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DON PEDRO, Prince of Arragon.
JOEN, his bastard Brother.
CLAUDIO a young Lord of Florence, favourite to Dox

BENEDICK, a young Lord of Padua, favoured likewise

by Don PEDRO.
LEONATO, Governor of Messina
ANTONIO, his Brother.

followers of Jonn.


A Sexton.

A Boy.

HERO, Daughter to LEONATO.

Gentlewomen attending on Ezzo.

Messengers, Watchmen, and Attendants,


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Scene I.-Before Leonato's House.

Mess. Much deserved on his part, and equally

remembered by Don Pedro : he bath borne himself Enter LEONATO, HERO, BEATRICE, and others, with a Messenger.

beyond the promise of his age, doing in the figure

of a lamb the feats of a lion: he bath, indeed, betLeon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of ter bettered expectation, than you must expect of Arragon comes this night to Messina.

me to tell you how. Mess. He is very near by this: he was not three Leon. He hath an uncle here in Messina will be leagues off when I left him.

very much glad of it. Leon. How many gentlemen have you lost in Mess. I have already delivered him letters, and this action ?

there appears much joy in him; even so much, that Mess. But few of any sort, and none of name. joy could not show itself modest enough without a Leon. A victory is twice itself, when the achiever badge of bitterness. brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don Leon. Did he break out into tears? Pedro hath bestowed much honour on a young Mess. In great measure. Florentine, called Claudio.

Leon. A kind overflow of kindness. There are no faces truer than those that are so washed : how Hero. My cousin means signior Benedick of much better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at Padua. weeping ?

Mess. O! he is returned, and as pleasant as ever Beat. I pray you, is signior Montanto returned

he was. from the wars, or no?

Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and Mess. I know none of that name, lady: there challenged Cupid at the flight; and my uncle's was none such in the army of any sort.

fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, Leon. What is he that you ask for, piece ? and challenged him at the bird-bolt.— I pray you, D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too will high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too ingly. I think, this is your daughter.


how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing.

Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not.

Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these


Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man; he hath an excellent stomach.

Mess. And a good soldier too, lady.

Beat. And a good soldier to a lady; but what is he to a lord ?

Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed with all honourable virtues.

Beat. It is so, indeed: he is no less than a stuffed man; but for the stuffing,-Well, we are all mortal.

Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece. There is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Benedick and her: they never meet, but there's a skirmish of wit between them.

Beat. Alas! he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict four of his five wits went balting off, and now is the whole man governed with one; so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse ; for it is all the wealth that he hath left to be known a reasonable creature.-Who is his companion now? He hath every month a new sworn brother. Mess. Is't possible?

Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.

Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your books.

Beat. No; an he were, I would burn my study. But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there no young squarer now, that will make a voyage with him to the devil ?

Mess. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.

Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a disease : he is sooner caught than the pestilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured.

Mess. I will hold friends with you, lady.
Beat. Do, good friend.
Leon. You will never run mad, niece.
Beat. No, not till a hot January.
Mess. Don Pedro is approached.

BALTHAZAR, and others. D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come to meet your trouble; the 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.

little for a great praise : only this commendation I Leon. Her mother hath many times Lold me so. can afford her; that were she other than she is, she

Bene. Were you in doubt, sir, that you asked were unhandsome, and being no other but as she her!

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 lik’st 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 flouting not have his head on her shoulders for all Messina, Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and as like him as she is.

Vulcan a rare carpenter ? Come, in what key shall Beat. I wonder that you will still be talking, sig- a man take you, to go in the song ? nior 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 looked 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 Courtesy itself must convert to disdain, if you come in beauty, as the first of May doth the last of Dein her presence.

cember. But I hope, you have no intent to turn Bene. Then 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 sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my wife. not a hard heart, for, truly, I love none.

Bene. Is't come to this, i'faith? Hath not the Beat. A dear happiness to women: they would world one man, but he will wear his cap with else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. Isuspicion ? Shall I never see a bachelor of threethank God, and my cold blood, I am of your hu- score again? Go to, i'faith; an thou wilt needs mour for that: I had rather hear my dog bark at a thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the priot of it, crow, than a man swear he loves me.

and sigh away Sundays. Look; Don Pedro is Bene. God keep your ladyship still in that mind; returned to seek you. so some gentleman or other shall 'scape a predestinate scratched face.

Re-enter Don PEDRO. Beat. Scratching could not make it worse, an D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that 'twere such a face as yours were.

you followed not to Leonato's ? Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

Bene. I would your grace would constrain me to Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast tell. of yours.

D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your Bene. You hear, Count Claudio : I can be secret tongue, and so good a continuer. But keep your as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on way of God's name; I have done.

my allegiance,-mark you this, on my allegiance.Beat. You always end with a jade's trick : I He is in love. With whom ?-now that is your know you of old.

grace's part.—Mark, how short his answer is :D. Pedro. This is the sum of all.-Leonato, with Hero, Leonato's short daughter. signior Claudio, and signior Benedick,-my dear Claud. If this were so, so were it uttered. friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him we Bene. Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, shall stay here at the least a month, and he heartily nor 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should prays some occasion may detain us longer: I dare swear he is no hypocrite, but prays from his heart. Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God

Leon. If you swear, my lord, you shall not be forbid it should be otherwise. forsworn.-Let me bid you welcome, my lord : be- D. Pedro. Amen, if you love her; for the lady ing reconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you is very well worthy. all duty.

Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my

lord. John. I thank you; I am not of many words, D. Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought. but I thank you.

Claud. And in faith, my lord, I spoke mine. Leon. Please it your grace lead on?

Bene. And by my two faiths and iroths, my lord, D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato: we will go to- I spoke mine. gether.

Claud. That I love her, I feel. (Exeunt all but BENEDICK and CLAUDIO. D. Pedro. That she is worthy, I know. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter Bene. That I neither feel how she should be of signior Leonato ?

loved, nor know how she should be worthy, is the Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her. opinion that fire cannot melt out of me: I will die Claud. Is she not a modest young lady?

in it at the stake. Bene. Do you question me, as an honest man D. Pedro. Thou wast ever an obstinate heretic should do, for my simple true judgment; or would in the despite of beauty. you have me speak after my custom, as being a Claud. And never could maintain his part, but in professed tyrant to their sex?

the force of his will. Claud. No; I pray thee, speak in sober judg- Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her: ment.

that she brought me up, I likewise give her most Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she's too low for a humble thanks; but that I will have a recheat

be so.

winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an Bene. I look for an earthquake too, then. invisible baldrick, all women shall pardon me. D. Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the Because I will not do them the wrong to mistrust hours. In the mean time, good signior Benedick, any, I will do myself the right to trust none; and repair to Leonato's: commend me to him, and tell the fine is, (for the which I may go the finer,) I will him, I will not fail him at supper; for, indeed, he live a bachelor.

hath made great preparation. D. Pedro. I shall see thee, ere I die, look pale Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for with love.

such an embassage; and so I commit you, Bene. With anger, with sickness, or with hunger, Claud. To the tuition of God: from my house, my lord; not with love: prove, that ever I lose if I had it.more blood with love, than I will get again with D. Pedro. The sixth of July: your loving friend, drinking, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's Benedick. pen, and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not. The body of for the sign of blind Cupid.

your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, D. Pedro. Well, if ever thou dost fall from this and the guards are but slightly basted on neither: faith, thou wilt prove a notable argument.

ere you fout old ends any further, examine your Bene. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and conscience, and so I leave you. (Exit BENEDICK. shoot at me; and he that hits me, let him be clapped Claud. My liege, your highness now may do me on the shoulder, and called Adam.

good. D. Pedro. Well, as time shall try :

D. Pedro. My love is thine to teach : teach it “In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.”

but how, Bene. The savage bull may, but if ever the sen- And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn sible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, | Any hard lesson that may do thee good. and set them in my forehead; and let me be vilely Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my lord ? painted, and in such great letters as they write, D. Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only Here is a good horse to hire," let them signify

heir. under my sign,—“Here you may see Benedick the Dost thou affect her, Claudio ? married man."


0! my lord, Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'st When you went onward on this ended action, be horn-mad.

I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye, D. Pedro. Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand, quiver in Venice, thou wilt quake for this shortly. Than to drive liking to the name of love;

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