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that he brought me up, I likewife give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheate winded in 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 felf the Right to truft none; and the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will live a batchelor.

Pedro. I fhall fee thee, ere I die, look pale with love. Bene. With anger, with fickness, or with hunger, my lord, not with love: prove, that ever I lofe 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 brothel-house for the Sign of blind Cupid.

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

Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and fhoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the fhoulder, and call'd Adam. (3)

Pedro. Well, as time fhall try; in time the favage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the fenfible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's-horns, and fet them in my forehead, and let me be vilely painted ;

(3) And he that hits me, let him be clap'd on the Shoulder, and call'd Adam.] But why fhould he therefore be call'd Adam ? Perhaps, by a Quotation or two We may be able to trace the Poet's Allufion here. In Law-Tricks, or, Who would have thought it, (a Comedy written by John Day, and printed in 1608) I find this Speech.

I have heard, Old Adam was an honeft Man, and a good Gardiner; lov'd Lettice well, Salads and Cabage reasonable well, yet no Tobacco; Again, Adam Bell, a fubftantial Outlaw, and a paffing good Archer, yet no Tobacconist,

By This it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of day was of Reputation for his Skill at the Bow. I find him again mention'd in a Burlesque Poem of Sir William Davenant's, call'd, The long Vacation in London: and had I the Convenience of confulting Afcham's Toxophilus, I might probably grow ftill better acquainted with his History.


and in fuch great letters as they write, Here is good Horfe to hire, let them fignifie under my Sign, Here you may fee Benedick the marry'd man.

Claud. If this fhould ever happen, thou would't be horn-mad.

Pedro. Nay, if Cupid hath not fpent all his quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this fhortly.

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 fupper; for, indeed, he hath made great preparation.

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for fuch an embaffage, and fo I commit you

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

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

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your difcourfe is fometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but flightly bafted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your confcience, and fo I leave you.

[Exit. Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me good.

Pedro. My love is thine to teach, teach it but how, And thou fhalt fee how apt it is to learn

Any hard leffon that may do thee good.

Claud. Hath Leonato any fon, my lord?

Pedro. No child but Hero, fhe'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 foldier's eye;
That lik'd, 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 foft and delicate Defires,



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,
And I will break with her
And Thou shalt have her

cherish it,

and with her Father, was't not to this end,

That thou began'it to twist so fine a story?
Claud. How fweetly do you minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complection!
But left my liking might too fudden feem,
I would have falv'd it with a longer treatise.

Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the flood?

The fairest grant is the neceffity;

Look, what will ferve, is fit; 'tis once, thou lov'ft ;
And I will fit thee with the remedy.

I know, we shall have revelling to night;
I will affume thy part in fome difguife,
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;
And in her bofom I'll unclafp 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 conclufion is, fhe fhall be thine;
In practice let us put it presently.

Re-enter Leonato and Antonio.


Leon. How now, Brother, where is my Coufin fon? hath he provided this mufick?


Ant. He is very bufie about it; but, brother, I can

tell you news that you yet dream'd not of.

Leon. Are they good?

Ant. As the event ftamps them, but they have good cover; they fhow 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 difcover'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 inftantly break with you of it.

Leon. Hath the fellow any wit, that told you this? Ant. A good fharp fellow; I will fend for him, and question him your felf.

Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, 'till it appear it felf: 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: Coufins, 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 ufe your skill; good Coufin, have a care this bufie time. [Exeunt.

SCENE changes to an Apartment in
Leonato's Houfe.

Enter Don John and Conrade.


7Hat the good-jer, my lord, why are you thus out of measure fad?

John. There is no measure in the occafion that breeds it, therefore the fadness is without limit.

Conr. You fhould hear reason.

John. And when I have heard it, what Bleffing bringeth it?

Conr. If not a prefent remedy, yet a patient fufferance.

John. I wonder, that thou (being, as thou fay'ft thou art, born under Saturn) goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief: I cannot hide what I am I must be fad when I have caufe, and fmile at no man's jefts; eat when I have ftomach, and wait for no man's leifure; fleep when I am drowfie, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.

Conr. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, 'till you may do it without controlement; you have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace, where it is impoffible


you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make your felf; it is needful that you frame the feafon for your own harvest.

John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rofe in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be difdain'd of all, than to fashion a carriage to rob love from any: in this, (though I cannot be faid to be a flattering honeft man) it must not be deny'd but I am a plain-dealing villain; I am trufted with a muzzel, and infranchifed with a clog, therefore I have decreed not to fing in my cage: if I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking: in the mean time let me be that I am, and feek not to alter me.

Conr. Can you make no use of your difcontent?

John. I will make all use of it, for I ufe it only. Who comes here? what news, Borachio?

Enter Borachio.

Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper; the Prince, your brother, is royally entertain'd by Leonato, and ĺ can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.

John. Will it ferve for any model to build mifchief on? what is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietnefs?

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.

John. Who, the moft exquifite Claudio?

Bora. Even he.

John. A proper Squire! and who, and who? which way looks he?

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leo


John. A very forward March chick! How come you to this?

Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was fmoaking a musty room, comes me the Prince and Claudio hand in hand in fad conference: I whipt behind the Arras, and there heard it agreed upon, that the Prince should woo Hero for himself; and having obtain'd her, give her to Count Claudio.

John. Come, come, let us thither, this may prove food

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