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Changes to an Apartment in Leonato's House.
Enter Don John and Conrade. Conr. HAT the good-jer, my lord, why are
you thus out of measure sad? John. There is no meafure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness 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 sufferance.
John. I wonder, that thou (being, as thou fay'st thou art, born under Saturn) goeft about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief: I cannot hide what I am: I must be fad when I have cause, and smile at no man's jefts; eat when I have ftomach, and wait for no man's leisure; sleep when I am drowsie, and tend on no man's business; laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in his humour.
Conr. Yed, but you must not make the full show of this, 'till you may do it without controlement; you have of late ftood out against your brother, and he hath ta'en you newly into his grace, where it is impossible you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make your felf; it is needful that 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 said to be a flattering honest 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 you make no use of your discontent?
John. I will make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? what news, Borachio?
Enter Borachio. Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper ; the Prince, your brother, is royally entertain'a by Leonato, and I can give you intelligence of an intended marriage.
John. Will it serve for any model to build mischief on? what is he for a fool, that betroths himself to unquietness?
Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand.
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?
Bora. Being entertain'd for a perfumer, as I was smoaking a musty room, comes me the Prince and Claudio hand in hand in sad conference: I whipt behind the Arras, and there heard it agreed upon, that the Prince should woo Hero for himself; and having obtain'd her, give her to Count Claudio.
John. Come, come, let us thither, this may prove food to my displeasure : that young start-up hath all the glory of my overthrow; if I can cross him any way, I bless my self every way; you are both sure, and will assist me. Conr. To the death, my lord.
John. Let us to the great supper; their Cheer is the greater, that I am subdu'd ; 'would the cook were of my mind! - shall we go prove what's to be done ?
Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship. [Exeint.
A CT II.
SCENE, a Hall in Leonato's House, Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret
AS not Count John here at Supper ?
Ant. I saw him not. Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him, but I am heart-burn'd an hour after.
Hero. He is of a very melancholy disposition.
Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made just in the mid-way between him and Benedick; the one is too like an image, and says nothing: and the other too like my lady's eldest son, evermore tatling.
Leon. Then half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick’s face
Beat. With a good Leg, and a good foot, Uncle, and mony enough in his purse, such a man would win any woman in the world, if he could get her
Leon. By my troth, Neice, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be so shrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she's too curs.
Beat. Too curft is more than curft; I shall leffen God's sending that way; for it is said, God sends a Vol. II. C
curft Cow short horns; but to a Cow too curft he sends none.
Leon. So, by being too curft, God will send you
Beat. Juft, if he fend me no Husband; for the which Blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening : Lord! I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face, I had rather lye in woollen.
Leon. You may light upon a husband, that hath no beard.
Beat. What should I do with him? dress him in my apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman? he that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man; and he that is more than a youth, is not for me ; and he that is less than a man, I am not for him : therefore I will even take fix pence in earnest of the bear-herd, and lead his apes into hell. 3 Ant. Well, Neice, I trust, you will be ruld by
[To Hero. Beat. Yes, faith, it is my Cousin's duty to make curtsie, and say, Father, as it pleafes you; but yet for all that, Cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsie, and say, Father, as it pleases me.
Leon. Well, Neice, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband,
Beat. Not 'till God make men of some other
3 Well then, &c.-) All this impious nonsense thrown to the bottom is the players, and foitted in without rhyme or reason.
Leon. Well then, go you into hell,
Beat. No, but to the gate ; and there will the devil meet me, like an old cuckold, with his horns on his head, and say, get
you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to heav'n, here's no place “ for you maids.” So deliver I up my apes, and away to St. Peter, for the heav'ns; he shews me where the batchelors fit, and there live we as merry as the day is long.
metal than earth; would it not grieve a woman to be over-master'd with a piece of valiant duft? to make account of her life to a clod of way-ward marle? no, uncle, I'll none; Adam's sons are my brethren, and, truly, I hold it a fin to match in my kindred.
Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you ; if the Prince do follicit you in that kind, you know
Beat. The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good time; If the Prince be too important, tell him, there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the Answer; for hear me, Hero, wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace; the first fuit is hot and hafty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical ; the wedding mannerly-modeft, as a measure, full of ftate and anchentry; and then comes repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and fafter, 'till he sinks into his grave.
Leon. Cousin, you apprehend palling shrewdly.
Beat. I have a good eye, uncle, I can see a church by day-light.
Leon. The revellers are entring, brother ; make good room.
S CE N E
others in Masquerade. Pedro. Lady, will you walk with
Friend? Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk, and especially when I walk away.
Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the lute should be like the case!