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Pedro, and the Count Claudio, alone; tell them, that you know, Hero loves me; intend a kind of zeal both to the Prince and Claudio, (as in a love of your brother's honour who hath made this match;) and his friend's reputation, (who is thus like to be cozen'd with the femblance of a inaid,) that you have discover'd thus ; they will hardly believe this without trial ; offer them instances, which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber-window; hear me call Margaret, Hero ; hear Margaret term me Borachio; and bring them to see this, the very night before the intended wedding; for in the mean time I will so fashion the matter, that Hero hall be absent; and there shall appear such seeming truths of Hero's disloyalty, that jealousy fhall be call'd assurance, and all the preparation overthrown.
John. Grow this to what adverse issue it can, I will put it in practice ; be cunning in the working this, and thy fee is a thousand ducats.
Bora. Be thou constant in the accusation, and my cunning fhall not shame me. John. I will presently go learn their day of marriage.
SCENE changes to Leonato's Orchard.
Enter Benedick, and a Boy.
. Signior. Bene. In my chamber window lies a book, bring it hither to me in the orchard. Boy. I am here already, Sír.
[Exit Boy Bene. I know that, but I would have thee hence, and here again. I do much wonder, that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool, when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after he hath laught at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn, by falling in love! and sucii a man is Claudia. I have known, when there was no mufick with him
but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the taber and the pipe ; I have known, when he would have walk'd ten mile a-foot, to see a good armour ; and now will he lye ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak flain, and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is he turn'd orthographer, his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted, and fee with these eyes ? I cannot tell; I think not. I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster ; but I'll take my oath on it, 'till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me. such a fool: one woman is fair, yet I am well ; another is wife, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well. But 'till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain : (10) “wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen « her: fair, or I'll never look on her"; mild, or come not near me; noble, or not I for an angel; of good discourie, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the Prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour. [Withdraws.
Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar.
Claud. Yea, my good lord ; how still the evening is, As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony!
Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himself ?
Claud. O very well, my lord; the mufick ended, We'll fit the kid-fox with a penny-worth,
Pedro. Come Balthazar, we'll hear that song again. (10) “ Wise, or I'll none; virtuous, or I'll never cbeapen ber; fair,
I'll never look on ber;] These words, says Mr. POPE, are added out of the edition of 1623.-But they are likewise, before that, in the Quarto of 1600. They are also in the second and third impressions in Folio; and in the two editions by Mr. Rowe. Where is it they are not then, that they are thus said to be added by this wonderful Collator ? They happen to be extant in the very first edition, that we know of; they keep their place in an edition publish'd 23 years atte o that ; and therefore, Mr. Pope fays, they are added from this sublequent editionen B4
Baltb. O good my lord, tax not so bad a voice To flander mufick any more thin cace.
Pedro. It is the witness ftill of excellency,
Balth. Becauie you talk of wooing, I will fing's
Pedro. Nay, pray thee, come ;
Balth. Note this before my notes,
Pedro. Why, these are very crotchets that he speaks, Note, notes, forsooth, and noting.
Bene. Now, divine air ; now is his soul ravish'd! is it not ftrange, that sheep's guts should hale souls ons of mens bodies ? well, a horn for my money, when allls. done.
Men were deceivers ever ;
To one thing constant never :
And be you blith and bonny ;
Into hey nony, nony.
Of dumps so dull and heavy;
Since summer was first leafy :
Pedro. Ha, no, no, faith ; thou fing't well enough for a thift,
Bene. If he had been a dog, that should have howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him; and, I pray God, his bad voice bode no mischief; I had as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague could have come after it.
Pedro. Yea, marry, dost thou hear, Balthazar? I pray thee, get us some excellent mufick ; for to-morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's chamber window. Balth. The best I can, my lord.
[Exit Balthazar. Pedro. Do fo: farewell. Come hither, Leonato; what was it you told me of to day, that your Niece Beatrice was in love with Signior Benedick? Claud. O, ay;
- talk on, stalk on, the fowl fits I did never think, that lady would have loved any man,
Leon. No, nor I neither ; but most wonderful, that the should fo doat on Signior Benedick, whom she hath. in all outward behaviours seein'd ever to abhor.
Bene. Is't poflible, fits the wind in that corner? ( Afde
Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to think of it; but that she loves him with an inraged affection, it is past the infinite of thought.
Pedro. May be, she doth but counterfeit.
Leon. O God! counterfeit ? there was never count terfeit of passion came fo near the life of paflion, as Me di covers it.
Pedro. Why, what effects of paflion shews she?
Leon. What effects, my lord ? he will fit you, you, heard my daughter tell you how..
Claud. She did, indeed..
Pedro. How, how, I pray you ? you amaze me: I. would have thought, her spirit had been invincible against all assaults of affection.
Leon. I would have sworn, it had, my lord; especially againft Benedick.
Bene. [Afide.] I hould think this a: gull, but that: the white-bearded fellow speaks it; knavery cannot, fure, bide himself in-such reverence, B 5
Claud. He hath ta’en th' infection, hold it up. [Afide. Pedro. Hath she made her affection known to Benedick? Leon. No, and swears she never will; that's her torment,
Claud. 'Tis true, indeed, so your daughter says: Shall I, says the, that have so oft encounter'd him with scorn, write to him that I love him?
Leon. This says the now, when she is beginning to write to him ; for The'll be up twenty times a night, and there will she fit in her smock, 'till she have writ a sheet of paper; my daughter tells us all.
Claud. Now you talk of a sheet of paper, I remember a pretty jest your daughter told us of.
Leon. 0,- when she had writ it, and was reading it over, the found Benedick and Beatrice between the sheet.
Leon. (11) O, she tore the letter into a thousand halfpence; rail'd at herself, that she should be so immodeft, to write to one that, the knew, wou'd flout her: I measure him, says she, by my own spirit, for I should flout him if he writ to me; yea, though I love him, I should.
Claud. Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, cui ses ; 0 sweet Benedick! God give me patience !
Leon. She doth, indeed, my daughter fays fo; and the ecstacy hath so much overborn her, that my daughter is fometime afraid, the will do desperate outrage to herself; it is
very true. Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by forne other, if she will not discover it.
Claud. To what end? he would but make a sport of it, and torment the poor lady worse.
Pedro. If he should, it were an Alms to hang him ;
(u) 0, be tore the letter into a thor fand half-pence;) i. e. into a thousand pieces of the fame bigness. This is farther explain'd by a paffage in As you like it;
There were none principal; they were all like one anoiber as half-pence are.
In both places the poet alludes to the old filver penny which had a creafe running cross-wife over it, so that it might be broke into two or fous equal pics, half-pence, or farthings.