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Pedro. My vifor is Philemon's roof; within the houfe is (a) Jove.

Hero. Why, then your vifor should be thatch'd.
Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love.
Balth. Well, I would, you did like me.
Marg. So would not I for your own fake, for I
have many ill qualities.

Balth. Which is one?

Marg. I fay my Prayers aloud.

Balth. 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 fight when the dance is done! Anfwer, Clerk.

Balth. No more words, the clerk is anfwer'd.
Urf. I know you well enough; you are Signior
Antonio.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urf. I know you by the wagling of your head. Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. Urf. You could never do him fo ill-well, unless you were the very man: here's his dry hand up and down; you are he, you are he.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

Urf. Come, come, do you think, I do not know you by your excellent wit? can virtue hide itself? go to, mum, you are he; graces will appear, and there's

an end.

Beat. Will you not tell me, who told you fo?
Bene. No, you fhall pardon me.

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

Beat. That I was difdainful, and that I had my good Wit out of The Hundred merry Tales; well, this was Signior Benedick that said so.

(a) Jove, Mr. Theobald - Vulg. Love.

Bene.

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Bene. What's he?

Beat. I am fure, 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. Why, he is the Prince's jefter; a very dull fool, only his gift is in devifing impaffible flanders: none but libertines delight in him, and the commendation is not in his wit, but in his villany; for he both pleaseth men and angers them, and then they laugh at him, and beat him; I am fure, he is in the fleet; I would, he had boarded me.

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

Beat. Do, do, he'll but break a comparison or two on me; which, peradventure, not mark❜d, or not laugh'd at, ftrikes him into melancholy, and then there's a partridge wing fav'd, for the fool will eat no fupper that night. We muft follow the leaders. [Mufick within.

Bene. In every good thing.

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

[Exeunt.

SCENE

III.

Manent John, Borachio, and Claudio.

John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and hath withdrawn her father to break with him about it: the ladies follow her, and but one vifor remains. Bora. And that is Claudio; I know him by his Bearing.

4 his gift is in devifing IMPOSSIBLE flanders:] We should read IMPASSIBLE, i. e. flanders fo ill invented that they will pass upon no body.

5 his villany] by which, fhe means his malice and impiety. By his impious jefts, the infinuates he pleased libertines; and by his devifing flanders of them, he angered them.

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John.

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John. Are you not Signior Benedick?
Claud. You know me well, I am he.

John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his love, he is enamour'd on Hero; I pray you, diffuade him from her, fhe is no equal for his birth; you may do the part of an honeft man in it.

Claud. How know ye, he loves her?
John. I heard him fwear his affection.
Bora. So did I too, and he fwore he would marry
her to night.

John. Come, let us to the banquet.

[Exeunt John and Bor.
Claud. Thus anfwer I in name of Benedick,
But hear this ill news with the ears of Claudio.
'Tis certain fo, the Prince wooes for himself.
Friendship is conftant in all other things,
Save in the office and affairs of love;
Therefore all hearts in love ufe (a) your own tongues!
Let every eye negotiate for itself,
And truft no agent; beauty is a witch,

Against whofe charms faith melteth into blood.
This is an accident of hourly proof,
Which I mistrusted not. Farewel then, Heral

Enter Benedick.

Bene. Count Claudio?

Claud. Yea, the fame.

Bene. Come, will you go with me?
Claud. Whither?

Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own bufinefs, Count. What fashion will you wear the

6-faith melteth into blood.] i. e. These intemperate defires make men treacherous; but the expreffion alludes to the old opinion of fuperftition concerning witches; that they turned wholesome liquors into blood by their charms.

-your own tongues! Oxf. Edit.-Vulg. their own

garland

(a) tongues.

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garland of? about your neck, like an Ufurer's chain? or under your arm, like a Lieutenant's scarf? you muft wear it one way, for the Prince hath got your Hero.

Claud. I with him Joy of her.

Bene. Why, that's fpoken like an honest drover; fo they fell bullocks: but did you think, the Prince would have served you thus?

Claud. I pray you, leave me.

Bene. Ho! now you ftrike like the blind man ; 'twas the boy that ftole your meat, and you'll beat the Poft.

Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you.

[Exit.

Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowle! now will he creep into fedges. But, that my Lady Beatrice fhould 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 fo I am apt to do myself wrong: I am not fo reputed. It is the bafe (tho' bitter) difpofition of Beatrice, that puts the World into her person, and fo gives me out; well, I'll be reveng'd as I may.

SCENE

IV.

Enter Don Pedro.

Pedro. Now, Signior, where's the Count? did you fee him?

Bene. Troth, my lord, I have play'd the part of lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a lodge in a warren, I told him (and I think, told him true) that your Grace had got the Will of this young lády, and I offer'd him my company to a willowtree, either to make him a garland, as being forfaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy to be whipt.

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Pedro. To be whipt! what's his fault?

Bene. The flat tranfgreffion of a School-boy; who,
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being

being overjoy'd with finding a bird's neft, fhews it his companion, and he steals it.

Pedro. Wilt thou make a trust, a tranfgreffion? the tranfgreffion is in the stealer.

Bene. Yet it had not been amifs, the rod had been made, and the garland too; for the garland he might have worn himself, and the rod he might have beftow'd on you, who (as I take it) have ftol'n his bird's neft.

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

Bene. If their finging answer your faying, by my faith, you fay honeftly.

Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to you; the gentleman, that danc'd with her, told her the is much wrong'd by you.

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Bene. "O, fhe mifus'd me past the indurance of a block; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, "would have anfwer'd her; my very vifor began to "affume life, and fcold with her; fhe told me, not "thinking I had been myself, that I was the Prince's jefter, and that I was duller than a great thaw; "hudling jeft upon jeft, with fuch impaffable con

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veyance upon me, that I ftood like a man at a "mark, with a whole army fhooting at me; fhe "fpeaks Ponyards, and every word ftabs; if her "breath were as terrible as her terminations, there

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8 were no living near her, fhe would infect to the North-Star," I would not marry her, though the were endowed with all that Adam had left him before he tranfgrefs'd; fhe would have made Hercules have turn'd Spit, yea, and have cleft his club to make the fire

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7 fuch IMPOSSIBLE conveyance] We fhould read IMPASSABLE. A term taken from fencing, when the strokes are fo fwift and repeated as not to be parried or paffed off.

8 she would infect the North-Star ;] i. e. There is nothing of fo pure and keen a brightnefs, that her calumnious tongue would not fully.

too.

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