballad“ maker's pen, and hang me up at the door of a 66 brothel-house for the. Sign of blind Cupid.

Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this faith, thou wilt prove a notable

argument. Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me ; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the shoulder, and call'd Adam.

Pedro. Well, as time shall try; in time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and set them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted; and in such great letters as they write, Here is good Horse to bire, let them signifie under my Sign, Here you may fee Benedick the marry'd man.

Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.

Pedro. Nay, "if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.

Bene. 9 Adam Bell, at that time famous for Archery. Mr. Theobald.

1 if Cupid bath not spent all bis quiver in Venice,] All modern Writers agree in representing Venice in the fame light, that the Ancients did Cyprus. And 'tis this Character of the People that is here alluded to. The Sieur de St. Disdier speaking of their Courtisanes says, Je suis certain que rien ne peut egaler ce qui se voit à Venice, tant pour la multitude, que pour la pleine


Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.

Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the hours ; in the mean time, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato's, commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him at supper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for such an embassage, and so I commit you

Claud. To the tuition of God; From my house, if I had it,

Pedro. The sixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick.

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but Nightly basted on neither : ere you fout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so I leave you.



Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me

good. liberiè Il y a deux cent cinquante quatre ans que Venice se trouvant sans Courtisanes, la Republique fut obligée d'en faire venir un grand nombre d' Efrangeres. La Doglioni loüe extremement en cela la sagesse de la Rep. laquelle, par ce moyen fceut pourvoir à la seureté des femmes d'honneur, ausquelles on faifoit tous les jours des violences publiques ; puisque les lieux les plus faints n'estoient point un afle affuré. C'est pourquoy comme la Rep. croit

que l'air Jalé qu'on respire dans ce climat rend le disordre habituel & fans remede, elle jugea, &c. Mr. Bayle, speaking of the dissolute manners of the Venetian Ecclesiasticks, says, Je me fouviens d'avoir demandé un jour à un Homme, qui me contoit mille & mille Dereglemens des Ecclefiaftiques de Venice, comment il se pouvoit faire que le Senat souffroit.- On me fit reponse que le bien public obligeoit le Souverain à user de cette Indulgence : & pour m'expliquer cette Enigme, on ajouta que le Senat croit bien aile que le Peuple eut le dernier mepris pour les Prétres ; car des lors ils font moins capables de le faire foulever. Thus, when natural temperament, the Policy of the Republic, and the Example of Churchmen, all concur to foment this disorder, it is no wonder it fhould rise higher here than in any other place.


Pedro, My love is thine to teach, teach it but how, And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn Any hard leffon that may do thee good.

Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ?

Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir:
Doft thou affect her, Claudio ?

Claud. O my lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye;
That likod, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love ;
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant; in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate Desires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is;
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.

Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
And tire the hearer with a book of words:
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,
And I will break with her; and with her Father,
And Thou shalt have her: was't not to this end,
That thou began'st to twist so fine a story?

Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complection!
But left my liking might too sudden feem,
I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise.
Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than

the flood ? 2 The fairest grant is the necessity; Look, what will serve, is fit; 'tis once, thou lov'st; And I will fit thee with the remedy. I know, we shall have revelling to-night; I will assume thy part in some disguise, And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;

2 The fairejt grant is the necesity;] i. e, no one can have a better reason for granting a request than the necessity of its being granted.


And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart,
And take her hearing prisoner with the force
And strong encounter of my amorous tale:
Then, after, to her father will I break;
And the conclusion is, she shall be thine;
In practice let us put it presently.

[Exeunt. Re-enter Leonato and Antonio. Leon. How now, Brother, where is my Cousin your son? hath he provided this musick? Ant. He is very busie about it; but, brother, I can

; tell you news that you get dream'd not of.

Leon. Are they good ?

Ant. As the event stamps them, but they have a good cover; they show well outward. The Prince and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley in my orchard, were thus over-heard by a man of mine: The Prince discover'd to Claudio, that he lov'd my neice your daughter, and meant to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and if he found her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly break with you of it. Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you

this? Ant. A good sharp fellow; I will send for him, and


self. Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, 'till it appear it self: but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for answer, if peradventure this be true; go you and tell her of it: Cousins, you know what you have to do. [Several cross the Stage here.] O, I cry you mercy, friend, go you with me and I will use your skill; good Cousin, have a care this busie time.



question him


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