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Changes to an Apartment in Leonato's Houfe.
Enter Don John and Conrade.
Conr. WHAT the good-jer, my lord, why are
John. There is no meafure in the occafion that breeds it, therefore the fadnefs is without limit.
Conr. You fhould hear reafon.
John. And when I have heard it, what Bleffing bringeth it?
Conr. If not a prefent remedy, yet a patient fufferance.
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 caufe, and fmile at no man's jefts; eat when I have ftomach, and wait for no man's leifure; fleep when I am drowfie, and tend 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 fhow 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 impoffible you should take root, but by the fair weather that you make your felf; it is needful that you frame the feafon for your own harvest.
John. I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rofe in his grace; and it better fits my blood to be difdain'd of all, than to fafhion 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 fing 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 ufe of your discontent? John. I will make all use of it, for I use it only. Who comes here? what news, Borachio?
Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper; 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 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 fmoaking a mufty room, comes me the Prince and Claudio hand in hand in fad 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 crofs him any way, I bless my felf every way; you are both fure, and will affist me.
Conr. To the death, my lord.
John. Let us to the great fupper; their Cheer is the greater, that I am fubdu'd; 'would the cook were of my mind!-fhall we go prove what's to be done?
Bora. We'll wait upon your lordship.
ACT II. SCENE, a Hall in Leonato's House,
Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret and Urfula.
WAS not Count John here at Supper?
I faw him not.
Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can fee 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 juft in the mid-way between him and Benedick, the one is too like an image, and fays nothing; and the other too like my lady's eldeft fon, 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 purfe, fuch a man would win any woman in the world, if he could get her good Will.
Leon. By my troth, Neice, thou wilt never get thee a husband, if thou be fo fhrewd of thy tongue.
Ant. In faith, she's too curst.
Beat. Too curft is more than curft; I fhall leffen God's fending that way; for it is faid, God fends a VOL. II. с
curft Cow short horns; but to a Cow too curft he fends none.
Leon. So, by being too curft, God will fend you no horns.
Beat. Juft, if he fend me no Husband; for the which Bleffing 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 lefs than a man; and he that is more than a youth, is not for me; and he that is lefs 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 truft, you will be rul'd by your father. [To Hero. Beat. Yes, faith, it is my Coufin's duty to make curtfie, and fay, Father, as it pleafes you; but yet for all that, Coufin, let him be a handfome fellow, or elfe make another curtfie, and fay, Father, as it pleases me.
Leon. Well, Neice, I hope to fee you one day fitted with a husband.
Beat. Not 'till God make men of fome other
3 Well then, &c. -] All this impious nonfenfe thrown to the bottom is the players, and foiled 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 fhews 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-mafter'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 fons 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 your answer.
Beat. The fault will be in the mufick, coufin, if you be not woo'd in good time; If the Prince be too important, tell him, there is measure in every thing, and fo dance out the Anfwer; for hear me, Hero, wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a measure, and a cinque-pace; the firft fuit is hot and hafty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding mannerly-modeft, as a measure, full of state and anchentry; and then comes repentance, and with his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and fafter, 'till he finks into his grave.
Leon. Coufin, you apprehend paffing fhrewdly. Beat. I have a good eye, uncle, I can fee a church by day-light.
Leon. The revellers are entring, brother; make good room.
II. Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar, and others in Mafquerade.
Pedro. Lady, will you walk with your Friend? Hero. So you walk foftly, and look sweetly, and fay nothing, I am yours for the walk, and especially when I walk away.
Pedro. With me in your company ? Hero. I may fay fo, when I please. Pedro. And when please you to fay fo? Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the lute fhould be like the cafe!