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is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick Beat. A dear happiness to women ; they would and her: they never meet, but there is a skirmish else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. of wit between them.
I am of your humour for that; I had rather hear my Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our last dog bark at a crow, than a man swear he loves me. conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and Bene. Heaven keep your ladyship still in that now is the whole man governed with one : so that mind! so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him predestinate scratched 'face. bear it for a difference between himself and his Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an horse : for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to 'twere such a face as yours were. be known a reasonable creature. —Who is his com- Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. panion now ? He hath every month a new sworn Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast brother. Mess. Is it possible ?
Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith tongue; and so good a continuer : But keep your but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with way; I have done. the next block.
Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your know you of old. books.
D. Pedro. This is the sum of all : Don John, Beat. No: an he were, I would burn my study. signior Claudio, and signior Benedick, — my dear But, I pray you, who is his companion? Is there no friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him, young squarer ? now, that will make a voyage with we shall stay here at the least a month; and he him to the devil ?
heartily prays, some occasion may detain us longer : Mess. He is most in the company of the right I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his noble Claudio.
heart. Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be disease: he is sooner caught than the pestilence, forsworn. Let me bid you welcome, my lord : and the taker runs presently mad. Heaven help being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe the noble Claudio ! if he have caught the Benedick, you all duty. it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured. D. John. I thank you : I am not of many words, Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady.
but I thank you. Beat. Do, good friend.
Leon. Please it your grace lead on? Leon. You will never run mad, niece.
D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go toBeat. No, not till a hot January.
gether. [Exeunt all but BENEDICK and Claudio. Mess. Don Pedro is approached.
Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of
signior Leonato? Enter Don PEDRO, attended by BALTHAZAR and
Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. others, Don John, CLAUDIO, and BENEDICK.
Claud. Is she not a modest young lady? D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come
Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man to meet your trouble: the fashion of the world is to should do, for my simple true judgment; or would avoid cost, and you encounter it.
you have me speak after my custom, as being a Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the professed tyrant to their sex? likeness of your grace: for trouble being gone, Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment. comfort should remain : but, when you depart from Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is too low me, sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
for a high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too willing too little for a great praise: only this commendly. - I think, this is your daughter.
ation I can afford her ; that were she other than she Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so. is, she were unhandsome; and being no other but Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked her ? as she is, I do not like her.
Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you Claud. Thou thinkest, I am in sport; I pray a child.
thee, tell me truly how thou likest her. D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick : we may Bene. Would you buy her, that you inquire after guess by this what you are, being a man. Truly, her? the lady fathers herself: Be happy, lady! for you Claud. Can the world buy such a jewel ? are like an honourable father.
Bene. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would you this with a sad brow? or do you play the floutnot have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, ing Jack; to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, as like him as she is.
and Vulcan a rare carpenter? Come, in what key Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, shall man take you, to go in the song ? signior Benedick; no body marks you.
Claud. In mine eye, she is the sweetest lady that Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain ! are you yet ever I look'd on. living?
Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she no such matter : there's her cousin, an she were hath such meet food to feed it, as signior Benedick? not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come beauty, as the first of May doth the last of Decemin her presence.
But I hope, you have no intent to turn Bene. Tben is courtesy a turn-coat : But it is husband; have you ? certain, I am loved of all ladies, only you excepted : Claud. I would scarce trust myself, though I had and I would I could find in my heart that I had not
sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife. a hard heart; for, truly, I love none.
Bene. Is it come to this? Hath not the world ? Quarrelsome fellow.
one man, but he will wear his cap with suspicion?
Shall I never see a bachelor of three-score again? Claud. If this should ever happen, thou wouldst
quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly.
Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.
D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, you followed not to Leonato's?
repair to Leonato's; commend me to him, and tell Bene. would, your grace would constrain me him, I will not fail him at supper; for, indeed, he to tell.
hath made great preparation. D. Pedro. I charge thee, on thy allegiance. Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for
Bene. You hear, count Claudio: I can be secret such an embassage ; and so I commit you as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on Claud. To the tuition of heaven: From my my allegiance, — mark you this, on my allegiance : house, (if I had it,
- He is in love. With who ? — now that is your D. Pedro. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, grace's part. — Mark, how short his answer is : Benedick. With Hero, Leonato's short daughter.
Bene. Nay, inock not, mock not : The body of Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments,
Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither ; nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, heaven forbid it ere you fout old ends any further, examine your should be so.
conscience; and so I leave you. [Erit BENEDICK. Claud. If my passion change not shortly, heaven Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me forbid it should be otherwise.
good. D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach ; teach it is very well worthy.
Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir: lord, I spoke mine.
Dost thou affect her, Claudio ? Claud. That I love her, I feel.
O my lord, D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know.
When you went onward on this ended action, Bene. That I neither feel how she should be I look d upon her with a soldier's eye, loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand opinion that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die Than to drive lik to the name of love : in it at the stake.
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in Have left their places vacant, in their rooms the despite of beauty.
Come thronging soft and delicate desires, Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in All prompting me how fair young Hero is, the force of his will.
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars. Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; D. Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently, that she brought me up, I likewise give her most And tire the hearer with a book of words : humble thanks: but that I will have a recheat 3 If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it ; winded in my forehead, all women shall pardon And I will break with her, and with her father,
Because I will not do them the wrong to And thou shalt have her : Was't not to this end mistrust any, I will do myself the right to trust That thou began'st to twist so fine a story? none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love, finer,) I will live a bachelor.
That know love's grief by his complexion ! D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale But lest my liking might too sudden seem, with love.
I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise. Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, D. Pedro. What need the bridge much broader my lord! not with love: prove, that ever I lose more
than the flood ? blood with love, than I will get again with drink- / The fairest grant is the necessity : ing, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, Look, what will serve, is fit: 'tis once 5, thou lov'st ; and hang me up for the sign of blind Cupid. And I will fit thee with the remedy.
D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this I know, we shall have revelling to-night; faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.
I will assume thy part in some disguise, Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and And tell fair Hero I am Claudio ; shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped And in her bosom I'll unclasp my heart, on the shoulder, and called Adam. 4
And take her hearing prisoner with the force D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try :
And strong encounter of my amorous tale : In time the savage bull doch bear the yoke.
Then, after, to her father will I break; Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sen- And, the conclusion is, she shall be thine : sible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and in practice let us put it presently. (Ercunt. set them in my forehead: and let me be vilely painted; and in such great letters as they write, Here is
SCENE II. - A Room in Leonato's House. good horse to hire, let them signify under my sign,
Enter Leonato and ANTONIO. Here you may see Benedick, the married man. Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, 3 The tune sounded to call off the dogs.
your son ? Ilath he provided this musick ? 4 The name of a famous archer,
5 Once for all.
Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, / weather that you make yourself: it is needful that I can tell you strange news that you yet dreamed you frame the season for your own harvest. not of.
D. John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, Leon. Are they good ?
than a rose in his grace; and it better fits Ant. As the event stamps them ; but they have to be disdained of all, than to fashion a carriage to a good cover, they show well outward. The prince rob love from any : in this, though I cannot be said and count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached to be a flattering honest man, it must not be denied alley in my orchard, were thus much overheard by that I am a plain-dealing villain. I am trusted with a man of mine : The prince discovered to Claudio, a muzzle, and enfranchised with a clog ; therefore I that he loved my niece your daughter, and meant have decreed not to sing in my cage : If I had my to acknowledge it this night in a dance; and, if he mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would found her accordant, he meant to take the present do my liking; in the mean time, let me be that I time by the top, and instantly break with you of it. am, and seek not to alter me.
Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this? Con. Can you make no use of your discontent?
Ant. A good sharp fellow: I will send for him, D. John. I make all use of it, for I use it only. and question him yourself.
Who comes here? What news, Borachio ? Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till it appear itself: – but I will acquaint my daughter
Enter BORACHIO. withal, that she may be the better prepared for an Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the answer, if peradventure this be true. Go
prince, your brother, is royally entertained by Leotell her of it. [Several persons cross the stage.] nato; and I can give you intelligence of an intended Cousins, you know what you have to do. – 0, I
marriage. cry you mercy, friend; you go with me, and I will
D. John. Will it serve for any model to build use your skill: - Good cousins, have a care this mischief on? What is he for a fool, that betroths busy time.
(Ereunt. himself to unquietness ? SCENE III. – Another Room in Leonato's House.
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
D. John. Who? the most exquisite Claudio ? Enter Don John and CONRADE.
Bora. Even he. Con. My lord! why are you thus out of measure D. John. A proper squire ! And who, and who? sad ?
which way looks he? D. John. There is no measure in the occasion that Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit. Leonato. Con. You should hear reason.
D. John. A very forward March-chick! Ilow D. John. And when I have heard it, what blessing came you to this? bringeth it?
Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was Con. If not a present remedy, yet a patient suf- smoking a musty room, comes me the prince and ferance.
Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference: I whipt D. John. I wonder, that thou being (as thou me behind the arras; and there heard it agreed say'st thou art) born under Saturn, goest about to upon, that the prince should woo Hero for himself, apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. and having obtained her, give her to count Claudio. I cannot hide what I am : I must be sad when I D. John. Come, come, let us thither; this may have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I prove food to my displeasure; that young start-up have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure ; sleep hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross when I am drowsy, and tend to no man's business: him any way, I bless myself every way: You are laugh when I am merry, and claw7 no man in his both sure, and will assist me? humour.
Con. To the death, my lord. Con. Yea, but you must not make the full show D. John. Let us to the great supper; their cheer of this, till you may do it without controlment. You is the greater, that I am subdued : 'Would the cook have of late stood out against your brother, and he were of my mind! — Shall we go prove what's to hath ta’en you newly into his grace; where it is be done ? impossible you should take true root, but by the fair Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeunt.
SCENE I. - A Hall in Leonato's House. the one is too like an image, and says nothing; and
the other, too like my lady's eldest son, evermore Enter Leonato, ANTONIO, Hero, Beatrice, and tattling. others.
Leon. Then half signior Benedick's tongue in Leon. Was not count John here at supper? count John's mouth, and half count John's melanAnt. I saw him not.
choly in signior Benedick's face, Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks ! I never Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, can see him, but I am heart-burned an hour after. and money enough in his purse, such a man would
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition. win any woman in the world,- if he could get her
Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made good will. just in the mid-way between him and Benedick: Leon. By my troth, niece, thou wilt never get & Thickly.interwoven.
thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. Well, niece, (To Hero.] I trust, you will Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are ? be ruled by your father.
Bene. Not now. Beat. Yes, it is my cousin's duty to make courtesy, Beal. That I was disdainful, —and that I had iny and say, Father, as it please you :
but yet for all good wit out of the Hundred Merry Tales ;- Well, that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else this was signior Benedick that said so. make another courtesy, and say, Father, as it please
Bene. What's he?
Bent. I am sure, you know him, well enough. Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day Bene. Not I, believe me. fitted with a husband.
Beat. Did he never make you laugh? Bent. Not till men are made of some other metal Bene. I pray you, what is he? than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be Beat. Why, he is the prince's jester : a very dull overmaster'd with a piece of valiant dust ? to make fool; only his gift is in devising impossible slanders: an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl ? none but libertines delight in him; and the comNo, uncle, I'll none: Adam's sons are my brethren; mendation is not in his wit, but in his villainy; for and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred. he both pleaseth men, and angers them, and then
Leon. Daughter, remember what I told you : if they laugh at him, and beat him. the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him your answer.
you say Beat. The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if Beat. Do, do; he'll but break a comparison or you be not woo'd in good time : if the prince be two on me; which, peradventure, not marked, or too important tell him, there is measure in every not laughed at, strikes him into melancholy; and thing, and so dance out the answer. For hear me, then there's a partridge' wing saved, for the fool will Hero; Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a eat no supper that night. [Musick within.] We Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace : the first must follow the leaders. suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as Bene. In every good thing. fantastical ; the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave measure full of state and ancientry; and then them at the next turning. comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into
[Dance. Then exeunt all but Don Joan, the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into
BORACHIO, and Claudio.
D. John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and Leon. Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly. hath withdrawn her father to break with him about
Beat. I have a good eye, uncle ; I can see a it: The ladies follow her, and but one visor remains. church by day-light.
Bora. And that is Claudio ; I know him by his Leon. The revellers are entering ; brother, make bearing. 9 good room.
D. John. Are not you signior Benedick ?
Claud. You know me well; I am he. Enter Don PedRO, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, BalTHAZAR ; Don John, Borachio, Margaret, in his love; he is enamoured on Hero; I pray you,
D. John. Signior, you are very near my brother URSULA, and others, masked.
dissuade him from her, she is no equal for his birth; D. Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your you may do the part of an honest man in it. friend?
Claud. How know you he loves her? Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and
D. John. I heard him swear his affection. say nothing, I am yours for the walk : and, espe- Bora. So did I too; and he swore he would marry cially, when I walk away.
her to night. D. Pedro. With me in your company ?
D. John. Come, let us to the banquet. Hern. I may say so, when I please.
(Exeunt Don John and Borach10. D. Pedro. And when please you to say so ? Claud. Thus answer I in name of Benedick,
Hero. When I like your favour; for heaven But hear these ill news with the ears of Claudio, forbid the lute should be like the case !
'Tis certain so; D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within Friendship is constant in all other things,
the prince wooes for himself. the house is Jove.
Save in the office and affairs of love : Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd.
Therefore, all hearts in love use their own tongues; D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love.
Let every eye negotiate for itself, [ Takes her aside.
And trust no agent: for beauty is a witch, Urs. I know you well enough ; you are signior Against whose charms faith melteth into blood. ' Antonio.
This is an accident of hourly proof, Ant. At a word, I am not.
Which I mistrusted not: Farewell therefore, Hero! Urs. I know you by the waggling of your head. Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.
Re-enter BENEDICK. Urs. You could never do lim so ill-well, unless
Bene. Count Claudio ? you were the very man : Here's his dry hand up and
Claud. Yea, the same. down; you are he, you are he. Ant. At a word, I am not,
Bene. Come, will you go with me?
Claud. Whither ? Urs. Come, come ; do you think I do not know
Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself?
business, count. What fashion will you wear the Go to, mum, you are he: graces will appear, and
garland of? About your neck, like an usurer's there's an end.
chain ? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's scarf ? Beat. Will you not tell me who told you so?
You must wear it one way, for the prince hath got Bene. No, you shall pardon me. 8 Importunate.
9 Carriage, demeanour