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To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.
Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves; And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd: The prince and Claudio promis’d by this hour To visit me :-You know your office, brother; You must be father to your brother's daughter, And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies.
Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance..
Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.-
Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; 'Tis most true.
Leon. The sight whereof, I think, you had from me, From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your will?
Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical :
Leon. My heart is with your liking.
Friar. And my help.
Enter Don Pedro and Claudio, with attendants. D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.
Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio; We here attend you; Are you yet determin'd To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?
Claud. I'll hold my mind, were she an Ethiope.
[Exit ANTONIO. D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's
Claud. I think, he thinks upon the savage bull :-
Bene. Bull Jove, sir, had an amiable low;
Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies masked. Claud. For this I owe you: here come other reckon
Ant. This same is she, and I do give you her.
face. Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand Before this friar, and swear to marry her.
Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar;
[Unmasking. And when you loved, you were my other husband.
Claud. Another Hero?
Hero. Nothing certainer:
D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero, that is dead !
Bene. Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice?
What is your will ?
Beut. Do not you love me?
Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula, Are much deceiv'd: for they did swear, you did.
Bene. They swore, that you were almost sick for me. Beat. They swore, that you were well-nigh dead for
me. Bene. 'Tis no such matter :-Then, you do not love
me? Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompense. Leon. Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentle
man. Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves her;
For here's a paper, written in his hand,
Hero. And here's another,
Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts !-Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.
Beat. I would not deny you;—but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to save your life, for I was told you were in a consumption. Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth.
[Kissing her. D. Pedro. How dost thou, Benedick, the married
man? Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of witcrackers cannot flout me out of my humour: Dost thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him : In brief, since I do propose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose, that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruised, and love my cousin.
Claud. I had well hoped, thou would'st have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgelled thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of question, thou wilt be, if my cousin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.
Bene. Come, come, we are friends :--let's have a dance ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.
Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.
Bene. First, o'my word; therefore, play, music. Prince, thou art sad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife: there is no staff more reverend than one tipped with horn.
Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord, your brother John is ta’en in flight, And brought with armed men back to Messina.
Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.-Strike up, pipers.
END OF VOLUME TWELFTH.