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Beat. No, not till a hot January.
fashion of the world is to avoid cost, and you encounter it. Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your grace; for
trouble being gone, comfort should remain; but when you depart from
me sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave. D. PEDRO. You embrace your charge too willingly. I think this is your
daughter. LEON. Her mother hath many times told me so. BENE. Were you in doubt that you asked her ? LEON. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child. D. PEDRO. You have it full, Benedick: we may guess by this what you are,
being a man. Truly, the lady fathers herself :-Be happy, lady! for you are
like an honourable father. BENE. If signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his bead on her
shoulders for all Messina, as like him as she is. Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; nobody marks
you. BENE. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you get living ? Beat. Is it possible Disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it
as signior Benedick? Courtesy itself must convert to disdain if you come
in her presence. BENE. Then is courtesy a turncoat:- But it is certain I am loved 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 else have been troubled with a
pernicious suitor. 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 swear he
loves me. BENE. God keep your ladyship still in that mind! so some gentleman or other
shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face. Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an 't were such a face as yours
Benz. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
tinuer: But keep your way o' God's name; I have done.
• The qnarto reads, are you come.
shall stay here at the least a month ; and he heartily prays some occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his
heart. Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forsworn.--Let me bid
welcome, my lord: being reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all
[Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO.
judgment; or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a pro
fessed tyrant to their sex ? CLAUD. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment.
I BENE. Why, i' faith, methinks she's too low for a high praise, too brown for a
fair praise, and too little for a great praise: only this commendation I can afford her: that were she other than she is, she were unhandsome; and
being no other but as she is, I do not like her. CLAUD. Thou thinkest I am in sport; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou likest
her. BENE. Would you buy her, that you inquire after her? CLAUD, Can the world buy such a jewel? BENE. Yea, and a case to put it into. But speak you this with a sad brow? or
do you play the fouting 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
? Claud. In mine eye she is the sweetest lady that ever I looked on. BENE. I can see yet without spectacles, and I see no such matter: there 's her
cousin, an she were not possessed with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty as the first of May doth the last of December. But I hope you have no
intent to turn husband ; have you? CLAUD. I would scarce trust myself, though I had sworn the contrary, if Hero would be
wife. BENE. Is 't come to this, i' faith ? Hath not the world one man but he will
wear his cap with suspicion? Shall I never see a bachelor of three-score again? Go to, i' faith: an thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is returned
the song a
to seek you.
Re-enter DON PEDRO. D. PEDRO. What secret hath held you here, that you followed not to Leonato's ?
• To join in the song.
BENE. I would your grace would constrain me to tell.
you think so; but on my allegiance,-mark you this, on my allegiance :He is in love. With who?-now that is your grace's part.—Mark, how
short his answer is :—With Hero, Leonato's short daughter. CLAUD. If this were so, so were it uttered. BENE. Like the old tale, my lord : “it is not so, nor 't was not so; but, indeed,
God forbid it should be so." CLAUD. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it should be otherwise. D. PEDRO. Amen, if you love her; for the lady is very well worthy. Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my
lord. D. 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 spoke mine. CLAUD. That I love her, I feel. D. 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. D. PEDRO. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic in the despite 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 she brought me up, I
likewise give her most humble thanks : but that I will have a recheat a winded 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 myself the right to trust none; and the fine is, (for the which
I may go the finer,) I will live a bachelor. D. PEDRO. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale with love. BENE. With anger, with sickness, 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. D. 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 clapped on the shoulder and called Adam. D. PEDRO. Well, as time shall try :
· In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.”d BENE. The savage bull may; but if ever this 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 a Recheat-the huntsman's note to recall the hounds. 6 Baldrick-a belt.
• The fine-the conclusion. « This line is from Hieronymo.
hire,” let them signify under my sign,—“Here you may see Benedick the
married man." CLAUD. If this should ever happen thou wouldst be horn-mad. D. PEDRO. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his 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 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 youCLAUD. To the tuition of God : From my house, (if I had it)D. PEDRO. The sixth of July: Your loving friend, Benedick. BENE. Nay, mock not, mock not: The body of your discourse is sometime guarded a with fragments, and the guards are but slightly basted on neither:
flout old ends any further?, examine your conscience; and so I leave you.
[Exit BENEDICK. CLAUD. My liege, your highness now may do me good. D. PEDRO. My love is thine to teach ; teach it but how,
And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn
Any hard lesson that may do thee good.
Dost thou affect her, Claudio ?
O my lord, When you went onward on this ended action, I look'd
her with a soldier's eye,
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.
And tire the hearer with a book of words :
That thou begann'st to twist so fine a story?
That know love's grief by his complexion !
* Guarded-trimmed—as with guards on apparel. • The words in brackets are not in the folio. • Do you. The quarto, you do.
But lest my liking might too sudden seem,
I would have salv'd it with a longer treatise.
The fairest grant is the necessity :
SCENE II.-A Room in Leonato's House.
Enter LEONATO and ANTONIO.
Leon. How now, brother? Where is my cousin, your son ? Hath he provided
this music? Ant. He is very busy about it. But, brother, I can tell you news that you
yet dreamt not of. Leox. 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 overheard © by a man of mine: The prince discovered to Claudio that he loved my niece, 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 question him yourself. Leon. No, no; we will hold it as a dream, till it appear itself:—but I will
acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for an answer, if peradventure this be true. Go you, and tell her of it. (Several persons cross the stage.] Cousins, you know what you have to do.—0, I cry you mercy, friend: go you with me, and I will use your skill:~Good cousin, have a care this busy time.
• Once—once for all. So in Coriolanus:' “ Once, if he do require our voices we onght not to deny him."
In the quarto, strange news. • In the quarto, thus much overheard.