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“ hath he kill'd ? for, indeed, I promis’d to eat all “ of his killing.”
Leon, Faith, Neice, yoụ tax Signior Benedick too much ; but he'll be meet with you, I doubt it
Mej. He hath done good service, Lady, in these
" Beat. You had musty victuals, and he hạth holp " to eat it; he's a very valiant trencher-man, he hath “ an excellent stomach."
Mes. And a good soldier too, Lady.
Beat. And a good soldier to a lady? but what is he to a lord ?
Mell. A lord to a lord, a man to a man, stuffc with all honourable virtues.
Beat. It is fo, indeed : he is no less than a stuffc man: but for the stuffing,well, we are all mortal.
Leon. You must not, Sir, mistake my Neice; there is a kind of merry war betwixt Signior Benedick and her ; they never meet, but there's a skirmish of Wit between them.
Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by That. In our last confict, four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man govern'd with one: So that if he have * wit enough to keep himself from harm, 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.
wit enough to keep himself WARM,] But how would that make a difference between him and his horse? We should read, Wit enough to keep himself Fr.OM HARM. This suits the fatirical turn of her speech, in the character he would give of Benedick; and this would make the difference spoken of. For 'tis the nature of horses, when wounded, to run upon the point of the weapon.
Mel. Mel. Is it possible ?
Beat. Very easily possible; she wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat, it ever changes with the next block.
Mel. 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 to the devil ?
Mel. He is most in the company of the right noble Claudio.
Beat. O lord, he will hang upon him like a disease; he is sooner caught than the peftilence, and the taker runs presently mad. God help the noble Claudio, if he have caught the Benedick; it will cost him a thousand pounds ere he be cur'd.
Mel. I will hold friends with you, Lady,
Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar, and
Don John. Pedra. 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, forrow abides, and happiness takes his leave.
5. be wears bis faith ] Not religious Profesion, but Profef fion of friendship; for the speaker gives it as the reason of her asking, who was now bis Companion ? that he had every
month 4 new fuorn brotber.
Pedro. You embrace your charge too willingly: I think, this is your daughter.
Leon. Her mother hath many times told me fo. Bene. Were you in doubt, Sir, that you askt her?
Leon. Signior Benedick, no; for then were you a child.
Pedro. You have it full, Benedick; We may guess by this what you are, being a man: truly, the lady fathers her felf, be happy, lady, for you are like 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.
Beat. I wonder, that you will still be talking, Signior Benedick; no body marks you.
Bene. What, my dear lady Disdain! are you yet living?
Beat. Is it possible, Disdain should die, while she hath such meet food to feed it, as Signior Benedick? Courtesie it self must convert to Disdain, if you come in her presence.
Bene. Then is courtefie a turn-coat; but it is certain, I am lov'd 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.
Beat. A dear happiness to women, they would elle have been troubled with a pernicious suitor. I thank God and 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 fome gentleman or other shall scape a predestinate scratchc face.
Beat. “ Scratching could not make it worse, an 'cwere such a face as yours were."
Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher.
Bene. I would, my horse had the speed of your tongue, and so good a continuer ; but keep your way o'God's name, I have done.
Beat. You always end with a jade's crick; I know
you of old.
Pedro. This is the sum of all : Leonato, --Signior Claudio, and Signior Benedick, my dear friend Leonato hath invited you all; I tell him, we shall ftay 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 You welcome, my lord, being reconciled to the prince your brother ; I owe you all duty. John. I thank
you; I am not of many words, but I thank you.
Leon. Please it your Grace lead on?
[Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudio.
Claud. Benedick, didst thou note the daughter of Signior Leonato? Bene. I noted her not, but I look'd on her. Claud. Is she not a modeft 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 their sex?
Claud. No, I prythee, speak in sober judgment.
Bene. Why, i*faith, methinks, she is too low for an high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too lit
tle 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 the is, I 6 do not like her.”
Claud. Thou think'st, I am in sport ; I pray thee, tell me truly how thou lik’ft her.
Bene. Would you buy her, that you enquire 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 fouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vula can 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 see no such matter; there's her Cousin, if she were not porsest 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 my self, tho' 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 ? sigh away Sundays : look, Don Pedro is return'd to seek you.
S CE N E
Re-enter Don Pedro and Don John. Pedro. What Secret hath held you here, that you follow'd not to Leonato's house?
7 high away Sundays:] A proverbial expresfion to fignify that a man has no rest at all; when Sunday, a day formerly of ease and diversion, was passed so uncomfortably.