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« afford her, that were she other than she is, she were “ unhandsome ; and being no other but as the is, I do " not like her."
Claud. Thou think'st I am in sport; I pray thee tell me truly how tbou lik'ít her.
Bene. Wou'd 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 fad 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 I ever look'd on.
Bene. I can see yet without spectacles, and I fee no such matter; there's her cousin, if she were not pos. sess'd with such 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 my wife.
Bene. Is’t come to this, in faith? hath not the world one man, but he will wear his cap with suspicion? shall I never see a batchelor of threescore again? Go to; i'faith, if thou wilt needs thrust thy neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and figh away Sundays. Look, Don Pedro is return'd to seek you.
SCE NE IV. Re-enter Don Pedro.
Bene. I wonid your Grace would constrain me to tell.
Bene. You hear, Count Claudio, I can be secret as a dumb man, I would have you think so; but on my alle, iance, mark you this, on my allegiance :~he is in love; with whom? now that is your Grace's part: nurk, how short his answer is, with Hero, Leonato's short cauchter.
Claud. If this were so, fo vere it uttered.
twas not so; but, indeed, God forbid it should be fo.
Claud, If my passion change not shortly, God forbid 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.
Bene. And by my two faiths and troths, my Lord, 1 speak mine,
Claud. That I love her, I feel.
Bene. That I neither feel how the 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.
Pedro. Thou wast ever an obftinate heretic in the despight of beauty.
Glaud. 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 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, s 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-houfe for “ the fign of blind Cupid.”
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 clapton the shoulder, and call'd Adam *.
* Alluding to one Adam Bell, a famous archer of old.
Pedro. Well, as time shall try ; in time the favage bull doth bear the yoke.
Bene. The savage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and fer. 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 fignify under ny fign, Here ? 90il may fee Benedick the marry'd man.
Claud. If this should ever happen, thou would'It 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 temporile with the hours; ia the mean time, good Signior benedick, repair to Leo. nato's, commend me to him, and tell him I will not fail him at fupper; for indeed he hath made great preparation.
Bene. I have almost matter enough in me for suchi an embaffage, and fo I commit you
Glaud. To the tuition of God: From my house, if I had it,
Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Be. nedick. • Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your discourse is fometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly beasted on neither: ere you fout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so I leave you.
[Exit. S CE N E V. Claud. My 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 leffon that may do thee good.
* Besiles that Venice is as remarkable for freedoms in amorous in. trigues as Cyprus was of old, there my be a farther coniecture why this expression is here used. The italians give to each of their prin. çipal cities a pa.ticular dißingui hing titie, as, Roma la fanta, Napoli la gestile. Genor a la superba, c, ang among the rest it is, Venetia la ricca, Verice ike wealiby. A sarcasm therefore seems to be here implied, thai money governs love.
Glaud. Hath Leonato any son, my Lord ?
Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir:
Claud. O my Lord,
Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently,
Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
che 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 prefently.
[Exeunt, Re-enter Leonato and Antonio. Leon. How now, brother, where is my cousin
your fon? hath he provided this mufie?
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 overheard by a man of mine : The Prince discover'd to Claudio, that he lov'd 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 instant- . ly 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 pers adventure this be true; go you and tell her of it. Coulins, you know what you have to do. [Several 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.
[Exeunt. S CE N E VI.. Changes to an apartment in Leonato's house.
Enter Don John and Conrade. Conr. What the good-jer, my Lord, why are you thus out of measure fad ?
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 suffe
John. I wonder, that thou (being, as thon fay'st thou art, born under Saturn) goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be fad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests; eat when I have ftomach, and wait