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Bene. Is't come to this, in faith ? hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with sufpicion ? shall I never see a bachelor of threescore again ? go to, i'faith, if thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and sigh away Sundays : look, Don Pedro is return'd to seek you.


Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John. Pedro. THAT Secret hath held you here, that


follow'd not to Leonato's house? Bene. I would your Grace would constrain me to tell. 1: Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as i a dumb man, I would have you think so; 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 short his answer is, with Hero, Leonato's short-daughter.

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

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

Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God for[bid it should be otherwise.

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

Claud. You speak this to fetch me in, my Lord. 1 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 speak mine.

Claud. That I love her, I feel.
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 F3

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

that fire cannot melt out of me; I will die in it at the stake.

Pedro. Thou waft ever an obstinate heretic in the despight of beauty.

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

Bene. That a woman conceiv'd me, I thank her; that the brought me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks: but that I will have a recheate winded in my forehead, or hang my bugle in an invisible baldric, 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.

Pedro. I shall see 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


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 shoulder, and call'd * Adam.

Pedo. Well, as time shall try; in time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The favage bull may, but if ever the 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 hire, let them signify under my Sign, Here you inay see Benedick the marry'd the man.

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Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'ft be horn-mad.

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

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

Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for such an embassage, and so I commit you

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

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

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly bafted on neither: ere you flout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so I leave you.



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Claud. Y Liege, your Highness now may do

me good.
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.
Claud. Hath Leonato


lord ?
Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir:
Dost thou affe&t her, Claudio ?

Claud. O my lord,

you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye;
That lik'd, but had a rougher talk in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love;
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts



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Have left their places vacant; in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate Desires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is;
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.

Pedro. Thou wilt be a lover prefently,
And tire the hearer with a book of words :
If thou doft love fair Hero, cherish it,
And I will break with her, and with her Father,
And thou shalt have her: was't not to this end,
That thou began it to twist so fine a story?

Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complexion !
But left my liking might too sudden 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 necessity;
Look, what will serve, is fit; 'tis once, thou lov'st;
And I will fit thee with the remedy.
I know, we shall have revelling to-night;
I will assume thy part in fome disguise,
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio;
And in her bosom I'll unclasp 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 conclusion is, she shall be thine;
In practice let us put it presently.

[Exeunt. Re-enter Leonato and Antonio. Leon. How now, Brother, where is my Cousin your fon? hath he provided this music?

Ant. He is very busy about it; but, brother, I can tell you news that you yet

dream'd not of. Leon. 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 over-heard by a man of mine: The Prince discover'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 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 answer, if peradventure this be true; go you and tell her of

it: Cousins, you know what you have to do. (Several I cross the Stage here.] 0, I cry you mercy, friend, go you

with me and I will use your skill; good Cousin, have a care this busy time.


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Changes to an Apartment in Leonato's House.

Enter Don John and Conrade. Conr. HAT the good-jer, my lord, why are

you thus out of measure sad? John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.

Conr. You should hear reason.

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

Conr. If not a present remedy, yet a patient sufferance.

John. I wonder, that thou (being, as thou fay'st thou art, born under Saturn) goeft about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief: I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have stomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drow

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