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conflict, four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the old man governed with one : so that it 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 it possible ?

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

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

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

Beal. 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. Enter DON PEDRO, attended by BALTHAZAR and others, DON JOHN, CLAUĎIO, and BENEDICK.

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 D. Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingls.

is Leon. Her mother hath many times told me so.



D. Pedro. You have it full, Benedick: we mas guess by this what you are, being a man. Truls, tho


lady fathers herself :-Be happy, lady! for you are liko an honourable father.

Bene. If signior Leonato be her father, she would not have his head on her shoulders, for all Messina, as like him as she is.

Beal. I wonder that you will still be talking, signior Benedick; no body marks you.

What, my dear lads Disdain ! are you get Beat. Is it possible, disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it as signior Benedick? Courtesy itsell must convert to disdain, if you came in her presence.

Bene. Then is courtesy a turn-coat. - 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.

A dear happiness to women; they would else have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank

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 'twere such a face as yours were.

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.

Beat. A bird of my tongue is better than a beast of yours.

Benc. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue; and so good a continuer: But keep your way of God's name; I have done.

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

D. Pedro. This is the sum of all: Leonato,-signior Claudio, and signior Benedick, -ms dear friend Leonato hath invited you all. I tell him, we 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 sou welcome, my lord: being Teconciled to the prince your brother, I owe you all duty.

D. John. I thank you : I am not of many words, but
Leon. Please it your grace lead on?

Beat. A God.


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I thank you.

Iataud. I would scarce trust myself, though I had

D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato; we will go together.

(E.reunt all but Benedick and Claudio. Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of signior Leonato ?

Bene. I noted her not; but I looked on her.
Claud. Is she not a modest young lady?

Bene. Do you question me as an honest man should do, for my simple true judgment; or would you have me speak after my custom, as being a professed tyrant to

sex ? Claud. No, I pray thee, speak in sober judgment.

Bene. Why, i'faith, methinks she is 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 case to put it into. But speak you this with a sad 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, 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

you have no intent to turn husband, have you? sworn the contrary, if Hero would be my

wife. Bene. Is it 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? to, l'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 to seek you.

Re-enter DON PEDRO. D. Pedro. What secret hath held you here, that you followed not to Leonato's !

Bene. I would, your grace would constrain ne to tell


be so


D. Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance.

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio: I can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on iny 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 'twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should

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.

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, 1 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 lored, 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.

never could maintain his part, but in the force of

will. Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her; that she

she bronght me up, I likewise give her most humble thanks : but that I will have a recheat 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

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



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blind Cupid.

de; and so I commit you Audnedro. My love is thine to teach ; teach it but

Ane hou shalt see how apt it is to learn ad I retas ato's uld bid

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.

Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horni, and set and in such great letters as they write, Here is good

hire, let them signify under my sign, - flere 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
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
ot fail him at supper; for, indeed, he hath made great

I have almost matter enough in me for such

To the tuition of God: From my house, (if
1 had it)-

D. Pedro. The sixth of July: your loving friend,

Nay, mock not, mock not: The body of your
discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the
guards are but slightly basted on neither: ere you fout
old ends any farther, examine your conscience; and so

My liege, your highness now may do me good.



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