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'twas not so ; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so.

Claud. If my passion change not shortly, God forbid it shoald 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.
Pedro. By my troth, I speak my thought.
Claud. And, in faith, my Lord, I spoke mine.

Bene. And by two faiths and troths, my Lord, I speak mine.

Claud. That I love her, I feel.'
Pedro. That she is worthy, I know.

Bene. That I neither feel how she 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 waft ever an obstinate heretic in the defpight of beauty.

Claud. 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 sickness, or with hunger, my Lord, not with love :


that « blood with love, than I will get again with drink

ing, pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, “ and hang me up at the door of a brothel-house for “ the sign of blind Cupid."

Pedro. Well, if ever thou doft fall from this faith, thou wilt

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 clapt on the shoulder, and call'd Adam *.

* Alluding to one Adam Bell, a famous archer of old.


I lose more

prove a notable

Pedro. Well, as time hall try ; in time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.

Bene. The favage bull may; but if ever the sensible Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and set 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 signify under my sign, Here you may fee Benedick 'thë marry'd man.

Claud. If this thould ever happen, thou would'st be horn-mad.

Pedro. Nay, if Cupid hath 'not spent all his quiver in Venice *, thou wilt quake for this thortly.

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then.

Pedro. Well, you will temporise with the hours; in the mean time, good Signior Benedick, repair to Leonato'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 such an embassage, ånd so I commit you

Claud. To the tuition of God: From my house, if I had it,

Pedro. The fixth of July, your loving friend, Benedick.

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not; the body of your discourse is sometime guarded with fragments, and the guards are but slightly beasted on neither : ere you fout old ends any further, examine your conscience, and so

[Exit. S C Ε Ν Ε Claud. My Liege, your Highness now may do me

good. Pedro. My love is then to teach, teach it but how, And thou shalt see how apt it is to learn Any hard lesson that may do thee good,

* Besides that Venice is as remarkable for freedoms in amorous intrigues as Cyprus was of old, there may be a farther conjecture why this expression is here ufed. The Italians give to each of their principal cities a particular distinguishing title, as, Roma la fanta, Napoli la gentile, Genoua la superba, &c. and among the retř it is, Venetia la ricca, Venice the wealthy. A farcasm therefore fcems to be here implied, that money governs love,

I leave you.


Claud. Hath Leonato any son, my Lord ?

Pedro. No child but Hero, she's his only heir :
Dost thou affect her, Claudio ?

Claud. O my Lord,
When you went onward on this ended action,
I look'd upon her with a soldier's eye ;
That lik’d, but had a rougher task in hand
Than to drive liking to the name of love;
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts
Have left their places vacant ; in their rooms
Come thronging soft and delicate desires,
All prompting me how fair young Hero is ;
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars.

Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover presently
And tire the hearer with a book of words :
If thou dost love fair Hero, cherish it,
And I will break with her : and with her father,
And thou shalt have her : was 't not to this end
That thou began'st to twift fo fine a story?

Claud. How sweetly do you minister to love,
That know love's grief by his complexion !
But left my liking might too sudden seem,
I would have salvd it with a longer treatise.
Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than the

flood ? The faireft 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 affume 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 presently.

[Exeunt. Re-enter Leonato and Antonio. Leon. How now, brother, where is my cousin your son? bath he provided this music?


Ant. He is very busy about it; but, brother, I can tell you news that you get 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 fouod her accordant, he meant to take the present time by the top, and instantly 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-ap. pear itself: but I will acquaint my daughter withal, that she may be the better prepared for answer, if peradventure this be true ; go you and tell her of it. Cousins, you know what you have to do. [Several cross the page here] O, I cry you mercy, friend, go you with me, and I will use your skill; good cousin, have a care this bufy time.

[Exeunt. S CE NE 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 sad ?

John. There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the fadness 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 thou say'st thou art, born under Saturn) goeft about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifving mischief. I cannot hide what I am : I must be sad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jests ; eat when I have stomach, and wait

for no man's leisure; Neep when I am drowsy, and tead on no man's business ; laugh when I am merry, and claw no; man in his humour.

Conr. Yea, but you must not make the full show of this, till you may do it without controlement. You have of late stood out against your brother, and he hath ta’en you newly into his grace, where it is imposible you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make yourself; it is needful that you frame the season for your own harvest.

John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rose in his grace ; and it better fits my blood to be disdain'd of all, than to fashion'a carriage to rob love from any : in this (though I cannot be faid to be a flattering honeft man) it must not be deny'd but I am a plain-dealing villain; I am trusted with a muzzel, and infranchised with a clog, therefore I have decreed not to sing in my cage : if I had my mouth, I would bite; if I had my liberty, I would do my liking : in the mean time let me be that I am, and seek not to alter me. Conr. Can

make no use of


discontent ? John. I will make all use of it, for I ufe it only. Who comes here? What news, Borachio ?

Enter Borachio. Bora. I came yonder from a great supper; the Prince, your brother, is royally entertain'd by Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.

John. Will it ferve for any model to build mischief on? what is he for a fool, that betrothes himself to unquietness ?

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
John. Who, the most exquisite Claudio ?
Bora. Even he.

John. A proper Squire ! and who, and who? which * Way

looks he?. Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of Leonato.

John. A very forward March chick ! How come you to this?

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