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A Room in LEONATO's House.


URSULA, Friar, and Hero.

Friar. Did I not tell you

was innocent? Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd her, Upon the error that you heard debated : But Margaret was in some fault for this ; Although against her will, as it appears In the true course of all the question.

Ant. Well, I am glad that all things fort so well.

Bene. And so am I, being else by faith enforc’d To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it.

Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all,
Withdraw into a chamber by yourselves;
And, when I send for you, come hither mask'd :
The prince and Claudio promis'd by this hour
To visit me :- -You know your office, brother;
You must be father to your brother's daughter,
And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies.

Ant. Which I will do with confirm'd countenance.
Bene. Friar, I must entreat your pains, I think.
Friar. To do what, fignior ?

Bene. To bind me, or undo me, one of them.--
Signior Leonato, truth it is, good signior,
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour.

Leon. That eye my daughter lent her; 'Tis most true.
Bene. And I do with an eye of love requite her.

Leon. The light whereof, I think, you had from me, From Claudio, and the prince; But what's your will ? Bene. Your answer, sir, is enigmatical :

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But, for my will, my will is, your good will
May stand with ours, this day to be conjoin'd
In the state of honourable marriage ;-
In which, good friar, I shall desire your help.

Leon. My heart is with your liking.

And my help.
Here comes the prince, and Claudio.

Enter Don PEDRO, and CLAUDIO, with Attendants. D. Pedro. Good morrow to this fair assembly.

Leon. Good morrow, prince; good morrow, Claudio;
We here attend you; Are you yet determin'd
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter?

Claud. I'll hold my mind, were the an Ethiop.
Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar ready.

[Exit AntoniO. D. Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick: Why, what's the

matter, That you

have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness ?

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the favage bull :-
Tush, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold,
And all Europa shall rejoice at thee;
As once Europa did at lusty Jove,
When he would play the noble beast in love.

Bene. Bull Jove, fir, had an amiable low;
And some such strange bull leap'd your father's cow,
And got a calf in that same noble feat,
Much like to



you have just his bleat. Re-enter ANTONIO, with the Ladies mask’d. Claud. For this I owe you: here come other reckonings. Which is the lady I must seize upon ? Ant. This fame is ffe, and I do give you her.




Claud. Why, then she's mine : Sweet, let me see your face.

Leon. No, that you shall not, till you take her hand Before this friar, and swear to marry her.

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar;
I am your husband, if you like of me.
Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife :

[Unmasking And when you lov’d, you were my other husband.

Claud. Another Hero ?

Nothing certainer:
One Hero died defil'd; but I do live,
And, surely as I live, I am a maid.

D. Pedro. The former Hero! Hero that is dead !
Leon. She died, my lord, but whiles her Nander liv'd.

Friar. All this amazement can I qualify;
When, after that the holy rites are ended,
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death:
Mean time, let wonder seem familiar,
And to the chapel let us presently.

Bene. Soft and fair, friar.—Which is Beatrice ?
Beat. I answer to that name ; [Unmasking.] What is

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your will ?

Bene. Do not you love me?

No, no more than reason. Bene. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and Claudio, Have been deceived; for they swore you did.

Beat. Do not you love me?

No, no more than reason. Beat. Why, then my cousin, Margaret, and Ursula, Are much deceiv'd; for they did swear, you did.

Bene. They swore that you were almost fick for me. Beat. They swore that you were well-nigh dead for me. Bene. "Tis no such matter :-Then, you do not love me? Beat. No, truly, but in friendly recompence.


Leon, Come, cousin, I am sure you love the gentleman.

Claud. And I'll be sworn upon't, that he loves her;
For here's a paper, written in his hand,
A halting fonnet of his own pure brain,
Fashion'd to Beatrice.

And here's another,
Writ in my cousin's hand, itolen from her pocket,
Containing her affection unto Benedick.

Bene. A miracle! here's our own hands against our hearts !--Come, I will have thee; but, by this light, I take thee for pity.

Beat. I would not deny you ;-but, by this good day, I yield upon great persuasion; and, partly, to fave your life, for I was told you were in a consumption. Bene. Peace, I will stop your mouth.

[Kiffing ber. D. Pedro. How doit thou, Benedick the married man?

Bene. I'll tell thee what, prince; a college of wit. crackers cannot flout me out of my humour: Doft thou think, I care for a satire, or an epigram? No: if a man will be beaten with brains, he shall wear nothing handsome about him: In brief, fince I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.-For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten thee; but in that thou art like to be my kinsman, live unbruis'd, and love my cousin.

Claud, I had well hoped, thou would'st have denied Beatrice, that I might have cudgell'd thee out of thy single life, to make thee a double dealer; which, out of ques. tion, thou wilt be, if my coulin do not look exceeding narrowly to thee.

Bene. Come, come, we are friends ;-let's have a dance



ere we are married, that we may lighten our own hearts, and our wives' heels.

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards.

Bene. First, o’my word; therefore, play, musick. Prince, thou art fad; get thee a wife, get thee a wife : there is no staff more reverend than one tipp'd with horn.

Enter a Messenger. Mel. My lord, your brother John is ta'en in flight, And brought with armed men back to Messina.

Bene. Think not on him till to-morrow; I'll devise thee brave punishments for him.--Strike up, pipers.

[Dance. Exeunt.

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