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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 hath, 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.
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, niece ? and challenged him at the bird-bolt.— I pray you,
how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? Beat. Very easily possible: he wears his faith But how many hath he killed ? for, indeed, I prom- but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with ised to eat all of his killing.
the next block. Leon. Faith, niece, you tax signior Benedick too Mess. I see, lady, the gentleman is not in your much; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it not. books. Mess. He hath done good service, lady, in these Beat. No; an he were, I would burn my study.
But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there Beat. You had musty victual, and he hath holp no young squarer now, that will make a voyage to eat it: he is a very valiant trencher-man; he hath with him to the devil ? an excellent stomach.
Mess. He is most in the company of the right Mess. And a good soldier too, lady.
noble Claudio. Beat. And a good soldier to a lady; but what is Beat. O Lord! he will hang upon him like a he to a lord ?
disease : he is sooner caught than the pestilence, Mess. A lord to a lord, a man to a man; stuffed and the taker runs presently mad. God help the with all honourable virtues.
noble Claudio! if he have caught the Benedick, it Beat. It is so, indeed: he is no less than a stuffed will cost him a thousand pound ere he be cured. man; but for the stuffing, - Well, we are all mortal. Mess. I will bold friends with you, lady.
Leon. You must not, sir, mistake my niece. Beat. Do, good friend. There is a kind of merry war betwixt signior Bene- Leon. You will never run mad, niece. dick and her: they never meet, but there's a skir- Beat. No, not till a hot January. mish of wit between them.
Mess. Don Pedro is approached. Beat. Alas! he gets nothing by that. In our last conflict four of his five wits went balting off, and
Enter Don PEDRO, John, Claudio, BENEDICK, now is the whole man governed with one; so that if
BALTHAZAR, and others. he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him D. Pedro. Good signior Leonato, you are come bear it for a difference between himself and his to meet your trouble; the fashion of the world is horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left to be to avoid cost, and you encounter it. known a reasonable creature.—Who is his compan- Leon. Never came trouble to my house in the ion now? He hath every month a new sworn bro- likeness of your grace; for trouble being gone, comther.
fort should remain, but when you depart from me, Mess. Is't possible ?
sorrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
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.
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! Haih 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. I suspicion? 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 print 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 predesti
Re-enter Don Pedro. nate scratched face.
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 o' 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 darebe so. 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. sorsworn.-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 troths, my lord, D. Pedro. Your hand, Leonato: we will go to- I spoke mine. gether.
Claud. That I love her, I feel. (Ereunt 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 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 10 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 youBene. 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 Člaud. 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;