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fhould remain; but when you depart from me, forrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.

Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly: I think, this is your daughter.

Leon. Her mother hath many times told me fo. Bene. Were you in doubt, Sir, that you askt her? Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child..

Pedro. You have it full, Benedick, We may guess by this what you are, being a man: truly, the lady fa thers her felf, be happy, lady, for you are like an honourable father.

Bene. If Signior Leonato be her Father, the would not have his head on her fhoulders for all Mefina, as like him as fhe is.

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Beat. I wonder, that you will ftill be talking, Signior Benedick; no body marks you.

Bene. What, my dear lady Difdain! are you yet living?

Beat. Is it poffible, Difdain fhould die, while fhe hath fuch meet food to feed it, as Signior Benedick? Courtefie it felf muft convert to Difdain, if you come in her presence.

Bene. Then is courtefie a turn-coat; but it is certain, I am lov'd of all ladies, only you excepted; and I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart, for truly I love none.

Beat. A dear happiness to women; they would elfe have been troubled with a pernicious fuitor. I thank God and my cold blood, I am of your Humour for that; I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than a man fwear he loves me..

Bene. God keep your ladyship ftill in that mind! fo fome gentleman or other fhall fcape a predeftinate fcratcht face.

Beat." Scratching could not make it worse, an "twere fuch a face as yours were,"

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Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher. Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beaft of yours.

Bene. I would, my horfe had the speed of your tongue, and fo good a continuer ; but keep your way o' God's name, I have done.

Beat. You always end with a jade's trick; I know you of old.

Pedro. This is the fum of all: Leonato,-Signior Claudio, and Signior Benedick,my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all, I tell him, we shall stay here at the leaft a month; and he heartily prays, fome occafion may detain us longer: I dare fwear, he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart.

Leon. If you fwear, my Lord, you shall not be forfworn. Let me bid You welcome, my lord, being reconciled to the prince your brother; I owe you all duty.

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John. I thank you; I am not of many words, but I thank you.

Leon. Please it your Grace lead on?

Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together. [Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio.


Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato?

Bene. I noted her not, but I look'd on her.
Claud. Is fhe not a modeft young lady?

Bene. Do you queftion me, as an honeft man fhould do, for my fimple true judgment? or would you have me fpeak after my cuftom, as being a profeffed tyrant to their fex?

Claud. No, I pr'ythee, fpeak in fober judgment. Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks, fhe is too low for an high praife, too brown for a fair praife, and too lit


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tle for a great praife; only this commendation I can "afford her, that were fhe other than fhe is, fhe were "unhandfome; and being no other but as the is, I "do not like her."

Claud. Thou think'ft, I am in fport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou lik'ft her.

Bene. Would you buy her, that you enquire after her?

Claud. Can the world buy fuch a jewel?

Bene. Yea, and a cafe to put it into; but speak you this with a fad brow? or do you play the flouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter? come, in what key shall a man take you to go in the Song?

Claud. In mine eye, fhe is the fweetest lady that I ever look'd on.

Bene. I can fee yet without fpectacles, and I fee no fuch matter; there's her Coufin, if she were not poffeft with such a Fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, as the first of May doth the laft of December: but I hope, you have no intent to turn husband, have you?

Claud. I would fcarce truft my felf, tho' I had fworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife.

Bene. Is't come to this, in faith? hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with fufpicion? fhall I never fee a batchelor of threefcore again? go to, i'faith, if thou wilt needs thruft thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and figh away Sundays: look, Don Pedro is return'd to feek you,



Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John.

Pedro. What Secret hath held you here, that you follow'd not to Leonato's houfe?

7 figh away Sundays:] A proverbial expreffion to fignify that a man has no reft at all; when Sunday, a day formerly of eafe and diverfion, was paffed fo uncomfortably.


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

Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be fecret as a dumb man, I would have you think fo; but on my allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance:he is in love; with whom? now that is your Grace's part: mark, how fhort his answer is, with Hero, Leonato's fhort daughter.

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

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

Claud. If my paffion change not fhortly, God forbid it fhould be otherwife.

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

Claud. You fpeak this to fetch me in, my Lord.
Pedro. By my troth, I fpeak my thought.
Claud. And, in faith, my Lord, I fpoke mine...
Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord,
I speak mine.

Claud. That I love her, I feel.

Pedro. That fhe is worthy, I know.

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

Pedro. Thou waft ever an obftinate heretick in the defpight of beauty.

Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in the force of his will.

Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that he brought me up, I likewife 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.


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in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldrick, all women fhall pardon me; because I will not do them the Wrong to miftruft 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 "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 "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 shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapt on the fhoulder, and call'd 9 Adam.

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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; 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'ft be horn-mad.

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


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

1 if Cupid hath not spent all his quiver in Venice,] All modern Writers agree in reprefenting 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. Difdier speaking of their Courtifanes fays, Je fuis certain que rien ne peut egaler ce qui fe voit à Venice, tant pour la multitude, que pour la pleine


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